Long Time No Post

My son was married this summer in dreamy ceremony in his adopted home country. The details of the wedding ..the intimacies that flow during such an exciting time in one’s life were not privy to me, nor was I invited to the service. The reasons why an invitation was not extended do and do not matter ..I am very good at reading between the lines..but I might keep those perceived justifications private for the moment’s time.

I missed out on so much of his life because with one stroke of a pen I naively thought I was wronging the rights that plagued my life. I was not going to allow my child to be the victim of the same life circumstances that plagued my childhood..I was going to do the right thing with a twist..I was told I was always welcome and would have the chance to remain an open part of his life. Sounds wonderful doesn’t it…almost too good to be true..and that is the clue..it was too good to be true. Somewhere around the time he turned eight and one of my children was born it all fell apart..almost like an orchestrated turn of events ..in speaking with my son since our reunion orchestrated seems to be what it all was. While I recovered from a difficult pregnancy and birth of my daughter the woman who promised me the openest of adoptions was sucked down the rabbit hole into the depths of evangelical religion that calls itself “Christian” and shutting out the world around her that did not align with her beliefs. This is something I would also not be privy too..but those were the days when I force fed myself sanctimonious lines of bullshit to force down the longing for my boy. I loved to tell myself I was not his mother but merely the vessel who gave birth ..she was his mother, she did all the things I freely gave away..now as I sit here 30 years later and digest what little information I am privy to I realize I was merely a pawn in a game of chess she devised.

Nineteen years old, motherless, fatherless, no family support, and penniless add to that a new baby and one can see where and how it was easy to be the target of an older and wiser person hell bent on getting what they want. The details are clear and fuzzy ..the details matter because the details especially those that were hard to read are the reason for all that happens now.

A few things stand out to me ..the first is she was a younger woman than I am now when she came into my life. Her daughter..someone who became my friend because of my pregnancy and the fact that my baby was a boy doing the bidding for her mother. I can not say that the original intention from J was to procure a baby boy for her mother or to truly help a person in need..in the end the two of them worked together to insure my son was legally no longer mine. This daughter was nineteen when I met her..I was still eighteen..her sisters were seventeen and fifteen and C would have an empty nest before her fiftieth birthday ..the wrinkle in this was her marriage although stable was not the most loving or happy at least from what I recall and from what my son has told me (he often wished they would just get a divorce already he says form his days growing up) C is a rather dominating and controlling individual ..how was she going to face the next 30-40 years empty nesting? That was where my circumstances fit perfectly into her plan..she extended kindness and help to a person in need..the true Christian thing to do..except this woman coveted my baby..the little boy she never had and always wants..the little boy who would keep her distracted and busy and not have to deal with her husband H alone for the remainder of their days.

I could not see her phasing me out of K”s life..taking over ..making me feel and be less than. J took part in this as well..they were better than I at everything baby ..no one told me that it does not matter if you are a mother at 15 or 45 for the first time..it is always a learning experience. I saw a loving mother who cared about her children..I had a mother who when she was alive cared about herself..what I did not see was a woman who is truly a master manipulator and who knew how to handle a poor kid.  I should have grabbed the baby and I should have run ..but I did not want him to have to live on food stamps, hand me down clothes and hand me down toys..in the end he did have hand me downs and a woman who forced her hopes and dreams upon a child who was not meant to be hers ..he is mine and ultimately he is his own person beholden to none ..C cannot see that and from what K has said she is insecure and not supportive of his relationship with his me or his siblings. That open adoption turned to the same old secrets and lies..she told him he was adopted but she lied about everything else..and he is torn between his loyalty to her and wanting to grow closer to us..or at least I think he is.because his actions and behaviors leave a lot to be desired and I wonder did I do this to him by wanting him to have a better life not realizing that I was all he needed? K is often surprised when we talk that I know him so well despite the gaps in our contact..I know him because I AM his mother..I am the only mother he has and will ever have..I parented him for a short time in his life..I nursed him, I nurtured him and I have always loved him.

