Extraordinary Lives by India Hicks & “39 Years of Silence” by Rita Tanos

 

Rita Tanos  _J7A2651

Rita Tanos:  Extraordinary Lives!   by India Hicks  –    ’39 Years of Silence’

 

I am honored and deeply grateful to India Hicks for sharing my story with the world.

This is the fist time in four decades of my life that I have openly shared my story of loss, grief, and transformation.  While it is heartbreaking, it is also heartwarming.  

 

“Rita is one unstoppable gal. Her courage, resilience, tenacity and imagination bowl me over. She proves just how strong and capable we all can be – even when faced with the most terrible misfortune.”

~ India Hicks

Post:

Extraordinary Lives: Rita Tanos

 

’39 Years of Silence’ is an important book about adoption, the right to life, and the right to know the Truth about oneself.  This book will serve to enlighten and educate people with regard to the complexities and implications of adoption.  It will also become a guide to law makers, attorneys, counselors, and students of the adoption process.  Most importantly, ’39 Years of Silence’ will serve to heal millions of Birthmothers and Adopted Children who have experienced this sort of loss, and shed light and truth to everyone touched by adoption.  And I believe it will change legislation in States like Florida that are still ‘closed’ States, where birth records remain sealed under lock and key, hidden away by an antiqued belief system that forbids children and mothers to know each other, or their medical history.  

 

’39 Years of Silence’ is a book that reflects the lives of millions of silenced birthmother’s and their adopted children around the world during these dark ages of adoption.  Today in 2016, there are more than 6 million birthmothers and adopted children in the U.S. alone who remain silenced by the shame and secrecy of giving up their child to adoption. 

 

As an unwed pregnant mother in 1969, I was coerced into silence and surrendering my child and placing her for adoption.  Ostracized by society’s moral compass, it was forbidden to keep your baby and raise them.  Motherhood was synonymous with marriage.  The moral code and social ethics of the day gave Birthmothers one of two choices:  either kill and abort your baby illegally, or give them up for adoption.  To this very day in 2016, State records remain sealed, hidden and locked away by shame, silence, and secrecy in an antiquated and dark belief system that prevents Birthmothers and their Adopted Children from connecting with each other.  Even health records are sealed in the State of Florida, where I gave birth to my daughter.  After many years of searching, I finally wrote a letter to then Governor Jeb Bush, asking him to open up the sealed files so my child and I could finally find each other.  He said no.  And his letter is in my book. 

 

While laws have changed over the years in many States, these dark ages of adoption still hold these antiquated belief systems in place, where records remain sealed and locked away with deep scars, and silenced secrets for millions of children and mothers around the world.  Their voice is longing to be heard.  

 

I was forced into hiding and thrown into the outcast role with my choiceless choice,  silenced by shame and secrecy.  I became the “nameless, faceless, voiceless mother” who was not allowed to keep my baby.  As a young Birthmother I was silenced by the most traumatic event in my life. . . giving birth to my beautiful baby and then being asked to surrender her at birth.  How does a mother separate from her own child?  

 

It left a hole in my heart that pierced by very existence.  Like two atoms splitting in half, I was split in two, hiding from my own feelings so well that I could not find myself.  My unprocessed emotional pain and loss became hidden from my conscious awareness.  Even the grief of losing my own child was not allowed to be expressed, and she was alive, living somewhere else, without me.  

 

Four decades of silence later, after finding my daughter and committing to a path of self-transformation, I finally gave way to the divinity of my powerlessness to change anything.  I entered into the mysterious domain of being transformed in desolation, though my darkest hours.  The healing balm of forgiveness and acceptance became the portal to deep transformation in the midst of my greatest struggle.  I learned to trust again.  I learned to love again.  I learned to live again, even after losing my child a second time.

