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Can’t get it out of my mind…

09 Oct

I am unsure whether or not I should post this but I cannot let it go.  Warning some of you may not like what I am about to say.  I have been angered more this past week than I have been in a long time.  Perhaps it has to do with being so aware of my own mortality, or simply because of the disrespect shown to him and his family, or both.  I could also be totally off-base but it bothers me, a lot.

My question for all adoptive parents is this:

When your child dies is it okay with you that pro-life groups, some religious folk, pro-adoption groups, the general media, and twitter people use YOUR child as a poster child for adoption over abortion?  Within hours of his passing? 

That the reason he accomplished anything in his life is because he was adopted?

That if he had not been adopted he would have accomplished nothing?

Is that really okay with you?

Because from the lack of outcry seems like it is.  I have seen more rhetoric over the Glee storyline including a petition for a PSA for adoption with numerous comments, than on how an adoptee is being used to further other people’s agenda.

You don’t believe me?  Google it.  I am just waiting for the promotions to happen capitalizing on “your adopted child could grow up to be…”

I want to be remembered for who I am, what I did, what I was like.  I do not want to be remembered as the person who could have been aborted but was saved because my “birthmother” chose life and placed me for adoption.

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15 Comments

Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

15 responses to “Can’t get it out of my mind…

  1. Dannie

    October 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    we had a conversation about this at work. And no, there hasn’t been an “outcry” other than conversations about how ewww factor it is.

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    • The adopted ones

      October 9, 2011 at 11:43 pm

      Good to know I am not the only one who has an issue with this. It really has boggled my mind – the callous disregard for him and his family. He was not a media seeker despite his status. I just all makes me sad.

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  2. cb

    October 10, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I agree. I totally get sick of the “what if he had been aborted” articles – let’s face it, half of the articles don’t even go as far as comparing his life with his adoptive parents to life with his natural parents – they just assume he was “saved from abortion by adoption” – the fact that abortion was quite probably not even a factor in his situation seems to be totally ignored.

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  3. maru67

    October 10, 2011 at 12:27 am

    I saw an example earlier on FB and immediately saw red. I tried to form a response, but shelved it. I’ve commented on other forums about the ‘if not adoption, then abortion’ false conundrum, but it’s such a powerful tool of propaganda that living testimony will not sway it. It’s just so insulting.

    Nancie

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  4. Susie

    October 10, 2011 at 1:07 am

    I’m angered right along with you!!

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  5. Carlynne

    October 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Totally agree with you!

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  6. mad momma moogacat

    October 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I was horrified when I saw this. So was my husband. Horribly insulting and disrespectful. If I ever caught anyone using my child like this there would be hell to pay.

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  7. graceling

    October 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Hmm. I agree that his passing should not have been used as any type of propaganda for adoption. Yet, I am thankful that under difficult circumstances, his mother chose life rather than abortion (which would have been dangerous for her, as well, given the times and availability of abortions… although having an aunt who had an abortion the very same year that he was born makes it very obvious that they were available. Not “safe”, but available. For my aunt, it cost her the ability to have children in the future.) I truly believe that his mind was exceptional… but would have been no matter who raised him… and probably was brilliant because of the DNA from his parents.

    To be thankful for the choice of life is one thing. To use that as a pro-adoption agenda is another. I can see the difference.

    If he had been younger- if the choices his mother made were made in the 70s or 80s, when abortion was a much more safe and available option… would your reaction be different?

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  8. The adopted ones

    October 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Gracelings – absolutely no different. Adoption is a parenting choice. Abortion is a pregnancy choice.

    With so many unplanned pregnancies why is it that only adoptees are subjected to the would you rather have been aborted question. I have never heard anyone say to a bio-raised individual – have you? Seriously that is what it is all about.

    I’m pretty passionate on this subject because I have the reality from Dad. Dad had mothers bring in their daughters for pregnancy tests and ask where they could get abortions – then he saw them later to patch them up or deal with their infections. Other mothers who brought their daughters in for pregnancy tests who did not ask the question sent their daughters away. (when the rabbit had to die era of pregnancy tests) I say this to show that even before abortion was legal – those who would get abortions would and those who wouldn’t didn’t.

    People forget that when abortion became legal was just after birth control became legal for single individuals – before that you generally had to be married and usually have a note from your husband. The Pill had just come out in the last decade – before that really there were only condoms and when was latex invented? Single parenting also started to become less stigmatized. Teenagers finally were starting to be educated in sex – prior to that many mothers waited to have the sex talk the night before the wedding.

    Enough with adoptees being treated this way – our parents chose adoption or were forced to choose adoption over parenting – end of story.

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    • graceling

      October 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm

      Hmm, I am still not sure I follow.

      I guess it’s because I see both adoption and abortion as parenting choices. I have had several unplanned pregnancies- I’m having one right now!- all in the past decade (after having birth control methods fail). I knew with each situation I had three choices: abortion, parenting the baby, or adoption. In 2 situations, I miscarried before really having to make a choice. However, with one pregnancy, I did seriously consider abortion. Ultimately, I decided I couldn’t have an abortion; it wasn’t for me. Then began a very long, hard look at my life and whether I could successfully parent a child. I decided to parent, and became a mom at age 20. And every single time I have faced difficulties in parenting- every time I have screwed up as a mother (and that list is LONG!)- I have asked myself if it would have been better if I had chosen something else for my baby… did I make a selfish choice by parenting her? Did I give her all the best- all the wonderful opportunities that she deserved- by raising her myself? My family has questioned this as well. And when putting my child first cost me a (at the time) valuable relationship, I was asked by a friend if it might not have been better to have had an abortion and just avoid all the difficulties that come along with becoming a parent when you are unprepared for it.

