Monday, June 28, 2010

You Can't Go Home Again

Thomas Wolfe said it and I am beginning to understand it. You can go home, but you have to take the bad memories with the good. Too often, you find that not much has changed. So the home you have in your mind and the real thing are not the same.

Don't expect, for instance, to find that minds that were closed have, miraculously, opened. Don't expect that the fundamentalist, intolerant religion that personified your community is gone. It's still there. And be prepared to find that some may not like how you have evolved into a stronger, more opinionated person. For many, that small town mindset is set in stone.

There is a cute little guy (I guess he's not little any more) who used to attend the same church my family attended. He was a teddy bear of a kid. He grew up to become well-educated and an adopter. Another old friend, someone I know went through some questionable times of her own, thinks that adoption is God's Plan. They are oblivious to the pain that causes. I don't think I should try to educate them. I don't think I CAN educate them. Open minds tend to snap shut when precious, pre-conceived notions are challenged.

I have posted about this before...about how the religious use the myth of Moses to justify adoption. They leave out the part where he was basically raised by his own mother, that he never called Ramses his brother, but he did recognize Aaron as his brother, and that he was watched over the entire time that basket floated on the Nile. As an adult, Moses returned to his people and his family and renounced his "adoptive" family and nation.

All the Egyptian princess did was keep him alive so that he could grow up in safety. And Moses' mother was trying to save his physical life. We who were coerced into surrender were not threatened by the slaughter of our babies by a tyrant. It was just shame, blame and a society that...well, basically sucked.

A friend of mine has a reunited daughter who said it best. She told her adopter that, "no matter how much time an orange spends with the apples, it's still an orange." Moses never stopped being an Israelite and the son of his real mother. It's amazing to see the traits of our families in our adult, reunited children. The bond is still there, twisted but not broken. The great experiment is not working out the way the adoption industry and the adopters hoped it would.

Something most Bible pundits ignore in the adoption debate is the fact that a great deal of importance is placed on natural heritage. Why else does anyone think that all those "begats" are in there? Our children have a right to know their heritage just like anyone else. And if it leads to reunion and a renewal of the mother/child bond, so be it.

To think that a young woman should surrender her child just because she is young, single, not well off, etc., so that her child can have "a better life," is to fail to recognize the importance of the most primal bond that was ever created...that of the mother and child. With adoption, that bond is dishonored, the mother is used as breeding stock and another child grows up with confusion. All most mothers needs is a bit of familial support and for the father to step in and take on his responsibilities. He doesn't have to marry her, but he should help support his offspring.

No one was there to help me. Like millions of other girls and young women in the EMS, I was abandoned to the tender mercies of a social experiment. Moses' real mother would have been appalled.

And the Higher Power in whom I believe just isn't that mean.


Sandy Young said...

I think that a lot of the disrespect that you encounterd is fear and guilt, and that those who expressed it have way more at stake than you do. I find that adopters often feel the need to justify their actions, and their justification is often rooted in their own guilt and shame at being infertile, their own part in their infertility, their adoption and the part they played in obtaining the child they adopted.

Hang tough, Girlfriend. You are strong, you are smart and we shall overcome....someday....

Lori said...

That is very profound and so very close to home for me. I would like to link to it, if you approved. I think that it may reach some of the people that bother to think. Or my daughter - maybe.

Robin said...

Sure, Lori. Go ahead.

Anonymous said...

Robin your voice is carrying! You may not change or open the minds of the folks you grew up with but you are touching many others.

Von said...

Right On Sisters!
A lot being blogged about DNA, apples and oranges lately, nothing prevents that blood connection.