Monday, March 28, 2011

Mother Non Grata

She personifies the adjective "harmless" and "kindly." She simply and ingeniously expresses her love and her pain to those who take the time to listen and understand. She's never really done anything to hurt anyone. Her only "crime" is a non-crime. She gave birth, was unmarried and was coerced into surrendering her son during the Era of Mass Surrenders. She knows, now, who and where he is. But he wants nothing to do with her.

She doesn't want much...just a chance to look at him, a hug, some conversation. Her heart is full of love for him but it is now couched in the pain of his rejection of her. She is treated like a threat..this bright senior, who walks with a cane. She wonders how he might explain to the police if they were called to remove her from his doorstep. "Officer, this woman is stalking me?" Yeah, that is one dangerous granny, there, Fella. This is my dear friend and she hurts in her heart.

She has lost her child and that child's children and generations that will come. Would it hurt him to make those tiny send her an occasional "Hi, How are you?" Who would he be betraying? His adopters might be putting pressure on him. He might be holding his anger to him like a toddler holds on to a blankie. As toxic as that misguided anger is, it is the devil he knows. To let go of that resentment, and to honor this woman's place in his life is a proposition that must terrify him. Anger is a surface emotion. Scratch it, and you usually find fear and sadness.

She still hopes and prays that he will give her a chance to see him, just once, to explain what happened, to let him know he was and is loved. Maybe that is what he is fearing. That the lies about the careless and uncaring beemommy will come tumbling down around him and the truth will put its light to the dark and unreasoning things he has been told or has imagined and made real. I fear he might wait to see that light until it is too late.

I've heard, directly from the mothers, of many such cases. Mothers aren't the only ones who reject. Even those of us with relationships often get reminded of how secondary we are in the lives of our adult children. When you are told, "you only gave birth to me," or "it was meant to be that I was adopted by my (adopters)," when you are treated as nothing more than a repository for medical information and are not even allowed to attend important events in your adult child's life, you know you are being punished. Because, because, matter what kind of papers we did or didn't sign...we became MOTHERS when we gave birth to you. We've been slapped in the face enough for one lifetime, don't you think?

I think that some are dismayed to find that we are not sluts, crack whores or deviants. There is the occasional exception that proves the rule, but the majority of us are accomplished, educated, some of us married,  grandmothers with talents and self-respect. My daughter told me, when we reunited, that "it was okay" if I didn't know who her father was. WTF?? I know of another mother who is at the "it is what it is" stage who was told by her adult child that it would have been easier for her if Mom had turned out to be a drug-addicted prostitute or words to that effect. The stereotype of the surrendering mother doesn't help us a bit. I would hope that our adult children would love having a natural mother they can respect. We are not that kind of person now, and we weren't then.

Most of us understand that our children are going to feel love and loyalty for the people who raised them. But I can remember someone saying to me, about 17 years ago, "If a mother can love more than one child, why can't a child love more than one mother?" I dunno about that one. Usually we are all allotted only one mother and, if your family is like the majority, you had to share her with siblings. I wonder if sibling rivalry is all about fighting for the parents' attention? That has to be a part of it.

But I digress...or maybe not. I have also seen many an adult, who was adopted as an infant, resent the fact that the Natural Mother went on with making some kind of life for herself. It matters not to them that we carried the loss and the grief with us for the lifetime of that surrendered child. What matters is that they seem to often see us as, somehow, undeserving of any kind of life if we "abandoned" them. How dare we have other children? How dare we love those other children? How dare we laugh or love?

Not all the angriest adoptees are the ones who are rejected by their Natural Mothers. There are many who are wanted, welcomed, searched for and loved who just want that woman to bow, scrape, beg forgiveness and rot in solitude or, at the very least, sit in the back of the bus and only come forth when invited and then, the head must be properly bowed. In many cases, she is either pulled forward and pushed away at the same time, or else she is cut off, entirely. She is a non-presence in their lives. These are the ones who need to do a reality check and grow up, quickly, before their brain sets up like cement.

So rejection is a double-edged sword. It cuts both ways and leaves wounds on the mother every bit as often and as deep as those on the adult child. It's funny in that the adoptee rejects the mother because of all the lies they were told. The mother rejects the adoptee because of all the lies she has told herself. Either situation is dysfunctional and unfair to all involved.

To these adult children of surrendering mothers and to the mothers who live their own's time to grow up, gear up and face the truths and accept the love. There are a lot of us moms who don't have a whole lot of time left.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Word To Cowards and Other Rejecting Mothers

I just read a blog by Real Daughter that brought me to tears like few blog posts have ever done. I have felt this way in the past about my sisters who live in their fear and shame and trauma without ever searching for a better way. When they do that, their adult, surrendered children are the ones who suffer from their mother's trauma as well as their own. I want to take these Nmoms by the shoulders and shake them until their teeth rattle.

