Thursday, April 29, 2010


Life has teeth. Sometimes it nips and sometimes it digs in and draws blood. Sometimes it just grins at us and flashes its fangs. Like the dragon, it has a terrible beauty that draws us to it and causes a wanting that is primal...the drive to live is powerful.

I am involved in a fight for the life of my little best friend. I am watching others doing the same. I noticed, today, how many of us have gray to white hair, wear trifocals and wear sensible, supportive shoes. We are aware of something that our little pups and kitties aren't and that is the approach of our own demise. We are riding the dragon's tail, waiting for it to turn and devour us in one big, final gulp.

It's funny that I am not afraid of the fact that the end of life could sneak up on me at any moment now. I make jokes about my false choppers, artificial knees, high-fiber diet and arthritis and accept the fact that another generation is entering the winter of their lives.

I am a "pre-boomer/war baby." I was born after the defeat of Germany but before the end of the war in the Pacific brought about by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. My husband is six years older and vividly remembers the last couple of years of World War II. I remember Harry Truman. I remember the first man, Chuck Yaeger, to break the sound barrier. I remember when travel by airplane was not jet-propelled, black and white TV with only 3 or 4 channels, listening to radio programs for entertainment, and wearing gloves and hats to church. I remember Jim Crow, Hobos and hand-cranked ice cream.

The dragon has grown and its blindingly brilliant scales are every color of the rainbow, now. Its ears are more finely tuned, its eyes larger and sharper and its fury is difficult to comprehend. There is no longer the comfort of childhood when were were taught sanitized versions of our national history and adults were wise and in charge and play called for the use of non-technology-assisted imagination. There is only the accumulated observations and new understandings of what life has dealt us and what we can and cannot do about it.

One thing about being at this end of the dragon is that we SMAAC moms don't give a gryphon's beak about whether or not anyone likes what we think about adoption specifically or in general. We're not a huge groups and I can say we all have the same opinion of it...we don't like it worth a dern.

But our aim is not to eradicate adoption (although that sounds great) or debate its merits or flaws with threatened proponents of the social experiment that brought us together for our cause. Our aim is to keep on speaking, loudly if we have to (because the squeaky wheel, yada, yada), about what happened to millions of girls who were sent away in shame and returned with admonitions to lie and be secretive.  We are trying to speak the truth above the sound of the dragon's roar. We are saying that our government sanctioned a horrible injustice against us and our children. We are saying that a society that saw itself as "advanced" was, in fact, puritanical, punitive and hypocritical.

We need to hear someone who represents authority in our present society acknowledge that a terrible thing was done, understand what was wrong about what was done, and maybe even say it shouldn't continue to happen, especially the way it is now. But people like the adoption industry, attorneys, agents, etc., who profit and those who covet live with others of the same ilk in the dragon's belly. They stoke the furnace by which the monster breathes fire and polish and sharpen those formidable fangs.

This is our bottom line, defined by us in our later years. It is not what anyone particularly wants to hear, especially anyone who stands to profit in any way from the continued devaluing of the natural mother. Now that we are older, we have no one to fight our battle for us. Our children fight their own battle which seems to exclude us and there is no St. George or even a Don Quixote to face the serpent in our names.

We aren't out to profit, financially from our quest. We are not expecting to make a drastic change in how the world operates. But, since we ride on the dragon's tail, we don't have anything to lose by yanking it, hard and saying, "We're back here and we have something to say. You bit us all and we bled."

To all my sisters sitting back here on this scaly tail of life with me, let me say it because we may never hear it any other way in our lifetime: 
Dear Sisters,
I am so deeply saddened and sorry that you were treated so badly and had your baby taken from you. It was wrong and you didn't deserve that kind of treatment. You were not sluts, whores or careless kids. You were just human and it wasn't the end of the world. They just tried to make it seem that way. Be gentle with yourselves and don't take any more crap from anyone. We've earned our self-respect and let's make the rest of this dragon ride a good one.

Now, what would it hurt if someone else, someone with authority said something like that?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Uh, Just In Case You Didn't Know....

I received a comment, obviously from someone who has adopted, probably an Asian child, that said she was "taken aback" by my post "There Goes The Neighborhood." Well, golly gee. What about the term "anti-adoption blog" don't we understand? Said commenter then accused me of stereotyping adopters.

Oh my. Did I do that? It's not like mothers of adoption loss have not been stereotyped, denigrated, dismissed and judged unimportant for decades. I've been in the arena of activism long enough to know if it has webbed feet, feathers and quacks, it's probably a duck. It is the act of adoption that I abhor, especially that of infants and toddlers.

I am appalled by the adoption of children from other nations due to the eventual and unique damage that is done to the child. Every adopted child experiences a loss but the international adoptees grow up having been denied their cultural and racial heritage, not just their  family heritage. The unfortunate reason that they are adopted by American Caucasians is so the adopters won't have to deal with the ugly truth of a natural mother. She would be, of course, too far away to interfere in their "as if born to" fantasy. I really wish some of these international PAPs would talk to the adult adoptees, especially from Asian nations, about how that has affected them. Of course, they would just KNOW that their case would be different. People only see what they want to see and the fuzzy, pink cloud mythology of adoption is a perfect dream for too many.

The desire for a child does not entitle one to a child. And adoption, while I do not believe it will go away in my lifetime, is a social experiment that has caused a lot of pain for a lot of people and, if mothers and adult adopted people keep making the noises they are making, it might be in for a deep sea change. It is hard for those who adopt with the best possible intentions (although there is no such thing as a completely altruistic adoption) to understand that for them to have a child, someone has to lose a child and a child has to lose their most important connection in life. You can attach, but bonds are forged in the womb.

So, commenter, go ahead and be taken aback and know that, if I weren't very tired, very irritated and very worried about my little dog's cancer treatments, I probably wouldn't have even been moved to address your comment. *Usually, I just reject comments like that and ignore them because my blog is not here for "lively debate" or arguments in favor of adoption. My house, my rules.

But, having been stereotyped in the worst kind of way for decades because I am a mother who was backed up to the wall and surrendered two children as a teen, the comment about stereotyping adopters really annoyed me. To the mother of adoption loss, that is like a fat man putting down people who eat ice cream. Let she who is without snarkiness and bigotry throw the first stereotype.

And it is not just my loss that makes me biased against adoption. It is what the children lose, what I have learned from adult adoptees and the damage I have seen done to my own children by adoption that makes me recoil at the thought of seeing this in my face every day.

Taken aback? Stereotyped? Lady, you don't know the half of it.

(And to the commenter who complained about my not posting the comment to which I was responding..see above.* I posted this to explain why I don't post those comments. Capiche?)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bad Day For Doggies and Folks (With Addendum)

For this day, neither I nor DH give a damn about adoption. Rocky is under sedation and receiving radiation, I am weepy and DH is touchy. I know his chances are good, but I have seen two terminal canine cancer patients, this morning, and watched as a sweet man lost his best friend to liver and kidney disease despite all the vets could do. I am going to give the RockMeister that 95% chance his veterinary oncologist says he has, but he better, by Gosh, get better. He came in, this morning, a happy, excited little mutt. He'd better stay that way. I don't want to go down to this place any more often than I have to. For the next 3 weeks, it will be every day.

My poor doggie.


Well, by golly, he was happy and feisty and excited when we came to pick him up. It's sorta like, nobody told HIM he was sick. He tolerated everything well, all his vitals are good, he ate like a little pig and took a long walk with his daddy. The oncologist was there today and he is very pleased with everything. He changed Rocky's prognosis from good to excellent barring new or changing test results. One day at a time and today, he is alive and happy. He is also undeniably cute.

Sometimes. you just need a good friend  to cheer you up when you are down. He did that for us and he's the bloomin' patient!

He doesn't see himself as a "poor doggie." I guess I better reconsider that thought.

OK...back to mothers, adoptees, surrender, records, and all that Jazz, tomorrow or whenever.


