Posted by: debstake | July 6, 2010

A Different Kind of Life

I just realized how different my life would have been if my biological mother had wanted me and would have kept me instead of the results as they had played out.

I have discussed my parents before and how they have influenced the person I have become. Those were my adoptive parents and it isn’t that subject that I write about now.

My biological mom married a military man and the union produced 8 children, myself included. I am second to the youngest in that lineup being born in the 1960’s. Being family of military personal their health care was also provided via the military. In that so-called health “care” was included of course vaccines. Many, many vaccines, many times over. Every time the family moved while he was in the military there was a series of vaccines. Every time they went to a foreign location to visit him there was yet another series of vaccines.

I will be the first to admit that I have my own neurological issues. I have ADD or ADHD depending on the week and whose talking about it. I have never formally been diagnosed mind you but back in 1991 I heard a lecture of the criteria that has to be met according to the DMS (not sure what edition). Of the twelve criteria, half had to be met to qualify for the diagnosis. Listening to the psychiatrist, I met eleven of the twelve.

Now if I would have been raised by my biological parents and with the neurological issues I have I can’t help but wonder if I wouldn’t be on the spectrum. ADHD is a “milder” cousin of autism according to Diane Kennedy and her book “The ADHD and Autism Connection”. When I see myself and my children I have no problem believing this either. And in the 1960’s I wonder where that would have landed me. My mom wasn’t exactly the kind of mother who would have addressed the issues outside of the recommended fashion of the time. That of course being institutionalization.

My adoptive dad told me when I first came to them at the age of 3 I would do nothing but sit in a rocking chair they had in their living room and I would rock all day. A sign of autism? To be sure. My dad broke that by dragging a kitchen chair into the living room, setting it up along side of me and rocking it. A chair that wasn’t designed to rock mind you. He said after a little while I crawled into his lap and we rocked together. Was I autistic then and he just tripped on a way to reach me? I don’t know.

I do know raising a child with autism has made me more aware of it when I see it in others. Stims is a perfect example of this. There is much debate about how stims should be handled. And I can see the arguments for both sides. However, JR’s stims consist of playing with water at home and re-watching certain scenes in his movies. To me I don’t see an issue in this at all. He’s not hurting himself or anyone else so I just let him be. When we go visiting the water play does not go along. It used to for a bit then I put my foot down and said only at home. He’s fine with this because he knows I won’t take his water away from him.

But what I am trying to say here is everyone and I do mean EVERYONE has a stim or two. Nail biting (a stim I used to have) is a nervous stim, tapping ones foot another, chewing on pencils or pens (something I used to do as well) is another. That alone doesn’t qualify a person for autism but it is one of the criteria. In the DMS-IV it is classified as “repetitive behavior”.

I am digressing though. This blog is about what would have been if my mother, all ready over whelmed with 6 children and a husband stationed in a foreign land hadn’t put me up for adoption. I know a lot of things would have turned out differently. The first; being the fact that I probably never would have met my soul mate and that alone is unbearable to me. And of course my children, provided of course I would have had any; would not be who they are today. To me that is unthinkable.

So to my biological parents; Justine and Charles Reidelbach even though I never really got the chance to know you (as that was my choice) before you passed on I want to say THANK YOU for doing what you felt you had to do. My life though far from perfect has turned out perfect…for me.



  1. Dear sis, I know that decisions have effects that when being made are not always obvious or the consequences of those decisions. I have learned whatever the consequences, we must live with them. This decision that you speak of was made before we had any idea of what life was and control of our lives personally. I have thought about it many times and at first I was very angry with my mother for her actions. I held you as a baby in my arms and remember my mothers story of how you came to be with us. The story though not exactly clear was that your mother died in the hospital and we were taking care of you till a relative could come and take you. I asked ” mom! why can’t we keep her? “. I had already seen some things that until I was older had no idea what was what, and had my suspicions later as an adult about the little baby that I was holding so many years ago. It wasn’t until your call searching for my parents, my mother inparticular that all the pieces came together. Needless to say I felt terrible, and asked my mother how could you have given my sister up for adoption like that and lied to me about who the baby was, had I known I might have been able to stop it and who knows what our lives might have been together, only God knows that. This how was able to put it to rest, for me only God has the answers and they’re not allways discernable at the time. I have forgiven my mother and know that God has forgiven her just as he has me of many things. I can best illustrate it with a little poem of sorts that I wrote for my mother for this and many other reasons. ” Life is far too short for feelings of anger and hate. So why not love and forgive and leave feeling great! “. I know it sounds kind of simple, but for me it is so true. You can live your life in either of the fashions spoke of in this little verse, the decision is ours. Just like any of our decisions, it’s what we do with them and their consequences that matters. You will always have a special place in my heart, because I loved you before I knew who you really were, C;huck.

  2. You know Chuck your response is something my daughter, your niece Samantha will read tomorrow. Tomorrow is her birthday and I want to give to her the gift you just gave to me. ILU!! I have let go of many old negative feelings toward our mother. Frankly, I don’t care anymore how or why it happened the way it did. I am just very happy that it did happen the way it did. See Chuck, I have the best of all things. I had GREAT adoptive parents. My dad and I were close and he taught me many lessons that have prepared me for my life. AND I have the experience of siblings and all that goes with it..both good and bad. I wouldn’t trade any of these experiences for anything! ILU and Beba

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