23 Jun

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.


Posted by on June 23, 2018 in Adoption


Tags: ,

27 responses to “Broken

  1. gift2014

    June 23, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    I feel overwhelmingly sad for these families as I imagine how distraught they must feel–especially the children who only know terror and confusion as they scream for parents, for human touch. As we hear people describe the agony, the permanent damage, how can we not draw a line to losses in adoption which for so long have been dismissed as non-existent, or at best temporary? I weep for the failure of large numbers in this country who approve of the policies that lead to this debacle.

    We must join hands in action to protect children and to remove the blinders that prefer fairy tales to reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      June 23, 2018 at 7:20 pm

      Yes, thank you, I agree.


  2. Stephanie

    June 23, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Thank you, sweet one. Standing in solidarity with you. Every emotion matches my own. Dear God, the children.


    • TAO

      June 23, 2018 at 10:19 pm

      Yes, the children. I so hope the feeling deep inside me is proven wrong, and if it is I will hold up those who ensured the children were reunited.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. maryleesdream

    June 23, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    My daughter told me she saw a post on Facebook about a gay couple who adopted a baby. The comments said, how wonderful, it’s beautiful to see a family created, in the midst of all these kids losing their families.

    My daughter was amazed that the commentators did not see that the baby lost his entire family, and a family was torn apart so two men could have the parent experience. She saw it clearly, because of me, being her mother. But society does not see infant adoption as losing family.

    I don’t think that’s ever going to change. Losing family through adoption is “different”. I don’t know how, but it is.


    • TAO

      June 23, 2018 at 11:19 pm

      I feel so bad for your daughter to have to face that reality – the generational effect of adoption. I too don’t think it’s ever going to change.

      Liked by 1 person

    • beth62

      July 4, 2018 at 7:06 am

      It’s different because of the reason Adoption was created.
      “Illegitimate ” all too often led to exposure or baby dumping, neonaticide, infanticide, sent to the hospital nurseries where 90%+ died and everybody knew it, just like they knew what “visiting a sick aunt” meant, or “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. Illegitimate has been around a long time, the kids used for labor, slavery, servents, experiments, sex, you name it. Good people just couldn’t bring “one of them” home… You know, all the documented negative stuff no one likes to talk about or wants to believe – easier to pretend it’s over. Hide it, hide the ugly, And quick.
      Adoption saved the little bastards, isn’t it wonderful.
      It’s saved the poor and uncivilized too, and many more who some feel just don’t fit right, labeled as lesser, need saving.
      Epigenetics is real too, and good for future generations they say today.
      Yesterday they said, and used, Eugenics.
      They will say, those are better off, they’ll be alright, all under control now.
      No worries. Family, food, shelter, security and education – the necessities for a proper life.
      How lucky they are!


  4. legitimatebastard

    June 24, 2018 at 3:10 am

    I’ve been having nightmares, crying at odd times – while driving or doing chores, and feeling anxiety all the time. It’s the constant feeling of re-living my own loses as that infant who lost her entire family, coupled with seeing or hearing the cries of the children being separated now. I’m triggered back to a space I’d rather not be. Sure, we can write our blogs, work on activism, reflect one our own lives as adoptees, yet, for me, that stuff doesn’t effect my day to day life as this new, immigrant separation news does. I brought this to my therapist’s attention. We both know I’m back into PTSD reactions.

    I feel so sad for these children, and for their parents. And then I just get numb. Can’t do anything about it all, then I shut down.

    I hate it all.

    Sometimes, when I think my life is normal, that I have a normal day at work, for example, I come home to realize, no, no, what happened to me is not normal. It is not normal to be separated from your family at infancy to be raised with a new name and family. It’s not normal what these children and parents are going through. This is a mess.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jill Daviau

    June 24, 2018 at 6:08 am

    I feel so helpless. I want to run to a detention centre and gather all the children up in my arms.

    I’ve been sleeping the most part of the past 48 hours. My nightmares have been graphic and barbaric.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Dannie

    June 25, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    not an adoptee, but a daughter of both a father and mother that were immigrants. My father was an unaccompanied minor and during that time and even before his time, the children sent on ahead unacompanied were never considered to be up for adoption. The hope was that parents would be able to escape the country and be reunited with their kids here in the States. My mom did end up being fortunate to come with both parents and her sister and no separation was ever done.

