Thursday, September 04, 2008
Nightmares, Sound and Fury
I still keep hearing the words of the adopter who was in my water aerobics class when she commented on reunion between the (her) adopted person and the natural mother. She described it as "her worst nightmare."
When my daughter told the woman who adopted her that she had found me, she said, "We were told this would be impossible." We went on to find out that she and her husband, who were cronys with some southern politicos, did all in their power to make sure that it wouldn't happen. They illegally sealed my records of my daughter's birth and surrender. When I inquired of the SC DSS about non-identifying records on my daughter, I was told there were no such records. Yet, a couple of years later, when non-id was made legally available, my daughter got the works and found me, quickly. I was the one who was barred from obtaining any information.
Women who adopt seem to know that we are not lined up like eager applicants, just dying to surrender our children. Deep inside, they realize it was an act of surrender and desperation and not the noble sacrifice myth they try to keep going. They know we would give our right arms to have those children with us again. The fact that there might be more than mere curiosity on the part of the adoptee frightens them and the love we still hold for our children scares the spit out of them. It's a fact that they either try to keep the adoptee from searching or try to run the reunion or, as in the case of one particular adopter, covers her face whenever they drop one mother's son off to visit.
Another adopter disrupted her over-21-aged adoptee's reunion with her mother by calling the police and reporting the mother for KIDNAPPING. If these examples don't show that adoption with the "as if born to" mind-set, done to give a home/couple a baby rather than an infant a home is a broken and skewed institution, there are many more such stories that can be told. These women who feel that they are entitled to a child, don't really know the full ramifications of raising a child they did not bear. There is a bond that they can twist and mangle but they can't break it.
You hear them exclaim, "I was the one who sat up with him/her when they were sick, changed the diapers, drove them to soccer, etc., etc., ad nauseum. I, and many other mothers of adoption loss, would have been overjoyed to wipe those bottoms and stay up until midnight helping put together a science project that is due the next day. If caring for a child makes one a mother, then there are a lot of nannies and baby nurses out there that can claim motherhood.
I get comment after comment, from adopters, mostly, who extol the "beauty" of adoption because they don't want to see the painful underbelly of this "institution." I also get descriptions of slatternly crackwhores from whom these saintly people rescued a child. Funny...out of all the natural mothers I know, and they number in the thousands, now, I don't know of any who were involved in drug abuse or other dangerous behavior at the time they became pregnant with their lost child. There are a few who self-medicated after the fact in order to deal with the pain. I can't blame them. My drug of choice was excess food.
Ladies Who Have Adopted or Who Want To Adopt, please understand something. You are going to do what you want to BUT we are not going to endorse it. It's almost, in your protests to us, that you are asking for our blessing. That is not going to happen. Coercion, either overt or subtle, social attitudes that condemn a single and/or poor pregnant women and laws to insure that these mothers won't have a leg to stand on when they realize they were conned, is not Kosher and never will be. There is no way to justify the majority of adoptions, especially infant adoptions. If that is the only way you can aspire to motherhood, don't you think it might be time to re-think things?
The reunion between the adoptee and the mother may be YOUR worse nightmare. But please remember, we have already lived OUR worst nightmare. We lost our children for no good reason and we were not even allowed to mourn. The pain IS nightmarish.
So, with hope for mothers and their children to reconnect and with only realistic thinking on my part, let me say that I wish for all your nightmares to come true.