Although I would never ask him to choose between us..I know C has ..I know he needs to form a better relationship with me..I am the answer to who he is ..I am the one who holds the key ..he can’t see this all the time ..I realize he is restless and unsure ..I get that ..I am the same way ..there are parts of me missing in this world..my father, my half sister..my mother..and my son..unlike my relatives who slammed the door shut on me..I hold my door open waiting for him to realize I am not his friend, I am not someone he can escape I am his mother and I matter. He will never know the depths of my love for him ..how can he? I am the person who abandoned him and gave him to a woman who raised him to always feel like he must bend to her rules to please her..to not upset her ..to always have to make peace and never rock the boat..the young man who feels like he needs to handle me ..the restless young  man drifting along who really needs to focus but still does what he thinks is the right thing.

I hate adoption …I hate the lies and insecurities and half truths..I hate that it becomes all about the adopters and their struggles and their pain..I hate that the people it is supposed to be about often get lost in the shuffle and are expected to be grateful for being chosen..in my case for being targeted. I hate everything about adoption especially for my fellow sisters who are broken by the loss of our children ..my son is my son..but not quite. My heart is broken again by adoption

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I can see clearly now …

My “come to Jesus” moment regarding why adoption is a part of my life came to light about 3 weeks ago in a funeral home of all places. Ironic…or fate? Ironic maybe because many mothers of adoption loss liken their experience with adoption to a living death..a sentiment I agree with.  Was it fate? I like to think so because in short amount of time the reasons, the whys and the hows came flooding back as if the Hoover Dam burst right then and there and drowned me alive.

Let me back up this up a little and explain so maybe it makes sense to you and quite possibly to me as well.  A death occurred in my extended family, I happened to find out about it via a post on social media ..I guess that is the new etiquette rule ..it is not official unless someone posts something on Facebook. Going against my better judgement I attended the wake knowing full well that being around my family is akin to walking into a forest of hungry bears and wolves wearing nothing more that a raw meat dress. However I am always a believer that family is family no matter what and a small act of kindness at your lowest point is always appreciated..I would hope that some day the gesture if and when required is reciprocated but I honestly doubt that would happen. The moral of the story is that I went to show support and I walked away asking myself….WHY?   I have been in therapy for 15 years ..my therapist has told me I owe my family absolutely nothing and yet I feel that tether and the obligation to pay respects no matter what (again WHY WHY WHY)

You might be thinking what does attending a wake have to do with my journey into adoption..allow me to set the scene. I walked into the funeral home along with my daughter, whom I bribed to go with me by promising dinner out afterwards at her favorite burger joint . I found myself armed with a false security that my family tends to behave when she is with me and hence the reason I stopped so low to beg her to come along. Up until now I was able to shield my children from the reality of what my family is like by keeping them far far away and only exposing them during happier times or in short spurts. This tactic seemed to work and also allowed me to remain kind when I spoke about my aunts and cousins…however the time arrived and my poor girl was sucked down the rabbit hole while trying to pay her respects for one lost.

Sitting front and center and holding court was my 87 year old Aunt. Most 87 year olds have mellowed out and can be cute and funny..not my aunt, she is just as miserable at 87 as she was at 57..although when she was 57 I did not see it quite that way. i walked over to where my aunt was perched on her chair, said hello and attempted to make enough small talk to keep the conversation light and drama free. We talked about how good she looks..she really really does, 87 with barely a wrinkle on her face..a phenomenon I swear  I attribute to the fact that my aunt feasts on the souls of the children born into our family that she sucks out and keeps in a jar somewhere in her house. She told me she may be 87, but she feels like she is 20..the bitch is going to outlive me I swear.

In our brief conversation, we talked about how both her son who is my maternal first cousin and I have done the Ancestry.com DNA tests. A very safe topic I was thrilled to talk about..however… my aunt explained that DNA was not correct..that her mother/my grandmother was actually almost full blooded native American,born in Arizona and moved to Canada (ah no..I found the grandmother’s birth certificate and she was english and Irish with some French and M’KqMaq born in New Brunswick and raised in Nova Scotia) told me some false information about my father that I was like well ok I actually found the real information out..and then says to me..what happened to you? I saw you 2 years ago at M’s funeral and you looked great, you lost a ton of weight..it looks like you gained it all back because you got fat again. If looks could have killed when I explained that a) 2 years ago I was very very sick (pericarditis and pleurisy as a result of Lupus) and b) why yes I have gained back some weight, however I am only up 2 sizes and I have been on prednisone for quite some time..she says maybe you should get sick again it was better for your waist line. Now if that does not tip the scales of insanity what happened next might just explain it all..

