Friday, July 31, 2009

A Little Added Cheer to My Day

I was sent flowers today! So bright and cheery and vibrant and beautiful. They really made me smile. And guess who they're from? Bio-mom! So sweet of her. And great taste too, take a look....

A friend at work asked, "Are you gonna tell your mom that she sent these to you." My immediate answer was "NO!" Come on now... would I tell Andrew that one my other boyfriends sent me flowers? Of course not! ; )

I emailed her a photo of the flowers and called to thank her. She told me once that she used to buy me things on my birthday. Just little trinkets here and there when I was little. She thinks she may have kept them and they are in storage somewhere.

My dear friend Dawn (one of the dearest and the closest... physically, mentally and in my heart) pointed out something pretty amazing. It must make bio-mom very happy just to do nice things for me. She has had that motherly urge for the past 30 years and had no outlet for it (of course she has her daughter, but no outlet when it came to her thoughts/feelings about me). How strange and incredible is it that there is someone in this world who just wants to do nice things for you, and learn all about you, and who just can't wait to meet you and see your face and just hug you. So very strange. Very very very strange. If that's the reality though, I'll take it!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


My birthday is drawing near. I was feeling great about it yesterday. Not so much today. Honestly, it's not about "I'm turning 30, BOOO HOOO I'm old." I don't really feel that way at all. It's just the reflection that comes along with those multiples of 10 birthdays.

I don't know what the ultimate "meaning of life" is. Honestly, I don't believe there is one on a universal level. I think we each make our own meaning. When these birthdays come around, I think about my own. What the heck have I done in the past 30 years that has any meaning? Maybe a few things. But there's some nothing there too. I have no regrets, just some "wish I woulda's."

I have some depressingly pathetic thoughts to add to my personal reflection this year. Finding out I was adopted and how I came to be... there's some discomfort there. Because I exist, a few lives were seriously disrupted. I was a mistake, let's face it. I should not have happened. Yes, so many of us can say the same thing. Very few pregnancies are planned. But I can't escape the thought that my biological mother and her mom might have a better relationship if it weren't for me. She wouldn't have gone through the past 30 years with that sadness looming, wondering about where I was and what became of me. My biological father it seems has had some struggles in life since me (more to come about him) and I know the whole situation was really tough for him so perhaps he wouldn't have had those struggles if it weren't for me.

Yes, I know these thoughts are stupid and I shouldn't have them, hence the title of this post, "Pathetic." I know what people would say in response to this and I can say those things to myself. I just don't think my emotions quite understand. I think my emotions are ESL. They hear what everyone is saying.... they just don't get it.

Even more pathetic, I really don't want to have a birthday party. So many of my friends can't make it... like 90% of them (and for completely understandable, legit reasons). I just kinda feel stupid having a party at this point. I know what will happen.... because it's already started. A nasty bout of sadness where my inner bully taunts me, telling me I have no friends and that I'm unimportant. I know, I know... that isn't true... I'm great, I have lots of friends, blah blah blah.

This is why I'm posting this as opposed to talking about it with anyone. I already know what everyone will say. I can easily say it to myself. Hearing what I already know will just make me feel stupid on top of it for even having these feelings. The good thing is, I know it will go away. It always does. I know I have the best partner in life that anyone could ever ask for and it will be a wonderful birthday mostly because of him. I also know I have great friends and I love and appreciate each and every one of them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Room with a View

Just last week, I was "upgraded" to a room with a view at work... YEAH! I love it. It's in the main office for the business school (that's where my old office was, but it was sort of in an inside corner... no window). My new office overlooks the Atallah Piazza here at Chapman as well as the Leatherby Library, part of Wison Field and our kinda-jumbo tron, some of Anaheim Hills and plenty of greenery. Here's a tiny glimpse (children playing in the water sold separately)...

