Monday, September 29, 2008

Just When You Think It Can't Get Any Worse...

It gets better! We picked my friend up from the hospital, yesterday and she is slumbering away on our handy-dandy airbed. She doesn't have to go back to the doctor, here, so she will be headed for Dublin, with special accommodations, tomorrow afternoon.

She will still need tests and follow-ups when she gets home, but this was very good news. We have new reason to hope for the best.

Then, as I was making supper, I received one of those ever-so-rare phone calls from my son, lost to adoption in 1963, asking me how I felt about being a mother-in-law to a woman of 55 and I told him that, if she made him happy, that was all that was important. He said, "I love you, MAMA," when we said good-bye. Up till now, he has called me "Ma" and the closest he came to declaring his feelings was "love ya." Then, right after supper, my oldest daughter, lost to adoption in 1962, called. Hers was not so upbeat as she has Lupus and was not having a good day and has issues with her brother, but, at least, she told me she just needed to hear my voice.

On to the other bad thing....the insurance adjuster will be out to the body shop to evaluate the claim and it looks pretty good. Our insurance is paying for a nifty little Kia Rondo, which drives like a dream, while my "Pansy PT" (I name my cars) is being repaired. I can go sign an agreement with the clerk of court which will allow me to take online traffic school and get some $$$ knocked off my fine and no points assessed against my license. Our insurance will probably go up, but such is life. It will cost us a co-pay but we will survive.

Hubby's leg is better and he is back to work, trying to do some damage control, as well, to our 401K. Looks like we are going to roll it all over into our IRA before it can get any worse. Bush Economics is a disaster!

Other than the fact that adoption still sucks and we have a lot of work to do to expose that hideous industry for what it is, nothing that happened was the worst that could happen. We've been through that and survived. Maybe this was a message to slow my butt down and smell some more roses. I do know that, between my husband, ALL my children and my lovely sister moms (a few of them are really special), my life isn't too bad at all.

So, I'm putting my teeth back in and having a muffin. Then I am going out and finding some gators from my friend to photograph. We tried for three days and came up with bupkiss. I think they know I am looking for them. They remind me of adoption facilitators.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I'll Have Some Cheese With My Whine

My hubby took this picture of my toothless scream and it was too good not to share. Bear with me, dear reader, because it has been one of those weeks.
Just one day into my lovely visit with my Irish guest, or, as I have dubbed her, The Dublin Tornado, Hubby comes down with an inflamed tendon in his leg which kept him out of work for a week.
As the week progressed, I noticed my lovely lass getting droopy, tired and peckish with her food. I finally went to her motel room on Wednesday to find her delirious, feverish and miserable. We got her in to see our MD and he sent us straight to the hospital where she sits, today, under the care of the pulmonologist for a bad, bad infection. We hope to bring her here (home) on Sunday, get her to her pulmonologist appointment on Tuesday and on a plane to Dublin by Thursday. Poor baby....thousands of miles away from home and terribly sick.
Yesterday, I headed out in my Christmas Present PT Cruiser (she is periwinkle and I have named her "Pansy") to take my friend some of her comfies and other necessities and visit for a bit. On the way home, I reached up to lower the sun visor because the sun was in my eyes and proceeded to plow into the rear of a large, Jeep SUV. The final score..PT to the body shop...Jeep not even scratched. I also got a ticket since, even though this was a chain reaction started by a woman suddenly stopping and turning without giving a signal, I was the only one who couldn't stop in time....$140.00.
Now my grandmother always told me that troubles came in sets of three. You'd think that would be enough, but then there is the usual natter and pinch on the online groups and good people having to defend their turf. It makes me want to put my teeth in and bite rather than scream.
I had to think in this vein. My friend is getting better, Hubby is doing his exercises and taking his meds, the car can be fixed and my insurance is paying for a nice little rental and I get a few extra days with a really nice Dublin Lass. The loss of my step-son to suicide, the difficulties in my life and the lives of my two oldest due to adoption separation and the fact that I have a grandson in Iraq sort of put all this into proper perspective. And, unlike about ten years ago, we have the wherewithal to pay our deductible. Things could be a helluva lot worse. Add to that that the online LADIES (as opposed to those that aren't) are holding their own and it becomes a better day.
Tonight, I will have my wine AND cheese. I have had a lovely whine!

