Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Keep Potential Adopters Out of Labor and Delivery!

If ever there were a truly compelling example of emotional coercion, this is it. I read the most moving account of the emotional conflict, pain and a mother's courage on this site;

This story has a happy ending, but too many similar ones don't. In most cases, the potential adopters love-bomb the mother-to-be, calling her a b****mother before the child is even born and then crowd into the labor and delivery room as if they were children on Christmas Eve, crowded around the fireplace and looking up the chimney. These particular PAP's came with an entourage, family and friends that were hugging the wannabe "mommy" and congratulating her as if SHE were the one in labor. SHADES OF "THE HANDMAID'S TALE." This mother needed privacy at one of the most pivotal points in her life. NO mother should feel obligated to allow potential adopters into the presence of her private miracle.

If one is to adopt a child, then I would think that they would want the mother of that child to be truly and fully informed and totally understanding of exactly what the ramifications of surrender are. Unfortunately, agencies and adoption social workers don't really give the full that should be given to the expectant mother by those of us who have been there and done that. Instead, They tell her that she'll get past it and that they will provide "counseling. Often, the PAP's get ansty, push in and buy gifts and do all in their power to make this mother feel emotionally obligated and responsible for their future "joy." A lot of mothers go through with the surrender for this very reason, not wanting to disappoint the PAP's, and then suck up the pain or go to a private support group, online, to pour out their sorrow.

When did our society start putting so little value on the bond between a mother and her child that we make adoption look like the best thing to come down the pike since sliced bread? In my era, it was a wholesale slaughter of the mother/child connection and it begat a generation of mothers in silent pain and children growing up with issues of rejection and confusion. It's the Same Stuff, Different Day, in the present time. The package had a bow on it and that is all that has really changed. Open adoption isn't worth the paper on which it is printed. In most states, it can slam shut just as soon as the insecure adopters can find an excuse and the mother can do nothing about it.

I've made this statement before, but I don't know if PAP's hear it or want to hear it. I feel badly for you if you can't have children of your own. But that doesn't entitle you to the offspring of others. You create a market...a demand, and it is up to agencies and adoption social worker to find the confused and fearful mothers in "crisis" (unexpected) pregnancies to fill that demand. Coercion is alive and well, as was pointed out in the blog that I linked in this essay. Unexpected doesn't mean unwanted and helping that mother keep her child is the best thing anyone could do. "I also feel compassion for those with no legs, but I don't think that means I should give them mine. (this is not original but was first said by a friend of mine)"

So, potential adopters with your baby-lust in full bloom....go to this link and read about that pain. I cried..tears of pain and frustration and, finally, tears of joy. She has her baby back with her where he belongs.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Place For Mothers

It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same and mothers are the ones who get it in the end. I don't often see the wisdom in combining support groups of mothers, some of whom have been rejected by their adult reunited child, and adopted adults, some of whom have been rejected by their mothers or are just angry at their moms and moms in general. It always seems to wind up in a fight for control and, I am sorry adoptees, but the control issues are usually yours.

I have seen a lot of frustrated anger when we have refused to apologize for something we did not do (willingly give up our children) or refused to pay obeisance to the people who adopted you or to agree that your adoption was "for the best." When you do that "Inner Child" work, maybe you should teach that child that the only thing in life that one can control is oneself. No other person, be it your child, your mother, your sibling, your spouse or significant other can be under your control. And try to remember that we suffered from a "Primal Wound" also. Being separated from your own flesh and blood is a terrible, unnatural and wounding thing.

The last thing that mothers need is to be required to pay homage to adopters and to "respect their feelings." It is adopters that don't respect our feelings, that refer to a pregnant, usually single woman, as a "b****mother" before she even gives birth, that fight, along with agencies, legislators and facilitators/attorneys, to take away precious time in which a mother can bond with her child and make a more informed decision (if agreeing to release your infant to others forever could be called a "decision"....I call it an act of desperation with little real information). And, it has been anecdotally proven to me, beyond a doubt, that adopters are the ones who are hateful, nastily jealous, possessive and give conditional love (it's us or HER) when we come back into the picture at reunion.

