Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hands Across The Ocean

I have a guest this week. She arrived on Thursday evening and was everything I thought she might be from the emails and IM's we have exchanged over the years. There was this tall, red-haired, green-eyed tornado with a mist in her eyes and her arms opened for a hug. It was magical but then, I think that the Irish are touched with the mystic.

She has a deep, contagious belly-laugh and is full of a love of adventure and socializing. She lost her only daughter, her only child, to adoption in the same way we lost our children here in the US...through being broken down, coerced and made to feel unfit. She confided in me that, though her mother never came around, her father did apologize for his part in her loss. They are both deceased.

We shopped the local mall, yesterday and, still suffering from jet-lag, she ate supper with us, then went to her motel for more sleep. We have plans to see Sea World, NASA and more shopping. She will be leaving this coming Thursday, noon. I will miss having her around.

There is such a commonality in our situations, no matter what part of the world you inhabit. For a "forever adoptive family" to be formed, a mother must be broken and pushed against the wall. Those who want that baby, the Social Workers and agencies, must latch on to that mother at her most vulnerable and begin their art of "gentle" persuasion. Usually, by the time they are through, the mother's self-esteem is so low she feels like she could sit on the edge of a piece of toilet paper and danger her legs over the edge.

Those of us who have sought healing and rebuilding of our self-worth have had a mighty battle on our hands. We have had to fly in the face of popular mythology and make our way without the understanding of many of our loved ones. Only with other mothers have we found the understanding that we need in order to see through the fog and find our real selves, again. My Irish friend has fought the same battle and I love the person she is. There is no pretense or guile in her...just the real person, battle scars and all.

Yesterday morning, we watched a DVD of the Australian documentary, "Gone To A Good Home." My guest was so upset, she had to take meds for her stomach which acts up under stress. There we were, an American and an Irish Woman, watching what had happened to some lovely Australian women and it was as if we were holding hands around the world. We both flinched when we heard the words "slut" and "immoral" bandied about. We knew how it felt to be branded in that manner.

She will carry on the fight in the Republic of Ireland. She has a group there that is active. We will carry on in the US and hope to achieve the level of success that has been reached in Australia. Whether anyone else thinks it will do any good or make any difference, we Senior Mothers deserve to hear the words, "We're Sorry For What Was Done To You," from those who perpetrated and carry on the industry of eugenics and baby-peddling. We deserve to see the industry under public scrutiny before we die. We are aging and this is priority stuff we are talking about. In the long run, it matters not what anyone else thinks we will or will not accomplish. We have earned this and we will fight for it.

Whether we are in Ireland or America or anywhere else on this globe where infants are seen as a commodity, there is a battle to be waged. I think it is going to happen. People are starting to listen and those who adopt and the agencies and attorneys that facilitate adoption are starting to sound a little belligerent when they try to answer our questions.

Sounds like fear to me.


Anonymous said...

This tall red-headed tornado is especially enjoying the belly laughs that I am having with the wonderful mama that you are, Robin. I am having such fun, and it is a testament to our spirit and our resilience that we can find the energy to laugh heartily and to sing loudly. Once together, we don't need to name or detail our journey to know that it joins us, it just does. It has been one of the better decisions of my life, by far, to come and share these precious days with you and your utterly charming husband. I wish for all mamas like us that they get to laugh outrageously loudly and sing happy bold songs as you and I have. Yes, our pain and loss are there but, so too,is our capacity to banter, giggle, laugh and sing. For the past few days, my only tears have been of joy at finally making this overdue trip to meet the wonderful woman who has held my virtual hand though a number of crises and had laughed with me during the good times. It has been so good to laugh together.

Anonymous said...

Robin and Paula,

Sounds like you two have had a wonderful time together.

Those who dislike that WE mother's are coming out and finally speaking of the horrors of losing our babies claim WE do not have lives, are bitter, angry women.

Seems you two have proven once again what strong,sharing,loving women WE are NOT the focused on just one aspect of our lives the loss of our precious babies.

Our lives are multi-faceted and full of those who really care about us. Those who support us in our fight for rights that were taken because they knew they could do it without a fight.

We are now facing the fight that silenced us for decades.

WE are strong, compassionate women who were taken advantage of by workers and others who knew we had youth and fertility on our side.

WE now are coming back as older women, without our fertility, and fighting for what we lost to make others see just how wrong this was.

What a wonderful experience you two have been through in a couple of weeks there will be another reunion of sorts of women like you two that have faced the same consequences of losing a baby because they were young and fertile.

WE are out there and are coming together "reuniting" so to speak with others who "know" the loss. WE don't even have to speak to each other to know the loss that our sister has gone through. But it is through speaking, getting together and acknowledging what was done is somehow very healing.