Friday, September 26, 2008

We All Grow And Learn (If We're Lucky)

School Days

It is really funny that I have seen an aspect of the former me that I didn't like very much. When I became involved in activism, I was all over the support groups like the Union troops on Atlanta. It didn't occur to me, with my tunnel vision going full blast, that there were mothers in need of support and not ready to take up the sword of activism. I learned, soon enough, and take care, now, not to cross over that line. It takes a lot of healing...years in many cases...for some moms to get to the activist stage, if at all, and that has to be OK.

Each mother heals at her own rate and IN HER OWN WAY, (I can't reiterate that enough) and if and when she gets to the stage of wanting to be involved in activism, then she can pick and choose for herself. Why is there always someone who thinks they are exempt from the rules of common courtesy? I would advise the activists among us to stay away from the private email lists on support groups with your spiels and self-promotions. There is a better time and a better way to make oneself known that to spam some one's inbox with your views and pet causes.

The Mothers of Adoption Loss are a varied and unique group. We are every woman. We have different politics, religions, social name it. What we can do for each other in support groups and friendly retreats is walk our common ground together. We can hold hands, know understanding, and move ahead. What we CAN NOT do is determine, for each other, the path to take. Activism is more effective when the activist is truly ready to act.

As we ARE every woman, some of us, then, are not too nice and have some, shall we say, personality problems? That's all well and good, though, because the majority of mothers have the sense to know a mixer when they meet one. Those that don't, get the picture soon enough.

Although it may sound like I am making war on one person, it is not so much that as it is making war on an egocentric, arrogant attitude. That attitude can drive a skittish mom right back into the closet. I think it helps us to hold out a hand in support well before we offer a place in the battle corps.
I also want to wish the Heart to Heart Retreat in Denver this October all the luck in the world.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another Season Of Life

I think I am still on a bit of a tear about being judged, along with my sister mothers, of having had inadequate "healing." I assume that the person who made this judgment thinks that we would not be seeking justice and redress if we were "properly healed." As a friend of mine from the UK would say, "Bollocks!"

Rather than looking at the one dimension of the Internet exchanges, perhaps that person who would underestimate our emotional health and mental acuity should see us as we are in every way. We are in the Autumn of our lives, for the most part. The leaves still cling to the branches and are afire with color. We are strong, fearless and finally able to say and do what we feel is right rather than worrying about what others might think. It's a good time to be alive.

If anything, our shared experience of shame, blame, isolation and grief should have imparted a special measure of wisdom to each of us. For many of us, we have learned the value of being humble enough to realize that, even after all we have experienced, we still don't know everything. There is wisdom just in that realization. We are learning more, every day that passes. Perhaps the lesson of humility is wasted on any self-proclaimed and self-promoting "expert." Being able to apologize or admit to a wrong is mature and wise and the right kind of "humble."

SMAAC is entering the fray with all the fire of maple leaves in October. We might not have framed certificates on all our walls or letters after all our names, but we have the accumulated wisdom of many women and the gathered passion of our cause and determination. It would be a grave error to count us as ineffective or "less healed than thou."

I come from the early years of the EMS and I have shared the past week with someone who comes from the end of that era. We are 15 years apart in age but very close in our personae. Coming from different cultures, we have shared much of what makes up our everyday lives. We have laughed at our similarities and our differences. But we have one thing in common and that is the desire to be heard and to be acknowledged. There is also the desire to hear the words, "We are sorry for what we did to you," said out loud and in public. I see nothing inherently, emotionally unhealthy in any of that. Someone needs to take a "time out" and reconsider their attitude.

We'd hate to do battle with former allies, but we will and will not hesitate for an instant. Got that?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Healing Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

It annoys me when someone assumes that all we are about is what is read on message boards and blogs, even this one. It annoys me even more, when someone assumes that we are bitter, angry, dangerous to other mothers and in need of "healing work." That is an arrogant and insulting accusation. And to deny a mother the company of other mothers who can give her support on her healing journey just because that support group has found their healing in other ways but the way of the denier is somewhat egocentric and a bit off-kilter, emotionally.

