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I posted this on facebook this morning…and am sharing as a blog post so it can be further shared….excuse the swear in the title (I know between biomom and me there might be a lot of religious folks reading this), I promise there is no other appropriate word for this…..

Many of you know my BIG story recently…but in case you don’t…adopted at a month old. At 44 years old I thought I would go to the grave never knowing my natural family. Then, a dear friend gifted me with a DNA test and 2 1/2 weeks later BAM insta-bio family. I have spent the last few months developing wonderful relationships with my parents and three full siblings.

I am eternally grateful for the nurture given to me by my adoptive family. Now, at this season of my life, I am now experiencing nature for the first time. Only an adoptee experiences these two things (nature/nurture) as separate entities. Sometimes, it is mind fuckery beyond measure. Sometimes, the grief of not knowing who your people are is so powerful that it needs to be locked away behind a smile and a facade of wholeness, never to emerge. You know you are “supposed” to not care, to “choose” who is your “real” family. If you had asked me before meeting my biological family if I wanted to know who they were, I would have quickly said, “well…it doesn’t really matter, they aren’t looking for me” and then expounded on the benefits of closed adoption. My opinion has changed.

Through this experience I have learned that DNA really does mean something. To look into the mirror of genetics really does help show you who you are. Imagine my shock to find i come from a long line of Irish extroverts (or was it not a shock lol)! They are all performers, creators, singers, lovers of words and justice, and can’t follow a map of their lives depended on it.  Sound familiar?

I now proudly say that I have multiple REAL families. I have real adoptive parents and siblings, real bio parents and siblings, and I even gained some real parents and siblings when I married Matt. There is always room for more love and positive relationships in my life and the lives of my children and husband. An adoptee should never have to “choose” one over the other. I choose ALL. We are the only ones in this triad that had no choice… and now I am the biggest advocate for adoptees having open access to their original birth certificates, original identities and biological families. We should never be erased off of a family tree even if we need to be raised some where else. I now know many fellow adoptees virtually and the resounding consensus is “it is better to know than not to know”. Even those who have not had the adoptee’s fantasy reunion come true…even those who found secondary rejection and massive dysfunction on the other side… is better for adoptees to KNOW. It helps make them whole.

I am sharing here my biomom’s blog post about her side of this experience….for those with curiosity and maybe to help educate about the real experiences of adoption. Now that all this is out in the open, I hope my families will get to know each other. This should not be a source of shame or secrecy but of great joy and adventure.

My sister Colleen asked me if I cried when I read SM’s (shared mother’s….that is what we have been saying in shorthand) blog post. I answered this “Colleen, I am cried out. The fact that I have never had any information about the first month of my life makes the telling of it so surreal. Who the F is Elizabeth? In some ways it is who I have always been and never knew it. Rebecca is both a facade and at the same time who preserved me for all these years. I will save my tears for in person over wine. Sorry, identity crisis much?” Perhaps it is why I have so easily gone by different names…Becca, Bec, Reba in college (and Dirty, remember that?), Rebecca, Junia at church….. all I can say is, so glad to know who I am.

Here is biomom’s blog post, show her some love!!!
Scarlet Letter, No More


Just in case you are here, I want you to know that I have almost deleted this blog from the ether so many times because some of what I have written embarasses me.  I come from good ole’ beastie boys era Gen X; the cusp that separates those who live on social media and those who still don’t totally get it.  I was naive to not think that when I wrote all of these things that within 5 minutes (5 seconds?) Of googling my name someone could examine my inner angst over what is for dinner, who is God, what does it all mean, who the Fuck am I?!, ad infinitum……and think they might possibly know who I am.

I think by speaking, (or writing in the case of an old embarrassing blog).  This way of being is otherwise known as foot in mouth disease, or “rebecca, you just contradicted yourself like five times”, or “don’t you ever get sick of hearing yourself talk”?  To all three points: fully diagnosed, yes and yes all the time….I fatigue myself constantly.

I leave the blog up because, what the heck, maybe it is good fodder for future jokes….I covet your future jokes, jokes are the breath of life!  But if I were to pick perhaps two posts that really do show a consistent part of who I am……it would be NC 17, or my stab at vagina poetry and Peace Testimony for this War Torn and Restless Heart.  The rest….just me trying to make sense of it all, it all has expiration dates that are well passed.

To know who I am today, well…..that is better done over a glass (case?) Of wine and some pulled pork sandwiches (or gluten free tempeh reubens and kombucha, whatever floats your boat).