OK, this roller-coaster (reminds me of reunion)  better stop...I am getting nauseated by the ride. Rocky whimpered, a weird groaning sound he has never made before, all night. I am getting him to the vet as soon as they open. If the treatment is worse than the cure....I don't know what to think. He's a bit better after his morning potty walk. I think I better just log off the blogging until this is over.  

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Well, There Goes The Neighborhood

There was a bit of a buzz, yesterday. A new family was moving into the two-story stucco down at the end of our cul-de-sac. I've been very please to see homes selling here as we are getting La Hacienda Westbrook ready to go on the market in preparation for the big move to the hills of West Virginia.

I did my bit and made a mac and cheese casserole and took it down, just before dinnertime, and was entranced by the two little Asian dolls, about 3 and 7, that answered the door. Then I saw the blond, green-eyed Caucasian adopter and her white, yuppie hubby and felt that sick feeling deep in my gut. I kept my welcome visit short, citing recent surgery. I  hope to continue to maintain some distance from the new neighbors. I am not ready to get into a "who shot John" pissing contest about adoption with a new neighbor. If we become acquaintances, that WILL happen. I can't keep my mouth shut, especially if they start bragging about their saintly rescue of the, ostensibly, unwanted Chinese girl-babies.

There was a little bit of hope that rode in on the breeze of the late news. It seems that China is re-thinking its one-child policy because the population is now going in the opposite direction too fast and brides for the many sons are hard to find. I hope that story was accurate and there will be no more Chinese children robbed of their heritage and families.

This is not something that affects me as an EMS mother and PR rep for SMAAC. This is something that affects me as a mother who lost children to adoption for really stupid reasons just like Chinese mothers lost children because they were female. It's a mom thing.

I have likened the decline of US culture and the respect for the natural family to the fall of Rome. I think it is going to happen one neighborhood at a time. While nice, our neighborhood is middle-class with a racial mix and largely blue-collar. The newbies on the block were unloading a Lexus SUV. I imagine that some one's fortunes have fallen and they were forced to be downwardly mobile. I would bet they flew first-class to Bejing and back to obtain both little girls. I was asked about the quality of the "public school" while I was visiting and I said that it seemed to be a good one, but that I was past the age to have school-aged children. She asked me how many adult children I had and I said "four." I didn't elaborate.

The bills that are being crafted and then honed by the industry and its minions are carefully constructed to keep the customers/adopters from being threatened. They are being slanted to make it look like we natural moms are the ones who want to restrict the opening of records. It's all about the business and the bottom line and heritage and the sanctity of the bond between mother and child can go hang for all they care. I know adoption is all around me, but with the new neighbors, it is in my face every time I walk past their house. I hurt for those little girls when they grow up and try to reconnect with their natural families.

I can't get out of here fast enough. There is little to no adoption in rural WV and we can survive the fall of a nation in those hills. Hey, we need to buy fishing rods!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Birthrights For Sale?

"...When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; and Esau said to Jacob, 'Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.' Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, 'First sell me your birthright.' Esau said, 'Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?' And Jacob said, 'First swear to me"; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright." (Genesis 25:29-34)."

From this Bible story came the warning not to "sell your birthright for a mess of pottage." I always took it to mean that we should think about the consequences down the line before we jump into anything or make decisions based on something of the moment. Basically, it is selling yourself out and selling yourself short.

Right now, we have some pretty convoluted open records legislation simmering or passing (*gasp) in states across the country. For many of the adopted people who support some of this questionable legislation, there is a need to connect, no matter how.  For mothers who support it, there is that need to be loved and accepted by their adult relinquished child, and their undeserved guilt expiated, or their special interests enhanced, no matter what happens to us or our rights. These are the mothers who throw the rest of us under the bus while they ride in the rear.

Let me go on record, right here and now, as saying that I DO care about my HIPAA rights. What good is any legal protection of the citizenry if one group is excluded? I also care about being protected from specious lawsuits brought by disgruntled, displeased adopters who got a kid with problems rather than the next Einstein. I can only be grateful that my daughter's adopters are in the ground. They would certainly sue me for her problems if they thought they could. I am praying my son's adopters never catch wind of the idea.

I have also raised two children and I have learned the difference between being a mother and a martyr. Yes, I would die trying to save my children's lives. If a man with a gun came for my children, I would say, "Take me." But, if my children wanted to plow a 10-acre field, I wouldn't let them kill my mule doing it. There is a difference. Besides, martyrs are really hard to take. They are more into self-absorption than self-esteem.

I have worked long and hard regaining the self-esteem that was taken from me along with my two oldest children. When we found each other, I hope that I presented them with a natural mother of whom they could be proud...a woman they could respect. Others can only respect those who respect themselves. Guilt does not a good mother make nor does overwhelming self-effacement. It also behooves me to give respect to my children. They learn respect by seeing it and receiving it. In the case of a lot of our children who were raised with conditional love and the misconception of being unlovable and abandoned, it is a lesson they need.

There are a few adopted adults with whom I disagree on some points but whom I like and respect. They have found the moxie to look inside themselves for the key to their self-esteem and they wear it well. I know many mothers who have found this strength inside themselves, as well. In the rest of the bunch of mothers and adopted people, I listen to the anguish of rejection and anger from both ends and wonder what is left of the one person without the onus/specter of the other? It is a kind of trauma-induced co-dependence and it diminishes both parties involved.

No matter how we were raised, we were all born equal, naked, crying and needing care and nurture. Inside each of us is all we need to be a whole person. It is hard to explain to the adult child or mother who searched, found and is still feeling that emptiness they hoped to fill that you have to fill the hole, yourself. I know it sounds simple and it is, but it is also difficult and takes work, perseverence, support and strength.

So, as the age of 65 looms in the next few months, I stand here as a whole woman, yet still a work in progress for we never stop growing in mind and spirit. I am a woman whose rights and concerns are as important as anyone else's. I will not sacrifice myself or my sister mothers OR our adult children on the altar of "baby steps and legislation at any cost". I will not involve myself in a cause that includes the participation of those whose goals are in direct contradiction to my own. I will respect my life and welfare and hope, like Hell, that I have given my children a mother they can respect and of whom they can be proud.

Real sacrifice should mean something and that something is not expedience. Esau had to learn the hard way, too.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Do Babies Ruin Bodies? 'Biggest Loser's' Jillian Michaels Won't Give Birth

This article on Fox News and  on other media outlets has me wanting to spit fire out my nostrils, chew up ten penny nails and cough up railroad spikes. I have had the warped visions of the celebrity adopters up to my tonsils and I am tired of it all. This one really was over the top and she isn't even a major celebrity. At least Jennifer Anniston hasn't used preserving her physique as an excuse for adopting, although that might very well be a factor.

(*It has made me so mad that my evil twin, Damn Skippy, who posts parenthetically and in dark red, has surfaced in this post.)

By: Hollie McCay
The "Biggest Loser" trainer is under fire (*good!) for saying she doesn't want to give birth because she doesn't want to lose her figure.

There is no doubt (*Says who?) that “The Biggest Loser” trainer Jillian Michaels has one of the best bodies in America, and given her childhood history of being overweight, it's something the 36-year-old has worked ultra-hard to achieve (*Can you say "obsessed?"). So hard in fact, that she’s not willing to let it slide even to become a biological mother.

“I’m going to adopt. I can’t handle doing that to my body,” Michaels told the new issue of Women’s Health magazine. “Also, when you rescue something, it’s like rescuing a part of yourself.”

Yeah, right. That is so unprofound and meaningless. I am sure she was trying to be deep, but she missed the mark by a mile.

Regardless of her body, she has a mean, arrogant attitude. She mentioned, in one interview, that adopting would be like rescuing a dog from the shelter. WHAT????  There are, of course, those who are coming to her defense, but if Ms. Michaels thinks that she can just go to the local baby shelter and ask to see the new litters, she is out of her snarling mind.