My aunt turns to my absolutely beautiful daughter and says “Your mother posts all kinds of pictures on facebook of you from your dancing..I print the pictures out and have them on my wall”. My daughter is looking at me like OKAAAY… Aunt then says to my daugher..”You look just like my sister Madeline (my mother) do you know who that is?” My daughter explains of course she knows who Madeline is (my mother died when I was 17 and of course they never knew her so I understand that she is simply a theoretical person to them that is natural)..my aunt goes on to say “I hated my sister Madeline. God was she ugly when she was younger and she never really got any better looking”. So my aunt is sitting there telling my child she looks just like her grandmother whom my aunt hated and thought was ugly..bitch. At this point I walk away before I explode thinking my aunt will calm down..go say hello to a cousin and my poor daughter texts..SAVE ME.

My aunt is telling my daughter that I hated my mother (who died by the way when I was 17 years old from lung cancer..I am now 48) because my mother was poor. She told my daughter that I was ashamed of the fact that I lived in the projects and I only wanted to be with my Aunt H who had money. Supposedly I am a nothing more than a gold digger who has nothing to do with them because they do not have money.  AND THAT WAS MY MOMENT..I felt small and demoralized ..I felt unsupported and hated and the worst part was my daughter..my beautiful daughter was sucked down the rabbit hole the one thing I worked so hard to avoid for almost 29 years since I had my first child.

Here is the thing..I realized at 19 years old when my first born child came into this world and I was for all intents and purposes alone that I wanted nothing more than to shield him and protect him from THAT negativity and THOSE toxic people. I already felt like an absolute failure by getting pregnant in the first place and if I stayed ..if I had to raise my boy in that environment it would have destroyed the 2 of us slowly but surely.

That is how Darth Jarol entered my life..that is how I mistook what seemed like a gesture of kindness (and I think there was some kindness there on some level) how I saw stability and sanity and everything my family lacked and confused it with doing the right thing. I was protecting my baby with every fiber of my being..I was protecting him from a woman who knew I was on public assistance (something I am not proud of) trying to survive and who would wait for the mailman and cash my check and take every penny I had for my baby ..including the ability to buy diapers and say oh well i needed the cash. How was I supposed to survive in an environment like that? Actually I am not sure if I even considered myself..how was my baby supposed to survive? The dysfunction, the negativity and the toxic interactions bubbled over like witch’s brew waiting to poison anyone caught up in that horrible web. I left because I needed to get healthy and clean from them..and my baby was my biggest casualty. When Darth Jarol invited us to stay it was with the intention that I would see just how incapable I was at being a mother..and she was right at the moment …however the point is every mother whether she is 15 or 45 the first time she delivers a baby is inexperienced and incapable..motherhood is a learning curve.

If my family had been supportive and loving ..if my family was not prone to stealing and lying maybe my son would never have been lost to adoption..but FEAR …the fear of being just like them..just like my family rattled me to my bones ..being destitute and homeless scared me and there was no way I wanted to raise my son in the projects. There was no way my son was going to have to shake his backpack every day to get the roaches out and there was no way my son needed to live in an environment where the upstairs neighbor was a dangerous schizophrenic who had outbursts at 4 AM and kept the building awake and threatened him in the hallways…there was no way I wanted my son raised in a place where there were dead mice in couch cushions and maggots in the trash outside or people setting cars on fire in the alley outside your bedroom door. My son deserved better..sadly I thought Darth Jarol was the answer not me.

So 3 weeks ago all those feeling came flooding back..the positive is I know why they hate me..it boils down to the fact they hated my mother ..the negative is I am feeling the angst and the guilt and yeah the anger of why I had to lose my beautiful baby boy..why another woman who is not his mother got to parent him and was able to cast me aside like a piece of trash once she got what she wanted. I blame myself mostly for all that happened .but in that funeral home ..at that wake I came face to face with the grim reaper of my soul….oh and my daughter? She NEVER wants to interact with my aunt again ..she could not wait to get out of the parking lot ..her first words to me? “That woman is a **** (yes she used the dirty C word ..no I do not approve and no I did not correct her) she said Mom that woman called me ugly and she called you a fat, ugly, gold digger we so don’t need that in our lives” ..truer words have never been spoken.

