Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Jenna, 43 looking for adoptive parents

I saw this on Tyra. This 43 y/o lady Jenna was looking for adoptive parents. Jenna was disowned by her parents after they warned her about contacting her other relatives. She did so anyway and at the ripe old age of 33 plus, her parents disowned her.

Since then Jenna has been seeking adoptive parents to replace the parents that she had lost. So she placed advertisements in the papers. Hundreds wrote in and she managed to shortlist a few. Finally she chose a mature couple whom she got along well. A few months passed and she raised the issue of legal adoption. The couple however was not willing. Social and relationship wise, the couple and Jenna got along very well, but the couple was afraid of the legal implications of official adoption.

So Jenna is now back on the market, to find adoptive parents. Jenna has also set up a Family Wanted Organisation. http://www.familywanted.org/


Single white female seeks new parents

When Jenna MacFarlane’s mother and father cut all ties with her, she placed an ad looking for new ones. The strangest part: She found them.

As told to Genevieve Field (published in Glamour magazine)

In many ways, I had an idyllic childhood. I grew up in the hills of Los Angeles, along with my two younger brothers. My mother was a housewife and my father was an electrical engineer. We had lots of pets and watched the sun set over the ocean every night. I remember feeling very secure in my early years.

But when I turned 13, things changed: We moved to Germany for my father’s job, and I think my mother, feeling isolated, became troubled by memories of her painful childhood. My father had issues with his parents too, in part because they’d never approved of his choice in my mother. By the time we moved back to the States, both my mom and dad were on bad terms with their parents, and they made it clear that my brothers and I were not to communicate with anyone with whom we had a blood tie. If we did, it was implied that they might cut us off completely. I can’t speculate as to what was really going on—all my parents would say about our relatives was “They’re terrible people.”

I was a willful, emotional child, and it wasn’t easy for me to have my extended family taken away from me. I missed swimming in my grandparents’ pool and running around their big house. And because my parents and I didn’t have the closest relationship, I yearned to have relatives around to talk to. Nonetheless, for years I tried to comply with my parents’ ultimatum; our bond was tenuous as it was, and I didn’t want to strain it further.

It wasn’t until I was 33 that I finally got the push—the inspiration—I needed to truly stand up for myself. I was on a two-week vacation, trekking in Thailand. I’ll never forget it: I had reached the top of a mountain, and my trekking guide started talking about Buddhism. He said people needed to take responsibility for their own lives and happiness. In that moment, I knew that even if it meant losing my parents, I needed to get back in touch with my relatives. I don’t know what kind of relationships I expected to have with my grandparents and aunts and cousins; I just knew I wanted to know them again.

After returning home I wrote my mom and dad a letter explaining what I planned to do. They wrote back, letting me know they were not happy with my decision. At that point we stopped communicating, and they eventually told my brothers that they couldn’t have me in their lives at all. What followed was a very dark time for me. I broke up with my boyfriend, quit my job and began trying to reconnect with the extended family members I’d missed so much. It was slow going. They were not “terrible people,” as my parents had said, but they had been hurt by all the years of estrangement. While they were open and kind to me, they were also cautious, as was I. Eventually, when my grandmother fell ill, I spent as much time as I could helping my aunt to care for her. It wasn’t easy, but she was my grandmother, and when she passed away it was consoling to know I’d been there for her, even if it was only at the very end.

During those years I would usually celebrate holidays with friends. I’ll never forget the Christmas I spent at my friend Patty’s house. I felt so out of place and sad as they laughed and retold favorite stories and oohed and aahed over one another’s gifts. They made me very aware of everything I had been missing.

So I tried one last time to reach out to my parents, showing up on their doorstep in Colorado with my brother Brian. They didn’t want to let me in, but I managed to convince them. My mom was very angry and my dad was quiet. At one point I asked, “Was it easy for you to disown me?” My father said, “It wasn’t easy at all, but our life is quieter and simpler now.” When I tried to hug my mom goodbye, she didn’t hug me back—her body was stiff. I will never forget the moment she looked directly into my eyes and said, “I will always miss you, but I never want to see you again.”

There’s a lot of shame that comes with being cut off from your own family. You ask yourself, what’s wrong with me that I can’t make the most fundamental relationships in my life work? Friends and acquaintances sometimes seem to wonder the same thing. More than a few people have asked me, “What did you do wrong?” and they’re right that I haven’t handled all of this well. My parents did try to reach out to me once after our meeting in Colorado—they sent me a letter—but I wasn’t ready to respond. When I finally did e-mail them back, at least a year later, their silence told me that it was too late; I’d had my last chance.

