Magical thinking doesn’t belong in adoption

27 Apr

Read an interview with a first mother, wasn’t anything special, boy meets girl, girl gets pregnant, adoption happened and everything worked out. She ends with the fact that she was just a vessel.

I can’t imagine if my mother had lived and we’d met all to have her tell me that she was just a vessel to get me to the parents I was supposed to have been born too. 

Talk about ignorant, to me that takes the cake. Maybe it’s a way to pretend you didn’t have any choice, you did, one day you’ll have to face it.

It’s also seriously disturbing when you dig down to what that means, some baby just hitched a ride inside your uterus and stars aligned so that you, as the vessel just dropped off the baby into the family they were supposed to have been born into and be with all along.

Rather than the normal way babies happen.

I’ll take my story of boy meets girl, they like each other, they date for awhile and seeing as the boy has what appears to be 50’s era Chevy Belair with a big back seat, one night I was conceived. One thing is for certain, my mother wasn’t a vessel, she was, and is my mother, who also had to make a choice, and her choice was to relinquish her parental rights to me, my mother, not a vessel.

And mom and dad had a choice to accept those parental rights to me, and did.

Magical thinking, mystical thinking has no place in adoption; just like all adoptees, I too didn’t fall off the turnip truck, no stork dropped me off, nor did I arrive in this world from a vessel who dropped me off to the people who were supposed to have been my parents all along.

If you see this nonsense voiced, push back hard, because you know someone else will think it’s swell, and then another and another. Adoption is what it is, if you can’t deal with the all it is, don’t choose adoption whatever side you reside in.


Posted by on April 27, 2021 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , , ,

22 responses to “Magical thinking doesn’t belong in adoption

  1. Dannie

    April 27, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    I had to leave a thread in one of the ADHD parent support groups because one parent said she had never told her 7 year old that she is adopted and because she’s immature due to difficulties with the ADHD maybe she needed to wait til she was older. OMG and the comments….I didn’t think that happened anymore. I said my piece and was out of there….I’m not sure how I like these support groups on FB for parenting ADHD kids…seems like the majority of parents are using it as an excuse for many things, which is why this dx does not get the respect it should for parents truly working and struggling to help their children succeed….I”m like, I love my adoption triad support groups better even if not perfect…oy vey. Anyways that was my encounter for the week.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TAO

      April 27, 2021 at 8:44 pm

      Yeah – the not telling child they are adopted is the biggest cop-out there ever was being an AP, if you can’t bear to tell, you shouldn’t adopt. Sorry you experienced that.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dannie

    April 27, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    I just didn’t know that was a thing….like how is secrecy and omission of an important truth ok regardless….I work in special ed myself as an SLP and even children with Intellectual Disabilities that are adopted have been told by their parents….I was blown away.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. legitimatebastard

    April 28, 2021 at 12:38 am

    Well, let’s see. My adoptive mother never wanted to tell me I was adopted. My adoptive father went along with whatever she said, and did. His sister-in-law, however, really blasted my adoptive mother (as Auntie told me many decades later) when I was an infant. She said, “You know, you MUST tell her she’s adopted.” To which my adoptive mother snapped, “Oh no, she’s MINE!”

    A few years later, when I was five years old, my adoptive mother told me, “You mother had too many children, so she gave you to us.”

    Two years after that, she said to me, “Your mother died and your father thought it best that you come live with us.”

    At least she told me part of the truth. But, I was left to deal with two different stories of how I became adopted. In the first story, how many children were “too many” to keep? And that means that I have siblings somewhere. Can I see them?

    The second story left me with grief for the mother who died and for my father who gave me away. How is a child supposed to cope with these unexplained stories? Which one was true? Why did no one help me with my own feelings?

    This took place in the early1960s. I was born in 1956.

    Liked by 2 people

    • maryleesdream

      April 28, 2021 at 12:42 pm

      I was told from early infancy. A mom said she would change my diaper and say “you are adopted” and “I am your mother” to me.
      I’m glad I don’t remember that.
      The story was Mom had to raise her younger siblings, so by the time I came along she was tied of raising kids, and wanted freedom. Maybe that was partially true, though when I told my natural Mom that story she was horrified. Maybe that was the social worker’s take on the situation and that’s what they told A-Mom. Mom did have responsibility for her younger sibs.

