Archive for January, 2008

Tick, tick, tick…

I think about this….

 I think about it because its too painful

to talk about. so instead it just spins

spins and spins in my head.

I think about my lost babies. killed off

like the cells they were.  methotrexate, fludarabine,  cytarabine

kidnapped my babies, one right after the other. My sons,

my daughters

stolen.

methotrexate, fludarabine, and cytarabine took my husband too.

because we have so much in common that I wont allow my pain,

my victimization to be yours too.

at some point, I will have something I live with,

 something I controled

and you will have yours

yours to hold.

January 25, 2008 at 11:13 am 2 comments

What’s in a name?

I have for some time now, been considering a name change. It’s not that I don’t like my name, it’s just that it barely suits me, I am told. It’s an unexpected white, Jewish, name that clashes with my appearance. Even my photo ID is an oxymoron to many people. My birth name makes more sense to your average Joe Schmoe. I’m told that my birth name was given to me by my birth mother (some adoptees received their names – well the first set of names – from adoption agency personnel). I’ve grown to like my birth name, but it wasn’t always so. These days, my birth name makes more sense for me, although I have no idea what my name means – because I have heard so many different translations. So, it’s not the meaning really — it’s just an asian name for an asian face.

This is what I hate: white names with “asian influences.” These names are plays on ENGLISH words for items popularly found in Asia. Examples: Jade, Ryce, India, Asia, Lily, Jasmine…. etc. What makes me even more upset than an asian child with these names are asian adoptees with these names. I know, I know… it’s none of my business what someone wants to name their child. To me, it just feels like this…

When I was a child, my parents – after a few months of begging from yours truly – bought me a cute little long haired kitty. She was round and sweet and fluffy. Guess what I named her? Fluffy Kitty. Yes, that was her full name. I was 5 and it was a suitable name, in my five year old mind – because when I looked at that sweet little kitty that I wanted to own so badly that was all I saw in her – Fluffy Kitty. The kitty grew and soon was referred to simply as “Fluffy.” She was a good cat, best we ever had. She was my cat and I was her owner. I’d even say that I loved her.

“Well, we wanted to honor her birth culture,” they say. Really? I mean are you really saying that with a straight face? Because last time I was in Korea, I never met ANYONE named Asia or Asya or Aysa or Aysah or Jade or Tofu or Kimchi or Ryce or Ying Yang or Ping Pong or Sesame Chicken…. Man, you really did your research on your child’s “culture” before you adopted. Replacing her culturally appropriate name with a fun, whimsical name suitable for a China Doll owned by a five year old. Ugh!

Back to my name. My name reflects my adopted identity and I am not looking to erase my adopted identity really. It comes with a sweet story. My parents planned to name me “Anna” after my mother’s grandmother. When they saw my name was written on the paperwork as “Ji-Hoea” (in English) they asked where it came from. The social worker explained it was from my first mother, so they opened their baby name book and looked for a similar name that they could pronounce. “Let’s be real,” they probably said. “We have no idea how to say that mumble jumbled name and we will never learn. No one in our world can say that name. So everywhere the poor girl goes people will butcher her name. (Because she will never live in the other half of the world – the world we are removing her from!)”

Recently, I downloaded an interview on NPR of a father who adopted two girls from China. They (father and his wife) decided to keep the girls’ first names – named by the adoption personnel. He describes the reason fairly simply. Their first daughter from China was a toddler at adoption and knew her name. They didn’t want to take away EVERYTHING she knew and upon hearing the name, they felt it suited her. The second child was much younger at adoption and didn’t know her name, but they still grew to fancy her first set of Chinese names and felt that they were appropriate for their daughter. I was listening with such disbelief. These ideas were so unusual to me, bizarre even.

I’m not sure what I would do if I were a white parent adopting from Asia. It’s kind of this burden that your child’s life started (and maybe even had several months or years) before you entered it. He/She has a personality, a name, and many experiences/memories that you don’t yet know or possibly will never know of. Do you erase and start over? Do you sweep it under the rug? Do you write it down in a pretty journal for later? Do you make her completely yours? Do you add her to your family as she is? Do you mix the two worlds — keep the name as the middle name (which she will never hear – only on special occasions)? Put that name, once first, second or third or fourth? I don’t know really. I wouldn’t know what to do or what would feel right. And then, feel right to who? You, her, or the Joe Schmoes?

January 5, 2008 at 1:02 pm 23 comments

새해 복 많이 받아라!!

I spent my New Years in a hospital bed. My cell phone in my right hand, tucked under my thigh, on vibrate. I would have felt it if it went off, but every time a nurse came in and left I would check it just in case. Several calls and text messages came in. Wishing me well and a happy new year. I’m sorry – I didn’t respond to any of them. I was waiting for a call… a call I got last year… but would not come this year. Nope, not 2008. I understand. Really, I do. Last year there was a lot of noise in the background. Last year it was right after midnight. Amazing what a year does.  I had no right to wait for that call actually. I should have known it wouldn’t come.

The nurse jokes as she squeezes the syringe, “you don’t need champagne! This stuff will make you feel better than drunk!” She’s cute and I laugh. I thank her and as she walks away. I think – how sad that she has to work today. I check my phone – nope.

I slide down in the bed and put my ipod on… close my eyes…. and try to forget about the call that won’t come this year.

And because I had the time… I made some decisions that I hope I can stick to. One is letting the security blanket go… more so for him than for me. After all he’s done for me, he deserves it. Growing my confidence to live without him will eventually also benefit me. The second is sticking to my doctor recommendations to the T. No more cheating. Time to go as far as I can with this. The others, are for me to know only… and blogging them out is just not necessary right now.

I’m not one for resolutions really…. but this year is different.

 Good Luck in the New Year!

새해 복 많이 받아라!!

January 1, 2008 at 3:24 pm 4 comments


Julia’s Jam

It’s just not that black & white. Not because I am taking a stand against. Just because, the issues I face are somewhere in the grey area and to weed through them, I blog. I blog. ~

Glimpse of Julia

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