Because she is successful and has the dough to get what she wants, there will probably be some young woman somewhere that will wind up kicking herself in the ass in a few years for relinquishing her baby. Michaels will probably be drilling her poor, little adoptee on treadmill and jump rope and feeding the kid skim milk and granola and salads with never an ice cream cone nor a birthday cake to be had. The kid will hit eighteen and start main-lining pizza.

One "expert" (see the article) supports this facetious reason for adopting, citing Michael's bout with childhood obesity and parental neglect. Yeah, it sucks being her, but she doesn't need to take another woman's baby to support her precarious self-esteem. No, if she is that frightened of what pregnancy and childbirth will do to her body, she shouldn't get pregnant. I have no problem with that. I know many women who have chosen not to have babies for good reasons. It's the adoption part that makes me want to force her to drop and give me 100,000. How dare she equate taking a baby from its mother with a trip to the animal shelter?

How dare she minimize the wonder of giving birth as doing something bad to your body? Honey, I'll take my soft tummy and stretch marks any day when I can talk to my children on the phone and laugh with them and feel that wonderful intimate connection. How dare she have the arrogance and short-sightedness to think she would be a good adopter with her hang-ups? Get a clue, Frau Fuhrer. You have some issues and not a lot in the way of good role-modeling as preparation for parenthood. Give yourself a break. Don't try for a baby. Go get a nice dog or two. Maybe you can treadmill train them.

(*Oh, and try lightening your eyebrows, BeeYotch.)

IL HB 5428 Double-Take

While I was here, waxing real poetical-like, about the passage of the IL HB 5428, my dear friend, Musing Mother, was taking her time, asking many questions and thoroughly reading this piece of nonsense. You see, she surrendered in IL and it directly affects her.

Me, I was scanning it, depending on what others had to say and running with it. As sometimes happens, when one jumps before all the facts are known, the message goes lacking. I am just too in love with this laptop. My mother used to say, of anyone who spoke before they knew all the facts, that they "were letting their ass overload their mouths." I guess I let my ass overload my keyboard. My bad.

I would encourage everyone, especially mothers and our children who feel that our needs are worth as much as our children's needs (those of us who raised children learned that a long time ago), to call the governor of IL's office and urge him to veto this bill.

The way to reach the IL Governor's office is:

Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244
TTY: 888-261-3336

Chicago Office
Office of the Governor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-814-2121
There are several serious flaws in this bill and some that are not as dire as was once thought. But the one that got me is this one rider that really sounds like industry ass-covering to me. Read this and tell me who is missing.
Section 18.5, Liability (page 79, lines 19-25)
19 (750 ILCS 50/18.5) (from Ch. 40, par. 1522.5)

20 Sec. 18.5. Liability. No liability shall attach to the
21 State, any agency thereof, any licensed agency, any judge, any
22 officer or employee of the court, or any party or employee
23 thereof involved in the surrender of a child for adoption or in
24 an adoption proceeding for acts or efforts made within the
25 scope of Sections 18.05 thru 18.5, inclusive, of this Act ...
Now, lets see...that covers the judges, attorneys, social workers and agencies. The adopters will not be able to sue them for wrongful adoption. That takes care of everyone, doesn't it? NOT NO but HELL NO. We brood mares for the more deserving, we lowly, slut beemommies are left out in the open on the firing range with no kevlar vests or ditches into which we can jump for protection.
And don't be so naive as to say it won't happen. There have already been lawsuits brought against agencies by disgruntled forever mommies and daddies who didn't get the product they feel they deserved. With this little piece of razzle-dazzle above, they can go "straight to the source and sue the horse." (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Now, any mother who thinks it is OK to leave us all open to that kind of possible danger for the sake of "giving all for our kids" is whistling out her ass. A good mother is not a martyr. She respects herself and her rights and, by example, teaches her children the same thing. I have no problem with a clean, simple OBC access bill. But when the industry and the legal eagles (who bill many an hour processing adoptions), get their hands in, then they are going to cover their arses no matter what. So it is a matter of a lack of respect. They obviously think we are expendable. Some mothers think we are expendable and some of our children don't give a rat's patootie. I know that adopters involved in this don't give a steaming turd about what happens to us.
Any mothers and adoptees who had a hand in this bill need to re-examine it. How can we work together if one party's rights are not respected, either by themselves or their children? We've already been crucified, racked, dunked, drawn and quartered  when we lost our children to the adoption machine. Sorry, but I am not going to go there again and I would hate to see any of my sister moms led down that sorry path.
I love my surrendered, adult children with all my heart. I count among my dearest friends several adopted adults. There are three adopted adults I can think of off the top of my head that have both my affection and deepest respect. But shouldn't that go both ways?
Oh, and to the person who didn't like my big lady in purple undies (Ms. Hideous of 2010), is Miss Sally Sunshine above any better? I am here to please....heh  heh.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Look, Nothing Up Their Sleeves!

Ventriloquist: Good morning, Mr. Representative.
Dummy: Good Morning, Mr. Adoption Industry Lobbyist! Boy, am I glad to see you! What ideas do you have for me today to keep the adoption money flowing?
Ventriloquist: Boy, am I glad you asked, Little Buddy. We have some shucking and jiving to do!
Dummy: Oooooh, Goody! Do I get to pretend to be a great orator and thinker??
Ventriloquist: Sure, you do, Mr. R. Let's get started, shall we?

And on and on it goes. That is, of course, until the ventriloquist gets out his good barfmuggle (natural mother) dummy (which is a total fake because the only one that would talk like that is hiding in her kitchen pantry with her own secrets and lies) and puts a few choice words in her mouth. The first dummy is part of the program, and the second one is a fake. But hey, it's all about the bottom line, isn't it?

I just loved Bastardette's post on the machinations behind the IL bill. She quoted Tennessee Williams and the wonderful line he gave Big Daddy in "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" about the odor of mendacity  and how it smells like decomposition. "Mendacity" has become one of my favorite words along with "Obfuscation." From IL to NJ to FL and even unto some of the fractured factions of our own sister moms and adult children, it is amazing how many different ways there are to say absolutely NOTHING and lie about it.

Just like there are legislators in states facing open records bills who hope those ungrateful, whining bastards will go away if they throw out  some convoluted phrases worth nothing, so are there those who have done a presto-chango and an alakazam and attempted to create the illusion that the EMS never was. It has become a bad vaudeville show. And, while all the rabbits are being pulled out of hats and the smoke and mirrors divert the audience, behind the scenes it is business as usual for the all-powerful Wizard of Adoption.

One of their greatest acts is the simplest. They are just sitting and waiting for the mothers of the EMS/BSE to die out so that they don't have to bother with us uppity sluts. I am thinking of looking for that fountain of youth so that I can out-live Chuck, Tom, Sara, NCFA and the rest of the gang. After all, I am still here in the Adoption Capitol of the nation, Florida, for a while longer while the Rock-Man has his cancer treatments. Maybe while they are radiating his poor little po-po, I can struggle through the sago and scrub and find that spring of everlasting life. It would be fun to be around long enough to bug the mendacity out of these ijits.

I would love to see a group of illusion-shatterers arise, maybe a group like "Uppity Sluts and Whiny Bastards For An End to Mendacity by Obfuscation." There isn't a catchy anagram there, but saying the whole thing out loud is fun. We could draft simple OBC bills that allowed unfettered access by adopted adults and their natural mothers (who were, after all, the legal parents when the OBC was created) and pass them out, every day, in every legislative body in the country. We could blind these pompous popinjays with logic on paper. Whenever they start trying to pull the unending stream of colorful scarves out of a closed fist, we could rip off the jacket to show the neat contraption that folds those scarves up into a flat package that doesn't show on the outside. We could rip open the curtain that conceals the man operating the smoke and illusion machines and generally have a rip-roaring, good time.

