I know I have spoken many times about mom and dad. I do hold them up as the ideal parents that all in adoption should strive to match, and it breaks my heart when other adoptees didn’t get good parents. This post isn’t so much about that, but about what the impact would have been, if I had found out mom and dad had knowingly participated in my adoption knowing there were ethical issues surrounding my surrender (there weren’t, but I have reflected often on how I would feel today, if there had been). I am specifically talking about being told the mother changed her mind within days, or the father wants to parent, there is coercion known to be happening – that kind of ethical issue. For a child to find out his or her parents knew but went ahead – just to be parents. I see ethical issues happening in different ways, shapes, and forms today and that is why I speak out, because that type of adoption is wrong.
I don’t want to give specifics, so it was hard to write about this but know these are just some of the more generic worded fond memories that would be forever over-shadowed by the stain cast if my adoption had been done wrong. I hope you consider if doing it wrong simply to reach your goal of being a parent, is worth the ultimate price your child will pay? Part of that price is what it will do to their memories…memories that may be similar to what you read below – that could be tainted by the choices you make today.
Thanksgiving dinners with both family and friends seated around the table each and every year.
Being carried up the stairs after taking a big tumble, bleeding all over dad’s shirt but knowing it would be fine now, because dad was there.
The summer road trips each year to explore the US and Canada. Playing silly word games to pass the time while riding in the car, putting up the tent, exploring the campground, eating dinner around the campfire, hiking, swimming, exploring, having our pictures taken, a magical time each summer where we formed memories of being a family – that last a lifetime.
Being dad’s shadow and seeing him as “the man” who should be president of the US, because then the whole world would be all okay. (magical thinking at it’s best – dad can fix anything)
Sitting around the fire at home you helped haul the wood in for with dad, and then built with dad watching closely, and then talking away the afternoon.
Having my picture taken on a Glacier…on one of the many summer road trips.
Baking muffins with mom to go with the homemade soup for dinner.
Going to the fair each summer, and one year saving all my ride tickets for the roller-coaster I was to young and too short to ride alone, because dad said he would go with me this year, and then sitting in the front seat and riding it 6 times in a row without getting off in between, poor dad…
Family picnics at the beach each summer, going swimming together in freezing cold water with us, that as an adult you would have to be crazy to do.
Shelling peas, husking corn, peeling pears to preserve for the winter with mom.
Cutting out fancy shaped ginger snaps at grandma’s on her old wooden table overlooking the garden, flour everywhere, the smell of ginger and molasses in the air and nibbling on warm ginger snaps fresh from the oven.
Learning to ride my bike without training wheels, with dad running along-side making sure I didn’t fall off until I figured it out.
Coming home from school to the smell of fresh-baked bread and cinnamon rolls mom had just taken out of the oven, and knowing you could talk her into a special treat before dinner.
Sitting on dads shoulders all day long, so I could see everything at the world’s fair each day we were there.
These are just a few of the more generic memories I have of my very early years – let alone all those that happened since – that I would view with a different lens, if the way I came into my family wasn’t the right way. I say this with all sincerity because I viewed them not only as mom and dad, but as the ones who taught me by their actions and deeds what was right and what was wrong. I guess I am saying what memories your child will have – would you be willing to have tainted and seen through a different lens, by not acting ethically and doing the right thing in your adoption?
Please note I am not speaking about when a parent finds out after the fact that there were ethical concerns and faces up to that reality – I am speaking about parents knowing at the time before the adoption was finalized that there were ethical concerns, but put their need to be parents ahead of their ethics and morals of what was the right thing to do and continued on…
If adoption has to happen, it has to be ethical and about finding a home for a child that needs one – not finding a child for a home that wants one.