Sunday, July 1, 2012

Age Thirteen, 1986 (Metabolizing Material)


Dear Mrs. Barr,

This letter is to let you know, in case you had not been advised, that Leigh has been adopted by my husband and I.  My reason for writing  was to seek your cooperation because the circumstances of this adoption are slightly unusual.  The state had picked Leigh for us and at the same time her paper work was presented to us we realized we had known her father, Lee, and her stepmother, Norma.  Although we hadn't seen them for quite awhile, we were quite shocked - we just didn't anticipate any familiarity w/ the child or her parents.  What we asking is that this fact remain confidential.  We don't think Lee and Norma know we adopted Leigh.  We figure they will know eventually, its just that we would like to put that off 'till later - after Leigh and the rest of our family had adjusted.  

Leigh speaks fondly about you and we hope you feel like corresponding with her.  

Carolyn Nelson (my third failed adoptive mother)


Dear Diary Entries, spanning April 12-16, 1986 
I hate myself right now, I spent the night at Andrea's and my mom said to come down to the gate at  20 till 10, but Andrea thought 10:20 so I was in trouble! (Gym starts at 10.) Well the ultimatum has arisen as I expected.   Will I go all out gymnastics or quit?  Well anyway my mom was mad and I wanted to apologize but I didn't think it would help.  When we got home, my mom had a cow!  She's pissed at me and because I live here she and everyone in this family are getting uptight and strung out!  She yelled at Chris in for pigging out (which he really wasn't, he's only 7). And in the van she slapped Erin but Erin knew she would get spanked if she kept bugging her. 

 I wish I was little sometimes because I would be innocent.  I'm not.  

Andrea has some good books but sometimes I don't like her because she always wants revenge.  I'm like that but at least I know it and I'm trying to stop.  What shall I do? Erin is to (sic) wrapped up in "clothes" and no one else really cares.  Is there really a GOD?? Boy was I surprised.  Mrs. Reinheimer isn't baby-sitting us any more, I wonder why. Maybe it was me, I hope not.  What will we do?? I think I'm really going to work hard and try to do good in gymnastics.  It's me that's breaking this family up, maybe I should leave.  I don't know.  Who am I?  G-Bye. Talk to you later esp. about my dreams etc. 12:54 Maybe by then I can talk about Karen G-Bye friend. 

Hi!  Wow, I do want mom and dad to let me try out for drill team, I want it so bad I ache.  I have everything on my body crossed with hope! Oh well!  Oh God I miss Karen, so it's hard to accept she's no long a part in my life . That's hard!  Right now I'm not letting my emotions get ahold of me.  Oh well.  About my dreams, they scare me because I've had so many bad ones!  Anyway you know when you get that feeling of deja vu , well it used to happen alot, and it's from my dreams and that scares me.  
What also scares me is that I talk and walk in my sleep.  Someday I  might do something and not even know it! 
Wow! You know Drill Team costs $200.00, that's not cheap.  They better decide soon.  I'm sitting on pins and needles!  I have to do the play "The Cactus Wildcat."  I'm Nancy and I'm nervous about it.  WHO AM I? WHAT WILL I DO ABOUT MY LIFE? Got to do my homework! G-Bye!

4-16-86  10:21
Oh God they said no! And all because I'm on that stupid medication and "I can't control myself".  I HATE THEM RIGHT NOW!  How could they do this to me.  It mattered so much. I was counting on it.  I want to tell them I sort of understand where they're coming from but I want to try out so bad!  I'm too scared they'll laugh or something if I go to them.  I don't know.  There are other years, but this one is most important because
1.  I love to dance with music
2.  I've wanted to from age 9 or 10.
3. I want to show people I can do that and that I can work hard enough.
Mom and Dad don't see that I told them it was so I would belong because I thought that's what they wanted to hear.  Boy am I dumb! I really didn't want to work in that camp for the disabled.  We have people like that at our school and they give me the creeps but since they're not that old it won't be so bad. Boy I'm a Great Liar.  I feel better now but the problem's not resolved, I think I might try and talk to them.  Uh oh, I'm crying again!  Boy do I cry at inappropriate times.  And it is true about M (actually Carolyn) putting up the brick wall. The only time she laughs or smiles is when she's with her family.  I don't belong anywhere but Hell!  I always end up hurting people so badly.  Why ME? Wish I had a key to this.  People are so nosy.  Don would have to side with 'them'.  


