Facing my own demons

adoption, adoption loss, life,

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….

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September 21, 2006 Posted by | Adoption | 6 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

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

I want my lost years back!

  I’ve been in and out of depression all month. R’s birthday has been really hard on me this year. Yesterday I broke down at work..I never do that. But yesterday I did. It was this family. The cutest family a mother and three kids. The oldest was a girl who looked to be about 5 years old. And another girl who was probably 2 or 3 and a baby. And I thought, yep, that was my family before I lost them. And I had to run to the office and cry.

I’m glad that I worked Tuesday so that I can be off today. I just don’t think I could function at work today.

My husband went to Florida on a business trip yesterday. I had to take him to the airport and wait for him to be searched to make sure they let him take his lap top. He is only going to be gone for one day, he’ll be back tonight. So to tell you the truth, I was feeling that this was best for me. I really need to be alone today and having him out of town seemed like the best thing.

But his flight was planned by someone else at work and he didn’t have much info. In fact, when we went to the airport, all he knew was the flight no. And the time the plane was leaving. He knows he will be back tonight at 7 something.. So I left the airport without knowing what time he would arrive in Florida, but with the promise from him that he would call when he did.

Well, 4 hours later, still no call. I called him several times and his phone was still turned off. I was desperately trying to stay calm and finally told Dad that I was going to bed. I sat in the middle of the bed with the phone in my lap trying to remember what the flight no. Was on the plane that I had so casually put my husband on. I was even flipping through the news stations to make sure that I would hear of any terrible flight tragedies. My thoughts were that if I lost my husband on the day before R’s birthday I would totally loose my mind. I was in tears by the time the phone rang.

He had, of course, had a lay over. Somewhere… He told me, but I didn’t hear his words, just the sound of his voice. That is all I needed to hear. He called me as soon as he was off the plane. He said he knew I was worried. He knows me too well, I guess.

After I talked to him, I laid down and cried myself to sleep. When I woke this morning, I, for just a second, thought that I was still dreaming. I thought that what if the last 18 years had been just a dream.. All of it….and somewhere out there in the “real” world were my two little girls waiting for mommie to get up.. I really wanted it to be so.

But of course, that was only a second. Then I realized that it wasn’t a dream. And it had been 18 years since I’ve seen all three of my kids. That the baby boy I had, really was born 18 years ago after I had lost my two precious girls and I had lost him also. And today my R is 23 years old. 23! And maybe she still lives in Texas somewhere and is on her own. She’s a grown woman now and I’m still stuck in the past…

 It really hasn’t been 18 years since I’ve seen R. I got to see her when she was 16. I met her adoptive mother and her new adoptive sisters. And she even called me for a while when she went home to Texas.

But then, it stopped. When she was 17 it all stopped. And I haven’t heard from her since. I have no way of knowing what happened to her after that. I know she was fighting with her adoptive mom and dad. She moved out of their house the last time she called. I wonder if she made up with them. I wonder if she had to be alone in that huge world. The world is too big for a 17 year old to be alone. I wonder if she made it to college. I wonder if she’s ok??

All I can do now, is what I did when I finally figured out that I was really awake in my own “world” That was to say “Happy Birthday, R” to the empty bedroom.

Last year wasn’t this hard. Or the year before. Not even the last few years. Why is this year so hard?! I want to meet my kids again! But more than that, I want the impossible, I want all those lost years back! I want the last 18 years to be erased. I want memories of my kids growing up! I want to have R and her sister and brother here for her birthday today! With cake and ice cream and presents! And happy memories of them all growing up together, with me!

August 24, 2006 Posted by | Adoption, if only, my angels | 4 Comments

Who is She?

I am the woman who hides her tearful eyes behind the sunglasses.

I am the woman who offers on a weak smile to the stranger’s greetings in passing.

I am the woman who walks in the shadows to be unnoticed.

I am the woman you bump into because you didn’t know she was there.

I am the woman who watches her feet, for she fears the passers by

Might see the stamp of shame on her forehead that isn’t there.

I am the woman who has been judged by society,

Without trial or truths and found to be unworthy.

I am also the woman who is your nurse, that always smiles and greets you by name.

I am also the woman who sits next to you in art class.

Who is working two jobs and going to school.