I wasn’t going to host a co-op this year, but an amazing opportunity presented itself!  Ken Kilb, a recent graduate from the Waldorf teacher training program at Alkion Center in Ghent, NY contacted me wanting to volunteer his time as a Main Lesson teacher for a homeschool co-op.  Between the two of us, we think that we can organize a nice grades co-op, and have a kindy program going on for younger siblings.  This would be mostly for grades 1-5, and we would do the typical main lesson block rotation as at a Waldorf School.  Blocks would be math, language arts, nature study, putting on a play, form drawing (freehand geometry), etc….  we would also do lots of projects, circle games and songs, farm chores every morning and share a lunch.
This would be hosted at my home and farm (Pownal, VT) Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:30-12:30ish with optional and occasional Mondays.  If you are interested in a Waldorf experience for your children, this would basically cover it for you…and Ken would give suggestions for things to do during the rest of the week should you want to make this your central “curriculum”.
This is such a great opportunity to have a Waldorf teacher willing to donate his time just because he “wants to help start a Waldorf co-op and help homeschoolers”.  He is a single guy, so we could probably repay him in premade dinners and baked goods for his regular work week.  He works as an RN in Albany.  He has lived in several anthroposophical communities, including Fellowship in NY for four years.
Anyway, if anyone is interested, or if you would like to know more about Waldorf education, please contact me at
I am trying to just see who is interested, but we will start meeting at least informally next Tuesday to get acquainted as a group

I know so many of you don’t live anywhere near us in Vermont, but I thought I would share our other blog….this is where we post our homeschooling programs. ALso you can see pictures of our property, etc… I just posted two classes for the fall.

and…if you are in the tristate (NY, MA, VT) area or even NH…you might be close enough to visit!

The Cost
Morris West
It costs so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment or the courage to pay the price. One has to abandon altogether the search for security and reach out to the risk of living with both arms open. One has to embrace the world like a lover. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence.

Here is a new blog I started, organizing our new homeschooling endeavor! We are starting a Living Arts Enrichment program for homeschoolers!
Simplifying and focusing has really helped us envision this, and hopefully our new home will become a vibrant place for families and homeschoolers!

Beauty:  This post Beauty and Creativity will be combined….I made a woven seat for an antique dining chair I have had for a long time.  I had always meant to reseat them (there are five in the set), but never got around to it.  I got the idea from Soulemama who got the idea from Alabama Chanin  . 

I think that for the rest of them, I am going to use only white tshirts…or I am going to paint the chairs white, and do coloured seats.  With the scraps from my work, the children braided crowns, for themselves and dollies.

Health and Well-Being:  Combined with Simplicity for this post….Just two driveways up the road from us is an organic raw milk creamery.  Janka Fairy is old enough to accompany and supervise Little Crazy Matas on the short walk with a wagon to get our milk and Skyr (their specialty…a Swedish fermented dairy product similar to Greek Yogurt….but she makes one that is maple flavoured, which almost tastes like the center of a cheesecake).

Pushing Through Something Even Though:  mulched the veggies, transplanted some plants we had moved from CT that were starving in pots.  All we have a hand mower now, and I went out and mowed around the garden, as it is getting uncomfortable to go out there through the growing weeds. 

Meaning:  I’ve been fantasizing and thinking about my favourite time of year; that time in between the beginning of fall and Candlemas…wishing for crisp cool air again.  However, this is summer, and it is HOT…so trying to really appreciate all that is around us that is unique to this season.  Our neighbour, who has a pool, and is only a weekender coming up from Boston, told us to use her pool whenever we want.  We are more than glad to take her up on it.  The Tall Man took the children yesterday:

But….I am still, somewhere in my heart and desire here….

Spiritual Connection:  Working on our land, spending the day with the children at the swimming hole, and letting them help me in the garden.  All of this brought me to a place where I felt present instead of distant…

Back to Albany airport….but Papa was held up in two different airports, so we had first half of the day to tool around the house.  Went to our pick up at the CSA.  This has by far been my best CSA experience to date…instead of a box already made for you, you get to chose 15 “items”…selected from large amount of picked that day produce, and some of it, like herbs and peas, pick your own.  Ventured to Church on Sunday…the closest liturgy to us, at New Skete in Cambridge, NY.  It’s a monestary/nunnery that was formerly Byzantine Catholic, then they converted to Orthodoxy.  It’s a different experience from the Russian Church, but the environment is absolutely stunning, enough to inspire spiritual openness and calm into the hardest of hearts.  I have to admit, I am VERY affected by aesthetics and environment.  I was never the kind of girl that loved going to church in a store front or steel building with flourescents….

