Friday, August 06, 2010
The Appointment of Chuckie; An Open Letter to Chuck Johnson
<---------"Quick! Call me a few more times and pretend to be a biological parent!"
Well, the NCFA has made it official. After a time as acting CEO, Chuck Johnson is now the real deal. He follows in the "illustrious" (sarcasm intended) footsteps of Bill "Over My Dead Body" Pierce, Tom "We're The GOOD Guys" Atwood and Mary "Who?" Robinson. Chuck undistinguished himself in a recent CNN interview that also featured Adam Pertman, adopter and the voice of the Evan B. Donaldson Institute and Jennifer Yurfest, NATURAL mother, of CUB. He isn't as slick as Pierce or as ingratiating as Atwood. I found him to be wooden, unimpressive and with a bit of a guilty edge, sort of like even he didn't believe what he was saying.
Chuckie will undoubtedly continue to tout the NCFA as being on the side of ethics in adoption (ding-ding-ding! oxymoron alert!) while also claiming to speak for mothers and adult adoptees. Well, Chuckie, I'm sure you're a real doll but you do not speak for us or our adult children. The more you try to play Edgar Bergen and put words in our mouths, the worse you are going to look. Charlie McCarthy, we ain't. Plus, you are making these facetious claims in such a way as to make yourself look ridiculous.
How about making some kind of documentation available to the legislators that honestly shows how many natural parents have contacted you? I am a natural mother and I have scores of friends who are natural mothers. Not a woman among us is afraid of our adult, surrendered children. We are all wearing our big girl panties and can decide matters such as contact and further information for ourselves. Has it ever occurred to you or your Industry's pet legislators that we don't need a law to say "yes" or "no?"
Franky, I am surprised that you and the NCFA are puzzled by the anger of mothers and adult adoptees who are tired of you assuming the right to speak for us. Is there any other group of responsible, voting, reading and writing adults in this nation that require an organization such as yours for a mouth piece? Back off, Chuckie! I am sure you will find that we have both the vocal chords and the necessary vocabulary to make our own statements....if you would really listen to ALL of us instead of calling on a few who drank too much adoption Kool Aid.
Honestly Chuckie, I don't see you as evil. I just see you as a shill for evil. Your hesitant manner and puppet-like delivery makes me wonder if you really mean the message.We NATURAL mothers have the right to know how our children fared. We also have the right to protest the new laws that keep the mother in a stranglehold, legally, until that baby is in the hands of the facilitators and/or adopters. We have more of a right to protest and seek acknowledgement of the high-handed and, often, illegal way the mothers of the EMS were treated.
And our adult children have the right to get the story of their beginnings and the piece of paper that says they were not sprung, fully-formed, in some judge's chambers.
Oh, and I doubt if there will be massive coronary infarctions if a few adoptees are able to finally say, "Hi Mom."
I am adding the email I sent to the NCFA, Attention: Chuck Johnson
Dear Mr. Johnson,
I am writing in regards to the statement you made about "biological parents" contacting you, in fear of being found through open records. I have several issues with this statement and other actions of the NCFA.
First, I am not just a biological entity. I am the original, natural mother of ALL my children, including the one taken for adoption by a very corrupt industry during the Baby Scoop Era. The terms "Birth" or "Bio" or "Biological" reduces a mother to the classification of a walking uterus. If you must differentiate, "natural," "original" or "first" are all acceptable.
Second, I would love to see some kind of verification, other than the word of a pro-adoption organization CEO, that you are receiving a flood of calls expressing fear of being found by adult children. I know too many natural mothers who have NO problem with their child finding them and asking questions. I know, for certain, that they are not calling you. We have no fear of our children. We do have a problem with nasty little anti-mother paragraphs that call for state-mandated medical and psycho-social histories and contact vetoes. Even if the original birth certificates stay sealed, there are ways for us to find each other. I know because I have been in reunion for 17 years. Keeping the records closed is not going to protect anyone.
Third, as a mother of adoption loss, I can verify that we are all capable, as are our adult children, many in their 40's and up, of speaking for ourselves. You only have to go online and read our blogs to find that many of us are quite articulate and aware of how the government is implicit in the drive for more infant adoptions. Again, as a minion of a pro-adoption group, it is ridiculous for you or any members of your staff to try to speak for us. We don't like it and really wish you would refrain from doing so. As adults, we really don't like people that don't know us trying to make public statements concerning our likes, dislikes, so-called fears and other issues. We can handle our own PR.
Fourth and last, it is past time that the entire construct of infant adoption was re-examined and reconfigured into something that is more child-friendly and less a matter of filling the needs of the childless. Adoption in the USA is not an altruistic endeavor. It is about a baby for a home rather than a home for a child. Yes, I feel for the infertile. I also have sympathy for a blind person but I am not going to allow anyone to require me to give them my eyes.
Robin Kinney Westbrook
Senior Mother of Four
"Neither society nor the (adopter) who holds the child in her arms wants to confront the agony of the mother from whose arms that same child was taken." (Margaret McDonald Lawrence)