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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Are there only two definitions: Pro or Anti Adoption?

It seems if someone doesn’t like what another says about adoption – they pull out both pro-adoption or anti-adoption labels, slap a label on the person they disagree with and hold the other label as what they are.  It is divisive and shuts down any discussion, or ability to see the others point of view.  It is just like politics…something adoption should never be compared too.

Personally, I believe I could come up with 25 different ways people can feel about adoption, and am sure would miss some, and that two labels (for or against) don’t work.  Not that there should be labels to begin with, but people are going to use them anyway…

Are you pro-adoption only if you support every type of adoption – no holds barred as long as the adoption process meets the letter of the law where the adoption occurs?

Are you still considered pro-adoption if you believe non-Hague international adoption needs to have more oversight?

What about if you are against international adoption, unless all in-country measures have failed, but support domestic infant and foster adoption?

Can you be considered pro-adoption if you support domestic, foster care, and international adoption – but believe the current marketing and counselling in domestic infant needs to change, plus opening records to adult adoptees in any type of adoption?

Or, if you support all three types of adoption, but feel the profit aspects of adoption both domestic and international need to have some serious overhauls?

Far too many variations to describe on here, and I just quickly listed the few above off the top of my head while I was only starting my 2nd coffee, so go easy on me.

What I would like is to hear is your description of where you stand now – based on today’s adoption practices, and how you would label yourself – if you had to pick a label and what that label would say.  Feel free to get wordy…or even go off topic and talk about something else…

 
17 Comments

Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Adoption

 

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Cliffs and a win…off topic…

By TAO

The Stamina Cliff…

Yesterday I over-did it.  I always do when I go to help someone, because I never know when I will reach the edge of the cliff and fall over it.

Once I do that, I then go over the next cliff…

The Brain Cliff…

My brain struggles to put words together to form a cohesive sentence and usually the sentence structure is extremely poor.  Just finding the words is excruciating.  My ability to process higher cognitive thoughts becomes more limited.

Today I am struggling to put words together, tomorrow will be better, but I will still be tired.  The following day, I will want to catch up on what I should have done at home for the past three days, and haven’t, and if I am not careful, I will fall off the cliffs again, not as bad, but bad enough.

Yet there was a win in my day yesterday before the cliffs… 

When I hear a word that isn’t part of everyday conversation, I always check in my mind to see if I know how to pronounce it.  Sure enough, I could only hear the first sounds of the word in my brain, even though I knew the word and what it meant.  I asked the person to repeat it slowly, then I tried to say it and failed, they repeated it, I tried again a couple more times, and finally said it properly.  Today I can still repeat it.  Every word is a win when I can repeat it the next day, because my brain can automatically remember how to form the sounds to say the word.

Want to see what it is like to not know how to move your mouth to say a word?

Grit your teeth together to keep yourself from moving your mouth – keep reading. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Adoption, Uncategorized

 

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Father wins in Utah…

Florida father wins ruling in Utah adoption case

In a 3-2 decision, the Utah Supreme Court has found that Utah’s adoption law was “constitutionally defective” in depriving a Florida father a “meaningful chance” to develop a relationship with his child after paternity papers he filed were not recorded in a timely manner because of the state’s then four-day work week and a federal holiday.

The high court reversed a decision by a trial judge who found that Ramsey Shaud had acted too late to stop the adoption of his daughter, born in January 2010. The justices sent the case back to the lower court to reconsider whether the Utah Office Vital Records and Statistics received Shaud’s paternity petition before the child’s mother placed her for adoption.

Ruling on scribd – must read…

Wow!

It must be noted that the Utah Supreme Court heard this case back in September of 2011 and just ruled on it Friday.  Over a year?  Very poor time-frame when you are talking about a baby born in January of 2010.  Now the case goes back to the lower court and how long will they drag it out?