I once read a short story about a little boy, sort of an outcast, who had a neighbor who was a ventriloquist. He would visit the neighbor every day and the dummy became his best friend, offering sympathy when things went wrong and lots of good advice. One sad day the ventriloquist died and the little boy, fearful of what might happen to his beloved buddy, sneaked into the house to look for him. When he found the box containing his friend, he was overjoyed and began to talk to him. When his friend didn't answer him, he picked him up, amazed at his floppy head and body. They he saw it...the hole in the dummy's back and it all became clear to him. His parents found him, sitting on the back steps of the neighbor's house, the dummy next to him, in a near-catatonic state. All he could say was, "I never had a real friend and now the not-real friend is dead."

I think the industry and its mavens and toadies and other well-compensated hangers-on are good at being "not-real" friends. There are some among us who actually believe we can work and make progress with adopters and industry reps among the workers. That makes me think of another magical character...the Push You Pull Me from Doctor Doolittle, the Rex Harrison version. (Sorry, but Eddie Murphy's version is not up to the original.) Two-headed beasties with heads on either end never make much progress. It's all a mess-up with a cast of characters that range from the pompous to the inane.

All this makes me wish that Burl Ives were still with us to stand in the halls of each legislature and utter those wonderful word about odoriferous mendacity. It's time for the vaudeville magicians that call themselves legislators to retire. Poof!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Sounds like something from a 50's B-grade horror  movie, doesn't it? Weeeellll, it was horrible enough. We were, uh, housed, for the most part, in Maternity Homes, in my case, the Florence Crittendon Homes in Charlotte and Savannah.

It was the EMS and, it looks like, for Florida, it never ended. Take a look at this post by Bastardette. I've written my reps and senator and the Orlando Sentinel about the insidious nature of HB 1449 and SB 2446. With this legislation in place that would deter a teen from seeking or obtaining an abortion without parental consent and without being "properly counseled," Florida, also known as Adoption Central USA will be virtually assuring the state of a gigantic crop of adoptable newborns harvested from healthy young wombs. Another baby-scoop is on the horizon.

I remember feeling like I was defined and valued only by what I carried in my belly. My parents wanted it out and gone and the social workers wanted that baby so that they could "create a new family." Not only were they feeling the power of their new designation as professionals, they were realizing that we were so powerless that they could get away with playing God.

There is something about a huge house full of frightened, vulnerable, young moms-to-be that smacks of the Grand Guignol to me, especially that old, brick mansion in Charlotte. When we were lined up outside the nurse's room on clinic day, it was as if we were waiting for our turn for lobotomies or shock therapy. Most of us were just praying that there was some way we could get out of there with our babies.

I can only remember one girl that rebelled and fought and wound up going home to her family with their support AND with her baby. She was from the hill country and, I don't know, maybe they grew them stronger up there. Of course, parental support is the key, here.

These new Florida bills, in a state that already gives the mother less than 24 hours to rescind surrender and overlooks coercive practices, are directed towards the parents that want their daughters to remain upwardly-mobile virgins. No telling what kind of indoctrination these parents will receive once they are notified that their daughters want abortions. The thing is, if these girls could be assured of their parents' understanding and support, they probably wouldn't be seeking an abortion on the QT. Florida is leading the nation in taking a giant step backwards into the bad old days of the EMS.

We will be leaving Florida, probably as soon as our little dog finishes his radiation and chemo treatments, The finished, signature-ready copy of our deed is being Fed-Exed to us as I write and closing on the land is set for May 14th. We have changed over our bank accounts to a bank with branches in the WV area where we are moving. The sooner we can leave, the better. Oh, I don't pretend to think that WV is more progressive in this area than FL, but I know they put a greater value on kinship and family, plus we won't be shoulder to shoulder with neighbors on our 6.25 acres. Here, it is 5 houses to the acre and you know how your neighbor votes and how often they have sex.

I will be shaking the dust from my feet of a rude, reactionary, Bush-infused, religion-run state and I will be glad of it. No one hates bullies worse than I do, and when it comes to the young, single, pregnant women, FL is one of the biggest bullies I know.

Hasta La Vista, Crackers!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ask Me If I Give A $#%&*^&^

I was just reading the post I wrote yesterday. I'll admit to venting a bit of pique with that one, but today it just doesn't seem to matter that much. In fact, it can be passed on to the people who were the objects of my post that not a one of you is as important to me, right now, as one little white and brown spotted mutt. In fact, none of you or what you did means a tinker's damn to me, anymore.

We saw the veterinary oncologist today and got the news that Rocky's Mast Cell tumor was a grade II. That means that it multiplies aggressively. His ultra-sound imaging showed him to be free of any tumors or lesions internally or in his lymph system but there were a few cells visible in the underside margin of the excised area where the tumor was removed.

Next Monday, he starts a regimen of 18 radiation treatments and a 6-month course of chemo. He was doing so well. The other good news is that his chances of a complete recovery exceed 80% so, we are going for it and I guess I will have to settle for less fancy appliances in our place in WV. $4800 worth of cancer treatments, in this case, buys a lot of unconditional love and he doesn't talk behind our backs or try to deny our truth. He just is totally sweet, uncomplicated, spoiled rotten Rocky-dog.

Now THIS is what adoption is supposed to be about. I suppose I could send him back to the shelter with a note stating that he was draining our retirement funds and dared to come to us with health issues. But that's not how it's supposed to work. He is loved, totally and freely and whatever we have to give is his.

He is completely ingenious, so I don't have to worry about him turning friends against me or demanding that I choose one over the other. For him, the more love and friends, the better. He loves the vanilla scent of the candle I am burning for a friend who needs a job. He doesn't complain about my activism causing anyone any discomfort. I'm Mommy and I can do no wrong. Daddy's pretty darn infallible, as well.

So next week, we make the 25 minute drive to Winter Park and back, twice a day, making sure that Rocky has his E-collar on at night so that he won't lick at his radiation burns and they will instruct us on how to administer his once-every-other week shot and his once every week pill for the chemo. And if I post something about adoption or the EMS/BSE that some adopter or barfmuggle or any-frickin'-body else doesn't like..then just ask me if I give a flying f***!

I am at peace with my priorities. And, as my youngest son would say, "Damn Skippy!"

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We're Waiting

Note the young woman in the lower left of the painting to the left. She is pointing at and making accusations against an innocent woman. This was painted to represent the scene at one of the Salem witch trials.

Several weeks back, someone accused a dear friend of mine of being a troll and misrepresenting herself on a forum or..was it two? I forget. But I do remember that the accusation was followed by a vehement promise to "out" my friend to everyone and therefore shame her. My friend told her to knock herself out. Well, we're still waiting. I imagine that, unless this person has the talent to produce evidence that is non-existent, we will be waiting a long time.

Meanwhile, this person or persons with malice towards us and agendas of her/their own managed to get both my friend and I tossed from a private support forum for no viable reason at all. We have had several members in good standing in that group, activists all, write us to let us know that they are as dumbfounded as us. I have had some of the newer, younger moms tell me that they appreciated my posts there. As in Olde Salem (pictured), it would seem that some would rather believe the worst than hear the truth and others just want to be safe so they go along with the lies. Tiptoeing through the eggshells is not my style, but it has helped people and I am sorry if others don't see that.

I have also been accused of taking this person's very words and using them on my blog. After reading through, three times, the moderator of the group couldn't find those words. The blog I wrote, was, in fact, in answer to some nasty anonymous comments on this blog. Hey, maybe she was one of them!! Ya think? While you are outing my friend as a troll, how's about producing the words of yours that I supposedly copied. Sorry, kiddo. I am a better writer than that and I don't need to use your words.

I am putting out a public challenge to the accuser of my friend and the malinger of my place on the aforementioned forum, to come forth and speak out with your so-called irrefutable facts. You've had time to trace IPS addresses and question your witnesses (it is getting funny) and we have yet to hear you say, "Here is my proof!" Or, "I looked and could not find the proof. I am sorry for falsely accusing you." I doubt, seriously, if we will ever hear either.

