Sunday, February 28, 2010

Time To Lay This Burden Down

"Those of us, who are less than perfect can never understand the reason for this lifelong punishment for what is, often enough, scarcely a sin, certainly not the mortal one.” ( The late Jean Paton, Adopted Person and Activist, talking about mothers of adoption loss.)

As mothers from the EMS, many of us have carried the burden of imposed guilt for decades. Some of us have awakened to the fact that, though treated like second-rate criminals, we have committed no crime. Some call sex outside of marriage a sin, but, as the esteemed, Ms. Paton observed, it is hardly a mortal sin. It's actually a very human act, programmed into us to continue the species.

I feel we are on the cusp of something exciting. We are reaching out to our children and they are reaching out to us in a new way. Yes, our goals are defined by our different circumstances, but we are edging closer to the time when we can watch each others' backs. While what we want and what our adult children want is geared to our separate needs, there is no reason we cannot stand in support of the goals of each. Let's face it. The way it has been done, so far, with mothers only taking a subservient role and our needs being seen as "clouding the issue," isn't working all that well.

This isn't going to sit well with some adopted people, the industry, some "martyr  mothers" and adopters, probably. It's a bold idea but one that is overdue. Quid pro quo works well if given a chance.

We mothers that are in this particular stage of activism are hoping to recover  the human rights denied us for so many years. Equal access to records would mean that mothers from the closed records eras could learn the fate of their children. That would be no small gift to mothers still in search. Those of us already reunited would have vindication. We are fighting for respect and acceptance of the motherhood we never surrendered. Given no options other than surrender, we gave up our parental rights and responsibilities, NOT our motherhood or our right to know the fate and welfare of our children. We are hoping for eventual recognition of the crimes committed against us in the name of "the perfect solution."

Some people, especially those who oppose the mothers' right to equal access, still trot out that old onus of shame for "spreading our legs." When we try to explain the coercive and judgmental society of that era, it is if we are speaking another language. "No one held a gun to your head," many say. We say, "They might as well have." Ann Fessler's "The Girls Who Went Away" and Rickie Solinger's "Wake Up Little Suzie" are the go-to books for a real picture of the times and mores that caused us to be treated with so little regard for our dignity, rights and feelings.

Unaccessable, closed records, for mothers, is a continuation of the original punishment laid on us by society when our children were taken from us. The punishment continues in the erroneous picture of the mother of adoption loss as a slut, slattern, crackwhore and potential abuser. Yes, there have been some, but they are the minority. But, hey, there are adopters who haven't been saints and who have abused and even murdered the children they adopted. That doesn't mean they all are homicidal.

Someone said that it "didn't matter" if we were sluts, that we were still the object of discrimination. But, yes, to those of us who have had that self-righteous finger pointed at us when we dared come out into the DOES matter. No matter what anyone else says, I, personally,  suffered from this labeling for years. I am ready  to deny and defy those who are still into blaming and shaming. This is not something with which I expect our adult children to be able to indentify. Yet we both have suffered from heinous discrimination.

I am blinking back tears, as I write this. I am overwhelmed by the memory of the pain of always feeling "not as good as." I never defended myself against the lies told by my daughter's father, the lies in the non-identifying information my daughter received and even the assumptions of my own family as to my character, until just a few years ago. Standing tall and speaking out as a woman of values and character has been my salvation. Perhaps, in our quest for cooperation and better communication, we can give this gift of renewed self-worth to mothers still hiding their "terrible secret."

It's time for all of us to lay that particular burden down and live our lives out in the light.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Oh, I'm Just A Bill

Yes, I'm only a bill and I'm gonna get you slutty  beemommies all riled up! Mission accomplished, Billy-Boy.

Take a look at this MO proposed legislation in its entirety. MO SB594 is out to get some ass-coverage for the facilitators of adoption and some sideways body-slams for the mothers. Hey people, we're already black and blue from the first trauma of separation and, for many of us, the rough road of reunion. Seems like the only good reunions are the ones where either the adopters have passed away or where the mother "knows her place" and settles for crumbs.

As this discussion continues, and believe me, we are not letting go of this, we are learning just how hard it is, here in the United States of Adoption, to get even a semi-clean bill for open records on the table. A truly clean bill would give unrestricted access to the original birth certificates for adopted people and the same kind of access to the amended "birth" certificate for mothers. Then Uncle Big Brother should step back and let the parties progress on their own.

Unfortuntely, what we are getting are specious, conditional passages based on the erroneous idea that mothers can't be trusted to share information with their children, privately, and that the state and agencies need to remain in control of what is done with the infomation once the adopted person has it. And where are the adopters in all this? Are they helping "their" children? If they are helping, how are they helping? I have talked to adopters who didn't know I was a mother of adoption loss. I have been told that open records and reunion are their worst nightmare. The state and the agents and SW's know this and they are not about to offend their primary source of revenue.

People think that open records will fix things. It is just a first step. How many mothers out there fell for the line about new, improved, "open" adoptions? How many had the doors to contact shut in their faces as soon as the adopters could come up with a good excuse? How many women still live in fear of their shameful secret becoming known? How many mothers and adult children have paid the price of their unnatural separation in the coin of addictive disease, depression and even suicide? Why does this supposedly free country still allow such a prudish and unfair view of the mother? We have progressed, technologically, but spiritually and socially, we are still in the dark ages. There are few to no REAL programs to help adopted people and mothers through their trauma.

