Soren Kierkegaard - "Life must be understood backwards; but... it must be lived forward."
Some good women have spent a lot of time and effort in researching what happened to those of us who had children taken for adoption in the BSE. Understanding the past is vital to making any kind of change or knowing how to proceed into the future. We are all the sum total of our past personal experiences as much as from our genetics, races, education and beliefs.
For some of us, living our lives forward has been a struggle. We, for a while there, had to live in denial of our past to even be able to live in the moment. We had to suppress something so intensely personal and primal that many of us lost our way in living our lives and finding our way back has been both painful and emancipating. We have awakened from that sleep, looked back, and realized that we live in a present day where we are neither acknowledged nor understood by many and hated and feared by others.
Our increased self-awareness is threatening to those who profited from our painful losses and those who gained that which we lost...our children. We are either the objects of intense need or entrenched resentment to our adult children. We are caught in the middle of a social construct, a myth of draconian proportions and we are spending our time, in the present day, fighting our way out of that mire that is called adoption.
I wrote that I was looking towards our move to the north, to retirement and to a rest from the pressure and the constant battles for recognition, change and redress. I want to live "forward." But I wonder if I will ever be able to do that, completely, as long as the BSE is ignored, absorbed like the Borg, and never spoken to by those who are in power in our nation. Because there was a BSE, mothers of the recent past and mothers of today are subject to the idea of adoption as a lovely thing, a wonderful "gift" and a "perfect solution," when it is anything but those things. Coercion that is gentle and suggestive "conditioning" today, is built on the harsher and more forceful "counseling" that we of the BSE received as we were punished for our "sin" and "treated" for our "aberrations." And, we are seeing a dangerous trend backwards towards more intense coercion in recent days.
I will go to that place north of here with my husband, and I will enjoy him, our life together and my children and their progeny. I will paint, travel and read and watch the seasons change. But I so hope that, before my time is over, there will be some kind of an official statement that will be our vindication, our final justice and an impetus for real change...not tepid "reform," but change that will really mean something...change that will halt this trend towards the disregard for natural family ties. That kind of change would really be living a life forward, for all of us.
PS: Check out tomorrow's issue of USA Today. They will be printing a letter I wrote about how unfunny "Juno" really is.