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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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

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.

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

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