Facing my own demons

adoption, adoption loss, life,

Where will the money come from: AKA; it takes a village

Normally, when I write a new post, I wait until the post is complete to name it. Why? Because when I start writing, I have a thought of what I want to say, but I never know for sure where it will end up. My ideas start out as small little thoughts and become “complete” during the writing of a post. As I write, I learn more about what is truly in my head. This is the way my mind works. I’m sure that it is the way many writers minds’ work.

This time however, I do know where I want to end up at. I have a beginning and I have an ending… Or perhaps the ending is the beginning… I’m hoping for that anyway. What will come in the middle is what we shall see…. 

In my last few post, I’ve been trying to find some alternatives to adoption and to find a way to make the act of adoption … More human… So to speak. Some of my thoughts were to utilize programs that are already in place with in the our government. (Ok, here I must stress that I am talking about the U.S. Government, because truly I don’t have enough knowledge to speak of any other country, even though this is a world problem that needs to be addressed everywhere, I am only able to talk about what I know.)

Thanks to Harlow’s Monkey, we know that at least in some states, the family foster system does indeed already exist. Unfortunately, many of the women do not know about the existence of such programs that could mean the difference between being able to keep their child, or loosing that child to adoption.

In my last post, I talked about the need for government regulations on the adoption process. There needs to be a requirement that any woman who is considering adoption must be told about the programs that she could access to help her raise her baby. We need to stop telling women that they can’t give a child what another couple could, just because she is poor or under educated or doesn’t have job skills that could land her a good paying job.

Instead, we need to have programs that are readily available to her, that will provide day care, and skill education so she can learn how to support herself and her child. I’m not talking about putting yet another family in the “welfare” system, so that they will be trapped in that government controlled life without hope of making it on their own, EVER. I’m talking about our government using the programs that they already have created to help these people to gain control over their own lives.

So if the government suddenly, today, starts telling everyone about the programs that exist that could help them… What then? Well, I am sure that a lot of women would suddenly realize that adoption isn’t their last hope for the child they love so much. Suddenly the increase in women who are asking for government help could be astronomical. Who will pay for all this?

Well, first off, if it was done correctly, the cost would be temporary. The benefit would be that people wouldn’t remain on Welfare all their lives. They would go to school and learn skills to get careers and they would become productive members of society that would increase the taxes paid in to fund these programs.

But also, I’m a bit angry that I am sure the government officials would be asking this question. I see public, government supported schools that have books that are outdated, and doesn’t have enough supplies for all the teachers without help from donations from citizens in the community. I drive on roads and even interstate freeways that are in such disrepair that you could easily damage your car if you do not avoid the potholes and cracks.

And then I see people working two and three jobs just to make ends meet, because the government is taking so much of their hard earned money in taxes! And then they go to the stores to buy supplies for their lives and pay more taxes. And the people like my dad, who worked all their lives, paying into the social security program for fifty years or more and now they don’t even get enough back to pay rent on a house! Who’s going to pay for it? We are! We already are paying for it! Everyday! We are paying and now the government needs to step up and use that money that we’ve paid with blood, sweat and tears to save these families.

You would think that this would be the end of this post. As I have said in my past post it is important for us to make our voices heard. We have to speak up, yell out for the rights of those who can’t or don’t know how to speak up for themselves. But is that enough? NO! It’s not nearly enough!

Should we stand here on these self proclaimed pedestals and demand that the government fix this all themselves? No! While I truly believe that the government has the power to fix this broken system, we need to realize that we are all here, now, together on this lovely planet we call earth.

This blogging group, that I consider myself a member of is a diverse little group. There are people in it from all walks of life. Adopted Adults, First mothers and fathers, and Adoptive Parents. We “come together” here on this thing we call the Internet and our differences fall away. We are here for one thing.. We seek out information, answers to our questions… And we share our own answers with each other.

One thing I am sure of, we all work hard, in one way or another, for what we now have. What ever that may be. But I’ve also seen the hearts of this “group”. And it amazes me! These are people who know what love is. They know how to love and how to care for others. They share that love in small ways with other members of this “group” even though most of us have never met in “real life”

So when this woman: http://awrungsponge.blogspot.com/ showed her heart in this post, http://awrungsponge.blogspot.com/2006/09/teddy-bear.html

I was not surprised of the love she projected. But I was a bit taken back, because here she was being proactive in trying to start in some small way to help the people that I was sitting here shouting out for someone else to save them. Suddenly I realized that having a voice, was a good start, but it is not enough! I have to jump in and take action to help those faceless women that I write about with such passion. I have to use that passion to help them get started in a new life.

So I wrote to Cloudscome, and told her that not only did I want to make baby blankets for these women, but I wanted to help her form a group that could grow into something wonderful. We could be mentors for women who love their unborn babies but don’t have anyone to tell them that they can keep their babies. We can help them get a foot up so that they can start out on the right road to the wonderful world of parenthood.

And she wrote back with enthusiasm for this. So now we begin.. for now, we begin with an idea and we present it to you, our “internet blog friends” for your approval. Who among you will reach out and take our hands and help us help someone else?

Of course this group will start small. We don’t have resources to just jump in and start a huge charity. And of course, there is life, that tends to demand attention from us, so we will have to find ways to juggle our jobs and children and family and this new adventure. But it is my dream that someday it will grow with the help of other’s who know the need of this.

For now, we want to start with, using the words of Cloudscome, a closet of hope. My next post will be about my dreams of what this can and I hope someday will become. I will go into how the differences among us will be a great help in this project. Each of us bringing their own talent and resources to the group.

While you are waiting for my dreams for the future, be sure to check out Cloudscomes latest entry on this: http://awrungsponge.blogspot.com/2006/09/this-little-nagging-idea-that-wont-go_25.html

It will give you more of an idea of her wonderful idea that will hopefully some day grow into a real Answer!

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September 26, 2006 Posted by | Hello World, today | Leave a comment

Where are the answers?