The thing is that we are not suffering and are getting our doings done and all the predictions of an explosive revelation have come down to nothing but booting two harmless women from a support group without even giving them a chance to defend themselves. The fact is that we are past the reunion angst and have more urgent things on our minds. So it really didn't cause a great upheaval in our personal lives. Sort of anticlimactic, eh? It reminds me of the early days of rocket launches where there was the great burst of fire, then a sputter, then the rocket turned over on its side and fell to the ground.

I have all the compassion in the world for people who have suffered serious, life-threatening illnesses. I really do, but I also feel that all adults are responsible for their actions and having survived a scary illness doesn't give anyone the right to treat others unfairly or accuse others unjustly.

I am so reminded of the lyrics from "the Magical Mister Mistoffelees" from the musical, "Cats."

"(her)His manner is vague and aloof,
You would think there was nobody shyer,
But (her) his voice has been heard on the roof,
When (s) he was curled up by the fire.
And (s)he's sometimes been heard by the fire,
When (s) he was about on the roof,
At least we all heard that somebody purred,
Which is uncontestable proof .....of (her)his singular magical powers

Boy, Friend of sure are tricky. LOL Meeyow!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Where's The Glory In Old Glory?

When I was a little girl, I remember the emotional high I would get at every Fourth of July parade. I would wave my little flag and think about how lucky I was to live in the land of the free. I would put my hand over my heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, would stand for the National Anthem (I still do) and I wanted to be as honest as George Washington and as fearless as Davy Crockett. I found out the difference between the myths and the men only too soon.

Almost 6 decades later, I wonder what in the Hell happened. It's bad enough that CEO's make obscene amounts of money while other citizens can barely scrape by. When I hear the conservative pundits whining about "Welfare Queens" I hear, in my mind, Ebeneezer Scrooge growling, "are there no work houses, no prisons?"

Every fairy tale that I was told in History class has been revealed in all its bias and spin-doctoring. I have since learned that Custer was an arrogant, bigoted bully...not a hero. If there were a real sense of fairness in our government and society, the victory of the Sioux at Little Big Horn would be an occasion for a national holiday. The Puritans were narrow-minded, religiously intolerant satraps. We have inherited every bit of their unforgiving lack of charity for those who don't follow the rigid rules of good sexual conduct. It is like pulling a hippo's teeth to try to reason with the irrationally religious and hawkish.

I've been seeing what I consider to be the Fall of the Greatness of America for a while, now. But it was really brought home to me with the scandal that has erupted around foreign adoptions, the Russian situation in particular. Our arrogance and the willingness to put a price tag on that which should be priceless is irrefutable evidence of our national avarice and self-entitlement. Capitalism has been taken to an unhealthy extreme while socialism, which in measured amounts is already with us and stands as our national conscience, has been condemned as almost Satanic. Sorry folks,but that "loaves and fishes" thing is about as socialistic as you can get.

We have practically made it an unspoken crime in the US for the poor, the disenfranchised, the unmarried and the young to have and raise children. Now that most parents in our country tend to urge terminations when their daughters become pregnant while single, the elite adopters must look in other directions for that healthy, white infant, preferably one without the added inconvenience of a natural mother in the wings. The American way of adoption has engendered disrespect for women, disdain for the mother/child connection and for all the talk of family values, caused a devaluing of the natural family. That's just one of the areas where I think we are going wrong, but it is the one that affects me most directly.

People talk about the good old days of the mid-20th century. To me, it was a time of hypocrisy, judgmental attitudes and saw the nadir of the exploitation of the natural mother. Those good old days were so fraught with secrets, lies and double standards it was a wonder we didn't go under then. Only our economic strength kept us afloat in the international pond. The Ugly American was already becoming well known. Now the Ugly American comes after the children of other nations and there are enough criminals and corrupt, petty officials in those nations to help reap the cash crop for a piece of the action.

So we get news stories of a little Russian boy sent back to the "store," traveling on his own. Or we have the latest celebrity  announcing their intention to adopt a little fashion accessory. Or we have PAPs trolling forums and websites and shopping malls and high schools and you name it, seeking to purchase that desirable infant to "complete their family." We've said it before and we'll say it is not about a home for a child but is all about a child for a home. Our priorities are so screwed up it isn't even funny. If this isn't indicative of a breakdown in values, nothing is.

I guess all we need is a huge fire and get someone to hand the President a fiddle. Like Rome, America is failing, falling, burning and one of the barometers of this change is the way of adoption. I am a sad senior citizen of what I once thought was the greatest nation in the world. Now, all I want is for us to make an effort to make it a good nation.

We do that one issue at a time. Mine is adoption and the EMS. Pick yours and just maybe.....well, we'll see.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

That Was Then, This Is Now

The painting to the left is by Richard Redgrave, famous during his era for pictures depicting the "sins" of women and their consequences. This was painted about 50 years before I was born. That was one of the most sexually-repressive eras in history, the Victorian Era.

This is the time during which a nervous bride was given the sterling sexual advice by her mother to "lie back and think of England." We were not so removed from that during the years of my childhood. I remember asking my grandmother (Mama was at work..she was *gasp, separated from her husband) what sex was. I'll never forget her answer as it formed my early self-image in connection with sexual urges. She told me that "sex is something a woman does to please her husband and to have children but no real LADY enjoys it." Grandma S. must have really wanted to please Grandpa S a lot. because they had 9 children.

The fact was that I had already, along with some of my playmates, done as children usually do and experimented with that thing that made you feel all fluttery and warm "down there." I therefore surmised that I was not a lady because I knew that pleasurable feeling was connected to sex. I also knew that anything overtly sexual made my family very uncomfortable. In the upstate of Bible Belt South Carolina, the Victorian values prevailed even into the mid-1960's. The infamous and over-described sexual revolution of the '60's really didn't reach into the backwaters until the last couple of years of the decade and into the early 70's. Girls were still responsible for keeping the lascivious  boyfriends at bay and minors still did what their parents and other authority figures told them to do. We were chattel to our fathers and, later, to our husbands.

I entered puberty having to read a little pamphlet called "Now You Are A Woman" put out by Procter and Gamble who made Kotex. I did not understand a thing about birth control, no informtion was offered about it, and I thought of myself as a deviant due to the sexually-charged dreams I would have. When those dreams turned into the reality of sexual activity with my first love (hereafter known as the Jerk), I was unable to enjoy it because I felt too much guilt...I felt dirty. When I accidentally had my first orgasm, I waited for Satan to come pick me up and take me to Hell.

My pregnancy came as a shock to me because I just couldn't relate the sweaty, messy thing that I did with The Jerk to what I felt must be some exalted, pure thing that married people did to have babies. To my family, it was the worst thing I could have possibly done. I found out, from the Jerk, that I was on my own with this one. Thank Heavens, his parents, good people, believed me and tried to offer some sympathy and understanding.

Most people that know me know how it went from there. The story's been told numerous times. I had no recourse but to do as my family and the authority figures they brought in to "help" instructed, ordered, coerced and forced me to do. It's really telling that the last bit of instruction I was given by the helpful ones was to lie for the rest of my life. Thank You, but NO. I tell the truth and I like it!

But that was then. There was change brewing. I remember being invited, in the mid '70's to a baby shower for the unmarried daughter of a co-worker. Part of me was livid with anger and envy. The rest of me was happy for this girl who was getting what I couldn't have, the support of her family and a future with her child. I watched as the world changed, delighting the left and frustrating the right. I cheered on Murphy Brown and began a tentative search for my lost children. I even supplied my raised children with birth-control information and answered all their questions about sex as honestly as I could. After some counseling, I learned to relax and enjoy my own sexuality.

There are quite a few differences between the EMS and the last 3 or so decades that stand out in my mind with total clarity. Birth control was hard for married women to get during the EMS and impossible for unmarried women. We had to rely, when our, boyfriends decided to use them, on the condom for protection. While it was not a bad way to go, we still had to rely on the guy to get and use them.  When my raised daughter was 15, she could go to our county Health Department and be examined and given a prescription for birth control pill. That was 1980. Easy enough, huh?