      I was also told my parents were too poor to take care of me. I wondered why they couldn’t get jobs, like my a parents did.

      If only there had been some real hard discussions about the truth, with some understanding of the loss I felt.

      Both mothers have passed, and we were never able to get past all the silence and denial.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. legitimatebastard

    April 28, 2021 at 12:55 am

    As for being a vessel, if anyone says to me that my natural mother was a vessel so that I would be adopted, I’d yell and scream at that ignorant person.

    A few years back, when I had just published my memoir, I was part of a local author book selling day with about 60 authors sitting at tables with people walking around. The author sitting next to me handed me her her book mark. I handed her mine. My tag line states, “The death of my married mother when I was an infant led to my secret adoption. Eighteen years later, I was found by family I did not know I had.”

    The woman snapped at me, “Oh, you sound angry!”

    I asked her, “Did you even read that my mother DIED?”

    She replied, “Yes, I read that. You seem angry that you were adopted.”

    I snarled at her, “I’m infuriated with you right now for not acknowledging my pain and loss of my mother when I was a few months old!”

    She replied, “Well, I’m an adoptive mother! You should be happy that someone took care of you!”

    This woman didn’t say, “Gee, I’m sorry that your mother died.” It didn’t even occur to her that I lost my father, too, because of adoption. All that mattered to her is that adoption saved me. And that my mother didn’t have an abortion to save her life. Nice to know that she was in the room when both of my parents made choices based upon what the doctors said and what they wanted as parents and how they felt about their other four children. I was loved and wanted. And then my mother died. If she had lived, there would have been no adoption. My father was talked into giving me away.

    If my mother would be alive right now, I know she’d not only be hurt, but she’d be very angry, maybe even filled with rage at the the idea that a woman would simply hand over her baby happily to someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Robyn C

    April 30, 2021 at 2:25 am

    I do not like to tell other members of the triad how to feel. If a particular birth/first mom insists she was a vessel, who am I to tell her she’s wrong? I could tell her that her child may not feel that way, maybe say that I don’t consider my kids’ birthmoms as vessels, but I couldn’t tell her “Nope, sorry, you weren’t, and it’s bad for you to think that.” Some people need magical thinking, and some people really do believe it. And the nature of God is such that no one can say with certainty that that kind of faith isn’t justified. I don’t think God meant my kids to be my kids, but I could be wrong about that. We can try to live our truths and set examples for others, but we can’t necessarily deny others’ truths.


    • legitimatebastard

      April 30, 2021 at 3:38 am

      I disagree. It isn’t healthy for anyone to hold magical thinking as truth. If someone believes she was a vessel through which she conceived a baby, carried the pregnancy, went through labor and delivered an infant, and then handed that infant over to someone else and calls herself a vessel, well then doctors and nurses in the delivery room will be rolling their eyes at her. Facts are facts. Her name and identifying information is on all of her medical records. Medical insurances records. AND the child’s medical record of live birth — in other words, the child’s birth certificate recorded within five days of birth. Only upon adoption is that birth certificate revoked, sealed, and replaced by the amended birth certificate, which is a false statement of “facts”. Any woman who claims she is a vessel is in serious denial of reality. And that is a very dangerous thing. It is dangerous to herself. it is dangerous to her infant who will grow up might want to search for her mother someday. If and when such an adopted person meets a biological mother who believes she is not the adoptee’s natural mother, there is a chance of rejection, anger, more denial, and heartbreak. For both parties. Truth is best. Honesty is best. A mother who doesn’t want her child after birth has the choice to relinquish, but she also has to come to terms with her actions. Denial is a defense mechanism. Believing she is a vessel ordained by god to perform an action to supply someone else her baby is not seeing reality. She’s in a fantasy world. Mentally speaking, she is not in her right mind. None of that would be condoned by any mental health professional, or medical professional.

      Liked by 1 person

    • cb

      May 5, 2021 at 12:14 am

      She can think what the heck she likes, she can even say what the heck she likes as long as she realises that the right to do so goes both ways and that if her child doesn’t like it then that child has every right to say how he/she feels about it.