There are numerous experts in every aspect of life, it seems. There is always someone who knows exactly what YOU need to heal. As a mother of adoption loss, I have used IN PERSON counseling, the 12-step program and, most of all, the support provided by groups for mothers like me. We mirror each other in these groups and are honest with each other. You'd be surprised how many of us have attained a healthy, balanced life without any help from the "experts" who proclaim that it must be done their way or no way. I follow the 12-step premise when reading any books or hearing any advice to "take what I need and leave the rest."

The Internet is, at best, a tenuous arena for real psychological counseling. I'll get my support and information on line, but I will have any intense counseling in person, thank you. But it is a great place for the coming together of people with shared experiences. Let me tell you that among "those women who haven't done their healing work," a mother of adoption loss can find a lot of understanding. We all share what has worked for us to keep our lives in balance and many, many women have been helped by these groups and the one I belong to, in particular. First Mothers Connect which is for mothers who lost to adoption during the EMS/BSE is a gold mine of friendship and support.

There are factions and friction among many who are involved in the battleground that is adoption loss. People are individuals so that may be the way it is for a long time. But to summarily dismiss groups such as FMC as having no value because they have not walked in the path of the "expert," is something that calls for an apology. We all have our "off days," so I am hoping this was one of those days for the person who maligned us and our group.

I am ever so proud to be one of "those women." We rock!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hands Across The Ocean

I have a guest this week. She arrived on Thursday evening and was everything I thought she might be from the emails and IM's we have exchanged over the years. There was this tall, red-haired, green-eyed tornado with a mist in her eyes and her arms opened for a hug. It was magical but then, I think that the Irish are touched with the mystic.

She has a deep, contagious belly-laugh and is full of a love of adventure and socializing. She lost her only daughter, her only child, to adoption in the same way we lost our children here in the US...through being broken down, coerced and made to feel unfit. She confided in me that, though her mother never came around, her father did apologize for his part in her loss. They are both deceased.

We shopped the local mall, yesterday and, still suffering from jet-lag, she ate supper with us, then went to her motel for more sleep. We have plans to see Sea World, NASA and more shopping. She will be leaving this coming Thursday, noon. I will miss having her around.

There is such a commonality in our situations, no matter what part of the world you inhabit. For a "forever adoptive family" to be formed, a mother must be broken and pushed against the wall. Those who want that baby, the Social Workers and agencies, must latch on to that mother at her most vulnerable and begin their art of "gentle" persuasion. Usually, by the time they are through, the mother's self-esteem is so low she feels like she could sit on the edge of a piece of toilet paper and danger her legs over the edge.

Those of us who have sought healing and rebuilding of our self-worth have had a mighty battle on our hands. We have had to fly in the face of popular mythology and make our way without the understanding of many of our loved ones. Only with other mothers have we found the understanding that we need in order to see through the fog and find our real selves, again. My Irish friend has fought the same battle and I love the person she is. There is no pretense or guile in her...just the real person, battle scars and all.

Yesterday morning, we watched a DVD of the Australian documentary, "Gone To A Good Home." My guest was so upset, she had to take meds for her stomach which acts up under stress. There we were, an American and an Irish Woman, watching what had happened to some lovely Australian women and it was as if we were holding hands around the world. We both flinched when we heard the words "slut" and "immoral" bandied about. We knew how it felt to be branded in that manner.

She will carry on the fight in the Republic of Ireland. She has a group there that is active. We will carry on in the US and hope to achieve the level of success that has been reached in Australia. Whether anyone else thinks it will do any good or make any difference, we Senior Mothers deserve to hear the words, "We're Sorry For What Was Done To You," from those who perpetrated and carry on the industry of eugenics and baby-peddling. We deserve to see the industry under public scrutiny before we die. We are aging and this is priority stuff we are talking about. In the long run, it matters not what anyone else thinks we will or will not accomplish. We have earned this and we will fight for it.

Whether we are in Ireland or America or anywhere else on this globe where infants are seen as a commodity, there is a battle to be waged. I think it is going to happen. People are starting to listen and those who adopt and the agencies and attorneys that facilitate adoption are starting to sound a little belligerent when they try to answer our questions.

