Karen Vedder, Carlsbad, CA Past president of Concerned United Birthparents

by adminuser on August 1, 2010

The first time I met Annette was at an AAC conference in Tucson, Arizona. In my quest to survive a divorce I had returned to school where I was faced with writing my first research paper. Having hid in my birthmother closet for almost nineteen years I bravely wrote about adoption, using The Adoption Triangle as a vital and important resource. Who would have guessed that within a few years I would meet two of the authors. Sitting in Annetteā€™s presence literally took my breath away. She was so regal, yet extremely warm and down to earth. It was an honor, not only to hear her presentation but to hang out, talking, eating cheese and crackers, and sipping wine. It was magical.

<!–more–>Many years later, after numerous occasions of getting to know her and hearing her speak, the national organization, Concerned United Birthparents, was at a crossroads. Those in leadership roles felt the organization was no longer viable. Membership was down, the internet had produced a number of online support groups, money was tight, and debts had accrued. Letters went out to the existing CUB branches notifying us of the plan to disband.

Two strong branches, in San Diego and Los Angeles, were dismayed by this decision. A number of members approached the leaders of the two groups, Mimi Janes and me, asking what we were going to do about it. After much discussion we talked to Annette and Reuben Pannor about our dilemma. Annette offered her home as a central meeting place where we could brainstorm.

Annette and Reuben encouraged us to continue our organization. They agreed that it was a powerful entity in the world of adoption and should move forward. We were deep in the planning stage when Annette announced that she and her husband had tickets to the theater. There was no need for us to leave. She insisted that we continue our meeting, and to please lock the front door when we left. What a trusting friend. What a remarkable woman!

It has been a great honor to know such an amazing woman. CUB will forever be grateful for her hospitality, her encouragement, her support and her friendship. Concerned United Birthparents is still going strong, thanks to the encouragement of Annette and Reuben Pannor She will be dearly missed.

Karen Vedder, Carlsbad, CA Past president of Concerned United Birthparents

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

maryanne cohen August 4, 2010 at 12:50 am

Annette

A small bright bird
Filled with life
she graced the space she filled
Always moving, never still
except to listen to a friend
which she did with full heart
Her kind eyes saw you
her silence let you fill the cup
Her words were milk and honey
on any hurt or fear

I knew her as grey but never old
Her spirit ever young, eager
for the next adventure, the next laugh
the next delicious shopping trip

Annette knew what to buy, and where to find it
What to read, I loved every book
she led me to, her wisdom
carried on, oblique, in other’s words.
She showed me the lipstick that won’t wear off
said, “it will change your life”
Her sense of style impeccable, unique
A joy to see
A joy to follow

My Yiddishe Mama, witty, wise
down to earth, a true friend
Annette stood before a crowd
at an adoption conference once,
and said “I am sorry
for what my profession has done,
for what I have done”
That’s all, no excuses, no justifications,
No Big Buts……

Just courage, integrity, intelligence and class
She laughed at fools, the pompous, the self-righteous
She cried with those who truly grieved

Now we grieve her, her valor, her light gone from this world
But she shines on
In blessed memory
In her work we take up
In the quest for truth and justice
Still undone

She shines on…….

Mary Anne Cohen
July 2010
Rest in Peace, Dear Annette
The good race is run.

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