Well it's been a long time since I last posted. That is partly because I haven't really had much to say. Well I do now....and holy hell do I ever.
I have to take this adoption thing in bits and pieces. I deal with it for a little while. Then I have to put it on the backburner for a little bit. Then I can re-examine it. Lately it's been back on the frontburner and today it just exploded. I'm sitting here with nothing better to do than to blog and to ruminate about what I just heard.
Here's the thing. A good friend called me up and told me to listen to an upcoming segment on a local radio station. It was called "Ask a Birthmother". Since I don't live in the area anymore, I pulled up the website and streamed it as I sat here.
So they brought on two birthmothers who had placed their children for adoption at various points. I thought I would listen to see if adoptees were properly represented as well. They weren't. The adoptee representation was one of the show's hosts who doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about his birth family. He didn't find out he was adopted until he was 13. His parents literally told him the "baby store" story and meant it. The only reason he found out that they were serious was because he found the paperwork. Somehow he's magically OK with all of this and "he has his family" i.e. the same family that lied to him for 13 years. But that's a whole other story.
So here's where I have to try to be just a little bit diplomatic. I get it. Not all adoptees have problems with their adoptions like I and so many others have. I also understand the whole "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent" thing. But I stand by what I think and feel. When adoptees who have no problems with their adoption (God bless them) are given the microphone, it tends to minimize those of us who do. Why? Because people who aren't involved with the subject and therefore don't engage in any nuanced thinking about it, have the take home message that the adoption purveyors have been hoisting on the general public for decades.....that adoption is a neat and tidy solution and everyone is happy with the outcome. Bleeccchhh!!!!!!
The entire segment was just wrong on so many levels. God bless them....they tried. But they really really missed the boat. The first was the host that was adopted. It was almost to the point of seeming like a token effort. The choice of birth mothers was a feel good choice. The birth mothers that they had on the show talked about their lack of regret. Yes they did talk a little bit about depression and one even mentioned being suicidal. But then she quickly qualified that by saying that it was something that she had struggled with before she was pregnant.....not because she had JUST GIVEN UP HER CHILD.
But none of this compares to the two things that irked me the most. The first was that there was a call-in from a birth mother who was struggling with whether she should go to the baby blessing. She was so emotional and I could feel her raw edges in my soul. She was struggling because she didn't want her emotions to ruin the occasion. That's fair but at the same time it's not. In a way it's perpetuating the same things that have been the problem all along. This woman has every right to every emotion that she has. She gave up her baby. If she shows up to the baby blessing and can't hold her feelings back she is judged because her emotions are socially unacceptable. If she doesn't show up, she is judged for being selfish and not putting her baby's "well being" ahead of her own by joining in the "celebration" of her baby going to a different family.
Seriously why is it that adoption is supposed to solve so many problems but so many more are created? The birth mother who "gave up", "placed", whatever the damn PC lingo is.....who is lactating for a baby that's not there anymore, who still wakes up in the night when she can feel her "placed" baby crying. Some live their lives so racked with guilt that they never move on from it and never have any more children. Or the child, who, whether they acknowledge it or not, will always have a hole in their heart for blood relations that were taken away without their input. Then, when and if they get the opportunity to reunite, something that should come so naturally usually doesn't. Blood relations that never got the chance to grow and develop and must be so awkwardly worked through after years of change and evolution of all involved. Not to mention trying to fit in with people that weren't always designed to fit together. Now I realize that even blood relations can feel out of place amongst each other. I can't claim special circumstances from that. I'm learning so much from the adoptive parent perspective too. Some have even said that if they knew now how difficult it would be to merge with another person's child, especially if that child was older and severely traumatized, they probably would have reconsidered and definitely had different priorities.
Expectations are surely dashed all around. It's not the pretty picture it's purported to be. When will people, not just those affect by it, get real about adoption? I don't see it ever going away which is sad because I tend to think that it hurts more people than it helps. But that is just my perspective.
P.S. I sent a text message to radio show asking why there was no adoptee representation. The hosts feebly answered that the one host was an adoptee and the other was an adoptive father. Yeah! And how awesome did your segment turn out to be? MY POINT EXACTLY!