Sounds like fear to me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Strange and Mournful Day Has A New Look

About two years ago, facing the annual twisting of the knife that is National Adoption Awareness Month (November), I and another EMS/BSE mother, Kitz, came up with two really good ideas, if I do say so myself. And, with the self-promotion going on in some adoption circles, this is mild by comparison. *wink, nudge

I came up with the idea for National Strange and Mournful Day (*TM) (you can check it out in my archives for 2006 around that time of the year) to be observed on the 30th of November, and Kitz came up with calling November "National Adoption BEwareness Day." All in all, not bad for a couple of middle-age broads with stories to tell.

I based Strange and Mournful Day on lyrics from Paul Simon's "Mother and Child Reunion." However it is lyrics within the body of the song that resonated rather that the issue of reunion, which is separate from the indignities and mistreatment that led to the surrender of our newborns.

Here is the song and I have high-lighted, in red, the parts that touched me where my experience is concerned.

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 reu-nion
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 reu-nion
Is only a motion away,

Oh, little darling of mine.I just can't believe it's so,
And though it seems strange to say,
I've 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 reu-nion
Is only a motion away,
Oh, oh the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away,
Oh the mother and child reu-nion
Is only a moment away.

This year, SMAAC will be observing National Adoption Bewareness Month and National Strange and Mournful Day, as an organization. We will be wearing our ribbons, black for grief and the darkness of the Era of Mass Surrenders, red for passion, anger and determination, and white for hope. Many of us will also attach our ribbon badges with a stud earring that is our lost infant's birthstone. When we have completed a ribbon, I'll show it on this blog so that any EMS/BSE moms who want to copy it and wear it, can do so.

The website for SMAAC is coming along and will be open for business, very soon. It is almost poetic that this should happen so close to, what I have started calling, "Black November." National Adoption Awareness Month is about as painful for us as that stupid "Birth-martyrs Day" thing that is observed on the Saturday before Mother's Day. The fact that the entire nation is expected to observe, as a good thing, our tragedies is proof of the arrogance of the industry and its proponents.

Very few people want to know how we were punished for our non-crime of fertility. I hear, still, the spiteful, nasty, hateful and judgmental person, usually a man, saying, "you didn't have to spread your legs." No, I guess we didn't, but the picture of us as a bunch of teen nymphomaniacs is erroneous and unfair. Most of us were in monogamous relationships. Some of us were raped. How many of you made it to your marriage bed with your virginity intact? Hmmmm?
It might not be comfortable for Mr. and Mrs. EMS-Era Adopter to acknowledge the fact that we were misjudged, misused and coerced, but it will soon be made more widespread public knowledge, so someone is just going to have to suck it up and realize that they raised children who were very much wanted by their real mothers.

I hope to see a lot of ribbons being worn, proudly, by mothers of adoption loss this coming November. The more people that ask us what the ribbons mean, the more the truth will be heard.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sticks and Stones...Martyrs and Saints

While I have made it a policy not to engage in debate or arguments in the comment section of my blog, I do read all comments. Each one of us handles these things in the way that is best for them. For me, it is best to delete and refuse to get caught up in the back and forth that usually goes nowhere because neither party is going to change his or her mind on the subject. However, some just beg to be answered in kind.

On my last post, I was honored with being the target of sticks and stones thrown by a "saint" (adopter) and a "martyr" or, as I have decided to dub these wannabe heroines, "birth-martyrs." I guess we could also call them the thanker and the thankee. It makes me wonder what the "gift" thinks of the whole thing, down deep where the saintly adopter and the birth-martyr can't penetrate.

To the birth-martyr who thinks she did such a wonderful thing; Well, aren't YOU special? If this is how you cope, how you manage to deal with that hole in your heart, then rock on with your bad self. But watch out because the river of De-Nial is full of crocodiles and hippos, oh my!

To the saintly adopter who questions my "inner strength"; My goodness, Ms. Thing, I had no idea that engaging in name-calling, written brawls was an indicator of inner strength. You know what I think inner strength is? No? Well, I'm going to tell you, anyway. Inner strength is carrying on a life and trying to make it a good one when parts of your soul have been ripped from you. Inner strength is refusing to keep a toxic secret and standing up, in public, for what you believe to be true and right, even, make that especially when it is a somewhat unpopular stance.

