Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day!!!
(Sing to the tune of the William Tell Overture)

Ooooooooooh, Happy, happy turkey day,
Happy good Thanksgiving day,
Happy stuff your face all day,
Haaaaa-py, happy turkey day.

Happily we gorge our guts,
On mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies,
Stuffing, gravy, down our gullets,
Until our waists are twice their size.

Happy, happy, happy leftovers to you,
Lots of turkey hash there and maybe a stew.

Sooooooo, have a happy turkey day,
Get on the couch and stay that way,
Remember football's on all day,
Thaaaat's how we spend turkey day!

(Music by Gioachino Rossini, Lyrics by Robin)
I am spending the next few days with loved ones and Hubby is off work so I shall not be blogging. There is a real life out there. May all of you enjoy yours. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Honey, You Get Nasty When You're Scared!

Someone who doesn't have the cojones to use their name has opened a blog, very sparsely posted to or visited, called "Senior Mothers." They use that blog for sophomoric ridicule of the SMAAC organization and have decided to get really snarky. The resulting rhetoric is rather illiterate. They seem to think that any burning lamp is a "genie's lamp" rather than the Lamp of Knowledge.
But then, from the tenor of the messages and posts, I would think that these are juveniles and have yet to learn of the importance and impact of symbols. Most people tend to berate that which they fear or of which they are ignorant.
Now, to those of you, if any, who are adults; is your mother living? Is she in her 50's or 60's? Then guess what! YOUR mother is a senior mother. What about that?? Did the fact that your mother got older or is getting older make her any less a mother? Do I need to reduce my words to those of one or two syllables in order for you to get the message?
Keep this stupidity up. The only ones that are looking bad are the ones who are posting that incorrect, petulant, vicious and inane crap. Go ahead and use Senior Mothers as your blog title. It will just send more people our way. Thanks for the free publicity!
Oh, and for those of you posting and commenting over there, we have these nifty little things called spell-check and grammar-check. Try them. You'll sound smarter, anyway.

The Crying Of The Mothers

A good friend, Shadowinter, googled this and shared it with some of us moms. I just had to print it here. I don't know who the original author is, but, in human terms, it could be a guilty social worker.

"PERHAPS SEPARATION BECAME my special talent, because at thirteen my father put me in charge of separating the calves from the cows when it was time to wean them from their mothers’ milk.

On this day, the cows are herded into the barn, their udders heavy with milk. As usual, they file in and put their necks through the stanchions lining the barn. The slats are closed around their necks to hold them in place during milking. But as they enter the barn, their calves are culled away and taken by me to a separate pen I have prepared for them with fresh straw in another part of the barn.

At first the cows don’t realize what’s happening. They move through the enclosures and gates in their docile way. They eat the oats put in place for them inside the stanchions. But once outside the barn, after milking, they begin to look around, to sniff, as if trying to recall something they’ve forgotten. They turn their long necks; they swish their tails. Nothing.
Then they begin to call out, low mooing, until the calves answer. The cows moo and moo in the direction of the calves’ voices, and the calves bleat back. This goes on for hours. The crying becomes unbearable. The calves look so small in their holding pen. They stick their heads through the fence, their bodies shaking as they wail. They push their hungry voices toward their mothers’ frantic calling: “Where are you? Where are you?”
“Here I am. Here I am.”

The separation of an offspring from a parent. It’s the most unnatural event. You feel cruel when you’re the one enforcing it. On those days, I will myself not to think about it. I only know that it’s my job to feed them. I step into the holding pen with buckets of the warm milk I’ve mixed from powder. Our farm depends upon the real milk the mothers produce. I must convince the calves to accept the substitute.

One by one I take the bawling face of a calf into my hands; I dip my fingertips in the milky liquid in the bucket that rests hard-edged and shiny silver between my legs; I slip my wet fingers into the mouth of the crying calf. One by one they begin to suck, from exhaustion and hunger and instinct—the soft sandpaper tongue, the little pricks of new teeth on my fingertips, the slurping as they finally dip their snouts into the bucket of milk. As they drink, the calves cry and hiccough. I stroke the curls on their soft foreheads. One by one they lie down in their new straw beds, stretch their long downy necks, and sleep.

They quiet this way, one after the other, until all is silent in the calf shed, but the crying in the mothers’ holding pen doesn’t stop. It goes on through the night and into the next day, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days. (And with human mother, for years and years. rw*)

(Like all animals, cows form strong maternal bonds with their children, and on dairy farms and cattle ranches, mother cows can be heard crying out for their calves for days after they are separated.)"
So, as it goes with adoption, the calves do what they have to do to survive and the cows grieve and accept the plundering of their children and their full udders. If there ever has been a good example given of how mothers of adoption loss are used and abused, this is it.
Human Mothers also form strong bonds with their offspring while carrying them in their bodies, even those who think they don't want to be mothers and say they are happy they surrendered. Sooner or later, the crying will begin. Mine was muffled in my pillow, late at night. I knew that no one would want to hear it, nor would they accept the reasons behind it.
Dairy farming is based on this unnatural separation, to control the breeding, ensure the milk supply and re-direct the final product. Adoption, especially that kind of adoption that has a bit if eugenics thrown in to the mix, is basically the same concept, only it is the human mother and child that are being separated and the mother becomes a non-entity once the product is harvested. The essential wrongness of it is the same in any species. And so is that empty pain.
I can remember hearing the bleating of the calves and the calls of the cows from the huge Black Angus meat and dairy herd across the valley when I was little. They were separating the calves from the cows and some of the calves were being slaughtered for veal while the mothers grieved. I slept with my window open and could hear it, late into the night. When I asked my grandfather why they were making so much noise, he tried to give me a gentle version, but I still cried.
No, we are not dairy cattle, but we ARE Mothers. I wonder if it would have been better had we been unable to reason and unaware of the finality of the separation? I still don't accept the explanations I was given by those who forced the surrender of my children.
And, unlike a mother cow, I can remember.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Day To Honor and Remember

Today is just seven days away from National Strange and Mournful Day, an observance that began in response to the designation of November as National Adoption Awareness Month.