Someone (we'll call her chick X) had to be moved out of this office in order for me to be moved in. Chick X did not leave her position. She was just kinda shifted somewhere else. Somewhere without a window, down another hallway. It's a tiny bit awkward. I used to report to this person. The hierarchy was Associate Dean > chick X > me. But now I report directly to the Associate Dean. The student workers used to report to both chick X and to me. But now she has no reports. They all report just to me. The Assoc. Dean sent out our new job descriptions in table format. There was her column and my column side-by-side. My column is about 3-times as long as hers. Awkward. What's worse is that some things in her column, I have been doing. She has just always had seniority over me because she's been here for almost 10 years and I have been here for less than 2. Because she's been here so long, they gave her an Assistant Director title. Of what you ask? Administration. Kind of a BS title, but whatever. The situation is still.... you guessed it, awkward.

So now that I have a new office and some added responsibilities, I'm asking for a raise. Ballsy in this economy, yes. But I don't care. They're certainly not going to fire me just for asking. So, if you're ever in the neighborhood, stop by and see my new digs. I'm having it painted on Friday and hanging up artwork on Monday. It will be gorgeous for the start of the new semester on August 31st!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


There are a few things (2 or 3 come to mind immediately) in my life that I have very little control over. I guess they can be considered my addictions, although I hate that word. It sounds so cliche, so desperate, so pathetic and it's such an easy label to apply. I REALLY don't like cliche, desperate, pathetic and easy... when it comes to anything! And I REALLY REALLY don't like not having control.... usually.

I like having control in so many ways. I prefer to be in the driver's seat rather than the passenger seat, even for a short trip around the block. I like being very deliberate about the jobs I have, what I do with my time, the friends I have, and how my relationship goes. I am waiting to have children until what I consider will be the best time for me. I am careful not to get too close to people or reveal too much of myself until I consider that person or that situation "safe"... nothing unexpected please! Control, control, control!

But on the other hand, I kinda do like losing control with my addictions. It feels really good sometimes. Just letting go and falling backwards into that comfortable abyss. The free-falling feels great and the place I land feels great too. It's just that the watercolors begin to run, the facade beings to chip away, the music fades and the weather turns bad. It happens each and every time. And every time I leave feeling as though I've been assaulted. I think to myself, "I don't want to go there again." Yet I still wind up anxiously awaiting my next visit to that realm. As though somehow the next time, it will be all good... it won't slip away or fall apart or bring me harm.

Clearly, I am making some wrong choices here. I'm thinking that maybe I need to switch some things up. Maybe lose control in some of the areas of my life that I'm clinging to and take control of some of those addictions. I feel I may be able to do the latter quite easily if I put my mind to it. I have done it before, for short periods of time. And it felt good. I liked the control over those things that feel so darn good but are kinda bad for me. I felt energized, like a weight had been lifted, I walked a little taller and smiled a little easier. I can see myself making it happen long term. I'm not so confident with giving up the control over some things, though. I don't know how to do that. I don't know what that looks like or feels like. I don't even know where to begin. Asking this of myself seems almost impossible. Like changing the way my heart beats. I must admit though, I do like a good challenge! ; )

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fact Sheet

My parents had been looking to adopt a child because they couldn't have any more of their own. Mom had to have a hysterectomy due to some cysts. They were on the waiting list for a state adoption for about 2 years before they found me.

In the meantime....

Bio-mom was 15 when she got pregnant with me. She turned 16 two months before I was born.

Bio-dad was 17.

They dated for two years total, including some time after I was born.

They were going to get married but bio-mom called off the wedding the day before. Her mom had been married and divorced several times. She didn't want to end up divorced and alone with a baby as a teenager. She knew she was too young for all of this.

Bio-mom and bio-gramma told the doctor they wanted to look into adoption. Her doctor worked in the same office as my mom's doctor. Bio-mom doc tells folks, "I've got a teenage mother who wants to put her baby up for adoption." Mom doc finds out and says, "I've got a family who is looking to adopt," and voila!