Another thing that mothers don't need is adoption social workers, agency personnel or adopters sneaking onto various boards, "seeking to understand" when all they really want to do is change the nature of the board and our "erroneous" thinking. The passive/aggressive nature of some of the questioning done by these folks gives them away in a heartbeat. I have heard all of the stories of children abused by their parents and crackwhore mommies and dumpster babies. But you close your mind and hearts when we talk about the many adopters who have abused, emotionally, sexually and physically, the children they have adopted. Some have even murdered these kids. But it's us moms that are the eternal villains in your lexicons.

Mothers are angry because we have been at the bottom of the heap, disrespected and disregarded for more decades that I can count. We are not guniea pigs for a Master's Thesis or a "study" to find out what crumbs can be thrown out to us to keep agencies in business. We are certainly not punching bags for angry adopted people. Most of us are channeling our anger into activism and that is healthy. Anger, itself, is just an emotion, like all others. It's how you use it that matters.

So here we go again, wasting time explaining ourselves and our need for respect when we could be making a difference and facilitating real change. We laugh, we love our spouses, we cry over loved ones who die or become ill, we worry about our own health, take fun vacations, watch movies and try to do good jobs at work and at home. We do not spend our time, 24/7. writhing in psychic pain over our mutual tragedies. A lot of us are healing, quite nicely, thank you, and leaving behind those who sit in their misery and spin their wheels. That anger I spoke about is not our weakness, but our strength.

I have 3 groups where I feel I can speak my mind about my role (which is only one facet of my life) as a Baby Scoop Era Mother who had children taken for adoption. On the others, I have to walk on eggshells. Where's the respect in that? Well, this is my blog and I can bitch if I want to. I love it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

When Art Does Not Imitate Life

I have added a link to this post. It is a terrific op-ed piece by Jess DeBalzo who is a wonderful original family preservation activist. Like me, she is not afraid to call herself "anti-adoption."

Her review of the movie, "Juno" echoes my concerns about the impact that this film might have on our country and the young women who go to see it. It presents adoption as just the peachiest thing imaginable and the only alternative to abortion. How precious and how inaccurate! Showing the heroine keeping and raising her child would have been much more accurate and fair to the average single mother.

It makes me wonder who funded it and authorized the writing of the script. The anti-reproductive choice/pro-adoption, or, so-called, "Child Welfare" consortium seems to have a lot of influence and money to use to lobby and, I imagine, to make a film. Adoption is, as we have often stated in our groups, on our websites and in our blogs, a big-money business that uses young moms like breeding tools to fulfill the demand for healthy infants for the adoption mills.

Juno is played for laughs, but there is nothing laughable about losing your child to adoption. The aftermath, as it was portrayed in this piece of fantasy-fiction film, is so unrealistic as to leave me with my mouth open in profound shock. The grief that goes along with this "decision" is life-long and profound. The "decision" is often based on incomplete information and industry propaganda and "love-bombing" by wannabe adopters. On the whole, this movie is a slap in the face of mothers and adoptees who know how it really feels. The person who wrote this is either an adopter, not involved in adoption at all, or a mother in deep, deep denial.

If all it had taken for me to get past my losses was to have a boyfriend drop in with a guitar, then I wouldn't be on this blog today, would not have spent years searching for my children, would not have been blessed by my daughter spending years searching for me and would not be so adamantly working to prevent just what this movie unashamedly promotes. My feelings are echoed by thousands of mothers and adoptees and millions more, still in that "closet of shame."

Let's get real, Hollywood. You have insulted the intelligence of some very savvy people, here, and made a mockery of an American tragedy. What are you going to follow it up with? A movie about euthanizing senior citizens and babies born with birth defects? Jeez!!

The kids at the top are my great grandchildren and the one mugging for the camera, my Jantzen, would not be with us if my granddaughter and daughter had followed "Juno's" example. Thank God, they didn't. He keeps us laughing with delight and extreme love and he knows who his family IS.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Honk If You're A BSE Mom

Can you imagine the cacophany of noise if every woman who had a child taken during the Baby Scoop Era were to honk her car horn in concert with all the others? They would hear the noise on the space station.