Margie, from http://thirdmom.blogspot.com/ recently left this comment on my blog:

Sheri, I’ve recently come to your blog and have commented a few times.  I just wanted to let you know that I think you have some extremely logical views of what’s broken with the way adoption is conducted in this country.

I would really like to hear your thoughts on how we could garner the attention of the lawmakers who have raised adoption to such a positive level that criticism is seldom tolerated.  In my opinion, that’s the hurdle that needs to be cleared in order to give first mothers the voice needed to jumpstart change.

My response is Wow! What a deep question! And also, I think that she has given me much more credit then is due… I really don’t know how to do this. The problem I see is that most people don’t have a clue what really happens in adoptions!

I, myself, did not have a clue what was and still is going on until just a few months ago and I am a mother of loss. I had no clue that there were other mothers and fathers like me, that went through the same or similar situation as mine. I had no clue about the other side of adoption.. I didn’t know about agencies and what they did/ and still do to make sure that adoptions happen…And really, I didn’t have a clue how many adoptive parents were/ are totally clueless as well.

My eye opening came purely by accident. I wasn’t looking for information about adoption, or adoption loss. I stumbled onto a first mother’s blog purely by accident. I spent several days reading that blog, from beginning to present in amazement. The situation was totally different. But the feelings… Were the same. I could have wrote that blog! From there I started the “search” for more like me… And I began my education on the real world of adoption.

My point is, how many people are there that will not stumble onto one of our blogs? How many people who do not know anything “real” about adoption? All they know is what the media tells them, which is usually so far from reality that it doesn’t even look like a relative of the truth.

As for the agencies, or the people who work in the adoption field or related fields… I wonder how many of these people really even know the truth? They have had their training and have been essentially “brainwashed” into believing what they are doing is right. They go through their day thinking “I have the greatest job in the world. I get to do this wonderful thing that creates a family for people who couldn’t have a family without me and I get paid to do it!”  I doubt that many of them, if any, ever see what happens after their job is finished. And if they do meet an adopted adult who has major problems that stem from this “wonderful” world of adoption, they are told and convinced that this is not normal. These so called angry adoptees are exceptions. And so for the angry first parents…”Oh, they are just the birthparents. They made their choice and now they want to take it back. Too bad for them.”

Suddenly, it is forgotten how that choice was made. It is forgotten how the parent was told they were doing a wonderful hero type thing by giving that child a chance at a wonderful life. So the mother was never told that she could have had help in raising that child herself, so what, that wasn’t the responsibility of the agency was it? Their job was to find wonderful homes and parents for children who were so unfortunate to be born to single, poor or uneducated parents.

Now, there are some social workers who learn the truth, and become aware of the truths and the lies that surround adoptions… But what happens when they do? I think that these people ether refuse to believe it, because the truth would inconvenience themselves or they simply get out of the business and are easily replaced by another “blind” save the children type person. So yes, the answer has to be at the top, not the bottom. We have to find a way to stop producing more blind social workers.

Now, this is a new territory type thing for me. Normally, I believe in less government. I think that the government has to much control over us in our every day lives. However, if we are to move forward with adoption reform, I think we must appeal to the “law makers” of our land/S. There must be some legal regulations.

First of all, is it the job of the agencies or lawyers to council the mothers to be? They are doing that already. And we see where that leads! They are counseling these mothers right out of their children! This must be stopped. I think that there must be regulations that force these agencies to be only the facilitators. They should not be there to help with the decision process… Only to be the middle man, between the parties involved and the courts. There should be required counseling for the mother’s to be and the potential adoptive parents from outside sources. From people who are trained in truth counseling and have no interest in the outcome.

The mothers and father’s to be should be given all the facts. They should be told of all the resources available to them to help them to raise their child. They should be taught of the possible and provable repercussions if they do relinquish their child not only for themselves, but for their child.

The potential adoptive parents should also be told the truth about these issues and also the issues that may happen in their own homes. They should be told that this child may grow to be radically different from them, not only in looks but in personality. That if they choose not to nurture those difference, they may end up with very negative results that could put a rift in their family. And emotionally scar the child. They need to be made aware that adoption is not always “best for the child” They need to be given options. Such as the option to be the foster family for a young mother and her child, or a mentor.

Another thought that just occurred to me: perhaps a fostering of the mother and baby with the potential adoptive parents should be required for a time after the birth of the baby before the mother is allowed to legally make this decision. The fact that the woman is not truly mentally capable of making an informed decision after child birth should be taken into consideration. She should be allowed time to heal emotionally from the trauma of childbirth.

I can almost hear some people screaming in frustration at this thought. I can hear their protest that the woman would get attached to the child if they were required to care for the baby for an amount of time to heal from the birth. Yes! That is my point! This woman, who thinks she can not care for her child properly should be given the chance to learn that she can! What are you afraid of? That she’ll change her mind?! Well, if she changes her mind about adoption, than I say it was never meant to be!

Alas, I think I have created more questions, at least for myself, than answers. Sorry, Margie, I’m not sure that I am qualified to have those answers. How do we make our voices heard? How do we get the people who have the power to change things, to listen?

I personally do not know. I think we have to keep fighting to be heard. We have to tell our own stories over and over again to anyone who will listen. Write letters, sign petitions, rally, fight!

I feel that we are on the cusp of a new awareness about adoption. The Internet has given many voice who did not have voice before. How many years have there been people teaching other’s about the truth in adoption? I’m not sure, but it doesn’t matter, because this is indeed the beginning. It is, therefore a very important time! It is up to us, the small force that is forming to keep our voices and push to be heard by not only the ones who are just now hearing, but also by those who have not heard yet. We have to spread the word! There are many places to start.

