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Monthly Archives: June 2011

They came for our mothers…

 
They came for our mothers, targeted one by one,
Society was their army, always present, always willing to condemn,
Words of shame and threats of what will the neighbors think were the only weapons needed then.
Our families sent our mothers away to protect the family name from public shame.
Stories fabricated why their daughters were sent away all done to protect their precious family name.
Our mothers went to maternity homes or distant relatives far, far away.
They told our mothers were how unworthy, shameless, and immoral they truly were,
Told adoption was their only salvation, and if they truly loved us they would give us away,
That babies deserved a mother and a father, not a poor unwed shameful mother.
They drugged and strapped our mothers down when their labor time was near,
They posted signs warning others – stay away, stay away, B.F.A…don’t you dare come near.
Not allowed to hold us, some not told they had a boy or girl, and even some that we had died.
Mothers told to go back home and carry on and hold your head up high,
Never speak of it, keep it secret, find a man get married and have another,
And today society still denies the damage caused our mothers during the time now called The Baby Scoop Era.
I was born one winter day, taken to the nursery, cared for, yet unloved, and never named.
No one there to celebrate my birth and on day four I too became a ward, yet another Baby For Adoption, one of millions, nothing special, nothing more.
Two months later I became someone new, named, a new mother, father too, and a brand new ABC – falsified to hide my illegitimate shame.
Yet that day, I also lost my mother, my father, my family too, long before I could give voice to my feelings and desires.
That day I also lost my right to know who I was the day I was born, or get my OBC when I was older – at least that is until the day the court deemed I too had good cause to know my history,
Still the victory is hollow, the price is far too high, and yet still others have gone, and others will go to their graves, still denied.
As babies we were so valuable, bargained for, advertised for, coveted, prayed for, paid for…
Told we were special, chosen, loved, lucky, cherished, theirs forever more!
That our mothers loved us so much that they willing gave us away to have “two” parents, not just the “one” mother we most desired.
Now as adults we are told our rights don’t matter – that our mothers are afraid and live in secret fear – that their shameful past will be uncovered,
That we will “out them”, and “cause harm beyond repair”, and just to add more guilt and fear upon us – that we will hurt our other parents too!
That our mothers will not want to know us, or know we are alive, okay, or even that we may live right next door…
So I ask society and the adoption industry too – which story you tell is true, that our mothers loved so much we were willing given away…
Or that they don’t love us and we make them so afraid, that one day we will come knocking, and that we might even want to know them too!
I was always told you cannot have it both ways, so from that I can only conclude – the adoption industry lies and I want to know which story is really true…
And now I see the signs that they are coming for unwed mothers once again, and in my heart I know it’s their healthy white babies which are the long sought-after prize…
Did they not learn from history that what they did was wrong, that the pain they caused never ever truly ends?
But to some it seems there is no price too high when babies are the goal, do they really have no shame to even consider bringing back the infamous Baby Scoop Era – yet again?
 
Interesting post on what is happening right now.  The GOP Agenda: Controlling the Means of (Re)Production
 
 
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics

 

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NJ – Conditional veto?

http://www.politickernj.com/48874/gov-preparing-veto-birth-certificate-access-bill
http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Gov-Christie-vetoes-NJ-adoption-records-bill-1436991.php
 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Language…