 

Millions of Birthmother’s from the 1960’s to present day have suffered in silence, shame and secrecy, without ever uttering a single word about the depths of their heartbreak and sacrifice.  They’ve buried their story somewhere in the deepest, darkest night of secrets, feeling terribly alone, unworthy, and silenced by shame.  Their ‘secret’ became the event in their life that defined them, and it also silenced them.  I am one of these women.  But I am one of the lucky ones who found my child and had a three year relationship with her.  Through every obstacle I forged ahead.  I never gave up.  Something deep within me knew it was possible to find my child and have a relationship with her.  Thank God I did!

 

My transformation of consciousness arrived in the form of an epiphany while on spiritual retreat in Santa Barbara, just days before the third attempt to meet my daughter.  When her cancellation came, once again in the eleventh hour, instead of breakdown, it lead to breakthrough and an extraordinary peace that surpasses all understanding.   There are no words to describe this extraordinary peace and the power of Love, but I know for sure that my daughter felt it too.  A year before she passed through the veils she told me that she had never known or felt such unconditional love in her life until she found me.  Thank God she felt my love for her.  In her heart of hearts, she knew the power of this love.

 

’39 Years of Silence’ is a profound book that is ready to find a leading New York Publisher and Documentary Film Maker.  It is my living Legacy and I’m certain it has the power to heal millions of lives affected by adoption. 

Even famous people like Oprah have been affected by adoption.  Her mother was silenced by shame afer giving up her child to adoption and only recently revealed the truth to Oprah.  She never knew she had a sister.    

Louise Hay, the well known publishing giant of self-help books gave up her baby to adoption when she was a teenager.  So many women have had to bear this kind of loss and grief in utter secrecy.  Why?  The social stigma and the shame of giving up your own child to adoption, no matter what the circumstances, leave a deep inner scar inside the soul of every woman who has surrendered their baby.  

It’s 2016!  It’s time to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  There is work to be done and adoption reform has a long way to go.  There are still closed States where records remain sealed and hidden.  It’s the law. . . and these antiquated belief systems keep these records sealed.  Every child has the right to know the Truth about themselves, who their real mother and father is, and what their medical history records contain.  It may save their life one day.  

 

’39 Years of Silence’ invites us to look deep inside our own hearts and inner knowing of the soul, as we walk this path of transformation to bring forth our own higher potential and our greatest contributions to the world…as women, as mothers, as daughters and sons, and as enlightened spiritual beings, living a human experience.  I invite Birthmother’s everywhere to stand tall and proud, and to find the courage within your own hearts to speak the Truth, in your own voice that has been hidden, silenced, and held hostage for far too many decades.  My personal mission is to heal and empower Birthmothers and Adopted Children globally to speak out and tell the Truth about their wounds, so they may transform their decades of silence, pain, and suffering into a new decade of liberation, joy, freedom and discovery of their highest self.  

~ ~ ~

 

India Hicks post about my story:

“Rita is one unstoppable gal. Her courage, resilience, tenacity and imagination bowl me over. She proves just how strong and capable we all can be – even when faced with the most terrible misfortune.”

http://blog.indiahicks.com/extraordinary-lives-rita-tanos/

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(photo credit:  www.AndreaDomjanPhotography.com)

 

My Uncle Ted

 

My Uncle Ted - Laughing it up with the Boys!

Uncle Ted – Laughing it up with the Boys!     

 

What is it about a Human Life that can inspire, spread joy and laughter, and influence another?  What kind of energetic vibration are they sending out to the Universe to attract those closest to them?  This photograph of my Uncle Ted was taken in his mid-life, laughing it up with the boys. Not a woman in sight….just a fistful of boys having fun!  A few drinks close by and Uncle Ted’s jokes would surely light up the room, along with a bit of rum!  Bootleg and Puerto Rican rum were his favorites.

I hardly knew my Uncle Ted.  Although he was often present in my youth at our family gatherings during the holidays at Aunt Helen’s home, he would soon disappear from the scene.  Off to sea again!