This is the biggest group of mothers who had children taken for adoption from the same time frame in the US, and so many are still sleeping the sleep of denial, believing they "had a choice" and "made a decision." But I am wondering if more would come out of their "good beemommy" closets if the BSE received the attention it deserves. We are talking millions, here. If it had caused deaths (and in a few cases, it did), it would have been called genocide. A few hundred moms might make a difference, but think about the combined energies of a few million mothers, awake and aware that they got exploited, screwed and robbed big time.

When we talk about needing numbers to make change, I cannot help but think of all those mothers who just need some gentle shaking and the cold water of truth on their faces. If the issues of the BSE go public, some of these women...hopefully, a lot of these women...may wake up and want to join in the fight. With this many angry mothers, attention would then segue to the mothers who came after us. People will start wondering if the "old days" are really gone. From the numbers of younger mothers who have joined the various activist groups, I think the only thing that has really changed is the number of women affected by the industry.

No one wants to leave out any mothers that have been hurt by the adoption machine. It hurts, just as much, to have lost your baby to adoption in 1993 as it did in 1963. There were still isolated pockets of shaming and blaming and appalled parents and frightened, pregnant young women after the early 70's. Seeking justice for the BSE will mean a good chance of a re-examination of the entire system and justice for all mothers from all time periods.

I am a big believer in doing things for mothers of today, preserving and protecting the natural family and reducing the number of adoptions....especially those of infants. BUT, I think we have to have a starting point and for that, we have to look backwards and study our history to find out why adoption is so powerful in this country, today. The BSE, like the era of Jim Crow laws, is a historical reality, it happened and it had millions of casualties in the mothers and children who were separated by the repressive, judgmental mores of that time.

Seeking justice for past crimes is nothing new and it is not regressing nor refusing to move forward with our lives. Many of us have done just that and moved forward, in the case of some of us, with steely resolve. Living in the past is not what this is about. Learning from the past and using the excesses and oppressions of that evil time to put the Man on the spot is what it is about and what it will always be about. I only hope to see this in my lifetime and time is growing short. I have been blessed with great-grandchildren and I want them to know that their "Big Mama" fought the good fight for their future.

Those sands in the hourglass run a bit faster as you get older. I would love vindication and acknowledgement to be part of the rewards of my "golden years." I think my sciatica and arthritis would hurt a lot less. I know it would do my heart immeasurable good.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Society In Denial That Big Brother Is Here

Wow! Sorry to tell everyone this, but Orwell was right. We think we are in charge of our own lives and our own families, but that is a total delusion. Maybe Orwell's vision of "Big Brother" was a bit more "film noir" than real, but the basics are all in place. Big Brother isn't just coming....he is here, now!

Take, for example, the Goliath of the lobby, The Child Welfare "group." Somehow, I suppose through the liberal application of favors and $$$$, this group has been influencing the legislation that allows the government and the "Child Welfare" people to decide who gets to be a parent. Hell, these misguided folks practically ARE the government.

Not only did we natural moms have our children removed from us because we committed the ultimate sin of being single, sexual and less affluent, but the less affluent natural families of married parents are, now, also in jeopardy. A messy living room and not enough veggies in the fridge or patches on your kids' jeans can get you an appointment with a SW and your children a one-way ticket into foster care and adoption. Heaven forbid if you have real problems because, rather than working on fixing the family problem, they slap a band-aid on by taking the children.

What is wrong with this picture? It seems that natural parents are seen as lacking something that potential adopters seem to have, according to this misbegotten system. The tales of abusive adopters and fosterers seem to get swept under the rug, while the dumpster babies and drug-addict moms are the focus of attention by the media and those who stand to gain by the capture of adoptable infants and toddlers. The older children can often return to their families after a long battle, but, for some odd reason, the little ones stay gone. Could it be that it's because these are the desirable, adoptable kiddies that make the potential adopters', adoption social workers' and agencies' collective mouths water? Could it be.......(church lady, here).....this particular SATAN???..the Devil-Dog Eugenicist???