So I was reading several posts about Postitive Adoption Language and how people must correct those who use Negative Adoption Language and so on and so forth…be aware I am in an insomiac phase right now so let that be a warning that I am rather bitchy today (not that I am not most days but)…
PAL = Were adopted or Was Adopted;   NAL = Am adopted.
So if we want to do it right we adoptees must, according to the “PAL” police experts say we “were” adopted or I “was” adopted.  Now, being happy little people pleasing adoptees we should comply, right?  No more of the “I “am” adopted” as we don’t want to upset those “in the know“. 
But just to be completely clear by using the PAL “Adoption” is a ONE TIME EVENT, and that we “were” adopted, to me that means being adopted no longer applies so based on that concept, we should have access to our OBC’s just like all the other people.  If that is the case I would be happy to use that terminology as it ensures that seeing as I “was” adopted and not “am” adopted, I am no longer “less than“, rather I am “equal to“.  So perhaps the adoption lobbyists should get right on switching from opposing our rights to fighting for our rights and changing the legislation.  Let me know when that happens then I will consider changing my language – until then good luck with that. 
Oh and by the way – have you ever heard a biological child say they “were” the biological child or I “was” biological child?  Now I have heard them say they “are” a biological child or I “am” the biological child… 
PAL = Born to unwed Mother;   NAL = Illegitimate. 
This has me scratching my head wondering if they actually realize that the definition of illegitimate is “born to unwed mother”?  I personally don’t think it is anyones business and if questioned, just ignore it as one of those rude questions.  I know some adoptees hate the word illegitimate and that is their right to use what works for them. 
But honestly, do the people promoting PAL really think people are stupid enough not to get the fact that we are illegitimate if they use a four word description instead of one word?  Give me a break.  Your little adoptee is going to come home one day and ask what illegitimate or bastard means, so all your PC words really won’t help protect your child.  In reality being truthful and honest might make it not such a shock to be called a bastard or illegitimate on the playground. 
PAL = Made an adoption plan;   NAL = Surrendered for adoption
To me, telling your child that his mother loved him so much she made an adoption plan is the same as telling your child that anyone who loves him will leave him.  I’ll take she had no other choice but to surrender you for adoption over the adoption plan any day. 
I also wonder how the adoptees who were told their mother made an adoption plan and are happily blogging about how wonderful adoption is will feel…don’t you think it will be like a slap in the face?
And finally I have heard that “adult adoptee” is out and “adopted adult” or “adult who was adopted” is the proper terminology.
So I will assume the same applies to children…no more adoptees, rather, adopted child or child who was adopted, are now the terms?  Why not call them the “grafted child” or “grown in my heart child” – I’m kidding…
How about everyone just stop and instead let us determine what the right language is for ourselves?  You know the whole identity thing?  If we aren’t allowed to be who we are then what’s the point? 
Sorry, just really grumpy…
 
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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Adoption

 

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Nepal and Nigeria – trafficking stories

When will prospective adoptive parents realize that trafficking in babies happens?  That it is not as “rare” as your adoption “professionals” make it seem when they talk about so-called “minor irregularities” in the paperwork? 
Much to my horror, I recently found the following search query in my stats:

“child trafficking rebuttal”

There is no rebuttal – there can never be a rebuttal…trafficking in babies and children is WRONG!!!
When you see ethics thrown to the wayside talk about it, and don’t stop talking when people get upset.  Tell the authorities.  Tell those waiting in line to adopt.  Keep telling them the truth.  Those that do keep talking have my respect.
Two posts from Ethica – one from a New Zealand paper the other from The Washington Post – both new – take the time to read them and talk about it, be part of the solution.
Babies just another commodity
 
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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics

 

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Reunion story of a father who never gave up…