I came up with the name because certain lyrics from Paul Simon's "Mother and Child Reunion" resonated, so deeply, with me. Today and all through the coming week, Mothers of adoption loss will be wearing our ribbon badges of black for mourning, red for anger and passion for our cause and white for hope and healing. Some of us will adorn our ribbons with the birthstones of our children that were taken for adoption. I have a diamond and a pearl for my ribbon....April and June are the months in which I gave birth to, and was forced to surrender, my two oldest children. I find it appropriate that it falls on a Sunday, this year.

While we refer to the lyrics of Simon's wonderful tune, this observance is not about reunion, but about the devastating effects of loss to adoption on the mother. I have high-lighted the pertinent lyrics in red and boldface.

music and lyrics by Paul Simon

No I would not give you false hope, On this strange and mournful day,
But the mother and child reu-nion, Is only a motion away,
Oh, little darling of mine, I can't for the life of me,
Remember a sadder day. I know they say let it be,
But it just don't work out that way. And the course of a lifetime runs,
Over and over again.

No I would not give you false hope,On this strange and mournful day,
But the mother and child reu-nion, Is only a motion away,
Oh, little darling of mine. I just cant believe it's so,
And though it seems strange to say, I've never been laid so low,
In such a mysterious way, And the course of a lifetime runs,
Over and over again.

But I would not give you false hope, On this strange and mournful day,
When the mother and child reu-nion,
Is only a motion away.

While most of the support groups online for Mothers of adoption loss tend to deal with the ups and downs of reunion (and God/dess knows, it is a rough ride), SMAAC is focused on the pain and injustice of our ordeal leading up to and including the "Strange and Mournful Day" when we realized our babies were lost to us.

So today and through the coming week, as we approach the last day of what we now call "Adoption BEwareness Month," we honor ourselves and remember the injustice of the EMS/BSE and renew our determination to be an active and vocal part of bringing justice to the mothers.

And to my daughter and my son that were lost to me in those dark days, always know that I loved you and losing you was not my choice or my wish. Some day, some how, some one is going to have to make restitution for what was lost to us. Not in dollars, but in acknowledgement, atonement and public awareness of the pain, the dark underbelly of the adoption myth.

Happy Strange and Mournful Day, next week, Sisters. I'll be wearing my ribbon every time I leave the house until this heinous month is behind us.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Facilitator Uses Old Scam as Editorial

Gloria Whitcraft, adoption facilitator for the Shepherd's Gate adoption agency used the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel for a thinly-disguised piece of adoption propaganda. In this piece, she contended that mothers who "made an adoption plan (yeck!)", made a HEROIC decision.

If I had a nickle for every time I heard that one, I'd be living in a mountain cabin watching my hubby play with his power tools, right now. The more things change, the more they stay the same. We were fed the same line of bull back in the EMS (Era of Mass Surrenders) and then were summarily kicked to the curb and seen as sluts, threats and non-persons.

I was told I was a hero. I never felt like a hero. I felt like a grieving mother, a beaten and bereft leftover from the adoption machine's function. The mothers of today aren't told that truth. They are handed that saccharine crap that Whitcraft spewed in her ad for Shepherd's Gate..ooops, excuse me....her editorial.

For anyone who doesn't believe that adoption is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry, just check out these agencies. They have "counseling" for the birthmartyr that, essentially, counsels her to accept her "decision" and get on with life....same s***, different day. If they were truly there to serve, then why don't they have an unbiased panel of those of us who have been there and done that on the payroll that can tell these new mothers of today just what is REALLY in store for them? The loss of a child to adoption, for most caring and normal mothers, is a detrimental and damaging, life-long experience.

Where are the brochures and flyers describing the social services for families and mentoring programs for new moms? Where is the humanity that sees that expectant mom as a person with a heart that can be broken, that sees that fetus as a child that can grow up with feelings of rejection and identity problems? The adoption industry is just one of the many examples we are seeing, right now, of capitalism run amok and the arrogance of the eugenicists.

Like all the rest of the economy, infant adoption is in a recession and that is because the true heroes are the mothers who take responsibility for the conception of a child which means they keep that child and raise him or her in the family of their origin. THAT'S heroic! That is really being child-centered and putting the welfare of that baby before anything else. "Things" and faux daddies and social standing cannot substitute for that feeling of genuinely belonging to one's own people. All it takes is a bit of family support and mom becomes a hero for real.

Whitcraft pointedly avoids the fact that a new mother will not always be single/poor/young and all the other things that the industry-hired "experts" say will make her a poor mother. My sister became a mother after being married for three years and was no longer in her teens. Yet, she called me or our mother every day because EVERY NEW MOTHER FEELS SOME SORT OF INSECURITY!! The adoption industry would make that into a life-long problem and that sort of reasoning is specious to inane. It's's propaganda and it's a flavor of Kool Aid that no one who understands how it feels would ever want to drink.

This is National Adoption BEwareness Month and, in eight days, we will be observing National Sad and Mournful Day. If you see a woman wearing a black, red and white ribbon badge, ask her why she wears it. Learn something about true heroism.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Adding Insult to Injury

Does anyone find this picture offensive? Well gee, that's just someone having "Her BM."