Also make sure you go to page 20 of the ruling and read the dissenting opinion…

Prior post on this here.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Adoption

 

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Family Tree and reading about the Butterbox Babies…

By TAO

Well the post a day for November failed…but…

I have been busy updating one of my family trees with notes about each person, what they did, what they were known for, details found in different census reports so that the person viewing the tree – gets an idea about who that ancestor really was.  My intent is to make ancestors real to the family members who never heard the family stories of them, and  give the historical information about the events happening at the time that are relevant to that ancestor.  History when your ancestor was part of it has to be more interesting than what you learned in school, which also means I am updating my knowledge as well.

When I need a break from that, I am reading the book I ordered – Butterbox Babies – Baby Sales Baby Deaths New Revelations 15 Years Later by Bette L. Cahill.  The story of William and Lila Young, and the Ideal Maternity Home in East Chester, N.S. Canada.  Truly one of the most heartbreaking and horrifying historical stories, and although the home was in Canada, many of the babies were adopted into the US.  The Youngs operated in Canada during the same era as Georgia Tann did in the US.

Links to stories on the web of survivors of the Ideal Maternity Home (IDM)…

GV woman helps ‘Butterbox Baby’ survivors understand past July 2012

There was always something curious about Sharon Knight’s early childhood, although it would be many years before she’d learn what it was. When she did, it was far beyond her imagination.

Much distance, time and some sleepless nights would pass before Knight, who now lives in Green Valley, discovered she was a survivor of a Nova Scotia maternity home that, when she was born there in 1945, was already the target of horrific, almost unspeakable claims. They involved medical malpractice, unwarranted deaths and countless “unadoptable” infants being starved to death then buried in small wooden dairy crates or dumped at sea. In the headlines, they would become known as the butterbox babies.

Who Am I? website features three stories, including tenor Ron Murdock, a survivor of the IDM, and also Canadian Adoptee Rights advocate who wrote the Queen.  In 2003, Ron went to Geneva to address the UN Convention on the Rights of Child.  You can read both the letter to the Queen and his submission to the UNCRC here (scroll down).  A more detailed version of his story can be found on another website called Expatica.com, where an article based on an interview by Pip Farquharson, which can be found here.

The IDM also offered childbirth services to married women in a different area of the home.  Article about Violet Hope Eisenhauer who went to the IDM to give birth, and who was told her daughter passed away, but may have been adopted out instead.  I just finished reading about her in the book this morning, and hopefully further in – there will be more to the story.

Ideal Maternity Home Survivors website that has listings of those reunited, and those still searching, personal stories, and a memorial board among other items.  Survivors of IDM held reunions in Nova Scotia – this article was about past reunions, and the upcoming 2009 reunion.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Adoption, Ethics

 

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Ted Talks that seem right…

By TAO

Two talks from Ted but seem so right on an adoption blog.  I am sure there are many marketers working hard in the background to hype adoption as the solution to everyone’s problems…the most visible is of course calling an expectant mother a birthmother (one word)…but there is so much more…

Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man

“Advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. Rory Sutherland makes the daring assertion that a change in perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider “real” value — and his conclusion has interesting consequences for how we look at life.

Rory Sutherland stands at the center of an advertising revolution in brand identities, designing cutting-edge, interactive campaigns that blur the line between ad and entertainment.”

*

The second Ted talk that strikes me as right…

Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions?

“Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we’re not as rational as we think when we make decisions.

It’s become increasingly obvious that the dismal science of economics is not as firmly grounded in actual behavior as was once supposed. In “Predictably Irrational,” Dan Ariely tells us why.”

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I’ve spent my free time today working on my [adoptive] dads’ family tree.  I had a duplicate entry, and stupidly deleted the wrong one – not the duplicate – but the one that also deleted all the ancestors and sources.  Joy.  Good news is I am back to the early 1600’s again, and also took the time to refresh my knowledge of his ancestors who first came to the Colonies and the road they had to travel to just eek out a life.  Knowing the type of people they had to be to survive and carry on – I see dad in them because that was the type of person he was as well.

