Friday, September 10, 2010

:::: ★ Adoption Perspectives ★ :::: PART 1

Let me start off this post with a quick sentence of Truth:


We ALL have different Perspectives.


While this is a completely natural occurrence and a refreshing fact of life, In Adoption Land - it can be downright overwhelming, emotional and frustrating.


Now, you see, I can really only know and own my own perspective on what is and what should be, as a Natural Mother. I am only part of the Equation - There is Adoptee and Adoptive Parent(s) too! Add all our perspectives together and .....Drum Roll....We now have a recipe for DISASTER! Ugg.


Ok. There are many adoptions out there that are harmonious, filled with love and understanding on all 3 of the factors' accounts...and , don't get me wrong...this is wonderful! And i would be lying to say that i am not envious of these...but....here, in my triad  - this is not so. My triad is filled with confusion, doubt, fear, jealousy, anger, resentment, guilt...You get the drift.


Lets break it down.


The Past - 15 Years Ago


A) Natural Mom/First Mom/Birthmom: ME  ~  1/3


I am but one third of the equation.
I am a teenager. I am an addict. I am selfish, self-centered and totally and undeniably self destructive. I spend the best of my high school years in Foster Care b/c my mother does not and cannot control me. She has abused me emotionally and physically for years. I am a liar and a thief. I hate my mother. I hate myself.
 I become pregnant.
 I know there is no way I can take care of a baby. Not monetarily...b/c that is really not the issue - i mean it is, but not really. I have other friends who are parenting babies and have nothing.
I am chock full of all the bad conditioning I have been privy to, and I don't know my head from my ass. I am a wreck. I do not want to destroy an innocent baby's life with the Hell in which I live in. I am as immature & as screwed up as can be.
Everyone has an opinion. My family ... and mother...want me to keep the baby. My mother says she will help. eHEM. The rest of my family just cannot believe i would even consider adoption as an option and shuns me in many ways.
My room-mate and boyfriend think I should get an abortion. I am scared and alone. I call an adoption attorney. I am not looking for money, or a pat on the back. I am looking for a safe home, with a stable married couple who wants to adopt so I can get this innocent child as far from my family as possible. Abortion just didn't settle right with me.
I find an Adoption Attorney a few cities away. I think he represents me and the baby. Noone tells me any different.
I am a Fool. I am never told there are options in adoption.
I am alone and have no guidance. I blindly and foolishly never notice the Conflict of Interest.
The prospective Adoptive parents fly down to Florida and I ask questions and have requests for raising her, how they would raise her. They make a good impression and seem very nice. They assure me that they will do everything I ask and that as soon as my child knows what a mother is, they will tell her about me. I am relieved. I choose them.
I spend the next 7 months having to explain myself to everyone and continuing to be abused by everyone in my family.
I go into labor, and my mother calls Adoptive Mom, they fly down and are there when M is born. Adoptive mom looks into my eyes just after birthing my baby and tells me i am her angel and that she will tell M all about me.
After I go home from the hospital, I get an 8-ball, head to the beach with 2 friends and get as high and drunk as I could.
The next 5 years follows in the same manner...only worse. I become a Junky. I do everything in my control to escape reality.




B)Prospective Adoptive Couple/Re-Married Middle Aged Woman/Adoptive Mother: D.B. ~ 1/3
(wow! I just noticed she has the same initials as my mother! beyond irony i'm afraid )


Note:This is all speculation. As all I have to lend to the facts is my perception ie:Hindsight.


