A Thin line between Pray and Prey Part 1

Wake me up when November ends! November is National Adoption month. You know, that time of the year when the feel good stories about people heartbroken by the cruel fate of infertility or those who need alternative ways to start a family are shoved down our throats like castor oil.   We get to hear how  at last they have the family they hoped and dreamed for, was achieved through the process of adoption, how the journey for them was long and painful and now at last they have their family due to (one of the favored words adopters use is) a “miracle”. As an added bonus,  we also hear the stories of those in the thick of their infertility /family planning journey hoping to find that woman in crisis and her unwanted child (baby) to start or complete their family. There are  the heartbreaking tales of wonderful people to whom fate has dealt a cruel blow or have no other option than to seek out alternative methods to achieve the family they desire. How can we not be rooting for these people?  Often times we see their sweet love story and fall in love with them thinking they would be the perfect parents, all they need is a baby in the nursery to start their happily ever after journey. However what we fail to ask ourselves is at what price does that happy ending cost?

What gets lost in all of the feel good coverage of national Adoption Month are the voices who do not get to direct the narrative..most importantly the voices of adopted individuals and the voices of their mothers. Yes while it is true that  we hear the stories of mothers who lost their children to adoption, it is also true the media likes to portray the rainbows and unicorns images of adoption so we see the ones who are willing to say they are happy and things are as they should be, you know this adopted person was always meant to be a part of the family who adopted them she was only the vessel who made this miracle (see I used that word again) happen. These are the mothers who post hashtags like shout your adoption and call themselves “birth mom strong”..a lot of them have less than 10 years experience as a mother of loss. Rarely, if ever, do we see the mothers who have found a way to put words to their inner feelings  and talk about what it is really like to live with an adoption loss. Those “bad” stories are the stories which do not fit the narrative we are being fed about adoption and don’t celebrate National Adoption Month. This group of mothers are labeled hateful, bitter, disgruntled,anti adoption . Worse yet,  their experiences are diminished by people whose only connection to adoption is their father’s bosses’ best friend’s third cousin adopted a little girl from China 22 years ago and this makes them an expert on adoption. A Ph.D was earned in all things adoption  because they heard little Brittany who is now 24 had no issues with being adopted and is grateful she was saved from living in an orphanage so bitter birth mommy put that in your pipe and smoke it, you know nothing of adoption! These mothers are told you made your choice, you gave away your child and now they are not yours any longer so go back under your rock and deal with the choice you made. Oh and my favorite line they are told? Well you should have thought about all of this when you chose to spread your legs! Ah slut shaming at its finest! Let’s just pretend that slutty mom spread her legs and magically sperm entered her body and she conceived…no mention of the partner from whom the sperm was obtained, you know look the other way kids nothing to see here.

Occasionally we hear the stories of families who take in the children who are truly in need of a home, namely one of the 415,000+ children in the US foster care system (2014 statistics) waiting for a family to help them through their own journey despite their being too old, too challenging or simply not baby/toddler cute. These are the stories I prefer to hear.

This is the month we also hear a lot about God (well the adopters/hopeful adopters version of God)  and all about prayers that have finally been answered. Yup it’s that time of the year when we see the moronic hashtag of shout your adoption, about being pro-life and it is when adopters come out of the woodwork with their prized possessions on display. SO many spewing the old BS that a brave woman chose life and as a result God answered their prayers for a child hence bringing the abortion debate into the adoption puzzle. As a side note, we might get to this later, but in the meantime let me set the record straight on a few things..

Mainly this..abortion and adoption have little to do with one another. Abortion is a medical decision a woman can make that determines if she will continue her pregnancy. If a woman elects to have an abortion her pregnancy is terminated and there is no more need to discuss could have, would have or should have. I am not going to get into the debate of abortion ends a life and so on..I know abortion ends a life, however it is a decision available to every pregnant woman here in the US..if you do not believe in abortion, don’t have one, however do not tell a woman in crisis what she can or cannot do..that is not for you or me  to decide. On the flip side, adoption is a parenting decision. A woman in a crisis pregnancy considering adoption is making a decision if she will parent HER baby or transfer parenting rights to others.

Here’s the thing people…National Adoption Week was NEVER and let me repeat this NEVER about newborn adoption. Let me fill you in on the history of this week which was expanded into a month

1976:

Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis announced an Adoption Week in his State to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care.

1984:

President Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week.

1995:

President Clinton expanded Adoption Awareness Week to the entire month of November.

1998:

President Clinton directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a plan to expand the use of the Internet as a tool to find homes for children waiting to be adopted from foster care.

https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/nam/about/history/

National Adoption Month is about finding homes for children who need homes, not about finding babies for people who want to be parents. National Adoption Month needs to get back to its origins..FOSTER CARE..there are almost a half million children in the foster care system who need families both temporarily and long term to help them grow up and be safe and not age out at 18 like so many do. The difference one family , one person can make in the lives of these children is insurmountable. When are people going to realize that to be a parent you do not need an infant?

We need to stop praying that God will create a child who will come into your lives. What you are praying for is a crisis to occur ..something awful to happen, say like well I have always wanted a rolls royce and I really hope and pray God will let a major disaster happen in Beverly Hills so I can go out there find someone who as a result of not having any insurance on their house and possessions finds themselves backed into a corner and unable to see that this situation is probably temporary and feels the need to sell everything at a fraction of its worth…..So I  get my car and I am happy  to finally have the Rolls of my dreams(never mind the person to whom the car belonged to, they are amazing for having to sell it so they can eat and pay the electricity or maybe even their rent) Sound absurd?  If this really happened you would tell me I was a horrible person for taking advantage of someone at their lowest point for my personal gain. Well what pray tell is it that happens in adoption? By PRAYING for a woman in a crisis pregnancy to choose you to parent her child You are in fact PREYING upon vulnerable women and wishing upon them a lifetime of pain of the type you can never imagine. It’s a thin line my friends between PRAY AND PREY

Advertisements

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