BEAUTY:  Since moving here, I have gone to our CSA pick up anxious to get our vegetables, then scoot home to “unpack”.  This Saturday, I took the time to take the children up to the fields and pick some parsley, basil and peas. 


Space:  Cleaned the car.  This may seem like no big deal, but we are talking about the past month moving back and forth between CT and VT.  Lots of eating in the car, lots of little pieces of garbage, Ferdinand’s missing shoe finally found….

Going Towards Instead of Away:  Again, fighting impulse to leave CSA because of all the “stuff I have to do”, we stay and spend time with new chicks.  The children and I got very excited about getting our chickens!  Finally we live in a place where we can have a rooster, and we have real coops in real barns….so hopefully they won’t be destroyed by some predator like they were in CT.

Pushing Through Something I Didn’t Want to Do:  The gardens have been neglected here for two years, and to be honest, I don’t know what is a weed and what isn’t….but I weeded the flower beds of things I KNEW to be weeds…the nettles.  Will definitely be making nettle tea.

Spiritual Connection:  Went to New Skete for liturgy.  Rogues of the Orthodox world, they actually incorporate Silent Worship into their liturgy.  It’s beautiful, in an awe inspiring place.  They even start their Matins outside, and everyone makes a procession into the Church together, instead of the priest doing it alone.  One of the Brothers came and took Janka Fairy and Ferdinand to be part of the Great Entry Procession, where the priest brings the Elements through the people.  The children love to visit the Koi Ponds there. 

Health and Well Being:  I can’t seem to separate this category from food….made a beef stew in the oven.   Put beets on the top, and fresh parsley, and yogurt.  Must be my Eastern European background, but I can’t eat enough beef with beets and some sort of fermented dairy product….

Meaning:  Family walk to the corn field.  Put the goats back into their barn, and staked some tomato plants.  Ran into huge angry snapping turtle.

Today, with Papa out of town, we spent the day leisurely going from one activity to another.  We spent time with the goats, watered our parched tomato plants, and went down our road to our swimming hole.  Many moments today of remembering why we moved here, and how it is the fruition of years of dreaming and envisioning what we wanted our lives to be.  Here’s the list….

Something of Beauty:  Spent most of the day side, taking the time to look, again and again, with what surrounds me.  The hills and pastures in the distance, the cool blue green water of the swimming hole, and the gardens.  Accompanied by good friend Joachim.

Something of Meaning:  Sat with Janka Fairy when she came to me, serious and straight, to announce that she understands now that it’s not St. Nicholas who puts the presents in the stockings…but that St. Nicholas is nevertheless real, and we can ask him to pray for us.  A strange summer epiphany.  Perfect timing to start her saints block in the fall.

Something I had to push through:  WEEDING!  We weeded the veggie bed, even though I think we came her too late in the season to really get much from it.  I had the kids beside me for the work.  They ended up playing with water in flower pots.  Pushing through, it ended up being a sweet time together. 

Something Simple:  Dinner tonight….one layer sauteed onions and garlic, one layer thinly sliced potatoes, one layer zucchini, one layer sauteed greens…the whole thing seasoned with sea salt, and drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.  Some water for steaming.  Bake 375 covered for about an hour.  Eat with plain yogurt.  Tons of leftovers for tomorrow.

Something creative and new:  The children built airplanes today.  Again, not something I did myself, but I fought my impulse to tell them to leave the chairs turned upright and to get out of the box of curtains…

Something of Space:  Because I allowed them all this free reign in the main room of our house, I was able to sit and read quietly for a little while.  The planes turned into puppet show scenery, and the children put on several shows for me.

Something of Spiritual Connection:  Swimming at the swimming hole…watching the children try to catch minnows.  THESE are the moments of life!!

Going Towards Instead of Away:  The shows went on for quite some time…and my temptation was to tell them, “okay, last song, let’s wrap this up”…but if I had, I wouldn’t have seen the story of the Angry King (Janka Fairy was VERY upset…he was supposed to SERIOUS, not angry)

I think I am going to change the subheading on my blog title, “Cultivating a Beautiful Life”.  I’ve been feeling my cyclical malaise with all things domestic and responsible.  I’ve been allowing the dissatisfaction of my children cause me to shut down and just basically want them to scram, ie “go play outside” syndrome…thereby filling them with more neediness and dissatisfaction.  The desire to escape has been much greater than the desire to jump in.