You know, the one you brag about at your lunches with the “girls”

Because “she’s trying so hard to better herself and I encouraged her, so surely if she succeeds it will be from my thoughtful words…”

The one that if you knew the secrets she held in her heart, you would be talking bad about her to your friends instead of good.

Yes, I am that woman.

I am your neighbor who never attends your Tupperware parties,

Who never stops to gossip and offers a slight nod and retreat into

Her home if you try to speak to her.

I am the manager of your local fast food joint,

You know the one you yelled at today,

Because one of “her” employees fixed your order wrong.

Yes, I am that woman, who still smiled a sympathetic smile,

While you screamed at how incompetent she and “her” staff were.

I am the one who apologized to you sincerely, after you cussed her

And made your food right.

Did you notice that her eyes were filling with tears?

Did it give you pleasure that you made her sorry for

Such a horrendous mistake?

Oh, Yes, I am that woman,

Who went to the back to hide after you left,

Who cried because once again she had been judged,

For the mistake of another and found to be unworthy.

I am the woman who hides from the shame,

That should never be…

Because society has found her guilty.

For surely, if the government said it to be,

Than it must be true.

I am the woman who committed the crime

Of loving her children while being poor.

I am the woman who lost her children

Because she didn’t know how to fight.

I am the woman among you.

I am everywhere.

The tears I shed,

You shall never see.

 I am the woman who suffers

A life time of pain, in silence, so that you

May be comfortable in your life.

August 2, 2006 Posted by | Adoption | 7 Comments

Victim or Survivor….

I have met many wonderful women in my search for peace. Many who you will find links to their blogs on this site; and many more that I have not yet linked to. (Only because I am lazy.)

And my wonderful new group that I share emails with everyday. Such a wonderful group of women who know the pain of loosing their child through adoption. These women choose to share their friendship with others and help others in pain and every day life.

Some of these women still do not know how they have helped me personally by telling their stories. I lurk on their blogs daily. Searching for ones who have updated with anticipation. Reading each word they write over and over again with amazing connection. I know these feelings of which they write. I see their pain, I feel their pain as it is so much like my own. And with each new day, each new blog entry, I find myself feeling… Not alone. I’m not alone any more! And that feels good.

It was with one of these women that I had an email communication with that led me to the path of Victim vs survivor. In hopes of bringing some peace into my life, she suggested that I stop looking at myself as a victim and realize that I am a survivor instead. Her letter was like a giant light bulb in my head. I was looking at myself as a victim. I had so much anger inside me that sometimes it felt as if the anger was all of me. I sometimes feel that if not for the anger and self pity, I would melt away into nothingness. The real question, the one I asked my friend was, how do I stop the anger and self pity from eating me alive? How do I transition from Victim to Survivor.

Her answer? Her answer was amazing to me. More amazing was that I could not see this answer on my own. I guess sometimes you truly can’t see the forest, for the trees.

What she said to me was this:

“For a start you stop giving it a negative label. Have some compassion for yourself; call it grief or loss. Call it psychic disturbance…. If you met another woman who had lost her children and was upset about it, would you tell her not to have her feelings?”

The answer is Of course Not! The pain that I feel, the pain that all my first mother friends feel, we can not turn off! We have to be allowed to feel this pain! We have to acknowledge it and be allowed to know that it is real. We can’t hide it any longer! We’ve hid this pain in the closets of our hearts for too long. Letting it eat away at our Souls, so that no one would see. NO MORE!

Hiding our pain only makes us more the Victim! It only makes the pain keep growing until it will eventually consume us. We have to bring it out of the closet and face it! Acknowledge it as real and learn to reach out to others for help in standing, when standing alone is too hard!

So what is the road to healing for us? My friend answered this question also: She said to being healed,

 “I believe it’s not something that can ever be resolved or healed, there is no true healing and no true closure from this kind of loss. I don’t look for that anymore, I don’t believe it exists and that helps me.”

This statement seems devastating when you look at it alone, but in truth, it can be very freeing. When you spend all your energy trying to stop the pain, when there is no real way of stopping it, you can end up in much more pain. Each day you ask when will I stop hurting so bad! You allow yourself to feel guilty for the pain itself and that heaps itself onto the pain. Each night finds you screaming in silence and darkness. But there is something freeing when you allow yourself to embrace the ache in your heart.

The emptiness is a part of you. You know that it is a part of your heart that makes you who you are now. And soon, even though you still have this aching in your heart, yes your very soul, you allow yourself to live also. By giving yourself permission to cry, you find that you also have room to live. You find ways to live with the loss that does not compromising your heart.

