Thursday, July 19

Kid Thoughts

My kids are amazing. They’re so resilient with big, forgiving hearts. I don’t want to break them trying to fix them. I don’t want to harm them in an effort to protect them. I want them to be happy. I can’t yet provide everything their hearts desire but I can certainly try and make sure that no matter what they face in life, they have a father that will always love them, never give up on them, and will always encourage them. They make me stronger though I remain very weak. Inside, my imaginings are of a future full of plans that will change my life, my children’s lives, and even lives around the world. I don’t yet have the strength or confidence in myself to reveal these thoughts and dreams and begin these changes, but on some days - every now and then - I feel that strength and become aware that it’s possible. That awareness prevents my surrender.

Don't surrender.

Saturday, May 26

I justed wanted to know...

This song sums up my approach to finding my mom. I felt like I was given a chance for whatever reason - and now it was time to go back and make sure she has chances too.

Mom and I listened to this together...

Are You Alright?

- Lucinda Williams

Are you all right?
All of a sudden you went away.
Are you all right?
I hope you come back around someday.
Are you all right?
I haven't seen you in a real long time.
Are you all right?
Could you give me some kind of sign?
Are you all right?
I looked around me and you were gone.
Are you all right?
I feel like there must be something wrong.
Are you all right?
Cause it seems like you disappeared.
Are you all right?
Cause I've been feeling a little scared.
Are you all right?

Are you sleeping through the night?
Do you have someone to hold you tight?
Do you have someone to hang out with?
Do you have someone to hug & kiss you?
Hug & kiss you
Hug & kiss you
Are you all right?

Are you all right?
Is there something been bothering you?
Are you all right?
I wish you'd give me a little clue.
Are you all right?
Is there something you want to say?
Are you all right?
Just tell me that you're OK.
Are you all right?
Cause you took off without a word.
Are you all right?
You flew away like a little bird.
Are you all right?
Is there anything I can do?
Are you all right?
Cause I need to hear from you.
Are you all right?

Are you sleeping through the night?
Do you have someone to hold you tight?
Do you have someone to hang out with?
Do you have someone to hug & kiss you?
Hug & kiss you
Hug & kiss you

Are you all right?

Are you all right?

Are you all right?

... and we cried.


Tuesday, May 22

I love to hear her laugh.

This is me and mom. The cool building is in the middle of town and mom had this message up for me all weekend. Just too cool for words. She'll probably not appreciate these pictures here, but I haven't given her a bit of trouble for 39 years. So check us out everyone. This is my mom, and yes I shaved before I left her house. I think we look a little nervous.

I just got off of the phone with my birth mother. My mom. I love talking to her. She makes me laugh - and I get to hear her laugh. What a sound. She loves basketball, like me - so we sort of "watched the game together" this evening. I called her at the beginning to find out where she was sitting. " the corner of the couch", she tells me. I just left the corner of her couch Wednesday night, so I was able to create a perfect image of her sitting there. We talked through the first couple minutes of the game, this gave me a chance to get my head full of her voice, till the next time we talked. She wanted me to call her when the game ended - now that is just too damn cool.

Though I think her asking me to call at the end was just a test. I've been jokingly telling her all week that tonight would be our first fight, cause she's a Pistons fan and I really dig the Cavs. So the Pistons win and it's time to call her back - as a loser. I then realize, ahhh, she is testing me to see if I will call her when I'm upset, and still sound like I love her (or if my team wins) she is testing me to see if I will call and gloat, trying to make her feel bad. (this paragraph should read playfully and cartoonish, like the unveiling of the master mind's plot by the lovable hero)

I dialed my mom's number as I sat disappointed. My team lost. My star was probably the reason. LeBron is young and apparently has an underdeveloped attention span. My sister is loving this, she thinks LeBron is cocky. Tonight she may be right. The phone was ringing now and as I sat awaiting my mother's voice, the disappointment was completely dismissed by that anxious, often awkward, teenage anticipation I suffer right before I begin talking to her. Talking to my mom. (Now I know, that you know, to whom it was that I was referring, but you'll have to forgive me for indulging in such a delight. I never imagined I would be able to address two women as "mom" and feel completely good about it, it's beyond good - it is honest and comfortable. I hope I can always make both of my mothers feel loved in a way that let's them know they are both "my mom".)

