I’ve tried multiple times to collect my thoughts enough to talk about all the feelings that have erupted inside of me, unnameable, but there while I’ve watched the coverage of the separation of children from their mothers. Other adoptees are feeling strong feelings over this as well. Their feelings may be different than mine, feelings filtered through their own personal story.
Last night I named a feeling. Broken. Broken for the mothers, fathers, and the children in this situation and what they must be feeling every second of every day. It haunts my thoughts of how scared and alone the children must feel. Deeply saddened they must endure this trauma.
It has all left me unsettled and in the back of my mind running on an endless loop is questions on how my mother coped in the first while after I was born. I know she’d changed after she’d returned home, grief does that to you, it fundamentally changes who you are, how you act, how you learn to survive losing your child, complicated by not knowing how your child is doing, if they are even alive. Then I think of how all those mothers are feeling right now and I hurt for them.
It also brought back memories of all the times mom talked about what it was like for me when I came home. While mom never used the term traumatized, her description left no doubt that I was. Mom thought I’d been abused. I’ve tried the high-road, to spin it in the positive that maybe I was bonded to whoever it was caring for me, and that’s why I couldn’t be soothed, or adjust, now I think I just hadn’t got to the stage where I’d given up like babies in orphanages do once they understand that no one is coming. Then I think of all those children separated right now from their mothers and I hurt for them.
At other times the reality intrudes that mother and child are separated every single day in domestic infant adoption, and how people call it meant to be, beautiful, and other terms to show just how wonderful it is for the child to lose their entire family days after they came into this world.
And then the other reality comes to mind that mothers and fathers have their children taken everyday and placed in foster care. How hard that must be on all of them, hopefully the children are cared by foster carers who understand the trauma, who are in it for the right reason to help the child while the family has time to heal. Regardless of why they lost their children, both the parents and the children are separated, hurting, scared.
And it can’t be understated that the racial disparities are ever-present in both types of adoption and it all leaves you feeling hopeless.
And I realize again that we live in a time when family preservation holds so little value. A value once considered to be sacrosanct.
All those thoughts have come to mind multiple times watching stories on what is unfolding right now.
Then there is this misguided statement by Laura Ingraham.
And we should make adoption easier for American couples who want to adopt these kids who are true candidates for adoption because our policies don’t allow that. So let’s put our hearts out there for the kids in the right way. Take care of them the right way. Open your hearts and your homes to them. (source)
Laura Ingraham is an adoptive parent, an international adoptive parent. She should absolutely know better than to speak about adoption, and hopefully she meant that adoption wasn’t possible but that people needed to care anyway. These children are not available for adoption, should not be available for adoption, but just like what happens every time a tragedy or disaster occurs, some people ask how they can adopt the children, not how they can help the family become whole again, they just want the children.
The National Council for Adoption put out a statement yesterday and I’m glad they did. It is wholly inappropriate to even think that adoption is the solution, it just is. I’m deeply concerned though that many were sent to other states and how reunification will happen. Bethany is one of the places where the children were sent to and they’ve posted these statements. In addition this article speaks to the role Bethany has played for years in this area.
I’m terribly uneasy about wherever and to whoever the children have been sent to, the history of child protection and adoption says even those who go in with good intentions often end up doing harm. Hopefully this time proves good, not harm will happen seeing how many are watching as this story evolves.
I’m requesting that if you comment on this post, you speak to your feelings about how you’ve been affected, and not the politics or anything like that, I can’t take the stress it would cause me. I considered closing comments on this post, and based on the type of comments, I may close all comments or delete those out of line with my intentions because my stress levels are too high.