Every single time I work on any of my trees – it reminds me that so many adoptees  have no ability to do that – to know the road travelled by those who went before.  Donor conceived face the same struggle as adoptees, and yet the industry keeps creating more and more without giving a damn what the donor conceived will face.  It is all so very wrong, and no one seems to care, or if they do speak up they are shot down.  People are so desperate to get what they want – they forget they are choosing to go forward knowing their children – will be denied the right to know where they come from, and they may want that very much as well.  Seems so very ignorant.

 
 

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Letter to my mother…

By TAO

Dear Mother,

Writing Dear Mother seems so formal, yet I never met you, you so I can’t call you mom, or even know if you would have wanted to me to call you – mom.  Let alone if I would have been comfortable with that either.  How strange all of this is, and to think that at my age, I am writing you a letter for the very first time.  All in all, this seems to be a harder letter to write than I thought it would be, and seems without purpose, or reason, but yet I think it is still something that I need to do.  Perhaps it is just part of the journey, this need to talk to you, and write down my thoughts, so here goes…

One of my greatest wishes – is that you could have known all the times throughout my life, that I thought about you, longed to know who you were, desired just to know you. Looking back, I can’t remember a single time in my life when I didn’t want that. Every year on my birthday, would find me looking for a message from you to me in the paper, never found one, but it didn’t stop me dreaming of the day you would look for me, find me. That day never came and when I found you –  it was already too late. I never heard your voice, at least not that I remember, neither do I know if you ever saw me, held me, or even said goodbye. That hurts – not knowing anything about what happened when I was born.  I can never ask you the questions that haunt me, questions like: Did you see me, hold me?  Did they take me away and not let you see me? Did you want to see me? Did you try? Did you name me?  I wasn’t named on my birth certificate, so I will never know if you named me, or they just didn’t put my name on my birth certificate, as I was just a baby for adoption. In my heart I think you did, but that too, is just another missing piece. I do know you thought I had a family to go too, but I didn’t, and spent a few months “somewhere”. I don’t know where, or if it was just one person, or many people, who cared for me. No one knows, no one thought to ask, no one documented it. All I know, is that I was somewhere, because I am still here. I did get wonderful parents who were loving, and supportive, and did the best they could in all things.

There are many missing pieces to my story that can never be answered, just like I can never get to know you, see you, talk to you. Those missing pieces haunt me.  I need all the pieces to make sense of anything, regardless of what it is, but this is the big one, the one that dramatically altered my life in such a profound way. At the heart of who I am – I am a puzzle solver – I have to solve it, understand it, know it. Yet the event that forever changed the course of my life, is a puzzle to me, it will always have missing pieces, incomplete and unsolved.

There are so many things I wish could have been different. That you had reached out while you were still alive – while that one small link between us was still partly open. Perhaps you did try to reach out, but “others” thought you shouldn’t, perhaps you didn’t reach out for any number of reasons, it’s the not knowing that hurts, that can never be answered now. I wanted to know you in whatever form that relationship took. To know if we would have connected and talked for hours on end, finished each other’s sentences, understood each other, or be totally disconnected from each other, and distant, or something in between. There is comfort in knowing we shared similar interests, flower gardening and that you loved roses too, that reading was a passion we both shared, crafts. I also know that you married and had children, but that’s pretty much all I know, and it seems so little. That despite the willingness of others to share with me their knowledge about you, they can’t provide the knowledge that I crave, that can only be known when you know someone personally. I am grateful to know as much as I do, and am sorry that I didn’t push harder, but I was unsure if I should, and worried it would cause you pain, perhaps that is what happened on your end too. I would have liked a different ending, regardless of what the outcome was, that I might have been able to share with you my journey, and hear your journey. To have been able to tell you about things that happened in my life that seemed random at the time, but now strike me as perhaps what is called synchronicity. When I work on the family tree, I think of you, and wish you could tell me stories to give me a better sense of who our ancestors were. Above all, just the chance to spend some time getting to know you, and hear our story, would have been the best.

