Connections

I am drawing a blank here today, I have been sitting here for almost 2 hours attempting to string a few sentences together for a post and nothing is happening. The other day posts were streaming in my brain left and right when I was busy and had no time to sit down and write them out. So when I actually have the time to sit and write ..I got nothing.

Last night, we went to a family wedding and for the first time I stopped and watched some of the people related to me and it dawned on me..we are connected..like really connected. We have similar mannerisms, we have similar hair color (real not the bottle stuff some of us older folks have needed to resort to in our old age) but most importantly we have history together ..good, bad and everything in between. A song played and I was 7 years old in the back seat of my cousin’s car singing along again and getting yelled at to keep quiet and stop singing (yeah my voice was bad then and worse now). I looked at said cousin and realize that we look-alike in a lot of ways..that her mother was the calming and loving influence in my life..that our lives intertwine. We took pictures of our kids together, they look-alike. They have the same dark hair, the hazel eyes , the same nose ..they all have the same smile..they are all gorgeous..they are family.

My cousins and I have not always connected with one another in the years since my aunt/their mother/grandmother passed away. We all had lives to live , careers to start, relationships to foster and children to raise and got lost in our own little worlds but we have always been connected. Time cannot erase those memories that are the foundations of who we are. Time cannot take away the lessons and the love bestowed upon us by my aunt Helen who was the thread that wove us together as a family. Time cannot erase the experiences and the bonds and I realize after all this time that being together we are stronger not weaker.

My son  K who I allowed to become a part of another family has missed out on those connections..he should have been there with us last night celebrating a wonderful occasion. K should know his family and his history, he  should see the people he looks like (even though he is blonde and not brunette like the rest of us..ok I am bottle blonde) and he should have been here all along. These people good, bad and indifferent are the fabric of his life. When his adoptress closed the adoption she severed his connections not only to me but also his entire history shutting off all the wonderful things that make K who he is.

The act of his adoption did not erase who K is ..it only changed where he lived and who he knew.The thing about his adoption is it has not only changed him..but it has changed me. I still feel like I have to walk on egg shells with the whole situation ..I still feel beholden to his adoptress..I still fear losing my child all over again to this woman. What I long for now is help K became connected once again to his family and to hold to and foster our relationship so our connection is never broken or damaged again.

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It’s November and It is National Adoption Awareness Month

November is National Adoption Month. I am reminded of this tidbit almost every day when I turn on the television or read something on the internet regarding adoption. The Today Show has jumped on the bandwagon and highlighted Dr Nancy Snyderman who, according to the story, never thought she would parent and then a sixteen year old girl came on her radar and was willing to relinquish her child. A European couple met the baby girl they adopted from the US on the show and then there were the adoptions finalized as part of the series.

How did this morph from finding homes for children truly in need of parents ..ie.. true orphans and foster children available for adoption..to this becoming about newborn adoption? Newborn and infant adoption feed the multi billion dollar adoption industry that preys upon people who are suffering. Women who are unsure of their ability to parent who are often times made to feel less than..who are told once they contact an adoption agency, you would never want to hurt this couple. Women who are told they are selfless angels doing the right thing by their child because this couple has so much more to offer than she does. Then there is the other side who is just as vulnerable…People desperate enough to pay upwards of $50,000 to adopt  a child that they believe is the answer to their infertility nightmare. Desperate people willing to buy /pay fees for a child they believe is a blank slate and the answer to their prayers. People who have convinced themselves of the notion … don’t they deserve the chance to be parents like that 17 year old who is pregnant? I actually saw this little gem posted in a group on Facebook recently (written by a desperate hopeful adopter) and needless to say the reaction/comments reflected what side of the equation one is on (adopter vs real mother)..

” We are waiting to be a matched. I have a question for Birth moms. Every time I see a teen mom I get this overwhelming feeling that I need to let them know we are wanting to adopt. Is this a turnoff to Birth mom’s or is it “OK” to mention it to you? I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings but want to let you know we want to adopt if you choose to place.”

All I think of is who the hell are you to assume that is OK to tell someone who is pregnant that you are hoping to adopt? Is a pregnant woman that you assume is in crisis expected to look at you and say oh you are looking to adopt..well I have been waiting my whole life for you to come along and rescue me. Seriously the above sentences put into black and white what is wrong with newborn and infant adoption..the entitlement. I want a baby, you look young and you are having a baby so why don’t you just hand that little one to me so I can fulfill my need to be a mom. Sorry but it just does not work that way.

The funny thing regarding that posting was the comments were all based on who responded…here is what one adopter said “..HUGS….you are in a frustrating place right now. Just know that the wait is worth it…God will place the right child in your path at the right time. He rarely lets us in on His plan though….” They always go to God. Adopters post things like God put the child in the wrong womb or just pray and God will bring the child to you. I do not know about any of you, but I do not believe God places children in a woman’s womb for the sole purpose to give another woman who is infertile the chance to be a parent..I also do not believe God would want a woman to lose her child and suffer the traumatic loss both she and her child feel after an adoption.

