Friday, December 31, 2010

HAPPY 2011!!

Let's hope that 2011 will bring us more tolerance, understanding and justice.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's A Man's World

WOW...we definitely had a white Christmas in WV and enjoyed it. I did some reading while I was sitting by the fire and watching the snow fall. I have so many thoughts bouncing around inside my skull that I am going to have to take some time to sort it all out into some semblance of order. In addition to Rohan McEnor's excellent story, I read a bit in "The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession With Virginity Is Hurting Young Women," by Jessica Valenti. Meant as a feminist publication, it reaches into the heart of the reasons behind the way single and/or poor mothers are treated and have been treated in this society.

Simply and concisely, we were punished, NOT for being sexually active, but for being sexually active and daring to be fertile with no husband. It is a system by, for and in deference to the patriarchy. MEN decided the mores, the codes and creeds and women were indoctrinated and controlled by them. They have even managed to disrupt the sisterhood of women so that we prey on each other. Cat fights over boyfriends have become commonplace. A woman stalks another woman to procure a child and will have no compunctions about the pain she is bringing to one of her own kind.

All that stands between the Natural Mother and respectability is the absence of a thin membrane, the hymen, and the lack of a wedding ring on that fourth finger, left hand. Someone, somewhere decided that these things were vital to the worth of a woman and that someone was male. No, I don't think all men are chauvinist pigs. I am privileged to know many fine men who respect a woman based on who and what she is rather than her sexual activity, past and present. But, don't you ever wonder why there is no corresponding insult for the other gender to compare with "slut?"

It can be said that we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. I find it amusing that, while the fundies berate the Roman Catholic church, many of them are just as adamant that women are to be seen and not heard from in the pulpit. If they are, it is as a "helpmate" to their more acceptable husband. We are the only so-called "modern" nation in this world not to have had a woman either in high national office such as the vice presidency or even as head of state. Secretary of State seems to be the political glass ceiling. We are goods, consumables, products that produce and we had better do it King James' way or watch out.

I wonder what might have happened had the rulers of Judea been women? The Judeo-Christian system would be very different. Or what if there had been no religion at all and each person was valued for their contribution to life and society regardless of age, race, gender or ethnicity? John Lennon had it right even if he didn't know 100% of the reason why.

The fact is that many of us lost our infants to adoption, especially during the BSE, because some 2000+ years-old group of greybeards decided that we were not fit to do anything unless we were joined to a man as his chattel.  Ms. Valenti didn't tell me anything in her book that I didn't really already know. She just put it into a very coherent and readable book. She addresses the current movement of abstinence and virginity importance in her book and has some very good thoughts about the whys and wherefores of all this. She states....."I'm more than a little suspicious of those who see women's advancement as a bad thing....The regressive message the virginity movement pushes through...books and media is clue enough about what it really wants from women: not independence and adulthood but submissiveness, 'modesty' and adherence to traditional gender roles. Focusing on our sexuality is just one piece, and a tool, of the larger agenda. After all, there's a reason why the assumed role of women in virginity-movement screeds is marriage and motherhood. The movement believes that's the only things women are good for."

This also leaves the field wide open for old-style shame and blame baby-taking. The only good motherhood is male-approved motherhood. All else must be engineered to suit the patriarchy and their world view.

People often wonder why I profess no connection to organized, Christian religion. They think that I blame the  loss of my infants on a few prudes but it goes deeper than that. Following this model lauded by the patriarchy did away with my most precious possession next to my children...myself. That creed of shame and the unrealistic expectations placed on young, healthy women raped me of my autonomy, my self-worth and left me feeling, for a long time, that I did not, indeed, deserve the right to raise my two oldest children.

So I pay heed to Valenti's words and the message of her book. If we don't fight this anti-woman insanity and teach our young women about self-protection and self-worth, we are condemning another generation of our daughters and granddaughters to this same emotional rape, grief and despair. As long as we sit back and accept the idea that "it's a man's world," and let it be, then we are setting up more young mothers for the worst kind of pain.

