Saturday, October 30, 2010

Getting Out The Vote

....In more ways than just one. We are at the deadline for voting for the Demons of our choice. The following is borrowed...well, blatantly stolen from Musing Mother.

4th Annual Demons in Adoption Awards Nominations

Each year Pound Pup Legacy presents the Demons of Adoption Award to raise a voice against adoption propaganda and the self congratulatory (specious and vomitous) practices of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute's annual Angels in Adoption Awards(TM)

Until October 30 you will have the opportunity to vote for the recipient of this year's award. To vote, go to:

The nominees are:

LDS Family Services: for being the most secretive of all adoption agencies, using coercive tactics in obtaining infants for adoption and having no respect for father's rights; (my personal favorite and I protest by finding those "missionaries'" bikes, chained to a light post and let the air out of their tires)

Gladney center for adoption: for being one of the most profit-centered agencies around and blocking open record efforts in Texas; (Wonder if Mexico would like this part of Texas back?)

Christian World Adoption: for their involvement in "harvesting" practices in Ethiopia and their blind ambition to "save" each and every "orphan" in this world;

Larry S. Jenkins: for his involvement in nearly every case where father's rights were violated;

Joint Council on International Children's Services: for promoting the interest of adoption agencies at the expense of children, and pushing agency friendly legislation in Congress;

Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute for giving their seal of approval to persons and organizations that promote the interests of the adoption industry and pushing agency friendly legislation in Congress;

Council on Accreditation: for their lack of research done on inter-country adoption agency histories prior to giving out Hague accreditation;

American Adoption Congress: For failing to remove state reps who were openly working against open access for adult adoptees;

American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey: for opposing open records for adoptees and "protecting" closet moms, based on a "stack of anonymous letters" claimed to be from "birthmothers".

Christian Alliance for Orphans: for promoting the business interests of adoption agencies through churches.

Southern Baptist Convention: for passing resolution no. 2 , pushing the business interests of adoption agencies to the members of their church; for systematically banning voices that oppose current adoption practices and their continuous pro-adoption propaganda;

Scott Simon: for his vomit-inducing book “Baby, We Were Meant For Each Other” and his grotesque crying and blubbering about his purchasing of another human being;

WE TV: for their hideously exploitative series ‘Adoption Diaries,’ turning what is a highly emotive and complex topic into ‘reality’ show fodder.
And the adoption-affected ask, because the adoption-affected dare, "WHO will it be?"  I can't wait for the results.

Friday, October 29, 2010

What A Week, Rainbow-Wise

This has been quite a week for rainbows in our house. First, our Rockmeister crossed the Rainbow Bridge to a peaceful rest. Then little Dolly joined our family and her light is shining through our tears to create more rainbows. But then, darn it, I read a post by an adoptee/social worker, farting copious adoption rainbows.

Her post was a complete flight of fantasy. I would copy and paste but that is against the forum rules. It ran the gamut from the usual "good adoptee" paeans of praise and love for her adopters, and frequent use of the "b" word, to how lucky children are that are born to "Hero B****Mothers" (her term) who love them enough to give them away. I felt the urge to regurge.

The bitch of it is that I think this person truly, at least to her conscious mind, believes this crap. To believe otherwise would be a scary proposition for her. Her purple, pink, yellow and green prose evoked images of the fatuous smiles of religious cult fanatics. I can almost see a bumper sticker saying "Smile, Adoption loves you." And, oh yes, she did imply that adoption is all God's idea. Poor God. Whatever He/She is, He/She gets both blame and credit in areas I think He/She would rather avoid. But then I have learned, sadly, that the God of most folk's understanding is created in their own image. I once heard someone, I don't remember who, say, "There is a God and his name is Ego."

I had an image in my mind as I read that post. I saw, amid all those specious, precious proclamations of the wonderful nature of adoption, a little girl, hiding in the corner of her mind, shutting her eyes tightly so she can't see the monsters. That little girl is just as confused and sad as any other adoptee who has been deprived of roots, heritage and, most importantly, their natural mother. So she has constructed an elaborate defence made of rainbow colors, unicorns, fairies and angel wings and plopped herself deep in the middle of this airy fort by making her career one of doing to other mothers and their children what was done to her and her mother.

Usually, I get angry and frustrated when I read such drivel. I will admit to a bit of frustration, but, more than anything, I just felt sad for this woman. I imagine that her arms and hands are very tired from holding on so tightly to that unreal world of hers. And that baby girl inside her psyche still cries for her mother.

I have to shake my head at the society that allows so many myths to make up the fabric of life for so many. We're taught terribly skewed history in schools. We're bombarded with dogma and miracles rather than love and acceptance in church, we are suckered in by false promises from politicians, and many of us live with that 800-pound gorilla, smack in the middle of the room, and never acknowledge him. Hey everyone! Reality can be harsh but it can also be wonderful. You take it all as part of the fabric of real life.

This poem, one whose author is unknown, calls us out as wasters of real rainbows. That might be the reason so many people reach a point in their life when they are all out of more rainbows, and that's sad. If you don't have one or two tucked away, then you are ripe for terminal depression.

Rainbows Are Not For Everyday

Rainbows are not for everyday …
Their essence is transience,
The bitter sweet poignance
Of a beloved who died young.
Born from the slow dying
Of a million rain drops
They cast a magic spell
Of laughter and tears
On all my empty days.
Rainbows are not for everyday
I keep them folded away
For a rainy day.
Till a magical fragment
Of memory
Explodes …..
And they blaze across the sky
Setting the day afire
With their radiance.
Overtaking me with the wonder
Of an undeserved gift.
Rainbows are not for everyday.
A rainbow is a bridge
And a bridge is for passing
You cannot hold a
rainbow in your hand.

Oh, but don't so many of us try?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Best Medicine....

.....for grief is often in doing something good for someone who needs it. Rocky was a shelter rescue. When you walk into one of those places, it is hard not to want to take them all home. We found ourselves up and getting dressed and heading for the SPCA and the local shelter, yesterday. There was a void in this house that cried out for a dog. We wanted to honor Rocky by giving another furry, little guy or gal a real home rather than a cement-floor cage. We looked at several small dogs, but my heart went out to a skinny, little Rat Terrier, smaller than Rocky and with black markings and a full tail, who was timid but affectionate. While she and Rocky share some traits, since Rocky was a Rattie Mix, she is very much herself. So...welcome home, Dolly.

She is a little bundle of energy, alway on the go. She is supposedly afraid of men but she loves my hubby. She is underweight and skittish and very inquisitive and is going to take some work as far as training goes. "Sit" is a foreign concept to her and when I try to gently push her bum down on the floor, she cringes as if she fears I am going to hurt her. We are working on the trust thing, right now.

I had some loved ones ask if it weren't too soon for us to have another dog. We didn't have any illusions going that getting a new pup would take away our grief. We just knew we were the kind of people who had learned that they needed a dog in the home. Dolly isn't replacing Rocky. You can't replace one furbaby with another any more than you can replace one child with another. But, she is a little bit of a goof ball and she acutally had me roaring with laughter yesterday. We have a framed picture of Rocky sitting on a shelf and I felt like he was watching her antics and thinking, "Who is THIS bitch?"

I will continue to mourn Rocky, but we do have closure, and time will make the ache lessen. When I lost my two oldest children to adoption, I have to say that I rushed to have more. Just like a dogless home is empty, a mother without a child is also empty. I never stopped missing and wanting Sara and Jay, but the joy that Kerry and Sam gave me helped me know that love comes in an endless supply. They didn't replace their siblings taken for adoption, but they allowed me to be what I became when I first felt my oldest move in my womb...a mother. And I love them both dearly for who they are and have never faulted them for who they weren't. Dolly isn't Rocky, but that's OK. Dolly's a damn good doggie on her own merit.