There are those who adopt who whine and rail at being called "adopters," a perfectly good word, yet bitch about us calling ourselves "natural mothers," and think nothing of referring to the mother of the child they adopted as "our BM." I find THAT offensive for more than just the obvious reasons. I also don't think that this degrading designation is just used without thought for how it sounds. I see purpose behind that insult. I had one adopter refer to the use of "BM' as "just a shortcut that has an unfortunate reference." Ya think?

First of all, no natural mother is YOURS. To refer to the mother of the child as "ours" or "my" indicates ownership, or, like "my doctor" or "my landscaper" makes her sound like a mere provider of a service. And I don't have to tell you what "BM' sounds like. That is the result of adequate fiber in the diet..not a person who has been prodded into losing her child.

"Birthmother" is also offensive. You might as well call us brood mares or disposable wombs. I know that there are those among us who don't see the connection, but this is the industry's and the adopters' way of separating us and our emotions from our child. It negates our deep and abiding connection to the flesh of our flesh and tries to negate the truth, that we are the mothers of our children.

Someone on a mother's support list came up with a thought that is catching on...that we call adopters "non-birthmothers" or "UN-birthmothers." Gosh, do you think they might find that as offensive as we find the "BM" label? I can't help but hope so.

The industry and the adoption-philes came up with what they called "Respectful Adoption Language." We countered with the truth..."HONEST Adoption Language." BSERI has a very good article that describes and defines that honest language. SMAAC also supports this honest use of language in adoption. Words are powerful and language is used to exalt and demean. The majority of us find "birthmother" and "BM" to be as offensive as an African-American would find the "n" word.

Get used to this, adopters and facilitators. We are tired of thinly veiled insults, being treated like objects and production units. We have struggled against the obtuse, erroneous and mis-defined onus of shame that you placed on our young and vulnerable shoulders and have found self-respect. Now, it is time that YOU learned to treat us and to speak of us with respect. After all, we, not you, are the genes, heritage, features and talents that are in the child you adopted "as if born to." When these adoptees have children, it is OUR genes, our talents, our heritage that moves into the future...not yours.

I am NO ONE'S bowel movement. But I will say that adoption mythology is a lot of crap.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's Deja Vue All Over Again

Some might wonder why I have written about the Heidi Saxton article and the Nebraska debacle when SMAAC is totally about concentrating on the EMS and what happened to us in "those days."

That's an easy one to answer. Ms. Saxton's article is a painful and vicious reminder of how WE were seen and treated as mothers without marriage licenses in the EMS/BSE. With her whiny post, she again raised the specter of shame and blame and stereotyped the mothers. The very fact that she used quotation marks when talking about "natural mothers," is proof that she wants us all to go back to being good little birthmartyrs and let her go about her business of trying to live the "as if born to" fantasy.

The Nebraska fiasco and all the other safe haven laws across this country are nothing more than an attempt to return to the days of closed, secret adoption when the veil of anonymity hung heavy between us and our children. I don't blame Bastard Nation for their opposition to this egregious practice. Those from the era of secret, closed adoptions are in the fight of their lives for their records. We mothers from that era are having to evoke our HIPAA rights just to get our medical records from back then and as for obtaining surrender papers...well we have to go into superwoman mode to get those. This whole scenario fits the needs of adopters, facilitators and the eugenically-minded government and church agencies to a tee.

Now an adopter on Cafe Mom has expressed fear about the fact that the underbelly of adoption is being placed on display. She fears this so much that she is considering not telling the little girl she adopted that she is, in fact, an adoptee. Shades of the last mid-century! She needs to read the stories of late discovery adoptees and how they resented the lies. I've never quite understood the logic, anyway, of trying to cover up one lie, that of the "as if born to" myth, with another lie of omission. I see grave emotional and psychological difficulties in the future for that adopter and her adoptee if she gives in to the desire to try to erase the obvious truth.

At least all this fuss and bother let me know that we have them running scared. Senior/EMS/BSE mothers are finding their voices and speaking out in increasing numbers. Adoptees are refusing to be treated like possessions with no rights to their own heritages and identities. Justice for us mothers and the right to information for our children seems to scare the granny panties off these adopters.

The NCFA (National Council For Adoption) and other such entities have tried throwing crumbs to us as if we were a flock of noisy pigeons and that hasn't worked. The day of Justice for Natural Mothers is looming...the opening of all records is now a real possibility...and there is nothing they, the agencies, the adopters or the eugenicists can do to stop it.

Maybe this will teach them a valuable lesson. It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature. Heh Heh.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nebraska's Folly-LB157

They who walk behind the rows have really made a mess of things in Nebraska. There is a lot to read about on the Children of the Corn blog that shows us just how dangerous these thinly-disguised attempts to plump up the infant adoption market really are.

Nebraska has been in the news for weeks, now, for passing a law that turned into a sad, dark joke. Now they are scrambling to amend the law to keep from receiving any more tweens and teens whose parents felt they were out of control. They are looking in the wrong direction. The only real "fix" is a full repeal.

As a senior mother of two, I can speak, with some authority, on the idea of secret, closed adoption where the mother has no idea who has her children and the adult children have no idea of their heritage and beginnings. It is NOT an idea that is new, but a different approach to an old "solution" to what shouldn't even be considered a problem. The only people safe haven benefits are the government adoption facilitators and the infant-hungry, potential adopters.

Here's an idea. Let's take the stigma away from the idea of single and/or poor and/or young people becoming parents. Let's encourage better sex education and open access to birth control for everyone. Let's educate the public on the consequences of the primal wound..separation of mother and child. Let's take a realistic view of adoption and see if for what it really is...a market, a form of eugenics and a one-sided benefit for the few "elite."