And the bitch of it is that women will be doing it to each other.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Vacating For The Holidays

We'll be headed up to the hills again, this year, to spend Christmas where winter is really winter. Our plans to move have been slowed down by the housing market in FL. But we are going out to the land and doing some prelim work if the road is passable. Meanwhile, my hubby is making good on his promise that I never have to spend another Christmas in Florida.

I am taking two books with me and looking forward to reading by the fire where I can relax and really delve into the subjects. I usually read fiction, but I am taking Rohan McEnor's "Rebecca's Law: Sojourn Of A Stolen Father" and "The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession With Virginity Is Hurting Young Women," by Jessica Valenti. These are two decidedly different views that converge in the same tragedy and reach similar conclusions about how and why people are used and abused by the system, especially in the area of child custody. Rohan's story is more personal and Valenti's book is more..well, political and philosophical, but they both are important parts of a whole.

The picture is one we took on the 24th of last year while walking through the Carnifex Ferry Cottages area. It was sunny, but there was too much snow from the blizzard to melt and we had a very white Christmas. In fact, it started snowing again before we left and we enjoyed a walk up to the Civil War Battleground in the snow with our little guy in his argyle sweater. We'll have Dolly with us this year, but we will be missing Rocky. Like you cannot replace children you lost with another child, you can't replace one best buddy with another dog...but there is enough love to allow another one into your life. Dolly will be a, well...a challenge.

So I am airing out heavy coats and sweaters, making sure our cords and fleece are clean and ready to go and getting things packed, including our Christmas stockings and gifts for each other. We have taken the precaution of buying tire chains, even though we managed fine last year with our front wheel drive PT. You never know about those mountain roads and the cut-back to our property is steep and narrow.

There is no Internet at the cabins and I don't have an Internet-access cell phone. Us old farts are doing Jitterbugs, now and cutting costs. So I will be missing but thinking about everyone from Sunday the 19th through Tuesday the 28th. Of course, if Hubby can't pry me away from the hills, we will have to see about getting Internet service. There might be a struggle ensuing.

Meanwhile, to all those who have kept me blogging, I thank you, I appreciate you and I wish you all the Happiest of whatever Holiday you celebrate. I do secular Christmas, but I do it up big. See you after the trip. I am sure, after reading those books, I will have a lot to say.

Merry, Happy and Safe Holiday Wishes from Robin, Darrell and Dolly!!

And a word from Rocky..........

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Man Rescues Dog..Dog Rescues Baby Girl

This is supposedly a true story from the Mother Earth News. It seems a farmer in Scotland found a litter of puppies alongside a country road. Only one of the puppies was alive. She was bleeding from the head but was breathing and had a strong heartbeat, so he took her home and nursed her back to health. The puppy grew to be a valued member of the family and gave birth to a couple of litters of her own before she was spayed. She took care of her people and all the farm animals.

One day, she returned to the farmhouse with a bundle in her mouth and deposited it in her bed. The farmer took a look and was amazed to find a little, human baby...a girl, suffering a bit from exposure but otherwise healthy. The little girl went on to grow up and become a nice young lady. Her farmer friend and canine savior had long since passed away.

When I was born, my grandparents had a female lab, shepherd mix named Smoke. She was a really bright and well-behaved dog. From the minute they moved my crib in and placed me inside it, her place to sleep was under my crib. If I awoke, she alerted the household until someone came to see about me. She worked guard duty when I began toddling, pulling me away from the stairs by my diaper. My memories of her are blurry, but the stories told to me by my parents and grandparents are precious to me. I have a badly faded photo of baby-me and Smoke under the Christmas tree with bows on our heads.

It has recently dawned on me that, for these deluded mothers of today who are "choosing" specific adopters and "adoption plans (yuck)," that they might want to make sure that the PAPs have a dog. That way, since Mommy is being edged out of the picture, they could check out the canine family member and be sure that their little ones are getting unconditional love of the highest order. My Grampa once told me that Smoke would have fought off a grizzly bear to save me.

