Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Put one foot in front of the other...

This title is from a song I remember from Santa Claus is Coming to Town (one of my fave Christmas shows). The rest of the line is "and soon you'll be walking cross the floor." Yesterday I put one foot in front of the other, and made some progress toward what I hope will be the acquisition of my birth certificate early next year.

Saturday I attended a meeting put on for people who want access to original birth certificates - either their own, or a loved one's. It was very informative, and clearly laid out all the steps (I called them 'hoops' yesterday) one must complete to make it happen. The great news is that if I complete all the steps in time, I should be able to go to Augusta - our state's capital - on January 2nd, and collect something that I should have been able to have all along - my birth certificate.

I was able to contact the Office of Vital Records yesterday and announced my intent to request the information (step ONE). Today I will drive to Biddeford (the city I was born in) to get a copy of my AMENDED birth certificate - the one with my adopted parents' names on it - which I need to present on January 2nd (step TWO).

Friday I am supposed to be able to download the forms I will have to submit to the state asking for my birth certificate (step THREE). And then, on January 2nd, I will get in line with all the others and hopefully they will hand me the document(soon I'll be walking cross the floor!)

Being at the meeting was a strange experience. As I listened to the others speak, it was as if a lot of them were telling my story. There were so many there who have had the same experiences as I have had - St. Andre's Home, great adoptive parents, less than helpful agency staff, repeated frustration in the search for information. Some of them were looking for medical information, some for siblings or parents, some even for clues to their own identity, but the desire for the most basic facts, the facts about how we came to be here, was overwhelming.

There were some people there who have already completed a successful search, and I was riveted by their stories. A few had found their birth parents; some had discovered they were no longer living; quite a few had located some siblings. As I've been told to expect, there were many ups and downs along the way. Not all blood relations welcome newcomers with open arms. We were warned about the emotional roller coaster ride on which we are embarking.

But NOBODY SAID THEY WERE SORRY THEY LOOKED.

Only 24 days more.

20 comments:

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

24 stress free, tip toe through the tulips, spend all your time shopping for Hallie days, right? :)

It's coming sooooo fast!!

Hallie

(but really, HAVE you shopped for me yet?)

kim-d said...

Wow, Mary Ellen, you're halfway there! From what you outlined in this post, the hoops don't seem to be quite as extensive as I imagined they would be.

As soon as I saw "Put one foot in front of the other..." I had to come here right away. Right after Bill died, when people would ask me "what are you going to do now" that was my answer. Put one foot in front of the other, remember to breathe, and possibly get groceries. I could not think beyond that. That is one aspect that has gotten better over the years, but not much. I can plan a little farther out than that, but not much.

And sometimes, in fact a lot of times in the recent past, I still don't know who I am now. It sort of comes and goes. There are times I am SO sure of myself and everything that I am, and I know my own worth; then, there will be a put-down or somebody sees me in a way that is so far from what I think I am. Then I'm wondering again.

No matter what happens with your search, I still think it's always better to know. Even if it turns out to be a less-than-optimum situation, it is still better to know that than to sit around and wonder. Because it could also be the one of the best things you've ever done. The only way to know is to do exactly what you're doing. And we're all right here with you, no matter what.

You do realize that your journey, and the fact that you share it with us, is helping me, right? I am looking at a lot of things that have been buried for a long time, and while it may not always tickle, it's good and it's time. Thanks, Mary Ellen. I am so glad you blog. For me, it's..."when the student is ready, the teacher appears."

Laura ~Peach~ said...

sounds like pretty easy hoops to me! I hope they keep it simple and over the years i have talked to hundreds of people in the triad and NEVER has one regretted (sp) doing it... there are good and bad and downright ugly situations...but still knowing is so much better than not knowing. as for the emotionl rollercoaster well... I have hinted at it and strapped on my shoulder harness/ seat belt and keep tissues close at hand, but you could not kick me away or beat me away for anything cause My feet are committed to follow you thought this and beyond!
HUGS Laura
My little heart pitty pattered when you said Augusta ... till you added MAINE to it LOL... silly me ... wishful thinking!
more hugs

KimandCo said...

This is so exciting!

My dad went into a children's home when he was about 5-6 yrs. old and I remember when we (my brother and I) finally met his mom. My dad had not seen her since she dropped him at the children's home. I was in the 8th grade. It was never the typical parent/child relationship or grandparent/grandchild relationshiop, but we did spend time with her and my parents took care of her in her old age (she lived to be 97!).

Andrew Scott Turner said...

You really should throw an extravagant party after all this is over.

I'll bring the Rum

Hallie *sniff sniff* Twomey, of course, will bring the Coke

AirmanMom said...

ME...baby steps always get you, where you need to be! You are in my daily prayers.

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

MaBunny said...

Wow Mary Ellen. I'm so very proud of you to embark on such an emotinal roller coaster. All I can hope is that you feel satisfied at the end, good or bad.
/cyber hugz to you during this time of hula hoop jumping...

kimmy said...

You're almost there Mary Ellen!

Kimmy

Michelle said...

I am so glad that you are documenting your journey here. I am sure that it will help others someday.

We are here for you every foot in front of the other step you take.

Michelle said...

I'm not that organizezd. They were in a box of stuff tha tused to be my moms and I brought it home from my brothers house. I have found lots of old photos. One of these days I will show you my brothers baby pictures! He will kill me.

Alice said...

What an exciting journey! I feel like I'm along for the ride. I can't wait to see what you find out.

blessedmomto7 said...

I have known my birth family for 12years & it has been a very stressful yet rewarding situation. I honestly would have never looked for them-they looked for me.

The stressful part was going from a small family to a HUGE family. A family that was raised WAY DIFFERNTLY than me. I'm here if you ever need to talk. There is not much to prepare a person for the steps you are taking. God has different plans for all of us & if you need to chat after you find the truth, I'm here! HUGS!

Kellan said...

It is so amazing what can be found in this day and age of the internet - it is such a blessing in so many regards. I wish you only luck!!!

Take care and see you soon - Kellan

Midwest Mommy said...

Wow, it is so close. I am so excited for you.

Vegas Princess said...

Every post you put up I get more and more excited for you!

~*amber*~ said...

In the midst of it all, those 'hoops' don't sound so bad. Hopefully it is as easily said as it is done. I am excited for you!

Abby Reed said...

I am definitely not sorry I looked... it was like a cloud over my head, always wondering. Maybe I didn't get the results I wanted, but at least I got results.

Yay -- you're getting closer. The first of the year will be here before you know it... and you'll have you're very own *story*.

**hugs**

Sue said...

That's the most important line, Nobody said they were sorry they looked!

And yes, I do love that Christmas show with Burger Meister Meister Burger! HAHA

Shellie said...

I think if you know to expect the unexpected you won't be sorry you looked. We are relieved we looked.

Roweqxyf said...

Every post you put up I get more and more excited for you!