“You learn to share your story with others. Write your story, channel your pain in other activities. Reach out to others who also feel this pain. Ask questions, the seek out the answers! You are a survivor.

Each day when you get out of bed, you are a survivor! Living life, everyday makes you a survivor! Each time you reach out to someone else in pain and embrace them, You are a survivor!”

So for all my dear, dear friends that have experience and are still experience the terrible heart break of loosing your child. To all of you, who wake each morning knowing your child will wake to hug someone else as their parents and not you. I chalenge you today to embrace your loss! Give yourself permission to feel the loss. It is real! Stop hiding in the shadows! Search and seek out others who also know this grief! Share your story and allow other’s to share their story with you! Find ways to chanel your grief in constructive ways. Reach out with helping hand to others in ways that suit your special abitities! It may be crafts, or writing or volenteering to help people who need a helping hand.

This is not some magic cure! There is not a tent revival Minister that can slap you on the forehead, “You’re Healed!” But slowly, over time, when you give yourself permission to survive, you will begin to see that you are a survivor! You always have been!

(And for me, excepting my own challenge, I want you all to know, that I am here for you. Anytime you need someone to listen, just write to me. My heart is open to you. I don’t have answers to many questions, but I do have heart. I can be your friend. I can be here for you to express your grief. When we reach out to each other, we will find that it is also helping ourselves. Sometimes, all we can do is just listen. And that’s ok. Cause sometimes that’s all someone needs is for someone to listen. I am here for that! If you find that you need someone to listen to you, I will be here for you.)

July 13, 2006 Posted by | Adoption, life | 1 Comment

For the love of Terry David

I have been putting this post off. I wasn’t sure why, after all I posted the hardest part. Making my story public about how I lost my girls was a giant step for me. I so feared that other’s wouldn’t understand my story. They just wouldn’t get it. I feared that people would say, “oh, she had to be wrong because CPS doesn’t do stuff like that.” Even after I found others who had similar things happen to them, I was still afraid of being judged wrongly. But I sucked it up and told my story. The whole unvarnished truth that was my horror story.

So why was I hesitant to post the story of my son? I decided that I would have to have the answer to that question before I could actually get past this hesitation. And so that’s what I’ve been doing, analyzing how I felt about telling my son’s story. Finally, it came to me. It was like the end. Just like the when I gave him up for adoption, telling the story for anyone who cares to see, it was like the end.

So knowing what was my cause for hesitation, I was able to work through it. So here is how this feels, writing this is like going back to that time and reliving it again. The last time I ever was a mother. That’s how it always felt. It was the end. Of course, it wasn’t really the end, I lived. (Although, at times I did not know how I lived, but I did.)

And telling this story doesn’t have to be the end here. I still have much to say. I still have much to work out in my life. So today, I will tell the world about Terry David, my baby son.

 Once I contacted the lawyer, from a phone book ad, I went to his office once. I am sure that I did that. It seems more like a dream. A lot of stuff I really don’t remember very clearly and yet other stuff, minor things, I remember perfectly. It is a jumbled up mess in my head.

I know that the lawyer gave me the name and phone no to a Obgyn and I started going to him for my medical needs. The ad in the phone book for the lawyer said the adoptive parents would pay for medical expenses and some living expenses. So I assumed, without asking that I had to go to this Dr and could not choose my own Dr. Although, as far as I remember, I never really had a complaint about the chosen Dr. He doesn’t stand out in my memory much except at the end.

I know that after he examined me he said he thought the due date that my first Dr had given me was close enough to keep. So My due date was valentines day. I thought about that and thought it was cool. I really wanted my baby to be born on Valentine’s Day. He’d be a true love child then. I thought. (Now, I hate valentine’s day. I do my best not to celebrate it. My DH always buys me something for that day, but I never buy him anything and I usually spend a lot of time hiding by myself to cry.)

I never received in living expense moneys. I didn’t ask about it, cause I really felt like if I did receive any money personally, it would be like selling my baby. But this meant I had to work full time for my whole pregnancy.