My life began to turn around one morning two years ago because of a story I heard on the radio. It was about an elderly man in Italy who had placed an ad in the paper in which he offered to share his pension with a family in exchange for the opportunity to live with them as their “resident grandfather.” I found that story really moving, but I didn’t have any idea how it could apply to me. Then I moved to the city where I live now—Charlotte, North Carolina—and it dawned on me that I could do what that old man had done: find a new family. Charlotte was an unfamiliar place where I didn’t know anyone, and, emboldened by my anonymity, I placed a classified ad in the local paper, looking for new parents. People advertise for boyfriends and girlfriends all the time, I thought; why not advertise for a new family?

The ad was short and to the point. “Healthy, self-supporting, loving woman, 43, seeking adoption by mature parents…” it began, directing readers to a webpage where I got to the heart of what I was looking for: a mom who might join me on walks and museum trips and cook with me; a dad who could imagine helping me with woodworking and debating philosophy. When I told my friends what I was doing, they all tried to dissuade me—they thought it was a crazy idea, that I would be hurt. I said, “Nothing could hurt me more than I’ve already been. I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. I’m going to try it.”

A journalist I’d recently become friends with wrote an article about my quest, and within days I received more than 60 responses. There were letters from prospective boyfriends, people inviting me to their churches, cousin wanna-bes and the odd prison inmate—as well as a few potential parents. But none resonated with me as much as a letter from Karen Kesler, a woman in her early sixties. She had traveled a lot, and came across as kind and open. She and her husband, Steve, had lost their spouses six years earlier. They’d married and created a combined family with their three grown kids. Karen wrote: “By now you must have received many letters from families who want to ‘adopt’ you. I am really impressed by your desire to be included in a loving family. I don’t think it’s strange at all. There is nothing better than the warmth of a happy, well-adjusted family. I wish you well in your endeavor to find the mom and dad you are looking for…”

Just from that short letter, something about Karen and Steve felt right. We e-mailed back and forth a few times, and their tone was immediately protective—telling me to be safe when I came home late and to stay warm during a cold snap. For someone with my background, this kind of attention was unexpected, but in the nicest way.

When I went to Karen and Steve’s for dinner to meet them face-to-face for the first time, I felt oddly calm. I was immediately struck by how much I physically resembled Karen. And I remember a lot of kindness in her eyes and Steve’s. They treated me as if I were already home. We ate a very regular-seeming Sunday dinner of spaghetti and meatballs and talked about our jobs, our travels, our friends. And at the end of the night, Steve’s mom, who was living with them at the time, said, “Well, I’ll be your grandma.” I was touched; here was a very traditional Southern lady embracing a very unconventional idea.

After that initial dinner, we decided to give the relationship a trial run. Within a few months, Karen, Steve and I decided we should consider ourselves family. Now we see one another often, talk on the phone at least once a week and e-mail nearly every other day. I see their children on a regular basis too, and all three of them have embraced me as if I were their blood sister. I guess that’s just the way they were raised—how amazing is that? Mostly it feels like Karen and Steve are my really good friends, but they’re also parental with me. It’s a brand-new thing to be able to call someone up when I have a problem and ask, “What do you think I should do?” My new parents usually give me a solution I never would have thought of because I was too stuck in my old pattern of living only for the moment, only for myself. It took me a while to open up to Karen and Steve about my family estrangement, but when I finally did, they were stunned and said they could never imagine doing such a thing to their own children. But they have told me they feel like my biological mom and dad’s loss is their gain. I think they simply love being parents. They’ve each raised their own kids with other partners, but I’m someone they’re “raising” together.

It hasn’t always been easy adapting to this new life. Last year, a few days before Christmas—the first in 15 years that I’d be spending with parents—I started to feel nervous about where I stood with Karen and Steve and the rest of my new family. I wasn’t used to buying presents for a lot of people, and I worried I’d get them all wrong. But more than that, I was afraid that there would be tension or fighting, like there had been on some of my childhood Christmases. So I called Steve and asked him point-blank if he still wanted to be my dad. And he said, “Of course we do. Nothing’s changed!” That’s when I realized that this was for good. I vowed to myself, no more doubt—I am worthy of this family.

Now that I’ve learned how to be part of a family, the last frontier for me to conquer is a long-term romantic relationship. I’ve gotten close to marriage a couple of times in my life, but things didn’t work out. I would still like to meet the right person, and I think that learning how to be available and committed through my new family will teach me to be open when that guy comes along. When I’m ready to be in love, I’ll know it.

In the end, I try to think of my birth parents with gratitude, not resentment. Watching them in action taught me to be independent, to be my own person. Unknowingly, my parents taught me how to stand up to them! So in a way, I do thank them for letting me go. If they hadn’t, I would never have known the feeling of unconditional love. Now I do.