Bio-gramma wasn't very nice to bio-mom through it all. They didn't tell anyone she was pregnant and when bio-mom wavered... changed her mind about giving me up (which she did several times), bio-gramma told her that she would embarrass the family and told her she wouldn't support her if she needed help with me.

I asked bio-mom if she thought about abortion (come on, don't tell me it didn't cross your mind). She said that she didn't tell anyone she was pregnant at first because she was too scared. Eventually she told bio-dad and he wanted to marry her right away. So together, they waited to tell people. Then when they finally told bio-families, planned to get married, called off the wedding and rethought everything, bio-gramma brought up abortion. But by then, it was too late.

So, bio-mom intended to keep me at first. She spent some time as a mommy-to-be. She went through all the emotions. She got excited about it. It was hard for her to put me up for adoption.

At the hospital after I was born, they wouldn't let her see me so that she wouldn't change her mind.

Bio-dad didn't want the adoption. He showed up at the hospital and asked bio-mom to marry him again. She said no.

My parents took me home when I was 3 days old.

When I was little, bio-mom used to come into my parent's jewelry store to try to see me. She never did.

When I was a teenager, bio-mom sent a letter to the jewelry store. It said something like, "If you have told her that she is adopted and she wants to contact me, this is where I can be reached. I have a stable life, I'm married and I'm not trying to interfere with your lives." My parents hadn't told me I was adopted so they didn't respond to the letter.

Bio-mom couldn't track me through them anymore after they moved away from Vegas. She tried to find me other ways. She registered on every adoption network she could find. She even hired a private investigator. She found nothing. She knew about Facebook, signed up for an account and searched my name. She knew what high school I went to (she had a connection with the school district). She narrowed down my popular name by school and there I was.

She hesitated to contact me at first but then when she did, and she realized that I didn't know I was adopted, it was too late.

Bio-mom is married now and has a 16-year old daughter. Her husband already knew about me but her daughter does not. She will tell her daughter sometime this summer. She's a little nervous and I'm nervous for her. I'm nervous for myself too. I don't want to be rejected by her.

I don't know about bio-dad, where he is, what he's doing. Bio-mom knows how to reach him through his sister but she's hesitant and so am I. I've got enough to work with right now, I think. One thing at a time, please!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Conversation with Mom (both of them)

I have been messaging with bio-mom on Facebook every day since she found me. That's right, every day. Crazy, I know. Well, maybe not for some of you, but I have never in my life (since moving out of my parent's place) talked with my mom or my dad or my sister every day. But she's not really like a mom, of course. It's more like a friendship with some stronger emotional ties... or maybe like an aunt (because she clearly has a lot invested in all this - some strong motherly instincts appear from time to time). It's strange and I don't know if it's just the way she is or what, but it is so easy to talk to her. Perhaps we are similar in many ways. I feel that we are but I am a bit too close to the situation to assess it objectively. I have always held the belief that some personality traits are genetic, and now I can use myself as a subject for some nature vs. nurture research! Maybe I'll be published one day! HA!

So, it's been very easy talking to her online. But I imagine it would be very easy talking to just about anyone online. I have no idea what she sounds like, what her mannerisms are like, what her facial expressions are like... I have pictures but that doesn't really cut it, you know? She gave me her phone number on the first day she contacted me but I was too afraid to call. Hearing a real-live voice on the other end of the line would make the whole thing... too real! Then I just got comfortable with the emails. But I have been wanting to call her, wanting to hear her voice. You can't tell much from a voice but putting together what I already knew about her from emails, along with the voice, I can begin to get a feel for who she is.

Last Saturday, July 11th I decided I would do it. I actually decided it the day before and told her in an email that I would like to give her a call over the weekend (I wanted to be held accountable for it because I knew I might chicken out). Her response was very cute, "OMG, I would love a phone call but only if you have time." Last Saturday, I sat indian-style in the middle of the bed, door closed, alone, for about 30 minutes... palms sweating, knees bouncing, played a game of tetris, read some emails and got a bit short of breath before I brought myself to dial her number. Finally I dialed, sort of hoping to get her voicemail (at least let me hear her voice before I carry on a conversation with her). But no voicemail, she answered:

Bio-mom: Hello?
Me: Hi, is this _________?
Bio-mom: [voice happy, feminine and melodic] Yes.... is this Christina????