This was hard, because I was sick the whole time. The “morning” sickness never stopped. Even through my last month, I threw up everyday, sometimes several times a day. I wanted my baby to be healthy, I didn’t want to do anything to hurt him, so I ate what I could and found the only thing I could hold down was raw fruits and veggies. So that’s what I ate during my pregnancy. Nothing cooked, nothing processed, and absolutely no meat. I couldn’t stand it at all. Even the smell of meat cooking was too much. Which was bad since I worked in a restaurant.

I also cried. I cried all the time. I cried myself to sleep at night. If anyone said anything about my pregnancy, I cried. If I saw a mother with her children, I cried. If I saw a little lost dog on the street, I cried. It was the worst time of my life. People I worked with learned to pretend that I wasn’t as big as a house and were very careful what they said to me, or around me. But of course, you know there’s nothing like a pregnant woman to get strangers to ask personal questions of someone they didn’t know. The managers tried their best to assign me to jobs that would keep me from having direct contact with the costumers. (As I look back on that now, I realize that the people I worked with were really good to me. They really tried hard to help me and protect me. I don’t think I saw that then.)

So my due date was Feb. 14. I was scheduled to go in for birth by c-section on Feb. 15. The last time I went for a Dr’s appointment they did test to see if the baby was fully developed and determined that he was and the date of feb. 15th was confirmed.

On feb. 12, I went to work like any other day. I remember my back was bothering me occasionally while I was at work and my legs kept cramping. But I didn’t think much about it. I worked my shift and walked the three blocks from work to home. By the time I reached home, I was in serious pain. And I knew I was in labor. So this is it, I thought. I didn’t want my son to be born after valentine’s day and I guess he didn’t want to wait ether.

So he was born on feb. 12. I called my Dr and told him I was having labor pains. They were still not on a schedule, but since we already knew that the baby was ready and because I was having a c-section, the Dr said to go to the hospital and check in. He was there by the time I got checked in. They took me straight to the delivery room and gave me a spinal thing. (I’m sorry, I’ve tried every possible way I can think of and my spell checker refuses to give me the correct spelling of that word.) Anyway, I wanted to be awake for the birth of my son. It was the first time I was awake for birth.

When he was born, the nurse held him up for just a second for me to see. He wasn’t crying. But I was. Then she whisked him away to clean him and do the test or what ever they do. I started feeling that my lungs were collapsing. My chest hurt so bad that I felt like I was getting no air at all. I heard someone say something about hyperventilating and blood pressure and then someone leaned next to my ear and told me they were going to put something in my i.v. To help calm me. He said I may start to feel sleepy. That was ok, he said. I nodded my head, I thought I was dying. I couldn’t feel any air getting to my lungs. Then I felt a warmth in my arm that spread through my body and I ether went to sleep or passed out. It didn’t feel like falling asleep, it was like, I hear everything and feel all this pain and  think I’m dying and then suddenly I wake up in recovery.

When I woke up enough to sit up and take a drink of water, which was only a couple of hours, I was moved to a private room. But those couple of hours to me felt like an instant. Once I got to my room I told the nurse I wanted to see my son. But she said I needed to be more stable before they brought the baby in. Maybe that was the truth, I don’t know now. All I do know was I felt like I was ok physically and I wanted to see my son. I was aching so bad to hold him.

They didn’t mention bringing him to me until the next day. When the nurse asked me if I would like to see my son now I almost jumped out of bed. Yes! Yes!

But she didn’t come back with him. Instead the lawyer and another woman came in with the papers for me to sign. The lawyer didn’t say anything. This woman that I didn’t know started trying to act like she was my friend or something. She said it would be better for me to get this out of the way before I said good bye to the baby. And some other stuff. If we went over what the papers said, I don’t remember it. If I read any of it, I really don’t remember reading it. I just signed where she told me too. I was bawling like crazy. I could barely see. She reached out and patted my shoulder and I do remember flinching away from her. And then they were gone and there was another woman and the nurse with my son.

The nurse placed my son in my arms. I couldn’t stop crying. I sat up on the side of my bed so I could turn my back on the new woman who did not leave when the nurse left. I, to this day, do not have a clue who that woman was. I was crying so hard by then that my ears were stopped up. So when I turned my back on the woman, she came to that side of the bed and sat down right in front of me and started talking. I couldn’t hear her, I couldn’t say anything. I just hugged my baby to me and cried. I wanted to tell this woman to leave, I wanted to scream it. But I didn’t. I wanted to talk to my son. I wanted to tell him how much I loved him and I didn’t want to do this but I didn’t have a choice. I wanted to tell him that I would always always love him. But I didn’t want anyone else to hear. It was supposed to be a private moment for me and my son, but here was this woman who I didn’t know. I wanted also to tell him the name I chose for him. I didn’t tell anyone for many many years the name I gave to my son. The name he would never use, would never know. Terry David, my son, I still love you just as much as I did that day! The one and only day that I held you in my arms.