If these young girls who have been accused of throwing their newborns in the trash were not given cause to be afraid of the reactions to their act of giving birth (and they are a minority, in any case), I doubt that this particular isolated tragedy would occur very often. The irony here is that, for every story, screaming from the media, about dumpster babies and infanticide, there is a story of foster parents and adopters abusing and even murdering the children they were so avid to bring into their homes. Now what is wrong with THIS picture?

All safe haven laws do is create another generation of mothers in pain and children growing up with no way to access their personal information. America and Nebraska? We've been there and done that and it doesn't work!

Maya Angelou stated, in an interview on National television, right after the Obama Presidential win, that we, as a nation, were "growing up." I wish I could agree, but racial issues are not the only ones we face. Until we can have a healthier attitude towards the realities of human sexuality, until we can appreciate the fact that it takes two to make a baby and that the mother is not the villain in the piece, until we can recognize that, in the majority of cases, a child belongs with his or her mother, married or not, we are still in our prurient adolescence where we are obsessed with the sex lives of others. Until our government and churches get out of the business of eugenics and back to seeing to the good of ALL our citizens, we are still sitting in caves around a little fire seeing monsters out in the dark.

I am sending some emails to Nebraska state legislators, speaking, not as an advocate of open records for adoptees, but as a Senior Mother who has been through the ultimate pain and watched her adult, reunited children suffer for it. Just as safe haven laws disenfranchise, even further, the adult adoptee, they also continue to stigmatize and criminalize the mothers.

The time has come to kick these idiotic, pieces of crap, legislation to the curb.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Abusers, Neglecters and Whores..Oh My!!

And on we go with more commentary on the unfortunate post written by Heidi Saxton, an adopter and critic of natural mothers, everywhere. Please see the preceding post.

I cannot believe that the pro-adoption faction is still pulling out the old chestnuts about how young, single mothers will (not MIGHT, but WILL) become abusive and/or neglectful mothers and leave their babies with sitters or alone while they go out to party and do questionable things. They still judge millions by the unfortunate behavior of a minority. One question I asked Ms. Saxton on the comments section of another blog was whether or not it would, then, be fair for us to judge all adopters by the actions of those who have also abused and, yes, even murdered the children they "chose." She hasn't answered that one.

She was still delving into the perceived notions, as well, that we were responsible for the loss of our children because we had pre-marital sex. If we can't be pegged as abusers and neglecters, they can always fall back on the "shame factor." It seems easy to charge a stranger with being a whore or a slut, even without knowing them or their circumstances. It seems being an adopter and a converted-to-Catholicism Christian gives people like Ms. Saxton the assumptive right to judge us.

If being single makes one a bad mother, then it would stand to reason that the young mother who loses her husband to death or divorce should immediately be relieved of her children. After all, that two-parent family is a sacred necessity according to these pious prigs. The man who takes off and deserts his family is not held to the same standards as the mother, left behind to do the whole job.

My unmarried niece has two little girls. They are cared for so well that it amazes me. My niece works, is both mother and father to her daughters and manages to have friends and a social life as well. Gee...didn't anybody tell her that she couldn't do that? And...get this....she is NOT a slut. Wow! Will wonders never cease?

Many of us from the EMS (Era of Mass Surrenders) became mothers who kept as soon as possible after the loss of our children to the adoption industry and avid infertiles. I started my kept family at age 19. The two children I raised say I was, and am, a very good mother. I would have been just as good a mother three years earlier with just a little help and support from my family. Of course, I was never informed that there were social services in place that would have helped me. Funny how they left that information out when I was being "counseled."

Heidi Saxton is pulling out all the guns including the one we deserved the least...the shame card. Young love is a powerful thing and we are not always wise, even when we get older, about the heart wanting what the heart wants. To have it intimated to us that we should still, after 4 or more decades, feel some self-blame because we were sexually active (something a LOT of people were doing that didn't get "caught") is very un-Christian, or, at least, it goes against what I was taught was Christian in nature. But whether she and her cohorts think we should be ashamed or not, it ain't gonna happen. That Scarlet Letter is gone and you cannot put it back on us, so stop trying.

I am a MOTHER, a NATURAL Mother and I deserved the right to choose to keep and raise all my children, a choice that was denied me by a prudish and prurient society that was more concerned with sex than with murder, war or poverty. So do the natural mothers of today deserve all the right information to make an informed choice, no matter what that choice might be. Get over it, Heidi.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Saxton Piece: Fear and Inaccuracies

The Catholic Exchange published a poison-pen piece by adopter Heidi Hess Saxton with the title, “Anti-Adoption Advocates”: How Should We Respond?" I noticed, when reading through the comments, that none from these, so-called, "Anti-Adoption Advocates" were allowed. And people wonder why I refuse to publish inflammatory and insulting comments on this blog....

I invite you all to click on the link and read for yourself, but she brought out every anti-natural family preservation bugaboo in the pro-adoption bag of inaccuracies and spin-doctor tricks. She incorrectly labeled Bastard Nation as being anti-adoption when they are, in fact, open records for adoptees advocates. She misnamed Adoption-Legalized Lies by calling them "Ties" and went on to downgrade natural parents (mainly mothers) and bask in her self-entitlement. It must terrify her that these "forever children," as ADULTS, would want to know their information as part of their civil rights. Gee, what a concept.

Her "bio" states that "Heidi Hess Saxton is the author of "Raising Up Mommy" and founder of the Extraordinary Moms Network, an online resource for mothers of adopted, fostered, and special needs children. She and her husband foster-adopted their two children in 2002. " I wonder if the only "moms" she considers to be "extraordinary" are of the adoptive variety? It's the adopter seeking sainthood syndrome, if you ask me. It's also funny that natural mothers seem to be, for the most part, up to the task, instinctively.