Inner strength is finding your worth within yourself, rather than in your "heroic deed" (adopting) or your "brave sacrifice" (being a birth-martyr). It is realizing that no other person on earth can make you feel what you don't want to feel about yourself or your life or your ideals. Inner strength is standing fast and taking the responsibility of raising your own child, no matter how much resistance you get to that idea from either family or those that would profit by your surrender. Mothers of today have choices that we didn't during the EMS.

I got a phone call the other night from a dear, smart, adopted adult friend who is wanting to try to change things. She had been contacted by a mother who surrendered here in Florida and, after the 24-hour rescinding period was up, realized that she had done herself and her child a disservice. The problem is that all I can offer her is support and the truth....that she has been thoroughly screwed. I know the adoption broker that "helped" her out of her child and he is a sly fox of a baby-seller. She needs a lot of emotional support because it isn't going to stop hurting or even stop hurting less anytime soon.

We Senior Mothers have posted ourselves blue in the face, trying to tell these newer moms just how painful it is for both us and our children. I have seen pre-verbal grief in a newly adopted infant and I know she was in deep distress. The time to act is before these coercers in sheep's clothing get hold of you. DON'T SIGN ANYTHING! Your child will thank you. My adult daughter actually thanked me for not wanting to surrender her.

Otherwise, you'll get your thanks from the saints (adopters) for being such a good little birth-martyr. You can buy the advertising and drink the Kool Ade or you can call a halt and keep your child. Oh, and my "anger bubble" hasn't burst. Since that anger is only one part of my life, it stays pretty much intact because it is a new, improved RIGHTEOUS and well-directed anger bubble.

Mr. and Mrs. Saint, you guys could help keep a little family together rather than love-bombing some poor putz of a kid who is brainwashed into thinking she will always be your best buddy and her child will just be in your care but not really yours.

If you were to thank me for surrendering my children, you'd not be happy with the reply.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Since When Is A Human Baby A GIFT??

I think one of the most insulting and inane things that has ever been said to me has to be when an adopter tried to THANK ME for the "gift" of my children to the women who adopted them. Hearing my children referred to as "gifts," especially since I was coerced into surrendering them, was appalling. Yet, I have heard that sentiment over and over again, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, especially from the senior adopters who raised the children we Senior Mothers surrendered during the EMS.

I don't know where this vapid, specious, condescending idea got started, but I know that I don't like it. During the first few days of my reunion with my oldest daughter, who searched for me, I was told by the woman who adopted her, "Thank you for ****. Now this reunion nonsense must cease!" THANK YOU, now go away??? That's sort of a really good summary of what those who adopt expect from us Mothers of adoption loss. We are selfless heroines when we surrender, then we are lepers.

They wanted to believe we wanted to give them our children and then they hoped we would die, disappear or crawl in a hole and hide. In fact, at one point, my daughter's adopters told her I was dead. The phenomena of search and reunion has caused some really nasty responses from the people who adopted our children. Some of our adult children were put on guilt trips worthy of every Jewish mother cliche'. Others were given ultimatums and still others just didn't want to be told about it. For many Mothers, we became our children's' dirty, little secrets..something they couldn't share with the people who supposedly loved them unconditionally and only wanted the best for them. I saw a lot of conditional love when I reunited. I saw even more of it when I started talking to my sister Moms and we got to the subject of adopters and their reactions to reunion.

I can understand that the woman who adopted my daughter was filled with fear and that is why she reacted the way she did. It doesn't excuse it, but it explains it. The reason she had that fear was because, she, as a women, knew in her heart that I loved my daughter and would pursue a relationship with her. I had given my daughter some things the adopter couldn', roots, a heritage. And, being from that era, she also knew how we were treated by our families and society and that we did not go willingly to surrender. It might have only been on a sub-conscious level, but she knew.

If I could give any adopter advice that they would actually hear, the first thing I would tell them would be, please don't say "Thank You" to your adoptee's mother. A gift is a check or a nice candle or a gourmet basket...not a human being. That child you are raising or have raised is neither a "gift" nor a "bequest" nor something to which you were entitled by virtue of your desire for a child. To obtain that child, a mother had to be broken, diminished and desperate, with no other choice than to surrender. After what I went through in the early 60's, "Thank You and get lost" is not only an insult, it's a disgusting display of arrogance. It would be better to say, "I am sorry that our joy was your tragedy." At least it would be accurate.