She didn't adopt me. She didn't see me as a replacement for pups she didn't have. She saw me as her human responsibility and a pack leader in the making. My mother would cringe when Smoke gave me a kiss, but I would just chortle in delight. Smoke fetched my cup, my blanket and my toys and would present them to my mother to wash off and return to me. I first walked holding on to her back. She was Nana, Lassie and Rin Tin Tin all in one. Her love for me was uncomplicated by her own needs and fiercely protective.

I was a lucky kid. I was 9 when she died. I do remember that as a very bad day. She stayed with Gramma and Grampa when we moved to SC because she was already getting on in years and the trip would have been hard on her. It was a tearful goodbye and would have been worse had I known it was our last time together.

Perhaps the smart thing to do to screen PAPs, better than the home study, would be to have them adopt, YES, ADOPT, a dog that really needs a home from a local shelter or rescue group. These canine babies come with issues and that would test the unconditional love factor. If they pass that test, then MAYBE, if there is a child that needs the guardianship of others not of their kin, then they could assume that legal responsibility. But no game playing.

Oh, we call ourselves, "Mommy and Daddy" to Dolly but we have better sense than to indulge in a fantasy that she is our real child. Indulging in that fantasy with children born to other families is just as dumb and very damaging in the long run. When the need to fulfill that "as if born to" impossibility becomes obsessive, you have very screwed up children growing up with a lot of heavy baggage. What we do to our children in adoption, we wouldn't do to a dog.

Right now, there are more domestic, companion animals needing homes than there are homes for them. Thousands are euthanized every week. It is such a simple thing to spay and neuter our little friends. It is such a simple thing to teach our adolescent children about birth control. It is such a simple thing to put the money we were putting into 5-figure tax breaks for adopters and tax cuts for the affluent into helping a mother and her child get a fair start in life. It's such a simple thing to honor the mother-child bond without bringing judgment and Victorian attitudes into it. It's such a simple thing to recognize and address the crimes committed against these mothers and their children over the years.

It's all as simple as a dog's devotion to people that would move that so-called "dumb" animal to rescue and guard a human child. Nature's wisdom seems to beat out the assumed wisdom of humanity every time.

Thanks, Smoke.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Caution; Raw Nerve-Do Not Touch

It seems I touched a few of those raw nerves with my blog, yesterday, about codependency. I'm glad I did. It's time, I feel, for those of us who have been abraded by the brier patch of adoption to put some salve on those wounds and get over ourselves. There comes a point when we have to quit trying to hold a house of cards together against the wind of truth.

I'm back to the jackass in the ditch, again. We all know how the dysfunction of adoption separation has adversely affected both adopted people and natural mothers. But isn't it past time that we stopped using that past trauma as an excuse to fight among ourselves and started fighting back and allowing personal growth? Let's get the jackass out of the damn ditch!

This is personal stuff. This is the only life we have. We can allow misperceptions and mythology to continue on being in control, or we can take back the helm and steer our own course.  We just have to have the courage to hear and accept the truth and learn that it isn't always about us.

When I was a little girl and someone said something I didn't want to hear or I wanted to win an argument without having the words, I would stick my fingers in my ears and sing, real loud, "La, la  la, la....." until the other person shut up or left. Yes, that was childish. I was a child. But I see a big bunch of adults doing the same damn thing and it is very unbecoming.

PAPs and adopters are good at this. If you refuse to hear and accept the truth, then you can keep on at what you are doing, guilt-free....sorta. But that's their own character defect with which to deal. If any of them can listen and learn and be honest with themselves, good for them.

Many adopted people don't want to hear the truth about how they came to be adopted. It's easier to be angry, believe every word their adopters told them and blame it all on Mommy. Many mothers don't want to let go of that fiction of the sacrificing mother/heroine. They might have to admit we were powerless and/or got scammed and that would be to admit we were vulnerable (weak) and/or naive (stupid). Boy, do we have our hang-ups or what?

