A Short Note From Alli

I will continue to write again soon. I am sorry to my readers who keep coming back only to find no new posts. Soon....I promise!
I would like to say that I have really enjoyed reading all of your comments and feedback. However, occasionally, I do get contacted by some rather cynical people who like to find the negative in my writing. Yes.....YOU PEOPLE KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!
As I have always maintained, my story is meant to inspire people, give them hope or maybe even help them through their own personal experience....but even more so, it is a way for me to talk about it, work through it and share it with anyone who may be interested.
I do not ask anyone to read my blog. Choose to read it or not. I do not ask for people to approve or even appreciate the personal feelings I express in my story. The opinions I express are my own. I do not speak on behalf of anyone. Just myself.
Like I have said before, this is MY story. The opinions I express are ones I developed through my own experience with adoption and adoption reunion. I do not declare to understand anyone else's experience with adoption. Each story is a unique one with a different set of feelings and emotions and most important, a different outcome.
My story is not meant to bring about controversy. It is just simply an interesting story that some may relate to....some may not.
I will continue to write my story. I can only hope that if you are going to continue to read my blog you will try appreciate that I am just telling my story as it happened.
Thank you for reading and best to all!!

A Story Of Adoption Chapter 10

I realize it's been almost a year since my last post.
I apologize to all of my readers for such a long pause in between chapters.
Like I mentioned in my last post, this is a story still in the making. Sometimes, the direction this story is going makes it difficult to write about. It includes many ups and downs and many confusing moments. I am however, quite excited to continue this part of the story as it was the most exciting 4 days of my life! It was a weekend that was brilliant, exciting and life changing.
These next few chapters are copied right from my diary entries.
After a short car ride, we ended up at a restaurant not far from the airport. We all sat down and of course, Jeannie and I sat next to each other. I kept catching her staring at me. I tried to sit up straight and look pretty for her. I could see tears billowing in her eyes. "I can't believe you are 28 years old" she said.
We all had a bite to eat, chatted and then headed back to Jeannie's house for our long weekend together.
When we arrived at Jeannie's, we settled in pretty quickly. Ben went to lie down and Jeannie and my sisters sat on the couch and we all chatted for hours. It was magical to say the least. I bonded with all 3 of them immediately.
I put my home video into the video machine and we all watched it together. Jeannie seemed somewhat nervous at times. So did I. Yet, at the same time, it felt comfortable and natural. It was hard to get my head around the fact that here I was, looking at the woman I had only imagined for 28 years. It was exciting....
Jeannie said to me "In my house, people serve themselves so help yourself to anything. Go into the fridge and cupboards anytime you're hungry."
I had also brought with a large envelope filled with pictures of me growing up. I thought it would be nice for her to see me as I grew...at times though, I wonder if that hurt her to see. I thought it would give her a sense of comfort but I think seeing what she had missed out on was troubling for her more than anything.
We exchanged our gifts. My sisters bought me a cookbook called "The Ukrainian Daughter's Cookbook" which I loved and thought was just so thoughtful.
I had the necklace I made for Jeannie and gave it to her. She cried and loved it. She put it on and told me just how special it was to her.
That night we went out for dinner and I met 2 of my cousins. David was Jeannie's sister Norma's son and Kelly was her other sister Irene's son. They both greeted me with open arms just as I had hoped. We had such a nice evening and stayed up really late that night just talking and sipping tea.
I felt the love and warmth everywhere. Jeannie was sensitive, just like me. So was Tania. I felt the instant Love Affair happening. It was overwhelming and very emotional. It was all I had hoped for.
The next day Tania, Tasha, Ben and I went to the West Edmonton Mall. It was unbelievable to say the least!! Can you imagine a mall with an aquarium, a skating rink and an amusement park? Wow! We were blown away!! My sister Tasha and I bought a matching pair of pants!! We realized we had similar tastes in clothing. All of these seemingly unimportant things meant more to me than anyone could imagine. Similarities...commonalities...resemblances....it was all so exciting for me!!
Our relationship seemed to come together so naturally and without tension or fear. It was Magical, the whole weekend. We were all there to heal each other. In my diary I speak of "Wanting to be a light in all of their lives."
That weekend it seemed like Jeannie looked at me the way a Mother looks at her child. She told me how she never stopped thinking about me or loving me. This was music to my ears.
I will continue the rest of the story of our 4 days together soon. I promise!!
Please feel free to post comments, I love to hear them!!