The restrained compassion and "attempts to understand" and descriptions of the love and care they have given the adoptee is, I still firmly believe, a need to justify taking our children and wanting our (and this really blows my mind) approval! They want us to see them as Mothers! This is where my grandmother would say, "want in one hand and sh** in the other and see which one fills up first." Then, of course, failing to gain the big okay from us, we get the other know, the crackwhore mom thing? That is equally funny because there was no crack in our era. Heck, where I came from, drinking a beer was daring. Those few, pitiful addicts are in the minority, but to hear adopters tell it, you would think that the country was filled to the brim with druggie moms.

There is also the misunderstanding that we came from the careless era of "free love," were flower children and danced naked among the marijuana fumes. Again, most of us were just typical, middle-America, middle class teens and young women who had never seen pot, much less indulged (for me, that came later..self medication for grief). Now does that sound like someone who would think to themselves, "I think I will have sex, get pregnant and give some more worthy couple the gift of a child?" The entire premise is past ridiculous.

I do agree that a baby is a gift from God/ the woman who gives birth to that baby. A human being is a gift that the Almighty can bestow on a human woman. But one woman cannot bestow a gift of a child to another unless she is very, very weird. No woman that I know is so altruistic that she would "donate" her child to another woman like an item for a charity auction. The Senior Mothers with whom I associate are all in agreement. We did not GIVE our children to anyone. We surrendered out of pure helplessness and hopelessness and with our backs to the wall.

We wanted our babies.

Friday, September 05, 2008

No, Dear God, No!!!!

They might as well have done this to us. The mental and emotional torture that was meted out to the Senior Mother during the EMS was no less painful than having one's feet roasted over an open fire. This was what we have been talking about. We were called "sexually deviant and delinquent" and deemed unfit to mother our children without even being given a fair opportunity to do so. Even if we had, as in my case, only one partner in a loving relationship, we were judged to be "promiscuous."

We can laugh at this picture and call it archaic ignorance, but where has this nation been heading for the past eight years or so? Entities like the, so-called, "Moral Majority," the Evangelical Christian Right Wing and others are turning the US into a hotbed of near-medieval attitudes and actions. The word "reactionary" doesn't even begin to cover it. Every bit of social progress that has been made, especially in the era of women's reproductive, social and career autonomy is being chipped away at by the self-righteous right wing, ie., the Grand Old Party.

We got a good look at the Republican platform this past week, and what I see gives me shivers. If the McCain/Palin team makes it to the White House, we Senior Moms might as well try spitting in the wind. How can any party that proposes to increase adoptions, restore the institution of the maternity home and do away with our right to choose our own reproductive lives be expected to listen to us and our message? These people are dangerous!! NARAL is sending out the word and well they should, that we need to work to defeat this candidate of the GOP in every way we can.

I really wish I had millions of dollars to pour into the coffers of the Democrats. Let's face it. Only one minority can understand the oppression of another. That is why I think Joe Lieberman should be horse-whipped. We have some pertinent information, demands and questions for our national leaders. I do not believe that, should McCain be elected, we would ever get the chance to be heard. We are getting on in years and we don't have another 4 to 8 years to waste, waiting for a better atmosphere in which to air our grievances.

Barack Obama isn't perfectly attuned to our frequency, but he comes a lot closer than his counterpart. Eight years ago, I semi-threatened to leave the country if Bush won. Thanks to some fancy dancing down here in Florida and a loaded Supreme Court, he won and I had to eat my words because we, my hubby and I, have no where else to go. We can't afford Sweden or the Netherlands and Belize is too hot for me. Canada is having some of the same struggles, so what is left to us?

Another few years in Iraq and we will have buried a lot of our children and grandchildren. The discarding of Roe v Wade will put a lot of young women in harm's way and cause even more tragedies like the ones that millions of girls experienced during the EMS. And we only have to look at Palin's daughter to see how much good "Abstinence Only" does. At least she is getting the support and love of her family. We were denied that when it happened to us and we didn't have the option of going to the local health department and obtaining birth control. Neither did we have the option of keeping and raising our children and that is the direction in which we are turning if it isn't stopped dead with a solid defeat of the Republican candidates and platform.