From all accounts – loosing me changed you, but I don’t think anyone truly understood why, how could they when they never went through anything like that. Little things said about your choices or actions – things that made perfect sense to me, seem to just not make any sense to them, why you would do something, or at least they never connected the two together. I believe I know why, because of similar reactions I had, after my son, your first grandchild, passed. I don’t know if that makes us alike, or just aligned, because we both lost our first child. My hope is that your husband understood, and from has been said, he was a good man, and I hope he was there for you when you needed him.

Finally, I have been told – you said, when asked, that you thought of me every day, and that makes me both happy, and sad, at the same time, because I always hoped you were okay and had a good life, while still thinking of me from time to time. Knowing that though, does provides me with a level of certainty, that you would have been open to knowing me as well, yet instead we both failed to act, and that allowed the wall of secrecy between us to stay for life. Secrecy that wasn’t right then, and still isn’t right now. I don’t believe that adoption was ever meant to be done this way, and they are slowly learning from the impact on so many, from this closed era social experiment. It’s just sad we had to be a part of that, bad timing I suppose, but at the end of the day, we can’t change the past, and just had to live the life that was dealt, I hope you did, and that you found the peace you needed, and the ability to have joy and happiness in your life too.

Your first child…

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Adoption, biological child

 

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Adoptee connections prompt – sort of…

By TAO

November 17th prompt…Adoptee connections

Did you know many adoptees growing up? Do you know more now? How have adoptee friendships (online or in-real-life) impacted your experience? How do you generally make adoptee connections?

The prompt isn’t sparking anything that fits the questions, but I wanted to talk about something kind of related, it’s an adoptee connection – sort of.

There was an on-line conversation about adopting the children of a very close relative that passed away.  That they wanted to change the children’s names.  The advice was varied from “only do it if you really feel you have to” –  “to go for it” – but even those cautioning against it came from two different places.  The point was brought up that the children have lost so much, would be lost and confused, and then lose their names, their identity, as well.  They asked how would they explain changing the name their mother gave them – which is very wonderful and I applaud them for saying it – except for the fact that one tied it specifically that it was important because it was a close relative who was the mother who passed away…

What is the difference if the child was related or not?  Why was being related important?  Every single child who is adoptable, has also lost enough…

Why is it okay to change any child’s name when they become adoptees – if it isn’t okay to change the name a mother gave – just because she was a very close relative?  Why did just those children lose so much, and how could they take away the name their mother gave them?  Somehow because it was a close relative, it made it different, and it shouldn’t have, every single adoptable child has already lost enough and it is a tragedy. 

Every child should be offered the same respect and understanding that being adopted is a confusing time (to say the very least).  That they will be lost, and losing their name and identity may add to the loss.  It bothered me because even though denial that blood matters is predominant in the adoption community – deep inside of some – being as it was a “relative” somehow gives more status to think of the child as more worthy of respect, and that the loss was more tragic.

It just struck me as wrong – every child losing their family is tragic…every single one.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

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Knowledge About Your Adoption prompt…

By TAO

November 16th prompt…Knowledge About Your Adoption

Some adoptive parents share more than others for various reasons. How much of your adoptive parents’ story was shared with you? If they shared details about your adoption, how did that make you feel? If they did not, do you wish they had? Did your parents share with you why they choose to adopt? Did they share that story with others in your life? If so, did it affect you in any way?

Mom and dad shared exactly what the SW told them, and that part of my story was they were asked to adopt me, when they weren’t looking to adopt again.  Everyone knew we were adopted – there wasn’t anyway they could have hidden it if they had wanted to, so I am sure my entire four sentence story was shared with at least those close – really how could they have abbreviated it anymore than that…

Every time talk about an adoptee’s story comes up – I am drawn to look back to the posts I have done about Chimanda Adichie – “The Danger of the Single Story”

This is a snippet of what I said in my post on November 20th 2011…about what Chimanda Adichie says in her talk – and how I related to it.