We need a massive education program for the American public. We need to yell just as loud, if not louder, than the Christian Right and the adoption industry lobbyists. We need to let the nation see that we are everywoman...not sluts, crackwhores or slatterns. It would help if our children carried that message for us, as well. We need to expose the full extent of social engineering being attempted by certain groups. We don't have a thing of which to be ashamed, either mother or adopted person. C'mon, all of you. You have got to be tired of this "you spread your legs and made a choice" for the mothers and  "you are so lucky to have been adopted" for the adopted people crap.

The MO bill is a symptom of a national disease, that of puritanical and punitive attitudes and self-serving motivations. These attitudes and motivations have spawned more than offensive legislation. We have been paid lip service and lauded for our "loving sacrifices" until we want to hurl. Don't give us some second-best pats on the back in the guise of (gag) "barf-mother's day" celebrations. Don't put out studies designed to make us believe you see the forest rather than the trees as a way to placate us. Don't take our personal rights away from us with demands for medical information that could plunge us directly into a quagmire of lawsuits or worse. To me, this just proves that we are still being judged by the self-righteous (and secretly insecure).

Maybe we need a bill that would, if passed, elevate natural mothers to the same level as every other citizen in this country. We are not slaves to what happened to us when we were coerced into surrender, nor are our needs secondary to those of adopters or our surrendered children. We are the equal of any one of you, out there, morally, intellectually and spiritually. Such a bill would be a clean one. It would simply state that no natural mother of adoption loss can be forced, coerced or otherwise manipulated to do anything that is not required of every other citizen in this country.

I wonder if it would pass.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Open Records; The Final Break in the Bond?

I hate to see hostility between adopted people and mothers. It hurts. To be the object of such resentment is off-putting and frustrating. To see that bond, that has already been twisted by separation and assumptions, broken by an argument on records issues is heart-breaking.

A mother from another country attended a conference of the AAC, not too long ago, and was appalled at the overt hostility, the marginalization of mothers and some of the mothers' assisting in their own marginalization in this one-sided cause. If anyone has watched, one of the provinces in our neighbor to the north has passed an open-records law, imperfect as it may be with the disclosure veto attached, that includes both parties, mothers and adopted people, as having rights to identifying information. They don't share many of our national traits and taboos.

This fact has brought to the attention of some of us, the rigid, unforgiving nature of our American culture. We have two forces at work. One is the capitalistic drive for profit that makes anything (or anyone) a consumable "product." The bottom line is the god here and those that profit from adoption will fight to maintain it. Self-entitled PAPs will fight to maintain the supply.

The other thing is our Puritanical heritage. This is not the way most other nations think, unless you want to count the Muslim nations and even these theocracies are not fans of adoption. We got stuck with the most repressive sort of Christianity and, despite the hard work of the founding Fathers who were free-thinkers for the most part, it still lurks in the minds of the masses. It invades our bedrooms, our right to choose and our legal structures. It makes us a prudish laughing-stock in the rest of the world. It corrupts our citizenry with its assumption of ultimate righteousness. It makes criminals out of unmarried mothers and saints out of adopters and those who facilitate.

It speaks words of hate and entitlement into the ears of our lost children. I remember my daughter telling me, at our first meeting, that "it was OK," if I didn't know who her father was. I think I  must have looked at her like she had just farted in church, because she became very flustered. I tried to put her at ease and told her that I most certainly DID know who her father is. I asked her where she got such an idea and she said, "its just what I had always been told about girls who had babies and gave them up for adoption."

Now that most open-records bids are not "clean" (meaning open OBC's only) and carry with them punitive requirements for the mothers, we are seeing the community of EMS mothers and adopted people growing farther apart. And who encourages this? Sorry, Kiddos...but your adopters and those who facilitate adoption are culpable, no matter what you might want to think. How could a clearly-stated bill, advocating OBC's and identifying records being made available to both adopted adult and mothers be "clouding your issue?" And don't give me that "you spread your legs" and "you made a choice" garbage. That insults my intelligence.

This series of posts has been difficult and emotional for me. I have worked hard, for many years, to get out from under that umbra of shame and unworthiness. I have learned that I am not a bad person now, and I wasn't a bad person then. I have learned that devils can come disguised as saints and that all was not and is not as it seemed or was presented.

I do know  a number of adopted people who are kind, fair-minded and want our help. We want our children's help, too, and it is not in having separate but equal organizations, bills and goals. It may have two sides, but it is one page. Keeping it simple and in one package would be the ideal way to go. It has been asked before, but here goes nothing.

Maybe, we could do it together without all the hubbub? Just think about it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cutting Off The Nose.... spite the face. I used to wonder what that meant when I heard that phrase used. Well, according to Wikipedia, it means, " expression used to describe a needlesly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem. 'Don't cut off your nose to spite your face' is a warning against acting out of pique, or against pursuing revenge in a way that would damage onself more than the source of one's anger."

Now while many adult adopted people would not admit to harboring vengeful anger against mothers, some of the recently proposed and some passed legislation concerning open records makes some of us feel otherwise.