D is a middle aged woman with no children and is on her 2nd marriage. She wants to have a baby so bad and is beat down and ragged emotionally from multiple miscarriages and 2 failed adoptions. She receives a call from the attorney they sent their profile to thousands of miles away b/c they(she) is desperate.
A girl who is pregnant and considering adoption is interested in meeting them due to her request that the family be from her home sector: NY, NJ, CT.
D is excited and terrified. She has been through so much emotionally, mentally and physically already - wants to have a "family", but does not know if she can handle a failed placement again. They fly down to Florida to meet the "birthmom" (ME) and know they have but one shot at a good impression. The fate of her life hangs in the balance. She is overwhelmed, but being a professional businesswoman ( a lawyer ) she can put her game face on and " bring it home " !
They all sit in a booth at a local Steakhouse waiting for pregnant girl to arrive, they are coached as to what to say and what not to say and the possible state of the pregnant girl.
Everyone is prepped and coached and supported...all except pregnant girl.
Pregnant Girl has never even heard of an "Open Adoption" or the term Open Adoption so D already has the playing field advantage.
D tells Pregnant Girl everything she wants to hear, and pays close attention to the verbiage of pregnant girl's hopes and dreams for her child to be sure they say what she needs to hear to close the deal. Pregnant Girl thinks they are great and thus becomes known to D as...Her child's "Birthmother".
D flies back to NY, trembling. She stands in the nursery made for 2 former babies and cries. She decides to not even do anything yet. She can't. She sets up a toll free number for her baby's birthmother - only birthmother did not know it was only for when she went into labor - and calls D often with updates. This makes D uncomfortable, but she is good at pretending...or so she thinks...and tries to act interested in the progress.
Meanwhile, and unbeknownst to Pregnant Girl, D gets a call from the attorney and he tells her that he has recieved a call from Birthmom's family saying that birthmom is using drugs, drinking and has even taken lsd while pregnant. Does she still want to go through with this pregnant girl? She says yes b/c she just wants a baby so bad, she doesn't care. She begins to form all sorts of opinions about birthmom based on the hearsay, b/c she has no reason to believe it not to be true.
The next time birthmom calls the toll-free number, D decides to tell birthmom that she is a little hesitant. That she has gone through two failed placements and does not feel like she can set up the nursery...because this particular phone call was a special one....IT'S A GIRL!!!
Pregnant Girl, who is always thinking of other people even though it does not seem that way...assures D that she will not change her mind. she promises D that the baby in her belly will be D's - she has her word. Pregnant Girl pleads with D to start getting the nursery ready, to enjoy doing it and to stop worrying b/c there is nothing to fear. D wants so badly to believe birthmom, and almost does....but not quite.
One day, in late August, D gets an emotional phone call from birthmom's mother who tells her that the baby is coming. D and her husband get on the next plane, along with D's in-laws and they all fly down to Florida. D and family wait, awkwardly and excitedly in the waiting area of the maternity ward with birthmom's family. She goes through an array of thoughts and emotions while she watches and listens to Birthmom's family b/c they seem so...nice, and well educated, and normal. She starts to worry more b/c she believes b/c of this reason that pregnant girl could change her mind, given that she assumes the girl has not just monetary means but a good family as well.
Before she can decide what to believe, The birthmom's mother comes out crying and says that the baby is born and is healthy!
And that while they clean the baby girl, they can go visit birthmom in the room if they want. D wishes she could grab the baby and go for a second, but then comes back to reality and knows she must go see birthmom and save face, the moment of truth is upon her.
D is in a black-out as she approaches birthmom and hears, "congratulations! You are the proud mother of a baby girl!"
D looks down at birthmom in awe, and smiles the biggest smile of her 43 years on earth and starts to cry. she repeats thank you half a dozen times, kisses K on her forehead and says gently, "You are our angel, and as soon as your baby knows what a mother is, i promise to tell her all about you. thank you. oh, thank you"
Meanwhile, in the nursey, birthmom's mom is feeding the baby for the first time in her little life and crying. she tells her she will see her again one day, that God promised her that. Birthgrandma who is 3 years younger than D does not want to let go and continues to torture herself, sings to the baby and cries.


D leaves the hospital with family in tow to stay at a hotel until she can take her baby home. She never sees or talks to the baby's mother again.She is complete.


D finally has everything she has always wanted. A loving husband and now...her baby. All her self-induced stress is gone. 2 months later she is pregnant with a girl. D cannot believe that at 43 she is pregnant, D does not miscarry and she gives birth to a baby girl that is her very own, hers and the man that she loves.
It's a miracle.
The years pass and M and her sister and their parents live happily. She sends one letter and 2 pictures a year to the adoption agency for birthmom, but they never speak. She is relieved that they have a closed adoption and is reluctant to even tell M that she is adopted when the time comes, but tells her anyway. When M is old enough, instead of telling M that her mother was an angel, she tells her that she was a drug addict who could not take care of a baby. She tries to plant the seeds that will keep the 2 separate - forever.




