Progress in New York State

On January 15th, just three weeks ago, adult adoptees in New York State were finally, after 83 years, allowed to request a copy of their Original Birth Certificate. Thousands have applied and Facebook groups, both public and private, provide 24/7 support and information to help folks with the application process.

In my memoir, Chapter 9 – Original Birth Certificate, I describe my efforts to get a copy of my OBC. I had no idea what I was doing! In the fall of 1988, after our first trip to Montreal, I decided to try and get my original birth certificate (OBC). My notes indicate that I first called the Montreal Court House. A nasty voice told me my OBC was top secret, that I had a new identity, and referred me back to Ville Marie Social Services. I don’t recall exactly how she knew I was adopted. But I had learned my lesson and tried a craftier strategy with my next attempt.

I kept looking for things that brought my birthmother closer to me. I knew who she was, but I wanted to have proof that she had been pregnant with me and had given birth to me–I craved all tangible connections. My OBC was just that–a single sheet of paper with the name she gave me, my date of birth, and her signature! It was a legal, embossed document that belonged to me! I am thinking a lot these days about my fellow New Yorkers. Whatever the results may be, they now have the right to request a copy of their Original Birth Certificate.

I enjoy making the bookmarks that come with my memoir. It brings back memories of designing and crafting greeting cards when I had my first Etsy shop, Custom Cards By Bonnie. My new Etsy shop, My Adoptee Memoir, has four brand new greeting cards with one of my favorite themes from the book, “there is no one like YOU.” I call them my “identity cards.” The first one has the breast cancer awareness pink ribbon and butterflies. It honors my mom and my birthmother who both died from breast cancer. The next two cards have flower bouquets–one is for Valentine’s Day, the other is a bouquet of Lily of the Valley, my mom’s favorite flower! Each image is hand-stamped and colored with fine-tip markers. The last card has ginkgo leaves from my favorite tree. The leaves are hand-stamped in green. Each listing includes a story under “Item Details.”

My goal is to send a message of support to people touched by adoption and searching for their original identity and family heritage. I also hope to raise awareness in our communities about adoption issues.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Last Thursday Was a Big Day!

Some days are bigger than other days. I’m sure you would agree. Recently we flew to Atlanta to visit our son and his family. On Monday, our youngest grandchild had her 18-month check-up—no shots this time!

Last Thursday, June 20th, was a big day–it was the day after I posted Adoption Laws. And the New York State Assembly passed Bill A5494! Now, all we need is Governor Cuomo’s signature and come January 15, 2020, New York State adult adoptees will be able to request a copy of their Original Birth Certificate. They will pay the regular fee for a vital record, such a marriage certificate. Governor Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law! Now that New York will be unrestricted, adoption advocates are hopeful that other states will follow New York and update their adoption laws. Thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly for decades for the rights of adult adoptees. For details on the New York State bill, check out this site:

June 20th also marked the beginning of the Summer Solstice. Depending on your time zone, it shifts from June 20th to June 22nd. For us in the Eastern Time Zone, the longest day of sunlight was Friday, June 21st. I hope your summer is off to a great start. I love the view from my desk—an array of beautiful trees and shrubs and lawns and a lovely breeze. The temperature is barely reaching 80. I’m a cool weather gal, so this is perfect. Ha! Yes, Atlanta was too hot!

Lastly, on June 20th, my publishing company sent back my memoir for final editing. Could this be the homestretch? I’m hoping for a summer publishing date. The photo below is on the cover. My grandfather, an amateur photographer, caught me in a quiet moment, launching my new sailboat. About a year ago, I asked my daughter if she liked the idea of putting this photo on the cover. She thought it was perfect because it shows a new adventure, much like my writing a memoir is a new adventure even after all these years. Happy Summer, everyone!

Launching my new sailboat.

PS A dear friend asked about my dad’s handmade furniture. We do have the cherrywood corner cabinet and I promised a photo:

Dad’s Cherrywood Corner Cabinet 1979