To that Angry Adoptee …from an angry mother

Just a warning..this post is not edited

There is a rather angry person coming to terms with the impact adoption has had on their lives making their presence known on social media these days.  This person is emoting and expressing all of their feelings in the only way they know how at the moment and as a result they are ruffling a lot of feathers in the adoption community.

First of all ..I have to admit I get it. I get the anger..I get the need to emote and express because if I step outside the adoption situation with my own child and peer into my own window ..holy mother of all things unjust damn I get it. Letting it out is cathartic and freeing and scary all at the same time..maybe that is why I can manage to express just tiny bits at a time..if I let it all go, maybe I will be as angry as this person and that is not somewhere I want to be.  Next ..I understand this person is expressing things that lurk in the minds of many of the adoptees I know personally in my real life outside of social media ..and many of them say they have never had the courage to let their true feelings be known to anyone..because you know adoptees are supposed to be grateful eternally since without adoption they would have been left to die in a dumpster (insert sarcasm). I sent this person’s blog to my son ..I doubt he is ready to go there yet..he still is in a place where he is trying to please everyone but himself and when his anger rises up ..he can’t emote at the woman who adopted him, she would gut him and leave him for dead emotionally as quickly as she would look at him..and tell him it is for his own good. SO his anger gets directed at me and honestly ..that’s ok with me..if that is what he needs then bring it on (but it does sting not going to lie).  However, that being said what this person /blogger says often times crosses a lot of lines and their choice of words such as relinquisher for mothers who have lost a child to adoption, or saying they “spread their legs’ …fragility is another favorite..all these words appear to be their way of projecting the pain and feelings they have for their own situation onto every mother in the adoption community. While they are entitled to their hurt and their anger they are not entitled to speak for every situation as they like to do. They don;t get to decide whose story of loss and pain is valid and whose is not. Another thing this person likes to say adoption is not about mothers..sorry but it is about mothers and it is about the adopters and it is about adoptees all in vastly different ways. I do agree that the adoptee voice is the one stifled and infanticised and needs listening to especially by women considering an adoption plan and by HAPs and APs but it is not the only voice we need to hear. In case you are wondering.. I am not abusing you …I am pushing back at what you have to say. To stop adoption you have to reach the mothers first because unless a woman feels worthy enough to parent and supported she will be vulnerable to adoption vultures and there will be one more amongst your crib mates and I for one would rather save the mother before the adoption happens.

Speaking of name calling…I am guilty of referring to hopeful adopters , adoptive parents and the woman who adopted my son as adoptoraptors, infertiles and for my son’s female adopter c**tzilla is a favorite but also adoptomonster and she devil have come up often…and I will let you in a on secret it takes a lot to get me to use the dirty “c” word ..nope won’t go there and the adopter can get me there. I see these people as the ones who are willing to swoop in and take advantage of a woman in a crisis situation and willing to infiltrate the most intimate relationship of a mother and child in order to achieve their fantasy of parenting a newborn. I do not have a problem slinging insults their way however  It stings to see the term “relinquisher” ..but I agree if you boil adoption down to its core there are 4 groups of people involved, the adopters, the relinquisher, the baby broker and the person whose whole life is changed with the stroke of a pen ..the adoptee. Relinquisher is harsh and it is not necessary..but it makes me think are my qualifiers for the adopters fair as well? Oh and bitter birth bitches is such a nice term…how would you like it if I called you a whiny , miserable birth child? You would scream you don;t know my pain and lash out again.and you would be right and that is why i would not sink that low..you however have no problem sinking as low as you can go.

Fragility is another word this blogger and activist likes to throw around a lot lately..they direct it at adopters and birth mothers..but I want to throw it back at them ..this person has a lot of fragility in them as well. They like to lash out and use derogatory names and say harsh things such as ‘they spread their legs”..they also like to post their blog and warn people to “tread lightly” i.e. it is ok for them to speak their peace and put their words out publicly but don’t anyone dare to disagree or push back.  They say they turn off comments or get pissed off with the ones who they offend because they don’t want to be abused..that is the risk you take when you have a public blog and post it on multiple sites on social media. I ask this blogger do you own your fragility? Where is the post where you talk about deflecting your shit? I will not tell your story because it is not my place to do so..but I have read your blog and my heart broke for you in many instances however  there are things you need to own as well and you know what they are.  By the way I have walked in similar shoes to you in some regards so I say this not as someone who is unaware and is just being harsh.