 Leigh Nelson to Mary U. Barr

Dear Granny, 

I"m so glad I heard from you and I must admit I'm not the greatest at writing letters.  Thank you for the necklace and the earings they are really beautiful.  

It's really strange hearing about everyone and I often wonder where time goes myself.  Anyway, I'm going into High School!  Wow, huh?  I'm slowly getting older.  I'm trying to brush up on my algebra and other skills like that but it's not going very well. There's one thing I want to say... Happy B-day and I love You!

Granny I think of you alot and I will make a serious effort to work on my letter writing skills. 

Bye, Bye. 

Love, Leigh

P.S. Tell everyone I said hello! 
P.S.S. I will send pictures in the next letter

Age Twelve (Metabolizing File Material)

(This is a breakup letter, sort of, from one of my adoptive fathers. )

To Whom it May Concern-

Leigh Ball (Barr) is a petite twelve year old girl, weighing approximately 86 lbs and standing right close to five feet tall.  She is very pretty and maturing physically but has not completely reached puberty, but this can (??) any time. Leigh is healthy, rarely ever ill.  She wears glasses and should have her eyes checked in the immediate future to see if her prescription should be changed.  She has recently complained of not being able to see well enough.  Leigh has also expressed an interest and desire to wear contacts.  Her teeth are beautiful and are in excellent condition, but probably still should see a dentist in the near future.  Leigh is a very strong little girl, fairly well conditioned and is capable of lifting unusually heavy loads if necessary.  

Leigh is a little girl, very feminine, likes pretty things such a  frills and lace.  She still occasionally will play by herself - such as playing "house", or with dolls, but is rapidly approaching the point where she would not want anyone to know this.  Her absolutely favorite pastime is reading books, and she will spend hours doing this if permitted to do so.  She feels that her books should not be screened first by adults, but is quite willing to accept this condition in order to read.  Her vocabulary is very large and her comprehension and retention of what she reads is exceptionally high.  She has well-above average intelligence and is capable of making As in all school subjects.  Math appears to be difficult for her and she really likes to receive assistance in her studies, but primarily because she likes the attention.  She is accustomed to a very strict schedule on school nights with studies and homework being the top priority.  Leigh, to our knowledge, has only been false on one occasion  pertaining to homework and we believe her to be a very honest child.  She resents very much if she 's not trusted, but an adult review from time to time doesn't hurt a thing.  Her chores at home consisted of caring for her rabbits in the morning before school and in the evening before dinner, setting the table for dinner and then cleaning the kitchen after dinner.  Although she may "piddle" a bit she has done exceptionally well with her responsibilities. She must have her room neat and clean before leaving for school each day, and she folds and puts her things away after each wash.  Bathing is not her favorite thing, but she is used to bathing and washing her hair each night at blow drying her hair before bedtime.  She can read or watch television only after her studies  are completed, but she is in her room at nine and the lights out at 9:30 p.m. Leigh likes to go to sleep with her radio playing and with a fan blowing on her.  There is a set routine she follows each night in getting her many stuffed animals and pillows in the "just right" position. She is used to being tucked in after lights out and seems to like a little conversation with daddy prior to sleep. Leigh needs and requires a good nights sleep every night.  She awakes fine each morning  but does require prodding to keep moving.  It's important to realize that Leigh is not a morning person but more a of  "night" type, consequently she is not the happiest person to be around in the morning. 

Leigh loves material things and has been receiving $7.00 a week allowance.  She is very frugal with her money and yet very generous when buying gifts for someone else.  Adult advice and supervision is required in this area.  She will give herself freely in areas that don't require "attachment" type love and affection.  Leigh is very sensitive to people's feelings and is smart enough to recognize when falseness or dishonesty prevails.  She is capable of handling most any type of serious discussion as long as you are honest with her.