And BOTH adopted people and mothers want a perfect (as they think it should be) resolution to it all, and there ain't no such animal. The part about regaining our emotional health and equilibrium goes way beyond open records and redress for the maltreatment of mothers. It is about who we choose to be now, how we choose to be treated and to treat others and whether or not we are brave enough to accept and integrate the truth into our hearts. It starts with one step in the direction of the realization of the fact that none of us know it all, that we cannot control everything and everyone around us and that we can all have the right to be respected if we give respect.

In some cases, unfortunately, we also have to learn when to let go. It is hard for someone who has no self-respect to respect others. No one, mother or adult child, should be an emotional punching bag for the other. If it doesn't work out, it's sad, but there is still a life to be led. When one or the other is severely dysfunctional, then taking it personally is really self-defeating.

I was just out back watching my husband play keep-away with our little dog. She has had it rough..lost her people, had little real training in life skills and spent a lot of time being barked at, having her food stolen and being pushed around by bigger dogs while in the kennel. They call her condition, "Kennel Shock." The dog running circles around her "daddy" is not the same dog we found at the SPCA kennel six weeks ago. Every day I see her grow. She no longer has "accidents" in the house. She is less fearful of strangers and other dogs. She walks with a prance and her tail up when before she stayed nose to the ground and wanted to run home if she saw anyone. While we were outside, the little dog two houses down started barking. That was usually a signal for Dolly to run back to the door and beg to go in. This time she ran to a good vantage point to investigate what all the noise was about. When she saw that Krista just wanted in, she ran back to play a bit longer. She is living in the now. She is forgetting what happened that led to the fearful and aggressive behavior she was showing. She's erasing the old tapes. She's living in the moment.

Now I don't think that we can just erase our memories and go blithely about as if none of this adoption separation crap never happened. But we can try living with what is. We can fight for justice for past and even
current  injustices and we can fight for equal civil rights, but we don't need to be fighting, blaming and carping at each other. We are adults. Dolly is no longer a puppy, and, while she has us, she needs to learn how to get on in the world in a healthy way. So do we, together in reunion or apart as in, "Oh well, it didn't work out," we have a right, all of us, to pursue happiness and enjoy peace of mind.  Being imperfect human beings, that happiness and peace of mind won't be perfect, either.

But wouldn't it be a lot better than that constant knot in your belly? The tears, the crushing need and the resentment are products of an unnatural situation that, yes, was unfair and horrible to us and to our children. But we can't change what happened then and the blame needs to go where it belongs.

As long as we fight each other and blame each other, the Industry and those that the Industry benefits are getting exactly what they want from us. Think about it.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Codependency And Real Relationships

An adopted friend had a quote on his page that I immediately stole from him. It says, so succinctly, what I have been trying to say for years. It was written by an English psychiatrist and author named Anthony Storr who, himself, underwent bouts of depression and had a childhood that was less than comforting. Dr. Storr said, "‎It is only when we no longer compulsively need someone that we can have a real relationship with them." - Anthony Storr

When you examine the dynamics of adopting and, later, reunion, you find a lot of that kind of codependent need. It is for this reason that I believe adoption is a dysfunctional arrangement from the get-go. In the traditional infant adoption, this is an arrangement that calls upon the adopted child to fill the emotional needs of the adopters. Growing up with that kind of emotional pressure is damaging and a breeding ground for all manner of emotional disorders. Unfortunately, for quite a few adopted people, this kind of relationship is their model for what they think is "Love."

Many marriages and love affairs are of this ilk. Being "in love" and loving are often very different. When one is starry-eyed, swept away and stirred with passion, it's hard not to grow addicted to that feeling. The endorphins literally pour into the lover's system. It is too easy to attach one's self-image and worth to the responses of one's beloved and a crash is inevitable. When one leans on another for any sense of identity, the results can be disastrous. But it is wise for married people to keep a bit of  adventure in their lives together.

I have been in this kind of relationship and we are both better for it having ended. Learning about codependency and where it can lead has saved me a lot of heartache. In my marriage, today, my husband and I offer each other a whole person, not mirror images and certainly not the offer or expectation to carry the other, emotionally.