Some examples of where to start would be http://www.originsusa.org/

http://easyactivism.blogspot.com/

http://www.keepyourbaby.com/

http://www.eriksmith.org/– a sight for unwed dads who lost their children to adoption.

http://groups.msn.com/NationalInfantAdoptionReformAct

http://www.fightcps.com/

I’m not sure that I came up with any answers, or questions that haven’t already been thought of before but it has raised many new thoughts in my own mind, which I will try to explore in the coming posts. Thank you, Margie, for asking this question. We need to ask questions! We need to question authority so that we can come up with answers. For now, we need to keep on plugging. Keep your voice loud and strong for what ever you believe in. Sometimes it may seem that no one is listening. But somewhere some how, someone new may hear you and learn something they didn’t know before. And then they will tell someone they know… Well you all know where I’m going with that thought….

September 21, 2006 Posted by | Adoption | 6 Comments

9/11 I will remember….

Sept 11, 2001… A day that went down in history. Life in these United States paused if not but for just a moment on that day, as we all watched in horror that terrible history being created.

I remember that day as if it were yesterday. And then it seems fuzzy. Did I eat? Did I sleep? Did I leave the couch or the T.V. That I was glued to for three days? I’m not sure. I am sure that the mundane task of the day were preformed without thought, while I kept one eye on the nightmare that was shown over and over on that television set. When I did return to “life as normal” going to work the first day after this.. I watched the same reports before work that I had watched for the last three days and when I returned home from work, I watched again. I was an emotional wreak but it never accured to me to stop watching. I watched the twin towers crumbling to the ground, over and over, with wide tear filled eyes. Afraid to blink in case something changed on these tapes that I had seen so many times. I’m sure I shared that zombie stare with thousands of others. Until one day, I’m not sure how long it had been by then, finally told me, it was enough. I needed to turn off the T.V for a while. I needed to rest my heart.

I cried, I cried with the rest of America that day and the days to follow. I didn’t know anyone who was lost that day… But my heart felt their loss…Never in my life had I felt the loss of strangers as I did on 9/11. America felt the loss of these lives. People of my generation, and the younger generation have never had to bare witness to such devastation. Our lives had been coddled with a good economy and nothing of significance that would ever make us feel unsafe in our lives. Most of America had grown with, if not a silver spoon, at least a feeling of well being. Those who were suffering in our country were mostly ignored because the majority of this country had never seen any devastation in life. We grew up with the belief that we were invincible. No one could hurt us, we were AMERICA.

We got a rude awaking on that day five years ago. It took a while the shock to give way to the pain and the pain give way to fear. But indeed, we all learned a terrible lesson. We learned that we are not as a country, total invincible. We learned that we are not safe from harm, just because we live in America. What a horrible lesson we learned.

The lives that were lost that day… Such a horrible nightmare that we each hope to wake from.. But we don’t because it was all too real. For the first time in our generation, we were touched by terror, loss and fear that we couldn’t just blink away. It wasn’t something that happened across the ocean that we could point at and say ” oh how sad for them…” For this time it was us… And this time, we finally got it. Even for those of us who lost no one they knew, could feel it. We felt the loss of those people. We hurt for them, we hurt for their family… We realize that it could have been any of us…

We will remember! That is what we say about 9/11 and it is true. We do remember. It is heartbreaking and we can not forget. But Now, after 5 years, I wonder… Do we remember the danger? Of course, we can’t live our lives in daily fear.. No one should live that way… But are we once again so over confident as we were 5 years ago?

As for the pain: Today I watched those tapes again. The ones I spent days and days, more than a week watching over and over, five years ago. Today, I watched them again… And I cried…..

For everyone who’s life was touched by the tragedy of that day.. For everyone who lost friends and loved ones… For everyone who’s lives changed forever on Sept. 11, 2001. I think of you today. My heart goes out to you.

September 11, 2006 Posted by | today | 2 Comments

alternatives to adoption

One of my ideas for alternative to adoption, I admit I got from someone else. (I can not remember where I first heard about this, or I’d give that person credit. )

It was something I read months ago and it made me think… And think and think…

I’m not sure if it is a program that still exist today, but there used to be a little known government program that allowed teen mothers to live in a “foster home” with their child. Unfortunately, the teens that went to agencies because they had no support to keep the child, were never told about this program or the possibility that it may give them to keep their child.

It is my suggestion that there is not, in most cases, a need to change the parentage of the baby to full fill this need to share your love that you have in your heart. Not only can you give that love to the baby, but also to the baby’s mother. Instead of encouraging the teen mother to give up her legal rights as a mother, encourage her to go into a foster family type program. She could live with another family, older and more established in life and have a mentor type support while she learns to be a mother.

Of course, now you will have people ask, how can you have a childless woman or couple be a mentor to a young new mother. They don’t know any more about being a mother than she does. The point here is this would be the same woman, or couple that the agency would have handed the baby over to if there was an adoption.

In today’s normal adoptions, the woman, mother to be, has the right to choose the adoptive parents for her child, right? Well, I would say that most women in this situation would want to choose a person or couple who are more established then she is herself in life. Perhaps older than she is having more life experience. She would probably choose someone who already was well grounded in a career, so they would have more time to spend with her child.

These are the people who would be right for the “mentoring” foster care program. Perhaps they would be required to take some parenting classes as well… Even better, they could take the classes with the mother to be. They would become the emotional and mental support that the young scared mother would not other wise have. It would be a foster home for both the mother and the baby. The fostering couple perhaps could also provide some arrangement for child care while the young mother took some classes to learn a skill to gain her a better paying job.

Of course, the main goal of this program would be to teach the young mother how to stand on her own two feet and raise her child. To give her skills and confidence that she needs to be a mother on her own. It may only be a couple of years. If she stayed with the foster family during school that she and the child would remain, but it could be very rewarding, not only to this young woman and her baby, but to the fostering family who would see this woman grow as a mother because of their help and love and nurture. And they could build a life long friendship with the woman and baby if they so chose.

And each time a person or couple became a foster family to a new young woman, they’d feel a sense of accomplishment that they were able to help someone to make her own life better. And from each young woman they helped, they would also learn. Making them even more effective in helping a new woman and her child. 