Just take a look at what the MO. bill would require of mothers.
(Thanks to my friend, Musing Mother.) This would be a form that mothers would have to fill out, completely, which would include but not be limited to;

1. Congenital or genetic history.
2.Psycosocial history. (WHAT!!!!! THAT is nobody's business but our own!)
3. Chronic diseases.
4. Infectuous diseases (Why...these are not inherited?)
5. Allergies
6. Pregnancy and birth histories
7. Causes of deaths of (natural) family members that may affect the medical history.

This opens the door to a world of woes for the mother. Being legally  required to furnish this information, even on those family members that have not given their permission for this, would leave us vulnerable to lawsuits, name it. So, I guess my main question is why the people who are pushing for open records in the different states want to gain their civil rights by violating ours? Do you resent us so much? Do you honestly feel so entitled that our rights as human beings to share only what we see fit about our private lives can be disregarded?

I have signed many a document stating that I did not ask for, nor was I ever promised anonymity, especially
where my children were concerned. I have always felt that my children had the right to know who I am. But I never signed on to be invaded and disregarded. Many mothers in the US are still fighting for respect and acknowledgement of the fact that we were used as breeding stock for the social engineers. It's bad enough that those who seek open records assume that they are entitled to a pound of our flesh, but we are not even considered as worthy of being equal recipients of those opened records. What is going to happen is that those in opposition of these bills will have some new ammo in the form of those of us who reserve the right to share only what we see fit about our lives, our histories and our ailments. Better no open records law than one that would put such an unfair onus on the shoulders of the mothers. We are people, damnit!

I am tired of the stereotype of the crackwhore, promiscuous, careless slut who just wanted to get rid of the "problem." I am tired of hearing "relinquisher" and "abandoner." Those descriptions are  not, by any means, an accurate picture of the average mother of adoption loss. Most of us wanted our babies. Most of us were in committed (at least on our part) relationships. Most of us were dependent on our families and constrained by their actions in our "behalf." Most of us were shamed, blamed, isolated and had to work for years to gain back a modicum of self-esteem.

If I was a non-reunited mother of adoption loss and I read these proposed laws and some of the venom that our adult children post, online, it would scare the reunion right out of me. I don't let my raised children place that kind of crap on me. I will not allow it from my reunited children, either. Fortunately, I have gained their respect and I don't see that happening. But I worry for my sister mothers. We are women with hearts that were broken. We bleed red and cry tears just like anyone else. We deserve the same protection under the law and the same respect for our rights as anyone else.

Now, I will agree that the basic civil rights of the adopted person are violated by denying them access to their basic, identifying information. But non-adopted people don't have the right to require, by law, such intimate information from their mothers. Why should the adopted have more rights than the non-adopted? Where did such a sense of entitlement originate? If our adult children want all of us in the fight for their records, then maybe they should consider our feelings, as well.

By all means, demand your original birth certificate. Contact your mothers. Learn about your heritage. Most will be glad to share with you. And then ASK, respectfully and privately, for the history you seek.

Attempting to make us legally liable for this kind of thing is just pissing off any of us who has any self-esteem, at all.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Just A Bit Of Constitutional Info

In reference to the "lively debate" (more like a spite-fight) referred to in my last post, I would like to share the learned opinion of a friend of mine who teaches an introductory, constitutional law course at CFU.

I had asked him about the constraints, both written and implied, by the HIPAA regulations. His answer gave me a lot of food for thought.

Citing constitutional premise, he referred to the guarantee of freedom of religion. He said that this important freedom, PER IMPLICATION, also can be truthfully and successully argued to guarantee,  for the idividual, freedom FROM religion. It is a tacit understanding of that legality. In other words, because of the foresight of the authors of the constitution, no one can be forced to believe, participate or observe any organized religions, sects or associated dogma if they do not choose to do so.

He then posited that, since the HIPAA regulations were made law, it made, in effect, the medical and psychiatric history of each person the sole property of that person. While it does keep medical professionals from arbitrarily sharing our information, it also, PER IMPLICATION, keeps anyone else from being able to access that information on demand. Were such a demand to be attached to, say, a bill seeking open records for adult adoptees only, and were passed, it could be challenged, probably successfully, by the individual to whom such a demand would be made. Implied here is that we can refuse to comply and our physicians can, as well.

While I decry the involvement of the ACLU in keeping adoption records closed and original birth certificates sealed, I would think that they would have a really good time with this one. I would have no problem seeking out the help of the ACLU is anyone were to feel they were entitled to my personal information.

What I am wondering is what helpful person decided that this demand should be part of any law granting adult adopted people the right to their OBC and adoption records? If the authors of these bills are working hand-in-hand with adoption professionals, then that answers my question. Most mothers, if asked by their adult children for help with medical issues, would be happy to dig into the family history and find out what they could to help. But when private information of one citizen can be demanded, by law, by another  citizen,  then something has gone badly awry with our system of individual freedoms.

My friend is an attorney and an educator. This is not an area where he has delved deeply and his views and answers were from his knowledge of constitutional law. But I really liked what he had to say.

It would really look bad for the open-records group if people started filing suit against their natural mothers for information and compensation for medical problems. In fact, it would look downright snarky and entitled.

It would also look like someone wants to punish mommy.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Schisms and Stand-Offs

Sometimes I feel like the dog chasing its tail AND the tail being chased. In all the emerging activism, begun by the phenomenon of search and reunion by those from the closed-records era, there seems to always be all manner of clashing and cross-purposes going on. It's making me dizzy.