I have watched this spirited woman as she made the journey from the possession of her adopters and the object of rejection by her Nmother to a person, whole within herself. When we make that journey, we don't find perfection, but we do usually find a nice person, no worse and no better than anyone else, with whom we can live. I wonder, if I had not made that hard journey to self-acceptance prior to reunion, would I have been one of the mothers who rejects? I know that the burden of grief, guilt, shame and fear was with me for a long time until I got sick and damn tired of carrying it. I hate it that some mothers hide within the depths of that burden, content to continue sitting in their safe, warm pile of shit and ignoring the smell.

I have preached a lot, to adopted adults, about understanding their Nmoms and letting go of the blame and hate...about not tarring all of us with the same brush, and trying to put themselves in our shoes. If we don't do the same in return, we can't really call ourselves mothers. No, I still won't accept the "abandoner" crap or the "I hate all Nmoms because of mine," mindset. But I do understand it a lot better. Fortunately, this particular adoptee sees personal growth as positive and has the courage to pursue it. "Nuff said on that side.

Now! To those recalcitrant and cowardly mothers, WOMAN UP!! This is the child of your body. The past is gone. It can't hurt you anymore. If your near and dear are condemning of the fact that you surrendered a child, then their love must come with some pretty harsh conditions. If you have kept a secret for all those years, the truth will set you free, literally! Reunion isn't an easy road to travel, but those that do usually don't regret it.

Your baby is gone, forever, but he/she didn't die. That adult, standing in front of you with their hand stretched out to you is your new reality. How can you not enjoy the resemblance and wonder at the synchronicities? You still carry cells of that person inside you. Your DNA is in every one of their cells, bone, blood and sinew. They need answers, and, whether you will admit it or not or even know it, SO DO YOU! What can it hurt for you to make a new friend? And what better friend to have that the blood of your blood?

I wish there weren't so many of you out there. You damage our image and put barriers between people that don't even know you by your coldness. Your fear is misplaced and your shame is in your head, only. To quote a book that helped me immensely, when you grow and accept yourself, " will neither regret the past nor wish to turn your back on it." There lies the way of sanity.

I hope some of you read this. I hope you might want to have some dialogue with mothers who accepted and even searched for their adult children. We can tell you that the fear goes away. The suppressed grief does surface but it was doing you no good down there where you had buried it. You can go through it with support you didn't have back then. Yes, you might find some anger emerging, but anger is just an emotion. It's what you do with it that is the important thing. And, for me at least, the best part is saying goodbye to that stupid, frakking scarlet letter of shame. We never deserved it. C'mon...grow a set of cast iron ovaries and meet your adult child halfway.

You might learn something. I can't promise that it won't hurt, but it can, most definitely, help heal.

(We'll talk about the adult adoptees who reject their Nmoms on another day.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Open Records for Mothers, Too! Why....?

Intrinsic; in·trin·sic; Adjective /inˈtrinzik/ /-sik/  inherent; 1.Belonging naturally; essential

Esoteric; es·o·ter·ic; Adjective /ˌesəˈterik/ 1.Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest in a subject or issue.
Egalitarian; e·gal·i·tar·i·an ;Adjective /iˌgaləˈterēən/; 1.Of, relating to, or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.
 Dignity; dig·ni·ty: Noun /ˈdignitē/; (dignities plural);1.The state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I am not big on long, dry recitations of legal prescedents, dates and data. There are those who are much better at that sort of thing than I am. I tend to follow what I know, in my deepest self, to be true and right and extrapolate from there. If I have managed to pick up pertinent data and can readily access it, I will include it. But rambling through the history of this arena of activism is not my bag. If I have an idea, I'll put it out there. If someone says it can't be done, I'll ask why. If the reasons are sound, I'll look for another avenue to the goals I want to pursue.

The question was raised, on First Mother Forum , of whether Natural Mothers should also be granted access to the amended birth certificate of their surrendered, adult child. I firmly believe it is fair and right and that we should be granted equal access to all records pertaining to our surrender, labor, delivery and our child's adoptive name. The Original Birth Certificate gives identifying information about the Natural Mother. Why shouldn't a Natural Mother have identifying information on her adult child?

It has more to do with those words up there than with the possibility of reunion, although I think that the right to know who your child is and how that child has fared is our right based on a primal need. Not everyone went through what I and many other mothers did during the EMS. But a huge number did. So many of us had all our autonomy, our self respect and our very worlds taken from us, along with our child. We were secreted away, shamed and went through our pregnancies in atmospheres of punishment and censure.