The Child Welfare system and their lobby seem to be made up of attorneys, agencies, social workers (who should know better), "right-to-lifers" and any and all eugenically-minded persons with their Utopian schemes (the Christian Far-Right comes to mind). Their agenda is cloaked in the deceptive, pink, satin blanket of "what is best for the children," but too many of these children and their true parents, sadly, know better.

In the majority of cases, the separation is painful, permanent and a true tragedy..the worst thing for the family involved, be it a single parent or married parents. What is really best for families is for all these agencies to work to keep them together. They need to discard the system-commissioned, biased "studies" that say a single or poor parent is bound to do something heinous, stop teaching coercion methods, quit playing God and get to the real task at hand which is saving the Heritage Family from oblivion.

Let me ask anyone who is reading this who has not lost a child or a parent to the machine....How would you like it if there were someone at your door, demanding your child be turned over to them for facetiously-worded reasons? How would you like to be deemed "unfit" for not having a McMansion, Lexus and the handy tuition for private schooling? How would you like to be labeled a future abuser just because you are single? Is this an unfair assessment? Damn Skippy, it is!

And for all of you who haven't been smacked by adoption, if this institution is so darn, sloppy-kiss wonderful, then why aren't you donating one of your offspring to the industry? Somewhere, there is probably an infertile couple who is much more fit to raise your child than you are...doncha think?

We still have votes, we still can have a voice and it is past time for this voice to be raised. There are a precious few, doing this job for the many who have been injured by Big Adoption and the misnamed Child Welfare system. We can, at least, let our umbrage be known by writing to newspapers, legislators and anyone who needs to hear the message. It only takes a few minutes to write one letter a day or a week. Even that will fill the email inboxes and snail-mail boxes and someone will take note. That wheel needs to really squeak out loud to be heard. We have to stop letting the Bottom Line ($$$) grease that wheel and allowing adoption social mythology to be the only voice that is heard.

I would like to add that I received a lot of my information on this subject from a dear friend who is in the thick of things, trying to do her bit for natural families. This isn't conjecture...this is well-observed fact.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ohio To Further The Adoption Machine's Power

As Introduced
127th General Assembly
Regular Session
H. B. No. 7
Representative Brinkman
To formally state the General Assembly's intentions in its upcoming deliberations on reforming Ohio's adoption laws.BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. The General Assembly hereby sets forth its intent to reform Ohio's adoption laws by ensuring timely, safe, and appropriate adoptive placements, reducing adoption expenses, and generally promoting adoption in Ohio.

The complete bill is many pages long and includes a section on "abstinence education," with a token clause for open records for adopted people, excluding many of those born in the BSE by the wording "born before 19 so and so". I have a gut feeling that this heinous piece of crap legislation is the industry's reply to the media scrutiny it has received since the Stephanie Bennett case and the infamous "caged adoptee" debacle. The agencies and attorneys and right-to-lifers are coming back with guns blazing in Ohio.

Let me urge everyone to look up the bill, see who is sponsoring it, and write to the Ohio legislature, the Ohio news media and your Aunt Gussie in Toledo if you have to. Those of you who are Ohio residents and voters, PLEASE let your representatives in the state house know that you are not in favor of this legislation as it stands.

While we are at it, No, I didn't see "Juno." I have better sense than to put myself through that kind of emotional torture. But it is getting the nod in the form of rave reviews from the far-right, anti-abortion rights fundies and now has been nominated for an academy award????? That's another cause for your cards and letters. If there ever was an unrealistic portrayal of the results of loss of a child to adoption, this one is the worst.

I and too many of my friends who have had our children taken for adoption know how it really feels, and I can guarantee you that having our "boyfriends" come to see us, afterwards, with a guitar, would not have made us a bit happy about our grief. From what I have been told, Juno shed a few tears, but that is not how it really goes, folks. You don't jump right back into your life as if there are wonderful times ahead. A mother, even a TEEN mother, MOURNS for a long, long time.