In the talk she shows time and time again with anecdotal personal stories how our impressions and views on an individual are shaped only by what we know about one part of who they are.

She states “It is impossible to talk about the single story without talking about power. There is a word an evil word that I think about “oncarli” (my phonetic spelling), it’s a noun roughly translated “to be greater than another”. Stories to are defined by the principal of “oncarli”, how they are told, who tells them, when they are told, how many stories are told, are really dependent on power. Power is the ability to tell the story of another person but to make it the definitive story of that person.”

As an adoptee in a closed adoption with knowledge that I would never know my family, my ancestors, my nationality I had one Single Story of them. A Single Story passed to my mom and dad from the social worker. That story consisted of four sentences. Once the court opened my records and I met my family, I learned that story had no truth to it at all. But it had been MY Single Story of my family for over 40 years. The power was held by the social worker who crafted my story, each sentence had the smallest grain of truth and a liberal helping of borrowed or changed information designed to ensure that even if I searched, with those facts I would fail.

I think Chimanda Adichie provides the very best advice to adoptive parents in her talk.  What I took away in part was – be aware that you are telling only one story of another person – tread very carefully with the terms you choose to use, and how you tell the story, and how limiting that story actually is.  Recognise the power you hold over making that single story – the only story anyone hears and remembers – you don’t know all the stories – just the one story you were told.

This is what I said about this ted talk back in 2010…

Adoption is not part of this video but it speaks so loudly about it that every single person involved in the adoption world must hear the words in this video.  Please take the time to listen to her words they are important.  None of us comes with a single story, nor is one story the only story you must hear on anything.

Even if you have listened to the talk before – it is worth listening to it over again, I can’t stress that enough.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child

 

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The Unexpected prompt…

November 15th prompt…The Unexpected

Is there an area of your life that most people would not suspect has been affected by your adoption in which being adopted has been an issue? How do you handle that area when discussing with other people?

Where hasn’t my adoption been an issue would be the better question.  Being adopted weaves itself into all facets of your life – some minimal, some maximal, and in-between…

Family: Even though mom and dad had no insecurity issues about their role in our lives – by the time I found my voice to talk about the hard aspects – there was no point – it was too late and they were too old.  When we talk about adoption today my voice is always matter of fact, unemotional, and still today mom would tell you that I never was very curious, or had many feelings about being adopted.  I think my insecurity played a role, and perhaps if I had not been the one who wanted to make everyone happy – it might have been different.  Too late now.

Work: Overly stressed about being perfect – I did a post on it for the adoption and your professional life prompt.

Health: You all know adoption, and being adopted, smacked me in the face in this area.  Reality sucks sometimes.  I have been very blunt in speaking about my anger over my lack of family health history because of adoption to my doctors.

Marriage: This I wasn’t expecting adoption to play as big a role as it does in my 2nd marriage, but I found my voice (literally and figuratively) after I got sick, so he has had to watch, and be there, while I go through this new phase.  He has done pretty well, the reunion emotions, the tears, the anger, and his deep anger at some of what happened.  I think I feel completely safe to be me with him – because he stuck around as a boyfriend when I got sick, and many wouldn’t have done that.  With him I know he will never let me go, and that’s a damn fine feeling – perhaps one of the few times in my life I have felt that secure.  It feels good to be free to be me…

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents, Ethics

 

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The Things People Say prompt…

November 14th prompt…The Things People Say

What is the strangest thing anyone has ever said to you or asked you about being adopted? What is the most insightful thing anyone has ever said to you about being adopted? Has anyone ever shared your story without your permission? If so, how did that make you feel? Who “owns” your story and what part of your story do you share with others in your adoption “triad”? Is there a line when it comes to sharing? If so, where is that line drawn for you?