Ted loved his freedom, and he loved the ocean and his tug boats.  From the Islands of the Bahamas and the Caribbean, to Puerto Rico and the U.S., he loved traveling at sea.   This was his first love and passion.  Why tugboats of all things?  I’ll never know, but something about this excited him beyond measure.  He loved his freedom and adventures at sea.  His second biggest love was Timmy, the beautiful, curly haired baby boy he adopted from Aunt Helen.  From the arms of Uncle Ted, to the arms of Uncle Sandy, and to the arms of my Father, Dusty, I’m not sure who adored Timmy more. Everyone wanted to hold him!  I have a very clear memory of my Father holding Timmy in his arms as a baby boy and laughing so hard while they played that he cried!  It made me cry too with tears of joy and laughter!

But it was Ted’s Tugboats and his passion for being on the water that was his driving force.  He loved it, just as much as Uncle Sandy loved the Coast Guard, and Dusty loved the Merchant Marines. They all loved the Ocean and Ships!  These three brothers were all about the sea and the unknown mysteries and adventures that lie ahead of them. Their union as brothers was inseparable.  But it was the sea that was their driving force of energetic connection with the Universe. The sea was always their best friend.  They know it well, and every day was a new landscape of adventure.  All three brother’s were well trained and educated in navigation. It always amazes me that they could read a map of their next course of action by the Stars. How extraordinary is that!

Uncle Ted was a child at heart.  With a tough exterior to cover up his own personal wounds, like a breastplate of sorts, he often hid his sweet heart from those closest to him. And when the rum set in just long enough for him to feel good and loosen up, he would let them know just how much he loved them.

Uncle Ted loved Life. He loved adventure. He loved the mystery. And he loved rum! Especially Puerto Rican rum, and bootleg rum! He used to bring the bootleg bottles of rum back to my Dad and Uncle Sandy upon many of his adventures at sea, and these three brothers would hoard it like gold.  The back of the liquor cabinet in our home was where it would take up space, until Uncle Ted arrived to drink it with them.

Besides these three brothers in arms, of all the many family members in our tribe, these three were the Rat-Pack. They hung out together every opportunity they had. They laughed so hard at their own jokes that they cried and howled. They argued well together.  And more than that, they learned how to debate well with each other. It was no longer an argument, but a different point of view that led to a deeper understanding and revelation. They loved each other well!  This was their gift to each other.

Three opinions, and three extraordinarily different life experiences, close enough to compare salt samplings, they were always in a place of love and laughter, no matter how long the discourse went on.  And often it went on for hours. In quiet places and small spaces, as well as at family Christmas and Thanksgiving gatherings, there they were, the three brothers, always together throughout the years, and inseparable.  Joking, laughing and pulling pranks on each other.  These three brothers were devoted to each other!  Through thick and thin, nothing would ever come between them. Through rough and tumble times, they always had each other’s back, even when they did not agree with each other.  They understood and had clarity about what the other needed. Blood is always thicker than water.  And they always came through. This was their unique gift to each other.  And I, as a young girl was the lucky one…young enough to hang out with them, and witness their relationships with each other through the years.

I felt their heartache, just as much as I felt their joy. There is an eternal love between Ted, Sandy & Dusty that will live on, inside of eternity. They simply loved and cared for each other, no matter what.  Family was their rock of Gibraltar, and every brother and sister, every niece and nephew mattered to them. 

What else could anyone ask for?  To Love and to care for one another is the greatest gift we can possibly give to another.  The more open your heart, the more Love you have to give.

Thank you Uncle Ted for Shining Your Light so Brightly.  Onward and Upwards, towards the Heavens to join your Beloved Brothers once again! Don’t forget to sprinkle a little Stardust upon us every now and then.

I will always remember you as a Bright Light of Joy and Happiness in my Life.  

 

Ted's Tug Boats

Ted’s Tug Boats

Silken White Slate ~ A New Year is upon us. 2016.

We rest in the arms & wings of Love.

