Friday, March 26, 2010

Adoption Is Not My Life

A lot of people on various forums and those who read our blogs think that those of us involved in activism live, breathe and dine on adoption, surrender and OBC bills. Well, I'm here to tell you that there are times when the angst, drama and general silliness of the various adversaries are the last thing on our agendas. In fact, they aren't even on the guest list.

Today, I could give a damn about any of it. I am facing surgery, today, at 3:00 and I am not above being a little scared. It is supposed to be minimally invasive and a quick in and out of the hospital and, for that, I am grateful. But I don't like needles and pain and any of the rest of it any more than anyone else.

Hubby has a procedure on Monday and his sister, bless her, will provide transportation since I will be unable to drive. This is a yearly thing, but, because he has an incurable IBD, we always dread the results. When he gets sick, I concentrate on him, not what celebrity is raiding a third world county for kiddie accessories. He is one in a million and I love him more today than I did 20 years ago when we were married. He is kind, strong and a real gentleman and has more manhood in his little finger than any other man that was ever in my life had in his whole body.

Then, an unexpected jolt came yesterday afternoon. Our Rocky-dog had a funny-looking lump removed from the area right over his neutering scar this past Monday. The vet called while the RockMeister was out with hubby for his afternoon walk and I went to pieces. The mass was cancerous, mast cell cancer, and the prognosis is guarded pending an examnation by a vetinary oncologist. This little fella has had a rough road with his health. We just want him to have the best quality of life, possible. We are preparing ourselves for the worst, but hoping and praying for the best.

This sweet, little dog has been a source of joy since we adopted (the only way to adopt) him from the shelter. He is a typical terrier who thinks he is a bull mastiff, he has some grungy habits and loves garbage and rolling in smelly stuff. He will turn up his nose at his food in order to beg from the table and will then clean his bowl when we refuse his begging. He is chubby, barks at the doorbell or any knock, barks at people in wheelchairs and scooter chairs (to our chagrin) and is a friend to anyone who will scratch him behind his ears. He stresses when we are gone and goes nuts with ecstasy when we come home. He dances in little circles of excitement when we get his leash out.

So, you see, adding my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, friends and family to the mix, I have a lot of life going on...some wonderful, some problematic. This is one of those times when my cause takes a real back seat to everything else. There are plenty of brave moms and adopted people with the right ideas to carry on and I will be back with them, after I take care of the most important people in my life right now; Me, My Hubby and the Rock-Man.

My maternal grandmother (a staunch Southern Baptist) used to quote this little ditty when I would say, "It's just not FAIR!" She would chant, "Life is real and life is earnest, and the grave is not our goal. Dust we are to dust returneth, is not spoken of the soul."

Grandma, I don't know that I agree with the theology, but you're right about one thing. Life is REAL. And if there is a heaven and you are watching me, take care of us, OK?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Emotions, Surrender, and Justice, Oh My!

We mothers of SMAAC often get criticized for being angry like that is some kind of character defect. Well, it can be, I guess, if it isn't justified and properly channeled. But this is the picture that those who say we are bitter and angry see in their minds. They seem to think we wear that anger, like a hair shirt, 24/7. Well, Yeah...we are pissed over a grave injustice done to vulnerable girls and women with impunity, just because the doers could. But give us a break. We do have a life. What we do with our anger is to direct it into activism, writing, voting and bringing to light the cause we hold dear. We are no longer naive nor are we without intelligence and experience that allows us to find a healthy way to use our displeasure. Righteous indignation is not a crime.

The same group of critics think we are languishing in depression and grief, never able to pull ourselves out of the dungeon of our despair. Anyone who has ever lost anyone dear to them will tell you that there are always moments of sadness when you think about that loss. But that doesn't mean we cover ourselves in ashes every morning. Would it surprise anyone to know that we joke and laugh and even do fun things with our families and friends?  I have a flash of grief when I remember my mother's death and the death of my step-son. Who wouldn't? I cannot say that I don't feel a pain in the region of my heart when I remember saying goodbye to my babies.

This critical bunch also has accused us of overreacting to certain events. What do we have, they wonder, about which to be alarmed? As long as it doesn't affect us directly, it shouldn't matter, should it? Why do all that blogging and write all those letters and get yourself all "worked up?" Why debate certain points on forums and get involved in arguments? What's the pay-off? Can anyone benefit from this? Jeeze...what about peace of mind and positive thinking? The fact that a single person could get educated seems to escape the Nay-sayers.
All of this really makes me want to laugh, at times. We, as a nation, are so afraid of our emotions that we give them entirely too much power. The stoical, judgmental Puritan lives on and on in our society. Emotions are just that, emotions, neither good nor bad. It is how you act on them that makes the difference. Anger, for instance, is not toxic unless we let it become a source of resentment and hostility that precludes any meeting of minds or hearts. Used as fuel for a just cause, it can be positive and a rational, reasonable response. Twelve-step programs are great for teaching people how to cope with emotions and not to fear them. In fact, they see fear, not anger, as our greatest enemy.

Now courage, as most already know, is not the absence of fear, but doing what you think is right in spite of your fear. It takes a lot of ovarian fortitude for women who were told to go, sin no more and keep your mouths shut or your life will be ruined and no decent man will ever want you, to come out of the beemommie closet. When we do, we have a lot of intense feelings through which we have to sort and conclusions to reach. Some of us have reached the conclusion, after our emergence into the light of truth, that we can best deal with our experiences by trying to find justice and equality for us and our children. Gosh, what a concept! I don't know that I expect to find it in my lifetime, but I will be happy to sow the seeds for a later harvest. You see, I have a darling great-granddaughter and I want the horror of surrendering a child to the adoption industry to be completely off her radar.

So go ahead. Gibe, slur, slam and get snarky. Each person does what they have to do. But I choose not to see emotions as either negatives or positives, but as internal indications that there is something going on which I need to investigate and respond to, rationally. I will continue with SMAAC, with writing this blog and my other blog which is my paean to liberal politics, I will continue to be alarmed and indignant about dirty open records bills that teem with contact vetoes and intrusive demands for "medical information." I will wipe away a tear when I think of the dear ones I have lost, the time I have lost in my children's lives, and the way I was treated as a pregnant teen. If there is something about which to get huffy, then get huffy, I will.

And, most of the time, I will be glad to be alive, to have people to love and to find life, itself, so laughable at times that I can even laugh at myself. My cup is half full and I won't let this crap take me down with it. Heck, I can even get pissed, now and then. A good fight never really diminished anyone. I breathe better when the air is cleared.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

They're Coming Out Of The Woodwork

Now that it has been established (by NOW and whomever) that we mothers are fragile flowers of womanhood, unable to protect ourselves or set our own boundaries, and that all adopted people want or need is their genetic medical history, the dirty bills are popping up like prairie dogs from their burrows. Like prairie dog burrows, those machinations go for miles, underground and out of sight.

How can we tell a "dirty" bill from a "clean" bill? Ah, children, gather round and let me give you a quick tutorial in Legislative Shuck and Jive;101.