None of the questions are speaking to me, but the Things People Say prompt is, so going off script again – so to speak…What I would like to talk about are the positive adoption statements made today that are so hard and fast that they deny any other reality.  Those statements are bringing back and/or continuing the stereotypical comments told to adoptees repeatedly throughout their lives.  Comments most of us have been subjected to over time such as:

You are so lucky to be adoptedYou should be grateful to be adoptedYou could have been abortedYour parents rescued youYour parents took you in.  You get my drift, and these are the most benign of the statements, and every single comment also makes it unacceptable to speak to any other feelings related to adoption.

If everyone only speaks of adoption as wonderful, then how can we expect others to grasp the fact that in order to be adopted – not only did you lose your mother, father, grandparents but your entire family.  Some adoptees feel that loss very deeply even at a young age, some older, some never do.  Yet any adoptee having been subjected directly to the type of comments above, or indirectly by statements made to their parents about being the proverbial saints for taking in the child most likely will have a hard time finding their voice to share their feelings.  Think about it when you listen to these common statements.

Adoption is a Miracle – Adoption is when a child grew in its mommy’s heart instead of her tummy – The Blessing of Adoption – Meant to be – Adoption means love – Adoption is destiny – Adoption is the greatest gift…

How can a child, or even an adult adoptee dare to say anything about what they feel inside, when the world thinks adoption is all sunshine and roses?  If they do speak up, they are labelled as angry, mal-adjusted, had a bad experience

It places too great a burden when the shiny side is voiced as the only side.  We would never do that to widow or widower who remarried, a child who lost one parent and still lives with the other parent, or anyone who lost their family.  We would acknowledge the sad side and the new side.  When only one side of adoption is promoted – we silence the adoptee – the one at the very heart of the adoption.

Lets work to show the full picture of adoption – so those stereotypical comments go away for good.

Connected to the above discussion and specifically on the you could have been aborted comment – the choose life – adoption is an option message being promoted by CPC’s, PRC’s, adoption agencies, churches, are promoting the continuation of the stereotype that adoptees could have been aborted.  The message is also combined with the message of providing a gift of a child – for couples with infertility who long to be parents.  I am not trying to say anything negative here – simply that the message can, and does promote the you could have been aborted comments we get.

This is what the message looked like in my era.  Not nearly as massaged to be politically correct – rather framed in plain speak and was the view of some, perhaps many.

From a 1969 Dear Abby column. 

“Dear Abby: I wonder if those people who are all for birth control and abortion have ever stopped to consider that every year thousands of childless couples have been able to adopt babies only because they were illegitimate.

Unwed mothers actually serve a very useful purpose in society, don’t they?

Signed Against Birth Control And Abortion

Dear Against: It’s true that because of illegitimacy, many couples have been able to become parents thru adoption.

But to say that “the unwed mother serves a useful purpose in society” is like comparing illegitimacy to a heart transplant. It’s wonderful for the recipient, but serves no useful purpose for the donor.”

I am not sure exactly what Abby meant by the “serves no useful purpose for the donor” but I know her twin, Ann, spoke of mothers (not birthmothers – mothers) giving up their children as a “bitter experience” so my assumption is Abby was trying to convey the same in the example she gave.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child

 

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Adoptee Rights prompt…

November 13th prompt…You & Adoptee Rights

Do you have access to your OBC?

Yes, I am one of the very few adoptees in my state with access to both my original birth certificate, and all the records in my sealed adoption file.  My access was granted as “good cause” because I was very sick and diagnosed with a rare disease.

If you do, have you gotten yours yet?

Of course!  I went and bought a beautiful frame and it hangs proudly on my wall next to pictures of my family.

What did that mean to you?

Peace is the best one word answer I can come up with.

Holding my original birth certificate that provided an accurate, unaltered version of my birth, gave me peace of mind.  Prior to that there were so many unanswered questions, that even when not at the front of my mind, they were always waiting just beneath the surface – ready to resurface and hold me in a dark place until I could push them down again.