    My thoughts are just confused. I’m not even sure what is going on and why there’s all this going on. Is it due to bias in general from individuals from Mexico and Central America? Is it just something new and it will come to pass no matter what and where a family is from? IDK but it’s all so confusing at the moment.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Tracy Whitney

    June 26, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I’m so gutted by the loss and fear and anxiety that these children are being forced to face. As an adoptive parent for 10 years, I’ve been on a huge learning curve of how to sit with the complex feelings of my child’s loss and gain encapsulated in that one word: adopted.

    If it’s hard on me, on us, who get the joy of the permanency and benefit of family forever, I cannot even fathom how devastating it is to those who are being shuffled off, moved around and NOT given the benefit of any final safe landing place until (if?) they are re-united where they belong. Thank you for your thoughts. Thank you for speaking for the kids. ❤


    • TAO

      June 26, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      Thanks Tracy


  8. Momengineer

    June 26, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    My daughter was taken from her family at three days. I met her in China when she was ten months. She was a curious and calm baby for the first 48 hours. Then, I think, she realized I was hers alone. She spent the next several years holding on as if her life depended on it. She is now a successful college student, away from home and thriving. But, sometimes the shadow of that trauma peeks out. NO ONE should ever do that to a child!

    Liked by 2 people

    • TAO

      June 26, 2018 at 11:18 pm

      Hey Mom, I’ve missed you. I do think the body holds the trauma – just waiting to reappear.

      Liked by 1 person

      • beth62

        June 27, 2018 at 3:48 pm

        broken, gutted, sad, confused, helpless. yes. i feel very hollow, floating again… my peek is peaking. i hope.
        i’m so angry i can only talk softly, safely. the widespread hypocrisy i see from so many directions. pffftt ALL DIRECTIONS. omg. i am ablaze.

        Liked by 2 people

        • TAO

          June 27, 2018 at 3:50 pm

          well said

          Liked by 1 person

          • beth62

            June 28, 2018 at 2:58 pm

            I forgot numb, and frozen in fire



      • Momengineer

        June 28, 2018 at 3:28 pm

        I think both the body and the subconscious brain retain the trauma. Food security is also a part of it. Stress brings it out sometimes, but sometimes not. Consciously acknowledging that a bed full of fuzzy blankets and a stocked pantry are necessities helps. It’s better to not traumatize the child in the first place.


  9. Tiffany

    June 29, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    I have been having nightmares about this since it started. I feel such rage and utter helplessness.

    Only those with no adoption experience or those APs and people who lack the ability to empathize would deny the trauma that removal from a parent causes. It is pure scientific fact, and denying it happens doesn’t make it any less true. I witnessed the trauma it caused my daughter to be taken from her mother as an infant, and I absolutely and firmly believe it has reverberated through her life and will continue to do so.

    I’m so broken about this…. and feeling a huge weight of guilt in my helplessness.


  10. Raven

    July 2, 2018 at 5:52 am

    This situation at the border has sent me into a tailspin the past couple weeks. I’m having daily nightmares and flashbacks of the time I spent down in El Salvador in the early 1980s.

    Liked by 1 person

    • beth62

      July 2, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      That sounds scary Raven. In the 80’s, even scarier. Many of my neighbors are from El Salvadore, I’ve heard some awful things about it. Why were you there?


  11. Sally Bacchetta

    July 12, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    “…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.” I cry every time I re-read that.


    • TAO

      July 12, 2018 at 11:50 pm

      No idea why you keep going to moderation Sally – are you changing emails or something – this is strange.

      Thanks for getting what I was trying to say. I’ve gone silent again because it is all so hard to even think of the pain being caused.


  12. Leslee Jaeger

    July 15, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Children from Central and South America were warmly welcomed into this country when they were adopted by Caucasian parents and their adoptions were the result of a broken family. Now parents from these same countries south of the border are trying to keep their families intact by striving for a better life for their children. The response from the US again is to break up the families. As an adoptive parent, I couldn’t me more ashamed.


  13. TAO

    July 19, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    Marnie – not going to approve your comment, nor respond further as I’ve been very specific in general over the comments that will be approved here. In addition I was very specific regarding comments for this post.



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