In my part of the country, the only people who provided abortions were either back-alley butchers or one local physician who did "D&C's" on single women for a huge price, after hours. Insurance did not cover it. We could not afford it and I was obviously important enough to my parents that they refused to consider the other type of provider. When my daughter went through a rebellious stage, did not show up for her bc pills and was found to be pregnant by a junior Jerk, it was a quick $230 (including anesthesia) and she was back in school in two days. The Jerk, Jr. stayed far, far away after I had a few choice words with him.

She attended school with a lot of girls who were, obviously, great with child. When it was learned that I was pregnant, I had a choice...withdraw from school or be expelled. Hell, her high school even had an extra course added for learning about child care. In Home Economics, in my high school, I learned how to make Welsh Rarebit and how to prepare a trousseau. Shhhhhh. We didn't talk about having babies, even of the legally married variety.

There was much made of a young teacher at one of the middle schools being fired for having a bun in the oven in 1963. One of my Mother's co-workers was fired when she began to show and the married woman, when she became pregnant, was expected to turn in her notice by her 5th month. There was no such thing as maternity leave and her job was not waiting for her when she was ready to return to work.  Landlords could refuse to rent to a single woman with children or expecting one. "The World According To Garp," was difficult to read and comprehend within the scope of my experience.

This is why I get so frustrated, now. The industry and the anti-abortion contingent are trying to roll back the clock to the bad old days. We've seen how well Abstinence Only works. Now there are states trying to make early termination of a pregnancy difficult and late-term impossible to obtain. They fight the idea of honest sex education in schools, want to restrict birth control and ya gotta wonder why? Why, if we can prevent pregnancy and/or prevent surrender, where WOULD these good folks get the Healthy Infants for the Right Kind Of People to raise "as if born to?"

I spent a lot of years trying to prevent separation of mother and infant. I was a one-woman family preservationist in my area and I caught Hell from a lot of people for it. I got too old, too tired and too emotionally sapped to keep it up. So I am leaving that up to those that didn't have to deal with the Bad Old Days or think there is no difference in then and now. I am using my remaining years and energy to talk about just how nasty those bad old days really were and how things have changed.

There are choices available now, that we didn't have back then. I'm sorry, but a fact is a fact. I don't doubt that there is naivete' and parental pressure still in effect, but not the way it was when I was isolated, shamed and stripped of my self-worth all in the name of providing someone with a womb-fresh baby.

So I leave the Now for the Then with these words of hopeful advice. You have freedoms, you have choices, you have information....USE THEM. You can avail yourself of birth control and prevent pregnancy. If you are of a mind to, you can terminate the pregnancy. And, wonder of wonders and joy of joys, you can keep your baby.

Adoption is a life sentence and, like suicide, a permanent 'solution' to a temporary problem. Beware of agencies, attorneys and social workers bearing relinquishment papers, don't fall for the "open adoption" fairy tale and count your blessings that this isn't then, this is NOW.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sects, Cults and Kids

Oh bless the poor Bible, whose words are selected,
Taken clean out of context,
Then culted and sected.

"Go forth and breed freely," The Quiverfulls' preachings,
Are based on one small part,
Of a book full of teachings
But that's some maverick Baptists and you sure can't forget 'em.
They'd like to run congress,
But the constitution won't let 'em.

The content-besotted, in the hills, are the Masters,
Saying, "drink strychnine and hold snakes,
And defy the disaster."

Some more hope that young girls will slip out of their undies,
And make babes for adoption,
To make more little fundies.

Then we have the Mormons, who have such a strange history,
But they've taken out Utah,
And How's not a mystery.

It's all about numbers, the more members, the better,
Soon they'll have the whole nation,
Following to the letter,
The rules of the culters, the ways of the Churchy,
All pure and all wholesome,
All judgmental and perky,
So they'll keep on producing or adopting as they need 'em,
But when their cults overfloweth,
How the Hell will they feed 'em?
They must surely crave power, or to out-populate China,
And the route that they take,
Is the same, the vagina.
It gets me that reproduction is the aim of these sects,
Yet they balk at single-motherhood,
And make sin out of sex.
They are on a dire path, and should put on the skids,
But you cannot talk sense,
About Sects, Cults and Kids.

Robin Westbrook
April 13, 2010 (c)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Baby Done Right

Quick and happy post, today.

Well, my neighbors didn't make it to Monday. While we were walking the dogs, Emma's water broke and her pains started. Late last night, James called to ask if we would doggy-sit PJ, their Yorkie. At 6:46AM, 15 hours after Mom's water broke, James Connor Bruce, Jr., 10 (TEN!) pounds, 2 ounces, 21" long, hale and healthy with his Daddy's bright red hair, was born. Mother and son are doing well and Daddy is worn out. Of course, PJ got more rest. He and Rocky piled up on our feet and slept all night with us.

There is so much joy in this nice family, today. I am waiting for Emma's mom to come by and pick up PJ and I have already ordered flowers and balloons for the newest little Bruce. This baby was a little miracle. Having tried for a pregnancy for 4 years without any aid, they had started the fertility drugs. She never saw another period after her first dose and they were actually expecting more than one until they got the ultra-sound. It was just a heftly singleton. There will be no adoption in this family. Hallelulia!

Welcome, Junior. Live well among your own people and may your hair stay red. 'Tis the mark of the Bruces.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Conversations From An Afternoon Dog Walk

I live in a very "doggy" neighborhood and we often band together and walk our dogs in groups.This afternnoon, we were four walkers with five pooches including, Ta-Da!, the Rockmeister, seen here at Christmas tagging along with his "daddy."

One of my neighbors, a lady just a few years younger than me, mentioned the story of Artem Saveliev (see previous blog post) and I told them what I knew of the story. The conversation turned to adoption, in general and I jumped it with both feet.

These people are all relatively untouched by adoption. The closest they have come is knowing someone who adopted. I started off with my story (a couple of them had heard it before) and the hopes we have for eventual  justice for the mothers of the EMS and even got in a plug for open access to original birth certificates, I was amazed at how little these folks really knew about all of it.

Their understanding of the subject was just the simplified, sanitized and air-brushed version the industry and government supporters have fed the public over the years. Either a young woman is "too young" or her hubby is a beast or she is a druggie or the child is an orphan, etc., etc. So then the facilitators in the white hats ride in on their steeds and whisk the children away to picture-perfect, forever families. Cue rising violin music, sunset and.....cut. Pass the hankies and they live happily ever after.

I think I corrected quite a few mistaken impressions in a 45-minute walk. And they asked some very intelligent questions which leads me to believe the industry and their spin doctors might be underestimating John Q. Public. I noted that all of us owned dogs that were shelter rescues and opined that this was the kind of adoption that got my seal of approval.

One man, whose wife is, as she puts it, "11 months pregnant and holding" (She is due to be induced on Monday)  was very thoughtful as we headed back for our street. It seems that before they became expectant parents, they were considering adoption. He mentioned, as we parted ways, that if this little boy they are greeting on Monday is the only child they ever have, they will feel blessed and not feel compelled to buy him a sister or brother. "It just wouldn't be fair to anyone involved, would it?" he asked.

No James, it wouldn't be fair. Enjoy your son.

Global Social Experimentation; More Harm Done

If ever the expression on a face portrayed the pain inside, it is in this picture of Russian Adoptee, Artem Saveliev, aka, Justin Hansen as he arrived back in Russia after being returned by his adopter like defective, unwanted merchandise.

Bastardette, on her blog, has compiled a wealth of information about this tragic case. It is worth your time to go read. But steel yourself. It is a sad story.

It is also a story that asks more questions than it answers. I wonder why the Russian-based facilitators do not properly screen and treat these children. Lord knows, they have been through enough, already, if they have landed in the adoption system. These kids are damaged and grieving. They need the attention of professionals and constant support and reassurance.