 

Silken White Slate of a New Year.

Silken White Slate of a New Year. 2016.  

 

We rest in the arms of Love.  Safe.  Protected.  Trusting.  All is Well. There are no battles to be fought, no wars to be had, only Peace, Beauty & Love. May we rise higher than we ever have before, in this New Year. May we become all that we are here to become.  May the deepest feelings of Peace & Love be with you now and always.  We have arrived on a Silken White Slate of a New Year.  Every moment holds the extraordinary, and an opportunity to go beyond what you have ever known before.  Shake it up!  Get involved with everything that pulls at your Heart Strings.  And let go.  The creator of the Universe is in the front seat, driving you.  Appreciate the view.  It’s awesome!  Here’s to a Splendid 2016! 

I Believe in Love! I Believe in Kindness! I Believe in Goodness!

I Belive in Love. I Believe in Kindness. I Believe in Goodness.

I Belive in Love.  I Believe in Kindness.  I Believe in Goodness.

 

The Dictionary defines the word ‘Believe’ as:
1) Accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of: • Accept the statement of (someone) as true: he didn’t believe her or didn’t want to know: • have faith: • (believe something of someone) feel sure that (someone) is capable of a particular action: I wouldn’t have believed it—what an extraordinary woman!
2) Hold (something) as an opinion; think or suppose: I believe we’ve already met; things were not as bad as the experts believed. 

The Dictionary defines ‘Belief’ as:
1) An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists: his belief in the value of hard work | a belief that solitude nourishes creativity: • something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction: • a religious conviction: Christian beliefs| local beliefs and customs. 2) (belief in) trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something: I’ve still got belief in myself.
PHRASES: I am firmly of the belief that we need to improve our… beyond belief astonishingly good or bad; incredible: riches beyond belief…to the best of my belief, in my genuine opinion; as far as I know …blah….blah….blah…! ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

 

Oh La La…!  Beyond anything else, I Believe in Love and the Power of Love that transforms and heals lives.  It is the only thing that actually does.  I also believe in Goodness and Kindness and Gentleness.  Love is Grace and a miraculous power that healed my life at the young age of 17, when I thought it was all over.  All Sentient Beings feel this Power of Love.  Yet so few of us give into it wholeheartedly and completely.  What is it about an innocent child or a dog, or any animal that just loves you completely, and loves life, just as it is, so unconditionally?   It’s an extraordinary experience to witness a baby or a child at play, just as it is with a puppy or a newborn infant.  They only know Love.  They only know sweetness and kindness and goodness.  This is their natural energy field and their pure vibration.  And that Love is unconditional…no matter what else is going on in the world, anywhere.  It is pure LOVE.  

I am not by any means close to the dictionary’s definition of the words ‘Believe’ or “Belief’… but maybe today I am much closer to believing in the Goodness of all, and for all, even after so much heart break and recent killings in America and around the world in 2015.  With each heart break, it takes me to my knees as I witness these children fleeing from their homeland and everything they have ever known.  I feel the collapse of their families and these communities as they all try to find their own way to heal beyond this enormous grief and loss.  Leaving one’s own homeland and culture and family home is hard enough…but to also loose your family and your loved one’s along the way is something else entirely…much harder and more difficult to comprehend, especially for the children. 

My own parent’s experienced this kind of loss as young teenagers leaving their roots, their homes, their family, their Country, their native culture and language to find freedom and save their own lives somewhere else.  From Germany and France to Shanghai, China…there they met on a steamy night in a hot room filled with smoke and hopefulness. World War 2 was in full swing.  And they fell in Love!  It took my Father many more trips around the world and at sea to finally come back to Shanghai and marry my Mother.  But this was not an easy thing to do.  Coming from different Countries with different languages, passports, and religions, not to mention that WW2 was in full swing made it almost impossible.  No matter how sweet and true was their Love for each other, no one wanted to marry them!  It was war time.  They were from different Countries and religious backgrounds.  Finally my father realized that he could marry Mum offshore, three miles out with the Captain of the Ship finally announcing “Husband & Wife”.  And so it was!  As they came back to the shores off Shanghai, they finally had their Wedding Reception in a church that recognized their union as husband & wife.  What an extraordinary experience my Mum & Dad had to go through to prove their Love for each other.  My mother often wondered if he would ever come back for her.  I think it was the dozenth attempt to get married at Sea that finally made it official as Husband & Wife!  I’m certain it was a test of their strength and determination to forge ahead in their Love for each other.  Thank God! 

