Saturday, April 24, 2010
Birthrights For Sale?
"...When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; and Esau said to Jacob, 'Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.' Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, 'First sell me your birthright.' Esau said, 'Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?' And Jacob said, 'First swear to me"; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright." (Genesis 25:29-34)."
From this Bible story came the warning not to "sell your birthright for a mess of pottage." I always took it to mean that we should think about the consequences down the line before we jump into anything or make decisions based on something of the moment. Basically, it is selling yourself out and selling yourself short.
Let me go on record, right here and now, as saying that I DO care about my HIPAA rights. What good is any legal protection of the citizenry if one group is excluded? I also care about being protected from specious lawsuits brought by disgruntled, displeased adopters who got a kid with problems rather than the next Einstein. I can only be grateful that my daughter's adopters are in the ground. They would certainly sue me for her problems if they thought they could. I am praying my son's adopters never catch wind of the idea.
I have also raised two children and I have learned the difference between being a mother and a martyr. Yes, I would die trying to save my children's lives. If a man with a gun came for my children, I would say, "Take me." But, if my children wanted to plow a 10-acre field, I wouldn't let them kill my mule doing it. There is a difference. Besides, martyrs are really hard to take. They are more into self-absorption than self-esteem.
I have worked long and hard regaining the self-esteem that was taken from me along with my two oldest children. When we found each other, I hope that I presented them with a natural mother of whom they could be proud...a woman they could respect. Others can only respect those who respect themselves. Guilt does not a good mother make nor does overwhelming self-effacement. It also behooves me to give respect to my children. They learn respect by seeing it and receiving it. In the case of a lot of our children who were raised with conditional love and the misconception of being unlovable and abandoned, it is a lesson they need.
There are a few adopted adults with whom I disagree on some points but whom I like and respect. They have found the moxie to look inside themselves for the key to their self-esteem and they wear it well. I know many mothers who have found this strength inside themselves, as well. In the rest of the bunch of mothers and adopted people, I listen to the anguish of rejection and anger from both ends and wonder what is left of the one person without the onus/specter of the other? It is a kind of trauma-induced co-dependence and it diminishes both parties involved.
No matter how we were raised, we were all born equal, naked, crying and needing care and nurture. Inside each of us is all we need to be a whole person. It is hard to explain to the adult child or mother who searched, found and is still feeling that emptiness they hoped to fill that you have to fill the hole, yourself. I know it sounds simple and it is, but it is also difficult and takes work, perseverence, support and strength.
So, as the age of 65 looms in the next few months, I stand here as a whole woman, yet still a work in progress for we never stop growing in mind and spirit. I am a woman whose rights and concerns are as important as anyone else's. I will not sacrifice myself or my sister mothers OR our adult children on the altar of "baby steps and legislation at any cost". I will not involve myself in a cause that includes the participation of those whose goals are in direct contradiction to my own. I will respect my life and welfare and hope, like Hell, that I have given my children a mother they can respect and of whom they can be proud.
Real sacrifice should mean something and that something is not expedience. Esau had to learn the hard way, too.