NEW PARAGRAPH (with less sap)
She answered and I smiled.
I conceded victory.
She laughed and I smiled.
I caught her sneaking into bed while we're talking. (my hearing rocks)
She laughed and I smiled some more.
We talked about an hour.
Without a keen sense of responsibility on my part, we would likely be on the phone right now. I would really like that. I can write this stuff anytime, the more I talk to her, the more memories I'll have to write about some other day. However, I keep mom up past her bedtime almost every night and she needs to be alert at work. So after soaking up a few more of her words and one last giggle, we hung up. You got it - I was still smiling.

I miss her. I miss my sisters J & T and Lil' N. I worry about my sister D, missing her as she goes thru some ruff stuff. I miss all of my sisters' kids (my 10 nieces and 1 nephew - you know that's messed up - c'mon - just 1 dude? - I smell a conspiracy - which I must be a part of because I had all girls as well). I miss all of the wonderful friends and family I met in Saginaw.

I heard you might be snoopin' around the net lookin' for my criminal record and figured you might stumble across this posting - so "Hi" - and I miss you too. Since you're here, could you call your Aunt Linda and read some of this to her. (the first 3 paragraphs to be more specific) She needs to believe this is all real and that I want to be a permanent part of her life. I can use all of the reinforcements I can muster - she needs to be enjoying these moments and not worrying her way right by them. I'll feel guilty enjoying this all by myself. Thanks - and thanks for coming to Ali's party, you were the one who made me feel comfortable. You just seem to have that gift of being able to help a person fit in. You had me ready to tell a bunch of "way-back" stories until I remembered we didn't go way back. (I wipe my brow at avoiding an embarrassing moment)
Aunt Sharon was awesome as well. She's a great hugger. Hug her for me next chance you get. You'll thank me for that one. Mom is a really great hugger too. I just don't want you hugging her a bunch and wearing her out, I've got a lot of catch-up hugs coming.

I miss my sister J a lot. I didn't get to spend the time I needed with her, but I can't be sad, because she brought me two truly special moments.
She took me to my grandmother's house. The house my father grew up in. Dad's are a sensitive subject with me; I wrestled with doubt as to whether I was prepared for this leg of the trip. I was surprised in more ways than one at the affect being there was having on me. I'm still only certain of one thing; I loved it. I sat in a chair my dad spent long hours in,
my sister in the room crying with me, and Tracey knowing me well enough to capture my grandmother telling me about my father and his talents on video and the whole experience in pictures that are meaningful to me. My grandmother, wow, just so much life and spirit in this small, sweet lady; so impeccably dressed and warmly gracious. She was so welcoming that I was even able to overcome a crippling fear when I saw that this house was carpeted, nearly every square foot of it, in a pearly white color that looked like you could create a stain by merely glancing down at it. I just knew I was gonna have something on my shoe.

Now if you listened to my grandmother that day, my dad was there. In the room with us. He died many years ago making my grandmother's assertion of his presence very unlikely. Oh, and at this point, there was definitely no visual evidence. I did however choose to listen to my grandmother that day. Why not? I am crazy, but that isn't even relevent here. What if he was there? If he was there, what a kick in the pants it would be if I were to miss his visit because I chose to not believe in a mere possibility, or because I was afraid of being called crazy by someone who disagreed with me. What is the downside to considering it - until proven otherwise you are just as right as any who would disagree with you. I don't know how we exist or why, and certainly not what happens after we've lived, but I do know it is okay to consider all of the possibilities; especially ones that make you smile.

So you ask me - "was he there?" All of my heart wants to believe he was. Until I get proof that he wasn't, I felt something that day and smile when I imagine it was my dad. I hope he smiled when he saw how happy I was listening to his mother's stories about him. I hope he has found peace, and is free from all of the pain.

The other big moment for me with J was taking her and Ali to dinner. I was too caught up in the experience to get a good sense of how J felt about it, but I was full of contentment at that moment. Forget the dinners I missed with my sister growing up, I have all those memories of eating dinners with my other sister D growing up, and now I have all of these dinners in the future with J, growing old together. I felt proud to be eating as a big brother for a change, enjoying the company of my little sister and niece and Tracey for a meal on me. (and Tony)
J and I have a special connection. We had talked for hours and hours before meeting. She and I are a rare find in an adoption story. A brother and sister from the same mother and father. We will spend a lot of time together in the future so I can get past the disappointment from not having enough time for all I had hoped to do.