      Has anyone asked these questions of my child? Not that I know of… she’s 8. Do I expect that someone will ask these questions of her as she get’s older? Absolutely. Just the same as people ask me if I wished my parents had raised me together or if my bio-dad had raised me rather than my bio mom. People ask stupid, ignorant questions, whether someone was raised by their bio parents or not.

      But that is really not my point. (And really, my experiences are absolutely not comparable to the experiences of women who lived in that generation, and I don’t want to suggest that it is.) By your own explanation, I guess a more accurate description would be “I’m glad that Mr. Jobs’ mother (or people making the decisions about her pregnancy) fell into the category of ‘those who wouldn’t.'” I believe this world is better because of him. I am thankful that he existed. It’s not a statement of “I’m glad he got adopted”- that’s not at all what I am trying to say. It’s a statement of “I’m glad he had life.” Just the same as I say about children who survived famines or sex trafficking or are born prematurely and overcome the odds of survival. I’m glad they had life. And I would be just as thankful that he existed if he had been raised by his bio mother rather than adoptive parents.

      I believe my stance in this is very different than the pro-adoption propaganda that has come out of all of this. My stance would be the same whether he had been adopted or not. And when my daughter is remembered, I fully expect that those who knew our family will realize that my daughter could have simply not existed- that anything she accomplished would not have occurred- if I had chosen differently when the “+” sign came up on that pregnancy test.

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      • The adopted ones

        October 12, 2011 at 10:51 pm

        Gracelings – It may just be semantics to some but the impact of how the words are chosen matters. If you re-read your post first you considered continuing the pregnancy or not – then you considered parenting or not.

        Trust me on the fact that a stigma that is applied only to adoptees, is a stigma that needs to be gone. It isn’t one that can be backed up with any facts but it is used as a weapon of compliance or a way silence an adoptee – kind of like the statement thrown out to international adoptees “would you rather have been raised in an orphanage” – domestic adoptees get the “would you rather have been aborted” which is the flip of the statement about our mothers.

        Thanks for being open to discussing it.

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  9. cb

    October 12, 2011 at 12:18 am

    “Enough with adoptees being treated this way – our parents chose adoption or were forced to choose adoption over parenting – end of story.”

    Very true.

    As you say also, there were lots of other things changing for women at the time of Roe and Wade. It seems to me that Roe and Wade decision was more a product of those changing times not so much the cause of them – after all, the same legal outcome probably wouldn’t have been possible a decade before. (hope that made sense)

    In Australia and New Zealand, the drop in adoption has always been contributed to the single mothers pension being made more available thus enabling mothers to raise their child – Roe and Wade was never a major factor.

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  10. Kerri

    October 12, 2011 at 1:37 am

    I got “yelled” at for a comment I posted on Graceling’s facebook wall regarding this subject. It is quite disgusting the way people (APs in particular) are using this to advocate for adoption and against abortion. When Bill Gates dies, no one will say thank goodness his mother chose life. And you’re right, we APs who are opposed to this should blog about it more instead of just commenting about it on facebook where only our friends see it.

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    • The adopted ones

      October 12, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      Thank Kerri – I just get (and know other adoptees as well) get really tired of the assumption that because we were adopted, and only because we were adopted, our mothers considered abortion. “They had to have” is in the minds of people and perhaps it is in part due to the fact that they wouldn’t consider adoption if it happened to them. I remember a post Paula did at Hearts Mind and Seoul about: if as AP’s they got pregnant should they pay it forward and surrender their babies for adoption seeing as they had their kids through adoption. It was a powerful post that made people think – most responses were horrified at the thought. No one would willingly give their babies away. Hence the mindset that our mothers considered abortion.

      I had an unplanned pregnancy and honestly cannot remember if abortion came to mind – it could have crossed my mind because it was unplanned but if you would do it – you will do it – that’s the the difference.

      Abortions happened a lot before Roe vs Wade – Dad also talked about a doctor in the area who was rumored to have made more than a million dollars that way – which was big bucks back in the 50’s and 60’s. Dad hated having to patch women up after they had abortions and it bothered him a lot – enough to talk about it many times over the years.

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  11. Sarah

    October 13, 2011 at 1:55 am

    I’m coming in late to the conversation, but Graceling, this statement seems to me to be where the hang up is:

    And when my daughter is remembered, I fully expect that those who knew our family will realize that my daughter could have simply not existed- that anything she accomplished would not have occurred- if I had chosen differently when the “+” sign came up on that pregnancy test.

    I think adopted people here are saying that they feel it is automatically assumed that their mothers considered abortion during their pregnancies. It seems that you assume people that know your family will think about the fact that you considered abortion during your pregnancy…in other words, your daughter will most likely not hear comments like “Gee you could have been aborted.” from complete strangers. I think there is a difference, but that’s just my opinion.

    I do think that if people are going to say “Well look how the world would be different if he/she had been aborted” about an adopted person, they should think that about an unadopted person. Ideally, I think it shouldn’t really be discussed when the discussion is about strangers. It’s one thing to discuss topics like that with people you know, but to make assumptions about others on such a personal level just isn’t appropriate, IMO (I’m not saying you do that at all…just rambling here).

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