Do you really believe that a woman can love her baby so much that she is willing to loose that baby so that she will have a better life would not keep that baby if someone would just show her how she could be the one to give her a better life?!

As for children who end up in foster care because of abuse… First of all, lets get this straight, being poor is not being an abusive parent! Making your child wear second hand clothing because you can’t afford to by retail is not abuse, it is not detrimental to their physical or emotional well being! Asking the government for help, such as food stamps or welfare so you can afford child care while you work two jobs, is not! Abuse! Not having finished  high school  does not make you an abusive parent! And taking your kids and leaving the only life you know, because your spouse is a danger to your kids, does not mean that you are not able to raise those kids alone! If one parent, father, or mother, is abusive, it doesn’t mean that both parents are. And if the non-abusive parent is willing to risk her life, or loose everything he has to save his children from abuse, than the so called Child Protective Services needs to get off their Butts and protect that parent, there by protecting the kids! (oh, while I’m added, a child that has been playing outside is going to be dirty! This is not a sign of abuse!!!!) And ripping children away from loving parents who have never hurt their children is not protecting the child, it is destroying that child! Some one needs to protect these kids from CPS!

Ok, so am I clear on this?! Good. Then what is to be done when a child really is being abuse? Well, of course, the first thing that must be done is to make the child safe. It must be established first that the child is being abused. The federal Government has got to stop putting a bounty http://WWW.dailynews.Com/news/ci_4308721 on the heads of children as to encourage CPS to tear apart families! First of all, there are so so many programs, far too many to count, that were created to help people change destructive behavior. Why are these programs not being used by the CPS to keep families together?!

When CPS becomes involved in the lives of a family, they demand that the parent or parents do certain things to prove they are worthy of parenthood. Join this group. Go to this class, get a job, stop drinking, stop drugs, Join AA, Join NA, take parenting classes, clean your house, clean behind your ears… jump this rope… While some of the things they ask of the parent/s are neccesary, when the parent does these things.. they jump through all the hoops because they’ve had a wake up call. They don’t want to loose their children and they clean up their lives and follow the program that is set up for them…. And then CPS says, it’s not enough, because of the past, we can’t trust you any more. You look good now… but someday you’ll go back to your old ways.

Suddenly, CPS is now “seeing” the future. They believe that they are on the side of right. They do not believe that anyone can change. They send these people to the help groups so that they can change their lives, but they don’t really beleave that it will do any good. OK, lets get a grip here! People make mistakes, all people! And people can learn from their mistakes and people can change!

But where should the children go when they can’t safely live at home with their parents? Their lives have already been turned upside down and back wards. They already have emotional scars that may never heal. Do we really think that the answer to their emotional and physical well being is to put them in a home of strangers? “Sally Sue, this is Mr and Mrs Person you’ve never Met, they are going to be your new Mommy and Daddy.” Does anyone else besides me see how insane this is?

How about relatives? Why can’t these children live with blood relatives? Do you think that just because one person in a family is abusive that everyone in that blood line family is tanted by a “bad” gene? Grandparents, Sibblings of the parents, or even cousins… So many posibilities of keeping the children in their own family. Why do we insist on taking a child’s family away from them?! And while we are at it, why do we take their name away?! What is the purpose of this?! How does changing the child’s name and teaching the child to call strangers mom and dad help the child?

The idea of legal guardingship should be the answer to this quandry. http://motherhooddeleted.blogspot.com/2006/09/what-is-anti-adoptionist.html is a good article that helps explain how legal guardingship could be the answer for these kids.

While we’re at this site, be sure to check out her most recent post explaining how adoption does not always make a child safe from abuse. http://motherhooddeleted.blogspot.com/

While there is an exstensive screening process for potential adoptive parents… And I believe, (want to believe) that the rules of this screening process are much tougher now than they used to be. Once the adoption is final the a-parents are on their own. There is no one that remains to make sure this newly adoption made family are bonding and having no problems. No one actually looks to see if these total strangers really do learn how to “be a family”

September 10, 2006 Posted by | Adoption | 9 Comments

“You need to make it ok for them”

Because I can not control my dark days…. here is another post that is not the one I have promise…..

“You need to make it ok for them.”

The words of that so called well meaning social worker will forever reverberate in my head, slashing away at any sanity that I might have thought I had left.

This post by MSP: http://peacefullyseeking.blogspot.com/2006/09/warning-could-be-triggering-to-some.html

Reminded me of the day I said goodbye to my precious daughters forever. These so called “handing over ceremonies” remind me of that day that the social worker at CPS “allowed” me to say goodbye to my girls. Before I was allowed to see my children, I was told what I should or should not say to them. “You need to make it ok for them.” … Just as this agency seem to script what the mother should do or say at the “handing over ceremony”, I was given a verbal script to follow. So that it would “make it ok” for my kids to be saying goodbye to their mother and going to a stranger and suddenly calling her mother. What could one do or say to make such an unnatural thing, “OK”? Just as what could the mother of that new born baby do or say to make it ok for her to hand her baby to some other woman and call herself…. Arrr “Birthmother”??

How could telling a five and a three year old that I couldn’t take good care of them any more and that I wanted them to be happy, so I am giving them to someone who could take care of them, do anything to make this OK?! How could saying something that horrible not cause my children pain and guilt?! Children almost always feel guilt when there is a divorce of the parents… How could me saying such horrid things about them leaving me and going to live with strangers not make them think that they had been bad, so bad that mommy couldn’t care for them any more. But this is indeed what the social worker wanted me to say. Repeating the sentence several times so that I would remember the words… How could I say that horrid lie to my children? What more damage would that statement caused on top of the damage that was already being done to them!