While I was trying to come up with words to end this post I was caught once again the strange contradiction of rights made by those who oppose the adult adoptee the right to their original birth certificate.  The contradiction both amuses me and angers me at the same time.  It goes something like this…

If a mother chooses open adoption, and once the adoption is finalized the adoptive parents close the adoption, the mother has no recourse.  The adoption agency and the law will tell her she has no rights, that she surrendered all rights to her child.  That even in the states where the open adoption was part of the adoption process and approved by the courts, the claim of best interests of the child beats the claim of the mother.

Yet when an adoptee rights legislation is pending suddenly the rights that the mother surrendered (permanently) – are resurrected by adoption agencies, adoption lawyers, adoption advocacy groups, as inviolate.  They even include a new right not spoken of in the surrender document that is called confidentiality or right to privacy, and trumps the right of the adult child to their original birth certificate.

Only in adoption does it seem you can have something both ways…she has no rights to her child because she permanently signed away those rights – yet she has the right to deny her child access to their own birth certificate decades later…

I’ll leave you with the wording used in my surrender document to describe the full extent that the mother has no rights to any decision about me at all.  This is the last paragraph of my surrender judgement: (from this post last year on the subject)

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the said child, Baby Girl xxxx, be and it hereby is, made a ward of the xxxx County Juvenile Court, permanently removed from the care, custody and control of said mother, Miss xxxx xxxx, xxxx South x, xxxx, xxxx, and said mother, Miss xxxx xxxx, be and she hereby is, permanently deprived of any and all rights to said child, said child is hereby placed in the care, custody and control of Mrs. xxxx xxxx, Chief Probation Officer, xxxx County Juvenile Court, with authorization to consent to the adoption of said child by such person or person as may be approved by the Superior Court of the State of xxxx.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Adoption, Ethics

 

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Isn’t Life Interesting Part 4

By Shadow

Click on the links to read the prior posts Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

It’s day 12 of adoption awareness month, and the prompt for today is relationships with significant others. I never know, when I start a post, just where it will go, what my point is, or, sometimes, even if I have one. It’s, apparently, not a new trait. My husband, lovingly I hope, tells me regularly, “Your mind just goes places; no one else’s mind dares to go.” I don’t know if he’s right. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, or not, but I am who I am. How has being adopted affected my relationships with others? Isn’t that a loaded question? Now, how do I tie that in with the conclusion of “Isn’t Life Interesting”?

In my mid 40s, and, approximately, three years into my reunion with D, my first father, the final, knock-out, punch, of the reality of adoption, hit me, and sent me to the mat for the count. The best description I can give you is that, for me, as they say in the world of addiction recovery, I hit rock bottom with this realization. What I am about to say has the potential to upset, offend, and possibly anger, a lot of first parents, first family members, and maybe even a few adoptive parents. It upset quite a few of my family members, so prepare yourself if you are a bit sensitive to some of the realities of adoption. However, harsh, and cold, it may sound, it is the truth, and a fact of my life. Though, many of my family were, and are, angry that I point this out, not one of my family members has denied its truth.

Though this does not pertain to all adoptees, it does pertain too many of us, especially those of us from the baby scoop error (yes, I intentionally used that word). It hit me like a speeding freight train from out of nowhere, when I realized that on the day I was born, there was not a soul on the face of the earth that was happy about it. Having grown up with the belief, as most people do, that the birth of a child is always a joyous occasion, this, particular, reality of adoption, that not all babies births were joyous occasions, and I, in fact was one of those babies, well, I guess you could say it sort of rocked my world.