A Story Of Adoption Continued...Chapter 9

This story is sort of a diary for me. Even though what I am writing is not current, the story is still going on. I am just a few years behind in telling it!
So keep reading as it will only get better.
Today I am excited to begin to share with you my diary entries from my first visit with Jeannie and her family. Before I went to Edmonton, my amazing Mother-in-law spent many hours talking with Jeannie, getting to know her and telling her things about me since she had known me since I was 16. She also let Jeannie in on the fact that she made a coffee cake that was so good, it was a common request at Ben's family get-togethers! Everyone LOVED Mama G's coffee cake. So of course Jeannie wanted to try it.....so my Mother-in-law made one and I carried it with me on the plane...I still laugh about that! How I shlept an entire coffee cake to Edmonton!
It was June 15th 2001. My husband Ben and myself were on the plane, about a half an hour away from landing. My palms were sweaty and my heart began to pound fast and hard. Reality seemed to set in so quick that I felt unprepaired. I got off the plane and my breathing became rapid and short. I stopped in the first washroom we walked by to check my make-up and hair, put on some more parfume and make sure I looked perfect for them. I came out of the washroom and looked around as I walked, not knowing at what point they would meet us. We arrived at an escalator that was going to take us down to where the baggage claim was. I was used to the Toronto airport where you grab all your luggage and then exit through a door where you meet the people who are picking you up. Only people who were travelling are allowed in the baggage claim area of the Toronto airport.
This was not the case at the Edmonton airport. So just as we were getting on the escalator I let my guard down thinking we had some time before we would meet with them. As we are travelling down, I begin to see a group of people who are all standing arm in arm huddled together at the bottom of the escalator. One had a video camera and 2 others had cameras. I could see Jeannie in the middle, being closely held and supported by the group around her. She had her hand over her mouth and was crying. They all began to jitter and jump. You could see their excitement. I waved and mouthed "Hi" as I began to feel a lump develope in my throat. I could feel tears coming that I had no control over....by the time I reached the bottom of the escalator, I was blubbering! I ran right over to Jeannie first. She ran to me. We hugged and cried. Then Jeannie put both hands on my cheeks and had a look of awe on hers. She held my face and said "You are beautiful....here you are!"
I replied with "I am so glad to finally meet you Jeannie"
I could see that Ben was saying hello to the rest of the Gang, Tania and Tahsa, Tania's boyfriend at the time, Lawrence, and Jeannie's sister Irene. One by one they each came over to me to meet me and hug me. Their love was so concentrated that it flowed right into me. It was awesome. I took a deep breath...finally the hardest part was over, I was able to relax for the first time in weeks.
We walked to Tasha's car. Jeannie went in a different car, Ben and I drove with Tania, Tasha and Lawrence. While driving, I noticed that Tasha was wearing sandles. I looked at her feet and said "Your feet look like mine!" It was the first similarity I had discovered. It was so exciting for me!
We went to a restaurant to eat and relax. It was nice to have time to look at Jeannie and talk to her....and it was only the beginning. We had 4 days ahead of us and I was so excited! I will continue to write soon.....thanks for reading. I hope you are enjoying the story.