When the search phenomenon began, we either started looking, ourselves, or filed our names with registries and waited and hoped. Others hunched their shoulders and hid themselves even deeper in the personas they had generated for themselves out of old, entrenched fear and shame, I am sorry to say. Many of us who lost our self-respect fought hard battles to regain it and still managed to stay honest about our pasts. The freedom and lightness of being brought about by simply telling the truth was heady stuff.

But for me, reunion, and knowing aren't enough. How we are and were seen and treated by society is also important. We've been the bad girls/delinquents long enough and I, for one, am terribly tired of it. I don't care how much hostility flows my way from adoption facilitators, attorneys and adopters. You used me and my sister mothers in the worst way and then we were discarded. Well, guess what? We are still here. And we are no longer helpless, young, dependent girls afraid of an intolerant society.

So, I can't quote the legal and constitutional reasons, former legal battles fought, and their outcomes to explain my strong belief that Mothers should be included in the fight for open records. But I can say that it is intrinsically the right thing to do. We have the esoteric understanding and involvement that places us in midst of those concerned with these rights. And to do so will open the door to true egalitarianism in the adoption activism milleu and allow us all our dignity. That might not be backed up with all the data, but I believe we definitely should have access.

More than that, I believe we deserve it. Sometimes, it's just a matter of what is right.

Monday, March 21, 2011

That Was The Week That Was

I have spent the past 10 days in a speechless state of horror, inspiration, heartache and renewed faith in humanity. We watched our former enemies from 65 years ago, now our friends and allies, as their nation was dealt blow after blow from the uneasy earth that lies beneath our feet.

I watched people who had lost families, homes and all their possessions reaching out to their neighbors, joining the rescue and recovery operations, whittling chopsticks and sharing what little they had with others. I watched brave people risking their lives trying to corral a nuclear monster before it could escape and wreak even more havoc than has already occurred.

One of the most poignant images, one I can't help but hold in my mind, is that of people desperately searching message boards in shelters,searching for the names of missing family members. Husbands, wives, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins...each, it seems, had someone searching for them except in that most horrible case where entire families were taken by the waters.

If ever the importance of blood kin was demonstrated, it was here, in this stricken nation with its stalwart people. NO ONE who has survived, so far, has been left behind or deemed less important than another. There has been no looting, no violence. There has been unbelievable courage, patience and charity. Stripped down to less than the bare essentials, people shared their fires, their blankets, what little rice they had and waited for help. And the joy on the faces of those who found their family members alive was transcendent. I shed tears of joy along with them.

It might be interesting to note that Japan, the third largest economy in the world, does NOT have an "adoption society." They take care of their own and family members see after their own flesh and blood when the need arises. I have already seen where salivating American PAPs are asking about orphaned, Japanese infants and toddlers. Not so fast, there, wannabes. The Japanese will FIRST make sure that every effort is made to find blood relatives of any child before they make any other moves. And they are not too keen on the idea of their children leaving their culture and home.

As winter passes and the fruit trees bloom, I am thinking of the reality of human need for the ties of blood. You can graft a limb from one orange tree onto another and that limb will still produce the kind of fruit from the tree from which it was taken. You cannot graft a baby onto another family and have it develop the traits of the adopters. I also know that the soil of Florida will not grow a cherry tree taken from Michigan. The tree will be stunted and the fruit sparse and of lower quality.

The Japanese people, like all other people, are not perfect. History boldly notes their mistakes. But when it comes to family and what constitutes a family and community, they have something in their culture that we would be wise to emulate.

So, as the bombs fall on Libya, and as the political and economic situations elsewhere roil and seethe, the people of Japan will mourn their lost, rejoice in their found and rebuild their lives.

And the blood family in the land of the rising sun will survive.

PS: This recent article had to be added to this post. Japan says "no thank you" to PAPs. YAY!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Logic 101

Today, we will have a short review of simple facts that should be common knowledge but are not, due to the way the adoption industry, greedy agencies, PAPs and their government toadies have of twisting things. Here goes another attempt to replace mythology with reality.

FACT: Being unmarried and/or young and/or financially dependent and/or still in the process of getting an education does not make any woman or girl less a real mother.

FACT: If a young lady is old enough to have a baby, she is old enough to be called a Mother. Babies do not have babies. At age 14 and up, our bodies are the bodies of women capable of fertility, passion and all the other things parents don't like to admit exist.

FACT: Antiquated religious beliefs and reactionary social mores have criminalized the act of love and the birth of a child outside the man-made institute of marriage.