No matter what, life goes on. Grieving is a part of life for the living. I wonder if I would have fared better had I, at least, been allowed to mourn the loss of my daughter and son in an overt manner? I have received so many condolences on Rocky's passing, but only a couple of people would acknowledge my pain over the loss of my children. Everyone else seemed uncomfortable with my grief...even my own family. I and many other mothers who had children taken for adoption can attest to the fact that supressed grief can really do some damage to the old psyche.

I found myself telling my little girl doggy that she was a "good boy," this morning. No, I still have a lot of hurt ahead of me for my Rocky. But I also have a sweet little lady to care for and that helps, immeasurably. She is finding her own place in my heart, just as my raised children did. That's the thing about love.

You usually don't run out and it seems to multiply in proportion to the need.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rocky Westbrook 11/13/2002- 10/25/2010

You know what I have learned? I have learned that we Natural Mothers don't handle loss all that well. This morning at 9:10 AM, we said our last goodbyes to our beloved Rocky and released him from his suffering. We had to do what was best for him. Keeping him alive even though he was having great difficulty breathing and was bleeding internally from the Mast Cell Tumor cancer that had spread throughout his system would have been the ultimate cruelty. My husband and I are making our way through this day in a haze of tears and grief but knowing that no love, however brief, is ever wasted or without worth.

What we received from Rocky in the 23 months he was with us was unconditional, exuberant and priceless. He was a joy of a little guy who had very bad luck with his health, but good luck finding people who would fight for him. I don't feel that we lost the fight. We set him free and that is a victory, especially when we wanted so badly to try anything to keep him going.

Now one of my children would argue with me, but I am going to hope and believe that there is something after this life...maybe not the way it is presented in the churches...but something that keeps going after the body fails. I want to believe that his spirit is running free, digging up gopher tortoise holes, barking at doorbells and sniffing his way through the woods. I want to believe that he is waiting for us to throw his cow hoof so that he can fetch it and then play "keep-away" with us. I want to believe that there will come a time when he will play "race to the bed" with us, again. And I hope, in that place, wherever he is, there are all manner of garbage cans to investigate.

Go with our blessings, Rockmeister. You carry a big piece of our hearts with you. Rest now..the bad part is over.

We love you, Little Guy.

On the death of the Beloved
by John O'Donohue
(1956 - 2008) Timeline

Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
Where no storm or might or pain can reach you.
Your love was like the dawn
Brightening over our lives
Awakening beneath the dark
A further adventure of colour.

The sound of your voice
Found for us
A new music
That brightened everything.

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You placed smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart.

Your mind always sparkled
With wonder at things.
Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was alive, awake, complete.

We look towards each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.

Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul's gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.

Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.

When orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.
May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.

(Sent to me by a friend "Down Under" who is also dealing with canine cancer.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Bully God, And The Unwed Mother

"...the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."-- Job 1: 20-21 (KJV) People have used the image of the Judeo-Christian God to intimidate, justify war, condone torture and name it. Those of us who have lost children to the adoption industry know this God on a first-hand basis. For some of us, his name was never invoked, but he was there, in the background, in the minds of the families, social workers and everyone else during the BSE. Just like Torquemada, the engineer of the Spanish Inquisition, many of these folk felt they were doing God's work by systematically divesting unmarried mothers of their infants. They might as well have put us to the rack.

That this idiocy lingers to this day speaks to the arrogance and ignorance of a lot of people. I remember the feeling I had in Sunday School when I was taught that the Jews were, supposedly, the chosen people of God. Where did that leave us? "Well," said the teacher, "Jesus came along and fixed that."
So now the Christians think they are above everyone else by virtue of their belief and they even have trained beemommies to pass that thought along. Everyone seems to have a need to not only feel superior, but to feel that they are safe from whatever scares them. The problem is that, when philosophers and prophets began coming up with explanations for the things they didn't understand, they seem to have created the Creator in their own image, as a bully who has his representatives on earth to police, judge and correct. I wonder how Jesus would react to the people using his name and his teachings (as they are available) to condemn, adjudicate and correct those whom these worthy folk think are "sinning." Right...I think so, too.
In the present day, the message is delivered in mass doses via the media, polished by spin doctors and financed by ovine believers. You'd think that, after 2000 years, we would have outgrown the superstition and the intolerance and moved on to the message of love. would people have power over the minds of others without a little blind faith? So, in the name of God, the Big Bully, the LDS, Bethany, and others are still running the social engineering game, taking from the unwed and vulnerable and giving to "the right kind of people" and, Goodness, No! No one gets a penny for this! Yeah, right again.
I am not a Christian, however I am a Theist and a spiritual person. I really hate to see perfectly good teachings used to justify this crime of taking the babies of those who just need a little help. I hate that this dogmatic drivel is being used to create Stepford Beemommies who, with wide, glazed eyes, insist on telling other young women who are expecting how glorious it is to surrender your child in the name of the Most High. There is still the judgement against overt sexuality and the shaming still goes on and on and on.
Take a look at the Westboro Baptists who protest at military funerals. They proclaim that "God Hates Faggots!!" I didn't think that God hated anyone. When did God become so obsessed with human sexuality that he ignores war, famine, child abuse, human trafficking, slavery, poverty and disease to go after people being who and what they are? I dunno, but that seems a bit one-sided of the Almighty to me.
Now, I know that there are Christians who are not into either forcing their personal beliefs down the gullets of others or caring about what two (or more *giggle) consenting adults do in their bedrooms. But they don't shout as loud and are not as intrusive and abusive as their more fundamentalist, evangelical brethren. But, only a few have the courage to speak out against these pious preeners. Jim Wallis, and the Sojourners publication, available on line, are trying to get the message back to love and caring for one's neighbors but they have enough to do just fending off Glen Beck.
Meanwhile, as it was in our day and is to this day, God is still the Big Bully In The Sky, throwing down thunderbolts and smiting whoever dares to cross the arbitrary line drawn by the pundits in the pulpits. I refuse to blame anyone for taking my children other than the ones who did and, while they professed to be God's people, I don't believe it. I really have no description of the God of my Agnostic lack of understanding, but I am sure that he/she wouldn't approve. I would love to see these arrogant proselytizers step out from behind their protective assumptions and take responsibility for their actions.
That would be refreshing. It would also be honest and I don't think that they are there, yet.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Oxymoron of the Day: Ethical Adoption

The list of oxymorons in regular use is astounding. "Awfully good," "adult children," "a fine mess," and one of my personal favorites, "jumbo shrimp." The latest on my list is this one; "Ethical Adoption." This is being used by those who consider themselves more sensible, sane and realistic than those of us who want to see adoption cease and something more child-centered put in its place. Mention that someone is anti-adoption and you get the usual gasps of outrage (it's as if the flag had been burned) and the charges of anger (well duh) and bitterness.

I am against adoption because it cannot, as a means of creating artificial relatives, ever be child-centered or ethical. Those who think that can put an old product in a new box and it will be just fine, fine, fine are, I believe, not getting the point. As long as adoption, the transference of a child from natural kin to unrelated people with a legal writ declaring that they are parents to that child ,exists there can be no ethics involved. As long as it is seen as beneficial, in any way, then mothers can be swayed by popular opinion and presentation.

How can any adoption be ethical? It is about providing a couple with a child, preferably a healthy infant. It brings to mind another of my favorite oxymorons..."compassionate conservatism." Adoption has created a class of people in this country that I refer to as the Elite Self-Entitled. Rather than a Lexus or a McMansion or a flat-screen TV, these folks want reality changed for them. They want a child. They want to deny their infertility and they don't want to wait. Some of them, according to one study, don't even want to do the deed that creates children. Yes, that's right. Many are childless because their union is asexual. It's a recently discovered phenomenon but one that I can imagine is not all that new.

Now, simple biology would tell you that, barring other reasons for infertility, you have to get the baby IN before you can get it out. There are others such as Jillian Michaels, Helen Mirren and a few skinny actresses and bodyphiles who don't want to sully their bodies with pregnancy and childbirth but want the title of Mommy and the appearance of the normal family. Lots of them also love that automatic halo that society confers on the adopter. I wonder if some of these adopters I won't mention but whose initials are Angelina Jolie think that adopting can divert people's attention from earlier, kinky, strange and questionable behavior.