I really hate it when these heated debates break out between adopted people and mothers. We should all be arm in arm, but that isn't happening. I love my reunited, adult children, dearly, and, as an extension of that, I have special feelings for people who were adopted. I ache for them, especially now that my eyes have been opened to the real consequences of closed, secret adoption on  both mother and adult child. The adopters got the kids, the facilitators got the dough, the social workers got the smug satisfaction, our parents got "re-virginized" daughters back without the neighbors knowing, society got their self-righteous 'I-told-you-so's' and we, mothers and children, got the shaft. You'd think we would be together on the same side, wouln't you?

Well, I didn't factor in a few realities when I was in early reunion. One was the fact that we moms still are being seen as the villains of the piece. That has been bolstered by the many lies told our children, either deliberate or from misinformation and assumptions. Another was the resentment caused by these lies and a lack of understanding of the tenor and disparities of the times and our experiences. When our own children call us "birthers" and treat us like naughty secrets and whipping girls, it can get painfully discouraging.

Another was underestimating the industry, itself. In the effort to cover their clupable arses, they have managed, once again, to present the mother as the goat with skewed tales of "guaranteed privacy" and anonymity. The fact, of course, is that the anonymity was there for the benefit of the adopters to protect these righteous souls from the intrusion of the slutty beemommie. The agencies and workers were also less than thorough in getting medical histories, there were some unknown factors..things we didn't know would crop up until way after we surrendered, and when the adopted person became ill with what could possibly be a genetic problem, the adopters cried "foul." For instance, I was 43 years old when my father developed Type II Diabetes. Until then, none of us had any idea it ran in the family. I have it. The agents and agencies are just trying to lay it all on us to avoid lawsuits in the future.

Many of the movers and shakers in the industry are attorneys, who also make up the majority of our elected officials. There's a lot of power there and they feel free to manipulate and wag the dog with impunity. Now there is a debate raging about the proposal that mandatory family medical histories be required from, you guessed it, the mothers. Now, there are many things we didn't know about our families and their medical histories at the time of surrender. There are also things that are no one's business but our own...things that we don't need to even tell our raised children.

If our adult children would give most of us a chance, we would, as I DID, give all the important information, in person, without coercion or legal pressure, voluntarily. Yes, there are mothers that are going to decline contact. Hell, there are adopted people who decline contact with their mothers, It goes both ways, M'Dears.
But we don't OWE you anything more than we owe our raised children. Respect and caring should be a two-way street. We were coerced, browbeaten and punished enough when we were made to surrender. I am tired of it and will not put up with any more. I am not a servant to any of my children, I am not a villain, I am not a slut and the rights of others end where mine begin.

Just as those who wish to adopt are not entitled to a child just because they want one, our adult children are not entitled to a pound of their mother's flesh. They ARE entitled to their original birth certificates and the right to seek us out and see if we can answer their questions. By the same token, we are entitled to the amended birth certificate and a way to learn how our children have fared.

I have good friends who are adopted and I respect them. I have good relationships with my own adult children, reunited and raised. I have shared more than medical information with my reunited children. I have shared my love, stories of their grandparents and great-grandparents on my side, and my care and attention to their issues. I even sought out the families of their fathers to get medical info when they needed it. It was asked of me....not demanded and I was not made legally liable for their illnesses. My daughter has Lupus. Actually, there is no history, at all, of lupus in either my family or her father's as far as I know. Should I be forced to pay her medical bills because it wasn't in the records when she was adopted? Should I be subject to legal prosecution if that wasn't included in any information I gave her? Why are we still being punished?

I was a decent person then, who was caught up by forces over which I had no control. I am a decent person now and support human and civil rights for everyone. But I have self-respect, something I wasn't allowed to have as a pregnant teen. I have the self-respect to stand up and have a say in what happens to me and my life and the strength to follow through. For me, this issue is a moot point. I can't see my two, adult, reunited children making this kind of demand on me. We know it all, now and there is no need for them to sue for medical information. I do want them to have the right to their original birth certificates. They are not that interested in it. I am.

But I represent a marginalized, repressed group of women, and many of these mothers are just now getting their sea legs in this ocean of issues. They deserve respect, as well. They have suffered, differently. but no less than their children have.

Plus, you can catch a whole lot more flies with sugar than with vinegar. Cliche' but true.

(*reminder...this blog remains an argument/debate-free zone, dedicated to offering the perspective of a specific group of EMS-era can pick me apart, elsewhere...have at it)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Connection Between Disaster and Adoption

A friend in Canada guided me towards this article on international adoption. I was very interested because it seems to follow the content of another conversation I was having with another mother's group about the unspoken criminalization of the poor. It seems that the poor are begrudged their children in this country and conned out of them in other nations.

We've all read or heard, at some point, of how children were taken for "medical treatment" or to a place where the parents told them they could attend a school, only to have those same children show up in the US as adopted "orphans."

This article from the Toronto Globe and Mail is a great summary of the problem. The passages in boldface are ones that struck a chord with me.

One sure consequence of disaster: adoption

Siri Agrell. The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Ont.: Feb 6, 2010. pg. F.5

When a group of American missionaries was arrested last weekend after trying to bring 33 children out of Haiti, troubling questions began to arise about the impulse to whisk kids out of disaster zones. But trends in international adoption have always followed close on the heels of war and humanitarian disaster, according to Queen's University professor Karen Dubinsky, whose book Babies Without Borders: Adoption and the Symbolic Child in Canada, Cuba and Guatemala will be released this spring.