I couldn't help but smile. She was completely pleasant and intelligent and friendly and the conversation was great. It was small talk at first, but then some stories about her mom, my biological father, her pregnancy, my birth, her 16-year old daughter, and other personal things. We spooke for about an hour and a half and there were no awkward silences at all. She appologized again that I found out the way I did (via Facebook message) and expressed her respect for my parents (she calls them Mr. and Mrs. Williams as though she's still 16 years old) and how she never had any ill intentions. I believe her 100%. I have complete faith in her. I've had faith in a lot of people in my life, many of which dissapointed me. I don't think she will.

It was truly great talking to her and I can't wait to talk to her again. But after the phone call, I am worried. I have to tell my mom that I spoke to her. I am not going to give my mom details. I know her and she is the "What I don't know, won't hurt me" type of person, but I have to tell her that I spoke to bio-mom on the phone and I have to tell her when I meet bio-mom. I was dreading that more than anything else so far.

I called my mom with some small-talk at first and then I just flat out told her that I spoke to bio-mom on the phone. I told her that bio-mom seems very nice and I want to get to know her because I am so curious about her and where I came from. Then I told her, "I hope you don't feel weird about it at all because I could never really think of her as my mom." My mom cried a little and said she understood and that she knew I would want to get to know her and meet her, "because I know how you are," she said. She also threw in a, "But I am always your mommy" somewhere in the conversation. I really want to make sure my mom is okay with this and I want to prep her for what is to come (meeting bio-mom) so I am sure to tell her that bio-mom is very nice, has a stable life, is intelligent and seems like a great person. But again, I don't FEEL like she is my mom and since she is so young, it is more like she is a friend. My mom seems to understand (or at least says she does).

I'm really hoping this can go smoothly.... that I can do what I want and need to do for me without hurting anyone. But, that is always my wish in life. It just seems to get a bit tougher as you get older. I don't like that part of adulthood.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beginning to Find Some Answers

Four months and two days after the post below, I received some news that was every bit as shocking as it was enlightening. I have not made my blog publicly known to my friends until now. It's not that I've felt I had nothing to say. It's not that I don't want to share things. It's just that I wasn't ready; it wasn't the right time. But now, it feels right.

So, let's start at the beginning. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:42am I received this message on Facebook from a woman I do not know:
HI, I am looking for a Christina Amber Williams that graduated Bonanza High School - whose b-day is in August 1979. If this is the wrong Christina Williams, I apologize.
I replied at 1:34pm:
I am the Christina you are looking for. How do I know you???
I get the reply at 1:59pm:
I really do not know how to explain. Did your mother & father, [names deleted] ever mention anything to you about a [sorry, had to delete the name again]?

I replied at 2:25pm:
Not that I can remember.
I get the reply at 2:31pm:
Did they tell you anything about you as baby?
I replied at 2:33pm:
Nothing particular or out of the ordinary. Please explain how you know me and my parents names.

The mystery woman then goes on to explain in her next message at 2:50pm that she has been looking for me for a long time but because my name was so common, it was hard to find me. Then she tells the story. She was 16 years old and pregnant and knew that she could not take care of a baby. She heard of a great family that was looking to adopt a baby so she made the decision to give the baby up. And the baby was.... TA-DA... me!

I sat in disbelief for a bit. I have my birth certificate. On it are the names of the only parents I have ever known. I have always felt different and I have flat out said to my parents before, "I'm nothing like you guys, I must be adopted." And they would flat out tell me that I wasn't. I have a cousin who was adopted and everyone in the family knew and it was no big deal. I had a project for health class in the 7th or 8th grade in which I had to ask my mom details about her pregnancy with me. She gave me those details. Yes, they were completely standard and cookie-cutter and safe - "I had no problems at all when I was pregnant with you... was in labor for 8 hours... you came out and now here we sit... the end."

