Friday, August 29, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Commentary;Moral tyranny and female tragedy: The terrible human cost of anti-choice abortion ‘values’By Dennis Rahkonen Online Journal Contributing Writer Aug 25, 2008, 00:14
A teenage girl finds herself pregnant after her first car date with a boy. The boy’s parents are prominent Republicans in their community, and the girl’s mom and dad are conservative evangelicals. Given their backgrounds, neither young person was ever exposed to appropriate sex education. And, because of who their parents are and what they believe, neither can even begin to consider telling them what’s happened.
Having attended church with her family, she’s guilt-ridden by what she’s repeatedly heard about the “irresponsibility” of females (all unmarried women) who allow themselves (*yep, we did it all ourselves..where was the guy in all this?RW) to become pregnant.
Then she ponders running away, giving birth, and keeping the baby. But where would she go, what about her education and future plans, how could she support herself and take care of a constantly demanding infant?
Then, on a Friday night, during her town’s biggest football game of the season, she leaves the filled, brightly-lit, clamoring stadium and walks alone to the darkness of the river just a few blocks away. Upon reaching its bank, she doesn’t stop walking. She splashes forward, into deeper water, until only her head is above the surface. The last thing she hears is cheers from the nearby game, then her own gasp, as she vanishes beneath the surging current . . . (*A moment of silence for my old friend, Janice, from SC, who died of an intentional overdose of Seconal, 4 months pregnant, in 1964. RW)
Yes, abortion remains legal, but decreasingly so. It’s becoming harder and harder to obtain, particularly for poor women (*poor and poor married women are increasingly becoming targets for social workers and agencies touting surrender for adoption..RW) and those residing in rural areas.
At federal, state, and local levels, please be sure to vote for candidates who advance women’s health and shield female reproductive rights. It’s the correct, necessary thing to do.
Dennis Rahkonen of Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing progressive commentary with a Heartland perspective for various outlets since the ’60s. Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal Email Online Journal Editor
Monday, August 25, 2008
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?
Saturday, August 23, 2008
While I am sure that my high-school Latin leaves a lot to be desired and the title I have given this post is not exactly good Latin usage, I hope it conveys a message to "Anonymous" and all the others out there who see the people who adopt as innocent and saintly and ignorant of our plights.
One more time...the adopters?...THEY WERE THERE. You couldn't live in that era and not know exactly what was going on and how we were "handled" by the social workers, our parents, school authorities, employers, clerics and others. It was a fact of everyday life so the argument that "they weren't there," doesn't hold water. So, not only did they know, Adopteri non donum anum rodentum, or, as we say in English, adopters didn't give a rat's ass. All they cared about was getting that baby. They justified it by thinking that any girl/young women who would have sex outside of marriage and have the nerve to get pregnant deserved the horrendous, punitive, heart-breaking treatment she received.
Some of these adopters were nurses and you should have seen how they treated us during labor and delivery. We were ignored, had nasty comments made to us and told that we had "asked for what happened to us." There were also doctors who behaved in that same manner and they, along with ministers, social workers, teachers, school principals, etc, were also among the number of adopters.
Aside from that, the attitude and actions were simply public knowledge. And they saw their neighbor's daughters, even their nieces and cousins, come home from their "visit to an aunt" with haunted eyes and an aura of grief about them or closed down, emotionally, like zombies.
Some of them were the "mental health professionals" that declared us delinquent and sexually "promiscuous." They were also among the ranks of those that adopted. All of them were part of the society that labeled us and demeaned us and felt smugly superior to us.
Even now, when a young mother and her caring family in Ohio cry for her lost daughter, the adopters are hidden and without compassion for the way she was taken in and abused by the agency and their shills. There is no compassion for the mother in adopters. That might mean that they would have to consider returning that baby to the mother and they are a very possessive lot. Most of them will be damned if they are going to give up their make-believe parenthood just because the mother (and the adoptee) will suffer.
So, again, don't ask questions that attempt to justify and make blameless the adopter in the equation. And, if they happen to feel bad about what we say, well, Materi Naturi non donum anum rodentum! Got it?