Now, both Musing Mother and Bastardette have already posted wonderful responses to this vitriolic and demeaning article, so there is little that I can add. I can only ask, "Heidi, what are you so afraid of? If your little 'forever family' was ordained by the Almighty, then it should be safe from us bad old natural mothers."

I think what is happening is that the various far-right factions, among them the eugenics-minded adoption advocates and facilitators, are watching the emergence of the voices of those who are tired of having their children taken for no good reason. They hear the voices of adoptees fighting the concept of being owned and not even allowed to make adult choices when they pass the age of consent. They are also hearing from masses of people who are sick and tired of having someone else tell them how to live their lives, make their own reproductive choices and are ready for some balance and justice. They are also hearing from a faction they thought had been permanently silenced..the EMS (Era of Mass Surrender), Senior Mother. That makes this mother wonder why they are so threatened by us ordinary people they once characterized as amoral, delinquent and psychologically deviant.

Now, we have the commenter, "Trailblazer" (he was allowed to comment, of course) accusing us of another conspiracy. To quote; "It seems clear enough to me that all rhetoric aside the purpose of *ant-adoption initiatives under whatever guise (knowingly or unknowingly) is to further the abortion industry by removing one the main legitimate options to abortion." You know what, Trailblazer? Adoption and abortion are not even really connected by anyone except people like you, the eugenically elite. Once a woman decides to carry a pregnancy, then the question of abortion is moot. But, if she is unmarried and/or poor and/or young, that is when the adoption vultures descend. (*Uh, are we now advocating adoption of insects? Ants make poor "forever family" members, I would think.) And, Michael, me lad, I am KNOWINGLY pro-natural family preservation and, on a completely separate note, I KNOWINGLY support the right of a woman to make her own choices about her reproductive life.

The right to choose and the right to raise our own children are two separate issues. It is the pro-adoption faction that keeps gluing them together but they are not using the right kind of adhesive because it just doesn't stick. For quite a few years, now, the pro-adoption factions have used the dire specter of pro-choice as an argument for adoption when the two items are not even on the same page.

Saxton's thinly-disguised hate piece is just another impetus for those of us who have been damaged and discarded by a $1.6-billion-plus-a-year industry to keep on trucking. Here are a few words of advice for Saxton and her ilk. Don't assume superiority, either moral or social or intellectual, over the mothers of adoption loss. Don't forget that HIPAA laws protect us from adopters who would arrogantly demand our medical information. THAT is for us to share with our children when we are asked, in person, by our children and what information is shared is up to us. That is our only claim to a right to privacy. The majority of us do believe that our children have the right to know us, to re-connect with their heritage and to know the circumstances of their surrender. Contrary to what you would suggest, we are not hiding in shame in some dark closet. We fought for and regained our self-esteem and you and your kind are not going to have access to that part of us, EVER AGAIN!

I can only speak from the vantage-point of the Senior Mother. The industry, pro-adoptionists and their supporters have managed to put us in, as Musing Mother puts it, a state of "otherness" that, somehow, allows them to predate upon us, denigrate us and our importance in our ADULT children's lives and accuse us of all sorts of conspiracies and immoralities. Well, we've had enough of that crap, Heidi and Co.

There is no "conspiracy" and we are not doing anything covert or sneaky. This is out and out, overt, declared and delineated WAR. I refuse to be knocked around by the likes of someone like Saxton or anyone else in her cadre.

I wonder if she realizes how elitist, arrogant and discriminatory her post is? Oh, that's right...she's an adoption saint and can do no wrong (chime in the angel chorus). Like others of her beliefs, she is a legend in her own mind.

Write all you want, Heidi. You can't stop us.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wishin' and Hopin'

Don't you just wish this was the way it was? When a new president takes over, there is the "honeymoon period," a time of bipartisan cooperation. Yet, we have a site where we can tell President-Elect Obama what we want him to fix and another site for the Republicans where we can give them our opinion of what they did wrong.

The "Fix" list is an easy one. I'd love to see all records, old and new, of adoptions and original birth certificates opened for both natural mothers and adoptees. I cannot, in good conscience, support opening them for just adoptees without including the mothers. Worse, I refuse to endorse opening records where the adopters are included. Open records is not about adopters.

I would like to see a congressional investigation committee formed to look into the actions taken against vulnerable women and girls during the EMS/BSE with an eye to redress and a public apology. I would like to see this extended to a more objective and honest evaluation of adoption and fostering practices in the current era.

I would like to see a firm separation of church and state as is, supposedly, guaranteed by our Constitution. In other words, to the Evangelical, Pentecostal, Fundamentalist, Christian Far Right faction, KEEP YOUR DOCTRINE OUT OF MY GOVERNMENT! We can have a social conscience in this country without your Bible-thumping.

I would like to see some of the monies that are poured into pet projects and unpopular wars used to help families stay together. I would like to see the bond between mother and child honored for what it is rather than them being seen as interchangeable entities. I would like to see an end to eugenics, adoption-entitlement and pompous elitism in our social system.

I would love to see a system of health care that makes sure all children receive the medical attention they need and a system that does not force senior citizens to have to choose between food and their necessary prescriptions. Let's regulate the Health Insurance and HMO industry and drug prices.

I would appreciate immediate and intense attention to the matter of a non-petroleum-based, affordable source or sources of alternative energy. I think we need to kick that oil habit.

That's my short list for our 44th President. Now for the bewildered Republicans who want to know what went wrong.......

We suffered under eight years of the worst leadership in recorded American History. You did not keep the churches and doctrines out of our government (see above) and you played to the Fundamentalists' agenda of fear and intolerance.

You ignored the poor and the middle-class while providing a candy store of benefits for CEO's and Big Business, one of which was the Adoption Industry which is NOT a non-profit entity. "Trickle Down" economics just doesn't work, anymore.