FACT: Illegitimacy is a man-made concept for the benefit of the patriarchy and really has nothing to do with an innocent child or the marital status of that child's mother. Every child has a right to be here, whether the name he/she bears is the mother's or the father's.

FACT: Adult Natural Mothers and Adopted people can handle the same rights as everyone else and the freedom of association that will allow us to pursue or not pursue relationships as we choose.

FACT: Natural Mothers and Adult Adoptees do not need self-appointed spokespeople...especially from those who support the adoption industry.

FACT: Most Natural Mothers are NOT fragile flowers needing protection, anonymity or avuncular concern from institutes and organizations.

FACT: While we might disagree among ourselves on certain points, we all agree that closed records are a violation of our human rights.

FACT: It would cost less to help a new mother and her child than it takes to supply adopters with subsidies. A hand up is different from a hand out.

FACT: Coercion, conditioning and social mythology that bring about surrender are real problems that can only be solved by massive doses of truth.

FACT: If you accept your adult child/natural mother into your life, openly, your nose won't fall off and the world won't stop turning.

FACT: Blood ties DO matter.

FACT: NO ONE is entitled to the child of another woman by "virtue" of infertility.

FACT: The major causes of infertility are delayed childbearing, STDs, obesity, smoking and other lifestyle choices.

FACT: There is no such thing as a "Triad" in adoption. Natural Mothers and Adoptees have no power or equality. That commodity belongs to the agencies, brokers, adopters, workers and others who profit or benefit from our loss.

FACT: Those who adopt are not perfect saints nor or they better people than the majority of natural mothers.

FACT: Too many people don't want to accept or even know these simple, true facts.

FACT: It seems everyone who is not directly connected to adoption "knows someone" who adopted or who was adopted or surrendered a child who is just deliriously happy about it all.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Death Of Women's Rights In America

Grab your burkhas, Ladies, and get ready to walk 6 paces behind your man. The reproductive rights of American women are becoming the province of fanatical patriarchs and the Devil no longer wears Prada..He wears Armani.

For every step forward women have taken in the US in the arenas of business, politics, education and the arts in the last century, there are Good Old Boys intent on taking us back to the Middle Ages in matters of sex and childbearing. For those of us whose fertile years are behind us, there is little threat. It is for my daughters, granddaughter and great granddaughter that I am raising the alarm.

There have been those who said that the Tea Party/ Rigid Right/ Christian Fundamentalist contingent are trying to take us back to the 1950's. I contend that the direction is more towards the Dark Ages when women were chattel and Theologians debated the existence of a soul in women. In states across the nation, the right to choose is being eroded by the arrogant and those who want their votes.

Abstinence only is still being preached, even though it is NOT effective and even foolish in concept. Virginity in a woman is a prize and the one getting the prize is not chastised for HIS sexual escapades unless he occupies an elected office. Tinkerbell, Barbie and other little girl heroines are being tarted out to the max. Little girls wear extensions, makeup and prance across a stage teaching them that their worth is in their looks and the use of them. Brittney, Miley, Lindsey, Christine, Beyonce and that audacious Gaga person are the role models for our  female youth.

All this creates a perfect atmosphere for the Big Business of adoption. Just think of all those healthy infants being taken from women who are seen as nothing more than glorified breeders. Women who put childbearing on hold and made poor choices that led to infertility will be salivating. (As an aside, there was a story about pregnant women with cancer that noted one of the reasons this was increasing was due to the fact that women were putting off pregnancy until later in life.) The Industry will be opening maternity homes and adoption agencies on every street corner. Hallelujah and pass the court orders!

Here are just a few of the reasons I make this observation:

(1) A GA state representative introduces legislation that would make it mandatory that every miscarriage be investigated and murder charges brought, not excluding the death penalty, if the miscarriage can be traced to any action or lack of action on the part of the mother.
(2) South Dakota comes up with legislation that would reduce the penalty for killing an abortion provider.
(3) States across the nation are being deluged with legislation from the GOP and Tea Party office-holders to restrict the time period during while a woman can seek a legal, medical abortion.
(4)Legislation is introduced requiring a woman to have an ultra-sound  done of her weeks-old pregnancy and shown or told the results. This is seen as a deterrent.
(5)Legislation is introduced requiring that a woman seek out and be counseled by "Crisis Pregnancy Centers" before she seeks a safe and legal medical termination. She will be encouraged to carry to term and surrender her child for adoption.
(6)The Republicans want to narrow down the definition of “rape” – by eliminating rape cases involving excessive amount of alcohol or drugs, date rape, and statutory rape, among others (basically, they’re saying: if a woman doesn’t look physically beaten, it wasn’t rape). They’re trying to do this by only counting “forcible rape” as “real rape.” This means women whose rape charges don’t fall under this vague category of “forcible rape” will not be eligible for financial support from the federal government when it comes to abortions. They even suggest that women who are raped not be called "victims."
(7)An OB/GYN in Florida had, a woman who refused bed rest after threatening a miscarriage, committed to the hospital. She had other children to support and a job to hold onto. It wasn't long after that the fetus, already deceased, was delivered by emergency C Section. This one is in the FL Supreme court at this time.