The story is always the same, she tells Siri Agrell . The disaster produces interest in orphaned children, an adoption system is opened, scandals develop and the system closes down. Move to another location and repeat.


The adoption of foreign children began in the United States during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, when an American evangelical couple named Henry and Bertha Holt began a campaign to fight communism one child at a time. "They had missionary zeal and the Cold War behind them," Ms. Dubinsky says. "Some historians say they single-handedly invented international adoption."


In Canada, the first spike in international adoption began at the end of the Vietnam War, spearheaded by three Montreal housewives who got involved in a U.S.-led campaign called Operation Babylift. More than
3,300 infants were removed, although it was later revealed that not all were orphans. The project earned notoriety after an Operation Babylift plane crashed after takeoff in Vietnam, killing 141 children and volunteers. The adoption campaign led to a change to Canada's immigration policy, creating a new category for unaccompanied babies.


From 1960 to 1961, 14,000 unaccompanied children were sent from Cuba to Miami as part of Operation Peter Pan (*see the Daily Bastardette's archives for more on this). Although parents were promised that they would be reunited with their children, more than 7,000 were permanently stranded in the American foster-care and orphanage system after the Bay of Pigs invasion ended U.S.-Cuban relations. Decades later, one of those children - Maria de los Torres- would sue the Central Intelligence Agency for access to documents that revealed Cuban parents were responding to an American rumour campaign suggesting Fidel Castro was about to nationalize children. Now, there are rumours of a Hollywood movie about the event.


After Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown and executed in the 1989 revolution, media attention directed at the sorry state of Romanian orphanages created a bump in interest about adoptees in former Soviet Bloc states.


In 1990, Russia made adoption open to foreign parents. Ms. Dubinsky says interest was fuelled by U.S. investigative television shows that aired hidden-camera footage of substandard orphanage conditions. Unlike with other countries, the narrative around Russian adoptions focused on the physical and mental health of the children. (* And so many Russian adoptees suffered so much after being removed from their country and was in the news. rw)


In the early 2000s, Guatemala had the dubious distinction of having the highest per-capita adoption rate in the world. Civil wars in Latin America drew international attention to the region, and soon the poor country was cashing in on its children. "In Guatemala, it just started to become a business, nothing more," Ms. Dubinsky says. "It was a country in deep poverty that began to see its only value in exporting its children." (*Which also meant that the market had to exist for the children to have monetary value. And many of these children were not voluntarily surrendered. rw)


The increase in adoptions from China did not emerge out of a single event. The introduction of the country's one-child policy in 1979 and the Tiananmen Square massacre a decade later drew global attention to the country's human-rights abuses, and adoptive parents to its shores. (*And the one-child policy gave adopters the perfect excuse and assumptive rights to a child-savior's halo. rw)


In the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami, many well-meaning families rushed to adopt as an immediate way to provide help. "That's probably one of the first times that ever happened," Ms. Dubinsky says. "It's also the first time mainstream child-welfare organizations started saying it wasn't the right response."


Adoptions from Africa were not popular until the late 2000s, despite decades of well-publicized suffering, and were influenced by the celebrity families of Angelina Jolie and Madonna. Ethiopia experienced a surge of foreign adoptions three years ago.

Middle East

Although recent global conflicts have been focused on the Middle East, Islamic nations are the exception to the adoption trend. Muslim nations do not allow Western-style adoptions, although they do have a system for caring for orphaned children. "It's an interesting parallel," Ms. Dubinsky says. "I don't think we saw the same kind of human-rights coverage and calls to adoption agencies after the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions." (*I am going to say it. When it comes to adoption, the Muslim nations have the right idea. rw)


Ms. Dubinsky is troubled by the news that one of the same Miami groups involved in the Cuban airlift of children in 1960 has re-emerged in Haiti, calling itself Operation Pierre Pan.

And so it goes....when those whose work is adoption get worried about how it is being done, things have really gotten bad. But this was legally done to millions of young women in the middle of the 20th century and the reasons used were youth, poverty and marital status, or lack of one. None of those things are criminal in nature. Poverty still seems to be a good excuse for the DFC to confiscate kiddies, still, here at home. It is sinful and criminal, obviously, to be poor.

So now, abroad, it is a crime to keep your child within your family if a disaster has hit your homeland or if a war or invasion happens.....or, if your nation's politics are just not too popular with Uncle Sugar's enforcers.

I wonder if there are any people who have adopted, internationally. who might even be the least bit concerned about how that child became available and who was hurt to procure that child for their benefit?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Letter To The Editor

I don't know if it will appear in the paper, but I had to write the Orlando Sentinel and express my dismay over the antics of "Sister Mary." (see post below)

To The Editor;

I read, with appalled fascination, the story of "Sister Mary," aka, Laura Maria Caballero, on the front page of Sunday's (2/14/10) Sentinel. After reading it twice, I had some questions of my own about this person.

How did she become a guardian ad litum for Lake County? Is she an attorney or, in any way, certified for this position? And what moral authority did she possess to justify, coercing, hounding and otherwise making life miserable for these parents? Most importantly, since when is kidnapping considered false imprisonment?

Her tactics reminded me of the bad old days of maternity homes and forced surrenders. Families have problems. Many people are poor. Does that give this woman, or anyone, for that matter, the right to indulge in social engineering by taking their children?