Just as the “handing over ceremony” is suggested being done in a controlled environment, such as the adoption agency. My goodbye was carefully planned and controlled at all times by the CPS workers. When I was left alone, in that sparsely furnished room…I broke free from their control… But only for a moment. I told my children that I loved them and wanted to keep them more than anything else in life. I told them the truth, that I wasn’t given a choice, that I had to let them go. I told them how wonderful they were and that no matter what I wanted only their happiness, but I was not in control of this now. I told them that someday they would be able to look for me and I would never be far. And that I would always be waiting for them. I told them they were good girls and none of this was ever their fault… When did “It” happen?! I don’t know… I was talking as fast as I could, I was holding my children as close as I could and telling them of my love as much as I could before “they” came back.

Suddenly, the door burst open, as if the swat team themselves had come to break down the door! So many men and women in suits came bursting into the room! Some time during the fast and ferrous speech of love that I was giving my daughters, these suit people physically tore my children from my arms as they had already emotionally had done weeks before. My daughters’ screams mixed together with the screams of another, who I was surprised to learn was me.

Just like the controlled environment that is suggested for the “handing over ceremony”; they had their controls ready and quickly removed the threat that I might make my children understand that it was them, the horrid government agency that was supposed to protect them, the same government agency that I had went to for help in protecting my girls, that were tearing their lives apart. I had broken their rule, thou shall not let the CPS look bad, even if thou has to take the blame, thou must not let the CPS look bad. And they punished me by stripping me of my final goodbye to my children. What emotional scars did they give those two girls when they literally ripped them, kicking and screaming from my arms? …

Just as I am sure the adoption agencies employees would put a quick end to any good byes the mother may have if she showed signs of changing her mind.

And the video tape or pictures they suggest?! What is that?! Because they know, they even say it. That the mother will not remember some things! What they don’t say is why she won’t remember some things. Because she is so emotionally traumatized that her brain is not capable of holding all her memories. that her HUMAN brain could not handle that much pain, so it will repress some memories, and may even dump some memories forever.

That year for me has many holes in my memories. I see that year of my life in a serious of images, as if there were photos on the screen of my brain, flashing one after the other in no perticular order and none of them fit together. Some of these images even seem foreign to me, as if I had retrieved someone else’s photos at the shop.

I remember some things all too clearly. I remember the day I said goodbye to my girls as clear as if it were yesterday. I remember what it felt like to hold them to me and smell their sweet hair and kiss their soft face… I remember the pain, I can still feel the pain in my chest as I watched my girls being carried away…. I don’t remember ever leaving that room…… Do I want pictures or video of that day to remind me? OHHHHHH God No! I couldn’t stand to see it in real world, when I can see it so clearly in my head.

Do I want some of my lost memories back… I think yes… In point, that last day of seeing my girls, I was then, unknown to me yet, pregnant with their brother…. I do remember finally figuring out I was pregnant, I do remember being sick the whole time, I do remember working right on up until the day I went into labor… I can’t see it though. I can’t feel my son moving inside my womb in my memories. I can’t see myself with large belly wobbling around. I can’t remember the special details of that pregnancy as I can remember the pregnancies of my daughters. I want to! I want to be able to pull those memories out of what ever lock box they are in. I want to remember my son’s first kick. I want to remember how it felt to have him wiggling inside my womb.

And you know, I would really like to leave that horrid room that was my torcher chamber. I wish I could leave the room that I said goodbye to my girls in…….

September 7, 2006 Posted by | Adoption, life | 6 Comments

Making adoption more human: Pt2 When and how should adoption take place.

As far as I know, I only have four faithful readers here. One of them is an adoptive mother who I respect and admire because of her honesty and her heart, I consider her my friend. Two are women who truly know my pain and have been here for me so much and they are very special friends to me. And the fourth reader is my lovely sister, who would probably never read this blog if it was written by anyone else, but she loves me and she reads everything I write out of that love. I love her for that. 

Oh, I know that sometimes other’s stop by and peak, but don’t leave a trace of who they are. And I know I’ve had some who have come to my blog by the way of searches. A small fraction of which were actually related to the contents of my blog. (I hope that those who are in search of answers find some here.) But most of these searches are what I consider very strange and some of them are even sick. I’m sure that some of these people are quite disappointed that their search leads them to my blog. (ha!)

So when I received a couple of comments from people who usually do not comment on my writing, I view that as a small success. Someone actually read what I had to say and found it worthy of comment. Yea.

Ok, it’s not really that I just have to have comments. That’s not the purpose of my writing this blog. First this is my place to vent what is in my heart and my mind that I can not vent in public life, second it is hopefully something that will someday help others, ether tell them things they didn’t know before they make a decision that will change them forever, or help someone who  is suffering pain like mine to know that they are not freaks, and they are not alone. And my true dream is that some day, somehow, by some miracle one of my children might find this blog and recognize me and know how much I love them and contact me because of this very blog. (I know that is very far fetched dream, but it is indeed my dream.

So receiving comments is not what I do this for. If I never received another comment, I would still continue. But I can’t help myself. It feels good to have someone comment on something I write. The truth is, they wouldn’t even have to agree with me, I just find it comforting to know that something I wrote, this, that I put my heart and soul into can cause other’s to think of comment. It is for this reason I can say that I have never censored any comments. (oh, except for the one time when someone left just a series of letters that meant nothing. Very strange.) And if anyone ever sends me spam through my comment section, I will have no problem deleting those. If someone disagrees with me and chooses to voice their opinion and their reason for the disagreements, they are welcome here. (although I might add that this is a public site, there for one might consider acting in a respectful way that you would in public)

Why has this come up? Why did I stop what I was writing on to write this drivel about comments? How can I write such a boring post and say that I am inviting all to comment? Well, if you are still here reading this, ( thank you), I will tell you. I did receive one more comment than what you can see. A very special comment, from a very special person. She chose not to leave the comment on this site, because she disagreed with some of what I said and didn’t want to publicly tell me that. Because she didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Because this woman would never knowingly hurt anyone, Never! Because this woman has a heart made of pure gold, she censored herself rather than risk hurting me. But the truth is, what she had to say was very thought worthy. And I’d like to share some of it with you now.