 So, we are supposed to keep adoption alive to cater to these people? Are we supposed to try to find a way to Bondo, sand, paint and polish the wreck and present it as a new, improved model just to keep providing babies for people who have tried for two or three years and declared themselves infertile? Fast-tracking is all the rage in everything and some people just have to make life meet their schedules, don't they? Again, they want what they want when they want it. The body may be shiny but the engine is still clogged and dirty.

Let's get something straight (and to my gay and lesbian friends, I apologize for that word). Parenting is not a right for ANYONE. It is not a right that heterosexuals have so homosexuals should have as well. It is not something that someone should have just because they have the house, car, career and bank account. It is something that happens according to biology and nature. Wanting to parent is not a guarantee of being able to attain parenthood nor should it be. Nature makes those decisions.

I guess adoption could be made somewhat more "ethical" if it were taken away from the churches as a means of increasing their numbers and doing a bit of Christian social engineering. I suppose it could be more ethical if attorneys were not paid to advise their adopting clients to run with the baby and ignore court orders if a natural parent changes their mind or never agreed to the adoption in the first place.  But to me, these concessions are too little and too vague.

Kinship, good, well-run group homes and legal guardianships have not been given a fair shake in this country. In many states, a grandparent, aunt or uncle who wants to care for a child whose parents are deceased, of diminished capacity or who abandoned said child are forced to adopt that child in order to keep the family intact. So a kid winds up calling his/her grandparents Mom and Dad and the mother is the sister and their cousins are their nieces and nephews and I'm My Own Grandpa. In my day, the family just stepped in and added the child to the household with no admonitions to call relatives anything other than by their correct title.

To me, it's simple and I speak for no one else but myself. Ethical adoption is as impossible as that old one about silk purses from sows' ears. So gasp and call me bitter. I am not ashamed and I think I have logic and common sense in my reasoning.

I am simply, unapologetically anti-adoption and that ain't no oxymoron.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Only Women Bleed

Alice Cooper's song was meant to be about physical abuse of women by their spouses and significant others. I used to see it, though, in the context of my experience as a Natural Mother. I menstruated, therefore I was a female who proved to be fertile. I bled on a monthly basis until I became pregnant and I bled from the wounds of delivery after my children were born. This is something men don't have to endure. When I was "one of those girls" in the early 1960's, we couldn't even prove that the father of our child was, indeed, the real father. ALL of the blame, shame, isolation, punishment, shunning, and abandonment was borne by the unwed mother. Very few guys got any fall-out or flack from their sowing of wild oats.

I received a message from an adopted person, yesterday. She's a lovely, intelligent young woman who has been struggling with the rejection she received from her natural mother over a decade ago. While the biggest part of me has trouble understanding this mother's reaction, there is a part of me that wonders just what mom did go through in those days back then.

I wonder what happened that shut off that part of her that carried and gave birth to this adult child. I wonder if there was a trauma that was laid on top of trauma. And I wonder if it was at the hands of a man against a powerless girl. It happens too often and is discussed too seldom. I think that is why I came out with the fact that I was raped. It was my just my luck that it resulted in another pregnancy, but there are many of us who were date-raped after losing a child to adoption. I also know that there were a few girls, here and there among the inmates of the homes in which I was incarcerated, who were abused by close family members and impregnated. I can remember the sick, horrified feeling I got when one of them casually mentioned being raped, on a regular basis, by her own father.

I often find myself thinking about all of that horror and injustice whenever I hear of a mother who has refused a relationship with her adult child. I also know that everyone is different. What one of us may survive with just scars, others never recover from and carry open wounds for a lifetime. Some just don't have the courage to face the pain of the memories they have carefully buried. Some fear losing the life and the family they have built since their loss. Some just never got over the shame and still want to hide their past (perceived) sins in a locked vault. But others..I just can't help thinking that there are some who are hiding a horrific that they cannot face without a fear of losing their sanity or worse.

Some are survivors, some aren't. Some go on to live and some go on to float on the surface of life without ever venturing into the depths. Denial can be a real bitch. While I don't think it is healthy to live in the past, it is equally unhealthy to fear and regret it. Once things have happened, they are irretrievable. You can't make them "unhappen" by forcing the memory down into the dark parts of the mind. The fact of what happened is always going to be there. You can't run from it or hide for long. It will turn up again and some coping mechanisms hurt others as well as yourself. That makes me think of the adage, "wherever you go, there you are."

We leave a trail through life. Each incident, each joy, each crisis, is a footprint in the soil of our existence. For too many woman and their children appropriated for adoption, there is a hitch in the trail, a side trip of pain. Some deal. Others hide.

Maybe some women have just bled too much.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Truth Can Really Be Inconvenient

"An Inconvenient Truth," the documentary film with Al Gore, made a point about more than just global warming. While that was the focus of the film, another fact it brought home to me is how much we human beings like to be told just what we want to hear. If it impacts our lifestyles, gets in the way of our wants and desires, or throws a bit of a monkey wrench into the gears of the commerce that keeps us fat and sassy, then we don't accept it or listen to it.

It's like the church in the middle ages. They held a lot of power and they definitely didn't want to hear the truth about the nature of the Universe. Just in the late 19th century, there was a battle between superstition and science brought about by the discovery of the probability of evolution. Now we have a bunch of Bible-thumpers wanting to call the "theory of intelligent design" a science. I wonder when and if our human race will ever grow up and stop trying to engineer life and science in our own image?

Here, on this blog, and on others, the truth is being told about adoption, about loss, grief, pain and the dark underbelly of an Industry that traffics in human babies. People don't want to hear this. They don't want to think of the pain experienced by the mother and the pre-verbal grief and identity problems of the adopted person. They just want to see that warm, fuzzy story where an infant is presented to Mr. and Mrs. Perfect, fairies and unicorns frolic and fart rainbows, and all live happily ever after. MYTH

Those who have adopted and those who plan to adopt want to look upon the transaction as that kind of fantasy. They want to believe that the mothers are all willing and ready to turn over their babies without a qualm. The ones who didn't know us, loved to manufacture images of careless tramps or courageous sacrificers. Those that are in open adoptions are so sure these mothers wanted nothing more than to place their infants in the homes of the adopters. MYTH...they don't want to hear that the industry and the government and churches have done a real bang-up job with their brainwashing and that the greatest help they could give a young mother would be to help her keep and raise her own child. They don't want to know that the mother bites her tongue in order to protect what little contact she has been able to get with her child. I know many adult adoptees who wish someone had been kind to their mothers, kind enough to help them stay together.

People don't want to hear that most of the mothers of the BSE were stripped of every last bit of fight and self-respect in an ongoing campaign to take their babies. They are, again, sure that we wanted our "shame" erased. They want to see us, now, as fragile flowers, hiding in the closet and demanding anonymity. MYTH...This is very clever manipulation, again, by the industry, to put adoptees and their Natural Mothers at odds with each other. They blame US for closed records when the truth is that the only reason records were closed was to protect the adopters from the upsetting intrusion of the Mother. When in doubt, follow the money.

Oh, and about the money....I have heard insistent arguments that "no one made a penny off our adoption." MYTH....Really? Did the attorney that drew up the papers do so pro bono? Did the agency workers or the social workers decline their salaries? I've seen actual agency price lists with newborn, Caucasian females at the top of the list. These are some expensive little girls. It's a business, people! It brings in excess of $1.6 BILLION big ones a year. And, as a business, it follows the bottom line and that line has no room for caring about the welfare of the mother or the infant "product."

And, the noble adopters...MYTH...This industry is not about a home for a needy child, but about a baby for a needy adult who cannot accept their lot in life. There is NOTHING of altruism in infant adoption. These people are NOT saints and they are NOT noble. They are human beings who want what they want when they want it and they don't want to know they are hurting someone in the getting of it. Those that do get an inkling of the truth are quick to redirect their thoughts.