I got to speak to J on the phone today also. She sounded good. I love her voice. It was really nice to talk to her, then spend time with Tracey, and then mom on the phone. It was good talking to my girls too, though they had a horrible day which is another post on another day.

I try to never actively worry about things I can't constructively work on or fix. We are forced to deal with so much in a day, take these worry free moments to breath. Remind yourself it's not always this difficult. I get in bed when I am tired and let it all go. I certainly can't affect the day's outcome from my bed - except for to relax, get some sleep and wake up feeling restful and ready for what the day brings.

So I close my eyes and smile these days at what I've discovered. This family tree that's so full of life and character, sad stories and all of the everyday worries. Laughter and love fill the leaves of this tree that is now my shade on a hot summer day; cause it's a family tree that includes me.
(( that last line was served up with extra cheese ya'll ))

The experience of meeting this family of mine exceeded expectations, likely for all of us, and who could ask for more than that.

I could and probably will write much more. For now I'll just be happy. I've got to stop writing while I think I can.

If you feel like laughing or looking at beautiful artwork, Tracey and I are now designing gifts and apparel. Our latest designs can be seen and purchased at Buy lots cause my Christmas shopping list just gained weight. I know, it's the thought that counts. Well thoughts may count but they aren't much fun to play with. (said the boy to all of his thoughtful friends at his birthday party)

I'm back.
Take care and try to be nice to every one you engage today. Not fake or overdone; just polite, courteous, and considerate at the least. Especially while driving. Let me know how it felt if ya want to. See if you notice how many people around you aren't doing this, and how life would be different if everybody tried a little harder. Just say thanks and smile at the clerk next time you shop. See what happens.

The thoughts above are no longer a secret.
Love Kurt
- who is apparently not much of a secret either. Thanks mom - for the sign in downtown Saginaw. That's a special I've never felt before.

Friday, May 4

A quick thought about my birth family.

They seem to know me well enough to know, that even I don't know me very well.

Adoption hasn't been a painful or sad thing, or an emotional issue in need of "closure"; though I have had a restless curiosity inside, driven by the desire to look into someone's eyes and see myself; or the living roots of myself.

I hope to meet most of the family next week, live and in person in Saginaw, MI. I have never looked so forward to a hug in my life. I've always wanted to hug my mom - for her more than me - so she knows I am nothing but happy to have found her. I can only imagine the guilt she likely feels, I feel guilty not seeing my girls for weeks and months. I want her to know that she can relax now, I'm happy to be coming home.

Thanks to those friends who have written me (posted comments & such) I don't really mean to ignore you - I'm just not me lately and life is full of hurdles right now. I'm usually quiet while battling demons.

Love & Peace

Tuesday, February 20

Successfully Unsuccessful

I have always insisted that success will never change me. Whether I become a rock star or a Nobel Prize winning author, I will not allow myself to become polluted and unrecognizable to all who have known me.

The problem lies with the fact that success typically requires hard work (or in some cases - working hard) and dedication; often even sacrifice. I am mellow-yellow personified. I can have focus and drive - but with limits. I would have to change who I am BEFORE I ever get the chance to become someone who I am not.

So what remains. A small handful of opportunities that hinge on a huge amount of imagination and an even larger amount of luck. It seems silly at first - aiming at the smallest targets and crossing fingers for success; however I am harnessing all of the energy that a successful person expends in their 14 to 18 hour day and magnifying it. Rather than droning through the day using much of my intellect on schedules and interoffice drama, I focus all of it on one idea - topic - or project. Six to eight hours a day, four or five days a week, throwing all of my energy into a singular subject for maximum imagination + creativity + productivity.

Not willing to become someone I am not, I continue to use imagination and life experience to become successful with who I am. I do my best work after midnight, I feel balanced when I go to sleep when the sun comes up, and all but require Sundays and Mondays be responsibility free. I'm taking the time in the evenings to fix dinner and then help my kids with homework instead of flying to [insert major metropolis here] twice a week for meetings or being in traffic till the kids are nearly in bed. I'm taking an hour at night to bowl in the living room with my family on the Nintendo Wii rather than staying late at the office.

I am of the belief that the hard worker pleases others, while the smart worker pleases others AND himself. It is this belief that is the basis for my belief that when you can no longer derive pleasure from a task or it's result; it is then that you should recognize that you are not on a road that intersects with success.


oh yeah...
I really want to be telling the story of my recent reunion with my biological family, but I have to get some of this mental clutter out of the way before I can find the words.