Wednesday, November 08, 2006

National "Strange and Mournful Day?"

I never realized, until I had my eyes opened to my own grief and pain and the reality of what had happened to my children and to me, why this song struck such a chord in me. I cried when I heard it played on an "Oldies station" in 1993 when I reunited with my adult children.

Mother and Child Reunion
Words & music by Paul Simon

No I would not give you false hope, On this strange and mournful day,
But the mother and child reunion, Is only a motion away,
oh, little darling of mine.
I can't for the life of me, Remember a sadder day,
I know they say let it be,
But it just don't work out that way, And the course of a lifetime runs, Over and over again.

No I would not give you false hope, On this strange and mournful day,
But the mother and child reunion, Is only a motion away,
oh, little darling of mine,
I just cant believe its so, And though it seems strange to say,
I never been laid so low, In such a mysterious way, And the course of a lifetime runs, Over and over again.

But I would not give you false hope, On this strange and mournful day,
When the mother and child reunion, Is only a motion away,
Oh, oh the mother and child reunion, Is only a motion away,
Oh the mother and child reunion, Is only a moment away...........

The pro-adoption faction has their dubiously cheerful National Adoption Awareness (BEWARENESS) month. I propose that we who have suffered from the inequities and pain of adoption designate a day in November as "National Strange and Mournful day." It would be a protest against the celebration of an institution that has brought so much injustice and hurt to so many. I'm still appalled at the people who would rejoice in something that is a tragedy to others.

Designating such a day might bring to the foreground the fact that reunion doesn't take away the pain and the damage done. No matter how good a reunion might seem to be, there is always the bitter with the sweet. All the years are lost to us, we can't get them back, ever, and most adopters are reticent to share what they consider to be "their" private memories.

The truth of our manipulation at the hands of the industry and its minions and an unjust society comes home to us with a huge blow. No longer the shell-shocked, vulnerable pregnant young women, we (those of us who haven't been "frozen" by the trauma) see how unnecessary our loss really was and how we were betrayed by those we had been taught to trust. We enter the morass of adopter possessiveness and adoptee loyalty and confusion.

Our babies are gone from us, forever and we have no way to mark that occasion. There is that familiar stranger standing there and we both look at each other and feel so much it can't be verbalized. Some of us get the brunt of our children's anger. Some of us get treated like back-street mistresses...dirty little secrets with our children visiting and communicating clandestinely. Those of us that arrive at a workable relationship have to work at it with sweat, blood and tears and we never know when it might all topple like a house of cards from the weight of years apart and the painful erosion of adoption cliches and mythology.

So, if the industry and adopters and their government supporters are Hell-bent on celebrating the number of little families they destroyed to form their own idea of perfection, then we can have our own day to let them know they are too wide of the mark on this issue to qualify as compassionate human beings. We can remind adopters that, without the market they create, there would be no drive to secure a supply...that they are NOT entitled to a child just because they want one. We can let the non-adoption-affected American public see the carnage that has been going on among them without their real understanding.

Hmmm...I wonder if we need to ask Paul Simon for permission to use the phrase?


"We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal"and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal."
Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Why We Can't Wait, 1963

3 comments:

gayle said...

robin
I love everything about your blog
your words are so heartfelt and explain what we all lost and how we all feel thank you for putting it into words that I could never be able to say
hugs
gayle

Carol C. said...

Robin, this is an excellent idea. Those of us who feel only pain about our so called adoption experience, often have to bite on tongues at all the joyful celebrating going on during National Adoption Month. It's difficult to feign happiness for someone's joy when I know very well it was probably at the expense of a mother's soul.

Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful way to memorize our moment. We each have so much pain in the heart of our own memory, celebrating this way will memorialize each unique situation in a special way.
I made a green crystal bracelet with a silver ribbon on the end and a charm that says imagine. I wear it in honor of my lost daughter. It is a constant reminder that I will never give up. We have spoken but she is not ready for our meeting.