Lost Again

It has been 8 days since the last time I communicated with my son K.  I don’t know how to describe the heaviness I feel from the grief of losing him once again. I know I should be grateful that we had 8 months and 26 days of reunion where things were pretty good. Instinctively I knew once he came home for the holiday season that things had the potential to go awry.  I never imagined just how awful things would get for him simply because we connected once again. What breaks my heart is there is absolutely nothing I can do and nothing I can say at this moment to turn the tides once again and go back to where we were even 2 weeks ago. The reality is even if we connect again there is always going to be a dark cloud hanging over us from some forces out of our control.  I have decided I am willing to spare this young man any more grief that my presence in his life has caused him with the parents who raised him and will bear the grief I feel alone . I never want K to feel that he has to be sneaky about our relationship or that he is betraying the family that raised him..however much I disagree with their reasoning..I never want for K to hurt like he did during this trip home and it kills me to know that I was a part of that hurt.

Adoption is a complicated and enormously difficult way of life for all the parties involved. I can understand that K’s adoptive parents feel that by reaching out to me K is abandoning them or rejecting all they did for him until now but I know that is not the case. K loves his adopters and would never abandon them in a million years no matter how frustrating he finds the relationship. I would be upset if he abandoned them because they are his family as well and for as much as I regret the decision to entrust them with him I know they did a wonderful job raising him and in their warped way want what is best for him.  Truth is K’s adoption circumstances are very atypical from most in that he was still an infant when he was adopted but he was not a newborn. He was not removed from my custody for abuse or neglect by social services (social services were never involved)  I willingly chose to place him with the people who adopted him for a multitude of reasons including feeling unworthy to parent him. K’s adopters promised an extremely open adoption and held to their word for a while and then slammed the adoption shut when he was about 8 years old. I regret not fighting harder to maintain a relationship with K but his adoptress felt we were better off taking a break. I had a newborn at the time and I agreed with her since I was a new mom and raising 2 other children as well.

I truly loved K and I still do with every breath I take, the hole in my soul without him for all these years has never healed..it may never heal but this has never been about me and for the last couple of weeks I think I lost sight of that. I was so excited that he was only 3 hours away from us and stateside for about 15 days that I got caught up in the possibility of seeing K and introducing him to his sisters. I understood that he did not come back to see us specifically and his time here was to see his family for the holidays but I held out hope that we could connect even for just an afternoon. K being home was a bright light in what was a very difficult holiday season for me and I think I held on to that light a little tighter than i should have. The holiday season is never an easy time for me..I look around and see family and happiness and am reminded of loss..I have lost my mother (18 months before K was born when I was still in high school) I lost my favorite aunt 18 months after K was born, I have lost babies very late in my pregnancy, we lost my mother in law when my oldest daughter was 4 weeks old, we lost my husband’s aunt Mary who loved him like a son after his mother died a yer ago this past September, we lost a community we were attached to for 18 years after my youngest daughter was bullied by a group of “friends” and unexpectedly this past July we lost our dear UJ.  I found UJ one morning when I went to go visit him gone..he was all alone and my heart aches thinking that there was more I could have done to help him. UJ died on the 27th anniversary of the day my mother died so to say it was rough is an understatement. To add to the stress, my daughter has a friend named E who last January was diagnosed and treated for brain cancer, I found out the last day I really talked to K that E is not doing well at all. It looks like E will leave us sooner vs later and my heart aches for this beautiful 15 year old girl and her family, friends and schoolmates. So in all the loss for the first time I saw hope and in doing so I lost sight that this was not about me ..it never has been.

I also confess that I unlike most people I know do not understand what it means and/or feels like to have family obligations. Other than my marriage and children I do not have any family (well other than UJ) where I have to be home, or I have to put up or I can’t wait to be with. I have not had to answer to anyone in my adult life and I think this has put me at a serious disadvantage in trying to understand or wrap my head around family issues. Spending time with UJ was always a blessing, it was the highlight of the holidays, cooking visiting and even trying to find the perfect present for the man who had everything and needed nothing. It felt strange this year to cook for the holidays in my own kitchen..oh and did I mention I had a total freak accident the week before Christmas? Yeah a heavy and sharp chef’s knife fell off the counter , cut my foot (thanks be to God I had my shoes on) and broke a bone..not my wisest move since I was not paying attention to what I was doing and the accident is my fault. I think my inability to relate to the family issues thing is a bridge K and I never anticipated crossing. While my belief system is you are your own person and the problems that your family is experiencing are not your burdens to bear and neither are any problems we might have..I fail to connect that people have other thoughts..a total ignorance on my part.