I look askance at the American adopters who have brought these children to our country, arrogantly assumed to be superior to Russia, obviously without really and deeply thinking of the culture shock and the fear generated by unfamiliar surroundings. I see the smug assumption in these people that their families and culture will knock the Russian right out of these kids. What a line of crap.

If you go to the links provided by Bastardette that deal with Russian adoptees, you can pick and choose your horror story. Saintly adopters engaged in pedophilia, physical and emotional abuse and even murder are factually chronicled by BD.

I don't really want to hear anyone whining about how these people are not the norm. I'm sure there are others who are faring better with their Russian adoptees. But the fact that these horrible things happen at all, and with the frequency they are happening, tells me that extending the social experiment of adoption across national boundaries is not only ineffective but just plain wrong on too many levels.

So I digress, today, from the tragedy of the EMS to address a more immediate  drama. That poor kid didn't stand a chance. I am disgusted, appalled and furious. Damn it, Children are NOT products and adoption, as an industry, needs to be dismantled, brick by brick.

Adopter and industry pundit, Adam Pertman, remarked that children are not returnable. Gee, that was righteous of you, Adam. You can read a lot into that statement. I know of many children who should have been returned, to their mothers. This is different...this is using a child as a plaything, a badminton bird to be batted back and forth while the central issue, the well-being of the boy, was ignored.

So consider this my salute to the industry and those who keep it running, here, there and everywhere there are children for barter. Help them, don't use them.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Good Of The Many

OK, I'll come clean. While I am not the kind of Trekkie that dresses as a Klingon and hits every convention in the country, I am a sci-fi fan and love Star Trek. I cried when Spock died.

Anyone who know anything about the series or the movies knows this line. "The good of the many outweighed the good of the one." Which brings me to one of my favorite groups of the many..EMS mothers. We are many and we really need to see to our own good.

It goes without saying, with that many women, estimated to top a million, that not all the cases follow the norm. While the majority of women were teens, single and unable to financially carry the load in raising their children, there were the few who didn't fit that mold. There were older, financially autonomous mothers who still felt that they could not raise a child. Some kept their babies for a period, either at home or in foster care before they surrendered. One or two were married and the rationale behind surrender is a bit fuzzy in those cases. But for every one woman who did not fit the general description of the EMS mom, there were 100 who did.

These women who are not a part of our experience along with some of the younger mothers seem to resent our seeking justice for the way we were treated in our vulnerable state. It may help them to try to normalize their experience by dismissing the experience of the majority. To them I would say that you have every right to tell your history as it happened to you. We have that same right.

History is an interesting thing. Those with agendas can try to tweak it, revise it or dismiss it, but what happened, happened and, like it or not, the truth eventually rises to the top of the brew and is recognized for its validity. From an online article, "Revising History, Part 1: The Meaning of Denial" comes this section;

Like any human endeavor, the process of recording historical occurrences is not flawless – it's fallible, subject to interpretation and misinterpretation. However, the purpose of creating histories should be to promote the acknowledgment that facts exist outside our own desires. History, as a discipline, recognizes that past actions not only happened but also have consequences. History is the record of those reverberations rippling through time. Whether on a personal or national level, history asserts: I (we) did this…that happened…and something developed from it. History is the ultimate accountability – the record of human choices.

It is that accountability, that recognition that the EMS happened that we ask for. And we want it known that it had painful and serious consequences that are still adversely affective families into the present day. We mothers who represent the norm among the victims of the EMS are living history lessons. We were there, we are not in denial any longer and we are not sitting in silence and allowing a revision of the truth to go unchallenged.

In all the communities in all the states in the Union, there are women who are going gray, taking pills for their blood pressure, looking into retirement homes and carrying the scars of a real, provable act of historically significant, emotional violence done to them in their hearts. What an unbelievably tragic waste it would be for these women to go to their graves without their truth being heard and addressed.

The more the history revisionists publish their arguments, the more I am moved to counter that with what I know, in my deepest self, is a truth, not an opinion. This event was a part of the dark, slimy underbelly of our hypocritical society during those years. The power wielded against us and our infants was terrible, immense and, shamefully for our society, legal. With that power, the industry and governments reduced us to a statistic of perceived social ills. If they had wanted to see what was wrong with society at that time, all they had to do was look in the mirror.

If there is a life beyond this one, and our fight has not reached victory by the time of my death, I intend to do a lot of haunting. We need to heal our wounded souls and receive the respect and dignity that was taken from  us. We have earned it.

That shouldn't threaten the ones who don't fit the norm. And it certainly isn't too much to ask. We'll see how it goes and one day, this fight will be history, too.


Let's try this again. If you who follow my blog read my post "Just a Reminder" (just a couple of posts down..the one with the stunning creature in her underwear) then this is old news and you can surf away from here. But it is obvious that I was not taken seriously. I KNOW that there are people who disagree with me and the group I represent about the idea of justice for the EMS Moms. That's fine. BUT, as I said before, this blog is not for "lively debate" or to provide a forum for the arguments against our mission. There are plenty of venues for that if one feels the need and I am sure that the people who read here know that not everyone sees this issue in the same way. There is no need to feel obliged to post an opposing viewpoint on our space.

Like I said, if you want to disagree with me, have at it. Just don't do it here. This is our safe zone and, after what most of us have been through, we need a place to safely express our goals and ideas. Neither SMAAC nor I, personally, have ever claimed to speak for all mothers in the EMS age group. However, should we succeed, all mothers in that age group could benefit.

So, respectfully, let me ask, again, that you take your debating elsewhere. We mothers of SMAAC are tired of the arguing and are ready for the doing and are into live and let live. To each her own. Peace.

PS* Have I mentioned that we don't give a flying fart how someone might think this policy makes us look? Ya gotta love the Internet. It's sort of a recipe for instant enemies. Just add opinions and shake. LOL

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A Simple Dream

I didn't realize how much it meant to me until I dreamed about it, last night. I was in a large hall, lined with fine, gold-framed art and bookshelves crammed with leather-bound volumes. There was a small dais at one end and many velvet-upholstered chairs lined up facing the podium.

None other than John F. Kennedy was standing behind  the podium. There were a few familiar faces in the chairs, friends, my parents, sister mothers, and one group that looked very disgruntled, dressed in black, over to the right of the stage.

JFK stepped forward and called me to stand with him. He shook my hand and told me how sorry he was for the treatment I received. Then he made a signal with his hand to the grouchy ones over to the right and a stocky woman in a black suit stood up, carrying something. She came up to face me, muttered an "I'm sorry" and placed my two babies in my arms. Even though they were the newborns I had been forced to surrender, they were smiling at me, joyful smiles full of life and promise.

Then I awoke to the whimpering and scratching of my dog needing to go out.

Now that dream was undeniably full of overt, unsubtle symbols. JFK was president when I surrendered my children. My social worker with the SC Children's Bureau was stocky and favored dark clothes. That dream was a wish on a star...a "what if" with a fantasy ending. It was lovely, but that was then and this is now.

My real dream is simpler. Recognition for the EMS/BSE by the government would be a good start. An official apology would be a bonus. Most of all, the education the public would receive about the realities of how mothers are treated, gulled, coerced and scammed would be invaluable. We mothers of the EMS are the living mortar that the industry used to piece together the stones of their practices. Closed records began during the EMS. Maternity homes as adoption warehouses became an American institution during that era. Adoption as a way to provide a child for the childless hit its stride during that time.

Most in our circle will agree that adoption is not about a home for a child, anymore, but is all about a child for a home..a balm to soothe the egos and needs of adopters. That is less obvious, it seems, to the general public. We have no more heroes. No one has come down the pike that is bigger than life and an icon to emulate. All our would-be heroes have been outed by their feet of clay. So the US hangs on to the myth of adoption as the pretty picture of a couple, gazing upon an infant in adoration and joy, while ignoring the tragedy on the other side of the door.