      If I saw a bmom say the above, I would ask them how they would feel if their child doesn’t agree. If she said something along the lines of “well the child damn well get with the program”, then yeah, I think I would have the right to say “sorry that attitude is wrong”.

      Of course the reality is that many bmoms who say the above are going to get a lot of people hoping that they are matched with someone who feels the exact way. Bmoms who feel that way are often enabled by others so even if you don’t feel comfortable telling the bmom she is wrong, you can always respond to those say things like “I want to match with a *birthmother* just like you!”. (yes, the incorrect language is deliberate).

      Liked by 3 people

      • beth62

        May 10, 2021 at 2:40 pm

        Right, I gotta wonder if the women who call themselves vessels also intend on having any kind of relationship with their child? I don’t think that is going to work so well!
        Will they try to create a Vessel Day? What are we supposed to do to celebrate?
        Ya know, I’ve heard so many Adoptees refer to being flushed, like useless poo. The movie Joe Dirt incorporated the poo theme throughout. I always thought of the toilet as the vessel… not so much mother. Causing me to rethink on the flush.

        Some of the surrogate Birthmothers (self described with a capital B) I’ve talked to say that is all they are to the child is a vessel of birth, a Birthmother. Proud of it. Not their eggs, not their child in any way.
        I have a hard time believing that. Of course I ask why include the word mother if you’re not? Why not call yourself a Birthvessel? Maybe I could believe it if it were a machine and not a well paid pregnant human (a mother)…
        I think that kind of marketing/propaganda is spreading thru the entire Adoption community.
        Can it really be called meant to be, when you are deciding what will be?

        Liked by 1 person

        • beth62

          May 11, 2021 at 12:42 pm

          I guess this is the level of my need to know all I can about origin… Even if my gestational mother was a machine of some sort, I’d likely want to know every detail about that machine I could learn. I might want to grow up and build better machines, be a Baby Makin Machine Engineer. Maybe a Sales Rep. Or I could go work as a Technician in the baby makin factory and watch them grow, monitor and maintain the machinery. Or maybe I could work on building a better embryo for the machine process, or the end product application. Or maybe I could just join the anti group and try to sabotage it all.

          :/ Alright then, looks like my day is starting off a little strange! Must need more coffee


          • legitimatebastard

            May 11, 2021 at 7:22 pm

            Sigh…. I’m old enough to remember a sci-fi Movie of The Week from about 1970 or 1972. Could be later. To bad I don’t recall the name. There were rows of jars with fluid in them and tubes leading to a central line. Inside these jars were human embryos large enough to be “born” at any moment. Too bad I didn’t think to write down the name of that movie. That’s the only scene I remember.

            I remember thinking, gee, what would it feel like to be born that way? Being adopted had too many anxieties for me, and this was a few years before my natural family found me, so I hadn’t yet experienced that trauma. Nor did I know about sperm donation. Egg donation hadn’t been invented yet, nor did surrogacy.

            What a mess we are living in. I fear for future generations.

            Liked by 1 person

            • beth62

              June 17, 2021 at 1:38 am

              I remember one from back then, not the name of it of course. I think there are a few baby making machine movies.
              I’m watching a series on hbo max, the new sci-fi baby maker caught me off guard!
              Has a lot of interesting concepts, and twists. And the smiley fella, Ragnar from the show Vikings 🙂
              I probably should have watched the trailers first! The title caught my attention… so I clicked.
              Raised By Wolves.


              • legitimatebastard

                June 17, 2021 at 2:06 pm

                Oh Yikes!

                Well, there is another movie:

                I watched it about a year ago. It sent chills through me, as did the trailer to Raised By Wolves.

                I wonder how these script writers come up with their ideas. Do they have actual adopted people in the Writers Room? Would other adoptees who are not-aware of the trauma contribute to this mess?

                Is anyone aware of the PTSD that we experience as we watch this stuff?

                Are they aware of the mythology movies such as these perpetuate into society?

                Is this one of the reasons why we continue to have Magical Thinking in adoption today?

                Does anyone care how WE feel?