Friday, August 22, 2008
Gladney Center for Adoption Announces New Marketing Campaign and Updated Website
Last update: 11:51 a.m. EDT Aug. 21, 2008
FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug 21, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Gladney Center for Adoption has recently unveiled a new marketing campaign as well re-launched Gladney's updated website.
The Birth Parent and Adoptive Parent Campaigns have a new look with the development of new marketing creative materials. Gladney's new Birth Parent campaign, "Encouraging Words," brings a message of hope to those experiencing unplanned pregnancies. Hope is hidden in the everyday environment and with Gladney; a birth mother can find hope. (Yeah, right. She can go there, knowing her baby will not come home with her.RW)
The Adoptive Parent campaign is designed to create a message of hope, love and anticipation that adoptive parents feel as they enter into the adoption process. The materials with a toy chest image, creating a message of love, hope and anticipation that adoptive parents feel as they enter into the adoption process. (Not to mention the self-entitlement, the emotions of covetousness, greed and total disregard for the mother's pain. RW) The toy chest and toys are used as the key visual element and the toys represent each country and program. The use of the toys demonstrates Gladney's connection to each country with which we work and underscores Gladney's expertise in adoption.
The updated website includes Birth Mother video testimonies as well as Adoptive Parent and Adoptee testimonies. The Birth Mother website has a different look and feel than the adoptive parent site. More media stories are included as well as information about Gladney's vast humanitarian aid efforts. The site is designed to be easy to use.
The Gladney Center for Adoption is one of the oldest and largest maternity homes and adoption agencies in the United States, placing more than 27,000 children in permanent homes and assisting more than 36,000 birth mothers. In addition to placing children born in the United States, Gladney's international program is committed to finding permanent homes for children in other countries. Adoption opportunities are available in several countries around the world including Eastern European, Asian and Latin American countries. A genuine commitment to client and social service makes Gladney an exceptional adoption agency and a national leader in adoption.
For more information about Gladney's adoption programs and humanitarian aid efforts please log onto http://www.gladney.org/.
CONTACT: Jennifer Lanter
Public Information Officer
Gladney Center for Adoption
SOURCE Gladney Center for Adoption http://www.gladney.org/
Copyright (C) 2008 PR Newswire. All rights reserved
Oh, but dear Anonymous, they WERE there. They were part of the system, the society, the attitude and were the beneficiaries, along with the agencies, of our suffering. They knew who was being expelled, fired, sent to "live with and aunt" and who returned a few months later, an emotional basket case. They were the ones who whispered behind the backs of the girls who "got caught" while many of them were doing the same thing but were not caught or else had daddies with deep pockets who could pay the right doctor to perform a "therapeutic D & C."
Why do you think a women would call the reuniting of her adoptee with the natural mother "her worst nightmare" if she didn't KNOW, in her heart, the kind of pain we were feeling. Oh, a lot of them have told themselves the same fairy tale, over and over again, until they can push the truth back into a dark corner of their mind, but, being women, they KNEW. They were able to convince themselves that we were irresponsible sluts to justify taking our children.They were also given a lot more information about us that most of them will let on, especially to the adoptee.
Those paragraphs in the surrender documents were not there to protect us "girls" (BTW, we are women, fully grown, now) but were placed there to protect adopters because they, adopters and facilitators, KNEW that the love of a mother was strong enough for her to want to seek out her child unless there were some strong threats to deter her. Most of us were threatened with jail and/or financial ruin for our families.
So don't try to hand me or my sisters from the EMS that kind of bull manure. They knew, the social workers knew and all the other who chastised, mistreated, denigrated, labeled, coerced and devastated us, INCLUDING THE ADOPTERS, knew. Unless you lived in that era, you couldn't possibly understand or see the truth when it is staring you in the face.
Most adopters are still in denial. The reason we are their worst nightmare is that they know our anguish and their culpability in it. They also know the difference between a mother/child bond and an attachment formed by a child so that that child can survive.
They didn't want to be told how much we were injured, but they KNEW. If they deny it, it is because they don't want that halo to show its tarnish. Their "joy" was our anguish and they KNEW. If they don't feel guilty about it, they should.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
..get a very skewed bunch of answers. The question, put to the readers and contributors of "Yahoo Answers" was "Does any adoptive mother or adult adoptee truly know the inhumane, graphic details of what happened to the Surrendering Mothers during the Era of Mass Surrenders?