Leigh does not make friends easily but will do so if prodded.  It doesn't seem to bother her and she functions very well with or without friends.  She has learned to dance Country Western and learns quickly, but will definitely not be aggressive at a dance that includes her peers.  Light makeup has been permitted and she has done very well with it, and she likes to go to the beauty shop and feels it is important to look nice.  Bless her heart, nightly baths and deodorant are essential.

At first Leigh may lead you to believe that she is sincerely afraid of the dark, and will demonstrate this by locking all doors, pulling blinds down and drapes closed before going to bed.  This action ceased shortly after coming to us and it has not been a problem since.  She will do this even when visiting friends and /or relatives if permitted.  Although there is probably some degree of fear involved, it appears to be an "attention getter".

Leigh is somewhat shy when first in the presence of strangers, but will come on stronger as time passes.  At first Leigh was very modest in our home, but this changed very rapidly, and now must be reminded from time to time that she is a little girl.  In observing her watching television and movies, she is fairly negative towards love making and sex in general.  There is a definite need for advanced sex education from a basic level and upwards.  It is important to explain things to Leigh in advance if possible - especially when changes are being made, or new responsibilities are added.  She was a very negative person at first and has progressed really wall into having a more positive attitude towards all things.  Good manners in the home , at the dinner table and away have been a high priority - bud does require  being reminded from time to time.

Occasionally Leigh has been able to express anger verbally but probably not nearly as much as she should.  She is pretty responsible for her clothes, glasses, radio, etc. , but just like most all 12 year olds she slips from time to time.  Leigh has difficulty expressing love and affection to others and may even resent someone also showing affection and love to her - but deep down I really do believe she likes to receive those two things.  Often times it just has to be on her terms and conditions.  Leigh feels badly and very guilty when she hurts or disappoints people that care about her - but because she does not know how to do so she gives out a vibration of being fakey or false.  In many things Leigh will give an impression of being a fake, but in reality I think she simply does not know how to communicate or what to say nor how to say it. Leigh will have a tendency to attach to the "daddy" figure long before, if ever, to the "mother" figure.  At one time I was concerned that Leigh simply would never be ale to attach, or bond to the mother - but I don't believe this anymore.  If given time and patience I think Leigh can and will become an attached and integral part of an adoptive family.  By her own words, she has stopped missing her biological Daddy and grandmother - which is a good sign.  She's never really had a mother to miss and she does not have too many good memories of her biological and step mothers.  The adoptive mother of Leigh shouldn't expect too much too soon of this little girl, and she should not have to compete heavily for attention, love and caring.  It may take many months , or even years, but I feel that Leigh can eventually form a mother/daughter bonding.

Leigh likes animals of all kinds but kittens and cats are her favorites, and like most children the responsibility for caring for a pet soon wears thin.  She loves new clothes and likes to go shopping.  She likes to go for walks in the woods alone, and she likes to help mom and dad with with their chores.  Leigh is a good strong swimmer and is safe alone in a pool since she rarely will try anything foolish, and she is a very logical person.  She is really a pretty neat kid and hardly ever causes any problems.  She avoids "rough water" and does not like to rock the boat.  Leigh is excellent college material and will probably be successful in whatever endeavor she chooses as a career.  She has high morals and does not approve of "minority" slang words.  She took tennis lessons this past summer, and has the potential to be good if she would practice often.  She also can cook pretty well, especially spaghetti and meatballs, but should be supervised.  She also had had beginning lessons on how to knit, and she can wash, iron and is good at needle point work. Leigh needs to feel secure and she likes to be loved and she needs to be accepted for just what she is- nothing more and  nothing less.

In closing, permit me to say that Leigh Ball (Barr) is a fine wonderful kid and very precious in many ways.  She really deserves her own complete family and will prove to be an asset if given time and adequate space to grow and develop. My fervent prayers each day will be that this little girl can find that special family real soon and if you the reader of this message at this time, happens to be part of that special family please do me the following favor..... be kind and tender to Leigh, love her every day and make sure you do something to let her know she is important, special and really okay, both as a daughter and an individual person.  If you've a mind to, you might tell Leigh  sometime that there are other people in the world that will always love her very dearly.  Thank you!

Ted F. Ball
Leigh's Daddy
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