                • beth62

                  June 18, 2021 at 2:03 am

                  I saw that one :/
                  I watch all I can find in this realm, always have. Just to see the spin they take. Can’t say it’s a good or helpful thing, not sure.

                  Here’s a scary blame the adoptee one, made just last year… I haven’t watched it.
                  If Adoptees made it, I might laugh. Kind of laughing anyway tho.

         the trailer


  6. KPMominTexas

    May 11, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    I wonder sometimes if women who say they are “vessels” have done so to separate themselves emotionally so as to avoid grief or responsibility. Or maybe mothers during the Baby Scoop Era have chosen to believe the lies spoken over them that they being single did not deserve to parent. I was told there were other people who deserved to be parents and I was allowing that dream to come true. I believed this well into my 20’s. My daughter was born when I had just turned 17 and I believed everyone that told me adoption was “in the best interest of the child” as stated in the adoption papers at least 10 times. I would only bring shame to my family and the child. Even as I got married and had other children I felt I had to prove I could be a good mother. It was my goal in life. And then in reunion I found myself trying to prove to everyone I wasn’t a horrible person-first that I was pregnant as a teen and then that I “gave her up for adoption.” I basically had to start over working on that stupid shame I thought I had already dealt with.
    I had to face some hard truths in reunion. I didn’t fight for her. I didn’t fight for myself. I didn’t look for her. I believed the agency when they told me I would never be allowed to. Now I hear stories of the mothers who did search and wish I would have. I let fear and shame keep me from searching. I did not think she would “miss me”, but of course she did. I always missed her and dreamed of the day I would meet her. I’m so thankful that she has given me the opportunity to be a part of her life. That is amazing to me. I have never gone as far as to believe in a kind of fairytale that I was intended to be a vessel. I believed the opposite that I was being punished for not being married. I know now that God doesn’t work that way.
    I knew at the VERY LEAST I needed to apologize to my daughter for my bad choices. She once thanked me for “giving her life”. I asked her to please not to think that was me being brave. It was not. None of my decisions were brave. I am glad she feels like she can talk to me about her feelings. My husband and I are moving soon. We will live about 1.5 hrs further away from her. She tells me she has to remind herself that I am not leaving her. She struggles with feelings of abandonment….this is my fault. I’m not saying adoption is never a good thing, but if anyone were to ask me if they should consider adoption I would say – don’t do it!

    Liked by 3 people

    • legitimatebastard

      May 11, 2021 at 7:37 pm

      It’s not your fault. You were a victim of the system that used you and your baby. You behaved exactly as they wanted you to because they filled you with lies. You were deceived. You were, indeed, treated as if the only worth you had was to produce the baby who was wanted by people who (supposedly) couldn’t conceive a baby.

      I think you are right about the mothers who want to separate themselves from it all …. maybe it’s done with awareness, maybe through emotional stress, or a mental break.

      I am offended, though, of the proud and happy mothers who display their smiling faces on websites at adoption agencies for their “gift” of “being brave” to hand their infant to someone else. This is a mockery of what you and your daughter have lived through, and continue to cope with. One day, the babies they’ve freely and happily handed over will come back and demand accountability. Those women who are proud vessels might hide behind their religious faith as yet another game to hide the crime.

      It’s not your fault.

      Liked by 1 person

      • KPMominTexas

        May 11, 2021 at 7:44 pm

        You are sweet and kind. And even as I am appreciative of that I still have a responsibility to be accountable for my actions. Yes, as a 16 year old I wanted to please my parents and my bf. I was never brave. I also find those adoption slogans to Be Brave as offensive and honestly I think they are just as damaging as the scoop era of Not Good Enough. Who is cheering her on after she signs the palates? No one. Where are they when she realizes that was the worst day and worst decision of her life? No one. They are still saying she can just start over like “this event” never happened. Impossible.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Yuna

    May 30, 2021 at 3:26 am

    I’ve encountered so much magical thinking everywhere in the adoption community and it’s astounding. I also think other adoptees/AP’s who use the term “vessel” must on some level be distancing themselves emotionally, rather than saying what they might feel if they let themselves think too long on it.


    • TAO

      May 30, 2021 at 2:15 pm

      Agree – how to break through to those who need to acknowledgment is something to strive towards.



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