To begin, the objective has been a simple all sealed original birth certificates in order to give adopted people the right to know who they are and where they originated. This also gives mothers the avenue to know how their children fared. We surrendered parental rights and responsibilities, NOT the right to know our children and know about their welfare and that was largely done under duress.

Simple and straightforward, this is all that the major players have wanted but no one counted on the influences of adopter loyalty (let's tell them we just want medical info so they don't get threatened), the industry who covers its own arse at any cost, legal eagles who also profit from adoption, and resentful adult adoptees who will approve anything that penalizes the mother. Add these to the mix along with other such influences  and, voila! The "dirty" open records bill.

The dirty bill contains contact vetoes, intermediaries, intrusive medical history forms and more loopholes than those in an attorney's wet dreams. Dirty bills treat adult adoptees like eternal children and mothers like fainting, weak sisters, hiding behind a curtain (shades of Blanche Dubois). The list of constitutional rights being stepped on by these specious pieces of proposed legislation is a long one, but the right to free association, and the right to true privacy (not the constructed idea of guaranteed anonymity that was never promised mothers in the first place) come to mind.

So, in NJ, MO, IL, and on and on, these crippled excuses for open records bills keep popping up and mothers who have any self-worth and adopted people who only want to be treated like everyone else are reading them with horror. This is "Open Records ala The Industry." The bottom line is that this nation is so absorbed in its capitalistic, assumed superiority that anything that threatens the market place, even if the product is a human child, cannot be allowed without oversight. "What we have here is a failure to communicate?" I don't think so. What we have here is the industry and its synchophants playing bully. This is deja vu for mothers and "too damn bad" for the adopted person.

I keep remembering an old movie where the line, "Ya can't fight city hall," was spoken and some brave soul went forward and did just that. We, mothers and adopted people, are so factioned and scattered that only a few of us are heard and, even then, the voices of the industry, the establishment, adopter, etc., do all they can to drown us out. To fight city hall and these dirty bills, we are going to have to challenge them from the get-go. We need to keep talking and talking loud and, when and if anyone tries to enforce some of these restrictions and conditions, we fight back and let them know why.

I am seeing something in this catering to special interests that has bothered me for a long time. We no longer have a great nation...we have a powerful one....for now. Like Greece, Rome, Ancient Persia, the USSR and others, if we keep on this elitist path where people like us, mothers and their lost children, can be so manipulated by the industry, and where poverty has become a crime punishable by the loss of children and sociall derision, then we are going the way of the civilizations listed above. I can feel our decline on many fronts, but especially on this one that is close to my heart.

Both we and our adult children deserve nothing less than a clean, simple bill. We can handle the rest of it, ourselves.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Open Records, Again; Who's Protecting Who?

It has been reported that the Michigan chapter of the National Orginazation of Women (NOW) opposes the legislation, HB 4015, being considered in that state espousing open access to the original birth certificate for adult adopted people along with the usual demands for contact vetoes and mandatory medical forms. While we mothers at SMAAC have reservations where all the open records bills are concerned that attempt to compel medical information forms, we found the NOW statement and reply to backers of the bill interesting. As Alice said, "Curiouser and curiouser."

The women of NOW are just as emotionally and, probably, financially invested in keeping adoption a going concern and the lowly b****mother in her place as any other group that favors adoption and closed records. Many of these women have pursued the dream of "having it all" and delayed starting a family until it was too late to produce many viable of the leading causes of infertility in the US. Thus, many have adopted and they want their "as if born to" fantasy as much as any other adopter. Many of them are attorneys. It is so good of them, they who endeavor to present women as strong and capable, to feel that we weak and vulnerable mothers need protection. Which side of the mushroom do I bite on that one?

If the OBC were opened to all adopted people and mothers, there looms, for the adopters, the specter of reunion. If the idea that SMAAC has espoused, repeal of the amended birth certificate, were enacted, then the fantasy of as if born to is crushed from the start. So the lobbyists and protesters (like the MI Bar Association, the NCFA, NOW) start bombarding the committee the minute the bill gets to them. And all of their protests and all of their conditions and requirements seem to have one (admitted) rallying cry...the assumed-to-be "guaranteed privacy" of the (natural)mother. YEAH, RIGHT!

They completely ignore the fact that we were never promised any confidentiality past our stays in maternity homes and situations prior to coerced surrender. They just want to keep the fantasy going so as not to kill the lucrative market and are not above placing mothers' heads on the chopping block, yet again, to get what they want. And neither adopted person nor mother is, obviously, considered capable of handling their own information and relationship.

My good friend, "Mandy Lifeboats," stated it well when she said, "Bottom-line. ..medical history aside, adoption agency records aside...the Adoption Industry does not want to allow anything that may compromise their business of adoption. They are fearful of the paying adopters deciding not to adopt at all, if the adopter cannot pretend forever, that the child they may want to purchase will not be 'as if born to'. If one has been reading at the blog I gave the link to the other day...which included comments from adopters not wanting to fill out the 2010 Census truthfully about the adopted children in their households, one can see that adopters are still fighting tooth and nail to uphold in their adopter heads....'as if born to'" Hey Mandy! I lost the link...send it to me. I'll plug it in.

Here is an excerpt from the MI NOW response letter to the bill backers that shows how the NCFA works.
"There is additional information on this issue at National Council for Adoption. Here is a quote from one article; "Unfortunately, the loudest voices legislatures and the public generally hear regarding this issue belong to a small minority of adopted persons who insist upon an absolute right to identify and even to contact their birthparents, without birthparents’ consent. A small but nationally well-organized group of activists seeks to eliminate confidentiality in adoption, or “secrecy and shame,” as they attempt to caricature it. This vocal minority has little to lose simply by persevering year after year in their efforts to eliminate confidentiality in adoption. That is not the case for birthparents who desire their privacy, however. By standing up for their rights, they lose them in the process." Consent or Coercion? How Mandatory Open Records Harm Adoption , Thomas C. Atwood (adopter)"

Atwood has also been heard to remark that the adopters, who understood what we were subjected to when forced to surrender, couldn't help the b****mothers because they would never have been able to become "parents" if they had.

Our adult children, the adopted people who are seeking the right to their original birth certificates are also, in many cases, feeling compelled to protect their adopters. So, despite what is said, if you keep moving around the Mad Hatter's table at the tea party, you can only come to the conclusion that no one is protecting natural mothers or adopted people. That is why we have to do it ourselves. If we want to avoid legal battles and unfair, one-sided regulations we have to stand up and say, Not No, But Hell No. Adopted people who are knowledgable, want what they have yet to get...a clean bill.

Whenever I read about all of this, I can come to only one conclusion. Someone has been down the rabbit hole too long.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wake Up Little Suzie and Smell the Inequality

We have been bombarded, in recent years, with tales of pedophilia among Catholic priests, the latest news being from Ireland. Here's another case of the patriarchy having to face the mess they made and trying to clean up the sludge.