That time in the years of Post WWII thru 1973? Do you really know what happened to us Senior Surrendering Mothers? Or do you really choose to believe in the supposed 'voluntary' surrenders we supposedly 'voluntarily' participated in? Would you choose to know the graphic details of our experiences prior to the act of adoption? While we were pregnant, L&D, Post-partum..prior to surrender and/or the finalization of adoption. Would you want to hear the Ugly Truth in how our babies came to be surrendered and adopted?? (question asked by shadowwinter)
Most of the answers were either avowals of complete ignorance or denials hinting that we were unfit and were active participants in the "decision" to surrender our babies. Anyone who has taken the time to read Ann Fessler's "The Girls Who Went Away," has surely absorbed at least a glimmer of the truth of that era. But too many wear ear plugs, blinders and do not speak of what they know, in their hearts, to be true.
Those of us in reunion are now having to explain the situation to our adult children who range in age from their 40's up to their early 60's. The biggest concentration of EMS adoptees are in their 40's. Along with these explanations of the times and the social climate of those years, they are having to confront the real probability that their adopters knew how we were being isolated, shamed, used, abused and discarded. It's not an easy thing for an adopted person to accept and understand. My daughter spent a lot of time trying to get me to understand why her adopters behaved in the manner in which they did (which was horrible and insulting) even though she knew they were wrong in their attitudes. What she didn't realize was that I did understand their fear, but that the situation and their reasons did not justify their actions or attitudes.
Whether the adult adopted person from that era or their adopter want to accept or admit it, these covetous couples KNEW what was being done to us, knew we were being treated as deviant, amoral, social "problems" and KNEW that we were in deep pain when our children were taken from us. Maybe they sort of bought the social workers' reassurances that we would go on to live full lives, have other children and everything would be just hunky-dory because they wanted to buy it. But, in the back of the female adopter's mind, there was that fear and prejudice. One adopter from that era was very frank with me when she told me that the thought of her adopted children finding their mothers and having relationships with them was "her worst nightmare."
I think this just goes to show the fact that no one can live, comfortably, in a lie, even a legal lie, for very long. And, in the end, most of those legal lies have come back to bite a lot of the people involved in the ass.
What is happening today is built on the arrogant use of young, single mothers during the EMS. This is why we Senior mothers, members of SMAAC, address that era and that era ONLY. We were overtly forced, bullied and coerced. As time went by and the industry used media, slick spin doctoring, and the vision of the surrendering mother as a heroine, the mothers and their families were more hoodwinked and conned. It's hard, in either instance to admit, as Senior Moms, that we had no control or autonomy, or, as the younger moms, that they got scammed. big time. These young "heroines" are the ones who show up one or two or three years later, on our support groups, in tears, trying to deal with the pain.
The fact that we have posted our fingers bloody, trying to dissuade a new mother-to-be against surrender goes unheeded. One such mother accused us of not speaking out soon enough to save her from her fate. Honey, we've been yelling at the top of our lungs for decades, only to have you and others like you, call us "bitter old birthmoms" or "bobs" which, also stands for "battery operated boyfriend.(dildoes)" Being insulted doesn't exactly encourage us to help you.
Someone, yesterday, sent me a link to a story about a natural mom who killed her child. That is sick and sad and, only accounts for a very, very small minority of natural mothers. I can direct this same person to a huge page of stories about adopters and foster parents killing and abusing the children in their care. Just take one of the links to your right about "Adoptor Abuse" and the one about Russian adoptees. You will quickly see that your argument is moot and irrelevant to our movement. We are not abusers. We are mothers and damn good ones, at that.
What we'd like to see is just a few HONEST answers to a very honest question. I have a feeling that will not happen in my lifetime.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
There is always someone around who wants to stir things up for attention, malice, or whatever. Those who complain about the numerous organizations for mothers with different designations or needs tend to be those who, themselves, were instrumental in bringing about some of the rifts. The fact is that there are mothers of all sizes, shapes, flavors and colors whose needs are not exactly the same. Anyone who wants to pour us all into one pot and stir will get a noxious brew that is unpalatable and just causes one to run in circles without any real results. These are the mixers, the ones who provoke in a passive/aggressive style and then deny their intent. These are the ones who are anathema to the goals of any of the mothers' groups.
