Keep Calm, Carry On & Shop for Mom! Mother’s Day 2017

Mother’s Day Love

MOTHER’S DAY = LOVE 

Our Mother’s are often our best friends.  Their love is eternal, unconditional, and forevermore.  They make us laugh at ourselves, smile at our mistakes and learn from them.  

Honor your Mom this Mother’s Day with a beautiful gift on her special day.  What will your legacy be to your Mom?  What will you give her that is unforgettable and makes her smile? 

Do you like Giving more than Receiving?  Visit my India Hicks site between Wednesday, April 26th and Sunday, April 30th and 15% of your purchase will be donated to a charity close to my heart – the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  Let’s do as much GOOD as we possibly can.


Find a gift for Mom here & GIVE back: http://bit.ly/2pZUoLm 

After April 30th, orders can be placed here:  India Hicks Mother’s Day Gifts

 

Fabulous Gifts for Mom:

Beauty:  Perhaps a beautiful GIFT BOX of FINE FRAGRANCE from India Hicks. All Gift Boxes ordered between April 19th and May 12th will come with the limited edition slip-over of a hand painted rose designed by India (while supplies last). 

Jewelry:  LEGACY  LETTERS  –  Inspired by India’s father, the famed Interior Decorator, David Hicks.  Gold Vermeil Necklaces that are simply stunning!

 

Perhaps a fabulous HANDBAG or Tote – so perfect for Mom!

 

 

Or simply a mix of Beautiful ACCESSORIES your Mom will adore!

Honor the Moms in your life with a special Gift this Mother’s Day.  She deserves your attention, your appreciation, and your LOVE.  

To shop the entire INDIA HICKS Collection and order a Gift for Mom, click here:  Personalized Gift Cards are available when you place your order.

India Hicks Mother’s Day Gifts 

To participate in the Fundraiser and send a Gift to Mom, place your order here by April 30th, 2017:   http://bit.ly/2pZUoLm

Happy Shopping!  Your Mother will Thank You for your kindness and never forget that you remembered her with a Special Gift on Mother’s Day!  Make it SPECIAL.  She is your one and only Mom! 

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)

 

Mom ~ Where Are You?

Caregiving ~ Going Beyond Your Comfort Zone.

Caregiving ~ Going Beyond Your Comfort Zone.

Mom – Where Are You?

 

Seeing your Mother age before your very eyes is not always an easy task.  There are so many emotions that surface these days as I witness my own Beloved Mother who has just turned 91.   She is still beautiful, or at least in my eyes she is.  She is still confident and  semi-independent, as best as she can be.  And she does well for herself.  But there is this other thing ~ between Mothers and Daughters ~ that is rarely spoken about.  It is the knife at the Gut, when you know your own Mother is cutting you out of her life.  She is no longer available to you.  No more open communication.  No more fun.  No more sharing.  No more conversations.  Just ‘cut and dry’ things that relate to her every day needs of  ‘Me….Myself…..and I”.  Every sentence begins with that. Every question ends with that.  Every conversation, however brief is all about that.  The simple, immediate needs of her immediate Universe.  

 

What can I do with this information that arrives daily in the form of ‘take care of me and my needs now’ when I can hardly find myself in this environment?  All of me has disappeared as the needs of my mother have taken over.  It’s beyond everything I ever thought it would be.  I long for our heartfelt and open communication. But it is not here, not now.  Perhaps it never will be again.  

 

And it is the Love I have for her that keeps me here, in this place, at this present moment.  What does it mean to be a ‘Care Giver’…?  There are so many levels of caring involved with this term.  As for me,  I am here….as her Beloved Daughter that has done EVERYTHING POSSIBLE  to make my Mother’s life a happy and healthy one since my Dad passed through the veils 25 years ago. But it was never enough.  It is still not enough.  It will never be enough.  The more I give, the more I give up in my own life, and the more I find myself lost in this situation.  Normally Giving is a beautiful and easy thing to do.  There is a beautiful exchange of energy.  But Mom is a narcissist who always and forever wants more and more… It’s always about her needs and wants, ‘right here and right now’.  And lately it is only and always about this. “Me, Myself and I”.  She does not see me or feel me, or hear me,  and perhaps she never has.

 

For much of my life I have tried to empower her and give her everything she wanted or needed.  She has always been my trusted friend and confident, or so I thought.  I have always been hers. But what does it take to withdraw Lovingly from this ’empty well’  when this has been all you’ve ever known?  Total and complete Awareness.  Consciousness.  Clarity.