It seems, from stories that have come out about the members of the RC clergy that sexually abused children, that it was more important for the church to save face than to protect its children. When there should have been outrage among the princes of the church at the perverse and deviant nature of these men, there were, instead, shuffles, secrecy and cover-ups. Not until the shame of this heinous behavior was outed by some brave victims has the church offered any kind of apology, recompense or even a response.

HOWEVER, while the men in Roman collars practiced their predilictions on the innocent, the RC church was busy pointing the finger of shame at the unmarried mother. We were seen as deviant, psychologically unsound and morally stunted for the simple fact that we loved, maybe not wisely but too well, and dared to be fertile. Rickie Solinger's "Wake Up Little Suzie" chronicles this attitude, beautifully.

Catholic Charities has a dark history of their treatment of the unmarried mom. They join all the other Christian churches from the era of mass surrenders in treating us as harlots, not worthy to parent our own offspring. Let's see,, male priest sexually molesting children...young girl in love becoming pregnant. Forgive me if I see "sin" only behind door number one.

I guess, reading the story this AM of the Pope praying over the actions of the RC church in Ireland covering up their sticky messes, the hypocricy of the "Christian" establishment really hit me the wrong way...again. The constant attempts by the patriarchial system to make women the villians in all things sexual grates on my sensibilities, more and more, the older I get.  I wonder at the society that cannot see the obvious disparity in this equation.

I keep hoping that women, united and brave, will stand up and protest this double standard. I will probably keep hoping until I die. I keep hoping that anti-mother laws like the state regulation that would make miscarriage a crime in Utah and the open records bills that require deeply personal information from the mother under the guise of "medical information" will be protested by women in defense of themselves and their sisters. I keep hoping........

Meanwhile, we can all rest a bit easier (sarcasm intended)  knowing that the RC church is apologizing for and praying about the perverted priests who ruined quite a few childhoods. This is too little, too late, but it is better than what we have received from anyone, so far. Millions of young women, mostly white, mostly middle class, had their motherhood sacrificed on the altar of a prurient society more concerned with the assumed sins of the bedroom than the horrors of war. Who prays about our pain and suffering and the suffering of our children? Who admits that we were badly mistreated and opens up the secret vaults for public appraisal?

No one....YET.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Devaluing of Women and Natural Family

As shown in my previous post, the value of the natural family and women in the US is fading, fast. It is easy to forget that the first settlers in the New World were the Puritans whose rigid, judgmental, misogynictic dogma would, had they had the numbers to accomplish it, have become the state religion of the infant New World Colonies.

Our founding fathers from the 1700's were, for the most part, Theists or agnostics, intellectual thinkers and doers. Even then, women were not considered when they proclaimed that "All men are created equal." Women in the US, today, walk around in a pink cloud of assumed equality when, as shown by the provisions in the previous post of the healthcare bill, we are still an underclass with no say about our own bodies, reproductive rights or freedoms.

Look at the rest of the world. There have been female monarchs, prime ministers, presidents and leaders of national governments everywhere except here. Think Golda Meir, Indira Ghandi, Margaret Thatcher and then see us, where a woman can run, but doesn't seem to be able to win the highest office in the land.

Another result of our capitalistic system is the criminalization of the poor. It seems to be an accepted fact that poverty precludes the right to parent. Yet many high-achieving citizens were raised in poverty. Try thinking about Abraham Lincoln, for instance. But these days, the small families of unmarried mothers, especially, are seen as nothing but breeding farms for adopters who put off child-bearing until it was too late.

I was raised in a mill village in SC. We never had a lot of "things" and money was always tight, but we had a good childhood and were encouraged to excel. My grandmother made most of my clothes, my mother worked long hours as did my aunt and other members of our extended family who worked to keep my sisters, my mother and me together after my father left us. Other kids went to the fair every year with a twenty-dollar bill in their hand. We did chores to earn the princely sum of $5 each and had to forego cotton candy and more than one ride on the Scrambler. Yet there was no thought of allowing us to be raised by adopters rather than in the bosom of our own kin.

But, as technology advanced, so, it seems, has the idea that one has to be affluent to be deserving of anything, including children. One single mother, needing help, was villified as a "welfare queen" even when she went on to become a doctor and a pillar of the community. The mass American psyche is just too lazy to pick apart the stereotypes to get at the truth.

That brings us to the giant step backwards for women. I get really disgusted with NOW when they back legislation that only settles for little parts of what is needed. In the present wording of the healthcare bill, we and our reproductive rights are worth less than a man's ability to achieve an erection. Birth control will still be hard to come by for the less affluent woman, but hubby can take the magic pill and turn out babies for adoption on a regular basis. Gosh, you might think the adoption industry and the big drug company lobbies had a hand in that little bit of inequality. And, with this bill, all the good old boys can take the pill at the club so that they can service their mistresses before they go home to wifey. Ah, life in the USA.

Despite the fact that single motherhood has, on the surface, become more acceptable, anti-woman bills are being pushed in state after state to punish and profit from one person...the single mother. Murphy Brown aside, we are moving in reverse, sociologically, at an alarming rate. I fear for my great-granddaughter and what she might have to face when she matures.

I voted for Mr. Obama and I apologize to no one for doing so. But I am disappointed that, in order to get the health care reform bill through the congress, he might be allowing the kind of inequality that made that FOX reporter think he could insult the leader of the free world in an interview. He'll receive my letter today and I hope someone with some influence reads it. You can take away my faith in the system, but not my hope that it can be fixed.

For the sake of women in the US, single mothers and natural families, let's hope this bill doesn't pass as written. I'm 64 years old and my husband and I are comfortable. But I wasn't always in this position. I suffered because of that fact. It's time we moved ahead instead of retrreating to the bad old days. Unless a significant number of strong women speak out, that is exactly where we are heading.

I sure don't want to go there.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Playing The Abortion/Birth Control Card

IT IS CONFIRMED BY JOHN IN SENATOR CASEY'S OFFICE IN WASHINGTON, DC!! This IS part of the verbiage of the healthcare bill as it now stands.

"Sen. Casey’s alternate plan will further reduce the number of abortions by:

* creating a federal Pregnancy Assistance Fund, which will receive $250 million over 10 years to provide funding for assistance to pregnant and parenting teens and college students, as well as pregnant victims of domestic violence;

* increasing federal funding for adoption by $1.2 billion over the next two years.

If there are any bubble-headed Pollyannas out there who cannot see the disparity in this, then a lot of my friends or former friends are not as bright as I thought they were. This shows just how little the mother is valued in our system. As a very astute friend put it, "this shows that adoption is the priority over family preservation."

This will make it more difficult for women in the direst of circumstances to obtain a safe, legal termination if that is needed in their case. It would be an out-of-pocket expense and would, I am sure, decrease the number of providers because the number of women who could afford it would go down. IMO, Casey is pandering to the industry and the self-righteous Right Wingers among his constituency.