There are some moms who are still searching and have yet to learn a lot about what was actually done to them, there are some who are older and want to have the particular trespasses of their era addressed, others who need help in dealing with reunion, some in "open" adoptions....the list can go on and on. Some were coerced, some were brainwashed and some believed the hype until it was too late.
I am a member of some support groups where there are mothers just starting to deal with the many aspects and heartaches of reunion. I am not the militant activist there that I am in SMAAC or here, on my blog. That is because the need is DIFFERENT! (Maybe if I shout, someone might get the message.)
This is the reason we have formed SMAAC (Senior Mothers Adoption Activism COALITION) as, not only a group to seek redress for the horror of the mass surrenders during our era, but as a way to be open to what any other groups are doing and, if it meets our criteria, act in support. Motherhood and the loss to adoption are the thread that loosely ties us together, but circumstances, eras, state of reunions, and attitudes give us different needs.
I went out to Geneva, FL, to a wonderful horse farm there to visit a friend, not too long ago. There were horses everywhere but there were different areas for different horses. The breedable mares and the stallions were kept separate for obvious reasons. There were geldings, yearlings, the untrained and, in another place, the steady, trained, trail-riding mounts. There were roans, blacks, pintos, palominos, whites, Appaloosas, mustangs, huge draft horses and Arabians. Due to the different temperaments and uses, these various animals were kept in their own areas. Yes, they were all horses, but with very different needs. Some could pasture and feed together, some could not...but yes, they were all horses. Mothers of adoption loss? Same thing.
Now, I might be wrong, but I question the motives of anyone who wants to lump us all together in one "brew." Could it be that someone wants to be a big fish in a big pond rather than a big fish in a little pond? I rather think that could possibly be the case. Inflated ego and arrogance are terrible things in anyone, even a Mother of Adoption Loss.
In any event, SMAAC, BSERI and other groups will continue to do what they need to do to meet the needs of their particular constituents. We are not just going to jump into a cauldron and will not be assimilated by the Mother of Adoption Loss Borg. Resistance is not only NOT futile, it is necessary. We have to do what we have to do for ourselves. No one else is going to do it for us.
So, quote Gandhi or MLK or anyone else....these people were devoted to a cause for a specific group of people....so are we. BN works for the adopted person...nothing else. They sure as heck won't get thrown into a witch's kettle and neither will we! We work for the good of the Senior Mother and we are proud of our designation, even when there are those who would mock it.
Wicked potion brewers never learn.
Friday, August 08, 2008
I am going to go out on a limb here (bada-bump!), and echo the words of an adopted friend who says that many adopted people hate the term, "Forever Family." Move over, friend, and make room for your natural mothers. We hate it, as well, and that is because we can see the fantasy/legalized lie it promotes.
Courts, agencies and adopters do everything in their power to erase us, diminish our importance to our children and superimpose their personal history on infants and children who have heritages of their own. That covers everything from the horrible "birthmother/baby-donor" title they have hung on us moms, to the specious "Pregnant by Adoption" and "Paper Pregnant" tee shirts and the fact that people refer to adults as "adopted CHILDREN." I wonder when they are going to be allowed to grow up and be respected as adult citizens with rights to their heritages and to communication with their natural families.
I guess that is why I look upon adoption as a manifestation of emotional illness. The whole idea of "as if born to" is man playing God and impossible to truly accomplish. That leads to dangerous and emotionally abusive games in an adoptive group and the child's heritage is that large, pink and purple, polka-dotted elephant in the living room that everyone ignores. At best, it is only given token service, ie., "your mother couldn't raise you so she loved you so much she gave you to us." Oh, Puh-leeeeeze. Now tell them the one about the three bears.
The reality of coercion, psychological manipulation, industry machinations and legal loopholes belie the fairy tale and what all that creates is often very unhealthy. Language is powerful and the industry knows that. These cutesy, little catch-phrases, horrific celebrations, such as "gotcha day" and the skewed "compassion (wink, wink)" for the beemommie are all tools used by the adoption moguls and their customers striving to keep the fantasy alive and/or profitable.
