Heartened

The whole kit & doodle!

Just some chit chat and random thoughts.

It is 7:30 in the morning, here. I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of one of my best friends – a brother in all the ways that really matter, Adam. We've known each other for several years now, started out working together for the non-profit. We had the same job in different areas of the country and for whatever reason, just hit it off. Of all my friends, Adam has probably been the one most involved in this journey I'm on. Adam has long been a foster/adoptive dad to an incredible number of kids, and he "gets it" so completely, talking to him is kind of like talking to myself. I can't wait for him to get here today! He has had a long drive to come visit and will arrive sometime this afternoon to spend the weekend. He's also bringing my copy of the letter from IARMIE today (I use his address for adoption stuff because I'm always in hotels with my husband and it is the only way I can be 100% sure that they can ALWAYS find me). He scanned in a copy of it for me when it arrived at his house the other day, so I've "seen it" but not held it in my hands. But that gives you an idea of the level of trust I have for Adam, that I'd let him read the letter even before I did. Why I'm able to trust him so much when I have such a hard time trusting anyone else (besides my husband) isn't something I've figured out, but I think some people just make you feel like they can be trusted with anything. He's one of those people.

So forgive me if I seem to be bouncing in my seat today – my brother is coming to visit!!

I've been reading a lot of blogs from some amazing birthmoms. You'll find some of the links to your left – I still have a few to add, but it will give you a good start. I feel so frustrated for some of these moms and what they've faced. I also feel in awe of their capacity to survive.

One of these days we WILL dispell the myth that adoption is always a positive experience for everyone involved, or the equally damaging myth that adoption "in general" is positive except for a few extremely rare exceptions. I'm sorry, but spend a little time on the internet reading the stories from adoptees and birthmoms – do you think it is just a coincidence that there are so many blogs and personal pages explaining how traumatic this can be for us? If there were only a small handful of these stories, I might agree with the idea that we are "extremely rare exceptions." But it is not just a small handful. Yet little is being done to change things. Now we're dealing with a new myth – that open adoption solves everything. Yet if you spend any time reading on some of the larger adoption forums designed for all members of the plane (see blog entry from yesterday), you'll see that even open adoption is rife with issues. Only now, the adoptive parents are being exposed to the very real painful side of adoption. And maybe with all three members of the "triangle" experiencing pain, we'll finally get somewhere in changing how we do things.

If you're wondering, no, I don't know the solution. I think open adoption is a start, but not a final answer. I'm not in the "eliminate adoption completely" camp, either. But I very much support the idea of focusing more attention on helping birthparents to parent wherever possible. Let's focus on solving the issues which make adoption "an only option." I know there are a lot of adoptive parents who will feel threatened by this idea – if there are fewer babies available for adoption it becomes that much harder to adopt. I feel for them, I truly do – but I'm sorry, I cannot condone NOT helping birthparents to parent just so you can have a child. I can't support eliminating your pain by causing pain for others if it is at all possible to avoid that. I've met dozens of birthmoms and dads who would never have placed had they been given just a little help choosing parenting. I've met far more who have been very clear that they felt trapped and coerced by a system whose function is to provide children to childless couples – NOT to keep children with their birthparents. That is unacceptable to me.

Somewhere in all of this there must be a solution which brings the least amount of pain to all involved. I just hope we find it before we have yet another generation going through this same pain.

What has made me so suspicious of the adoption industry is the amount of money these hopeful parents are FORCED to spend if they want to adopt. I know my brother and sister-in-law went heavily into debt in order to adopt my nephew. There has to be a way of bringing together those who genuinely want to relinquish and those who really want to adopt, together, without one becoming financially bankrupt and the other becoming emotionally bankrupt. It cannot be "in the best interests of the child" for either parent to be so harmed by the system. There has to be a better way to do this.

I've gained a lot of respect for adoptive mothers recently. Reading some of the trials they've faced in trying to adopt, I wonder how they keep going. Of course, they have the greatest reward in the world waiting for them, and I guess that helps them to keep going. But I want to just scream and sob for them when I read of failed referrals or young women who scam them into believing a baby is going to come home with them someday.

Perhaps when we can start acknowledging the trials and pain experienced throughout the plane, instead of feeling that if we acknowledge it, it somehow "threatens" our place, we can actually work TOGETHER to create a solution. I've seen far too many birth and adoptive parents and adoptees who seem hell-bent on denying what another is feeling and experiencing, it makes me very sad. We're so desperate to bury our head in the sand and convince ourselves that all is right with the world that we literally run screaming from anything that challenges that perception. But if we could see past our own fear and embrace and acknowledge the fear of another – maybe things can change. Maybe in another 30 years we'll no longer see blogs full of pain and sadness written by moms, dads and children.

Wouldn't that be nice? Isn't that something worth working towards – together?

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January 27, 2006 - Posted by | Adoption Rants, General

4 Comments »

  1. Here! Here! … and so glad you have yet another support person in addition to your husband.

    Comment by speakingformyself | January 27, 2006 | Reply

  2. I agree, he sounds like a really valuable support person. One of the best thoughts I had in early reunion was that I needed lots of support – from people who had been there and could understand. Made life so much easier!

    I’m with you – adoption can be way better than it is now – for these rare situations where it is necessary. We can force reform if we all unite!

    Comment by cookie | January 27, 2006 | Reply

  3. What an intelligent post and so compassionate for everybody.

    Comment by kim.kim | January 27, 2006 | Reply

  4. I agree, there has to be a middle ground somewhere. I think all of us sharing our thoughts is making some kind of progress. At least we’re not keeping it bottled up anymore.

    Comment by adoptedlife | February 2, 2006 | Reply


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