C) E.L.S/Adoptee : Sweet M  ~  1/3


M is not really M, she is E. An unborn baby girl with a good Irish name who will surely have lots of freckles and a beautiful smile just like her mother.In utero, she experiences a lot of life already. more than she ever will outside her mothers tummy. It is not the healthiest enviroment for E, b/c her mother is not well and does not know how to take care of herself, but knows her mother is trying because her mother talks to her and tells her so.  E and her mother move several times and life is both chaotic, emotional and confusing.
E does not have a choice. E does not have a voice.
E goes to loud concerts and travels and for the 4 months before she is born, she goes snorkeling and hiking and swimming all the time - just her and her mom.
E hears the constant turmoil that is going on outside her mother's tummy. She hears people yelling at her mom and making her feel bad all the time. They even had to sleep on the floor of her aunt and uncles house for months b/c they were not allowed to sleep on the couch. E could not wait to get out. But she never really knew that she would be separated from her mother right away. If she had, she may have never decided to come out. E learned a lot about life inside her mothers belly. Probably too much too soon. Thank God that the uterus was like Fort Knox, b/c she may have never even made it out alive due to her mother's constant selfish bad decision making. If it was at all possible to form a resentment in utero against her mother  for her wrecklessness...it was done.
E did not have a choice. E did not have a voice.
When E was born, she was whisked away from her mother instantly and felt the cold uncaring hands of a doctor. Then, she was passed off, like a tiny football to a nurse who poked and prodded her and she was scared.
She needed and wanted to get back to her mother, but that moment never came.
The first feeling of love and warmth that she experienced was from her mother's mother. she was confused.
Then later, she was held and coddled by a woman whose voice she had never heard. A voice that told her that she was her mother now.
This voice called her by a different name.
M had no choice. She now had a voice, but noone heard.
M grew up in a home where she always felt different and knew she was different.
Her sister was not different. And while M felt special b/c of that, she resented it just as much.
M was very happy. But it was a happiness that was very different from her parents and her sisters'. M was very popular. While her mom and dad and sister blended into the background.
M's sister enjoyed being with their parents. M enjoyed being with her friends.
M became talented in many ways that were surprising and different to everyone.
M had a way about her that was different.
Every year that passed, the difference became more noticeable.
Whenever her sister would embarrass her in front of her friends, M would put her hand on her hip and with a huff would say, "don't look at me, i'm adopted. hmpf".
When M was in middle school, she started to feel like something was missing from her life. M knew what it was. It was her birthmother and her family.
She wondered if the "differentness" she had always felt, that they felt it too.
She had a Dreamcatcher that her birthmom had made her up in her room and would loom at it often, as it was the only thing in her room that was different.
M started to give her parents trouble. The things that were important to them, were not important to her. M would rather be laughing and having a good time.
M could not figure out why that was so "different".
M had all the creature comforts that could be afforded. M never even contemplated that there was a different kind of existence. M wondered why her mother chose to give her away. She was not angry or upset, b/c M had a good life. M was so curious that one day while her parents were out, she snooped around and found some paperwork from the agency that had her birthmother's name on it. Without telling anyone, M started to search for her birthmother.
After some months of searching, she finally found her! She was so excited and nervous and innocent. There was no way for her to know the dominoes that would start to fall b/c of this simple note she emailed to her real mother on day.
"Hi! It's M....Your Daughter".
M's life would never be the same.
M finally had a choice. M finally had a voice. ...Or so she thought...








The next part of my take on Adoption Perspectives will be based solely on the present. 
It will be based on where I perceive each one of us to be at right now.The point to this is to gain a little more understanding of why each one of us acts and reacts the way we do.
All pieces to the same puzzle, yet all so very very different.
I hope that some of you will decide to take this journey with me.
I will write as objectively as possible...if it IS possible.
We shall see....


xxoo


Let me note....it has been quite some time since I have written on my blog about adoption. I have been reading a lot of other's blogs and commenting around, but today I was inspired to get back at it after reading another's natural mom's post from yesterday entitled:


DIFFERENT TAKES & JUDGEMENT CALLS


BY: WRITE-O-HOLIC


I am in gratitude to Denise for inspiring me to write again after so long of a sebbatical. I always appreciate objectivism and the Right to WRITE :o)



Who's Your Mommy ? Assuming the parenting role when The Adoptive Parent Fails.