Isn't is peculiar that Viagara is covered under this plan but birth control isn't? This is unacceptable.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I have had it! I have spent the last few days with my husband, working to realize our dream of a retirement home in the mountains of West Virginia. We have purchased a 6.25-acre tract that fronts a trout stream, has a natural spring on the property and puts our nearest neighbor almost a mile from us. Ah, blissful peace, quiet and gorgeous views and no jetport glide path...we are excited about this.

But, while this wonderful thing has been happening, I have watched our group of mothers, who are tired of being dumped on, being dragged through the mud on blogs and message boards. I am totally fed up.

I can almost understand the adopted people who are being so vicious. They really have no conception of what the laws and life, in general, were all about in the EMS. Getting some of them to read the history is futile. They see the swinging 60's as a time of drugs, sex and rock and roll and don't realize the limitations of that kind of life to large cities and/or small but loud groups. Even in that decade, we were still seen as deviant and scofflaws if we had babies without the "legalization" of marriage.  But, enough about that. These kids will either learn or they won't.

What really pisses me off is the mothers...good women, really, but not exactly supportive of their sisters...who pursue the belief that we have some kind of guilt-based OBLIGATION to support whatever the adoptee groups want in the way of open records legislation, regardless of how that legislation might treat the mother. Women who were formerly our friends are accusing us of misrepresentation on forums (that didn't happen) and chiding us for our refusal to be good little beemommies and put up with the nastiness.

I don't suffer the loss of friends very well. To see the factions and the fighting is heart-breaking. To be seen as the enemy by, not only adopted people, but other mothers is painful and frustrating. Yeah, you've succeeded in causing us some unpleasant moments. BUT, you haven't taken the fight out of us.

So here it is. We can either find some common ground and work together or I will be just as content to sit on my mountainside and watch the stumbling, bumbling and industry-run results and shake my head. I am tired of being judged by people who don't know me, watching women who have good minds and hearts losing their backbone to misguided guilt and seeing good friends being attacked on other venues. It's stupid, unnecessary and a waste of time and talent.

Oh, don't think I would be running away. I will still speak out when the ignorant diss mothers and their grief and loss. I will still engage in a smack-down whenever anyone tries to call me a "b****"mother or talks about how freakin' wunnerful adoption is. I will do everything in my power to keep young women from surrendering if I have a way to communicate with them. But I refuse to contribute what talents and energy I possess to timid, one-sided "baby steps" that are blatantly anti-mother.

Last night, I learned that one of the most knowledgable and caring mothers I know, who has been an activist longer than any of us, was mangled on another blog's comment section. I was tired from our long drive from WV to FL but I was so steamed it took me a while to get to sleep. Had I jumped in, I doubt if what I have to say would have been coherent due to fatigue and anger. I accepted a comment from the mother who publishes that particular blog and explained where we were in disagreement. Yet, over there, there was no one to agree to disagree with my friend.* They just wanted to tear her to shreds. I won't go look because I don't think it would help my state of mind. At this point, I am just ready to fight and I need to cool down.

This is the reason I don't publish argumentative or hostile comments on my blog. This is a safe place for our considered and thoughtful opinions and ideas....not a place to fight off the onslaught of offensive attitudes. But don't underestimate any of us. We have had enough and we are not afraid to take off the gloves and give as good as we get. Obviously, facts, reason and intelligent, rational thought are not effective.

If this is an example of how women treat each other, no wonder we haven't had a woman as president, yet. There seem to be more cats among us than lionesses.

( *I want to make a correction to what I have written. This is what I get for jumping before I read everything. It seems that there are some mothers, among them the mother who publishes the blog in question, that do agree with us about the medical records situation. I am sorry for my error. To the others, I give my children what they need out of love, NOT obligation. To use that term in a mother/adult child relationship is really obscuring all that the mother-child relationship is all about. )

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ugliness; My Mama Told Me So

I can remember when, as a small child, my mother would chide me when I pitched a tantrum or sulked. "Where is my pretty little girl?" she would ask. "Is she hiding behind that ugliness? You better watch out or your face will stick like that." It would usually snap me out of my  pique when she said this, and we would talk about whatever was bothering me.

Online, of late, I have seen enough ugliness to last me a lifetime. Mothers accusing other mothers of something they didn't do, just because we don't follow their line of thought is bad enough. But what we are hearing from some of the adopted people is so hateful and ugly as to be grotesque.

One commenter on a previous blog described it best, so I quote; "at one time, I believed that first mothers and adoptees had common ground, common interests, that we could work together. but it is being called an "abandoner" and being the target of anger, that more than anything has convinced me that there is little or no common ground.
e.g. -- what one mother had said on one message board:

"... sometimes a mother had as much choice in the surrender as a rape victim has about being raped. Just as coerced sex is rape, no matter what type of coercion is used or at what point the victim states 'No!,' coerced surrender is not a 'choice.'..."

response from adoptee: "Yeah. And we all crawled out of our mother's hoo-hoo and put OURSELVES up for adoption, right?... Givemeafuckingbreak."

and "Your birthers are victims crap doesn't fly here."

and, as with previous similar comments, all other adoptees showed with their tacit silence that they agreed.
so, sadly, I am no longer convinced that there is any understanding or common ground between the two groups, adoptees and natural parents. Maybe not even enuf for open records or adoption reform."

I wonder if the people making these comments about mothers realize just how petty, infantile and ugly they sound? Their logic suffers, as well. The vast majority of us from the EMS WERE coerced into surrendering. It is historical fact. When there is no choice given, none can be used. It was the facilitator, the industry that "put you up for adoption," We didn't give birth and boot you out. Many of us fought, argued, begged and bargained in order not to lose our babies. This is why we use the term "surrender." We were backs to the wall and waving a white flag because it was ALL WE COULD DO, Givemeafuckingbreak, too.

And yes, us "birthers" (what a horrid word) did suffer pain. Who wouldn't when they are told, persistently, that they would be toxic to their own child if they kept them? There was not only the grief of loss, but the pain of being made to feel worthless, unfit and abandoned by family and our babies' fathers. So your denial of the mothers' pain crap doesn't even get on the runway, here.

We have come to a bit of an impasse, here. Or, as was said in the movie, "Hud," "What we have here is a failure to communicate." said the chain gang boss as he held his rifle in his hand. The adopted people who have assumed this ugly, viscious persona will find little to no cooperation from mothers. How can we, when we are treated as if we are OBLIGED to roll over and let you walk across our prone forms? (And I have a word or two for a couple of mothers and adoptees on that "Obligation" idea.)

So, as noted by the commenter, some of us are dropping out of the fight and seeing to our own issues. What's the use when we are disrespected and reviled, not only by adopted people, but some of our own sister mothers as well? It's lose-lose before we can even get a good start. And to our sister moms who don't mind being used as rugs and feel that mothers are less worthy than the adopted person, and who will take on the label of abandoner with a sweet smile...GROW A SET!