Is it ok to say I don’t agree with everything you said?  I know a lot of it is because how you were treated very unfairly and they should have never taken the children away from you.  However, there are mothers who will never be good mothers.  How many chances should she get if she is abusing her children?  If no one else is allowed to adopt them, does that mean that they either get passed from foster home to foster home or stay with the mother who might eventually even kill them?……Just because a woman can have a baby doesn’t mean she should.  Some women will never be a good mother.  And does that mean that women who can’t have children are bad people?…….I do agree that they need to do a major overhaul on CPS.  It makes me angry to think of Cps taking R & L away from you and I know there are a lot of innocent women who should never have lost custody of their children.  Cps was designed for the children who really needs their help for whatever reason, not for the purposes they decided to make it for.  We just can’t ignore the needs of the children who are being abused by their parents.  If the abuser is the Dad, then Cps needs to offer the Mother help in getting away from him and help with learning how to raise her children without the Dad……Well anyway, something to think about when you are writing the rest of your article.  I don’t want you to lose sight of the children who are in danger if they stay with their parents in an abusive home.

The funny thing is, I really don’t disagree with anything she said here. I do understand that sometimes life being messy and all, sometimes there is no other option. I know some people who lived their entire childhood with abusive parents that should have never had to live with such terrors. No one saved them. No one cared or seem to care about these children. It is still happening today. So many children that need help and are not getting it. And don’t think that it is because no one knows, because they do know! The people that could help these children who live in fear and pain know they are there and know they need help. But these are the children who have been labeled as “not adoptable” Most due to age. So a blind eye is turned from these children because the people that could help them, see them as already lost. And they, these so called non-adoptable children have nothing to offer the “authorities” They can gain nothing from helping these children.

While other parents loose their children to CPS for the crime of being poor. Or the mother looses her children because she reports her husband as an abuser. Even though she doesn’t live with the man any longer. Or even the other way around, when the husband takes the kids away from an abusive mother and still looses his children. (He is, after all, just a man… how could he raise these kids alone?)

And even if there is no way to keep the children with the parents, ether one of them, why are they given over to strangers? Why doesn’t the “social workers” try to find a family member who is able to care for them? Grandparents, Aunts or Uncles, cousins even? At least they should try to keep the kids with family. But they don’t. They don’t even try.

And then there are the countless new born babies that are taken from the mother and placed into the arms of another woman who is found to be more deserving of the child. What abuse did these women inflict on their babies? To cause them to be coerced into relinquishing their rights as legal mother? Being too young while pregnant? Being unmarried? Being poor or lack of education? And we excuse all this by saying things such as; “She signed the papers.” Yes, indeed she did. But under what kind of pressure? How many times was she told that she could not be a good parent to her child? How many times does it take to tell someone they can’t possibly be a parent to their child before they believe it?

But does this mean that women who can not have children of their own deserve to be childless? Are they somehow bad? NO! Of course not. But does their pain of not having a child make them more worthy of motherhood than the young, single, poor woman who is now pregnant? Is this woman unworthy of this child because her pregnancy was unplanned? Should we continue to allow the agencies to take this baby out of her mother’s arms and place her into the arms of another so that this woman suffering from infertility can have a chance to be a mother?

Now understand and try to remember that I did say that adoption can not be totally eradicated. I believe there are times when nothing else will be possible to save a child and adoption must take place. And then, these women who have the love of a mother, but not the capability to have a baby can indeed become a mother. To those children with no other hope. Those who someone on their behalf has tried everything else possible and have been left with only the option of adoption.

And if the pregnant woman, who will soon be a mother, is given true and all details to her options. How she can find support to help her so that she can raise her own child. If she is told the truth about how life would be for her after adoption… Then there would be considerably less infant adoptions, I’m sure. Does this matter? If adoption is supposed to be about the kids, (which it isn’t now as it stands) then those who are adopting or who want to adopt, should be wanting to adopt a child that needs them, not adopt because they need a child. So if the child is older, does that matter. Would you love the child less if she was older when she came into your life, rather than a new born?

One more example before I stop rambling. This time in the form of a story. This story is made up in my head. The people are not real, despite an resemblance there  may be to real people. If you think you find something in this story that sounds similar to another story you heard or read about, perhaps on the news? That is only because even though I made up the players in this story, stuff like this really does happen. Sometimes fiction is too close to the truth. …

So there is a child, his name is Tony. He’s not quite a teenager, but too old to play cowboy any more. In fact, he doesn’t play any games. He has been severely abused by his own parents for more years than he can remember. He’s been tossed into foster care and back to his parents so many times he feels like a rubber ball.

Tony doesn’t allow himself to get close to anyone. He’s been placed in your care now and you see his pain. His emotional scars show like a flag on a pole. He is sullen and withdrawn most of the time, and then suddenly without warning he turns violent and angry. You understand that his emotional scars run so deep that it might not be possible to help him completely over come this. But he has taken your heart. You can’t help it, you love him and you try hard to reach his heart with yours.

Time and time again you reach out to him with love, trying to gain his trust, only to be rejected by him over and over again. Until one day you see a small glimmer in his eyes. He slowly reaches out to you, his tiny hand shaking in fear. A tiny gesture of hope that someday, he might trust you, someday he might even except your love. Your heart sings at the thought that this child might be able to be saved.

And finally, after trying everything possible, the “social workers” have realized that there is no hope for reforming Tony’s parents. Finally, the courts are in agreement. And since Tony has stayed with you for longer than anyone else in the past year or so; and he has begun to show some progress with you. It seems logical that you would be given option to adopt him, yes?

There is just one problem now. He’s not cute. NO not at all. In fact, some might even call him….ugly. And for a child in the system, he is old, too! So of course, given the circumstances, the social worker begins the paper work to place him in a children’s home until he is old enough to release from state custody. Because of course, you wouldn’t want to adopt this older child, who isn’t at all cute and has a lot of emotional baggage. What would your friends say when you said “this is Tony my son.”?