This blogger has said mothers had 40 weeks to “get their shit together and figure things out”.SO you have a magic ball and are involved in every circumstance.? You are privy to every state and know all the resources available and offered to women? If so then great you go into every community, especially the deeply religious ones and you tell that to women in crisis pregnancies who truly have no place to turn to. I do agree with you that mothers today, women in crisis pregnancies deep in 2017 who are not drug addicted, who are not fearing for their own safety and the safety of their abusers and who simply need a support system and a hand up to get them through a temporary crisis have more information, they have more access to resources, they have the internet, they can find support in communities..they can read the words of adoptees and the mothers who came before them ..many of whom tell them to stop and think before they walk down the adoption road. They have resources that women even 20 years ago had no idea about, yes that is something we agree upon. However, many of these women are jacked up on hormones and buy the lies the adopters and the agencies feed them about how it is all different now, the agencies roll out their special birth mothers who talk about how wonderful adoption is and how they will always be supported …how they have choices and control..a lot of them buy into choose life for your baby argument..a lot them are smug in their decisions before their babies are born. You choose to abuse them when they are coming out the fog ..just like you are coming out the fog ..and realizing wait this is a nightmare..and you compound their pain by calling them relinquishers and say you spread your legs. Your friends and defenders say you are in pain and coming out of the fog and people should tread lightly with you and see through your lens…how about you extend the same courtesy to these mothers? Some of these women had no choice ..some did ..maybe they are ready to own their shit like you want them to and then they read your words and they crawl back into the hole.  You don;t have to stop writing or stop expressing your pain but if you want to lash out expect that you will ahve push back. Also stop calling others perpetual victims when your words come across as you wanting to be the supreme victim..you are not. You are according your words someone who has faced the worst in life but you are not alone in that journey either there are others who have walked a crappy road too and faced heartaches and they are not tossing bombs.

SO let me tell you blogger a little bit about me..I am a kept child from the BSE. My mother had an affair with a married man who tried to get her to have an illegal abortion (yes i am that old) and when she did not ..she saw me as a way to get him to leave his wife and other daughter. You see I was supposed to be a boy..the old Italian lady took a ring and held it over my mother’s belly and the ring said I was a boy..she had a name for me all picked out Michael Anthony (my father’s name was Tony) but apparently I screwed up and was born a girl..a very much unwanted girl and so my father stayed with his wife and my half sister and still screwed around with my mother. My mother did not even have a name for me when I was born so the decision was whatever the most common name was in the nursery for the baby girls was I would be given ..I got stuck with one of the most popular names of the late 60s.  I was so wanted and loved (not)

My mother almost lost me to adoption .. the nuns came in and brought the social worker with them because a 32 year old single woman with no job in their opinion had no business raising a child..my aunt lied and said my mtoher was indeed married , my father she told them was serving in Vietnam and paid the hospital bill in cash..so home with my mother is where I went.  Then by 6 months I also went home with several foster families and eventually to my aunt until my mother decided she wanted to play mommy again. That scene would be on rinse and repeat for many years..Between the age of 4 and 5 I assume is when my father broke things off for good with my mother..because that was when she was suicidal and tried to kill herself and take me along with her. My aunt once again came to the rescue and took me to live with her until mommy dearest straightened her shit out once again. Well until the court said I had to go back.

See the thing is my mother never really straightened her shit out..she was very content letting me go to foster homes where i was abused, she was great at leaving me with my aunt where I was loved by her but always felt like I did not belong and my cousins definitely never let me live down that I was illegitimate and a charity case in their home. My mother ever frustrated by her circumstances and having me as a reminder of why my father left..well she she beat the living daylights out of me ..I still have the visible and invisible scars to prove it. My father I met once in my life..he wanted nothing to do with me ..never allowed me to have his name..and never so much as sent a birthday card or a few bucks while I was going hungry. My mother was content living in a one bedroom apartment in the projects on welfare which she called her check and left a lot of the bill paying and cooking to me at a very young age. She spent her money on the what mattered most because you know the cigarettes were more important to buy than food was. My mother loved to tell me I was a piece of shit just like my father and that I needed to be grateful to her for my very existence. I had a lot to be grateful for..i was hungry, I lived below a dangerous schizophrenic who screamed at all hours of the day and night, people abandoned cars in the alley outside the bedroom I shared with my mother and set them on fire often causing fires in our house or the glass on the window to shatter over me when I slept..I got beat up, robbed, assaulted and yet I know how it feels to just want to be home with my mother. My mother? She died from lung cancer when I was 16 years old and no one in my family wanted me at all. My father did not show up at the wake or funeral, the aunt who drew the short straw got stuck with me and the rest abandoned me until I turned 18. In spite of all that I am grateful I was not adopted and I understand that life which I only glanced over is why I am resilient and independent as an adult today. I refused to be a victim then and I refuse to be a victim now.