This isn't my old anger speaking, but my fears for the futures of my granddaughter and great-granddaughter. This isn't a biased view from a Democratic Party "faithful." (I did, once, vote for a Rep. candidate.) This is the view of eyes that have seen the world change, significantly, and not always for the better, over 6 decades and what I see worries me. People, we can't let it happen again. The "good old days" weren't all that good. For every "Leave It To Beaver," there was a "Peyton Place."

We must retain our freedoms and choices. We must end the slaughter of our military and civilians in the Middle East. We must keep the church and our government separated. We must defeat John McCain in November. Obama and Biden in 2008!!!

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.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Turncoat Of The Day

Not since the late, unlamented Strom Thrumond did his Democrat to Dixiecrat to Republican fancy dance has there been such a switcheroo. Joe Lieberman is exhorting Democrats to cross the party line and vote for McCain. Now there's a picture....a Jewish person from a former losing team not wanting his party members to vote for a mixed-race/African American. It's politics and sour grapes and loser takes nothing as usual. I wonder if he wants McCain to boot Palin and choose him as a running mate? Hmmmm

In any event, I would urge my brother and sister Dems to listen with care to "pouty Joe." Use your native intelligence and realize that this is racism and snitty politics if ever there was any and there is plenty in the old US of A. It's almost enough to start one thinking that anarchy might not be so bad.

As a Senior Mother, I have to investigate and decide what is in the best interests of me, my sisters and their goals. As a life-long Democrat, I have to investigate and make sure that the platform is still in line with most of my thinking. I do know that Democrats tend to be more flexible and willing to listen. No, the Democratic platform is not 100% in line with my thinking, but the Republican platform doesn't even make it to 45%. So you go with the numbers that add up for you. In my case, it's "Sorry Joe, but I won't go."

This is turning out to be either the most historical presidential race in our history and/or, with comedians like Leiberman, the family angst of Gov. Palin and other side notes like the desperate rush by Hillary's contingent to muffle Bill, and the attempts to smooth Mrs. Obama's rough edges, the most hysterically funny. Hey, you have to laugh to keep from crying.

I find it very interesting that Palin's daughter gets to keep her child/ren(?) and is graciously forgiven for her "mistake" when every other young woman who is pregnant and single and/or poor is seen as a lamb for the adoption slaughter. Can anyone tell me what is wrong with this picture? Oh well, that is another blog.

On that note, I would love to direct everyone to Musing Mother and her passionate blog from yesterday. It was terrific and said so much of what I feel. It's a great relief from politics and people talking out of both sides of their mouths. Truth is refreshing, these days.

It isn't even November and I am already tired of the trash talk.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Vagina Voters, Beware These People!

(*Squealing, creaky door and loud scream.....)
Well, here is the nightmare team for the GOP; An adopter and an evangelical. This is a combination that is guaranteed to do all in their power to deny women the right to determine our own reproductive lives and control over our own bodies.

With all the rumors being spread across the Internet about whether or not that little boy, that Palin claims, is hers or her daughter's, there are some serious questions that need honest answers. Add to that the fact that her daughter is pregnant (many believe for the second time) and there is no attempt, so far, in the direction of adoption surrender, makes me wonder about a lot of things.

Is it, for instance, only those of us without political/social/financial connections that should surrender our children for adoption? Is it OK to condemn Jamie Spears but not the Governor's daughter? And what about this assumed, shotgun engagement to the high school hockey jock who calls himself a "f***ing redneck," who "kicks ass" and "don't want kids." Something is truly skewed here. I know that the LAST thing we need in this country's executive branch is an evangelical Christian with the agenda of the radical right wing, who thinks they have the ear of God Almighty, in her apron pocket. Shades of Phyllis Schlafly!!

Oh, and she speaks of her daughter's "mistake." It seems some things never change because it wasn't her having sex that was indicated as the "mistake," but the fact that she got pregnant. Does this ring any bells with my senior sisters? The entire attitude leads me to believe that, as young people, we could have screwed like bunnies as long as it didn't show up in a baby bump. Same attitude, present day......

