Wednesday, June 09, 2010
One Hand Clapping
Yet, we have a multitude of people who want everything carried in one hand when it comes to issues surrounding adoption, surrender, records and reform. While linked, these are all different issues, just as there are different eras, different focuses and different individual situations. This leaves one to wonder how that one hand can be used to accomplish anything in so many areas. To set oneself up as the "go-to expert" in this area is to err on the side of ego. No one person has a lock on this and conversely, no individual group is all wrong no matter how outsiders might see it. When it comes to these issues (and it is not just one issue), each one calls for appropriate attention. No one has the right to decide whose issues are valid and whose aren't.
limbed creature is one of the most intelligent and effective predators in the ocean. She is flexible, canny and has a grip composed of hundreds of suckers on eight tentacles. It has been noted that she can do one thing with one tentacle while doing something else with another. She is a marvel of efficient design. Think how ineffective (and probably extinct) she would be with only one tentacle.
Yet that is what some people want in the arena of adoption reform. They want to see all united under that one umbrella, then they want to decide whose issues take precedence and whose can be kicked to the curb. For the much maligned Senior Mothers who stand by the precept that the issue of the legal crimes against us in the EMS deserves its share of attention, it doesn't work under that adoption reform parasol. We keep getting pushed into a corner, kicked to the curb or kicked out.
Both BSERI and, later, SMAAC were formed when the issues of many of the Senior Mothers from that era were basically challenged and dismissed. Objective became generic, dirty bills and baby steps were deemed to be acceptable and personality cults and conflicts basically chopped off one hand, leaving the multi-interest groups either contaminated by the industry and adopters, or trying to please everyone. No one wanted to recognize that there are certain issues exclusive to certain groups and that halfway measures do not do the job.
Bastard Nation, who has long been seeking the simple right of the adult adoptee to their Original Birth Certificate, is finding its goals undermined by the efforts of those who think that any bill will do and that progress is a dirty bill. Senior Mothers object to the same thing but on different grounds. Contact vetoes and mandatory medical and psycho-social forms are not how adults handle things. This is Big Brother running the show. Just open all the records for all of us, already! It's really simple but you can bet that it will be complicated by the time the legislators, bill writers (with the help of adopters and the industry) and others stick their two cents' worth into the mix.
So, even though BN and SMAAC want the same thing, it is for different reasons. That's why all these different organizations might just be a good thing. If we each concentrate on getting our jobs done and quit with the attempts to put everyone in one niche, there might be some real progress. Maybe we could get to the place where, rather than trying to undermine each other, we could be supporting each other. Hey, hope springs eternal.
We watch the History Channel, quite often, and they have had a series called "BC Battles" where military strategies of the ancient generals were studied. The successful generals did not leave it up to one horde, front-on, to win the day. They divided their soldiers, gave each one a particular job to do, and out-flanked the enemy resulting in victory. It sounds simple, but they had to take into account the weather conditions, the terrain, the strengths of the enemy as well as the weaknesses. So there were often many officers in charge of all these different units, mapping out the strategy.
Each battle was not an end in and of itself, but a means to an end. Each individual victory built up to the big victory, each battle led to the winning of the war. Xerxes and his Persian horde were delayed and frustrated by a small group of 300 Spartans guarding a pass, entrenched, not just in an advantageous locale, but in their belief in their goals. Their bold and presumptive strategy allowed the Athenians time to come in behind the Persians and strike. Whether we like it or not, this is also a war and our enemy is well-funded, well-publicized and smart. They are used to being the Big Boys on the block so they might just sneer at our individual groups.
But didn't Goliath laugh at David?