I wonder if adopters realize the silent or implied message they are sending their adoptees about the quality of their heritage, which translates into the quality of the adoptee, themselves? My children, surrendered and raised, have a great and interesting, natural family background...one that anyone with sense would be proud to acknowledge. But that is not what my daughter was told. The truth shook both my surrendered children to the soles of their adult bootees. Self-esteem cannot be "grafted on" by a non-genetically connected family. Neither can traits, talents and traditions.
Someone asked me how it would have been better had I raised my surrendered children. I said that I guessed that depended on what you consider "better." They would not have had the material goodies they enjoyed in equal abundance, but they would have had firm knowledge of who they were, where they came from, why they look and act as they do, devoted nurturing and a warm, caring family. Isn't that all any child really needs?
The twists and turns of adoption-speak are, in my opinion, totally contrary to any ideas the industry and the pro-adoption organizations have touted concerning "adoption reform." Potential adopters need to understand, if they absolutely must adopt and if some poor mother does gets pulled into the web, that they are raising a child who is NOT their own, who has a family, a heritage, and questions that deserve honest answers with no warm-fuzzy fairy tales to confuse and confound their little minds. Face it.."as if born to" is something that no legal document or wish or hope can accomplish. The truth is out there. Wanting to believe otherwise won't make the truth go away.
My children, surrendered and raised, have, in truth, a "forever family" and I am part of it, along with my family and their natural fathers' families. It's a truth that might hurt, but a lot of the truth does hurt. Tinkerbelle does not exist and there is no fairy-dust vernacular that will alter genes and DNA. I don't think that the industry, in going back to the drawing board, is going to be able to find a way to pull THAT rabbit out of a hat.
And to those women who take hormones in order to lactate so that they can "nurse" their adoption-acquired infant.....Oooooooh, YUCK! Those drugs are not good for baby or for you. You must be pretty desperate for a fairy tale ending.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
There are some who will argue that evil is Satan, the Devil, demonic influence, original sin and all that other mystical mishmash. Then there are others that outright deny the existence of evil and characterize it as only emotional and mental illness. Both ends will argue the point and never come to any agreement.
I believe that evil is real. But, I don't think that it is caused by a demonic influence and there are many perpetrators of evil actions who know the difference between right and wrong. I see evil as a lack of spiritual values (*please note that I said SPIRITUAL, not religious).
In my definition of evil, the one that stands out the most is arrogance/false pride, a lack of the spiritual value of humility, an inability to accept and learn from one's own mistakes, to apologize and grow. The person who is arrogant cannot see themselves as just another member of the human race, but rather, they see themselves as transcending the "lesser" people in our society. They also see their religion as superior to all others and the only way to the presence of Divinity. Extreme vanity is also aligned with arrogance, as I see it. Others might disagree. I do not equate strong personal stances for what one might consider just and right with arrogance, although some are misled.
After arrogance, comes intolerance. That is where I have seen evil manifested in the very bosom of our churches. Hitler, the KKK, David Duke...bombastic bigots all, professed Christianity while practicing the most heinous kind of intolerance. Intolerance is the opposite of love and charity...both spiritual values. Many of us Senior Mothers from the BSE were treated with intolerance, judged and deemed unworthy by the people who profess to follow a religion based on love. We were denied comfort, support and true assistance due to our perceived "sin" of sexual activity resulting in unmarried pregnancies.
An off-shoot of these evils is self-entitlement which is seeing oneself as more deserving of the good things in life than others, including children. If one can see the mother of the child they covet as "lesser" and someone to be judged as "unworthy," then one can justify the taking of that child from the mother as a heroic, even "saintly" act. These are the same people who persuade the mother to not be selfish, when their own needs are being met in a selfish manner, whether it is an agency, social worker or adoptor. Self-Interest is, along with all the other evils mentioned, the cornerstones of the horror of the Baby Scoop Era and the crimes against the mothers of those times.