The list is longer than this, but this is enough, I would think, to make any intelligent and competent woman really worry about our future. The sad thing is that I doubt that any of the adherents of the views listed above will even see, if they read this list, how medieval, how oppressive, how patronizing and how ridiculous it reads. I wouldn't put it past them to try to bring back chastity belts for women.

We who managed to benefit, in part from some of the forward movement in the last decade are watching future generations losing all the ground that was gained and then some. We are aging and the huge number of Baby Boomers are more interested in holding on to what's left of their 401Ks and IRAs. I know that I have to turn the television off, divert my attention from the news feeds and retreat into my own life in order to sleep at night.

Yes, I know that I blogged about this two posts back. But I am more alarmed now than when I posted about this the first time. If anyone knows something we can do, who we can talk to, who can help divert this horrendous trend, please speak out. I have sent emails to all my elected officials and to a few that have nothing to do with my district. I am blogging. I am signing petitions. I am noting these things on my Facebook page.

And I have never felt so helpless in my life except when I lost my children to adoption. I don't want to go back there. This kind of thing happens in third world countries...not in my Land of the Free.

They must have really meant it when they said that "all MEN are created equal."

Just Sayin', You Know?

This is a news story from KKTV in southern Colorado. This is also one, gigantic OOPS, for the CPS, adoption and all concerned. The problem is, two little boys had to suffer while people fiddled around, doing nothing and remained blissfully unaware. Two little boys, both adopted by this couple, were recently discovered to be missing. The problem is that they have been missing for more than a decade. How in the Hell did this go undiscovered for so long?

Austin and Edward Bryant seem to have gone missing around the first part of the last decade and it was never reported by their adopters, according to this report:

"Austin and Edward are the adoptive children of 58-year-old Edward Bryant and 54-year-old Linda Bryant, of Texas. Deputies tell us the Bryants lived in a home located on Granite Circle in Monument from 1999 to 2005. Property records show they owned the home at 18060 Granite Circle from 1999 to 2006.

"I don't really remember them, but they seemed like shady people. Something just wasn't quite right," said one neighbor.

Linda and Edward Bryant have been contacted and arrested in Texas for receiving an ongoing financial subsidy from the El Paso County Department of Human Services despite the fact Austin and Edward were not residing with them. They have been extradited to back to Colorado and are in custody at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center. "

Once again, we are shown that adopters are not saints and that they put their knickers on, one leg at a time, just like the rest of us lowly natural parents. They are just as prone to abuse and worse (maybe more prone if you take into account the lack of a blood connection) as anyone else.

But the real problem, to me, is that they went uninvestigated, still making money as if these boys were with them, for so long. I'm just saying, if this had been natural parents whose children went missing, they would have been jailed, judged and juried in a heartbeat, guilty or not. The scales are definitely not balanced when it comes to our misguided national love affair with adoption.

This also makes one question the fairness and wisdom of the adoption subsidy. We natural parents are lucky to get a tax deduction on our raised children. Why should someone receive money for adopting? I thought they wanted a child "as if born to." Subsidies do not fill that description one bit. To say that money is not a consideration in many areas of adoption is to be blind to the realities.

I am waiting to see if this receives national attention and if these children are ever found. The least crime of which the Bryants would be guilty would be fraud. The worst would be murder of the most foul variety. It breaks my heart that these kids not only went missing, but were used as income for such a long time as if their presence or absence meant less than nothing.

For the sake of Austin and Edward, I want some answers, Mr. and Mrs. Bryant. It's past time to come clean.

(You can read more about this in the El Paso Times.)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Urgent Bulletin! Women's Rights Declared An Oxymoron!

Freakin' film at 11:00! The right of a woman to choose her own reproductive options is being eroded, state by state and woman by woman, by the self-righteous and arrogant among us. It's all over CNN, MSNBC and HNN as well as the network news programs and the print and Internet media. It's reported on TV in quick sound bites but it's there.