Yes, the truth about adoption IS uncomfortable, inconvenient and not very politically correct. It's a mark of the insanity of a society that is on the wane. The "leading nation of the free world" is woefully behind a lot of other countries in correcting this melange of money, coveting and social engineering. Adoption, in the US, is sanctioned by both church and government which really makes me want to go back and read the Constitution, again because something stinks.

Here is the scariest truth of all. Right now, in this country, the Industry, in collusion with Right Wing Christian reactionaries, is trying to drag us all back to the bad old days of Victorian attitudes, homes for "unwed mothers" and twin beds in the bedrooms on TV and in the movies. Like the Puritans of old, they are showing more interest in what goes on in the bedroom than in the boardroom where the real sinning is taking place. I am sure that getting people all riled up about the supposed cost of unmarried mothers is a great distraction and keeps the wheels of commerce turning.

Well, we Senior Natural Mothers have been there and that is a bad place to be. We don't want our daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters victimized again by a heinous double-standard. I'll be damned if I will let some fat cat in an Armani suit force any of my descendants to sacrifice their own children to Mammon.

TRUTH: This is about men controlling women and women being in collusion with those men. Adoption, as a dear friend of mine says, is "woman's inhumanity to woman."

TRUTH: We need to take a close look at where we are going with a lot of these state legislations. Someone is doing some manipulation and it isn't Natural Mothers.

TRUTH: If the church and the government get any closer, they are going to be attached at the hip and then every family, wed, unwed, poor, middle-class, will have to worry about keeping their children.

TRUTH: People just don't want to hear this, do they?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bad Bill Boogie

From Illinois to New Jersey to any other state in the nation, the Open Records legislations are in bloom. And, without exception, so far, they all seem to stink, to be mired in the muck of the requirements placed on Natural Mothers as the Industry and its minions seek to cover their culpable asses. When I have read the various bills, pages upon pages, I see the language becoming more convoluted, more adversarial and more and more designed to keep the adopters happy and the Industry chugging away. Some of these bills are in excess of 100 pages. The original Open Records bill in Oregon was only a few paragraphs. What the HELL is wrong with this picture?

Some of these bills only grant access to adoptees born before or after certain dates. Others insist on intermediaries. And, most of them seem to require mandatory medical/psycho-social histories from the Mothers. And, for that, we Mothers get...Nada...No equal access to our children's amended BC or a way to find them. We are expected to fight for their right to their OBC in spite of the fact that we get no access for ourselves and are, indeed, penalized with the requirements and, if we don't want to allow the state into our personal business..what then? What are they going to do to us? Put us in jail? Or, will we wind up being the goats for the wrongful adoption suits that are now filed against agencies by disappointed adopters? Let's see...I think it will be door number two.

This whole campaign is another lose-lose for the mothers. We've already had our human rights and our civil rights violated in the worst kind of way and now we're supposed to campaign to let it happen again? Some of our adult children think we should not only supply that information, through the state, but keep it updated every two years. WHAT!!?? If someone asked you to do that, you would laugh in their faces. But it is OK for our rights to be forfeit and our HIPAA rights violated, it seems. After all, we spread, signed and all that crap. C'mon! What is the statute of limitations for non-crimes? And for those with recalcitrant and unwelcoming mothers, I am NOT your mother and shouldn't have to pay the price for her actions.

I just had a picture run through my mind of two grandmothers sitting on a bunk in a cell, cigarettes behind their ears and wearing fetching, orange jumpsuits. Granny One asks Granny Two, "What are you in for?" Granny Two, replies, "Failure to update my medical history." Granny One.." too." Granny Two.."Yeah, we used up all our IRA fighting the lawsuits. Ya wanna be my bitch?"

It seems futile to tell those who support these bills that, in seeking their civil rights, they are trampling all over ours and we've already had that done to us. Our civil and human rights were totally ignored during the EMS/BSE. We're the survivors of a legalized assault on our humanity and our motherhood. I think that there are going to be a quite a few Mothers among us who will fight this violation of our personal rights. It's a simple fact that the (admittedly deserved) civil rights action being sought by adult adoptees is being accomplished by trying to deny the Mothers' civil rights. That doesn't have to be. But this is what happens when you get the Industry and adopters and mother-hating adoptees involved in the process.

Remember, one person's rights end where another's begins and we are no less deserving of that consideration than anyone else. I see the nasty spectre of punishing Mommy in all this. I'm one Mother here to say that I didn't deserve the punitive and unfair treatment I received when I lost my children to the adoption machine and I don't deserve to be punished now, by some inane rider on an open records bill. When you try to achieve a goal by stepping on the backs of others, it will come back to bite you in the end.

Now Hear This! I am NOT a second-class citizen or a criminal. I am NOT obligated to even my raised children to tell all and every little thing. My psycho-social history (actually, my sex life..entertainment for the prurient) is NO ONE'S BUSINESS but my own and certainly not that of the state. My medical history was shared in person, without demands and out of love. If you can't get it that way, then that's sad and that's tough. There might be other family members that you can ask but suing your Mother for that might just cost a lot of money and get you nothing in the end. Attorney legislators who are involved in this know that it's a very unlikely case to win.

But don't expect the support and the assistance of Mothers of the EMS who see through these bills and who have fought for and gained their self-respect. Make things more reasonable and equitable and you have some strong voices on your side. Keep harping on what you think you deserve at our expense and lose the support.

And quit stepping on my back. I was pushed to the ground 48 years ago. That won't happen again.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Another Issue Altogether

Every now and then, I am reminded that, though the arena of adoption-related activism covers a lot of territory, the fight for justice for the Mothers of the EMS is almost like "Star Wars, I, II and III"...a prequel. Once the industry and our parents and others had succeeded in taking our parental rights, adoption became the issue. We, in that era, did not "place." We did not "make an adoption plan" for our babies. We surrendered and the adoption plan was made by the agencies and social workers. Many of us were just doing what we were told to do, or else, or were manipulated and coerced into doing. There were some exception, but those mothers are the minority and not part of what this fight entails.

Most of the mothers from that era with whom I have talked and exchanged emails did not want to surrender their infants. Some of us tried to fight. Some of us begged and pled. Some of us were beaten down into the pits of low self-esteem. In order, it is said, to "create a family" through adoption, you must first destroy the mother. Well, in my case, they did a bang-up job of that. Thank God, I worked my way back to where I needed to be. It took years but I did it.

It is a good idea to remind folks that we were isolated, warehoused, hidden, shamed, blamed and abandoned by our families and the fathers of our babies while we were being groomed for surrender by the experts. OUR human and civil rights were ignored and violated. Most of us faced the unknown, scary prospect of labor and delivery without a single, caring and familiar face anywhere around. We were given aliases or were not allowed to use our last names. We wore fake wedding bands when we went outside the homes, as if that would fool anyone. We fell in love with the babies in our wombs just like any other pregnant woman. But we faced the birth of that baby with fear and grief.

Society labeled and categorized us. We were either sinning delinquents or psychologically damaged or both. We were fed lies upon lies, like "you will forget" and "having more children will take away the pain" and "THE baby is going DIRECTLY to a good home" and "THE baby will never miss you." Those are just a few of the lies we were told and, desperate for any comfort we could find, we believed those lies. These were adults, "experts," telling us this and we were raised to respect that. Usually the cobwebs were swept out of our brains upon reunion. Boy, were we surprised. That surprise came just before the eruption of suppressed grief, realization and righteous indignation.

We were confronted with the hard and painful truth that our absence in the lives of our children was deeply felt. We saw the damage that could do. We heard their stories, felt their resentment, cried with them and for them and realized that we still have to change the image of the unmarried mother from careless slut to who we really are...every woman....and from victim to warrior.

My girlfriend in SC just reunited with her daughter and, as she went through the non-ID, written by the social worker, she kept saying, "this is bullshit." Mine has just enough truth for me to know it was me, but it was twisted and slanted in such a way as to make it seem that I wanted to surrender my baby.