It is foolish to deny that anyone who sees themselves as better than another based on gender, age, education, financial situation, race, religion or nationality is perpetuating an evil practice. In my mind, the evils listed above make unmarried sex look like small potatoes. Yet people will storm the fortress with torches and pitchforks if someone is caught with their pants down, while war, poverty, intolerance and the arrogance of megalomaniac leaders are accepted and allowed.
I find Dante's "Inferno" to be merely entertaining and I can't say that I see Satan or Hell as a reality. But evil is real. It moves among us and in us and only we can overcome it.
That brings me to the evil that bothers me the most and that is intentional ignorance. It isn't bad for someone to not know something, but to refuse to learn when the knowledge is presented to one for the taking is akin to the first evil of arrogance.
I watched a program, centering on the works of Mozart, last night and the happenings during the year 1791. His music was written during a time that the intellectuals of the day called the "Age of Enlightenment." Now, don't rely on the movie "Amadeus" as your guide to who and what Mozart was. As the moderator put it, the movie was great drama but very skewed history. He was a thinker and a person with strong beliefs. The intellectuals and creative people in this movement used, as their guides, the Golden Ages of Greece and Ancient Egypt. I think it would behoove this arrogant, technologically prideful society to emulate that striving for true, spiritual enlightenment and intellectual growth.
As with the push by our current government to reinstate the bad old days of punishing the unwed mother by incarceration in maternity homes and increasing infant adoption, we are on a downhill slide with our unfortunate dearth of spiritual values as a society. We need a prophet, but, I think if we were to have one that was the real deal, no one would hear him or her.
Please note that this is my personal philosophy. I certainly don't know all the mysteries beyond the veil and my approach is philosophical and emotional, rather than scientific. But, I am getting a little bit tired of science and finance jumping ahead of art and philosophy. In order to survive as a civilization, we need to get back to a balance. Until and if we ever do, evil will be a prominent, present and active force among us.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
She had, in her 17th year of life, developed severe arthritis, poor circulation, lung problems and incipient cancer. She was gently released from her suffering, today.
My daughter always teased me and said that I treated that dog like I did my grandchildren...I guess I did, but Lord, she was just like her name...totally Precious.
Her remains will be cremated and my daughter has a little, black urn with a plaque. Now, if I can just stop crying..............
Well, my whole life isn't about adoption!
Friday, August 01, 2008
I've put a lot of thought into this post. It was inspired by a conversation with a mother the other evening who had just lost her second child to open adoption in Florida, four months ago. Now, when little can be done due to the horrible laws in this state, she is regretting, grieving (badly) and wanting to fight.
I had to tell her that her chances of getting either of her children back were slim to none and how much I wished that she has contacted me or other older mothers BEFORE any papers were signed or agencies contacted. Once you become a target of an agency, you're screwed.
Quite a few of us Senior Mothers have drawn back from the battleground of the un-winnable, current tragedies of babies lost to adoption and are trying to concentrate on revealing the Baby Scoop Era and the wrongs done, back then, to Senior mothers and their children, hoping it might lead to a serious reconsideration of the entire mechanics of adoption. We have also posted our fingers raw, trying to talk some of these young moms-to-be into giving themselves and their babies a chance to become a family. You win some, you lose some. It's heartbreaking and enervating.
Since the young woman I spoke to has a clear and verifiable case of coercion on the part of the agency, she might be, at least, able to file a civil suit against them for pain and suffering and hope the agency's license gets pulled or they receive some sort of punitive action. As for her daughter and baby boy, Honey, they are probably gone for good. And, believe me, a heartfelt letter to the female adopter is not going to do the trick. She is latched on and holding and she has the financial means to fight, as long as it takes.
So, I am going to try, one more time, to reach the mother-to-be BEFORE she is drawn into the net by social services, agencies, so-called "crisis" pregnancy centers and avid PAPs. Here are some basic rules that put YOU in control of the outcome. We are going to assume that you did not avail yourself of birth control or decided against termination of the pregnancy....both options that were not there for the Senior Mother. If you have made the decision to have unprotected sex and to eschew termination, then you still have more than one choice and one of those choices is to keep and raise your child within the family of that child's origin.