Jenna MacFarlane recently launched the website familywanted.com, a support system for people who’ve been affected by family estrangement.



When I was younger, I wished I was adopted. My parents treated me okay, but they did not treated me well. There were many times I wished I was adopted and that my real biological parents would come back to find me. Of course, I had hoped that they were rich and successful and truly love me.

I was really disappointed when I went for a blood test at 12 or 13 and found out that I had the same blood group as my dad.

As I grew older, such dreams of being adopted faded as I managed to curve out my own life. But still I craved that special relationship some parents shared with their children. My parents are both alive. But I have not spoken to my father for about 2 years. And I have not seen my mother for more than a year, though I chat with her once every 3 to 4 months.

And I did found out most parents gave their children out for adoption cos they are too poor and have no money to feed their children. Rich people do not give away their children!

At this age, yeah...it seems a bit foolish to still crave for parental love. Instead of seeking to form a family unit with parents, would it be better to form a family unit with a partner or spouse?

Anyway, anyone interested to adopt me?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

Fingers still numb!

My fingers are still numb. The numbing sensation is less and I am also getting quite used to it.
The first two days were the worst. I was so conscious of the numbness that my fingers felt so uncomfortable.

Now, they are still numb but I can block out some of the feeling. They are constantly numb, not numb in flashes. Could the fever burn out some nerves to cause such numbness? Are they temporary, semi-permanent or permanent?

Frankly, before they were numb, I was not so conscious of my fingers. They were my fingers and just there. Now the tingling numbing sensation is a constant reminder of the existence of my fingers.

SO wanted to bring me to the doctor nearby. But what can they do? Do they have the necessary equipment to run tests or would they just refer me to the hospital or specialist? I refused to go. I told SO I would rather wait for my medical appointment at AH on 24th May.

This AH medical appointment is my regular medical appointments which I have been doing for years. Every three months, I had a series of blood tests to test my uric acid, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterols, liver and kidney functions. And each session, I paid about less than $100 for blood test and medication. And if I have additional medical problem, I just have to tell the doctor and they would referred me to a specialist within their hospital clinics. Just like the time, I had bloody stools and was referred to a doctor who checked my colon and gave me a colonscopy. He found out I had piles and I had a minor day surgery to cut off my those protruding blood vessels.

SO agreed reluctantly but wanted me to go see a doctor or hospital, should the numbing spreads or become worse.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Fingers Numb!

I had just recovered from my high fever over the weekend and was watching TV last night when I realised that my three last fingers on the left hand going numb. There was a sharp tingling and numbing sensation. Frankly, I thought I was having a heart attack or having a stroke. I really thought that my fever yesterday had triggered a stroke.

SO was sleeping as usual but I did not wake him, though I was close to panicking. But rather than checking in the hospital and staging a false alarm, I surfed the net and googled for numb fingers. I was not having any heart palpitations, nor was i having difficulty breathing just that my fingers were numb.

I found out online that for a stroke to happen, your left side would be totally numb, that means including the whole arm, and maybe the face. Since my was only 3 fingers, the cause could be neurological caused by the high fever, or pinched nerve or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Such conditions are quite common and reading these lessen my fears to a great extent.

I did told SO the condition as I was preparing for bed. He told me that if the numbness persisted longer, he would accompanied me to a doctor the next day.

Monday, May 5, 2008

High Fever!

SO and I came down with high fevers over the weekend. It started as a slight sore throat on Friday afternoon on my side and by evening, my throat was cracked and raspy.

SO as usual had went home to his mother's place to spent the night. When I sms him on Sat morning as he was returning home, that I was sick with fever, sore throat and cough, he told me he had the same symptoms.

By the time he returned home in the late morning with breakfast, I was down in bed with fever. After breakfast, both of us went to bed, feverish.

Frankly, the next 2 days were in a daze. I remembered just sleeping and sleeping. We simply have no energy nor strength to wake up. We were just lying there, weak and faint. I was feeling hot and cold and having all these nasty nightmares of being in a hospital ward. It was a nightmare that repeated itself. For two whole days, I dreamed of being in a hospital ward, lying in bed, turning and tossing.

I seriously thought I was going to die. I asked SO if he thought it was dengue fever but he simply just refused to accept the notion. Being the one always at home, while he's always about running about for work, chances are that he brought back whatever virus, sickness and spread it to me. That bitch simply denied it. He claimed it was airborned and that I had spread it to him.

Anyway, after sleeping for 2 days and having 2 panadols every 8 hours, we recovered. Well, at least SO recovered enough to go to work on Monday, while I slept the whole day until he returned from work.