 

Every day I focus my Intention and Hearts Desires on only the Good.  I am aligned and filled with Spirit. I am open to Inspiration.  I am Divinely Guided.  Tomorrow I am Blessed with the Presence of Deepak Chopra.  After an intimate gathering we will connect once again, since my 40th Birthday in La Jolla, at The Chopra Center, when Deepak had his first Retreat Center there.  We connected.  We mediated.  We shared. This Sunday we shall reconnect once again and meet as if it were the first time…  Thank God for Grace, Miracles, and Divine Timing!  I am so Blessed!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once Upon a Time. . .

October 22, 2013

 

Twists, Turns, Circles and U-Turns

Once Upon a Time. . .

Once Upon a Time. . .

 

Twists, Turns, Circles and U-Turns. . . Stop.  Go.  Turn left.  Turn right. Turn around. Don’t look back. . . look ahead.  Be Present, in this very moment.  Drop the fears.  Let go of the worries.

It’s all OK.  All is well.  All is well.  All is well.

 

These are the thoughts swirling around in my mind this morning.  I can’t seem to find my center of gravity these last few days.  Feelings of loss and sadness arise, and I don’t know what to do with them.  So I just visit with them and ask:  ‘What is it my Sweet?  What are you trying to tell me?’

 

Self examination leads me back to this time every year, days before the B-Day. . . the big event that changed my life forever.  October 31st, 1969. . . the day I gave Birth to my only child and gave her up for adoption.  I feel immense loss, even today. . . especially today.  Almost 44 years ago I was preparing myself to ‘let go and let God’ be the force in my life as I was forced to surrender this life inside of me.

 

I was 19, living in secrecy and hiding, shamed by my very existence.  Unwed pregnant mothers were ‘not allowed’ to keep their babies.  It was unheard of.  It was forbidden. It was simply unacceptable in the late 1960’s. How could I let the power and force of societies moral compass dictate what I was to do with my own child?  Why was this such forbidden fruit?

 

How could I surrender and give up this life inside of me. . . the One life that was most precious to my very being and existence?  How could I ever live with myself, knowing that I was being asked to surrender my baby to adoption and did?

 

Nine days from today she would have turned 44.  Instead of life, she choose death.  Last year she took her own life and gave up.  I will never know why.  I will never understand the pain and suffering she went through to reach this point.  There were a few warning signs along the path of my knowing her. . . but only from a distance.  We never met.  What we shared was a 3 year long-distance relationship by phone, emails, letters and text messages.  I have heard the vibration of her voice.  I have seen her only in photographs she sent me.  I have felt her love in the words she  expressed as she wrote them to me on paper.  And, I have loved her and longed for her all of my life.

 

As she rests in the invisible, ethereal realms, I think of her so tenderly. In these moments of deep inner stirrings, I feel her Presence around me.  The power of this love is eternal and endless.  And the longing never ceases.  It is always very Present in my heart and soul.

 

I have never seen her birth certificate.  I have never seen her death certificate.   I have never seen her.  But I gave birth to her. I gave life to her.  She existed. . . once upon a time.  Once upon a time I had faith and hopes that we would finally meet in this lifetime and share a beautiful relationship that was not in the invisible, but in the earthly realms.  All that is left living are the scars I carry on my body, the stretch marks that now look like grave markers of a life once lived

. . . once upon a time.

 

Along with her letters and photographs, she sent me two gifts of love, both behind glass . . . like the glass window pane that separated us upon her birth. Untouchable . . . unreachable . . . in the invisible.  One gift is a beautiful picture frame that has enamel vines and flowers with crystals and a ladybug on it.  It arrived empty. . . a blank canvas, without a photograph inside the glass frame.  Weeks later I received her picture which now sits inside that frame, behind the glass.  The other gift is a glass snow globe with Buddha inside . . . resting on the lotus in silence, in the center of the glass globe.  Sprinkles of light capture the Buddha when you move it.  In the stillness, in the silence, behind the looking glass, in the invisible realm is where she rests inside of me today. . . deep inside of my heart.

My Beloved Child . . . Once Upon a Time.

~  ~  ~                      ~ ~ ~                    ~ ~ ~                 ~ ~ ~                   ~ ~ ~              ~ ~ ~

This Sunday I will walk with other mothers who have lost a child or loved one to suicide to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  There will be many twists and turns, circles and U-turns along this walk inside the heart space as we pound the pavement with our rubber soles.

‘Walk out of Darkness’ is a nationwide effort and this is my local community walk.  Net proceeds will benefit AFSP to fund research, education, survivor and awareness programs – both to prevent suicide and to assist those affected by suicide.

Funding will help those who suffer from depression or contemplate suicide know that it doesn’t have to be a secret – that there is help available and that there are people out there who really care about them.

Here is the link to my page.

http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=497079

Here is the link to AFSP:  http://www.afsp.org