So, it is from all this and more, that we get our need to seek justice. We were young, vulnerable and what was done to us was done BECAUSE THEY COULD. I am no longer 16. I am 65 years old and I want to hear someone who should say "this was and is wrong," say it and mean it. We are owed something for our suffering and it isn't money so much as it is justice and redress. We paid the ultimate price for any mother...our children. Our babies are gone forever and we can never get them back. We are making relationships with adults..familiar strangers. We look now for respect for our experience and ourselves, and some honesty from a corrupt industry and the government and churches that sanction it. We want adopters to see what their demand for a child created. 

We may not get all we want before I shuffle off this mortal coil, but we can make a lot of people very uncomfortable. The more uncomfortable, I say, the better. From my experience, I would say they earned every little bit of it.

And hear this loud and clear. Facilitators, adopters, PAPs, even our adult children....we will no longer take any crap from anyone without fighting back. You can take that to the bank.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Porch Time in The Mountains

As we wait for the market to perk up and a chance to get the house sold, we spend a lot of time on the patio, with our eyes closed, dreaming. We had to move our timetable up another year and now have targeted Spring, 2011, as 'get the hell out of Florida' season. I don't know if either of us can manage another FL summer.

One of our "must-haves" in the house we hope to put on our land in WV is a porch or a covered deck with two rocking chairs. "Porch time" is great for re-charging spent emotional and physical batteries or just enjoying the gifts of nature. We have a hard time doing that with international jets coming in on the glide path over our heads and the front of the house is sub-division city. The back patio looks out over a more open area, a meadow and woods that is a designated wildlife sanctuary. But, even out back, you can hear every train, every siren, every bit of highway hum and horn-blowing. City folks, we ain't.

I am wondering where I will be with this blog, activism and the wild and crazy world of adoption loss, flames, debates and other indoor sports when we make THE move. Presently, I also deal with our personal, real-life needs, plans and the welfare of a little dog who was unfortunate enough to be prone to a nasty disease. I administer a chemotherapy drug to him, by mouth, three days a week. We have designated those days as "kick cancer's ass" days. The rest of the time, we are proclaiming "just be a dog" days.

Maybe I need to have "just be a person" days. I define myself, first, as a woman, then as a wife, mother, mommy, Nanny, great-grandmother, friend, sister, auntie, activist for Natural Mothers etc. But all those labels carry burdens and so much going on that the woman, the person, can often get buried if I am not very careful. Some days, I just want to be free to be at peace with who I am, to love my husband, kids, family, doggie and friends and sit on the porch and listen to the creek sing down the mountain. I don't want to debate, argue, prove a point or educate a damn soul. I just want to rock, breathe and listen.

I am tired of being labeled as "loose," "abandoner" and a second class person with no civil or human rights just because I loved, not wisely, the wrong guy as a teen and then had the bad luck to be with another guy who took what he wanted. I am sick to death of being blamed, being threatened with unreasonable requirements to be executed by the state, and being told I forfeited my rights to stand up for myself because of something I was forced to do at age 16. Sixteen then is nothing at all like sixteen, now. I'm not just tired of it, I am goddamn tired of it and I am leaning more and more towards chucking it all and heading for the porch.

How can I be expected to support someone who cannot even treat me with respect? I refuse to be a door mat for anyone or any cause, no matter how righteous. I don't think I should have to accept debasement in order to give support. I remember watching a movie once, where the ruler was walking through the market place when he came upon a large mud puddle. Now, he could have walked around it, but he just stood there, expectantly, while a group of slaves made their way to the puddle and laid down in it so that he could walk across using their bodies as a bridge. Not No, but No, Nae, Never!!!! I refuse to cringe and bow and scrape and act as a bridge over a mud puddle for anyone just because I am a Natural MOTHER.

Again, I surrendered, under duress, my PARENTAL rights, ONLY. I did NOT surrender my human or civil rights. And there is no one strong enough or with the right to take those from me.

My home is not open to anyone to come in and treat me and my sisters with disrespect. That includes my Facebook page and my blog. If you want my help, treat me with respect, do not make unreasonable demands of me, and appreciate my support rather than accepting it as just that to which you are entitled.

Let me know if that is all right with you. I'll be waiting on the porch. Oh, and if it sounds like I am pissed, I am. I also have as much right to that emotion as anyone else.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

On A Bender Over Gender

The post, yesterday, where I was not very kind to Rod Stewart, Natural Daddy, brought out a lot of interesting comments. I was informed that, sometimes, the mother is the villain. Well, gee. I kinda knew that, in a minority of cases, that does happen. Silly me not to have mentioned it. You will be glad to know that my reconsidered opinion of the Rod Stewart situation....has not changed one whit. In fact, it has become even more my considered opinion, the more I learn about it.

This is more than just one isolated incident. We Natural Mothers have been watching, with growing dismay, as we get all the blame and the Ndads become the greatest, gosh-darned people on the earth. You would think that adopted people would better understand the concept of being abandoned, since they accuse us Mothers of that so often. Actually, it feels, sounds and seems to us that many adopted people are saying, "It's just peachy-keen for Daddy to have his fun with Mommy and then treat her like dirt, take off like the hounds are after him and put her in the position of having to surrender for the sake of her child's survival and her own because, if he comes out and says he is our Daddy 40+ years later, that makes him a great guy."

Someone once referred to the adoption equation as an uneven square with two sides (facilitators and adopters) being the winners and two sides (adoptees and natural mothers) being the losers. I am starting to see a lop-sided pentagram here because the pappies are definitely on the "win" side. As far as I am concerned, anything that either of the fathers of my two oldest have to offer me or them would be too little and way too late.

The connection to the Natural Mother is the more intense one. Ndads didn't give birth and then have to render their coerced signature giving up their rights. Our children emerged from our bodies and the mother has a mystique that is almost religious. So, if a Mother, abandoned by the father of her child, isolated from the support and comfort of her family and reeling from the litany of dire threats to her child's survival and her own, surrenders, then it is all her fault. Daddy can always lie (and many of them do) and say he was never told. BULLSHIT. In many cases, if daddy wasn't told, it was because Mommy knew it would be water off a duck's back and that she could look for no help from that corner. Believe me, kiddies. The vast majority of them knew and too damn many of them ran like scared rabbits.

For those of us who, like Susannah Boffey, were very much in love with the fathers of our babies, that makes the rejection of us and the infant created from that love even more painful. Stewart had his first chance when Susannah told him she was pregnant. He blew that one. He had another chance to acknowledge his daughter in the 80's but declined and blew that one, as well. NOW, when he is aging, looking for good PR and a way to keep his career afloat, he acknowledges his daughter. So, does that mean that the third time is the charm? It sure doesn't make him out to be the good guy or the hero.

I think this young woman needs to re-examine the reasons she and her Mother "didn't get on." Her adopter, who left everything to her natural son and nothing to her appropriated daughter, was still living and Streeter was still in full obligation and loyalty mode. Perhaps Susannah had refused to lick butts and humbly apologize for what she was perceived to have done wrong. Perhaps the conflicting loyalty issues were a problem. But this woman tried like the devil, for months, to keep her baby. She had to have been under enormous pressure, not the least from Stewart, and got backed into the proverbial corner. There are different sides to this story and, in the story of the reunion, we have only heard from one side. Excuse me if I keep an open mind and even make some educated guesses.

It is the difference in our genders that makes it easy for the male to scoot and leave the female holding the bag, as it were. For the man, it is a momentary pleasure. For the Mother, it is her body, her instincts, her pain, her life in jeopardy when giving birth. Believe me, for most of us, after going through that, surrender was the LAST thing we wanted to do. We are the ones who are penetrated, who bleed and who have our bodies and psyches prepared to nurture and protect. We are the ones who will sign a paper if it means security for our infants. Read Rohan McEnor's article about why Mothers surrender if you want to understand it better. The patrichial nature of our society allowed the fathers to get off, scott-free, while we carried the shame, the blame and the weight of pressure from parents and social workers, family and society.