That Catholic Charities of Trenton, NJ mixed up the adoption records does not come as any real surprise. Why should they make sure the right baby was linked to the right mother? After all the records are sealed and it would be unlikely for anyone to ever find out – how could they? No need to have processes in place that really don’t matter – a healthy white infant is a healthy white infant – who cares…that is of course until DNA testing became available.
Today The Baltimore Sun published a wonderful Fathers Day story…a story finally with an ending that didn`t seem possible when it was last told, when DNA testing confirmed that the man Catholic Charities said was the son of Ron Ryba, was not his son after all.
Maryland father finds his son after 35 years – after many false starts, DNA test leads to reunion
The hard-won reunion came after years of searches, heartbreak and false leads. Ryba’s adoption agency, Catholic Charities of Trenton, N.J., had “reunited” him with another man in 2004.
But four years later they learned through DNA tests that they weren’t related. Before Ryba’s quest ended, there would be an investigation by New Jersey authorities, leaked names and two more DNA tests.
But the last tests proved that Callaghan, a 35-year-old accountant, is the child that Ryba, 53, and Kathy Butler of New Jersey turned over for adoption.
Ryba asked Catholic Charities to sort out their mess and instead they hid behind the privacy laws and a judge agreed. But Ryba apparently did not give up and go away like they most likely hoped he would, he went to the NJ Attorney General who got The Department of Children and Families to investigate the adoption files.
In their report, the investigators said they found that Ryba’s son was one of six similarly aged boys placed at St. Elizabeth’s, the Catholic maternity home and nursery in Yardville, N.J., at around the same time in late 1975. They identified two who appeared to be Ryba’s son and Bloete, and quoted a former Catholic Charities social worker who said “it was not impossible for the children to have been mixed up.”
Infants at St. Elizabeth’s did not wear identification, she told investigators, nor was there any on their cribs. Two staffers ran four separate nurseries, with eight cribs in each, investigators learned. Volunteers, often unfamiliar with the babies, were used to transport them to the Catholic Welfare Bureau for placement.
Catholic Charities acknowledged in 2009 that the mix-up was “tragic.” But “we did everything we were required to do,” said spokeswoman Lisa Thibeault. She added that the state investigation found “no violations of best adoption practices.”
Got to love sorry for the mix up it was “tragic” but we did nothing wrong stance that Catholic Charities took. Mixing up babies means your processes failed. Sorry really does not cut it – you have to fix it not just wash your hands of the affair.
As “corrective action,” the Department of Children and Families said, Catholic Charities “shall make good faith attempts to assist the three complainants [Ryba, Bloete and Butler] in securing answers to their questions should they request searches.” Catholic Charities would also inform the state of its progress, and assume the costs of DNA testing.None of that happened, according to Ryba. But he was not ready to give up.
Ryba got the info elsewhere and kept going until he found his son – read the story linked above – it is well worth the time and shines not a nice light at all.
New Jersey laws open original birth certificates to adoptees this November – you have to wonder what the percentage of mistakes will show up in the future. How many actual birth dates will be wrong? How much mis-information will be uncovered?
No wonder Catholic Charities works so hard lobbying against adoptees getting their original birth certificate. We have always known regardless of what agency processed our adoption not to trust that our story was the truth, that we were born on the day our amended birth certificate says, or even that we were born where it says we were – after all we were just BFA – babies born for adoption.  The amended birth certificate is not worth the paper it is printed on as nothing can be assumed to be true – how can it?
It also shows how passive state registries do not work – without the correct information how can either side make a match…The passive registry in New York has something dismal like a 5% match rate – makes sense now why the adoption industry promotes that as a solution doesn`t it?  They don’t want their practices and lies uncovered – it would be bad for business.
Shame on them. Shame on the entire industry for playing fast and loose with our information and pretending to be so pious and concerned about us and our mothers.
Shame on all of you – how can you sleep at night?
 
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Posted by on June 19, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics

 

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Rainy misty days…mulling on stuff that makes no sense…

I wanted to be outside today but then I stepped outside and changed my mind, snapped a couple of pictures and came back inside, glad I have a nice warm dry place to be. 
So instead I will catch up on inside chores and mull on things that make no sense whatsoever…
Fostercare supports family reunification and the Domestic Infant Adoption Industry supports severing families.
Legislatures all over the country are fighting to make safe abortions illegal (knowing full well backstreet abortions will happen) and at the same time voting to defund Planned Parenthood so they won’t be able to supply free contraceptives to prevent pregnancies in the first place.
Conservatives lamenting on all the unwed teen pregnancies each year and yet wanting “Abstinence Only” sex education to be the only sex education taught in their schools.
 

One of the squirrels heading to the the feeder on a rainy day.

One of the stellar jays wanting a peanut on a rainy day

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2011 in Adoption, Uncategorized

 

Before I was 30…

I had a full-time job at 16… 
I moved out of the house at 18…
I always paid my rent and bills on time…
I always paid my car payments and insurance on time…
I married at 20…
I immigrated to another country at 20…
I took out life insurance at 20…
I ran double in a Pete across the US and Canada…
I had a baby at 24 …
I lived through the loss of my son when he passed away…
I had purchased my own home and made my payments on time…
I had paid for 5 vehicles before I was 30…
Granted I am not an adult adoptee from state of Rhode Island – but to say adoptees aren’t mature enough to see their original birth certificate until they reach that magical age of 30…really?   
Adoptee access to birth certificates passes hurdle in R.I.
 