I know what it is like to find out you are pregnant at 18..I made the decision to have 1 night of fun after my senior prom at a party..and I drank vodka for the first time.  8 weeks later my boyfriend had just left for officer training at Quantico and I was sick as a dog..turns out you guessed it ..I was pregnant despite him being careful and my not remembering if I did or did not say yes. I was all set to have an abortion and the mother of a friend said “you are not going to kill your baby are you”..well that was the end of that. So I pretended not to be pregnant..except that I did go to the doctors once a month..the rest of the time I was in college and studying hard. I had my son and I was determined to keep him ..and then a “friend” at school came to me with an offer of support that seemed amazing (was too young and stupid to beware of trojans bearing gifts)..you see between graduation and finding out I was pregnant my aunt kicked me out of my house..I was homeless except for living in the dorm..and the wait list for public housing was 2 -5 years ..18 months for emergency situations and I was couch surfing during long breaks and holidays but no one wanted to help with the baby. This friend’s mom would take care of my son while I finished college and I could spend as much time with him as needed …they wanted to help. They were lovely people and showered me with love and attention ..and wow what a great mother this woman was..I needed her to care for me..and she pretended to for some time. SLowly but surely she isolated me form my friends and what little family I had and when my aunt (whose address I used for getting AFDC and medicaid) called and said she cashed my check and I once again had no money this woman said no worries. I also carried the stigma of turning into my mother..I was terrified of my child living the same life I lived. Living in the projects, being hungry, being abused..being ridiculed..foster homes. I did not want to allow my boyfriend to drop out of school and become a cop to support us because I was being told left and right I spread my legs and got myself into this predicament. I was a whore (who had just graduated second in her graduating class and never did anything that stupid prior to this) and I was dooming this boy to a life of hell.

I went from a  having woman willing to help to a situation where I was being told to allow her to adopt or she would call social services and say I abandoned my child. If I signed she would make sure I would see him and have a relationship with him, if I did not sign she would make sure he was adopted anyhow…I lived in the system and I would not allow my son to go through that..and at age 19 I allowed her to adopt. She was great until the ink was dry. Oh and she had a come to jesus experience when he turned 8 and was born again as an evangelical Christian and heaped that abuse upon my son. She cut me out of his life because I was not “christian” but was Catholic and I was going to hell. Such a wonderful Christ following woman she became ..and not only did she slam the adoption shut..she started to lie to him and tell him she did not remember my name and lots of other wonderful fairytales all while playing mommy to him..by the way she had 3 bio daughters, tied her tubes and wanted a boy. She was facing 40 + years with a husband she really does not love and my son it turns out was the cure. He actually told me that they plotted out how they were going to get him from me from the moment they found out I was pregnant and it was a boy ..if he was a girl they never would have helped…and they set this whole plan in motion. There was some evil shit that happened

I know I signed ..I know I did what I did as a young kid int he 80s who only knew that adoption was amazing..who often wished I had been adopted vs the life I was stuck living..who knew 3 adoptees who told me often that my mother was stuck with me but they were chosen and more loved. I know there was no internet or access to other mothers. I know I did it…but you call me a relinquisher and talk about fragility…and I say don’t project your story on me. My mother is responsible for all the evils I faced as child as is my father. That father by the way died in 2010 ..I am getting to know him via stories people posted on his obituary., I reached out to him in my 20s because I found him based on his name and profession and he never responded. I reacher out to my sister..and .his daughter/my sister has slammed the door in my face and wants nothing to do with me. She won;t even give me a little information like how he died ..I had to stalk a woman who wrote a story on his obituary like a crazy person to find out it was alzheimer’s..something I should kind of sort of know but my sister does not deem me worthy enough to know.

SO to wrap this word salad up..I get you are pissed ..but don;t dump your bullshit on me or anyone else..save it for the people who deserve it..the people who hurt you. I have walked a shitty path in life and made decisions I regret but my anger is directed..first at myself..and next at my mother and father who failed me …The mother and father who denied me access to who I am.I did not even know what nationality I am until recently. It took a fucking DNA test at age 44 to confirm my paternity ..oh and I am someone who is denied the long form of my birth certificate because us bastard children born in the 60s were not allowed to have any information other than my name, date of birth, mother’s name and who delivered me..i don;t even get to know how much I weighed or what fucking time I was born. DO NOT lump me in to your narrative..I think you have a strong voice and I think you need to think about who it is you are pissed at. As for my son..we found one another and I allow him to dictate how much or how little of a relationship we have. He allows the female adopter to control his time here when he visits and that is his choice. I see clearly how adoption has screwed with his life and he prefers to try to please everyone but himself ..i don’t need him to please me..I need him to be honest with himself and to stand up to me or his adopters or anyone else

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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