:::::The Burden Of Truth::::: 

First Parent(s) Guiding their First Children when the Adoptive Parent Fails.


It's amazing how things unfold when we write them down in conversation , isn't it?

I have found that my healing has nothing to do with the actual writing process,  and has everything to do with our talking to each other. 

This Post is verbatim, A conversation and Bonding that I have been sharing with a new friend and an "Adoptee" { God, How i HATE writing that word ....as if that's all an "adoptee" Is! }

Here is my friend's Blog, Please visit her often, she is an incredible woman, mother and friend. :)




I wish i knew back when M was in my tummy , what a burden adoption would be on Her, and me - emotionally.
I am not actually for certain that M *IS* burdened by adoption, that's why i am hesitant right now to really go there with her.
She has not ever eluded to me that she has been .... She has never once said anything negative.

She did only JUST turn 15.

She has told me that she is not angry with me. She tells me that she's had a good life. She also tells me she *hates* her A-Mom....and i have no idea why...if its b/c she is 15 and has rules...or if its more....she has never once mentioned her A-dad or her sister.....and i have asked about them. nothing. never a response. i do not know what to do...so i almost feel that i should not bring it up at all.





You know, stir the pot.







I fear she may not respond to the letter i sent her last night. 
She emailed me yesterday for the first time in over a month. She was heartbroken. had just broken up with her boyfriend after sharing her most intimate part of being with him. He was treating her poorly. I wanted to smack him! She asked for my advice. So i wrote her back and shared a similar story of mine with her and told her that most boys are jerks. That is is always important to honor ourselves as girls. To demand respect. My heart broke for her. I remember the agony of my first high school love. It was HELL.
I sent it last night at 2:30. she has a tendency to cut off contact when things are going good and start it back up when things suck....Hmmm...JUST LIKE ME. 
 i have to remind myself that this is all about her. I have no right to be hurt, or worried. i gave those rights up. this is my punishment. it is a VERY big pill to swallow even on the best of days. 
One day i will write a book about it i'm sure. 

So M has never wanted to talk about adoption. Not yet anyway. I feel like, and this goes with everything, that i want her to lead the way...and i will follow. I don't ever want to put something in her head that may have not been there before. ESPECIALLY since the only support she has is me. 
The whole reason i told M to tell her mom she found me was b/c i thought she needed support. After all, i can't be there for her.
And as far as i'm concerned , D took on that responsibility when she took the parenting role from me.
restated for the literal: D took on that responsibility when I GAVE THE PARENTING ROLE TO HER.
In my mind, effective parenting needs the parent to be able and willing to be objective.
In the words of Kahlil Gibran - " Our children are not ours, they are life's longing for itself "
Love and nurturing are separate. If emotions are involved with the teaching or guidance process, a conflict of interest is born...and that is DEFINITELY not beneficial to the child.
Children are NOT robots, they are not clones of us - they are extensions of the universe and should be revered as such.
My hope in all of this, is that the universe has brought M back to me during this most important time of her life for this reason.
Because D is failing her. That I needed to be the one. It's all so interesting isn't it? 
It's Beautiful. It's Tragic. It's Poetry. It's the essence of Love.
I am so incredibly grateful :)

I cannot figure out how D could , with good conscience, try to keep M from knowing me.
I know its all fear based. but it is a complete indicator on how , in my eyes, she has failed M as a "mother"





Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mtv's 16 & Pregnant : Reunion Show - Life After labor






My head is still reeling from watching and listening to all these young women. I never watched any of these episodes while they were on TV, just the snippets on the web.
This reunion show is interesting. I enjoyed watching the girls that chose to parent. So Emotional.
Amazingly, more girls chose to parent than not. I wish them all the best. I think I am still in shock that this has
actually made it to Reality TV. Well, Not really.

Dr. Drew states that the US has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world.

Catelynn and Tyler are the kids that chose adoption. You can watch some of their story here:

http://www.mtv.com/videos/16-and-pregnant-ep6-catelynn/1615511/playlist.jhtml

Warning: YOU WILL CRY!!!