Now be honest here, how do you feel about this story?! Do you feel angry that I could say such a terrible word like “ugly” about a child? Or do you feel anger that it was suggested that his looks would have ever been a factor? And lord knows if you’ve already bonded with this boy in foster care, you wouldn’t be thinking of anyone who thought bad of you because your son wasn’t “cute”

Well, be aware, that government agencies believe this is exactly how you would react. Any of us. They think that when they have the older less attractive children in their care that no one! NO ONE, would ever want to adopt that child! Isn’t it time that we showed these government agencies that we are not that Shallow???

Let me just say there are some obvious times when adoption would have to be an option. Such as an accidental death of the parents with no known family members. But that seems that it should go without saying.

Also, I’d like to clarify that I do not blame the adoptive parents for any of the injustice that happens in the name of adoption. I think, it is my belief, that in a way, the adopting parents are just as misinformed and in some ways yes, I think they are coerced into believing that they are doing the right thing. They are told that they are saving not only a child, but the mother of that child. This point of view is the only point of view that many of them ever hear before the adoption. They are never told how the mother is “convinced” to sign those papers, and they are never told how bad the effects will be on the mother. In most adoptions, I think, that the adoptive parents are told the same things as the mothers so much that they too believe the lies and truly do believe they are doing a wonderful thing.

 Ok, so part 3 will come in a few days. In part three I hope to complete this line of my thoughts by giving you some of my ideas for alternitive to adoptions in some cases.  

September 4, 2006 Posted by | Adoption, if only | 9 Comments

pt 2 is on the draft table

Just a note to say that part 2 of my how to make adoption more human is in the works. I am awaiting permission to use a quote from a special friend of mine.

 Should be ready to post by tomorrow.

September 3, 2006 Posted by | Hello World | 1 Comment

Adoption: Is there a way to make it human? Pt:1 A look at who profits

 I’ve had something rolling around in my head for a long while now. It concerns my feelings about adoption. (What a shock!)

Because of my experience with adoption, I have to say that I hate, HATE it! I really want to say that all Adoption is bad! You will never know how much I want to denounce the whole adoption industry. And it is an Industry. Then logic steps in. I have to tell you, sometimes I really hate logic. I know that it is not possible to eliminate all adoptions or the need for adoptions in some cases. I realize this because of my ill formed logic. And that realization makes me angry. However, I have to live with this logic now and resign my thinking within it. So swirls of thoughts of how adoption could be made to be more human roll around in my head.  So to tell you my theory of how adoption should be, lets start with the basics of how it is. Who are the participants of this play we call adoption? There is the mother, who will all to soon be dubbed by the industry as nothing more than the birth mother. Then we have the potential adoptive parent/S (who perhaps are a couple who desperately want to parent a child but for what ever reason are unable to have one of their own.) and then there is the adoption industry. (The lawyers, adoption agencies, and CPS) And unfortunately, thought of last, always said to be first, but truly thought of last, is the child.Out of these (players) in this huge play we call adoption, who stands to benefit? The mother? NOT EVEN A LITTLE! I don’t care what anyone says, the mother who looses her child to adoption does not ever benefit! Even when she buys into the “go on with your life” hype, and finishes school and becomes a successful person in society. She did not benefit from the loss of her child. Is there one person who can prove that if she had kept that child and had some support that she could not have achieved the very same things while parenting her own child as she did without her child? Show me proof! There is no way to prove or disprove this, because we will never know what would have happened to that mother if she had chosen/ been given a chance to parent her own child!

Of course, everyone knows that each decision, large or small or HUGE effect our lives in ways that we sometimes don’t even see. But even though if that mother had parented her child instead of chosen adoption, her life would have been different, prove to me that it might not have been even better! Prove it, I dare you! I can tell you with straight up confidence that it would have been better on some levels. Because she would have never suffered the agonizing pain of loosing her child. And I don’t care what anyone says, you are not going to make me believe that there is any woman who had her child adopted that hasn’t suffered untold horrors of pain. I don’t care what she says, or does, she is in pain at least parts of her life and for the rest of her life. Even if her pain is hidden by denial, it is there and it is real and it does effect her, sometimes without her own knowledge. So I think it is safe to say that the mother does NOT benefit from adoption.

So that takes us to the next player in our little play. The potential adoptive parents. For the purpose of this paper, I am going to say that the potential adoptive parents are a successful, very loving couple who desperately want to share their over-flowing love with a child but for what ever medical reason have not been able to have children of their own. I’m talking if there is a such thing as a completely successful adoption, this couple would be the adoptive parents. If they receive/ “get” a child through adoption, they will love that child unconditionally and nurture the child with love and honesty. Does this couple stand to benefit from the adoption? Well, yes.. In many ways…They would “get” a child to share their love and life with. They could have a “family” that they so desperately want, even if it is not a traditional family it is a family. But on the other hand, they have some issues that they will have to deal with, (or ignore) throughout this child’s life. How do they balance their love and their desire to call this child “their own” with truth and honesty that this child is of someone else’s womb, someone else’s blood?

If their’s is an open adoption, which I believe should be the only type of adoptions where any of the biological family of the child lives, then how does this couple balance the openness with their child to the child’s heritage and their own fears that somehow they may loose this child that they have come to love so much? How do they get past their fears and do what is best for the child, which is for the child to know who his parents/ and biological family are?

How do you tell a child, I am your real mother, and this woman who gave birth to you and who loves you is your real mother also?

 If nothing else, no matter what any adoptive parent might say, adoption is not just like having your own child! I know that is harsh, but it is the plain fact of life truth! And if the adoptive parents choose to ignore the fact that this child was adopted. That this child they love so much is of someone else’s blood, then they will pay for that mistake later. When the child grows up and learns of their “lies” by omission they will suffer the anger and heart break of their child.

Yes, the adoptive parents benefit, but not without a price.