Other comments to this post from women who have lost their children are more like this one..”You should never tell a pregnant woman of any age that you are wanting to adopt. Sure tell your friends, tell your family, start a blog, do what you have to do get the information out there. But you can not solicit a child just because you think a woman “might” be a good candidate for adoption.” AMEN AMEN AMEN

AT the end of the day what we have is people who are victimized by the lawyers and agencies who profit off the pain and suffering of people. The way adopters/hopeful adopters tend to deal with their pain is to turn to God and pray for a miracle. They make dear birth mother packets and market themselves as the greatest people a woman could want for her her child. Mothers expecting and unsure of what they are going to do or where they are going to turn often get caught up in the hype of look at us, we care so much about you ..you are angel sent from heaven..you are so selfless..you are a hero..you can not be selfish and think about your needs, you need to think about and put that baby’s needs first. This is the rhetoric that lately sends me over the edge.

How is it that a woman who lacks resources and support temporarily is selfish for wanting to parent HER child..yet it is completely unselfish for people willing to pay thousands upon thousands of dollars to take that child from her and raise as their own to satisfy their need to parent? How is it that adopters are the heroes in all of this? How is that the adopters are the good people, the ones who deserve this child and the pregnant woman if she places is temporarily a selfless angel and if she parents a selfish whore? Answer me these questions, someone..anyone.

We never will know all the circumstances how every child is conceived..some girls have their one moment of being “bad” finally and pay the ultimate price..some are raped…some the birth control failed and some it just happens. If 2 people are married and have an OOPS pregnancy, families rally around them often times and say baby was meant to be and what a blessing this new little person is..if the woman is not married there is more often than not radio silence, some get the well do not expect to bring that baby into my home, some get the guilt trip of you are bringing shame upon the family and what will the neighbors or members of our church think? Here is what I say..no matter what the circumstances of conception, your family is blessed with a new person and instead of expecting your daughter/sister/cousin to hang her head in shame lift her up. Support her, help her to be all she can to parent her child. Show the woman love and compassion and welcome her child, your kin into your hearts..babies do not need the best of material things..what they need is a few basics along with food and diapers and a lot of love and support. There are some women who are not capable of parenting and for them adoption is more ideal than hurting and/or abandoning their children but for the most part, infant adoption should be discouraged and families supported to remain intact.

So in November let’s remember that adoption is not about finding babies for people longing to parent, but finding homes for children who need parents. Foster kids may have a story and may have some scars but they are children who are just as vulnerable as babies..they are people who deserve love and a home where they are welcome and supported.  Stop preying upon vulnerable women and lining the pockets of lawyers and adoption agencies and start helping children truly in need.

 

The stick turned blue

I need to clean this up in a bit but I will write down my thoughts before they slip away. He was just a boy and I was just girl …when all was said and done the stick turned blue.   I thought about getting an abortion. I went so far as to call a clinic and to make an appointment, but the call was half-hearted. I really did not want to have an abortion and I really did not want to have a baby so I slipped into a weird state of denial.  I was looking right at the stick and it was blue as blue can be. As much as I tried, there was no denying that according to the package the test was positive. Instead of accepting this fact, I decided I needed to go to the local teen clinic at the maternity hospital where I was born and have them confirm what I already knew. No shocker, the blood and urine tests the clinic performed also came back positive Evidence in hand and I still had a tough time believing I was actually pregnant. Instead of doing the right thing and letting someone, anyone other than a few close friends my age know I hushed it up and kept trying to live life-like any other 18-year-old girl. With some of the crazy stuff I did it is a surprise that the baby turned out as well as he did.

In case you are wondering the answers are no I did not drink, smoke or do drugs…but I did do some crazy stuff like go on some insane rides with my friends at local amusement parks (turkish twist anyone?) and I ate the worst foods on the planet (hotdogs , tacos, tuna fish,McDonald’s every day). In the back of my mind if I did not take care of myself  maybe things would just go away on their own..yeah that kid was teflon.

Not only was that kid teflon, but he was also quite content and quite happy in his home, so much so that by time I delivered him he weighed around the 9 lb mark. There was not a thing I did that disrupted his time with me. I do not have any pictures of myself from that time, I kind of hid the fact that I was pregnant from almost everyone who knew me. I lived in the dorm, slept on the top bunk (meaning I climbed up and down to get into and out of bed on a daily basis) wore fairly regular sized clothing and did not have much in sense of a belly if memory serves me right.  I hoped no one would figure out my secret..but eventually someone did and when they did, the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. Secrets always have a way of finding their way to the light either by choice or by accident..my secret was sort of a combo of the options.

It is easy living in denial especially when you are 18. Like many 18 year olds I was large and in charge of my life( in my mind). I thought about my options and with abortion off the table I was left with parenting and adoption. I admit feeling terrified about my ability to parent. My mown mother was a terrible example and was sadly passed on 18 months before the baby was due. I did not want a child to suffer the same fate as I ..living in public housing amongst some desperate people or a life of wondering who is my father (my bf wanted to marry me and I refused knowing we both needed to finish college) and parenting a child who had the potential to grow up resenting me. The thing is a s each day passed by and I eventually managed to look like a pregnant woman I still had no concept of the fact that an actual baby was about to be born. Everything just remained abstract, even when I met with an adoption counsellor whose name and phone number I got form the social worker at the hospital.

I wish someone had sat down with me and explained that adoption is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If only someone looked me in the eye and said you are not your mother..you are your own person and this baby needs you. No one but one person stood up for me and that person turned being a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

I knew nothing of what the future held the day the stick turned blue and my life changed forever.