Whenever I think of the father of my oldest child (the second one doesn't deserve a mention..I was relieved not to have him in my life), I often think of this verse from Linda Rondstadt's version of "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me." While tongue-in-cheek, it is accurate, barring locations.

Well, I met a boy out in (Spartanburg *)
And I ain't namin' names
But he really worked me over good
Just like Jesse James

Yes, he really worked me over good
He was a credit to his gender
He put me through some changes, Lord,
Sorta like a waring blender.

I am fortunate in that both my surrendered children see and know the true nature of their Natural Fathers. And I will stand, foursquare, behind any Natural Dad who steps up to the plate and wants to keep their child in the family and/or gives respect and support to the mother. I am overjoyed to see this kind of behavior on the part of fathers becoming a trend. And the Natural Father who acknowledges his adult child, right off the bat and tries to make amends to both his child and the Mother of his child has my grudging respect.

But I will be doubly damned if I am going to look at the picture of a man more than forty years out of his child's life, who has already forfeited two chances to make the grade, who smiles at the camera with his arm around said adult child's shoulders and think, "Gee, what a great guy." This geezer has a baby on the way by a current wife that is younger than his adult, reunited daughter. He's a player.

Sorry, but I don't see a hero or even a good guy, there. I see a guy who thinks with his "little brain" and tried to get away from the responsibility of that action and who is trying to salvage something, now. Excuse me if I sound a bit bitter over this one. I have a right to the feeling.

Like I said before, too little, too late.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Frustrating Daily Distractions and Other Injustices

It seems that, often, I will be on track with a blog theme, only to be distracted by life, daily crisis and other topics that catch my eye. The news, especially that being circulated on Facebook, is full of things to fill my brain and short-circuit synapses. Some folks say that the absent-mindedness that hits people in middle age is really just information overload and distractions. I think that's a workable theory.

It's good, I guess, that if I have to lose one perfectly good idea, another is there to take its place. But it still frustrates me, and I am further frustrated by the topics I do retain. There just ain't no justice.

I'm talking about the latest story making the rounds about Rod Stewart, aging rock star and, surprise, Natural Daddy. I'm not surprised. I was never a fan and I found his music to be mostly hormone-laden anthems to sex, getting it, keeping it and indulging in it. I admit to liking "Maggie Mae," but it's the music that is good. The lyrics are just every young guy's wet dream of the sexy older woman "keeping" him. Now he's hanging on with old standards and showing his "nicer" side.

Yep, old Rod has finally, at LONG LAST, stepped up to the fatherhood plate and I have to wonder about his motives and the inclinations of his reunited daughter, Sarah Streeter. Susannah Boffey, her natural mother who was definitely not helped out or supported by Stewart when she was finally forced to surrender her daughter, is the designated goat, here while Stewart has become his daughter's hero. This is the father who wanted her mother to get rid of her. I wonder if money has anything to do with her attitude? So Streeter couldn't get along with her Mother (this probably all went down before the adoptress passed away) and she has been summarily dismissed, even though her Mother tried, for two months, to be both mother and father to this child when she was an infant and was defeated in her efforts. Stewart refused to acknowledge Streeter when the reunion began, back in the early 80's. So NOW he is coming around?

WHY IS IT that mothers get the bulk of the dissing and blaming and the fathers get many pats on the back for DOING WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE IN THE BEGINNING?? This frosts my hide. It doesn't take a hero to say, "Yes, you are my child." All it takes is a real man with backbone and with a modicum of respect for the mother of their child. For some reason, a strutting, self-involved rocker has landed on his feet with this one and Mom is out in the cold.

I just want to let our adult children know that many of these good old daddies who will "acknowledge" you do so because it isn't any skin off their back, anymore. These are the same men who, as boys, probably, ran off and left your mothers to go through the most traumatic experience of their lives. These are the guys who came up with too little, too late, or nothing at all. They abandoned us.

In my mind, the father who steps in at the beginning, such as the father of Grayson Vaughn (read more at firstmothers forum) is the one who deserves the kudos. The Rod Stewarts of this world didn't have to go through the fear, the frustration and the heart-breaking defeat that the Mothers endured. Nope, they didn't and I don't care what anyone says, I will never believe they suffered more than a minor twinge. These goatish ones of whom I speak were too busy trying to make big bucks and get laid as often as possible. Muy Macho, huh? The responsible ones, the REAL men, hung around and married the Mothers.

My frustration is compounded by the fact that there is still the double standard operating today. We're still the ones who are responsible for all the pain of the adopted person and the fathers, who were 50% of the conception, are suddenly Jim Anderson, Ben Cartwright and Ward Cleaver, all rolled into one just for saying "yes, you're my child." F*** that! Right now, my fondest wish is that Sarah and Susannah will  find some common ground and be able to have a relationship.

And Stewart owes the Mother of his oldest daughter a HUGE apology. Do you think, Mr. Rock Star, that you, in all your short, preening, banty rooster glory, might be able to manage that?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Revisiting The Bible And Adoption

Some time back, I wrote a blog post about what I consider to be the erroneous justification of adoption through the use of scripture. In that post, I cited an excellent article by Rohan McEnor entitled; "Adoption and the Bible: God's Will or God's Swill?" This very scholarly look at the Biblical references often used by the churches, especially those who promote adoption, really throws a lot of the arguments they use by "proof-texting" (taking passages out of context in order to prove some point) into a cocked hat.

I wanted to publish this section, in particular:

"Preamble: Some time ago I wrote an article which scrutinised the practice of adoption according to the Ten Commandments. I was consequently accused of blasphemy. However, what was I blaspheming: church practice, the sensibilities of adopters, or the truths of the Bible?

I decided to have a second look, and the result will be a book that has the working title, Father to the Fatherless: what the Bible really says about adoption.

This article will be a very short summary of a couple of the arguments in that book, but even by the end of this truncated study, I trust it will be clear who is blaspheming the clear plan of the Judeo-Christian God who has revealed himself through the Bible.

Adoption defined: For the sake of this article I will define 'adoption' as "the practice of altering the birth certificate and therefore the identity of a child such that a person or persons not biologically related to the child, are recognised as parents of the child. "

A large subset of all adoptions is newborn adoption - the child adopted into a family as close to birth as possible to give the illusion to both those within the adoptive family and outside the adoptive family, that the child is "as if born" to the adoptive couple. Is such a general practice any part of God's will, or is it merely churchian god swill?

Many would say that Moses' life represented such an adoption. Let us look at the life of Moses as a possible example of scripture condoning adoption.

Firstly, what pressure was placed on Moses's biological mother to put Moses on the adoption conveyor belt (the River Nile)?
"Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives... 'When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth... If it is a son, then you shall put it to death... Every son who is born to the Hebrews you are to cast into the Nile. '" (1)

So the pressure placed on Moses's mother was "your son shall die." This is the exact same pressure that is placed on a young mother to relinquish her child in the latter 20th and early 21st centuries. "The baby will have no life. The baby will have only half a life. The baby will be socially handicapped if you keep this child. If you keep this child you are being selfish and not giving your child the best." These sorts of things are said by both social workers and parents of young pregnant women, to persuade them into adoption. In the Bible, these are the words of Pharaoh. Are Christians instructed by the Bible to behave like Pharaoh?

Secondly, how did Moses' mother react? "She saw that he was beautiful and she hid him for three months." (2) So such is the unity between mother and child that she risked the wrath of the Government as long as she could, in order to bond with her child, in order to breast feed and care for her child, in the face of probable death for both herself and her son. Significantly, the child was born of the House of Levi - the House of Priests. Did the High Priests of Adoption respect the natural fusion of mother and her biological child in removing children after just 5 days, granting custody to strangers, then expecting the first-mum to forget it ever happened?

Thirdly, how did Moses' mother effect the adoption? "She put the child into the basket, and set it among the reeds by the banks of the Nile..." (3) On threat of death, she succumbed to the edict of the Government to cast the child into the Nile. But! "And his sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen to the child." (4) In the Bible it seems reasonable. In modern parlance, we call it stalking! When 20th century relinquishers tracked down their child they were punished by court appearances and classed as criminals.