You brought in a flaky bimbo in an attempt to woo women voters who were backers of Sen. Clinton. You must think that we are all as dumb as this woman. Palin in 2012? I don't think so! I think you knew that you were in the toilet, so it was back to spin and manipulation of the population.

You pandered to the Religious Right by trying to interfere with our right to choose our own reproduction options and denying harmless and deserved rights to gays and lesbians. Intolerance is only popular with Nazis, skinheads and the ignorant and inflexible. Were you going for the most easily-controlled faction in our population? Hmmmm!

You followed your "leader" into a war that should never have been and was started by a lie and continues because you dug a hole too deep for us to climb out of, quickly. Meanwhile, our sons, daughters and grandchildren are targets for the wing nuts in the Middle East.

As a political party, you guys have a lot of work to do. Try talking to the moderate members of your party. They might give you a clue.

To Both Parties: FIX THE ECONOMY! If you read your world history, you will recognize the fact that two of the bloodiest revolutions, the French and the Bolshevik, happened because of the wide gap between the haves and the have-nots. Poverty and hunger are a fact of life in America. People are losing jobs, their homes and their retirement savings. That's not just uncool..that's downright dangerous. Our children are worse off, financially, than we were. What's with that????

Also, be prepared to hear from those of us who had our infants taken just because we were young, single and without financial independence. The indictments against those who caused this have been a long time coming. Moreover, we are not wanting to see it happen again! You might want to re-examine that infant adoption initiative and the industry as a whole. Women are not brood mares for ANYONE.

I am sending a copy of each of these lists to the appropriate recipients. Hey, all they can do is ignore it. Nothing ventured.... nothing ventured.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dear God, NO!!!!!

I cannot believe that the American public and even the GOP have become so dumbed-down that this would even be a consideration! Yet, I read that La Palin is embarking on a media blitz in anticipation of 2012 and the American media, ever hungry for eye-catching fodder for the masses, is following her efforts. I really wish everyone would just ignore her. She needs to fade away into the wilds of Alaska and go kill another moose or something.

As a woman who considers herself a feminist, I know that some of our worst enemies are within the population of our own gender. This dame is one of the very worst. If this is what the GOP considers appealing to the women voters, they are sadly mistaken. It has been noted that a large portion of President-Elect Obama's supporters were women. Hopefully, those women who voted with their vaginas have learned that, while the time has come for a woman president, it has to be a QUALIFIED and INTELLIGENT woman. If we are going to make history again, as was done in this last election, then we need someone whose vocabulary goes beyond "you betcha" and whose foreign policy experience extends beyond the fact that her home state is just across the Bering Strait from Russia.

C'mon, everyone...surely no one is taking this bimbo seriously? With her and her ilk in a position of power, we could say goodbye to the freedom to choose, access to birth control for single women and girls and the reinstatement of maternity prisons, you betcha! Beyond the fact that her qualifications are nil, she is a danger to the rights that we have fought for and to the fight in which we are now engaged. Justice and acknowledgement for the EMS Mothers?...not if Palin has her way. Open records for adoptees and mothers?...over her dead little Barbie Doll body. Separation of church and state...we could really kiss that constitutional concept bye-bye.

Sorry Ladies, but I don't put her performance on the campaign trail this past year down to inexperience...I say she has a major "DUH" factor. She's just another ex-beauty queen trying to get by on her looks while saying what she knows the Far Right wants to hear. Clever does not equal intelligent. In any event, she probably cannot define the word "moderate" and that is where her party needs to go if they are going to make a come-back from the last eight years of Emperor Dubya and his shenanigans.

So Mr. and Ms. Elephant. If you are going to groom a woman for the 2012 run, you stand a better chance with ANYONE but Sarah Palin. Hey, I'd vote for ANYONE running against her and that is a sad way to decide one's vote. I wonder if Tina Fey would like to run? Hmmmmm

Monday, November 10, 2008

Boycott On The Agenda for Jolie Flick

Well, well....look who is starring in a movie that portrays the real-life anguish of a Mother who loses HER child! I couldn't believe it when I saw the first ads and saw that scene where she cries out, "I want my OWN child!!!" or something to that effect.

Yeah, do we.

This is from the woman who is the epitome of those who think that mothers and children and natural families are, somehow, interchangeable. Rather than collecting children like Beanie Babies, she could have helped these disadvantaged families hold together. So why does she do it? Why does she go on baby raids to third-world nations to find another kiddie for her collection? BECAUSE SHE CAN. She has the money, and like most people with money and in the public eye, she probably feels entitled to whatever the Hell she wants.

She doesn't even have infertility as an excuse so she can only be searching for that adopter halo. This is the woman who has been tattooed with lovers' and husbands' names, carried around a vial of one of her husbands' blood on a chain around her neck and gave her BROTHER a deep, soul-kiss in front of photographers. I guess she feels she needs some good press and this country, unfortunately, is besotted with the idea of adoption.

As we at SMAAC reach out to get the truth to the nation about how we Senior Mothers were subject to horrendous mistreatment in order for the industry to procure our newborns for adopters, we also try to keep an eye on what is happening now, as well. No, friends....things haven't changed that much. Jolie is just one more example of why we exist and why we blog and why we boycott and why we speak out. Family preservation is not just an ideal. It is doable if we stop criminalizing single parenthood and poverty.

Here's the link. Please take time to read our press release concerning this boycott.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Abject Apology and Mea Culpa

The young man in the picture with me at the left is my youngest son (no, he is not a skinhead..he has early, male-pattern baldness genes out the wazingus, poor baby) and I have done him a grave disservice. I accused BOTH my sons of voting for McCain and I have been soundly corrected. Sam, my baby, my born-again conservative, actually crossed the line and voted for Obama!!!! My oldest son didn't vote at all. Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa!

