Apparently I am having an angry and sad week all rolled up into one…there are many, many reasons for this and all of them seem to swirl and circle around in my brain, never-ending, never finding peace…but all for whatever reason seem to circle to the severing of mother and child.
Mama Squirrel died and left two babies behind, happens all the time I am sure, but this was one of the squirrels that frequents my backyard bird feeder filled with sunflower seeds and snitches the peanuts I conveniently leave on the railing. I heard her cries the day she died but could not hear where they were coming from and then nothing, the sound of silence that told me it was over. Thankfully her babies were big enough to have followed Mama on her daily foray into the backyard, and have faithfully come each day since to be fed. I confess I am leaving the sunflower seeds and peanuts on the railing so they stop doing insane gymnastics (because they are so tiny) to snatch seeds from the bird feeder. I forgot this morning and when I went to make another coffee – one of them was sitting on the railing peering in my window…guilt hit me like a ton of bricks – how I could have forgotten…
I forget the adoption part of my world for hours each day. I refuse to allow it to consume my life. I have a life outside of the adoption world that I treasure. I am usually able to be neatly compartmentalized, have always been able to do that, brick that area up until I am ready to face it again, and yes, there always is an again. This week though adoption has won the majority of my thoughts and I am not happy…I want it compartmentalized and it isn’t working.
I deal with my feelings of adoption online with people I have never met in real life, that are just as important to me as those I have known for many years. My friends online know the real me in ways people in my life never will, because those people require different levels of the mask I have always worn in their presence, for the most part. To them life is good and because they are good people, I wear the mask around them. Why would I want them to feel my pain, regardless of whether it is adoption or relationship or illness pain…they are happy and don’t need it, so I won’t share it. I only share what is necessary, and then it is stated in a monotone, devoid of feelings, like reciting something I read. Never show deep emotion, it just causes problems, it gets messy…just show the person they need me to be. I think this way of dealing is wrong and causes me more pain, but I am too old to change it – but it does cause me problems.
I listened to the testimony given in the NJ Human Services Assembly on Monday. I was so proud of all those on the side to open records. I was proud the NJ Medical Association made it clear that the closed records law makes adoptees the only group in NJ that are denied the right to personalized medicine that everyone else has the right to. The woman running the session was great and did not allow CC to get away with the confidentiality they say was in the surrender by asking where in the papers she was looking at did it say they were given confidentiality. Those who wanted the records to stay closed just regurgitated the same old lies that came across as lies…NJ Cares did a fabulous job of making sure they proved each argument as false.
I read an advertisement yesterday that was marketed to adoptive parents on “fast” adoptions. They boasted about how they “aggressively market to birth mothers”, that they spend over $1 million each year marketing to birth mothers. Then they list all the types of places they market to, crisis pregnancy centers, abortion clinics, high schools and universities, family planning clinics, physicians, chat rooms…the list was endless…I had such a deja vu feeling in the pit of my stomach, history repeating itself over and over and over again…it left such a bad taste in my mouth and a pain deep inside of me.
I also read an article from Time about respect for birth mothers and while I completely agree that mothers who surrendered are vilified, dismissed, talked down to, shut down, left out, treated without any respect or humanity (of course now-days they are saints before placement and fall from grace just as soon as they sign the papers) the statement that it should be considered natural to give your child up for adoption was so incredibly wrong on so many levels. To start with it creates the false expectation that there is no loss in adoption and it is win-win-win. Making it natural to give away you child will forever remove the right to grieve on both the mother and child/adult adoptees part. Sorry, that doesn’t fly with me. To make it natural to give away your child also feeds right in to the a) adoption professionals coffers (less aggressive advertising (insert coercive) needed, b) the right to lifers who don’t believe we should have any rights after we are born, c) the adoptive parents fantasy that they can magically erase the fact that we were born to another. If giving away your child becomes something natural, it will erase all the time we (mothers and children/adult adoptees) have spent sharing are deepest most painful feelings about how adoption has affected us – all in hopes of a better outcome for the future generations that come after us. It will all be done for nothing, states that stayed open or opened records will find a way to close records, states that were looking into it will file any such ideas away, generations will suffer the same fate we have suffered. I hope giving away a child to be adopted NEVER becomes something natural…
I am attending a family reunion this weekend and meeting more close relatives for the first time. I don’t know how it will go. I don’t know how I will feel after but I do know how I feel right now, that I lost something that can never be replaced – life growing up in my family by birth and all the memories that I would have. I also know that I would have missed out on all the memories I do have of growing up in the family I was adopted into, and the war between those two thoughts never seems to end and cannot end.
I think I have ranted enough but this week just doesn’t seem to stop with adoption issues (some not mentioned here) and seems like real life everyday issues are raining down too. Why could life not have been just plain old simple with rainbows and sunshine all the time?