Here we will get out of the original order of “players” as I listed them. Lets skip over to the child. Again for the purpose of this paper, we’ll pretend that the child is in what would be considered the “perfect” adoptive situation. We won’t even go into the many many children who are placed in homes where they are abused. For this writing, I will only be talking about the child who is adopted by a successful, loving couple who would give anything for this child’s happiness. And for all the wonderful things that the child’s adoptive parents provide to nurture and love the child, it can make it appear that this child has indeed benefited from the adoption. But is this true? Tell me how you come to the conclusion that this child’s life has indeed “benefited” become better, because he was adopted rather than raised by his own mother?

There is no way to know, after the fact, if the child truly did have a better life with the adopted family, than they would have had if they had been parented by their own mother. I assure you, the child did indeed have a “different” life. And hopefully, it was a good life, but was it better? There is no true way to measure this. In fact, I feel so confident in this thought process, that I would say that I believe that in almost 100 percent of adoptions, where the first parents still live, there is no one that can prove the child’s life is better for not remaining with that family.

Even in cases where drug or alcohol addiction was involved, which is what the majority of society wants to believe is the major cause for adoption. (Even though the numbers of addicted parents in adoption is surprisingly low.) Who can honestly say that if the parent had received the proper help and support that they couldn’t have beat the addiction and learned to be a great parent.

You say that the proof is in what happens after the adoption? So the parent who was addicted to some type of substance not only continued in their addiction, but got worse after the adoption? Well, to that I say Of course the addiction got worse! If I had been an addict when I lost my children, I am sure my grief would have sent me sliding down into the rabbit hole so deep, I would have never found my way out!

So did the child benefit from adoption, I am sure that there is no way to know for sure. I do know that there is a loss for the child. Even the “happy adoptees” as some have been so pleasantly dubbed, I believe have some underling issues that they may not even acknowledge. Studies have shown that if not as a child, the adopted adult has a high chance of suffering many physiological ailments. Such as depression, low self esteem, or fear of abandonment issues. Is it really any surprise that so many adopted individuals not only succeed but excel in many areas? Could it be that they are always pushing themselves to be better, so that they will be deemed “worthy”?  

This life they were given was chosen by so many other people who played “god” to make the so called perfect life. Their identity was stolen from them for reasons they could never truly understand and they were raised by people who they had nothing in common with. No biological bond, that is. Even if some of their personality traits were formed by nurture, there were still the nature side of them that they had no one to look at and say, “Oh, that is where I get that from”

There are many other issues that I have seen from the adopted adults writings that I could site as proof that there was loss for them in the adoption. More issues that show that even if they did have great parents who treated them with love and honesty, there was loss… And no way to prove that there was gain. Let me just say here and now, that if you choose to look at some of the reunions that went “wrong” And say that is proof that they were better off without their biological parents. I, again, say no this is not proof! You can not judge a mother after loosing her child to adoption by the same standards that you would judge her before that loss. It changes you, forever. A mother who chooses/ or is forced into adoption for her child will never be the same again.

20 years later, you can not look at how she lives her life, or reacts to that child when found and say, “See, she wouldn’t have made a good mother.” Because she is not the same woman that she was when she was pregnant with that child. Sometimes these changes can be worked with and the reunion with her, now adult child, will go well. But sometimes these changes are so powerful that there is no way for the woman to go back in time and remember the woman she once was. With that, I think, that I still stand by what I said that you can not prove that any child had a better life because of adoption.

Now we come to the adoption industry. This industry includes any agency or anyone who acts as a third party to help facilitate adoption. Including, but perhaps not limited to; Adoption agencies, Adoption lawyers and CPS, (child protective services).

Do they, any of them, benefit from adoption? Well, I don’t believe that there is anyone of these that do not benefit! If I’m wrong, and there truly are some agencies that receive no profit from being third party to adoptions, please feel free to tell me about it and site the proof. Lawyers and adoption agencies receive money, in most cases, if not all, from the adoptive parents, to help them find and facilitate the adoption of a child. It is quite expensive to become a parent this way! So much so that many agencies give the prospective parents ideas of how to raise the money. There are even government grants available to many people to help them choose adoption. This high price is not only for expenses of the adoption itself, it is also for the profit of the agency or lawyer involved in the process.

And when the adoption is final, the agency or lawyer’s job is, in most cases, finished. They can then, in a sense, take the money and run. They never have to deal with the mess that the adoption leaves in it’s wake.

Now as for CPS. You may be asking just how do they profit from adoption. They are not allowed to take money for profit from the adoptive parents, right? Well, here; You may find answers that will surprise you. The federal government gives state government grants for each adoptions that take place out of foster care! This is to encourage the CPS to work harder to find permanent placement for children who are bounced around in the system. Sounds like a good idea, yes? But lets take a closer look. Suddenly, we have the CPS pushing for adoption in most cases and not perusing the possibility of reunification of the family when possible. The “what’s best for the child” goes in second place while adoption is always considered first. (let me just say that it is my strong belief that adoption should, in every case, be the last option, not the first.)

In many states, social workers working for CPS are even given bonuses for cases that they get the child placed in an adoptive home. Now, we have social workers who are not only working very hard to adopted out the children already in foster care. (instead of working to help the parents reunite with their child), now they are working to create new cases where a child is taken from their home and placed in a new home for adoption sake. Some of these new cases are from homes where there is NO abuse. Most are cases where the parents/ or parent is poor and uneducated and has no clue of their legal rights. Their families, their lives, are destroyed by a system that was created to protect the very child that they are destroying! And most of the social workers feel justified because they took the child out of a poor, struggling family and placed them in a home with people who have had education and well paying careers.

So yes, even the CPS stands to and does profit by adoption.

So looking at this information, do you still believe that adoption is “for the child’s best interest”?

So this is much longer than I anticipated. I will have to break it up into parts. So the in my next post I will go into my beliefs on when and how adoptions should take place. And eventually, I will tell my ideas for viable alternatives for adoptions

September 1, 2006 Posted by | Adoption | 3 Comments