A Story Of Adoption Continued...Chapter 8

I have been so wrapped up with my adoption lately, for so many reasons. I would love to explain but it would ruin the flow of the story. It was over 7 years ago that I met Jeannie and my sisters and so there is quite a long story to write.
I will try to write more regular posts so I don't keep you all hanging.
I have a diary that I wrote when I came home from Edmonton after meeting my birth Mother. I pulled it out today to use for this post. Upon opening it a piece of paper fell out. It was a diary entry that I wrote 16 days before going to Edmonton to meet Jeannie(I often keep a diary that's in the form of scrap pieces of paper with entries on them!)
I will read it to you (so to speak!)
May 30th 2001
"I'm leaving in 16 days to meet Jeannie for the first time. My fear and nervousness has decreased over the last moth. Jeannie is scared and nervous. She fears disappointing me but she doesn't realize that she has given me a wonderful life. She could never disappoint me. She has already far exceeded my expectations of her.
She seems kind, sensitive and emotional, just like me. She sounds alot like me. I am not suprised by that. What a wonderful event I get to be a part of! What an amazing story and I get to be the main character! I feel blessed and lucky. I am thankful for my Mother, Mother figures, my friends and my favorite person in the whole world, my Husband Ben. Ben is and has always been, my biggest supporter. I am grateful to have him in my life.
I know my reunion with Jeannie will be a wonderful one. I will try to do everything right. My friend Kathy says "You always do what's right Alli, just be yourself."
I love my life!!
How lucky I am....."

Thanks for reading. I will write again soon. Next, my trip to Edmonton!!

A Story Of Adoption Continued...Chapter 7

I must apologise to my readers for taking so long to continue this story. I love and appreciate all the feedback, kudos and support I receive from so many of you. I am running a full time jewelry business ~ www.allisoriginals.com ~ and there are times when I have to put my writing aside to deal with work. This is my passion and love and I will always come back to it. Please, just be patient with me and keep checking in. Feel free to email me and bug me to write...the pressure does actually help!
So here we go...I am finally getting to chapter 7.
My flight to Edmonton was booked and there was so much I needed to do to prepare. My first thought was that I really wanted to arrive with gifts in hand for all 3 girls (Jeannie, Tania and Tasha). I wanted them to be special and I wanted them to be gifts that I put time and thought into. Something sentimental. For my sisters, I went to one of those do-it-yourself ceramic making stores and made them each something a bunch of little things. I remember enjoying the afternoons I spent making their gifts as it added to the excitement and anticipation of meeting them. It gave me time to think about them, focus on them and put all of my love into what I was creating for each of them. Ironically, I met a woman there who had recently reunited with her birth parents and she felt compelled to tell me her story and warn me of some realities of the relationship. She was the dose of reality I needed going into this new found relationship. I am eternally grateful to her for her words of encouragement and logic. She was so excited for me but stressed what a complicated relationship it can be and to take it all in stride. Her message stayed with me...still does.
For Jeannie's gift, I wanted something really special....really sentimental....this leads me to a story that I think will peak anyones curiosity or belief in the universal powers and forces that exist.
My Mother had left to me in her will, a beautiful diamond ring. It was a larger diamond in the center and 2 smaller diamonds on either side. When Ben and I decided we were going to get married, I asked him to please resize the ring my Mother had left to me and use that to propose to me with (when he was ready of course, really it was more romantic than I am making it sound!!. I guess in resizing the ring, the stones were loosened. The night of our engagement party I came home to notice that one of the smaller diamonds had fallen out. We looked everywhere...for months. We never found it. So we replaced it.
A year later I found the diamond sitting in a corner on my bathroom floor. How I even spotted it is still a mystery to me but even moreso, how did it not get swept into a dustpan all those times I mopped and swept my floors? I was happy to find it and put it away saying to myself "one day I will have a daughter and I will make something special for her with it"
So when I was thinking of the perfect gift for Jeannie the diamond came to mind. I thought it would be so special to make her a necklace with a pendant and have the diamond set into the pendant. A diamond that came from me and my Mom.
I had a jeweler make her a gold floating heart pendant with the diamond in the center and hung it from a gold chain. It was perfect!! An interseting piece of this puzzle.... A year later I had a pshychic reading. The psychic said to me "what is this necklace your Mom keeps talking about...she said she took a diamond from you. She wants you to knows that she took the diamond away and gave it back to you so you could use it to connect the 3 women, you, your bio Mom and your Mom." That blew me away!!
Then I thought it would be nice to make a video that I could bring with me to Edmonton. I wanted all of them to see where I lived and worked and who my friends and family were. For weeks I brought this video camera to work, friends houses, my families homes and had everyone record a personal message to Jeannie. My Aunts message was the most touching. I remember her saying "thank you Jeannie for giving Alli to us....and now...because you shared so well, we are happy to share her with you!" I had friends who had known me almost my whole life who recorded the most flattering and sweet messages to her about how much they loved me and appreciated having me in their lives. It was so special.
I got new outfits to wear for the 4 days I was going to be there. And I got my hair done!! I collected old pictures of me growing up and a video with clips of my family.
I did not sleep the night before we left. I was so nervous.
I actually kept a diary over my 4 days with Jeannie and the girls. I knew I would forget little details so I made sure to include everything.
In my next chapter I will tell you all about my 4 days and open up my diary to all of you!
Thanks so much for reading. Please feel free to leave comments, I love your feedback!