OK, Kiddos...say bye-bye to Mommy. Bye-Bye.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sitting In It

I used to be held static by my emotions, unable to grow and doing myself a major injustice by justifying my emotion-driven attitudes by saying, more or less, "I don't care what the facts are...I just know how I feeeeeel. *sniffle"

In my late 30's and early 40's, I knew that my knee-jerk, emotional reactions to life were causing me and others unnecessary pain. I figured it was past time to grow up and entered a treatment program. It was there that I first heard this comment and it is now, one of my favorites, crude though it may be.

"Many people," said my friend in the program, "sit in a warm pile of shit until it becomes so comfortable they start ignoring the smell." I learned how true that was because changing my thinking and adjusting my emotional responses was scary. Change is scary, but the rewards are worth it. I learned, then, how to link my head with my gut. Practice, practice, practice. I had to look myself in the mirror, every day and tell myself that I WAS worthy of happiness and that I WAS a decent person and had NOTHING of which to be ashamed. I could forgive myself my missteps and stand tall.

To anyone who defends holding on to stinking thinking by saying that emotions don't respond to logic, I have to say you are both right and wrong. Emotions are not logical. And, being illogical, we have to be careful that we are not ruled, in our actions and attitudes, by emotions that are illogical and erroneous. And yes, emotions can be changed if we are willing to work at it.

I spent a big part of my life hating my father who abandoned us when I was 5. I mistrusted men, yet wanted, desperately, to find a male of the species who would counterract the message I received as a small child...that I was unworthy and a cast-off. Those feeling were exacerbated by the deep pain my mother lived with, day in and day out, because she really loved my father. Then I was abandoned by the father of my firstborn and raped by the father of my second child. I came to see all men as selfish, untrustworthy and out for only one thing. I lived by a "use first before you are used" mantra..very emotional and how I, indeed, felt, but neither right nor productive for a good life.

Unfortunately, for my first husband, I brought those feelings into my first marriage. That we lasted as long as we did, to raise two fine children, was a miracle because I treated him very poorly based only on an old tape, running in my head that said he and all men OWED me. He wasn't the right man for me, any way, but I wanted respectability and children I could keep so I used him for that. It wasn't fair or right for either of us or our children, who were actually relieved when we divorced.

Funny, I am now married to a wonderful man and I have male friends and I no longer tar them all with the same brush. Gee, I actually changed my thinking AND my feelings. I did it by practicing fairness and compassion and a lot of other really neato spiritual values. (*note that I said spiritual...not religious.) I actually was abandoned, not once, but twice, yet I managed to not see all men as "abandoners" and stopped acting like they owed me something for the way my father and a couple of them used my innocence and naivete'.

I decry the kind of "counseling" that allows people to sit in their pain (shit) and spin their wheels without ever reaching a better level of feeling and understanding. I did some inner child work. I embraced her, forgave her, comforted her and then slapped her on the butt and told her to grow up. She appreciated the comfort and the spanking.

So, when it comes to emotions, how we perceive others, what we feel we should expect from others and how we express that, it seems that feelings can respond to logical thinking if you keep at it and really want to feel better about life, in general. It is very simple but it isn't easy. It takes WANTING to grow and learn and feel better. It takes recognition of the fact that you can't judge every member of one group of people by the unfortunate actions of a minority. It requires fairness and compassion and rejection of stinking thinking. Mothers and adopted people should be in the fight together, but for some very stinking thinking, from adoptees and other mothers who are sitting in their own warm piles of guilt and self-righteous martyrdom.

You can overcome that kind of thing. Or you can sit in your warm pile of shit until you can no longer detect the stench and your butt-print is embedded in the crap.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Am A WHAT???????

I no longer feel safe within the larger community of mothers of adoption loss. The anger of the adoptees and the unresolved guilt of many mothers, especially those who did not go on to have other children, has allowed a new label...Abandoner. The vicious, hostile sound of that reverberates in the heart of every mother who was coerced and/or forced to do what she was told was the only possible thing she could do for the well-being of her child.

I sat at my laptop, in a motel, last night and read some of this crap and almost cried in frustration. Adopted adults are demanding that we place ourselves in the path of legal jeapordy because they suffer from "emotional abandonment." Let's see..I suffer from the emotional perception of lack of riches so maybe we need a law to make me a millionaire. Everyone, whether they contributed to my particular financial state or not, would be forced to feed the kitty. It doesn't matter that I am solvent and my needs are being met. I feel emotionally poorer than Bill Gates so that is enough, isn't it?

Then there are the mothers...women with whom I felt a bond of sisterhood for having endured the same horrible situation and loss. But these women seem to be so overwhelmed with guilt or so enamoured of the idea of self-sacrifice that they are content to be seen as abandoners and feel that we must offer our last drop of blood to the adopted people of the nation. NO, to these women. I DID NOT ABANDON MY BABIES!!!!!!!!!!! How can a kid who is under the control of her parents, frightened and confused and made to carry an unbelievable load of shame be a willful abandoner? And, whether you agree or not, willful is the only adverb that will suffice in the true definition of abandoner.

It doesn't matter what we were compelled to sign or had signed for us. It doesn't matter what the emotional perception of the adoptee might be (especially the rejected ones who want to hate all mothers). It doesn't matter about the unresolved guilt and desire for martydom of these mothers. What matters are the facts and, if one is emotionally sound and sane, the facts will translate into the proper emotions.

About 30 years ago, I realized that I had problems and I decided to do something about them. I went into a program for eating disordered people and I learned that I was operating on old, childhood misconceptions and old tapes running in my head. What I had to do was to learn to correct the misconceptions and burn those old tapes. A simple concept but certainly not one easily accomplished, I still wanted to be at peace and sane so I had at it and guess what? All that guilt and misguided sense of carrying the responsibility of the happiness of the world on my shoulders went away, bit by bitter bit. I am certainly not emotionally perfect, but I am sound enough in my self-image that I refuse to pick up a burden just because it is thrown at me.

The size of my world is getting smaller and smaller. Right now, there are just a few mothers that I can count as friends and from whom I get genuine support. There are also a few adopted people who see the truth behind the harsh and harmful lies and I can communicate with them on an equal basis. Other than that, my husband, children, other immediate family and my little dog are it. Trust is a valuable commodity and a few former friends have lost mine. I grieve the loss both I and they have suffered.

I am not the mother of all adopted people. I do not carry the responsibility for the happiness and satisfaction of all adoptees. It is psychopathically hateful the way we are spoken to and about by some of these "adults." I have reunited with my adult children and we have our own situations with which to deal but we deal on a mutually respectful basis. Hey, try it. It works.

Moreover, just because Mary Lou and Sally Ann are having a grand old time pounding their breasts in true martyred-mother style, I don't feel constrained to join the guilt party. I'm disappointed in so many of my sisters who would sacrifice themselves rather than demand respect.

Were it not for the few notable people I have mentioned before, I would be feeling very alone and unsupported. I wonder how long it will be before I stop caring?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

We Have To Do What?