In South Dakota, they want to encourage the murder of abortion providers by lessening the penalty for the crime. Others want to force women to visit mis-named "Crisis Pregnancy Centers" before allowing her to seek a safe, medical termination. Texas legislators are pushing a requirement for any woman seeking termination to be subjected to an ultrasound and listen to a description of what is on the screen. Laws are being considered and passed, in a multitude of states, limiting the time period during which a woman can seek termination. Some leggies with beans for brains want to have a murder investigation every time a woman miscarries.

 And, get this, an OB/GYN  had a working mother with a risky pregnancy COMMITTED because she could not put her job on hold for bed rest. How dare she make that decision herself? Hmmm? And who says doctors don't have god complexes? That is being fought out in the Florida high court at this time.

Just go the the Planned Parenthood Facebook page or website. You can read all about the assaults made against a woman's right to determine her own reproductive life. With the passage of health care provisions that would not allow compensation for termination procedures, our nation is taking a giant step BACKWARDS, people!! And don't even get me started on the dim bulb legislator who wants to re-define rape. "Naw, judge. She wasn't raped. There's not a mark on her." So, if the guy only uses superior strength, threats and coercion, then it's just peachy to ignore the fact that she said "no?"

You might wonder what a piece about pro-choice is doing on a blog that deals with surrender and adoption, but reproductive rights covers more than birth control or abortion. It also should include the right for a woman to choose to raise her own child regardless of marital status, education or income. The erosion of the hard-won rights to access to effective birth control and safe, legal, medical termination of pregnancy bodes ill for all of us. Women are disrespected and under attack, by the conservative faction in our government and the adoption industry, who operates, unfortunately, with the aid of other women. Setting us against our own seems to work for them.

If we don't stand up for ourselves now, then the future looks bleak for our daughters, granddaughters and succeeding generations. The future in the patriarchal, puritanical US could be a nightmare filled with Stepford Wives and Handmaids if we don't divert this current trend. I don't think we can count on the National Organization for Women (excluding those with adoptable newborns) to offer across-the-board advocation.

If anyone looks closely, they can see the tie-in here between the erosion of reproductive rights and the adoption industry. When women are forced to carry a pregnancy to term, when young people are given no access to any kind of birth control save abstinence and when a woman is stripped of all her reproductive autonomy, then the adopter raptors and their suppliers start salivating over all those healthy infants. Talk about kids in a candy store!!

To me, the American obsession with controlling sexuality and reproduction for profit is comparable to our national addiction to petroleum products. There are alternatives and better ways, but the Good Old Boys Club is not going to allow it without turning some screws on some vulnerable people. The middle class, the poor and the disenfranchised will still be the targets of the powerful and wealthy and women will still be the targets of the covetous and controlling....UNLESS we fight back.

If we can stand together for the rights of each woman to choose her own path, if we can put a stop to the arrogant who would profit from our misery and loss, then there will be true equality and autonomy in the US.

Until then, it's just a nice dream.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Put A Plug In Pertman

Adam, Adam, Adam. Once again, the talking head of the adoption-pushing Evan B. Donaldson Institute is speaking for those who are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves. I am so glad to know that adoptees are as fed up with this nonsense as we Nmoms are. Dammit, we are adults and we can speak for ourselves.

I was especially interested to read Mike Doughney's Blog on the subject. Baby Love Child has also entreated Pertman to shut his pie hole and let the adopted adult speak for themselves after his patronizing piece in the Huffington Post. What? Adoptees are citizens, too?? Thank you, Mr. P. We, of course, were too stupid to know that...NOT.

We Nmoms have been screaming at these self-ordained puppet masters to let us speak for ourselves for a few years, now. Mr. Pertman is an adopter. The EBDI was born from the dubious environs of the Spence-Chapin adoption agency. ANY adoption-promoting or adoption-friendly entity that presumes to speak for the Natural Mothers  OR adult adoptees, especially on the issue of open records, is bogus in its actions and questionable in its motives.

There are those who have said that adopters are needed in the fight for open records. I question that. I think that WE are needed much more than the ones who benefited from the closed records from the get-go. We are the ones who were divested of our infants and kicked to the curb, enjoined to be silent and told our children would never need us or want to know us. We are the ones who were fed specious, vicious lies such as, "you will have other children and that will take away the pain," and "you will make a life for yourself and forget." SOMEBODY, both then and now, doesn't know shite from Shinola about motherhood.

So to see the very Industry and those who benefited from our loss, writing op-ed pieces, publishing "reports" and otherwise putting words in the mouths of many very intelligent and capable women and their adult children is infuriating. They managed to intimidate Nmoms into silence for a couple of decades, but no more. Shame, lies, convoluted "reasoning" and patronization no longer work. The condescending nature of this activity does not win Nmom friends and influence adoptees. It just pisses us off, mightily.