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Posted by on June 17, 2011 in Adoption

 

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Hell in a handbasket…sentenced…

Is anyone accountable for the kids in care?  Who approved these people to be foster parents and adopt?  How can this keep on happening – and it isn’t only Florida AP’s that hits the news…
Someone in government has to say enough – find solutions – fire whoever is not doing their job or perhaps charge them criminally – just deal with it…
I wonder if these AP’s in the story are waiting for an Adoption Tax Credit refund check…they are eligible, the adoptions happened in 2010…
Jurors find adoptive father guilty of child neglect
The prime abuser, according to the children who testified Tuesday, was his wife, Pamela Hardy, 47. She is charged with a more serious crime: aggravated child abuse. She is to be tried later.
Dwayne Hardy on Wednesday told jurors that he had never abused the children, never saw his wife abuse them and when he found out she had paddled them until they bled, told her to stop.
He acknowledged that when the 10-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl lived with them for two months before their formal adoption in February 2010, they were prohibited from using corporal punishment.
Once the children were officially part of the family, though, both parents would spank them with a wooden paddle and he sometimes used a belt, he said.
Once when he was whipping the boy with his belt, he noticed blood on it, Hardy said.
“I saw blood and stopped,” he said. “I said, ‘My belt is ruined. It has blood all over it.'”
 
More to the story by following the link above…

Update 8/2/2011: The judge sentenced Dwayne Hardy to two years and Pamela Hardy to 11 years in prison.  See article here.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics

 

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Adoption Tax Credit – really tired of hearing about it

We all know how much us adoptees cost but honestly the cyber world is driving me absolutely nuts on the sheer volume of posts about where is my refund…
The money gives me the creeps to start with as it makes us into commodities but then expecting to get money back on taxes for adopting just makes it worse – kind of like a mail in rebate. 
Do they have this type of tax credit for mothers who parent?
 
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Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Ted talk…a question I asked dad…and pictures…

Dad became a doctor in the late 40’s and was still practicing in the 80’s so he saw a lot of advances in medicine during his time.  Just stop and think about the explosion of knowledge that happened during that era – pretty much everything when you stop and think about it. 
And one day a couple of years before he passed away, we were sitting talking and I asked him what was the most important medical advance he had seen during his career.  I expected him to say the CAT Scan or MRI or any of the other miracles of technology.  I expected him to stop and think about it for a couple of minutes as that was his way, but he didn’t, he answered immediately –

The Polio Vaccine 

– that it saved millions and millions of lives.  That nothing else compared in scope to the devastation this disease caused on families he treated and the families all over the world. 
Sadly, Polio is still a disease affecting children and families. The disease has not been eradicated around the world and with global travel it won’t stay isolated.  Add to that the amount of families choosing to not vaccinate, it worries me.
Listen to the Ted Talk – spread the word:
Bruce Aylward is a Canadian physician and epidemiologist who heads the polio eradication programme at WHO, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).  Polio is almost completely eradicated. But as Bruce Aylward says: Almost isn’t good enough with a disease this terrifying. Aylward lays out the plan to continue the scientific miracle that ended polio in most of the world — and to snuff it out everywhere, forever.
In a prior post here I had said my dad had picked a rose from my rose-bush, took it home and planted it.  Shadowtheadoptee talked about the rooted rose she had just done in the comments.  She sent me pictures of the rooted rose and wanted me to post them in honor of my dad.  She sent the pictures to me on Memorial Day but I could not figure out how to insert them into a post due to changes either in IE, WP or just my brain, until now.  It seems fitting to include them in this post.  I asked her the name she gave it (she hadn’t), or the name of the rose she took the stem from (she didn’t know), and suggested I name it. 
Dad was known as “Doc” to all so see pictures of the new rose-bush called “Doc”…
“Doc” starting to bloom
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“Doc” in full bloom

Thanks my friend…

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

She has always made my skin crawl…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppW9g-FIwLg&feature=player_embedded
She has angered me time after time with her ranting and raving about single motherhood and on and on about adoption, but this takes the cake and makes me really angry.  I seldom get upset over the use of “your adopted” in commercials but this crosses the line…
 
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Posted by on June 12, 2011 in Adoption, biological child, Uncategorized

 

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It’s natural to want to know where you came from…