People who can't take rejection, who pine after the person who has ended the relationship and who may even go so far as to take their own lives or attempt to do so, have based their entire self-worth on the acceptance of the other. That's NOT love. Love can let go. It can be sad and hurtful, this letting go, but an emotionally whole person can face it and the life ahead with optimism.

The codependent person goes into a relationship, be it marriage, friendship or reunion, expecting emotional needs to be met by the other person. When that doesn't happen, in reunion, the road becomes bumpy and harsh. One of the most inane lines ever uttered by anyone was spouted by Tom Cruise in "Jerry McGuire" when he said to his lady-love, "You Complete Me." Whoa there, hoss! If you weren't complete to begin with, what would she want with you? But so many sighed and smiled and brushed away a tear at that sentiment.

Natural Mothers and their Adult, Surrendered Children have spent years wondering about the missing part of their family to the point that the emotional investment in the other person is huge. Reunion is based on expectations and needs, not all of them healthy. We are meeting familiar strangers, people who have their own likes, dislikes, politics, religious views, and attitudes. Not all of them are going to jibe and mesh with the greatest of ease. As I have said in an earlier post, the bond never really breaks, but it becomes very twisted and knotted. Many have referred to reunion as an emotional minefield and, when you add in the codependent expectations, you are in danger of a major explosion. We get angry and it starts a cycle of resentment and frustration. I was introduced to this model of the codependency/anger cycle when I was in treatment for my eating disorder.

I have watched this happen in more than one reunion and each participant always blames the other rather than looking within. Two human beings with so much to gain can sabotage themselves with their own insecurities and fears unless they can take a step back and an honest look within.

I wanted to be able to offer my two lost children a mother they could respect. I wanted them to see that they came from loving, decent, good, solid people. I was unprepared for their ambivalence and the insecurity of their adopters. I felt frustrated with my children who were adults, yet kept in this perpetual, dependent childhood by the entire construct of adoption. But this was all they knew. Knowing that I surrendered them against my will was not enough to re-build their sense of self. I couldn't do it for them. Only they can do that. This is sad but true because there is enough of the mother in me that I wanted to do that for them. Standing back and letting them find their way is tough.
There is enough pain and strife in the human condition without the trauma of surrender and separation. I know now, that I was codependent and totally vulnerable when I lost my two oldest children to the Industry. I folded, collapsed upon myself and waved the white flag and one of the pressures put on me depended upon my need for the approval and acceptance of my family. I also spent years being obsessed with the father of my first born and that was really unhealthy. So I am no stranger to codependent thinking and behavior and I am not one to judge anyone for being immersed in that strange malady.

But I do look askance at those who choose to remain in such a pit of emotional quicksand. It's scary to face it and overcome one's codependent nature, but the rewards for doing so are tremendous. It doesn't guarantee that you never will be hurt or sad or miss someone.

But it usually guarantees you will survive it all. And those of us who have been battered by adoption need the survival skills.

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Adoption Grinch Lives

I have been reading some very sad, pain-filled and frustrated comments on Facebook and elsewhere. Adopted adults and Natural Mothers, alike, have been fairly cursing the Holidays to the extent that one of my dearer friends would like to go into hibernation until Christmas is over.

I can't say too much against that, because I remember feeling exactly the same way. I would frantically try to make a perfect Christmas and push down the sadness, but it always caught up with me. When there is a hole in your heart and your family, it's hard to be Ho-Ho Jolly. There is pressure enough at this time of year without the added burden of being separated from a vital part of yourself.

If anything, we try harder than most to make the Holidays fulfill the unformed wishes of the lost and taken. I know that I loved Christmas with a passion until the first one I spent without my firstborn. After that, the lights lost their sparkle, the colors seemed duller and smiles were suspect. The once-soothing candlelit church services and sweet music became drab and meaningless. Had it not been for my raised children, I wonder if I would have even made the effort. I was desperate to make their Christmases good ones, but they never reached my frustrated attempts at perfection. I spent years trying to replicate the Christmases of my childhood.