Yeah, I know I have posted about this in the past. I will probably post about it again and again. As long as these institutes and agencies and lobbyists and their minions and sheep continue to try to wrap a simple human right in pages of double-speak both punitive and nannyish (I coined a word!), as long as adopters and agents try to tell us what we think and how we feel, there will be a need for us to retaliate with a simple phrase; "Adam and Friends, Shut the F*** up and let us speak for ourselves!!"

I am delighted to see more adopted adults and Nmothers becoming disgruntled and protesting this sham. No one can talk with authority about that which they have not experienced in this arena. Mothers know how we feel and think and what we want. Adult adoptees know their own minds as well.

The Industry and those who are its beneficiaries are managing to keep the proponents of open records at each other's necks with a lot of their blather. Well-meaning people are walking down Primrose Paths to advocate legislation that won't stand up to a Supreme Court challenge and place restrictions on the seekers and the sought.

So our message is simple...probably too simple for the talking heads to understand. Open all identifying records to the adopted and mothers and let us take care of the other decisions, ourselves like the grownups we are.

Oh, and to our children and sister mothers...don't forget to bring pictures!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Medical Records My Arse!

While I watch myself, my adult children and the other natural mothers and adult adoptees in reunion around me, the brandishing of medical records as the raison d'etre for the drive for open records goes on. It is so amusing to note that, when contact is finally made, medical history is NOT the first question or topic that arises.

I am not saying that a medical history is not important. I am saying that, in my opinion, it is a smoke screen created to protect adopters' feelings. I also suspect it is a good come back when an adult adopted person is accused of being ungrateful and disloyal. Unfortunately, they get a lot of that. The fact that few raised family members have all their answers and that personal medical information is protected by the HIPAA regulations seems to have escaped those who argue that family medical history is their main objective and should be mandatory.

Now, having asked a number of my adopted friends and observing the reunions in my family and around me with my friends, I can say that the most important question they want answered is "Who is my Natural Mother?" The next question is all about the Why? It's about the circumstances of their birth and surrender. Then, they want to know about the Natural Father and any siblings. They want to know why they love art while their adopters love science and from whom their auburn hair and brown eyes came. THEN medical questions will arise. That is when we all find out that lots of us know very little past our parents' ailments, etc. In other words, we are not filled with generations of biological lore concerning our genetic deficiencies.

When that first face to face meeting occurs, do you know what the vast majority brings with them, on both ends? Pictures! We are hungry for images of our children as they grew up and our children are equally hungry to view the faces that look like them. It is about a Mother's need to know how her child fared and an adult adoptee's need for identity. You don't see us greeting each other with our medical files in hand.

I remember putting up banners and balloons and having cake, champagne and deli platters ready and a list of my ailments, and my parent's was the last thing on our minds. It came up much later and I gave them what I knew and what affected them. Any other personal information remained just that...personal. If I don't tell my raised children everything or my reunited children everything, who thinks I am going to sit still for the state requiring everything? Let's get real. Just as we all have the constitutional right to free association and can approach anyone we wish, with courtesy, about forming a relationship, we also have the same right to privacy that EVERY citizen enjoys, including adoptees. Some things are just no one's business but our own.

In reference to that fact, it has happened that many adoptees, for whatever reasons, have denied contact to their Natural Mothers. There are many mothers with broken hearts who talk about their hurt on private groups online. I'd say that there were just about as many of them as there are rejected adoptees. They might want to pass on medical information, but most of them just want to see and hold their adult child, just once, and know that they are OK. Some of us have suffered some rather nasty treatment at the hands of our adult children. Why it is assumed that we are less human and less deserving of courtesy and respect is beyond me. I just know I don't sit and accept it...not from mine or from anyone else's.

The smoke and mirrors that the Industry and pro-adoption factions are using to obscure and deny the real reason behind the demand for open access to the Original Birth Certificate is causing a battle of sorts between some of the adoptees and Nmoms. This is just what the NCFA and the EBDI and the agencies want. If we are attacking and defending, then we are distracted from them carrying on business as usual. Mandatory medical histories are just part of another illusion performed with razzle-dazzle and sleight of hand. I wonder how many of them have realized that the amended birth certificate and the adoption practices of, especially, the EMS are legalized crimes? Call it what you will, the amended birth certificate is a fraudulent document, a fake.

I am so hoping that, as adopted people and Nmoms start working together more, that the veils will be lifted and the distracting ruffles and flourishes cut away to reveal the simple truth of the objective.

