Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30th..The Day of the Mothers

Today is National Strange and Mournful Day, an observance that began in response to the designation of November as National Adoption Awareness Month. We mothers wear our ribbons all month and tell anyone who asks what they mean. The last day of the month is an observance of the validity of our motherhood and the dreadful nature of our loss.

I came up with the name because certain lyrics from Paul Simon's "Mother and Child Reunion" resonated, so deeply, with me. All through this past month, many Exiled Mothers have been wearing our ribbon badges of black for mourning, red for righteous indignation and passion for our cause and white for hope and healing. Some of us will adorn our ribbons with the birthstones of our children that were taken for adoption. I have a diamond and a pearl for my ribbon....April and June are the months in which I gave birth to, and was forced to surrender, my two oldest children.
While we refer to the lyrics of Simon's wonderful tune, this observance is not about reunion, but about the devastating effects of loss to adoption on the mother. I have high-lighted the pertinent lyrics in red and boldface.

music and lyrics by Paul Simon

No I would not give you false hope, On this strange and mournful day,
But the mother and child reu-nion, Is only a motion away,
Oh, little darling of mine, I can't for the life of me,
Remember a sadder day. I know they say let it be,
But it just don't work out that way. And the course of a lifetime runs,
Over and over again.

No I would not give you false hope,On this strange and mournful day,
But the mother and child reu-nion, Is only a motion away,
Oh, little darling of mine. I just cant believe it's so,
And though it seems strange to say, I've never been laid so low,
In such a mysterious way, And the course of a lifetime runs,
Over and over again.

But I would not give you false hope, On this strange and mournful day,
When the mother and child reu-nion,
Is only a motion away.

While most of the support groups online for Mothers of adoption loss tend to deal with the ups and downs of reunion (and God/dess knows, it is a rough ride), SMAAC is focused on the pain and injustice of our ordeal leading up to and including the "Strange and Mournful Day" when we realized our babies were lost to us.

So today, on the last day of what we now call "Adoption BEwareness Month," we honor ourselves and remember the injustice of the EMS/BSE and renew our determination to be an active and vocal part of bringing justice to the mothers.

And to my daughter and my son that were lost to me in those dark days, always know that I loved you and losing you was neither my choice nor my wish. Some day, some how, some one is going to have to make restitution for what was lost to us. Not in dollars, but in acknowledgement, atonement and public awareness of the pain and the dark underbelly of the adoption myth.

Happy Strange and Mournful Day, Sisters. I am so sorry you had to suffer this

*I wanted to add this post script to this repeat article. It is just in the last year that I have realized the full import of the loss of my children. I am and will always be their mother. But something twisted happened when they were raised by other people and it is my sad realization that my babies are gone forever. In their place, are people who share my DNA, but not my values or vision or cultural orientation, who look like me, but who don't really know me for who I truly am. Surrender is forever and adoption is the great destroyer of the person that might have been. My children are tied to mothers who never knew them on that deep, cellular level that is the natural connection and to whom they are unrealistically loyal, even after one of those mothers passed away. It doesn't hurt as much as it used to, but it still makes me angry.


Priscilla Sharp said...

So very poignant ... so very true ... every word. Now I have another reason to mourn November 30. My own dear mother passed away 23 years ago today. How very fitting that I should now honor this day to mourn the loss of my daughter, too.
I smile because she's my daughter. I laugh because there's nothing she can do about it.

J. Marie Jameson said...

A very beautiful post Robin. I always liked that song and used it once for background on my blog. Great minds think alike I suppose.

Lori said...

Robin, beautiful. It makes me weep and your realization is hard, but true. Something I have learned over the last decade... our babies are gone, forever.

May I link?

Robin said...

Certainly, Lori.

Carrie Schlaffer said...

I totally forgot about that Paul Simon song. How touching. I wonder who Paul was referring to in it maybe he was adopted. I did not know this was our holiday. It makes me feel special to know I/we are recognized. I need to get one of those ribbons. Any hints as to where to go?

Robin said...

Carrie, most of us just made our own. I used wide black sheer, red med width and white narrow ribbons and fabric glue. I used a faux diamond and faux pearl (my two surrendered children's birthstones)post earrings at the place where the ribbons cross to pin them to my shirt.

Chris said...

Lost my newborn baby girl to the Adoption Machine...Dec. 1, 1964.

Tomorrow I get to call her and wish her a Happy Birthday...she always thanks me, but had told me when we were early in reunion, she always felt depressed on her birthday. She hasn't said that to me in several years now. I once called and got her voicemail..I sang the entire song of Happy Birthday to her. She called back, thanked me and told me it made her happy to hear me singing to her.

There are so many losses, big and small, because of surrender and adoption.

mom lost 66 said...

thank you robin for a heart felt blog to my son bruce now know as jeff 8/15/66 may I get to see you one day

Unknown said...

I hate to see November begin, with the hoop-de-doo about adoption. It used to be one of my favorite months, about being Thankful for our plenty. However, when it was co-opted by the adoption industry, it suddenly became something i had to endure rather than enjoy...yet another in the string of things that must be endured, sort of like adoption itself.

You are right...our babies are gone forever, and the similarities are astonishing, but the differences are breath taking. Each time I realize it, I am angered anew. And, I also see the same realization in my man/boy's eyes, and I know that he is as angered by it as I.