I wish I could take all my friends with me, in spirit, to the lodge in the mountains of West Virginia where my husband and I and our little Dolly will spend the week of Christmas. We will not be rushing around, decorating, buying, wrapping and worrying that things are not good enough. Our time will be spent in front of the fire, baking goodies, enjoying the view, spending some time in the hot tub and watching the weather...hopefully, snow. There will be no crowds and jostling in line for concerts and cantatas. Our music will be from our own library of favorites and we will drink egg nog by candle light on Christmas Eve without having to rush anywhere. Since life is real, we will take what comes and if those plans go awry, we will still be glad we went, glad to be together and enjoying the adventure of whatever comes.

We did this last year and it was the best personal Christmas I can remember. Never mind that we came into WV on the tail end of a blizzard, with two feet of snow on the ground. Never mind that we had to spend two days and three nights in a very, very nice motel with a fireplace, a big tree in the lobby and good food nearby until the power at the cabin was restored and the road cleared so we could get to it. We talked and laughed with fellow stranded travelers. We laughed at Rocky deciding, after two days, that it was okay to go potty on the white stuff. We took pictures and read, watched TV and ate veggie plates and cornbread from the Cracker Barrel. We availed ourselves of some hot chocolate and goodies, courtesy of the motel. The cabin was beautiful when we got there. We stashed our goodies, put our little tree up (took 15 minutes, tops) lit a fire and settled in with smiles of appreciation. We even stayed a couple of extra days.

I think that was the first Christmas that my heart no longer felt partially empty and ravaged. The scars are there and sadness is part of the Holiday package when you have lived long enough to experience life. But this private, laid-back and quietly beautiful Christmas was my best one since childhood. I don't hold the same expectations for this one because things can always happen. We found that out last year. But we will still keep it simple, private and quiet. I don't expect Christmas to be provided by Currier and Ives. I gave up on that a few years back. I think spending Christmas in Florida did that to me. But, even if there is no snow, it won't be hot and people won't be wearing shorts and tee shirts on Christmas day.

Unlike our green friend, I sort of doubt if the Adoption Grinch even has a heart, much less one that will grow two sizes upon hearing the sound of Christmas cheer despite his attempts to sabotage it. Unfortunately, Old AG has succeeded where the other Grinch failed. And little Cindy-Lou Who (who was only two) is asking, "why?"

For some reasons, the platitudes of the industry and those that benefit from their work tend to fall a bit flat at this time of the year.

That's why we have made a new, personal tradition of love, adventure and peace of mind. I spent too many Holidays enduring and hurting. No more. I know where all my children are, they know I love them and that is better than I had before.

Merry Christmas, Dear Ones. Don't let the Adoption Grinch get you down.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

That "N" Word (Natural)

A very nice mother in Canada got a very rude email which took her to task over her use of the term "Natural Mother," to describe those of us who had our children appropriated for adoption. The writer of this malicious missive was, of course, an adopter. Now many disagree with me, but for reasons of my own, I don't apply parental titles to those who adopt. I have certain principles that make it impossible for me to bring myself to call an adopter a mother or a father.

In my mind and my philosophy, each person born gets one mother and one father. That is how biology works. But to identify ourselves as mothers who were not given the right to raise our children lost to adoption, many of us prefer the term "Natural Mother." It used to be the correct and legal term until some adopters and others decided that by calling us that, it was implying that women who adopted were not natural mothers.

Well...uh...that's nothing more than the simple truth. There is nothing natural about adoption. It's a man-made, legal construct that, as with all things man-made, tries to overrule nature and the power of nature that is conferred on the females of all mammals to give live birth to our young. The term "birth mother" was first used by author and adopter Pearl S. Buck, and passed through the network until it became the title it is today, one that is used to distance us from our motherhood and make the adopter more comfortable.

For as long as there have been human beings, there seems to have been a fear, on the part of patriarchal societies of a woman's sexuality. Our genitalia is internal, a little dark cave that performs a miracle. We bleed every month but don't die from it (although there have been times many of us wished we could) until that miracle is conceived and then we do something no man can do. We produce life. Yes, it does take the cooperation of a man to conceive, but, with donated sperm, we can, if we wish, do the entire thing ourselves. A man still needs our wombs, presence and cooperation in order to have offspring.