I would tell her friends to see that she gets help and to stop making excuses for her. What she did was wrong. She should not be allowed within miles of any child.

Robin K. Westbrook
Sanford, FL

Sunday, February 14, 2010

There's Something About Sister Mary

Shades of the nuns of the BSE. Today, on the front page of The Orlando Sentinel, Sister Mary, AKA Laura Maria Caballero, has captured my appalled attention. In this in-depth article, Her Friends and Foes , characterize this woman as an "intense advocate or adversary." After reading the entire article I can only see a frustrated social engineer who carries around a delusion of having the moral authority  to coerce, badger, con, steal or otherwise remove children from their parents and even take them to another country.

She spent a lot of time trying to separate one Robina (*and I thought I was the only one) Robinson from her two young children, even going so far as to file suit in court for custody. Under what auspices she practiced her attempts at baby-theft is unclear. According to the Roman Catholic Church, she is not a nun, although she says she is. She supposedly is part of a sect that split from the Roman church but the lines are still vague.

Caballero rose to power in the St. Filomena Catholic Church in Eustis, FL, managed to get herself named a "guardian ad litum" in Lake County, and wielded her influence with vigor and arrogance. Robinson, in order to keep the good sister from taking her children, turned them over, temporarily, to the DCF and was re-granted custody. Robinson stated that Caballero "violated her trust" by pretending to look out for her best interests. She was relentless in her coercion attempts.

Another family with a little girl, Maria, was followed to South Carolina by our nasty nun, and persuaded to let her take the child, thinking she would return her to their relative's home. She told them, when she showed up in SC, that they would "never get away from" her. She took the little girl, instead, to Argentina and returned without her. That was in July of last year. On Feb. 2, Maria was returned to her family and the morality maven was charged with false imprisonment (NOT kidnapping???). So now child-theft is actually false imprisonment?

There are people who are trying to excuse this woman's behavior and she, herself, believes she has done nothing wrong. Meanwhile, there are more families that seem to have run afoul of Caballero during her guardian ad-litum days. They are calling the Lake County Sherrif's office to find out more about what has happened to children with whom she was involved. The spokesperson for the Sheriff's office says they are "very open-minded to where this can take" them. Huh?

Robina Robinson's husband put the poser to the public with this question. "I wonder how  many mothers are out there now that she convinced to give their kids up?" I wonder, too, Mr. Robinson. More than that, I wonder how she got away with it for so long and why it looks like it might be possible that she will, again. This woman needs a padded cell with a double lock far away from any children.

Georgia Tann reincarnated?

I had some time on my hands and decided to give poor sistah a make-over. This is my result.

Angelina WILL Have Herself a Haitian Trophy Kid (She Has Spoken)

"Our human impulse to rescue is a profound one and an honorable one. But what we think of as a rescue can often compound the losses that children and cultures experience. Most societies, no matter how desperately poor, cherish their children and it is a huge loss to them to have their children removed."—Jeanne Howard, co-director, Center for Adoption Studies, Illinois State University

If I had to attach a caption to the picture of LaJolie to the left, it would be, "Oh Yeah? Well I want a Haitian kid and I am going to get one!" She has already announced her intentions, no ifs, ands or buts and the Haitian government statements and the observations of so many, such as Jeanne Howard, EBDI spokespeople and us anti-adoption "extemests" be damned. She is going to add to her collection, regardless of how anyone, including the target child, feels about it.

Now, we are talking about a serial adopter, one who soul-kissed her own brother in front of the media, who wore a vial of her, then, husband's (Billy Bob "I'm Weird, Too" Thornton) blood on a chain around her neck. They also had tats that had to be changed, when the marriage went down the toilet. She has an unhealthy and hostile relationship with her father and had no compuction about stealing another woman's husband. But she seems to see herself as super-mom.

I would be willing to guess that she thinks if she adopts enough children she can look like a saint and a hero no matter how messed-up she really is. You've already proven you can reproduce on your own, Angie. Leave the children of other people and other cultures alone, already!

The Daily Bastardette and her Haitian Blog, End Child Exportation and Trafficking in Haiti, are good resources for keeping up with the unfolding story of chicanery in the midst of the Haitian crisis. What with the involvement of Jorge Puello, suspected child trafficker who deals in kid-flesh for all purposes, including the most heinous, and his possible connection with Sislby and the New Lifer "missionaries," the Haitian people don't need celebrities digging their greedy paws into the kiddie pool in that stricken nation.

Jolie has big money. So does her SO. Instead of using that to get another kid for her collection, why can't she use it to help Haitian families stay together, rebuild their homes and keep their heritage and culture intact? Now THAT would be heroic.

Just a thought.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Back To The Sad Stuff

It seems that now the Haitian government has decided to release the 10 "missionaries" and let them return to the US. If I were Silsby, I would sneak out the back door and run.

Bastardette's blog for today has the story and part of that story hit me right in the gut. It seems that while the Haitians were questioning the wing nut and her 9 little goobers, the children they had acquired by conning their parents were in the background, crying for their mothers. Is there a sadder sound on this earth than a child crying for his/her mother or a mother crying for her child?