The last communication with K I have is he explained that I was pressuring him and he is in the middle of 2 sides he assumed were angry or pissed off at him and he felt caught between 2 families that hate one another. My heart is aching because I made him feel like that..I did this to him and I made him hurt and angry and that is unforgivable on my part. I am at a loss here, I knew his trip home was going to be stressful at times and I knew that C his adoptress was not happy that he connected with me, but I thought that her love for him would allow her to give him the freedom to make some choices for himself.  I do not care to communicate with her for the time being but I still hold a love and a respect for all she has done for K. I wish that C could let go of whatever demons she attached to me and see that our lives are enhanced by more people loving us not less.  K is the only boy she parented and he is the youngest of her 4 children, the oldest 3 being her biological children, but she has got to do the right thing for K and stop controlling him or trying to make him feel guilty for choices he has made.

As for me..I am not sure if I am going to recover from this any time soon. I am not prone to tears or letting my emotions go and I have not stopped crying since the first day of what I will call the beginning of the end (Monday December 30) a few of those days the grief was so crippling I could not get out of bed ..But I am out of bed and I am resisting the urge to message him or email him because the last thing I messaged him was I am leaving future communication up to him ..he does not need me to bother him. K needs to recover and find his happy place again with his GF in his adopted homeland. I hate admitting that I miss him terribly but I do..this is the third time I have lost him, and every time I do a little piece of me dies

Dear Adoptive Mother

The only times I seem to post lately is when I am running on pure emotions..usually not the happiest of emotions but emotions none the less. Lately I am taking the time to read the blogs and the words of other women who share my adoption journey as a mother of loss. The raw emotions in the words of these women often leave me feeling bruised and cleansed at the same time. There are others who feel my pain, there are others who walk this path and while our experiences are unique the majority of us a united in one bond of sisterhood.

What often strikes me as alarming is the same stories continue to repeat themselves over and over ..so many women and girls were forced to relinquish due to lack of support from family and friends, so many women and their babies abandoned and made to feel less than by the people who are supposed to love them best. The deeper tragedy is in how the adoptions are handled..women in the pre Roe Vs Wade era shuttled off to maternity prisons and treated like second class citizens ..told to forget what happened and move on with their lives their children better of without them. No names, no information, often times not even knowing if the baby they just birthed was a boy or a girl. The women in the post Roe V Wade era, some victims of the old closed adoption system others promised “open” adoption where they choose the parents of their child. Hopeful adopters who more likely than not have yet to resolve or grieve their infertility and willing to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to achieve their goal of parenthood.

Open adoptions filled with “Dear Birthmother” letters, booklets (and now online profiles)  and meetings filled with promises of joined families, blessings and love for a yet born infant. SO many promises are made in those days before the baby arrives. The potential adopters more often than not look so happy in their wonderful home surrounded by family..their lives perfect. The only thing missing from these pictures is your infant. This is all presented in such a neat package I swear I want these people adopting me. Most women who get caught up in this are reminded by their agency or well meaning family members they simply cannot change their minds seeing that the adopters will be hurt. So trying to do the “right” thing and not wanting to hurt these lovely people many mothers sign the consent to adopt shortly after birthing their babies heavily medicated and in physical and emotional pain. In those moments mother is an angel,a selfless being but who knows when the tide changes but she suddenly morphs from an angel to a person adopters would rather not deal with. Pictures and texts become infrequent and often disappear .promises made are quickly and easily forgotten. I read a quote where an adoptress talked about “no more adoption phone” and settling into family life. That adoption phone was probably the only number or way to contact the adopters the mother had . so tonight I am thinking about my own letter addressed to adopters..the ones who adopted my child and all the others who break their promises, turn their backs and close adoptions …

Dear Adoptive Mother,

I want to know how it is you decided that I and my fellow sisters are no longer a part of your family? While we were pregnant you actively pursued us, said things to make us like you and made promises to us in hopes we would hand our hearts and souls over to you a/k/a our babies. You told us we are angels, you told us all about your dreams of parenting and showed us how a baby would complete the pictures in your profiles. Your hurt became our hurt, we fell in love with you and chose you based on your words and actions. We believed you.