The patriarchs have done all in their power to subdue and conquer our female nature. It seems to be the way of all men. If there is a river, bridge it or dam it. If there is a hill where he wants a road, then he levels the hill. He builds levees to hold back rivers and swamps and builds his artificial nests on the infirm soil. If there are minerals in the earth, he must go after them. Man seeks to control and mimic what he cannot be...that natural creator. Often, Nature gets back a bit of her own. Hurricanes, floods and the simple impermanence of human construction will  often roll over these man-made barriers like a Juggernaut, destroying in minutes what took months and even years to build. Even the pyramids are crumbling in spite of constant upkeep.

It is also the patriarchal need to control women that has led generations of women to believe that their only worth is in their fecundity. From that precept comes the old, "give me a child lest I die" school of thought that drives the potential adopter. Many segments of society still look askance at a woman who can bear children yet chooses not to do so. Yet, let a woman decide to bear a child without the active oversight and last name
of a man and she is scorned and seen as unworthy. And on this curious dichotomy, Man has created a lucrative industry that uses female fertility and restricted autonomy. Then he uses the onus of infertility to create the market. Due to the oppressive idea that a woman is less than worthy if she cannot produce a child for a man, they have their customers and "proper" women for their social experiments and engineering.

So adoption is not just unnatural. In its concept, it is sexist, anti-woman and done for reasons that have less to do with the ultimate welfare of a child than the idea that a child should be provided for a woman who is unable to bear her own....a child for a home; NOT a home for a child. Women are commercial objects and/or consumers and because of this, women predate on other women, can't cooperate or get each other's backs and that leaves men still pretty much in charge. They run the world while we wrangle over who should raise children.

To the woman who wrote that irate email to my friend, learn your biology. Adoption is NOT natural and giving birth is. I am a natural mother. You are an adopter of a child in order to fulfill your own desires. And while we are giving biology lessons, I'd love to give Rosie O'Donnell a heads up. Babies do not grow in our "tummies." That would be very uncomfortable. They grow in our uterus which is made just for that purpose.

So the adopters of our world can throw that "birth" word and that "tummy mommy" idiocy around all they like. That child you coveted and took as your own is created by the genes and the body of a NATURAL mother. This Natural Mother and many others I know would have given anything to have been able to rush a sick child to the hospital and sit with them while they healed. We would have sold our souls to be able to kiss the boo-boos and change the dirty diapers because, if you care for a child, that's what you do. Doing it confers no special honors on you that change the fact that you are not the natural mother of the child you possess.

It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature.

Friday, December 03, 2010

A Confusing Duality

There has been much said about Natural Mothers who, after surrender, suffered from secondary infertility and never had another child. Many of these women have been on support forums and their situation is a painful one, but easy to understand.

What I have real trouble understanding (and this is going to get me blasted by a few) is the Natural Mother who suffers the loss of her child to adoption and then goes on, herself, to adopt. I don't get it. My own response to this is also strange. I feel, somehow, betrayed by one of my own.

I have a dear, online friend, an adopted person, who calls adoption "woman's inhumanity to woman." I agree with her. That is why I have a hard time understanding how a woman who had her infant appropriated for adoption could turn around and do that to another woman. I can only surmise that there are some painful dynamics going on in her psyche.

I have a couple of theories that may or may not apply. Since the single mother has been denigrated for so long, and adopters are seen as the next thing to saints, it could be a desperate lunge for redemption and respectability. I know one such mother who would much rather be identified as an adopter* (not her term) than the mother of a child surrendered to adoption. There is some kind of psychological exchange going on there. I do think that this is not on a conscious level.

Some have expressed adopting as their duty, to do for a child what was being done "for" their lost child. After talking to adults who were adopted and to other mothers, I can't see holding on to that rationale. The true raison d'etre for the majority of adoptions is all about an infant for a home...not an altruistic thing at all. So that explanation just doesn't wash in the light of the facts of adoption.