It has been researched and postulated that our children, taken for adoption as infants, cried for us in pre-verbal grief. Of course the social workers and adopters did not want to think that the baby was actually grieving the loss of the most important person in their new, little lives. According to adopter and author, Nancy Verrier, in her book, "The Primal Wound," that is exactly what was happening. While I don't agree with all Verrier has to say in any of her publications, I am grateful that she brought this fact to the attention of the public. There is a wound, it is deep, it is painful and it leaves a painful scar.

I wonder, when I was crying for my children, after surrender, if they were also crying for me? I wonder if we all felt the wrongness of being separated? Did we all feel the aching, empty place, the confusion and incompleteness of the great Not There? A mother explained to her adult, reunited child that she was threatened with conditions of dire poverty for herself and her child if she did not surrender. The adoptee replied, "I would rather have struggled in poverty with you than to have lived in luxury without you."

These Haitian little ones didn't care about a good school, clothes, televisions and Game Boys...they wanted their people. They needed, more than anything, their mothers. The arrogance of these people who take these children from their homes, kin and cultures leaves me furious and incredulous at the same time. How smugly comfortable it must be to be so sure that your religion, your culture and your ideals are better than those of the people from another culture. If anyone wants to know what makes the Ugly American so homely, it is this attitude. We even have perpetrated this ugliness on our own citizens, and I am talking about the mothers of the Era of Mass Surrender and all mothers who have  been conned by agents and industry propaganda into thinking themselves toxic to their own babies.

I just want to see this reach the next level of correcting the wrong that was done and that is to deliver aid and help to the families so that they can all be together as Nature intended. We are not helping by taking their children, America! Those of you who are clamoring for a Haitian child or have managed to snag one are not saviors. You are meeting your own needs using a tragic disaster to do so.

No, you are not heroes. And I am not sorry I said so.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Just Because Sometimes, Ya Gotta Laugh

I, unabashadly, admit to stealing this from a friend who posted it on a private group.....and I don't care! I want this to be thought  of as a moment away from the dreary and depressing world of adoption separation. I want to put on a purple dress, a red hat and act silly.

Oh, I Wish I'd Looked After Me Tits

By Pam Ayres

Oh, I wish I'd looked after me dear old knockers,
Not flashed them to boys behind the school lockers,
Or let them get fondled by randy old dockers,
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me tits.

'Cos now I'm much older and gravity's winning.
It's Nature's revenge for all that sinning,
And those dirty memories are rapidly dimming,
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me tits.

'Cos tits can be such troublesome things
When they no longer bounce, but dangle and swing.
And although they go well with my Bingo wings,
I wish I'd looked after me tits.

When they're both long enough to tie up in a bow,
When it's not the sweet chariot that swings low,
When they're less of a friend and more of a foe,
Then I wish I'd looked after me tits.

When I was young I got whistles and hoots,
From the men on the site to the men in the suits,
Now me nipples get stuck in the zips on me boots,
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me tits.

When I was younger I rode bikes and scooters,
Cruising around with my favourite suitors.
Now the wheels get entangled with my dangling hooters,
I wish I'd looked after me tits.

When they follow behind and get trapped in the door,
When they're less in the air and more near the floor,
When people see less of them rather than more,
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me tits.

Friday, February 05, 2010

A Lady With A Past

That lady with the feces-eating grin, in the center of this picture is Laura Silsby. As the saga unfolds about her and the other nine "rescuers" who tried to leave Haiti with 33 children, we learn more and more about this shady lady.

"According to a report in her hometown newspaper, the Idaho Statesman, Ms. Silsby, the founder and C.E.O. of, is being sued by a former employee for unpaid wages and by a law firm for unpaid fees. The Statesman reports that she is due in a Boise court next Wednesday in connection with the suit by her former marketing director — a jury trial in that case is scheduled to start on Feb. 22 — and again in March in a suit filed by a local law firm."

I have a feeling that La Silsby won't be making those court dates due to the charge of child trafficking being laid on her by the Haitian government who is seeking a 25-year sentence. Now ain't that a kick in the head? It seems her entourage was just following along on what they thought was a mission for God (there goes Elwood Blues, again) and will only get short sentences. Their only crime was gullability and the usual arrogance of the fundies who think their religion, culture, etc., are so superior that it justifies taking children from their parents.

As I read the article, where these parents whose backs were against a major wall were promised visitation, no adoption and progress reports, I hearkened back to the coercion used on mothers from the BSE. Our backs were also against the wall. Our crisis was being isolated from our homes and families, shamed, blamed and rejected by society. Many of us were promised contact when our child became 18. Many of us were also promised the cookie-baking wife and the wise, pipe-smoking husband as adopters for our children. Ask us what we didn't get.They used our love for our children against us. We were also ripe for the picking for the social (engineering) workers. Be it an eathquake or an unjust society, the only help we or the Haitian parents were offered was removal of our children to a "better home."

It seems that the spirit of Georgia Tann, the infamous Baby Thief, is alive and well and predating on less affluent nations for adoptable children. Lest we think that Silsby was being altruistic, just read the article in the link above, about her financial and legal woes. For what some PAPs are willing to pay, she might have bought her way out of trouble if she had been able to get those kids out of Haiti. I doubt her group of hero wannabes would have ever seen a cent had her plan succeeded.

To keep abreast of these developments, End Child Exportation and Trafficking in Haiti, is the go-to blog. It also includes one of the better press releases from CUB that I have read in a while. I like what many are having to say and would love to hear the state department use stronger language than "unfortunate." This is more than unfortunate. Situations like this are pure, unadulterated, greed and arrogance-motivated crimes against Haitian families.