Short post, today, friends. This one calls for a dose of medicine for my tummy before I eat. The news is grim on the natural family preservation front and we have a lot of work cut out for us. I'll be writing a lot of letters and emails this afternoon, but until then, Pepsid AC, take me away from this adoption-soaked-addicted society for just a little while.

Monday, January 21, 2008

She's Baa-aaack

This is me in 2006, unhappy, unhealthy and weighing 312 lbs. I started on a serious weight-loss program after this picture was taken.

This is me in February of 2007, starting to feel the effects of the esophogitis and at about 240 lbs. I was in Hilton Head with some dear friends and eating Rolaids and Tums like they were candy.

And here I am on Christmas Morning, well at last and down to 178. Healthy, happy and glad to be alive.

2007 has been the year that was. Two trips to the hospital, a bout with severe depression, losing over 100 lbs., hubby having to have a basal cell cancer removed, my faithful car going dead on me in the middle of traffic and almost being hit by an oncoming idiot, getting a new PT Cruiser (Yay) and watching a lot of people, that I love and admire, caught up in some disturbing and frustrating problems within the anti-adoption community. We have started off the new year with hubby undergoing orthroscopic surgery for a badly torn meniscus. Life IS.

I am trying to re-charge the batteries for Anti-Adoption Truth, the MSN group I started as a place where the public could read the interactions and frustrations of those of us who have been gob-smacked by adoption. I would love it to be "neutral ground" where all involved can come and talk about the things that need to be spread around the web and placed in public view and also to rant about the things they hate about adoption...what it has done to us and to our children. I hope all my friends will read and heed and join back in the discussion side of things. It's a safe group...readable by the public, but the membership is by approval, only.

Its a bit late for this, but I do have a wish-list for 2008. At the top of it is the hope that my husband will finally give in and retire and we can move away from Florida. On another personal note, I am hoping that, when my reunited son gets out of prison in a few months, after a 6-year stay, he will be able to get his life on track and be comforted by knowing that I love him, no matter what. I am also hoping that this nastiness in Iraq will end and all our service people, especially my grandson, will be coming home. I think there has been enough death.

I have great hopes for the up-coming election. I would like to see the far-right religious faction out of politics and out of government. Mike Huckabee will definitely NOT get my vote. When this country went on its conservative binge, it threw the baby out with the bathwater and now many of our personal freedoms, including the right of a woman to make her own decisions about her body, are in danger of being lost if we don't make some major changes in our national and state governments.

In the world of natural family preservation, at the top of THAT list is the hope that the community of activists can come together in such a way as to start generating some real change and that the crimes against mothers, starting with those of us from the Baby Scoop Era, finally get addressed in a public forum. The time is long past for an official and very public apology. In recognizing what was done, in genocide-proportions, to unmarried mothers in the BSE, we will be a step closer to finding justice for all those who have had their children taken for adoption by the clever machinations of a major industry.

I am hoping that more young women will take advantage of the fact that birth control is available to them, even without their parents' consent, through local health departments. I am hoping that more mothers-to-be learn that there is another option other than surrender to adoption and will keep and raise their babies.

I am hoping that more states will get on the bandwagon and open the records for adult adoptees AND their mothers. No one should have to beg a judge for something that is theirs by right. In that vein, I am also hoping that adopted people and mothers can meet in the middle and realize that their best chance is in supporting each other, not just mothers supporting the adoptees.

I am hoping for healing of the wounds of the millions around the world and here who have felt the effects of this unnatural and painful separation. I am hoping for the fearful to no longer fear the truth, for the angry to understand and for the silent to speak up. Nothing can ever give us or our children back the years that we lost, but we can work together to help heal each other. We'll always carry the scar tissue, but it is past time for us to stop the bleeding.

Yep, it all sounds like a pipe dream, but dreams are good, according to the man whose life we observe today. He also had a dream and was killed trying to make it come true. So, Dear Granter of Hopes and Wishes, if not this year for the adoption stuff, then please, before I die, let me see a few of these things come to pass.

All Y'all think it over, y'hear?