There was no happy, joyous family waiting to see their new baby girl. My welcome into the world was full of sadness, and denial. When I entered the world, I was not placed in the loving arms of my mother, father, or family. I was not placed in the loving arms of my new adoptive family, as there were no waiting adoptive parents. For me, there was only a hospital nursery, where I lay alone. The only family there was my first mother’s sister. Though the nurses did allow her to sit with me for a while, she was not allowed to touch me, or hold me. Yes, on the day I was born there were no doting parents, proud, and ready to take their baby home. There were no happy faces smiling at me cooing and telling me how precious I was. There was just a baby, alone in a hospital crib. If that isn’t one hell of a welcome into the world, I don’t know what is. If it isn’t obvious how that might have affected my relationships with significant others in my life, I don’t know what else I can tell you. If the effect of adoption on me isn’t obvious in, not only this story, but my own story, as I’ve shared it, I don’t know how better to explain it.

As I mentioned in part THREE, if you look CLOSELY, my journey through the stages of grief, is apparent. The final stage, in the grieving process, is acceptance, and with that, let’s get on with the conclusion of “Isn’t Life Interesting”.

“Well, I think I went from making a point in the beginning to getting some things off my chest. So, what was my point? I’ve reunited with my entire biological family on both my Bmom’s and Bdad’s side. I’ve witnessed the countless issues, effects, emotions, and other issues adoption has brought into the lives of my entire biological family for good and for bad. I’ve experienced my own issues caused by adoption. I’ve seen the good and bad there as well. Someone asked me once about finding my birth parents, “If you knew then what you know now, would you do it again?” I didn’t even have to think about it. I answered with an emphatic, “Yes.” For me, knowing my biological family, even with all the pain and emotions, was worth every minute. Even though, I have little or no relationship with some of them, it was worth it. Would I have rather grown up in my biological family as opposed to my adoptive family? Well, what an interesting scenario that would have been, to be raised by my bio parents, but I can’t honestly say either way. Wondering what might have been, though sometimes fun, doesn’t change anything, and usually just causes me pain. My life is my life with all the good and all the bad, which brings me back to my cousins precious little one.

Because of adoption, a couple, who could not have children of their own, will now have an opportunity for the family they wanted so badly. A child, who was a victim of circumstance, is now an adoptee with a loving family. There are new bio parents, who will someday feel the loss of relinquishing their child, but will know they did what was best for her. Someday, because of adoption, she may choose to find her biological parents, like I did, and another roller coaster will take off.

Isn’t it interesting that a family, my Bdad’s that had never been touched by adoption has now been touched twice? I feel a kind of kindred spirit with my cousin’s daughter. I don’t know what her future holds, but whatever it is; there will be someone there for her who understands what it is like to be an adoptee.

Whatever your part in adoption, Adoptee, Adoptive family member, or biological family member, whatever feelings you have about adoption at the moment, I hope, by sharing my cousin’s story, you will see, like I did, that though there is so much pain and emotions for all of us involved in the triad, that in the midst of all the pain happiness can be found. I also hope that doesn’t sound too completely sappy, and you get my point, which I’m not really sure about myself anymore. Lol”

Happiness can always be found if you look for it; if you want to see it. Isn’t happiness everyone’s goal in life? You see, it’s that insistence that we have to, always, be happy, that I have a bit of an issue with. I began my life surrounded by denial, and grief. I know, from experience, that some will accuse me of being overly dramatic, and some will say I am just feeling sorry for myself. Though I know what I’ve stated, about the day I was born, will upset, and anger, some, I refuse to live my life surrounded by that denial. The facts of my life are what they are. Sad as some of those facts are, I have to live with that knowledge. I do not dwell on them, as some may think, and will accuse me of such, telling me to leave the past in the past. Writing about the facts, the truth, having the courage to face it, grieve it, and talk about it, is not dwelling. It is acceptance. It is the acceptance of my past.

Not fully accepting the facts of my past, acknowledging those facts, for me, is the same as denying the past, and denying they are part of who I am. No, they are not happy facts. My acknowledgement of those sad facts may be an emotional trigger for some. For me, however, they have been a part of the grieving process, and part of my acceptance of it all. Without acknowledging all the sad facts of my life, how can I truly appreciate all of the happiness in my life? When I started with Part 1 of this story, I had no idea that this is where I would end up. Ah, yes. Isn’t life interesting?

 

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