Let us all, mothers and adoptees, know WHO. We'll take it from there.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Mother...More Than A Name

In having discussions with my own reunited children and other adult adopted people, especially those whose Natural Mothers were less than welcoming and loving, I have seen a truth that lays in my stomach like jagged rocks. Rejection from either end is a singular type of pain. These people hurt for real. That pain cannot be ignored or dismissed.

I have characterized, on occasion, some adoptees as being "needy." Well, OF COURSE THEY ARE!! The first lessons a child learns of lovability, worth and acceptance are learned in the arms of his/her real mother. Deprived of that and then placed into the arms of a literal stranger who doesn't feel, smell or sound 'right,' then the first message that child receives is garbled and confusing, no matter how kind and loving the adopters.

The problem is in finding our way when we reunite as adults. It's to late to undo what was done. And I have learned that all the love and acceptance in one's capacity to give is not enough to heal either party. When a Natural Mother, steeped in fear of reliving the old pain, still feeling the shame, old tapes playing in her head and old lies heavy on her heart..when she closes the door to her adult child, the problem is often compounded, tenfold. She gets no healing and her child is further hurt. Unfortunately, we all, mothers, adoptees, John and Jane Doe on the street, have the constitutional right to decide with whom we will or will not associate. Right or wrong, fair or unfair, that's the way it is. One person's rights end where another's begins. That doesn't change the fact that rejection hurts.

A lot of these mothers don't seem to be able to separate the person of her child from the trauma of the experience. That seems to be true with a lot of women who were raped or were the victims of incest. How I got past that feeling with my son, I don't know, but I managed to separate his existence from his conception while he was still in my womb. I think I just needed and wanted a child so very much after losing my daughter...but I was not allowed to keep him, either.

If the adopted adult is already feeling anger, bitterness, and has been given or invented and imagined false and demeaning information about the mother and is then rejected, "Katy, bar the door!" That anger is so virulent it spills over onto the mothers of other adopted people and we fight back. If their experience with their adopters and adoptive family was painful, we have a wounded tiger. Underneath all this, is an aching sadness that is only thinly disguised by the anger. I have learned that anger is, more often than not, only a surface emotion and that there are layers and layers of sadness, confusion, fear and other emotions underneath the surface turmoil.

Even if accepted, if an adopted adult is in that "testing" stage where they want to manipulate their mother into proving her love and fixing them, and the mother backs away, responding to the simple instinct of self-preservation, then they can let the Hounds of Hell loose upon ALL mothers. It's not right but it is human nature. The thorns prick us all. Even good reunions have bad moments.

Quite an few of us Natural Mothers have made, and rightly so, the statement that we are only mothers to our own surrendered children. We will not bear or accept the punishments and blandishments meant for the rejecting mothers. We will not be referred to as breeders, birthers, abandoners, bio-abandoners, or egg donors and it is not our responsibility to make up to the adult child of another woman for the shortcomings of their particular Natural Mother. We do not stereotype you...don't stereotype us and don't judge us all by your situation.

Having said that, again, clearly, I have to admit that my heart hurts for a lot of these people who feel they need that maternal affirmation/acceptance in order to be whole. Were it possible, I would be mother to them all. I would gather them all in my arms and sing lullabies and give love and do all in my power to take away the hurt. And it would all be in vain. I am not their mother. I am only mother to my own children.

I was watching on one of the science channels the other night, a program that was examining the mysteries of the Universe. They were talking about how all of the things that make life possible on this planet came from the stars, comets, nebulae, etc. We are all made of the stuff of stars. Break us down into our basic chemical components and you will find those same elements  in asteroids, meteors and even hot, burning suns. Inside each of us is a completeness that we must look inward to find.

It is good to have others in our lives, to have loved ones who see us as important and need us. But it is more important to accept and love ourselves and find what we need within us. The mother bird pushes the chick from the nest and says, "Fly...go be a bird." Parents age and die. How could any of us go on if we haven't realized our own right to be here? If we remain dependent on others for our emotional needs, then we die of emotional starvation when a feast is available within our own beings.

A lot of people see the "Desiderata" (Max Erhmann; 1927) as trite and overly simple. But there is one passage in this well-known piece that I carry with me at all times. It helped me through my own dark wanderings. "Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."

So, as children of the Cosmos, we are all bound to each other in a kinship that surpasses the mundane. To my adopted friends, look at your tummy and observe your navel. It proves that you came into this world through the same passage way we all traveled. You have a right to know WHO, you have a right to seek out other adult, natural family members to ask your questions and you have a right to be happy with who you are, as you are.

You have a right to be here.