Fourthly, how did the Government of the day react to this act of stalking? "Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, 'Shall I go and call a woman who can suckle the child from among the Hebrews, that she may nurse the child for you?' And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, 'Go ahead.' So the girl went and called the child's mother. Then Pharaoh's daughter said to her, 'Take this child away and nurse him for me and I shall give you wages. '" (5)

The House of Pharaoh sponsored the child to be raised with its kinfolk. In troubled times, the Government of the day, one recognised throughout the Bible as unmercifully cruel, provided social security so that the child could remain in the household of its biological family. In fact, the prospective adopters sponsored the program. What depths of cruelty has 20th century western Government visited, to expect women in troubled times to hand their children over to better-heeled strangers?

Exodus 2 v 10 tells us that when Moses was a child, we are not told exactly how old, he was adopted into Pharaoh's household and Pharaoh's daughter renamed him Moses. Clearly, Moses was not moved to the adopter's household until he had formed a relationship with his mother. The adoption was open. The mother knew the fate of the child and could keep track of his progress. I am not here arguing that scripture condones open adoption as shall be seen as we progress - what I am highlighting is just how different Moses's adoption was to the practices of church-run adoption agencies in the 20th century.

The fifth question to ask is, how did Moses react to his adoption? "When Moses had grown up he went out to his brethren..." (6) The Bible labels Moses's biological relatives "his brethren", not those by whom he had been adopted. This is firmly repeated in the New Testament in Acts Chapter 7.

What was the reaction of "his brethren" to Moses? "Who made you a prince or a judge over us?" (7) Moses has become Mr In-between - just like so many adoptees he feels he doesn't truly fit into his adoptive family, yet is also unacceptable to his biological family because of the influences of the adopters. This is classic adoption syndrome working here. And what happens? Moses commits murder and spends the next forty years wandering around the desert tending sheep, a man of virtually no self esteem. (8) This man of immense talent and intellect, becomes "a sojourner in a foreign land", (9) a cry echoed in the minds and on the faces of most 20th century adoptees.

A final point to make in considering the life of Moses; how impressed was God with the system that created the pressure to adopt?
"Now it came about at midnight that the Lord struck all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne, to the first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of cattle. And Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where someone was not dead." (10) It is an interesting Bible-study on its own to look at the sacrifice of the first-born.

If we are to use the example of Moses as a Biblical case history to justify adoption, what do we learn? We discover that (a) a woman will surrender a child only on pain of death; (b) it is unreasonable to cut a woman off from knowledge of her child which she loses to adoption; (c) Moses' was an open adoption; (d) upon maturity (ie: the ability to think for himself) Moses turned his back on the wealth and privileges of his adoptive family, to identify with the poverty of his biological kin; (e) even the most harsh of ancient ruling elites appreciated the value of biological ties and provided social security so that the child could at least be weaned, start to develop and form a relationship with its true mother before an open adoption could take place. (11)

While some churchian minds use the adoption of Moses to justify adoption of newborns, how much of the detail of scripture is adhered to by church-run adoption agencies? Even a rudimentary comparison between the Bible and agency practice would indicate that the church has digressed quite a ways from scriptural instruction. "

McEnor goes on to examine the legend of Solomon and the two women, the lineage of Jesus and the, often taken out of context" references made by Paul (a misogynist who came along a good while after Jesus was supposed to have left the earth), in Acts which note that we are "adopted" by God as saved when we accept the offer of salvation AS REASONING ADULTS. Now, Christianity is not my personal belief, but I know the Bible well enough to know when its contents have been tweaked to try to prove a point.

Abraham fathered his own heir, Solomon awarded the infant to the real mother and adoption as it is translated in the Bible doesn't mean the same thing that it means in modern society.

To me, adoption is a corruption of the message of Love and Peace that I was taught in church as a child. It is centered around the needs of adults and based on economics. It's a business and there is nothing of God or Godliness in the bottom line.

That is why I am so concerned and confused at the attitude of the present-day churches. There has to be a bit of the social engineering in there, a way for them to raise more good little church-goers to increase the numbers and the power of the "right kind of people."

The act of taking a child from his/her mother at birth, discarding the mother and creating a legal lie of kinship is not very "Christian" to me. In fact, it is downright inhumane.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Have You Ever Noticed.....

....that there are just no guarantees when it comes to life? My dear friend, Sandy, reminded me, on the phone just the other day, that I was wanting such when it came to the life and welfare of my Rocky-dog. Life is in constant flux, for all species including humans, and nothing is written in stone when it comes to day-to-day life. I am sure that John Lennon didn't expect to step outside the Dakota and run into Mark David Chapman. I am so glad that he wrote "Imagine" before that awful day." Never" and "Always" are terms I am learning to avoid. Hey, better late than never...ooops!

I remember being promised a lot when I was forced to surrender my two oldest children to adoption. A promise is a guarantee. I was promised that there were wonderful parents waiting to take them as soon as they left the hospital. Not so. Both spent a couple of months in foster care. I didn't find that out until I read the non-ID and I was furious. I had spent over 30 years operating under a certainty that there was a seamless and painless transition for my children.

I was guaranteed that my children would never notice my absence and that they would be as happy as any other child and well matched to the adopters. Well, again, those promises fell way short of the mark. Both of my children definitely noticed my absence and that vague feeling of "not totally fitting in" was with them as they went through life. I was even told that they would not even have a desire to know me. Well, flabber-my-ghast,  if that wasn't a missed call. My daughter searched for over a decade and my son had been signed up with a reunion registry for years. Who'd a thunk it? I was tentatively searching because I was almost positive that neither would want a thing to do with me. I was terrified of what would happen when I found them, picturing them looking down their noses at the woman who bore them but was deemed unfit to raise them.

The other guarantee, the one I call "The Biggie," was that my children would have a better life than I could give them. Granted, they had more in the way of material things. Their adopters were not poor. But I have seen nothing in the way they were raised or the values they were taught to convince me that they were any better off. The families into which they were adopted were just as dysfunctional as any can be. Their confusion, grief and other adoption issues were ignored and they were told lies. I didn't stay single, I didn't stay young and I sure didn't remain unable to support myself. And I started mothering my raised children while still quite young and, with the usual human imperfections, still managed to do a credible job. Adopters are human beings and, as such, are just as imperfect as the rest of us. How little self-esteem I was left in the campaign to take my children is evident in the fact that I thought such paragons as were described to me even existed. How we do tend to judge others' outsides by our own insides.

Wedding vows are sort of a guarantee that two people give each other, yet divorce happens. Maybe that should be a limited guarantee. It was only with my current husband that I became lucky in love and I live each day with him in the moment. We make plans, but I try to remember that life is what happens while we are making our plans. Another relationship, that which occurs in reunion between Natural Mother and Adoptee, carries no guarantees. Some get on like a house on fire. For others, it is a stop and start proposition with occasional brush fires. For a few, it is an impossible, heartbreaking disappointment. Reunion is usually a work in progress, no matter how good or how bad.

Some people seem to think there is an implied guarantee in reunion...that all our pain and issues will be resolved. Gee, I just made myself laugh out loud by typing that. Adopters see an implied guarantee in the very act of adopting...that their infertility issues will disappear and that "as if born to" is a reality. I remember the dismay of my daughter's adopters over her insistence on searching for me and then, actually finding me. That one threw them, one of them saying, "We were told this would be impossible." Looking for a guarantee there, were you? I guess I disappointed them by not dying, evaporating or being sent to a penal colony on one of the moons of Saturn.

While I believe that a promise made should be a promise kept, I also think that insisting on guarantees for everything can prevent us from seeing the nuances in life and all it entails. We can become tied to the absolute and guilty of dichotomous thinking, seeing all things as black or white with no shades of gray. Here's an example of a nuance: Many adopted people say that Natural Mothers should not have equal access to records because we "signed away our rights." OK..first of all, we surrendered our PARENTAL rights, not our civil or human rights and, surrender or no surrender, we remained mothers. Does a woman who loses a child to death in infancy not deserve the title and respect due a mother? Oh, and that signing thing? Many of us signed nothing. I remember signing the surrender document with my daughter, under duress (I either signed or I couldn't go home, I was only 16) but I don't remember signing a thing with my son. In some states, the mother's signature isn't even necessary.