A Story Of Adoption Continued...Chapter 6

So Jeannie went back to Edmonton.....
She soon met a man who she would eventually marry and have 2 daughters with. Tania and Tasha. His name was Adolph. I never met him~he passed away from Cancer before Jeannie and I met~but they have told me nothing but wonderful things about him.
When Adolph and Jeannie got engaged, Jeannie called the Lawyer who handled my adoption, to tell him that that she wanted to get her daughter back. He explained to her that I had already been with my new family for over 6 months. I was already a part of the family and in a good place. I was being well taken care of. He asked her "Do you really want to go and take that baby away from all of them now?" He then went on to explain to her that my parents would take it to "The Supreme Court Of Canada" before giving up their daughter. Was she up for that fight? She wasn't. But still very flattering to me!! I had 4 people wanting to be my parents!!
I asked her what ever happened to Len. "Bio Dad" and she told me that she ran into Len's brother over 20 years ago and he told her that Len had died from Alcoholism. In his 30's. This was so upsetting and shocking to me. I was never going to have the chance to meet him. It also meant that I would have no other biological siblings....or at least any that I would be able to track.
I put it to rest figuring one day I would at least track down a picture of him.
So my journey with Jeannie continued over the phone until I was able to finally go out and meet her. Which actually didn't take long. The customer of mine who promised to fly me there when I was ready, made good on his promise. He asked me when we wanted to go and we booked out flight.I had to bring my husband ~ Ben~ with me of course.
It was June 15th 2001. We booked a 4 day trip. I had butterflies in my stomach just booking the flight. The anticipation of what it was going to be like....that first moment we meet...
When I called Jeannie to let her know we were coming she was insistant on us staying with her. I wasn't so sure how I felt about that at first. What if it was uncomfortable? What if I needed to be able to be alone with Ben to talk? This was so huge and I wanted to allow my self the freedom to process everything as I needed to. I felt better just knowing I had a hotel room to go back to each night where we were alone Where we could talk. But then she was insisting on paying for the hotel...and I wasn't going to allow that so I gave in and agreed to stay with her. That may seem odd that I would go and stay there without really knowing her very long but I had spent so much time talking to her and the girls before we went that it seemed comfortable. I went with my gut.
Throughout this you may all be wondering about my Dad. My adopted Dad. Like I mentioned before, both my parents were always supportive of us searching one day.
The story between my Father and myself, my brothers.....and my whole entire family....is a long and unpleasant one.
I will sum it up to satisfy any curious readers but it really doesn't play any significant role in the story of Jeannie and I.
After my Mother passed away my Father decided that it was "His time."
He would say that all the time.
It was "his time to enjoy life."
We had taken care of my Mom for over 3 years while she was dying of cancer. I say "WE" because WE all did. Together.
I guess that he wanted to start a new life and it just simply didn't include his 3 kids. We weren't part of the picture. My Dad was capable of being really cheap and kinda nerdy but no one ever expected him to take thigs to the point he did. Years of lawsuits for support for my brother Adam and I (he thought at 16 and 17 years of age that we should be able to support ourselves), fighting him in court for the modest amount of money my Mother left to us....it goes on and on and it's just a bunch of dirty laundry I don't need aired!
In the end we don't speak. We run into each other occasionally but any significant run-in's will be included in the story as I go.
In the next chapter I will lead you up to my reunion. There was lots of planning and lots of nervous days and sleepless nights!!
Thanks for reading, please feel free to leave comments!!