They throw the label of "heroine" at us like throwing pork bones to the yard dogs. Be proud of your "loving sacrifice" and go away and quit whining, they say. We are back to say that we don't want those bones, that there is nothing "loving" about separating a mother and child, and we want what is due us...redress for the legal crimes of the EMS.

We are learning that no one in the adoption activism arena can be all things to all who have been used and abused by this business of baby-brokering. Adopted people are fighting for clean, unrestricted access to their original birth certificates. That is their fight, we agree, applaud and wish them well. Others say they are trying to reform adoption.  To me, that is like trying to commit a victimless oxymoron. But more power to those who want to try. Still others spend their time and efforts to search and facilitate reunions and that is fine, as well. So is peer support, but, unfortunately, much of that where they concentrate on the grief and loss and the vagaries of reunion can often keep both adopted adult and mother spinning their wheels in their pain.

It is easier for each faction to concentrate on the one goal they see as doable. For us, it is recognition of the injustice done to the mothers of the EMS and, through them, to their adult children. I'm hoping it will happen before the day I leave this life. If it doesn't, I would hope that one of my younger sisters from that era would come to my place of rest and lay a flower and tell me it finally happened.

I have a feeling that I, wherever I might be, will hear the message. That would put the "Peace" in my rest.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Rebuilding Self-Esteem

Any mother who lost a child to the adoption machine, especially those of us from the EMS/BSE, will tell you that those who were after our babies worked hard to make us as powerless as possible. Although, we had very little autonomy back then, as minors and as females, what little we had was taken from us. We were the creatures of our fathers and the state.

It is horrifyingly easy to remember how they hammered away at our feelings of self-worth, working to persuade us of our potential toxicity as mothers. By the time they had finished with the shaming (I already had received a big dose of that from my Bible Belt family) and the insinuations of the lack of mental and emotional stability, all they left was a grief-laden zombie. After I lost my second child, in much the same way, all that was left of the Robin who was glad to be Robin was a little whisper in the back of my brain.

Thus started one of the most confusing, difficult and painful journeys of my life.....the reconstruction of my self-worth. The emptiness inside me caused me to turn to some pretty unhealthy placebos in an attempt to fill that gulf. Food was my drug of choice for many years. Looking for love in all the wrong places could have also become my theme song. I obsessed over the father of my oldest for many, many years and, to my shame, was available for him to use and abuse as he saw fit. I was in an unhealthy, co-dependent marriage and trying to raise two children from that marriage to think well of themselves was what started me on the road to recovering Robin.

Rape crisis counseling (my second surrendered child was conceived via "date rape") was my kick-off. Talking about not only the rape, but the fact that I had been abused and abandoned by some of the male figures in my life helped me start to shake off the shame. It's freeing to know that you didn't ask for the treatment you received.

Next, with my weight topping 275 lbs. and knowing that the purging I was doing was not helping the matter, I went into in-patient treatment at the Rader Institute. They follow the same principals as Alcoholics Anonymous and that  simple program was the hardest, most onerous and painful, most wonderful thing I have ever done for myself. The only thing that held me back from full recovery was the fact that accepting the loss of my two oldest children to adoption was not something I could do at that time. It just didn't feel right to blithely accept that they were out of my life, forever. I did, however, get to see that working my program was invaluable to my raised children. They reaped the benefits of a mother who worked at her spiritual values and rejected co-dependency.

Reunion, with both of my adult, surrendered children, in April and November of 1993, and learning that I wasn't toxic, and that they needed me in their lives was what put me within the range of normal self-esteem. It was like my own, personal Emancipation Proclamation when I stated, out loud, that I did not deserve to be treated the way I was, that I was not a bad person, then or now, and that I was a damn good mother. I felt the weight of years of self-doubt and being overly concerned about the perceptions others had of me just slide off my shoulders.

Now, I had to keep working at it. I could have easily drifted back into that abyss of self-hatred if I didn't work at keeping my chin up and my head high. Finding other mothers on the Internet and giving and receiving support was water for my thirsty heart. My loved ones cared, but they couldn't understand the way other mothers, especially other EMS mothers did. They understood what it was like to be classified as a fornicating delinquent, unfit to raise your own child, even if not all took the sex/shame message to heart the way I did. I was also still working at erasing those Bible Belt fundie messages from my brain.

Finding value in who I am and who I was saved me from a slow death by excess. This was a hard-fought victory and one that is allowing me, in these last decades (hopefully) of my life, to live with serenity and more courage than I ever thought I could muster. Me?? Brave??? Wow, what a concept!

So now, a small group of us uppity mothers are banging the drum about justice and redress for what was done to us in the name of morality, secrecy and the bottom line. I wanted to stand and cheer when Karen
Wilson Buterbaugh's article went online and the facts were there for all to see. Sooner (I hope) than later, this information is going to reach the general public and we might just gain the support we need for a congressional hearing or perhaps, at least, an official apology.

You see, what was done to us is no longer legal. The fact that it was legal should be something of which our government is ashamed. The industry and CPS and social workers might still be coercing, but it is done with more finesse and subtlety because the young women of today do not follow the lead of authority the way we did back then. The industry has had to do a lot of spin-doctoring to persuade the mothers of today that they are, somehow, interchangeable. Unfortunately, they've done it rather well.

Of course, that recognition of the EMS and the injustices of it and, maybe, that apology wouldn't give me back my self-esteem. I've already given myself that gift. Let's just say, it would put a really nice shine on it.

Plus, we deserve it.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Just A Reminder

I know that I post a lot of stuff that many want to challenge, don't like or just want to argue the point. That is why, periodically, I make this statement.

This blog is like my personal den. I and those who think in the same (controversial) manner that I do are safe here. It is not a forum for "lively debate," flaming, censure, challenges or nit-picking arguments. If you want to take my comments to another venue and tear them apart, I can't stop you. But this is like my home and I will allow nothing here that I wouldn't allow in my home. I appreciate the fact that there are those who follow me who do not see some things the same way I do and I hope they use this blog to learn what the "other faction" is thinking. If I want to argue some of these points, I can always go to Yahoo Answers or Craigslist and have at it. Sit back, Have a cup of whatever and read.

Now that that is taken care of for another few weeks, I have some things to say that some might not like at all. First, while the timeline, beginning and end, of the EMS/BSE are debated, it doesn't change the fact that it is a historical happening, and that women began to have more choices and less pressure to surrender around the mid-'70's. I choose that time frame because it was in 1975 that I was first invited to a baby shower for a single mom, 18. I ached with envy inside and even wanted to boycott the shower, but I didn't and I am glad I went.

I noted that she was still attending classes at USCS, and mentioned to her mom that I was surprised the university allowed pregnant, single students. Her mom told me that she was equally surprised and even more so when she found out they there was day care available for both married and single moms at the school. I also took that opportunity to commend that mother for supporting her daughter.

So you see, Roe v. Wade aside, we who lived the EMS also lived through and witnessed its demise. That is first-hand knowledge of events and it's hard to ignore facts. We started seeing women being allowed to work who were single and pregnant rather than being fired as soon as they started to show. We witnessed the fair housing act which meant that very few landlords had the luxury of being moral arbiters who would render a single woman homeless should she become pregnant. We observed the fading of the stigma surrounding unmarried motherhood and watched (with considerable inner pain) as families supported their daughters and welcomed the newest member with joy.

I accept that there were still families and enclaves in the US who continued to hold the bad, old attitudes and that coercion is still alive even though it has changed to meet the challenges of a different society. But please give us a break. We know what happened to us. We were there. If it is hard to wrap your minds around the kind of world we lived in, then take our word for it. If we say that women began to have more choices after a certain date, then it's true....not an insult, but a fact.

And we are in the last decades of our lives. Many of us have already gone on to whatever lies beyond life. This is our last chance to get back a little of what was ours. Don't begrudge us the effort. If you can't support us, then leave us be. It took us decades to wake from the sleep of the coerced and shamed. We don't have that long to see that the injustice is addressed.

Thanks for reading.