I have got to say that the Sam Man surprised and delighted me with his comments. He voted with his reasoning abilities rather than philosophical leanings. While he considered Palin "hot," he obviously didn't want her that close to the presidency. His problems in finding a job didn't go unnoted by his quick mind. And he was not pleased with Bush's track record and the fact that McCain didn't distance himself from those policies. WAY TO GO, KIDDO! Of course, I have always been proud of the fact that, even when we disagreed, he cared about his country and was eager to keep himself informed and to vote. But, having brought up both my raised children to be good little Dems with a slightly left-of-center stance, I was wondering what I did wrong. I found out I did NOTHING wrong. My baby boy was just exercising his right as a man to think for himself without Mom calling the shots.

He also has pleased me with a request to know more about my adoption activism and if there was anything he could do to help. That one made me cry.

So, to my son, I will say that you have, once again, caught your Mother off-guard in a very good way, you are the master, the king, and 'salami, salami, baloney!'

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hail To The Chief!!!!

I am excited and thrilled to be a party to making history and really concerned about the load this man has taken on his shoulders. He has youth and strength and he is going to need every ounce of it to face the problems and tribulations of our poor, tattered nation.

JFK had his rocking chair and I will bet that President-Elect Obama might need to sit in one, himself, before too long. He has inherited a mess. Between Iraq, the economy, our right to choose...well, the list is a long and hard one.

I worry about his safety what with the prevalence of skinheads, Nazis and a still-active KKK in our country, I will constantly pray that he is under good protection. I thank God that we have Joe Biden to step in in case the worst happens, but pray that it won't be necessary. I urge tight and intense security by the Secret Service. I also thank God that Sarah "You Betcha" Palin is not just a cardiac infarction away from the Oval Office. That would have been a national nightmare.

I hope, now, that ALL Americans will rally behind OUR President. He is not just the President of the African-Americans or the Democrats. He is all our fine words, our protestations of equality and lack of bias, our good ideas and righteous laws, Amendments to the Constitution and claims of open minds and free spirits come to fruition. I, for one, will be doing all in my power to support him and our Congress through the horrible minefield that has been left for them by the worst administration in my memory. I remember Harry Truman so my memory is a long one.

This is something I thought I would never see in my lifetime...either a woman and/or a person of a minority race attaining the highest office in the land. Since that has been shown to be doable, can the efforts of SMAAC be any less doable? Suddenly, I am much more optimistic about that issue.

Hubby, who voted for Obama, will have to go to work, today, and face his fanatically right-wing boss. He will do so, silently and with a small smile upon his face. I wish I could be there. And to my sons, one raised, one reunited, both McCain supporters.......

I love you, both and ....neener, neener, neener! Heh heh.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Our Votes...Not For Sale

This is the final day, the day of decision, of the 2008 Presidential campaign. After today, there will be no more mud-slinging TV ads and armchair political pundits will hash and re-hash. We can hope, here in the Sunshine State, that there will not be a repeat of the fiasco of 2000.

The lady holding the banner in the picture to the left is Susan B. Anthony. She wasn't perky, Barbie-doll pretty or any of the things that come to mind when I think of the GOP vice-presidential candidate. She was a serious, thoughtful and dedicated woman. Some fine women, just like her, were subjected to horrible and inhumane treatment while seeking the right to vote for them and their sisters.

For what these fine women endured, we have a responsibility to vote with our minds and good sense....not our gender. Bastardette has a short, sweet and relevant post on voting day and women. It speaks my mind, as well. I would be doing myself, my sisters and the women who endured the punishing mistreatment that won us our right to vote if my response was a knee-jerk nod to the ticket with a woman on it. A friend of mine who is from Germany said it best. "If I vote for Palin just because she is a woman, that would be like me espousing Hitler just because I am German."

I not only want to encourage everyone to vote, but to vote with thoughtfulness and due consideration of the needs of everyone in our nation. This is a campaign that has been both historical and, sadly, hysterical. My hopes are that we can end it on a positive note.....

Or, I can move to Canada and hope that I can't be seen from Alaska.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Devil We Know for Another Devil We Know

Same stuff, different day. Atwood resigned from the NCFA per this press release. There are many that are happy about this because of Johnson's (Atwood's temporary replacrement) attitude toward open records for adult adoptees. But we Senior Moms are sure that this won't stop any of the coercive practices that take advantage of the vulnerable mother-to-be or that recognize the mother's right to control her end of the information exchange and yes, I do mean not giving adopters access to our records and no mandatory personal information required. Just read the portion of the press release that I have high-lighted in red. Then you will know why I can help hatin' dat man.

The one person that is forgotten in all the hoopla and hullabaloo of what might change is the mother. What about HER civil rights that have already been breached? If the NCFA were to have a leader that would come out in opposition to the many state laws that give the mother no time to rescind, no independent counsel and no way to fight when these "open" adoptions slam shut in her face, then we might join in and celebrate.

What this nation needs is a National Council For Family Preservation (NCFFP) that would do all in its power to keep mother and child together. Well, right now, as it is said, "money talks and bullshit walks." The industry holds the money reins in iron fists, and the mythology is firmly embedded in the American psyche.

This post if for informational purposes only. Personally, I hope that Atwood, on the way out, and Johnson, on the way in, slip on the same banana peel and break their respective hips.

Thomas C. Atwood Resigns from the National Council For Adoption

Alexandria, VA – The Board of Directors of the National Council For Adoption (NCFA) today announced that Thomas C. Atwood has resigned as president and chief executive officer to pursue other professional opportunities. After serving as vice president for policy and research, Atwood took over NCFA’s reins in October 2002 and spearheaded the nonprofit’s growth into a leading adoption research, education, and advocacy organization, as well as an international authority on adoption issues.