A Story of Adoption continued...chapter 5

In the first few days after talking to Jeannie and the girls I was so eager to see a picture of all of them. Especially Jeannie. I had this vision in my head for 28 years of this woman with brown curly hair. An older version of me. When I asked her to describe herself to me she described herself as blond, shorter, not petite. These were all not ways I would have described myself.
Finally, 2 days after our first conversation, a family friend emailed me pictures of Jeannie and her husband and of my two sisters. I was so grateful to Lorenda for that and always will be. The first picture that showed up was the one of Jeannie. Although she was nice looking, she didn't resemble me at all. Now don't get me wrong, often we look alot like one parent and not the other. I see it with my friends kids. But for me, I had waited 28 years to finally meet someone who looked like me. Never, in my whole life did I look like someone. It may seem petty but it was something I had built up in my head for so long that it was tough for me not seeing any resemblance, at all.
One of my sisters, Tania (the older of the 2) did look similar to me. Just slightly similar. But no real features that stood out.
Funny, I remember one of the first things I asked my sisters on the phone was if they were "busty" ~as my Mother would have put it! They all were. So that was one thing we did all have in common, Jeannie gave us big boobs!
So if I don't look much like my Bio Mom then I must look ALOT like my Bio Dad.
When my search began 9 years earlier it was for both my Bio Mom and Dad. When I applied for my search I was only allowed to have them search for one parent/family member at a time. So my obvious choice was my Bio Mom.
As soon as I began to talk to Jeannie in detail about my adoption I asked her many questions about my Bio Dad. We'll call him "LEN" just "LEN" for now.
So here was her story. Now take into account that the story I am repeating is HER story. We all know there are 3 sides to every story. Certainly she would tell it as SHE saw it.
She began to date Len when she was in her late teens. He was a bit older then her I believe. A few years into their relationship they got engaged. A few months later she got pregnant. Not a planned pregnancy obviously.
Now I want to explain that when Jeannie described Len to me it was never in a positive light. She told me that he was a banker and that he liked to drink. When Jeannie got pregnant he asked for his ring back and told her he wanted no part of the baby. He walked out and she never heard from him again. This was the story told to me. I do not judge him or her, I just tell the story as it was told to me. However, their relationship and it's fallout was and still is not what is important to me. I am sure I will never know the full story and it is not significant to me. I don't think I need to know more.
When she approached her parents and told them she was pregnant they told her to give it up for adoption. "If she came home with the baby she was out of the house!" They were not prepared to support any decision to keep it.
They put her on a plane to Toronto to stay with family friends. She was to have the baby there and then come back home. While in Toronto, she worked as a nurse in a hospital~the same hospital I was born in. While pregnant she took care of herself and had proper prenatal care. I never underestimated the importance of that. I can't imagine how many women would not take that kind of care of themselves under those circumstances.
She stayed with a couple who had a son her age. From what I have heard about this couple they took excellent care of Jeannie both physically and emotionally. They even offered to take her in and help her if she decided to keep the baby. But Jeannie knew it would be the wrong choice. She would have been alienated from her family forever and that was not a tempting life for her. And if I could have had my say from the womb I would have agreed!
One of the greatest thrills for me was having Jeannie tell me about her pregnancy. "Boy did you ever kick alot!" She would say. Another thing that would seem so simple to someone who grew up hearing stories like that from their parents. For me it was so facinating. So exciting. I could sit and listen to her talk about her time in Toronto all day long.....I never got sick of it.
When she was only a couple of weeks away from delivery the people she was staying with were planning a trip to Florida. They offered to take her with. She declined but she also didn't want to be alone for the remainder of her pregnancy. She went to her obstitrician and asked if it was safe for her to be induced 2 weeks early. I was already over 8lbs so they felt it was safe. So on March 7th 1973 I was born!! All 8lbs 6oz of me!
She didn't hold me when I was born. She never saw me. I imagine it would have been too difficult. A week later she was on a plane back to Edmonton.
I will continue the story again soon.I love to hear your comments so feel free!
Thanks for reading!!