One woman, a friend, actually, has confided in me that she adopted after losing her firstborn to adoption so that she could have a child to raise but remain "loyal" to her lost child. It took her many years of counseling to see the contradictions in that. It really came to her, fully, when she reunited with her daughter and realized the difference in the bond. She knew her adopted child better, but shared more with her surrendered child. And, though she didn't want to admit it, or to have her adopted child know, the emotional aspects were definitely not the same. She has been very troubled by this for quite a while, now. She withdrew from all the groups and is trying to make peace with what she can't change.

Adoption as an industry exists because there is a demand, especially for healthy newborns. What was done and is still being done to procure that product is heinous, slick and devious. The demand by those who want to adopt has not decreased, even though the number of adoptable infants has gone way down. The prospective adopter is the one who creates this assault against her sisters. Her desire becomes another woman's tragedy. A little family is destroyed in order to give her what she covets.

With that view, I cannot imagine ever adopting and putting another woman through what I experienced. I have to raise an eyebrow when a sister Natural Mother does just that. Why? What's the REAL reason for this? Can it be that, by adopting, a natural mother might feel justification for what she sees as her own role (guilt) in her loss? Freud would have a field day with this. Of course, the emotional damage done to Natural Mothers has never seemed to be a very important issue to the community of mental health professionals with a couple of notable exceptions, one being Dr. Geoff Rickarby who submitted his conclusions to the inquiry into adoption practices in New South Wales.

The bottom line is that the woman who loses a child to adoption knows all about that kind of pain. So when she goes on, herself, to adopt, I have to wonder at the rationale. I guess I will never understand it. Of course, I am not required by these women to understand it.

I am also not required to either like it or voice approval of it.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

It's All Right...You Can Come Out Now

November is OVER and so is that pile of politically propagandized excrement called "National Adoption Awareness Month." Mayhaps, I can open a newspaper or magazine without seeing some saccharine article about the joys experienced by children saved from who-knows-what by saintly adopters.

Perhaps I can see less denigration of natural families and a slow down in the beatification of adopters. One can only hope. I realize that the best I can look for is an ebbing of the tide. We are far, far from the point where we can sing, "Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead."

Of course, as an adopted friend of mine noted, with December comes THE family holiday and the time when the absence of that someone-who-ought-to-be-here is keenly felt. Ya just can't win.

I have often preached on this blog about the fact that Natural Mothers cannot fix their surrendered, adult children and they can't fix us. In the long run, we are the only ones who can fix ourselves. If, after reunion, we still feel empty and blown about by every gale, then we need to turn inward for the answers. It's funny how "The Wizard of Oz" so reminds me of the adoption struggle. I have to note that Dorothy is an orphan, but is lovingly raised by her Auntie Em and Uncle and does NOT call them Mom and Dad. All of the protagonists in the story feel something is missing inside them and for Dorothy, the missing piece is the most poignant. She misses her home and kin.

Would that there were a good witch, Glinda, who could point us down the yellow brick road to self-realization. My biggest life revelation was discovering that I had, inside me, what I had most longed for...the ability to mature, find peace and be happy. Brain, heart, courage and home...they were all inside me all the time. Maybe it takes a tornado, a wicked harpy, some flying monkeys and a dissembling wizard to point the fact out to those that of us that are more stubborn than others. Well, that is a lot like reunion which can be a total cataclysm.

We do a lot of floundering about, I have noticed, while searching for the answers to why, and how and who. Too often we DO look to the reunion as the end when it is only the first step. The rest is up to us. I watch one very beloved person in my life trying to control every situation that even obliquely concerns her and becoming sick and frustrated with the attempts. The only control we have over anything is self-control. That helps us get through the storms created by others in our lives. My yellow brick road took me to Al-anon where I learned that lesson. So I leave "fixing" up to the powers of the cosmos and just see to my own issues.

We who have been, uh,..touched by adoption learn to gird our loins as we approach the Holidays. As if that were not enough the NCFA throws that Nasty November at us. Well, they can do their worst. We are finding, within ourselves, what we need to get through. C'mon, put 'em up!! Put 'em up!!!

And November? Eat our dust. We're off the see the Wizard.

Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.