Fair warning, a baby’s death is part of this post, and I’ve struggled whether this should be two posts, but decided because this is also my place to also work through my feelings, I’m doing just one post.
Yesterday started with me qualifying to be labelled Bitter simply because I’m a member in a large FB group that doesn’t cater to adoptive parents, nor too questions that have been asked and answered in multiple threads. It doesn’t matter if you are there to merely bare witness to the pain and heartache of other members; if you are an adoptee and a member, you, too, are a Bitter Adoptee. SMDH that there Adoptive Parents without the sense to know better than that, and rather than learning how to be the best adoptive parent they possibly can, and work to make adoption more ethical and protective of the vulnerabilities of expectant mothers and children who have no say, would be so petty and crass.
So much for adoptive parents today being so much better than parents from my era.
At the same time as I found out I was a Bitter Adoptee, I was also struggling to contain my growing horror and anger after reading about a baby, a six week old baby boy, who lost his life because his soon to be Adoptive Father abused him so severely. The descriptions of the abuse are horrifying and while I’m linking to the article at the end, you may be better not reading the details, just know it was very bad and the adoptive father was charged with first degree murder.
Clearly, whoever did the homestudy missed something incredibly dark in husband, or because they’d adopted before the homestudy was merely checking off boxes. And I hope anyone tasked with doing any type of homestudy learns to treat each study as if it’s the first one and digs very deep, and if they have any concerns at all, doesn’t pass them, because the cost can be too high as both current and past history bares witness to. Any type of abuse is a bridge too far to be seen as adoptive parent material, regardless if it isn’t physical, emotional abuse is also bad. I hope any Adoption Agency, Adoption Lawyer, any Adoption Service Provider now takes the time to delve into their adoption homestudy protocals and makes sure any cracks are sealed tight.
I’m still struggling today that an innocent baby lost their life, at least the babe’s first mother was able to see him before he passed away in hospital, and I hope that supports are put in place to help her for however long she needs. You can read the article here, if you must.
April 16, 2022 at 4:59 pm
Hi Tao. I read the article you’re referring to and it was so awfully sad. The man was a college professor at both UNC and Belmont Abbey here where I live. What kind of monsters walk among us? I can only pray we strengthen the protocols that make adoptions possible.
On a lighter note, I’ve been called “old, opinionated, BITTER woman” on a social media platform and then comments were cut off so I wasn’t able to respond (which was probably for the best). I then realized the 20-something girl was correct in calling me that but it’s something I intend to embrace. I was just calling her out because a picture was posted of her dog that “kept escaping their backyard.” He was seriously malnourished so I stated the obvious that the dog needed to be fed and taken to get some vet care. Seeing animals mistreated makes me opinionated and bitter. I’m sixty so I am old but it’s all relative. Usually when someone calls you bitter, the bitter person has reason to be. I think you’re awesome!
April 16, 2022 at 5:15 pm
All amazing points Cindy. I generally get the angry adoptee tropes, but I don’t think bitter has ever been included – who knows, my brain leaks memories all the time.
Good for you for calling out the abuse of an animal – something else we have in common.
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April 18, 2022 at 4:34 pm
Sometimes bitter is just wisdom from aged anger.
April 18, 2022 at 7:59 pm
Great Definition Beth – I’ll take it.
April 19, 2022 at 12:26 am
me too, why not lol
I’m not so sure how often wisdom is pretty or pleasant. It sure can leave a bad taste in your mouth sometimes lol
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April 19, 2022 at 7:14 pm
Oooooooohhh! I like this!
May 13, 2022 at 12:52 pm
LOL I like it too. I’m pretty sure I made that up tho, to suit me, well, us! 🙂
April 16, 2022 at 5:12 pm
Hey, I’m 65 and cranky. No, I will not read the article. I watched a taped play of birthmoms dialog locally and am still cranky. I didn’t need to see it but I knew the “developer,” a birthmom, and decided to watch it to be kind. DAMN… I am cranky. Can you tell?
April 16, 2022 at 5:19 pm
Cranky away Lara/Trace – you’ve more than earned that right.
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April 16, 2022 at 7:08 pm
I can’t read articles like that anymore. It’s too sad.
I personally think it’s a mistake to call anyone old and bitter, as I think everyone’s pov comes from their experiences and valid, whether one agrees with the particular pov or not. I think that’s the hardest part though.
I think we all can agree that there are wrong things and unethical things that happen in adoption still today….based on recent events in my life however, I’m now less apt to judge some situations even if I used to be gung ho about them when it comes to adoption. Maybe because of that I may be silent and not rush to judgement as I once did even if it is vehemently argued about from adoptees. Does it mean I don’t listen to the GOOD reasons of points? No! I believe the arguments are valid, and everything should be vetted, it’s just maybe I have some compassion towards the other pov now as well just in case it wasn’t about being unethical. (Sorry for being vague but TAO can vouch for what I’m probably thinking about)
Either way, I as being an adoptive and bio parent don’t think adult adoptees are bitter. We all have stories and we are all richer when we share our stories and our voices to better humanity.
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April 19, 2022 at 9:59 pm
I find it interesting because when adoptive parents do bad things, the response is either “not all adoptive parents are like that” or “let’s not judge the parents, we don’t know what they went through (and if the child can be blamed, even better (at least the child is too young to be able to blamed in this case)). I remember once reading a thread where the original posterior thought they were posting a story about a bio dad killing his young daughter and then it turned out the father aws an adoptive father – the posts went from condemnation to “let’s not judge, we don’t know if the child had RAD” or something like that, the sympathy ended up being with the father – I ended up posting and saying how hard it was to read this thread because it made me feel that if I had been murdered as a child, then people might have felt more sympathy for my parents than for me (especially because I wasn’t the best behaved preteen).
Although most people might not justify and rationalise an actual death so much, it does often feel like pretty well everything else seems to get responses re “not judging adoptive parents”, eg rehoming. My issue tends to be when I see things along the lines of “let’s not judge the parents for murdering/rehoming etc, we don’t know what the child put them through” because it can feel like the child is being thrown under the bus.
I might be more OK about the “let’s not judge” thing if it wasn’t for the fact that you just need one person in an AP-heavy adoption forum go “I was in another forum and the adoptees there were so mean” and a vast number of lurkers will then come on to say how angry, bitter and disgruntled online adoptees are (i’m going to also ignore the fact that as someone who is in those other groups, the reality of what happened in those “other forums” is often far different).
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April 19, 2022 at 10:18 pm
Me too CB, me too.