Ya gotta give it to the baby-sellers, though. If they can't get 'em here...they'll get 'em wherever they can.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bottlenecks R Them

(* quote below stolen from Bastardette's blog page*)
"Worse than thieves, murderers, or cannibals, those who offer compromise slow you and sap your vitality while pretending to be your friends. Compromisers are the enemy of all humanity, the enemies of life itself. Compromisers are the enemies of everything important, sacred and true."

~ L. Neil Smith

I am so often reminded, when I watch established "adoption reformers" doing their thing, of Albert Camus' 'Myth of Sisyphus.' Poor Sisyphus was doomed to spend eternity rolling a huge boulder to the top of a high hill, only to have it roll back down to the bottom where he would have to start back up again, ad infinitum.

In adoption reform, wheels are getting spun and the wrong questions are being asked. Rather than scrapping the entire system and starting over with something friendlier to children and families, the various organizations ask, "What cosmetic changes can we make to mollify the adult adoptees and mothers and keep adoption a going concern?"

With the child-trafficking debacle after the Haitian disaster making news every day, the industry and those that sleep with the enemy are rushing forward with paint and drapes to try to disguise the ugly. PAPs (prospective adoptive "parents") are holding their breath and cheering on those that would protect their interests, even if it means conning the poor out of their children.

What we have, people, is a wreck that has backed up any forward motion in reform  for miles. The only good thing that has come from this mess is the fact that more regular people are watching and asking questions. A non-adoption affected friend of mine asked, "Why are these people expecting us, the Haitians and everyone else to believe that these kids are better off with white, American families and that these children would not miss their own culture?" Good question,  Kathy. When I explained the idea of a young child as a "blank slate," she snorted.

One of the biggest problems we face is the fact that so many among us think that we can get somewhere by involving the industry and adopters in our struggle. That is where the compromises start...that is where good ideas get watered down to mere gestures...that is when the boulder starts rolling back down the hill and any idea of progress made is an illusion. It should be obvious that real reform is not in the interests of adopters or facilitators and, thus, we are bottlenecked and held back before we can even start moving.

Potential adopters are still being fed the idea that adopting is a saintly thing to do, that they are more deserving than the woman who bears the child, and that they can create a better world by impressing their values and theology on young children who can't even speak English. Even though it is a bit of a fairy tale, we have learned that people believe what they want to believe and the truth be damned.

If we want to make progress, we need to take the wheel of the vehicle of change away from those whose interests lie in keeping the adoption business a brisk one.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Things Are Getting Religiously Ridiculous

"We can tell him he's adopted when he's older." 

As I keep up with the farce going on with the different religious groups trying to harvest Haitian children, I can't help but wonder what the man, in whose name these nutbars do their deeds, would think. If he is, indeed, historically genuine and if he said even a part of what is attributed to him, I think he would be less than pleased. Where did Jesus say, "steal the little children and give them to only those who think they follow me?"

The LDS are the latest to merit a very good article posted by Bastardette. And the good old disciples of cult-founding nutbars Smith and Young are dealing in big numbers. They are going for over 100. A new blog, initiated by BD and friends, is a good read, a chronicle of the ongoing attempts by religious groups and agencies to grab while the grabbing is good. Who cares about little matters of culture and color and language when you can create good little fundies without having to birth them, yourself? Who cares about how these children really do and really will feel about their so-called "rescues?"

After my experience as a BSE Mother, I can relate this attitude to the social workers and agencies that "worked with" me when I was coerced into surrendering. It is pure, blind arrogance and/or unadulterated greed. It is a fact that the home-grown adoptable infant became scarce so these Ultra-Maroon Nimrods (thank you, Bugs Bunny) have cast their nets abroad in increasingly diverse directions.

I vividly remember what one PAP posted on a certain, adoption-happy forum that will remain anonymous. She railed against a 16-year-old who had decided to keep and raise her baby. "How dare she? That baby should have been MINE!" She went on to post about how much more suitable and deserving she was. She was a prime example of the insanity of adoption, baby-coveting and the dogma of those who facilitate this madness. This madness has reached its Zenith when people think they have rights that overreach those of mothers and blood kin.

Somewhere, in our culture, we have developed something dark, nasty and dangerous. The Ugly American is alive, well and predating on everything from petroleum rights to children. The arrogance of so many of us, assuming that our culture, governmental structure, religion and ideals are so superior to anyone else's, has made America a dim shadow of what it was supposed to be. Of course, the US should be largely populated and governed by Native Americans but that's another blog for a political site.

Every time I see a "choose life" license plate or see the huge number of religious TV and radio stations and conservative pundits pushing their poison, I want to run away....far away. I wonder what is there of the God of love in any of this? Agape' is only offered as an incentive to convert. We are well on our way to having a state religion in this country and it will be one that is not friendly to the mothers who are single, young and poor. It has already proven itself to be a nemesis to the children of other cultures.

It is the "faith of our fathers" that was instrumental, along with the newly-fledged, "professional" social worker that perpetrated the horror of the Era of Mass Surrenders in the US. It was and is the greed of a corrupt system that keeps this blasphemy alive.

Global warming doesn't scare me that much. I guess I'd rather be doomed than damned.