Thursday, September 09, 2010
Nothing Says It Like "Distraught"
This is always the word I think of when I try to describe how I felt when the social worker brought the papers in for me to sign while I was still recovering from the birth of my firstborn. It's hard for me to get past that and into what was on those pages. I read them through a blur of tears, knowing that I had to sign them or the consequences would be dire for both me and my newborn. I had caved, surrendered, given up and presented my sword. There was no more fight in me. I was emotionally and mentally defeated. I had been abandoned by the father of my child and isolated from my family and friends by my parents. Now, all that was left to me was to wish my child a loving farewell and trust that the people who got her would treat her like the treasure she was.
I don't remember signing anything when I lost my second child. I tried to hold out a bit longer and I think they just got my mother's or father's signature or forged mine. I don't know. I'm still waiting for the paperwork and am getting a royal runaround from the state of SC.
Musing Mother has posted about the fallacy of "Anonymity" on her blog. Rightfully, she calls those who state that we were, by law or any other contract, promised anonymity, privacy, confidentiality or any other such nonsense from our own children the Liars they are. That entire argument is a myth and an excuse to delay and deter the availability of the Original Birth Certificates of our adult children. The ONLY reference to any kind of protection I remember was a thinly veiled threat of legal consequences should I try to find my children.
On Bastardette's blog, she has posted about the claims of the ACLU's Deborah Jacob's that she has a "pile of anonymous letters," praising the ACLU for their efforts in keeping the putative letter-writers' shameful secrets safe. I have two questions about that claim. First, if the letters are anonymous, how can she prove that they came, indeed, from mothers of adoption loss? Second, I think that the thousands of us who signed the old MORE (Mothers for Open Records Everywhere) letter, when it was online, would outnumber a "pile" of letters.
The ACLU and others interested in keeping the OBC's under lock and key are using a lie and twisting any truth in an effort to keep a government-sanctioned BUSINESS going. I guess those with the money and influence can say anything. When we were sent to the maternity homes, our parents were told that no one would know we were there. That was only for the duration of our stay in the maternity prisons. Once we left those places, we were on our own and no one was protecting any of us from anything.
The ones who are the recipients of any considerations of privacy are the adopters. They were more worthy of that commodity that most of us mothers didn't even want. They were the righteous saints that rescued our endangered infants from us sinning sluts. Boy, talk about the Bad Old Days. Whenever anyone tries to claim a legal "right" to confidentiality for mothers, I have to, like Musing Mother, scream "LIARS!" They are lying to an entire nation and getting away with it if we don't speak up.
While I have found a measure of recovery from the pain of my experience, 17 years of reunion have brought it all back to me in crystal-clear memories. I remember the grief, I remember the lies, I remember the emptiness of my arms when I left the hospital and I can remember a somber girl, now a childless mother, just going through the motions of life for a long time.
She was hurt, she was helpless and she was distraught.