Young Adult

After College

Jill Brook 20001

Jill & Brook

First Job

By the age of 24, I was working in management at a J.C. Penney Store and my daughter was in 1st grade. I love Penney’s and still do much of my shopping there.  I had little if anything to do with church, and by now I was part of the party scene.  Of course I was broke all the time because retail doesn’t pay very well until you are the store manager.  I was good looking enough that I never had to pay for my nights on the town; some guy was always willing to pick up the tab.  Most of my party friends were equally good looking and also had kids, so the kids would all stay together and play while we went out.  Even the kids liked this.  It was quite the life.  Eventually, we all settled down, got married, and went our separate ways.

Married Again

At the age of 26 I married Charlie, who was 40.  My mother cried.  She just knew I was wrecking my life; I was convinced that I couldn’t do any worse with my life than they did.  My husband grew up in Arkansas, so my mother called him “the Hillbilly” among other choice names.  After the way her relatives treated me growing up, it drove me bonkers.  We had a lot of marital problems, but he tried.  He always helped out with my daughter, and generally assisted coaching any teams she chose to be part of which I liked.  He also helped her through driver’s training and bought her first car.

I worked a number of jobs where I was an over achiever in an under achieving world.  One company I worked for sold computers and went bankrupt three times, and I continued working for them, but they were quite the party outfit.  Working for them was the first time I ever flew in an airplane.  I didn’t want to do it, but I did and had so much fun working a computer show in New Orleans. I learned a lot in that job; I would have to say they were among the smartest people I would ever work with.

My Life Hits Bottom

By now, I’m in my 30s and life is tough.  My daughter is now 14 and struggling.  Of course, she is living my life style; she now becomes my focus.  She is difficult to deal with and hanging out with the wrong crowd.  My crowd was the party crowd, but her crowd had police records.  I was scared.

I ended up in an twelve-step meeting where I heard the message of love and forgiveness for the first time, from people I least expected to hear it from.  I walked out of that meeting a different person.  They got through to me.  I attended meetings daily for the first year, and regularly after that for years.  At that time, I also went to intensive counseling for my childhood trauma; it’s called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The nightmares I had for years were terrifying; I can’t tell you how many times I woke up screaming in the middle of the night.

By the time I got through a lot of emotional difficulties, I wanted to change careers.  I went back to college for a degree in education; the best part of my job at the computer company was teaching newbies how to use the computers in their jobs.  By now my daughter had a son of her own, I also thought having more children would be great.  By 40, I have a new career in education, a new attitude, and a new direction in life.

I’m now a born again Christian, hanging out in the ghetto of a major city working with the homeless during off hours.  My husband calls me Billy Graham; it’s not a compliment.  But I decided if this is how I die, maybe this is why I was born.  I’m also not completely healed from all my adoption wounds growing up, so I also know that I have a lot more work to do.

Adoption

In my mid 40s, I demanded more children.  Charlie said, “NO.”  He thought I lost my marbles and I probably needed more counseling.  In his mind, counseling would fix me after all it got me through the PTSD.

I decided that I was having more children with or without him.  He climbed on board and we began our own adoption journey.  As stated earlier, kids don’t carry the prejudice towards adoption, adults do.  In my world, I had a good idea who was safe with adoption and who wasn’t, so we proceeded into the next part of our life, and I knew that there were some people we would have to leave behind.  Some people just can’t accept adopted individuals.

Who is Unsafe

The people the most unsafe will begin undermining any accomplishments your adopted child makes.  The first step won’t be recognized or it will be compared to their dog learning to sit.  It will begin with a minimal put down.  You’ll hear it, but since it will come from someone you like, you’ll ignore it or minimize it.  They will wait and then they will do it again, but it will have a bit more sting to it.  If you continue to let them go, you have turned your child into their target.  You need to stop it, and if they won’t discontinue your relationship.  Your child deserves it.  Your family deserves it.

Comprehensive Education and Training Act of 1973 (CETA)

Fortunately, at the age of 20 I qualified for CETA and was allowed to attend community college for one year free with an income, and the second year was under advisement.  Roe vs. Wade had become law and the supply of available infants for adoption was low, so conservatives looked at ways to make it difficult for young women to keep their babies and blocked educational programs for them; the age to qualify was raised to mid-twenties.  I would have been too young to qualify.  Making girls chose between abortion or selling their children increased abortion.  Fortunately, because of the CETA program, Federal and State grants, I’ve never received welfare payments.  The programs worked for me.  I’ve always had a good job.

Hero is a Sandwich

There are no hero’s in adoption.  Once people find out that I’m adopted and that I’ve also adopted children they assume, “How wonderful, you’re giving back.”

I actually stumbled around with adopting children because of all the dirty secrets that it can contain.  I wanted open adoptions where the birth families felt like they were part of our family too, and the children weren’t drawn and quartered like the prostitute wanted to do in Solomon.  Children were placed in the womb by God the creator.  They deserved to know their God given family; it’s normal.

 

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