Then baby was born and we allowed you into one of the most intimate moments of our lives and often times allowed you to share in the cutting of the cord and holding baby soon after it was born. You hugged us, kissed us, took photos with us and held your breath until we signed the papers and filled with physical and emotional pain we said goodbye to our babies filled with hope because you made so many promises. We left the hospital with broken hearts, empty arms and lives that will never be the same again..you walked away with our children and from that moment you were different as well.

While we were pregnant you called or texted every day..now it is maybe once a month if at all. All those photos you promised have yet to arrive. We are hurting and those photos that you choose to send to your family and your friends mean more to us than you can fathom. Suddenly you are an expert on our babies and we are nothing..do you forget that we loved and nurtured that baby for 40 weeks? Do you forget that our babies are mourning as well?  Who are you to decide that we are no longer welcome in our children’s lives? Do you forget that without us you would not have that baby you longed to have?

Who are you to break your promises and to lie to us? While you may not think much of us..we love and respect you for nothing more than you are the parent of our children. You have no right to treat us with the indignity that you often do. Instead of making us walk on proverbial eggshells around you attempting to preserve what bits of a relationship we can in order to see our children..treat us with respect and dignity since we are the mothers of your children. Honor your words and honor your promises. You have no right to close any adoption unless we are abusing our children. Of course we want to know what is going on in their lives more than once or twice a year and no we are not going to come back and kidnap our children from you. Give us a little more credit than that old stereotype ..because for every little stereotype you have of us there are just as many for you. The only thing we fear with you is you packing up and running with our children leaving us to ache and wonder where they are and if they are alright. Remember this …we chose you..honor our relationship for no other reason than it is in the best interest of our children.

So Adoptive Mother I leave you with this ..we have held up our end of the bargain for the most part and now it is time for you to do in kind…let go of your fear and insecurity ..grieve your infertility. ..the little person you hold in your arms and in your heart is flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood. Those children are us..Our children deserve so much more than this..they deserve to know the truth

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.

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.

Dear Adoptress

Dear Carol,

It is obvious that even though the boy is now a man, you refuse to open up his adoption. It baffles me that you are unwilling to share with him the details that he needs to know to even research on his own, like his adoption information including a letter I wrote to him are at the Bellows Falls Court House. I do not understand your reasoning behind this? Are you still afraid that he will chose me over you? If that is the case then I think that you need to realize that people can love many others in their lives and still hold their parents dear. You neglect to recognize with these behaviors that I am his mother, I always have been and I always will be. You are his parent, the one I entrusted to care for him and to keep true the promises you made when I entrusted you with my heart and soul all those years ago.

I wrote you an email a few months back after K’s 25th birthday and still no reply from you..the email was not threatening it was in fact very loving and guess what ? I know you never passed on any of the message to K. What you also do not know is thanks to social media that K and I have found one another and we talk several times per week. What I know is he has been searching for me, he has missed me and he wants for us to be in one another’s lives. Maybe you have figured out that K and I are friends on Facebook and maybe you have not..but we are and it has been a privilege to see through photos and posts the handsome young man he grown to be. I give you props for doing a great job raising him despite the bible thumping. I have love and respect for the fact that my son is happy and well-adjusted but I am still so hurt and angry that you failed to keep our relationship active so that he never had any questions about who he is and how he came to be.

SO in case you do not know..I am meeting K and M in Europe in a few short weeks..it scares the crap out of me but I am taking a leap of faith. I am grateful that K and I have a chance to start a new relationship as friends and it has nothing to do with you. I am grateful to get to know the young man who shares so many of my quirky personality traits and interests and looks like his younger siblings. I am looking forward to the rest of our lives and all the good, bad and everything in between.

It would be nice if you could open your heart and mind and merge our families as one ..but I am not counting on anything. Just know I did nothing to deserve what you did by cutting us out of his life..in fact if you think about it you would not have K if it were not for me. I hope you change your mind some day..in the meantime I will enjoy the time I with K and M