BUT... I have always felt different (see post below for more about this). I don't look exactly like them. I don't look terribly different from them either. And I just figured, "Well, a lot of kids feel different from their parents." But I always felt different from my siblings too and my cousins. Several of my cousins were close but I never really was with any of them. I hated that. I felt so jealous of them because it seemed so easy for them to feel like family. I always felt like I was blue square in a patchwork quilt made up entirely of green squares. Different shades of green, yes. But I was clearly blue, not green at all. I'm not sure if my parents noticed this or if I ever complained about it when I was little. Perhaps not. I think I wanted to avoid pity or avoid drawing more attention to the situation. But I digress...

The first thing I did after hearing this woman's story (my alleged birth mother) was to get some confirmation. Not from my mom. She would be a mess if it was true. Not from my dad. I knew he was at work and this wouldn't be a good conversation for him to have there if it was true. I called my sister, who is 12 years older than me... old enough to remember. My phone conversation with her went like this:
C - I need to ask you something and I need for you to tell me the truth
S - Okay
C - Am I adopted?
S - [loud sigh]
So, clearly that's a yes. A whirlwind of emotions begins, even though I kinda knew what mystery woman/bio-mom was going to tell me from the moment I looked at her facebook page after her first email - it is completely blank, seems like it was created just to find/contact me, her graduation date from high school was 1981, I did the math (several times) she would be 16 when I was born. Doesn't take a Ph.D. to figure out what might be coming. Still, when it's officially confirmed by my sister, my heart is racing and I'm in my office with the door closed, pacing while I'm talking to her. I can't sit still for the remainder of the day so I leave work early. "Hey boss, I'm calling in adopted - that's a new one, huh?" I get in the car, alone for the first time, away from prying eyes and ears. That's when the wrecking ball hits me. My chest hurts so bad, throbbing and pounding. I can't breathe and the tears first burn and then just begin to pour out of me. My boyfriend called me in the middle of one of my phone conversations trying to get some more info. I sent him a text asking him to come straight home at the end of his day. I don't have a ton of time to devote to him at the moment he calls but he insists on knowing what is wrong (thinking someone is hurt). I yell into the phone, "I'm adopted - just come home!" I sent out an email to my closest friends with the subject line, "You're not going to fucking believe this shit" and copy and paste the facebook convo in the body of the email. For the first time in my life, I am going to people when I need something, need to share, need support. How can I not, though? This is crazy stuff, especially considering the dynamics of my family.

I talked to my dad that night, after I knew he was home from work. Told him I knew. Mentioned bio-mom's name. He scrambled for a bit, clearly caught off guard. I am dying to get off the phone. I just want to tell them that I know and that we'll talk about it later. Before and after the phone call I'm stewing in anger. Not only because in my 29 years of life they never told me, but because I am so worried to tell them that I know. I don't want to hurt or upset them (especially my mom). But THEY should have been the ones worrying about how to tell ME this news, not vice versa. I'm really pissed about that at the time... still am.

The next day I ask bio-mom what she wants. Does she just want to know I'm alive and well and that's it? Does she want to get to know me and maybe have some kind of relationship? I'm hesitant. I don't know who she is.... could be any type of person I could possibly imagine. But so far, she has been nothing but.... great! She at first apologizes profusely for being the one to tell me (and has done so several times since). She begged me not to be mad at my parents. She is clearly trying hard to not overstep her boundaries. Her reply to my, "What do you want" email is very long and in the end, says something like, "What I'm trying to say is that I would love to get to know you and be friends and be a part of your life." Right now, that's what we're working on.
This story continues to unfold and I will use this blog to share it. I have found it pretty interesting to go back and read my previous post knowing what I know now. I always felt different - and now I know part of the reason why. It's helpful information to say the least. Stay tuned for more!