The one guarantee that everyone assumes we were given was that nebulous "privacy/anonymity" thing and that is the biggest lie since the first politician started spouting them. That was a guarantee given to and for the ADOPTERS and the industry couldn't even live up to that one. Now the industry is trying to cover its rear-quarters by trying to influence legistlation that will, you guessed it, place the onus of responsibility for their broken promises on the mothers. Sorry, kids, but Mommy's medical/psycho-social history is none of your business unless we choose to share it with you, privately with no intervention from the state.

You know, I just realized that the much-touted Freedom of Information act specifically excludes adoption. You watch..they will try to get the HIPAA laws amended to specifically exclude natural mothers. Just because I am paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get me.

Stop and smell the reality. We aren't promised a tomorrow, as far as that goes. And, as we learn far too often in life, promises are easily broken. We remember the past because we can learn from it and there is, sometimes, some unfinished business there. We make plans for the future because we humans are dreamers and there is nothing wrong with that. But we live in the here and now and the nature of the now can change, minute to minute. Serendipity and sudden tragedy are apt to pop up at any moment.

Case in point is that our decisions concerning the life and welfare of our Rockster have changed with his condition and with more complete information. And we decide knowing that there are no guarantees that something will be sure to work, 100%.

We do the best we can to prepare and protect ourselves, and those we love, but we do so best when we realize that there just aren't any guarantees. Imagine that.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Very Own String Theory

Remember her? She showed up just about the time that the Era of Mass Surrender was in full swing and the maternity homes had waiting lists and young girls with expanding bellies were being hidden as fast as their parents could find a hole in which to stuff them. This little doll was on every little girl's Christmas list because, Glory Be, she could talk!

Just as the doll to have when I was a kid was Tiny Tears, so did Chatty Cathy become the "in" toy for the little girls of the 1960's. I was disappointed when the daughter of a family friend showed off her prized Cathy. You made the doll talk by pulling the string in her back and were rewarded with a litany of canned phrases, such as "I Love You" and others. The quality was tinny and reflective of the technology of the times and the little record inside would often get off track or  the stylus would jump or whatever and what you would get would be gobbledy-gook (another scientific term).

So here is my "string theory" with apologies to Hawking and other great minds and it is about the adoption tail wagging the mother/adoptee dog. The Chatty Cathy adoptee is happy, happy, happy and, when you pull their string, they say, "Thank you, B****mother, for not aborting me," "I am so grateful to be adopted," and "I'm special because I was chosen." Some even say "I don't need to know my biological roots because it might hurt my (adopters)." Those who refuse to parrot those phrases are ungrateful CC's with a defective recording. What naughty adoptees! The Chatty Cathy adoptees will often challenge the non-CC adoptee with other canned comments such as "I am happy and have NO adoption issues."

The Chatty Cathy Natural Moms are another breed of doll, altogether. Pull their string and their recording will deliver such gems as "I am happy that I relinquished/placed/gave up my baby so he/she could have a better life." On the same reel are the stock phrases "I made my decision and I have to live with it," "This was God's plan for me," "The people who adopted my child are the REAL parents," and "I am a hero, I am a hero, I am a hero..ooops..tape got stuck." Non-CC Nmoms are  called bitter and unable to leave the past behind them. It is postulated that they just didn't come off the assembly line with the proper attitude of meek obsequiousness to adopters and the facilitators. What baaaaad beemommies!

Unknown to the general public, they themselves are being made into "Chatty's" by the industry without them realizing they have a string trailing out of their back. Pull theirs and they say "Adoption is a warm and wonderful thing," "Those poor infertile people deserve a baby" and "What about all those dumpster babies." The churches are already marketing their own Chatty's who say "Adopt, don't abort." It comes from the big screen, the small screen, the assorted media including news media and the pulpit and it is fitted into the CC Citizen without them even knowing it.

So with a pull of a string, the Industry and those who support it have a Greek Chorus of approval for their legalized crimes of coercion, brainwashing and taking another woman's child. Then some wonderful adopter gets the child they wanted, ready-made to take on their adopters' emotional welfare.

That's great for the Chatty Cathys, but us Tiny Tears get bupkis...well, unless you call the ability to wet your pants a plus.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Ask a Stupid Question.......

....and you can really rile folks who are always being asked those stupid questions. Natural Moms and Adoptees are always being asked unanswerable questions on a level with the old "Have you stopped beating your wife?" The ones who promote adoption and the adoption-besotted general public think that there are simple yes and no answers to a very complex and convoluted situation.

It's sort of like explaining to moms in other nations that our Freedom of Information Act specifically excludes adoption. If they could observe the byways and back alleys through which our various legislations travel, they might understand that there is no law on the books in this country in which a big industry cannot find a built-in loophole. Remember...our representatives in congress are, for the most part, lawyers. They definitely know on which side their bread is buttered and how to get the most butter with the least hassle.

The Declassified Adoptee posted an excellent blog post (Thanks Amanda) on these unanswerable questions with which the adoptee is bombarded. These run along the lines of, "Would you rather......"
Have been aborted?
Have been left in an orphanage?
Have been raised by horrible people? >:o{
Had a horrible life?

The assumption about the horrors of the natural family are, in and of themselves, indicative of the brainwashed ignorance of the populace when addressing the issue of adoption. Let either the adoptee or the natural mother express even the slightest bit of frustration, grief or confusion and these non-experts are all over themselves letting you field these weird scenario questions, judging you as either too angry or ungrateful.

Mothers get the old, "But wasn't it better to have her/him raised by two, loving parents?" Uh..I didn't stay single, who says that adopters don't ever get divorced and, unfortunately, not all who adopt are that "loving."

"But," they will say, "keeping your baby would have ruined your life." Again, Uh, excuse me...having my babies appropriated for adoption came pretty damn close to ruining not just my life but the lives of all around me.

Just let you try to explain about the in utero bonding and the primal wound and they will cite their Uncle's sister-in-law's best friend who is adopted and who is perfectly happy, happy, happy. If you ask them if they know what is going on inside this adopted person's mind, they just blow you off as "bitter."

They will also insist that you did a "heroic, loving thing." THAT one chaps my hide, big time. It is hard to be heroic when you are backed against a wall, waving a white flag and terrified that you will wind up on the streets with nothing and no where to go. I was abandoned by the father, treated like I had committed murder and left with nothing but surrender as the only option. One choice is no choice at all.

I know one mother who was divorcing her husband of a few, short months. She didn't know, until after the decree was in the works, that she was pregnant. Her family argued and debated with her until she gave up and surrendered her baby for adoption. They gave her all those reasons...a two-parent family...the baby would suffer....they would wind up on the streets...but what they really were wanting her to do was make it convenient for all of them, especially financially, and also remove any reminders of the cruel, disliked ex-husband within their clan. That story will always bother me on a very deep level. It is as though many of our families used adoption like a form of retroactive birth control and that is a living oxymoron.

For most of us natural mothers, there is no, "getting over it" or "moving on with life." We carry that baby with us, everywhere, inside our hearts, minds and memories until the day we die. I can remember trying to explain the resurgence of grief upon reunion to one family member. "But it's been over 30 years. Shouldn't you have gotten past that by now?" HOW?? I was never allowed to grieve for my living but missing children in the first place. Suppressed and unexpressed grief is raw, ragged and feels like broken glass in your chest.

People are, too often, sheep who will buy whatever the popular media is selling and whatever the ads are promoting. We, too often, judge the cover without reading the book. And, worst of all, we will judge another's journey without ever having taken it, ourselves. It is intellectual and social laziness. It is easier to accept assumptions and heresay than to actively investigate a matter and keep an open mind while doing so.

So, quick, now...yes or no...have you stopped beating your wife?