The Republican party, or as I call them, Enemies of Mothers who Keep (EMK's), is trying to attract the disgruntled "vagina voter" (Thank you, Chris. I love that term.) who are all peeved that Hillary didn't get the nomination. Hey guys, I was a Hillary supporter, too, but I'll be damned if I will vote with my genitals, just because McCain picked a woman for a running mate. If worse came to worse and some bigot decides to take a whack at Obama, I would rather have Biden filling the gap than cuddly, little Palin. Things in the Alaska Governor's mansion are smelling fishy, anyway.

Remember, this is the party that would have maternity "homes" in every town and would push domestic infant adoption like a drug dealer pushes crack. Add to that what I know, personally, about the Fundies and their agenda, and the option of any kind of choice for a female goes down the tubes. Yes, there are still those women who might still opt for no termination and ultimate surrender, but there needs to be protection on the books for the majority who want to make up their own minds without pressure from the "more moral than thou" contingent.

As I look out to sea, from the shore of my thoughts, towards a roiling ocean that is the Republican machinations taking place, I feel like the old world map-maker who wrote, in areas of the deep ocean, "Here be monsters." I can see the Kraken, with its one great eye, waving its "elephantine" tentacles and licking its beak. I didn't trust them eight years ago, I don't trust them now, and I doubt if I ever will. There is also the distinct probability that, should they be elected, what is, now, a really giant undertaking for SMAAC will become an unbelievably difficult struggle and that is to have our stories heard and addressed by our national government. I'm not saying that there are not adoption proponents on both sides of the Congressional aisle, but experience tells me that we stand a better chance with the Dems than with the EMK's.

I am a firm believer that the direction in which this election goes will make the difference between the rights of women being retained or lost. I am bombarding the Obama camp with letters about our reproductive rights and the EMS and the issues of the Senior mothers.

I call it "As The Wheel Squeaks." Join me.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Insanity and The Ruination of Organizations

Albert Einstein made an observation that has been, since, quoted a lot in the 12-step programs. He defined insanity in this manner. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

This is one of my favorite quotes and one that I have used to remind myself of how useless old, destructive thoughts and behaviors can be and how little control I have over the actions of others. I am now watching some major organizations losing their credibility, memberships and effectiveness by doing the same thing, over and over again. Organizations that began as activist and support groups for mothers of loss have diluted themselves by weakening their messages and involving adopters and adoptees.

Adopters are in the cat-bird seat, socially and really don't need much in the way of input from those of us who don't particularly like what they did. Adoptees have BN and their own efforts for their own causes. So why take a perfectly good organizational premise, devoted to the natural mothers of adoption loss, and dilute it into just another "Triad" (*there is no such thing) group?

We wonder why so many of the millions of mothers of the Era of Mass Surrender are still in the closet. I can see them being easily confused since there is no one taking the stance that the shame that keeps them silent is bogus! It takes a while to get out of that morass of shame and blame and having self-entitled adopters who say they are for "reform" and angry adoptees bombarding them with their issues is not going to help that mother emerge from her cocoon of secrecy.

There are millions of adopted people out there, but I am mother to only two of them. The rest of them are not my responsibility, so this business of "always putting the adoptee's needs first" is guilt speaking and we don't need that guilt nor do we deserve it. We were coerced and we were also victims and were hurt just as much as the adopted person. We make our own way through our own reunions and reunion is not activism. With reunion, you need a support group. With activism, you need an activism group.

I would advise mothers, especially from our generation, who are new to this to find a MOTHERS ONLY support group, and, when they are ready, really look at at the activism groups and see what kind of membership they have. Only Senior mothers are going to work for the issues of Senior mothers and any other groups that tries to be all things to all people is going to, basically, kick us and our issues to the curb.

Hey, that scarlet letter is unearned. You don't have to hide, you don't have to feel shame and you don't have to carry that burden alone. You'd be amazed how liberating it is to throw off the chains that were put there by our parents and social workers, nuns, etc. We are not the perpetrators, here. The industry and the demand that runs that industry are the ones at fault. Reproductive autonomy and freedom for women should have always included the right to birth control, sex education, safe, legal terminations and the right to raise one's own child regardless of marital status, age or financial status. You have nothing of which to be ashamed. But the powers that were and that industry and those that punished us so severely for our non-crime do have a hell of a lot to answer and address.

That's what we are about. If you need to know more, contact us. We are here to help you find your way into the open air. It's nice out here.
Come out and be with friends.