I don't know. Something has completely changed in me.

I look at Catelynn and Tyler and they were the most stable couple in my eyes. I wish they would have chose to parent. But all in all, they did what they chose to do. A BIG part of me has to wonder though...what kind of pressure they must have felt being on Mtv ...would they have chose to parent if they weren't? SO Sad. :(

 If you fast forward the reunion video to 30:00, you will come in to them reuniting with Baby Carly and Adoptive Mom and Dad. I just cried and cried. Adoptive Mom seems really sweet. And you can tell that Catelynn and Tyler LOVE and Miss their baby. :(
Dr. Drew peeves me a little. He commends Catelynn and Tyler SOO much more than the other girls who chose to parent! It makes me mad! I mean, these kids could have done it! What makes them better then the ones that ARE doing it!!
The saddest part is that these kids i think have a false hope, and i'm not certain of this but they chose a Semi-Open adoption. See, i got one of these too. I never knew or realized what it ever meant...until it was TOO LATE. I have a sinking feeling that these guys do not either.
And when the Adoptive parents were asked what they thought of Catelynn and Tyler ... They NEVER answered! They only talked about their choice- what they did for them. They most likely think they're white trash and can't wait till all the hype is over so they don't have to see them again.
Ugh. I hate when i get all negative.
Dr. Drew gives the other ones, who chose to parent hell, critcizes, patronizes, "busts balls" - but THEY ARE DOING IT! Damn that's screwed up.
But it wouldn't have made the ratings then would it?? Why do we , as a nation, emulate Adoption to the extent that we do?? Why? It is just as much a separation and unnatural process as abortion. You don't see people going around emulating abortion do you?

Yet the pain from the two might as well be one in the same. People talk about how if you dare get an abortion, you will live with the guilt for the rest of your life. You may never heal. It will haunt you.
Well, I feel that way about adoption.

Now guilt is NO reason to keep a baby. I know. But , I just think that, Here is Dr. Drew ON Mtv, he states that we have a teenage pregnancy epidemic. More than any other nation.
Well. What's the solution? Push Adoption? In the year 2060 will there be more unnatural families than not??
Just as the "Nuclear Family" was born , what next...The Adoptive Family??

You say, " Well, Whats wrong with that? " ...IT'S UNNATURAL.

Here's the deal. And i SO feel for Catelynn. Everyone , says: Oh what a Brave thing You did. You are to be commended. You are so great for being so incredibly selfLESS etc etc....

This...and i KNOW it...is NOT the case. I believed it myself b/c people said it to me over and over. I believed it until reality struck and the bones of adoption fell out of the closet. ANYONE can have a baby.
Why do people commend adoption and not abortion? Other than religion?
Adoption IS selfish. We just make ourselves believe its not. These kids wanted to live their life baby free.
Bottom line. But did they??? You can totally see that these kids LOVE this baby they created. They both have a TON of emotion about it. You can tell that noone has talked to them about the guilt, the regret, the pain they will most likely endure b/c they gave their child away, yet it is clear to me that they already feel it.
And here comes two people, now the parents of their child and they couldn't be further from these kids socio economic class...how will this come into play?

Here is what I think.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO CHOOSE AN OPEN ADOPTION, DON'T CHOOSE A FAMILY THAT HAS A SHIT TON OF MONEY THAT WILL INEVITABLY MAKE YOU FEEL MORE INFERIOR THAN YOU ALREADY DO!!!

There. I said it.

How do you expect to bond with someone and have a good relationship with them if you don't eat at the same lunch table ( stupid  metaphor, i know )? You really don't. You're different. And in our society, that's become pretty obviously important. You don't see rich people...even middle class people hanging out with poor people. It's strange. And no amount of pretending it ain't so will make it any different.
{you know i'm frustrated when i say things like *ain't*} jeesh.


My point. Choosing Adoption is BOTH selfish AND self-less, JUST as choosing Abortion is selfish AND self-less, JUST as choosing to parent is both selfish AND self-less.

So why do we revere one over the other? How does this set mothers up for the pain and regret?
Very Well, Thank You.
I wish when everyone gave me my cross, they would have told me that i was going to drag it around behind  me forever.

Please forgive me. I'm just appalled at all the Glam.