We just spent the last month moving to our dream house in Vermont.  We did the moves ourselves with minimal help, dragging the children back and forth the three hour ride, packing our own things into a series of rented box trucks.  We finally brought the last load here last weekend.  I’ve managed to put a lot away…but the garage is filled with boxes and bags.  The first few days we were here, and the internet wasn’t set up, and only one truck had brought its load here, I was feeling so positive.  The landscape of this place is remarkable…set on 350 acres of farmland (most of it leased to proper farmers), it’s a 1734 farmhouse with its original barn and corn crib.  We’re set on a dirt road, off of a dirt road.  Organic CSA on one side, raw milk dairy and creamery on the other.  There’s nowhere you can look and not see beauty.

Then, the moving continued, the boxes accumulated, our bodies tired (my 38 year arms can’t lift and move the way I used to in college…or maybe just that we have more, and three kids in the midst don’t make it easy).  I’ve already lost some of that amazement that I originally had at being able to live in such a place as this. 

I thought that we lived rather simply, that we didn’t have too much stuff, but as the things started coming in, intruding on this idyllic old house, it began to feel heavy and weighted.  I started to get that old familiar feeling of just wanting to watch TV on Hulu, or surf the internet, instead of unpacking.  I have been wanting to get the kids “out of my hair” instead of sharing this new beautiful place with them, actually enjoying them and our new surroundings.

We got our goats two days ago…some sheep to arrive in the next month or so, and the chickens.  Ducks for our upper and lower ponds.  We are thinking of maybe having a small cut flower farm next summer, as well as medicinal herbs.  Never before have I been so close to being able to live out my fantasies of a WHOLE life, one lived on our own land, making our own food, having our own cottage industries, in a place of beauty and serenity.  And yet, I am irritated and cranky.  Already letting the house get messy instead of picking up.  Already sending the kids away more than is necessary or even nice.  I’ve been in front of this computer nearly since I got up this morning.

I guess maybe some of this computer time has helped in some way.  I was able to connect with Lisa of The Wonder of Childhood Magazine,,  and have a very long conversation with her on the phone about Waldorf in VT, and homeschooling, etc…and life in general.  She then turned me onto While Tangerine Dreams…a blog of great inspiration and creativity that I spent all of last night with.

I am inspired, now that I am on a farm (the oldest working farm in VT, by the way!) that “cultivation” should be my new impulse and action.  I need to cultivate these dreams, these visions I have, instead of being cranky that they don’t exist in perfection already.  I am going to create a 30 day adventure for myself, where everday I have to cultivate various things in my life.  Here is what I am thinking of so far:

-something of beauty

-something that requires me to push through doing something even when I “don’t want to”

-something of loving connection with my children and husband

-something of meaning

-something of simplicity

-something that creates space, either physically or etherically

-a time of silence

-a time of frenzied and/or passionate creativity

-something that lends towards health/well-being

-something of spiritual connection

I’m thinking these things sound like a lot, but their requirements need to be little, and met through what is normally my daily life anyway.  So…my thing of beauty needs to come from what I am already naturally able to do, in this environment with my family.  It can be as simple as setting a special table for dinner.  The thing of space could be waking up 15 minutes before my children.  Something of creativity could be a craft with the children, or rearranging the nature table.  You get my drift.

How many times have I felt like this, and decided some “new plan” or WAY would fix it for me?  Too many to count.  I’ve been gluten free, dairy free, yoga practicing, journaling, waking up early, only reading spiritual books, only reading novels, no tv, all tv, no facebook, facebook all day, sewing, knitting, studying herbs, whatever it was in whatever combination, in an attempt to reorganize and pull myself up by my bootstraps for years.  All of these endeavors have been well meaning and well intended, but all involved some sort of regimen; a denial of one thing, or having to adopt yet another thing on top of the rest of my life.  Then, when boredom or realization of imperfection sets in, I quit, fall into discouragement until the next PLAN.

So yes, maybe this “30 Day Plan” I am self-implemeting sounds a bit like a PLAN, but really I mean it more as a minimum time commitment to start looking for and cultivating qualities that I want to reflect, instead of taking the overly driven attack of materialistically changing things for radical change.  Let’s hope so.  I also plan that during this time, I only get on this machine in the morning before kids or after they are in bed.  I will try and chronicle what I do.

So if any of my regular 5 reader actually read this…do you have any suggestions for other qualities to cultivate?  Anyone want to do it with me?  I’m starting tomorrow!!

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