As for the children fleeing their own Countries now, I pray for them to find a new home that fully accepts them and appreciates them, and allows them to move forward with Grace and Ease…without political turmoil or separation.  Canada seems to be doing a fine job with these immigrants at the moment and far better than anywhere else.  When my own parents married during the war, they were finally free to leave Shanghai and move to America when the war ended.  And so they did!  Off to the shores of New York City as they passed the Statue of Liberty along the way.  Freedom!  I thank God for America and the Greatness of this Country and what it represents to all people.  Yes, we are a pizza pie of many nationalities and cultures from foreign lands, as it should be.  This is what makes America great! 

I know for sure that there is a Force of Love far greater than we can ever imagine in this Universe that is guiding us. Every hope you have and every dream that inspires you is a message from the Divine.  Keep your Heart open, and look up to the heavens every day and give thanks.  Open the curtains and the windows.  Open your Heart to this Present Moment and look inside the eyes of someone near you, close to you. Take the time to gaze inside the eyes of your closest friends and family.  Everyone in front of you is a Blessing, right here and now.  And you have a gift to give them.  

There is infinity and eternity inside our bones and DNA.  In our core essence and inside of our hearts lies an infinity that is greater than what we could ever dream of, or imagine for ourselves.  Allow LOVE to come to your aid.  Invite Joy and Happiness in.  Feel the Gratitude for all that is.  Allow all that is meant for you to flow freely, inside your Heart, Mind, Body & Soul. 

We are so Blessed to be here on this gorgeous planet Earth, in this moment of time.  There is a Divine pattern working in and through us… and whether we are aware of it or not, this is the sacred and unknown tapestry, the mystery, weaving everyday Miracles in our lives.   If we sit quietly long enough, this Divine Energy will arrive inside our conscious awareness, and stillness will bring us into the fullness.  Peace.  Beauty. 

Every new revelation and every new awareness in our consciousness keeps us growing, evolving, learning, and most importantly, it keeps us moving forward as a human species.  Even when it’s a hard day, or week, or month or even a year or so,…someone, somewhere is suffering much more than you.  Give it up.  Let go.  Get involved and help others.  It’s the only way out of your own personal rut.  Give back, even when you think you can’t… just do it!

I sometimes reflect on the mass killings on American soil and abroad this past year.  What is this all about?  Why are young children so angry?  Is anyone listening to them?  Is their voice being heard?  Are their feelings being felt and acknowledged and understood?  Where does their anger and hatred come from?  Any why?   What are we teaching our children?  And what are we doing with all these guns?  Guns = Killing.  Period.  What are we doing with a massive stockpile of guns on American soil that any young child can buy?  Why?  What do we need to protect ourselves from?  If fear is of your utmost concern, then that fear is also your enemy. It is fear, and fear alone, that will drive sane men and women to commit heinous acts of violence they did not think they were humanly capable of.  It happens every day.  College campuses, churches, cafes, offices, streets, sporting events, music concerts…high schools & elementary schools, on and on.

 

It’s a choice:  Fear or Love.  What’s it going to be?  What will you choose?  Do you need the gun to kill your neighbor before he kills you?  Is this what it’s come to?  Protection idealism can also equate to human ignorance.   What is your belief? 