Yuck.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

:::::::Help Me Mama::::::::

Music often helps me express what i'm thinking and feeling but am unable to put into my own words.
Usually , They are thoughts and feelings that elude me - coming from a hidden place, blue skies and pain.
This song is by a friend of mine's band
Georgia Born  - Widespread Panic.
( Dave is also adopted and i got the pleasure of meeting his First Sister Lily and her husband before I moved from Athens - Dave had reunited with his First Family after his band became successful and was happy in reunion with all of them )
The song is called AUNT AVIS.
It's about Family.
Something I experienced a few times when i was very young, but then faded out into the abyss as I got older.
I don't know what its like to have big family dinners or parties or holidays.
The last one i remember was  preceded by an event that scarred me for life.
My mother told my grandmother ( who we had lived with from the time i was 5 until i was 12 )
That she was taking me away from her and that she would not see me again.
My grandmother had been drinking and grabbed a knife and chased my mother up the stairs and on top of her, trying to stab her while my grandfather and my mother's current boy-toy tried to pry her off before my mother ended up dead.
I stood there and watched. Never so scared in all my life. I was eleven.
That was the last "family" holiday memory i have.
I have never had a tribe to belong to. If i had, I know my whole life would have been different.
but that's rhetorical fantasy, so what's the point.
Well, my point to posting this video is that it's about Family. A Family that is being sung about and summoned, but that is non-existent.
...and in the video...Very Awkward. To this I can relate.
To this day, My Holiday "Family" Gatherings consist of Me, My Husband and our 2 Girls.
I finally have a Tribe. And for that I am Grateful.








LYRICS - Aunt Avis      ~ by: Widespread Panic

Help me mama, for I have grinned
Save me daddy from where I'm goin'
Call out to me from the ages beyond
Help me remember how to be good
How to continue when I feel I really shouldn't
How to remember how to be good
How to continue when I feel I really shouldn't


Help me granddaddy to see the swans
Strike me granny with your golden palm
Teach me now what I could never learn before
How to remember how to be good
How to continue when I feel I really shouldn't
How to remember how to be good
How to continue when I feel I really shouldn't


Teach me Great Uncle to hear the talk
Show me Aunt Avis with your ageless chalk
Scratch it out for me on my cloudy retina
How to remember how to be good
How to continue when I know I really shouldn't
How to remember how to be good
How to continue when I know I really shouldn't
How to remember how to be good
How to continue when I feel I really shouldn't




Monday, September 6, 2010

THE DEMONIZED MOTHER by Margaret McDonald Lawrence

Promoting Infant Adoption

THE DEMONIZED MOTHER
by Margaret McDonald Lawrence

(From a speech to The First National American Adoption Congress, Washington D.C. May 4, 1979)

No-one could have encapsulated the need of the adoption industry to manufacture the demonization of the natural mother as the most pivotal and necessary requirement in the promotion of, and social acceptance of adoption, as Lawrence when she states how:

In order to bring the issues surrounding the intermediary system into clear focus, it is necessary to examine the myths and motives that surround the adoption experience. Outsiders need to realize that social agencies not only control adoption procedures, but also control the information about the institution which is provided to the courts, the legislature and the public.
It is the child welfare establishment that has provided the picture of [natural] mothers as indifferent - as mothers who abandon their unwanted children with a wish to remain forever hidden from them. They know that this is seldom true, but it helps to facilitate their work for the public to believe this. Society does not dismiss the importance of the natural family as readily as the social planners, and so it is useful to portray [surrendering] parents as different from caring parents.
The [natural] mother must be different, an aberration; for if it were true that she had the same degree of love for her child as all other mothers, the good of adoption would be overwhelmed by the tragedy of it. Adoptive parents are somewhat relieved of guilt if they can be assured that the [natural] parents truly did not want their child; for, under those circumstances, it is possible to feel entitled to claim the child of others. Neither society nor the mother who holds the child in her arms wants to confront the agony of the mother from whose arms that same child was taken. But that agony is real, as we have come to learn through our experience with reunions.


If you REALLY want to learn some Raw Truth about Adoption, Adoption Practices and The Triad Myth , I suggest you take a look here:

HEALING FAMILIES DISMEMBERED BY ADOPTION


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