Freedom of association

Main article: Freedom of association; US Constitution

Although it is not explicitly protected in the First Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled, in NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 (1958), freedom of association to be a fundamental right protected by it. In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, 530 U.S. 640 (2000), the Supreme Court ruled that a New Jersey law, which forced the Boy Scouts of America to admit an openly gay member, to be an unconstitutional abridgment of the Boy Scouts' right to free association.

There it is again...that "by implication" thing. So this means that we are free to associate with whomever we please and, also, NOT to associate with a particular person if we do not wish to. While I find the anti-gay discrimination behind this example a bit off-putting, I understand the premise. This is akin to the freedom of religion which also, by implication, protects our right to freedom FROM religion. I am learning so much from my friend, I never thought I would find constitutional law so fascinating. It is important to know, not only what it says, but also what it implies and how it can be interpreted.

We spoke again, last night. He had been giving the whole issue of mandatory medical records provisions in some of these dirty bills a lot of thought and done a lot of reading. He related that there have been laws and regulations that have slipped by, that walk all over the constitution but that leave the door open for some really effective class-action suits. His advice was that, if these measures pass, we should watch, very carefully, how these provisions are used, especially by the facilitating entities and have a good attorney in the wings.

In talking to him, I related how unimportant we mothers are considered to be, as far as our rights are concerned. I opined that our rights and our feelings are ignored, as though we were there just to be used. He countered with an opinion that sounded sort of right to me. He said, "They might want you to think that you are unimportant, but I believe many of the adoption pros are scared to death of you along with the adoptive parents and these adopted people you have been telling me about." Wow, the natural mother as Big Bad Wolf. I wish the world would make up their minds about us. It's a wonder we are not all suffering from multiple personality disorder, We are either careless sluts or noble heroines or troublemakers or loving moms or just convenient uteri or goblins out to eat up open records bills. The mind boggles and none of it fits.

We have been marginalized and ignored for a long time. For many years, many of us followed the edicts of our families and the social workers and kept silent. Many still allow the fear of discovery to keep them in hiding. I wish I had come to my senses decades before I did. While I never really kept my two surrendered children a deep, dark secret, I went along with the happy, sappy adoption myth. I can remember when a very sweet young woman I worked with found herself to be with child. As she talked with us and mulled over her options, I would break out in a cold sweat. When she decided to keep, I felt a constricting pain around my heart that had nothing to do with heart disease. I also remember thinking that there was a mother and her child who would never have to wonder, hide or question.

I am proud that I can experience the unconditional love that the mother feels, even when it has to be tough love. This kind of love seems to be confusing to many adopted adults. For many of them, "parental" love has come with requirements and conditions. I love my children just because they ARE. They don't have to fit any criteria or burden themselves with my emotional welfare. And I, as their mother, will do what I think is right for them, even if they don't like it.

And, if any of them, raised or reunited, step over the line with me, I will back off and not feel guilty for doing so. Mothers are not the property of adoptees or raised children to do with as they wish. We are not whipping-boys or unimportant bystanders. I am part of a group of mothers who will not sacrifice our rights on the altar of the poor adoptee, nor will we allow ourselves to be bled dry, emotionally. That is not good parenting. How could any adopted person respect a mother that would allow herself to be used, her needs ignored?  And believe me, the healthiest kind of love has mutual respect as a component.

So rail against us, argue and slam us....but don't ignore us. We know our rights and are learning more about them, every day.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

An Uncommon Sadness

There was a time when I thought there was no greater pain than having my two oldest children taken from me. I have worked through my grief and accepted what I could not change and started trying to discover what I could change.

My quest has led me to learn of things that have added a new layer of sadness to the greatest tragedy of my life. As disenfranchised girls with the naivete of the times, we were deprived of the most basic of human rights. Now, when we are older and wiser, our efforts are being sabotaged by our own sister mothers.

Some still carry a burden of unearned guilt which they seem unable to overcome. These are the ones who make themselves body slaves to the issues of the adopted adult. They are content to sacrifice themselves and, unfortunately, the rest of us, via poorly-conceived, proposed legislations in order to expiate their insecurities.

I call these mothers "the Ladybirds." They flitter around trying to sow wildflower seeds in a sewer figuring that it will mask the stench. They decry what they perceive as our anger and bitterness and even go so far as to accuse us of staying in our "victimhood." What they don't realize is that they are victims of their own lack of self-respect and are trying to pull us into the same dark hole with them. My personal belief is that many of these Ladybirds need to grow a set.

Then there are the adoption Divas. These are the mothers who want to be the experts, the go-to persons for anything and everything associated with adoption. They leave the conditions of surrender behind and concentrate on the end results. They bully, wrangle and endlessly dispense what they think is wisdom from their busy keyboards. When questioned or crossed, they get really nasty, pick up their toys, and move to the next group to recruit disciples. The Diva may actually have a lot of savvy and worthwhile things to offer, but these are lost in the maze of her self-promotion. I learned, to my sorrow, that there are more than one of the Diva-types out there.

So we, who want to see justice and equality for the mothers of the EMS are having stumbling blocks placed at every pathway by our own sisters. These women cannot lend support to anything that will either truly alleviate their guilt or take away any portion of the spotlight they wish to be focused only on them. It is disheartening and frustrating to want something positive for all of us only to have our own sister mothers wishing us ill.

I am better at following than at emotional issues rather than data and numbers. I am independent in my I do NOT walk in lock-step with anyone but myself. But that and $5 will get me a mocha latte grande. It seems there are no compromises left.

At 64, I realize that my  time is limited. While I may live to be 100 (or not), it is a fact that more than half my life is over and each day, month and year from here on out is a gift. Our quest for justice has an expiration date. Time is our antagonist along with the industry, unknowingly aided by the Ladybirds and the Divas. I was looking forward to a retirement full of peace with no regrets. But, if there is no justice for the mothers of the EMS, then that regret will go to the grave with me.

And, for that, I feel an uncommon saddness.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?

( perth.). (For More)

WA is poised to be the first State to publicly acknowledge the aggressive adoption practices which resulted in thousands of mothers being unlawfully separated from their babies after giving birth out of wedlock.
Health Minister Kim Hames has revealed he is personally overseeing the creation of a memorial to the families affected by State hospital and welfare practices during the 1940s to the early 1980s.

Dr Hames is also likely to read an apology on behalf of the State Government either in Parliament or at a dedication ceremony opening the memorial at a yet to be determined location. Dr Hames said many women and families had been emotionally damaged and he wanted to help them heal. "You look back on those attitudes of the day and wonder how we could be so harsh," he said.

"Things like taking children away from their mothers as soon as they were born and not letting them see or touch them. We are apologising in the same way as with the Stolen Generation, recognising that those practices . . . were ones that today wouldn't be acceptable and that they caused considerable hurt and harm."

Experts say tens of thousands of WA babies were taken illegally when their unmarried mothers were prevented from seeing, touching, naming or bonding with their children immediately after birth. The practice, which has been linked to post traumatic stress, was illegal under the Adoption of Children Acts but widespread at public hospitals throughout Australia. Also common but illegal was asking women to sign adoption papers earlier than five days after the birth.

Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital apologised for their "ill treatment" of unmarried mothers in May last year.

Christine Cole, convenor of the NSW-based Apology Alliance which lobbies on the issue, said a memorial dedicated by a State health minister would be the most significant acknowledgment by authorities "probably anywhere in the world".

"These adoptions happened for two key reasons," she said. "First, it saved the State money because if a child was adopted they didn't have to pay for foster care or mothers' benefits.

"The second was this eugenics-based notion that young women who gave birth out of wedlock were feeble minded (*or deviant *rw) and unfit mothers."

Australian Medical Association WA president Gary Geelhoed said the memorial would be symbolic but "very, very important".

Once again, another nation steps ahead of us in addressing the huge cluster-fuck we call the EMS or BSE. Every word in the article above could apply to the US and to the mothers who were isolated, shamed, coerced and coldly divested of their infants.

While Origins NSW is not completely  happy with the actual presentation of the apology, it is a whole lot more than we US mothers have even a chance of receiving unless something big happens. They are talking about tens of thousands of young women. Here in the United States of Adoption, we are talking in terms of millions.

This is just another example of the Puritanical heritage that still guides the thinking of our powers-that-be and the general public. We are valued so little that we can still be seen as unfit and brood stock for the fit. I'd immigrate to the Land Down Under except for the fact that I don't like the weather, there.

The mothers down there have seen a lot of success in a few decades. It was hard fought-for and the struggle was a debilitating one for many. The late and sorely missed Dian Welfare was a ball of fire and a champion for this cause. So many others fought the system and won moral victories even when they lost court cases on an individual basis. The thing is, they worked together and the government was not so bogged down in the bottom line and the arrogance of  "Might Makes Right" that they could afford to ignore these people and their issues.

Our government has apologized for slavery,  for using people in experiements, and for the suffering of the Native Americans. All these things happened in the past but they affected groups of people, profoundly, and changed the course of their histories and lives. These groups are large, but not that much larger than the hordes of, mostly Caucasion, middle-class, girls who were hidden, warehoused and harvested of their babies.

I have seen individuals, even ministers, learn more tolerance and understanding over the years where our plight was concerned. Yet our elected officials only want to keep us hidden and cover the industry's large, smelly ass by intoducing legislation that calls for us to violate our own constitutional rights. They need some kind of loud wake-up call.

We are fractured, factioned and so many of us are damaged. But sooner or later, we need to be heard. So, why not us and why not now?

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Boogeyman Cometh

Ah, the fears of childhood, that something was lurking in our closet or under our bed, ready to snatch us and eat us alive. I spent many a night as a little girl, scared of the dark and being alone, quivering under the covers, my imagination running wild and down dark corridors.

Of course I grew up and learned that those monsters, those awful boogeymen, were not real......I thought. But in recent days, real boogeymen have appeared who have a taste for natural mothers. If you don't believe me, go read Musing Mother's latest post. She cites legal chapter and verse and it is a horror story for those of us who surrendered children during the EMS/BSE.

California has already gone one better on the medical forms. Now, all surrendering mothers have to provide an intricate, family medical history AND DNA. G-Men and Big Brother and The Company, Oh My!

What get me is the fact that, in order to legitimize their quest for open records without threatening their adopters and to gain the sympathy of sponsors, the adopted adults have used the medical records issue as a tool to pry open the door for legislation. Adopters fear the possibility of reunion so reunion was not on the table as an issue. Instead, it was medical records that were being pursued. It has worked only too well. And it is working to place us, their mothers, in the hotseat, once again. We are being pushed down the road to liability, even though the map says "here be monsters." All they want is their OBC's. But you give this to a sponsor or have an attorney involved and the next thing you know, there is a list of conditions and requirements and loopholes. One of those loopholes makes a nice, mother-sized noose.

This is why I have a problem with mothers who blindly support every open records bill without realizing that these legislations can potentially cause us a world of misery. It's not bad enough that we were screwed out of our babies as young girls. Supporting these contaminated bill is the same as bending over and providing the Vaseline. How much pain and suffering are we required to go through to satisfy the misguided guilt of a few?

I will NOT let this happen without a fight. I will blog about it, ad nauseum, until my fingers drop off. Once again, we are disrespected and made the ultimate perpetrator of a non-crime. I am sick to death of the "you spread your legs" school of thought. No, we weren't the only ones who "spread our legs" by any means, But we are the ones who got caught.

Once again, let me remind anyone involved in the creation and sponsorship of these bills that you are playing fast and loose with our constitutional rights. I can guarantee you that there are some of us that won't let that slip by without a fight. There may be snow on our roofs, but there is still steel in our spines. I don't have my own teeth or my own knees anymore, but my mind works as well, if not better, than it ever did.

Coerced surrender was bad enough. Mandatory medical forms are totally anti-mother!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Sitting In The Sue-Her Sewer

Well, I have learned that I was both wrong and right about the mandatory medical information requirements on open records bills. No, we will not be forced to submit them and no, we will not be imprisoned for not submitting them or not having all the information. Not bad, huh? I was wrong. Mea culpa.

HOWEVER, it seems that there has been a history of "wrongful adoption" lawsuits, brought by the adopters, in just about all the cases, against the agencies, both private and state, where they complain about a lack of complete information on the child they adopted. They usually seek damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, legal expenses, psychiatric expenses, loss of companionship of said child, and other punitive damages. The states are covering their arses with each bill that is introduced that has that medical information provision included.

By the use of subrogation, a new term to me, the states and private agencies that are sued by adopters and adopted people and lose can then, because of the medical information requirement, turn around and sue the mothers for information they say they did not receive. When you think of subrogation, think of a faulty automobile. If you are injured in an accident caused by a faulty auto part, your insurance will pay you for your injuries and lost transportation. Then, they can turn around and sue the auto manufacturer for what they lost in paying out your beneifits. Sisters, we mothers are sitting in a cesspool, waiting for the first flush. We can be sued, by virtue of the medical information provision, by our own, adult children. Some adopters might want to skip suing the middle man and go straight to the source. Oh, Happy, happy, joy, joy.

 I decry the current "dirty" bills and passed legislations that demand more than is reasonable from us and the people who sponsor and write them. I cannot believe that agencies and state facilitators have nothing to do with the way these things are worded. If our children all hate us that much, then why even try? We might as well retreat into the closet, or change our names and move to RatsAss, Mongolia. The mothers who are of the "all and everything for the adoptees" ilk can take their guilt and shove it. You are betraying and possibly destroying other mothers when you don't question and object to dirty legislation that puts your sisters in the line of fire.

Mothers have rights and we SMAAC Moms are tired of being treated as a repository for everyone's angst and disappointments. We are not a bottomless source of scapegoats for the industry any more than we are brood mares for adopters. We are factioned, fractured and one hand knows not what the other one does. I am Gee Dee tired of having to argue that we are as worthy of equal treatment under the law as any other citizen including our adult, surrendered children. This is just one more reason why we need to be able to get each other's backs.