Fear contricts, limits, and closes up everything.  It builds borders and walls that create more hate, more separation, and more violence and misunderstanding.  Do you want to build another ‘Berlin wall’ on American soil?  One of our Presidential candidates thinks it’s a good idea! I thought we were done with the days of Hitler’s past. What are we doing now?  God Help Us!  We need a Leader in the U.S., someone like Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, and Robert F. Kennedy all in one to lead us out of this disgrace and narrow minded thinking.  Lift us up, away from fear! 

Fear is an energy that resides in your consciousness.  It’s in the way you think.  It’s in the way you act and behave.  It’s in the core of your cells and the flow of your bloodstream, and that fear will not leave you until you change your thoughts and conscious awareness.  Love above all else.  Let go of your frozen fear.  It’s keeping you stuck, and it’s killing too many young and innocent children, tearing families apart at their seams.  Fear is full of destruction and death. Love is full of inclusion, creativity, and birth.  

What does it take to open up your Heart?  Why have you lost so much Trust and Faith?  What do you Believe in, and at your core heart center, what is really important to you?  Isn’t it always about the children and grandchildren and your core family and friends you’ve adopted into your family?  What are your Beliefs?  What is your Truth?  Examine them. Look at your core beliefs carefully. Make sure they are in alignment with the Divine, and with real Truth and Goodness and Kindness.  Every teacher and every day brings a different perspective, depending on whom your teachers are, and with whom you surround yourself with.  

What’s it going to be….Love or Fear?

What is Truth but a Belief in something that you Believe in?  Yet in all of our glory and in all of our beautiful days on this glorious planet Earth, I do Believe in Divine Grace, and Beauty, and the Power of Goodness and Kindness at the Heart of every human being, and throughout the animal kingdom. There is a sacred pattern and natural flow in everything. In the very core essence of my Being and in the center of my Bones and DNA, as it is in you.  This beautiful and magnificent Life Lives me, Breathes me, and Gifts me with Love, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness every day!  And I am Grateful.  Life is living me from the inside out.

 

Reflecting back on this year, as we now approach the coming of a New Year, 2016, I can’t help but think about the families and friends across America and distant Shores and Countries that have lost Loved One’s.  The neighborhood senseless killings, the brutal attacks in public places, the innocents that just happened to be there at that moment, the horror of guns and war and violence, and the latest uprising of angry, heartless, almost soul-less and desperate people who kill other people for no reason.  This is human insanity!  Who is teaching our children? What are they teaching our children?

 

Is it a ‘firmly held opinion or conviction’ of something taught long ago in our childhood, or is it an original idea of something new?   Is it an ‘old belief’ to help us feel more secure that creates the possibility of a particular action? And what is that action?  Will it help to heal and serve in the name of Love and Human Kindness, or will it kill and destroy?  What is my belief?  What is your belief?  How do you want to show up in this New Year, 2016?  Hopefully in Full Magnificence, owning your own power through the Divine with Grace, Gratitude, and Beauty as you give of your own unique Gifts you have been given. 

 

I Believe in the Power of LOVE.   I Believe in Kindness.  I Believe in Goodness. I also Believe in a Universal Power far greater than myself…a Power that aligns with all the Planets and gives us the Gift of our next Breath, along with the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and the Oceans.  Every Day!  God is Present.  God is Almighty.  It is only the human being that destroys, destructs and decimates the fragile, the voiceless, and the weak who are unable to care for or protect themselves.  This is our human ignorance.  And it must change in 2016 if we are to evolve as a human species and recognize the sacredness of all life and the enormous gifts we have been given.  Look up.  Look around you.  The Earth, Nature and the Animals will no longer tolerate our selfishness and abuse.  Above all else, we as Spiritual Beings, living a Human experience must change our consciousness and evolve.  It is time.  And the time is NOW.  In a few hours we will enter inside the silky clean slate of a New Year, without anything written upon it.  May we create a new history of our human consciousness, one that is awake, aware, and respectful of all Life.  Sacred Blessings to all in 2016!