1-Even if you are considering surrender (you don't "place"..agencies do that), do NOT contact an agency or a "crisis" pregnancy center. You can find all the info you need online and don't go into a message forum full of adopters and wannabe adopters. They will turn into the vultures and you will be the dying meat. Read, but don't approach these entities because they will pressure you until you wave that white flag and surrender.
2-Try going to the "horse's mouth." Talk to other and older mothers who had lost children to adoption. They won't lie to you and they won't steer you wrong. You might also want to speak to some moms whose promised "open" adoption was slammed shut in their faces as soon as the adopters became a little bit insecure about the mother's very existence. One mother took her own life after this happened. Find out what the guidelines are for open adoptions as they affect the mother in your state. Also, know that adopters will skip town, hide and draw out any legal actions until the child is older and a judge is reluctant to disrupt the life of an older child.
3-DON'T SIGN ANYTHING!!! Pre-birth agreements are usually not bindable (except in a few states with adopter-heavy legislatures), but they can make your life Hell on earth. And, do not allow agency officials, social workers or potential adopters into the labor and delivery room with you, or into your hospital room after the birth. Give yourself a chance to recover from the birth and to spend time with your baby. Don't accept offers to "come into the agency's office and talk about it." That is how one mom got pressured into signing when she truly did not want to lose her baby. That pressure is unrelenting and criminal. Look carefully, as well, at that "love-bombing" the potential adopters lay on you. It will ebb and fade away once they have their names on the altered birth certificate and the adoption decree in their hands.
4-Get your own legal counsel! The agency will tell you that the attorney they have is representing you. That is NOT TRUE. That is like a divorce attorney representing both parties.
5-Don't think that today is how it is always going to be. You will not always be poor, single or alone. There are services, mentors, day care in schools, and everything you will need to get by until your circumstances change, and believe me, change they will. It is NOT the end of the world and your baby needs YOU...not "things." And is a prom or a party more important than that precious infant? You became a mother because Nature made you one...you don't need a husband, a 3-bed, 2-bath home with two cars and a savings account to be a good mother.
6-Hold the father responsible for his 50% donation to the conception of a child. Seek child support and a DNA test will not allow him to wiggle out from under his obligations. Some young dads are good about taking the responsibility. You might be pleasantly surprised.
7-And most important....don't sell yourself and your baby short. Give yourself a chance. The bond between you and your child is already established, even if you have tried to convince yourself that it hasn't. That baby will see him/her self as a part of you for months after the birth and that immediate separation is terribly traumatic to your little one. Take time just for the two of you. You're a unit, created by Nature, herself, and nothing is more sacred nor stronger. You can do it.
8-Find those mentors...they are everywhere and can help you with all the questions EVERY new mother has, married or unmarried. If you are fortunate enough to have the support of family members, take it and rejoice. We Senior Mothers didn't have that. If you still feel that you are unable to raise your child or just don't want to, find someone in either your family or the family of the father who is willing to take legal guardianship (NOT adoption). Don't rob your child of his or her heritage. And an open adoption is not a case of legal babysitters or co-parenting. All it means is that you know who adopted your child and, if you are lucky, you will get a few pictures and some letters.
Remember, it's not education, careers, money, a husband or age that makes you ready to be a mother. Heck, even moms with all those things have moments of insecurity and fears of inadequacy. Nature prepares you and it is a process as old as the human race. Give yourself the opportunity that we from the BSE didn't have. Keep your baby. It's not easy, but it is so worth the work, worry and effort and the rewards are your heart's treasures for life.
Are you pregnant? You have options that do NOT include adoption. Keep an open mind about raising your child and be the mistress of your own destiny and that of your child. Don't let strangers make your own flesh and blood a stranger to you.
Post Script: I had to add this due to the very correct post from Shadow who talks about married couples conceiving and then surrendering a child due to financial problems. If we all waited until we could "afford" a second or third child, there would only be one child per family and no chidren to adopt (hey....there's an idea). I don't know what has happened to society over the past few years. I was not raised in an affluent family but there was always room for one more at the table. My surrenders were based more on social stigma than on finances. Prior to birth control, there was always a way to care for another child. So, married folks, either use birth control, abort or keep. Don't have a child out there wondering why you could keep their sibling but not them. It's hurtful to the child and money isn't a good enough reason.