“The board is grateful to Tom for his leadership and accomplishments while at NCFA, particularly in the areas of government and media relations, research, and policy development,” said Stan Swim, chairman of the board. “He has always been a strong advocate for adoption and child welfare, and was instrumental in securing passage of the recent landmark adoption and foster care bill. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Among Atwood’s numerous accomplishments during his six years as president were the publication of Adoption Factbook IV, NCFA’s comprehensive and authoritative reference on adoption policy and practice, and the Adoption Advocate, a series of policy briefs on adoption. Atwood testified before Congress (five times) and before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Recent citations include USA Today, the Associated Press, and the Washington Post among hundreds of other citations in national and international media. Under his leadership, NCFA launched three web-based public information programs, developed the Infant Adoption Revival Project and Families For All Project to help children in foster care, and advanced a global culture of adoption through international advocacy in nine countries. He also co-authored with Jayne Schooler The Whole Life Adoption Book (in its third printing).

“It has been a privilege for me to lead the NCFA team during these six years of growth and accomplishment,” said Atwood. “I look forward to a bright future for NCFA as it continues its important work.” Chuck Johnson, chief operating officer and vice president of training and agency services, will assume management responsibilities. “The board will be looking for a dynamic leader with great management and administration skills and the vision to take NCFA to the next level as the nation’s leading adoption and child welfare advocate and authority,” Swim said.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

SMAAC Is Up And Running

Senior Mothers Adoption Activist Coalition, SMAAC, a grassroots organization of mothers who were forced to surrender our newborns during the Era of Mass Surrenders, post WWII until the inception of Roe v Wade, announces the launch of our new website in conjunction with the beginning of Adoption Awareness Month. SMAAC chose this month to launch our new website in an effort to focus attention on the side of adoption that is most often unrecognized and the women whose voices have been deliberately and willfully unheard.

Senior Mothers are coming together and finding strength in our shared experience. Now we are speaking out, after decades of silently bearing witness to the increase in the power and control of the Adoption Industry. Our silence was misunderstood, and exploited; it was actually the trauma and post traumatic stress of women who had been systematically abused into signing surrender documents. Taking our silence as acquiescence, the public and the government allowed the Adoption Industry to grow into a multi- billion dollar, largely unregulated industry fighting to retain its control over the fates of young women, our infants and the future of these small families in the United States.

By coming together on the Internet, Senior Mothers gained strength, courage and lost our shame. We found our voices, only to have them denounced, diminished and decried by the very industry that exploited us initially. When we spoke of our suffering we were told to "move on, get over it." We were told that we made a "choice" and when we argued that we had no options, we were told that having "premarital sex" was a choice that earned us our sorrow, while ignoring the fact that the loss of our children was not a choice. For the public to hear the voices of mothers, women who have grieved and suffered in silence for decades, is to make a lie of the very fiber of adoption and the mythology that, following a brief period of grief, the mothers go on as if it never happened. The industry is desperate to silence us again so that they can continue to reap huge profits from exploiting more and other vulnerable women.

We believe, that by not demanding recognition and acknowledgment for the criminal acts committed against us we are allowing the intolerable, inhumane treatment of former unwed mothers to remain as if tolerable and acceptable. We believe that if we do not demand this recognition we are silently perpetuating the myth that no life-long damage was caused by the taking of our newborns for the sole purpose of adoption. As human beings we, were segregated, isolated and our civil and human rights were systematically denied, including the most basic rights of a mother, our own newborns and recognition of our motherhood. We believe that these systematic, abuses are worthy of recognition, and is the cause of provable damage to self as a result.

Years, experience and understanding of our situation has brought a new sense of worth and a fighting spirit to us. The women of the EMS also now believe that to continue to remain silent about our experience allows the industry to continue to grow at the expense of the unwed mothers of today.

This month is the launch of our new website, but the mothers have already been busy. There are several projects in the planning and implementation stages. The current project, naming the Month of November, Adoption BEwareness Month, is to make the public aware of the experience of loss upon which adoption is predicated, and encourage the public to apply pressure to legislators to recognize our losses.

We have named the last day of November "Strange and Mournful Day" based on lyrics from Paul Simon's "Mother and Child Reunion." The lyrics within the body of the song that describe the indignities and mistreatment that led to the surrender of our newborns;

Mother and Child Reunion (Words & music by Paul Simon)

No, I would not give you false hope,
On this strange and mournful day.
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away,

Oh, little darling of mine, I can't for the life of me,
Remember a sadder day.
I know they say let it be,
But it just don't work out that way,
And the course of a lifetime runs,
Over and over again.

There are also various ongoing projects on which we are working. Among them are building a Wall of Shame, with the names and the positions of those who contributed to our losses. This will insure that the Mothers will no longer need to carry the burden alone. We will no longer be isolated, and shamed, but will place the burden directly where it belongs...on the shoulders of the perpetrators.

We have launched a campaign to encourage women who have lost infants to adoption, particularly during the EMS, to gather medical records, social worker case notes and copies of any paperwork that concerns them. Senior Mothers have been told repeatedly, over the years, that we were not entitled to this paperwork, such records did not exist or had been damaged, usually in a fire, flood or other natural disaster. We are now, thanks to the passage of the HIPAA Laws in the United States in 1996, finding that not only are they available, but have been used by researchers for decades.

Finally, we are also speaking out in public. We are sharing our experience online, in the newspaper, on television and radio and to groups and organizations. We wish to make our communities aware of the "other side" of adoption and the conditions and injustices that Senior Mothers endured prior to our loss. The silence of decades has ended.
(Thanks to Sandy Young for this article. Please also visit these sites to view our press release #1
and press release #2.)