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....
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
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)