Now, we don't assume or pretend to speak for all mothers, but we will not walk in lockstep with the ones in denial and the ones who live mired in guilt. Self-respect is a good and positive thing...something we deserve to pursue along with other aspects of happiness. It isn't just a matter of our civil or human rights anymore. It is a matter of our CONSTITUTIONAL rights being dragged through the septic tank. I haven't seen anything in the US Constitution that denies equal rights due to sex and/or pregnancy outside of marriage. If there were such a provision, there would be millions of people in a world of hurt.

No, it is assumed entitlement, assumed moral superiority and the almighty, capitalistic bottom line that makes us such handy targets. Look well. There is no apple on my head waiting for the arrow of litigation. This crackwhore, slutty barfmuggle has HAD IT with this nonsense. I will protest this crap until I am in the cremations chamber. I am not going to spend the last part of my life being pushed back into the "bad girl" slot by the industry  or the government or our children. I am no longer the frightened naif that was isolated and coerced and shamed by those that should have protected me.

I grew up and this Mama don't play that game.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Compulsory Medical Forms/ Why We Object

This is just plain cutesy tag lines or clip art. When we say that every person should have the same rights under the law, are we including the mothers? We are not if there are invasive and disrespectful requirements of the mothers that are not also applied to the adopted person and the adopters.

For instance; Jane Doe is a mother whose great, great uncle, John Doe, died of syphillis. It is not something those in the family who know about it talks about. It has no bearing on the health and well-being of the adopted person. It is nobody's business, isn't it?

Or, for insance; Jane went through a rough patch in her marriage and had an ill-advised affair. That is part of her psycho-social history, but is it the business of the state, her adult, surrendered child and that child's adopters?

Or, for instance; No one in Jane's family or in the family of the man who fathered her child has ever had cancer, AS FAR AS THEY KNOW,  but her adult, surrendered child develops cervical cancer. Should Jane be held liable?

Bastardette, in her blog about New Jersey bill S799 was direct and to the point. This provision of the bill is "intrusive." It allows for the ultimate kind of disrespect for mothers while tying up the adult adoptee in trying to meet ridiculous requirements in order to know their origins.

The ultimate lie is that this kind of muddying of the legislation for open records is done to "protect the mothers' privacy." Now, tell me how a compulsory medical form requirement from mothers does anything to protect her privacy and to protct her from frivilous lawsuits and liability? This only makes sense if the drafters of this rider to the bill hears strange voices in his/her head. This legislation is another in a long line of state bills that screw the mothers and throw a bone to the adopted citizens. It seems that "equality" is all for the industry and adopters.

There are things in my life that are my business, only..that I would not even share with the children I raised. Why should I be forced to answer these often insulting questions to have them shared with the state and adopters? Oh wouldn't it be boon to adopters, especially, if Jane had, at some point, been exposed to Herpese or gtenital warts. "See," they would say, gleefully, "We told you they were all sluts!" They, of course, won't mention the bout with clamydia that caused their infertility.

To those who draft these bill and then add all these provisions, Make. Up. Your. Minds! Either you are "protecting the mothers' privacy" or you are invading it. You can't have it both ways and you are losing your grip by pitting the adoptees against the mothers. We are noticing and some of us are getting together and talking. Just go ahead and say bye-bye to the adoption industry dollars in your campaign trunks and start getting real.

We mothers from the EMS aren't getting any younger, but over the years, we have become a lot smarter. Think about it.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

You Don't Own Me

We moms have had some lovely and enlightening interactions with adopted people, lately. That is why I am so dismayed by this kind of thing.

The mother-haters are alive and kicking and spitting their acidic venom over at Yahoo Answers. THIS is why so many moms think twice about letting our adult children into our lives. Some of us can take it and give back as good as we get. Other mothers are still dealing with delayed and repressed grief and the re-living of the trauma of coerced surrender. They are one, woman-sized, exposed nerve and this kind of thing hurts...a lot. It hurts no less than the pain of the adopted person. It's just a different kind of pain for different reasons.

So, when  the newly-awakened mother of adoption loss sits down at her PC and Googles "adoption," she often gets smacked in the face with a lot of frightening and hateful posts. If I were an unreunited mother and I read this stuff, my reaction would be, "to Hell with this crap. I'm outta here." I would fear for my health and life where some of these posters are concerned.

What amazes me is the attitude of entitlement. Some of the middle-age mommie-haters act as if they own all mothers (not just their own) and that all mothers OWE them something. Guess again, Kiddies. Those of us who went on to have and raise other children wouldn't take this from the children we raised, much less from the children we didn't. We don't owe you anything but civility, courtesy and whatever else we choose to share. If you strike me, I strike back. Being an unmarried mother doesn't, regardless of the Puritanical and punitive attitudes of some, make me a second-class citizen or a spineless wimp.

Let me make one thing clear. All the truths about coercion and force, aside, when a mother tries to do what is best for her child to the best of her knowledge and ability at the time, that is not, repeat NOT, abandonment. I know that there were some mothers who did just casually leave their babies (although that number is miniscule in relation to those of us who were coerced), but you cannnot paint us all with the same brush. I don't call you names. Why call me names? You don't know me and you don't own me.

I have many adult, adopted friends with whom I enjoy mutually respectful relationships. The same is true of my relationships with my adult, reunited daughter and son. I know that you hate-filled people are a minority, as well. But, you are a loud, obnoxious minority. And, to the one whose mother, after 22 years, backed away, I can see why she did. I wouldn't want to have anything to do with you, either.

We are not here to be the objects of your punitive attitudes and actions. We are not responsible for the fact that you prefer to carry the blackness of resentment around inside you. We are not perfect, but guess what? NEITHER ARE YOU.

I thank the Goddess for those many adopted people who are willing to open their minds in understanding and hold out their hands in friendship.  We are all part and parcel of a traumatic tragedy and we all carry our own bit of emotional damage because of it. I can understand the "feelings" of being abandoned, but you have adult minds and the reality does not support the feeling. Embracing the truth is quite a concept, and it can be done.

But hear this and hear it well. I don't owe you anything but what I choose to give and you don't owe me anything. That is the adopter that thinks they are owed something by the children they raised. I will treat you with respect only as far as you show respect for me.

We are not your possessions. You don't own mothers.

*I am finding it necessary to add a postcript to this post. NO, feeling abandoned, and "emotional abandonment" are NOT true abandonment. This is what, in a 12-step program, would be called "stinking thinking" and a barrier to real emotional health. This post is not here to argue the issue. It is here to state, in no uncertain terms, that we did not abandon our children, that we are not obligated to be their servants and that the idea that most of us had any kind of choice in the matter is erroneous. And, to one commenter, my parents were not abusive, but, in that time and that culture, they WERE boss. I was old enough to be forced to sign surrender papers but not old enough to have any say in my children's futures. If you want to hold on to erroneous emotions, be my guest, but put it on your OWN mother....not the rest of us.