I am beginning to think that the stock answer for every issue we mothers of adoption loss have, especially from "good little beemommies," "loyal, obligated adoptees" and self-entitled adopters/PAPs, is that we are, somehow, bitter and angry people without a life. I can remember some of the younger "good bee-moms" calling us Senior Mothers "bitter old birthmoms" or "bobs." That translates, I am told, into dildos or "battery operated boyfriend." Gee, wasn't that clever? Nothing to get incensed about there. Nosiree.
It came to me, last night, as I was lying in my husband's arms (going on 20, happy years here) and making jokes and laughing our heads off, that the people who make these judgments don't really know us at all. We have a cause and we have reason for our displeasure, but that isn't all we are about as individuals. We work jobs or careers, keep homes, some have raised children, grandchildren (I even have GREAT-grandchildren), go on vacations, have friends, hobbies, pay taxes...well, shoot, that makes us sound normal. What a concept!
Now, let's explore that Anger thing. Let's see....if you, as a young, vulnerable girl, were condemned as immoral, deviant, a disgrace to your family, isolated, given sub-standard medical care, told you were unfit to be a mother to your own, natural child and forced into surrender, not allowed to grieve and seen by those that knew the story as "soiled goods," all because you loved, not wisely but too well, wouldn't you be just a little bit sore? If you were blamed for it all while the guy you thought was the love of your life got off with a wink and a nudge, wouldn't you feel just a bit put-upon? I mean, we did carry and give birth to a living child only to have that child taken from us. Did anyone really think that the loss of a child was a minor pain we would "get past" and then "go on with our lives" as if it had never happened?
We were not like the young women of today. We did not enjoy the autonomy of the liberated female of this present era. Young women who had sex outside of marriage were called sluts whether we only had one partner or many or even if we were raped. We did what we were told and we were told to keep silent, so we did and we held it in for decades. When reunions started popping up all over the country, many of us sleepers awakened and, yes, we got mad! We also went through all the mourning we had stuffed down for anywhere from 30 to 40+ years. We worked through our pain and realized that we needed to speak out and demand attention for what was done to us and to our children.
Now we see our daughters and granddaughters in danger of facing the same kind of anguish. Unless the savagery of the Era of Mass Surrenders is described to the public in no uncertain terms, unless we can persuade our government that this would be a bad move, women will once again be treated as breeders and chattel. If being angry about what happened to us and to our children can help bring that about, then, Hell YES, we're pissed. But it is a righteous, earned anger and we are not going to apologize for it or be ashamed of it.
We're not the vulnerable victims we once were. We're empowered by that "anger" that so many want to use as an insult. As I have noted before, I think the African Americans, during the Civil Rights Movement of the '60's, were somewhat miffed and it powered an effective and historical change in our nation's social climate.
For the millions of young women who had their infants taken from them, who were seen as unfit because of age, marital status and financial need, who were not allowed to know our children as they grew, who were not allowed expression of their grief, it's our turn and "anger management" isn't going to stop us. We're not out to hurt anyone with our anger unless it might be the people who make money in the infant trade. We are out to find justice and recognition. That's a very effective use of a normal human emotion...anger. The emotion isn't wrong. It's what you do with it that counts.
Someone said that the name of our organization, SMAAC, sounded "angry." Well Gee...Ya think?