“People will not look forward to posterity, who never looked backward to their ancestors” ~ Edmund Burke [1729-97]

~~~

“I saw behind me those who had gone, and before me those who are to come. I looked back and saw my father and his father and all our fathers, and in front to see my son and his son, and the sons upon sons beyond. And their eyes were my eyes. As I felt so they had felt, and were to feel, as then, so now, as tomorrow and forever. Then I was not afraid for I was in a long line that had no beginning and no end. And the hand of his father grasped my father’s hand and his hand was in mine, and my unborn son took my right hand and all, up and down the line that stretched from time that was to time that is not yet, raised their hands to show the link, and we found that we were one, born of Woman, Son of Man, made in the Image, fashioned in the Womb by the Will of God, the Eternal Father.”
~ Robert Llewellyn
 
I have talked before about missing a biological connection – not seeing myself reflected back physically, personality wise or natural talents – not being able to know “I” fit.  It had nothing to do with my family dynamics, relationships or any of that – it was that “I” needed that connection to my family and history for myself.  I have always needed to know even when I resigned myself to never knowing.  Yet I never talked about it, just like I never talked about a lot of things.  My tendency has always been to withdraw deep inside myself.  Whenever I feel stressed I withdraw.  I need to sort things out myself and by myself.  Luckily nowadays I have a husband who understands this and does not press as he has the same tendency.  We both draw strength from each other simply be being together – words don’t matter – togetherness matters.
The day I decided to reach out to my aunt I drove by her house first, trying to decide whether it was better to knock on her door and at least being able to see her once, in case she slammed the door in my face, or call and risk never getting to see what she looked like.  And while I was driving down her road I saw a woman walking down the side  and knew instantly that she was my aunt, I just knew, and deep inside of me I knew she would not reject me.  We don’t look-alike but yet we do, simply because parts of us are alike and when you look at a picture of us you see without a shadow of a doubt that we are related.  We had an instant connection that to this day I cannot describe, I was in a state of awe to be talking too, and with, my aunt.  A priceless connection that is denied to far too many of my fellow adoptees, a connection denied to me until there was “just cause”. 
Since I have found my maternal family I have also traced my ancestors back in time.  I have studied the history for each era and place they lived, studied the various censuses, followed their migration routes, learned about the challenges and overall gleamed clues about what type of individuals they were.  This combined with the knowledge my aunt has given me, has given me so much insight into who I am and why I am the way I am.  Next year when the 1940 US census is released I will do the same for my paternal family but it saddens me that I won’t have same immediate family knowledge, so I am not sure how I will feel, whether it will be enough, yet I still look forward to knowing more. 
The definition of being an adoptee is that we have two families, so why do people still to this day think it is wrong that we want to know where we came from?  And how is it right for those who know where they came from, to even say we don’t need to?  What moral right do they have to define us as “less than” when it comes to knowing what they have always known?  What right does any government have to deprive us of this innate knowledge that is at the very core of who we are? 
And in the adoption community there is to varying degrees, this need to deny that biological ties matter.  That if they acknowledge that nature matters, then they become “less than“.  Why can’t each of our families just stand on its own merit?  I think that is one of the greatest frustrations I have is that in the need to justify that an adoptive family is “as good as” or “better than” a biological family, they miss the point that without our biological family we would not exist, or be who we are. The blood of my ancestors flows through my veins, their genes make up who I am, without them, I would never have existed in the first place.  We are the products of both nature and nurture there is no denying that reality.  Just like adoptive parents who grew up in their biological families are who they are, because of both nature and nurture – so are we – we just have two different families.  I just wish both nature and nurture could be celebrated equally in the adoption world without people feeling the need to justify their side and dismiss the other side…
I stumbled upon this website and article Notes On Genealogy and History
By Michael Schroeder, Professional Historian Who Researches and Writes Family Histories.  Small portion below but well worth reading the one page article in full.
On the other hand — and this is the funny thing — genealogy comprises the one branch of practical historical inquiry that captures the imaginations of millions of ordinary people. If you walk through the doors of just about any local, county, or state historical society in the nation, you will be entering a veritable beehive of activity – people scurrying about, sifting carefully through piles of documents at the reading tables, sitting stock erect at the microfilm readers for hours on end, their eyes glued to the screens.
Historians know this, of course, but tend to regard it as an inconvenience because the genealogists always get the best chairs.
Historians ought to know better. Those genealogists are not looking for data. They are looking for a connection.
They are not engaged in antiquarianism. They are on a journey of discovery.
 For some heavier reading, a paper written by an AP in open adoption who argues against the need for biological ties in terms of self and identity formation – interested in your thoughts if you have the time to read it.
Family, Ancestry and Self: What is the Moral Significance of Biological Ties?
 
 
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Posted by on June 8, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics

 

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