After that I was released from the hospital. Only a few hours after I held my son. One day after I had surgery and the Dr that I had went to during all this, wrote on my release papers that I should visit the county hospital on such and such date for a check up as he would not be able to see me again. I guess once they had my baby the adoptive parents felt no need to pay any future medical bills. I didn’t go to county, I didn’t go anywhere to be checked. I figured I couldn’t kill myself, but if I got a bad infection or something and died from it, then I’d be out of this pain.

Shortly after the birth of my son, the DA dropped the charges against my babies father. He never even went to court. Just like they had dropped the charges against me, they said it was due to lack of evidence. Of course there was lack of evidence! The charges against Terry’s father were totally trumped up by Cps to get my daughters away from me!

But as it happens in city jail. It took almost a week for them to release T.H. After the charges were dropped. We knew the day he was going to get out. Before that day came, I called my Dad and begged him to let me move to Tenn and stay with them for a while. I couldn’t stay there any more and I couldn’t be there when T.H. Got out of jail. He had encouraged me to sign the papers giving up my rights to parent my daughters and he was the one who first said I should hire a lawyer to put our baby up for adoption. I couldn’t face him ever again. So I left him and my life long home of Texas before he got out of jail. I moved to Tenn and began my new life. A life in which I wasn’t a mother. A life behind a mask of anger, depression and shame. I became a totally different person. I never again cried in front of anyone. I cried for my children only in the dark, alone.

There is one thing that I’ve only just figured out, which became clear to me once I started writing this blog. That is that during all that time, I have blamed myself first because I didn’t fight for my kids. I knew that I was lied to and not told anything about my rights but I didn’t think any of that mattered in the end because I signed those papers. Now, I know that I was in no emotional position to make any life decisions during any of that time. I was such an emotional wreck that I couldn’t even make simple everyday decisions. I was as close to a total break down as anyone could be without standing naked in the street screaming. I remember one time I was in a store to buy milk and stood in front of the cooler and started crying because there were too many different types of milk and I didn’t know which one to buy. This was the woman who signed the papers that took my precious babies out of my life. Looking back on that time, remembering all of it, it’s like I can see myself, but it’s like not me. It was this woman who was living in my body. She was so lost. It was like being in a totally dark room, with no windows or doors and trying to find your way out. So lost and trapped. How could anyone have looked at that woman and not known how messed up she was? How could anyone have not known that she shouldn’t have been allowed to make any life decisions?

July 6, 2006 Posted by | Adoption, past | 5 Comments

Fish on the beach

I may be less… Around for a short while. My sister is coming soon for a visit. So I have things to do… That being said, I do have a few things I want to… Get off my chest before I go off to my home work.

I have to try to figure out where I am standing. I feel like a fish on the beach. Flipping and Flopping around without any direction.

I did finally sit my husband down and talked to him about what I’ve been doing with all my spare time lately. We talked for the first time in depth about my children. Oh, he did know that I had three children and that I lost them to adoption. But I never opened myself up to him about the details. I never before gave him an opportunity to ask questions. So, finally, he knows it all. Everything. And he still loves me. The sky didn’t fall in on my head. God, Himself, didn’t smite me down for talking out loud about my feelings. My heart didn’t stop beating as I thought it might. It is done. One person down… So many many more to go… Will I talk about this part of me to anyone else in my family? I’m not sure about that.

It’s one of the things that I’m flipping around about. What does my family know about my children? I’m not really sure. What they do know was what ever my step mother had told them years ago at the time it happened. I never told them anything. It is that taboo subject that no one talks about. (this is nothing new.. I know.. It is this way for many many women who are first mothers) But if I’m going to do this.. Search for my now adult, children… Shouldn’t the people in my life know how they came to be someone else’s children? Or should I live on a need to know way of life?

The Search… Ok, there is another flipping, flopping topic for me… And this one is a very hot topic! So I am almost finished reading “The girls who went Away.” Which, while the book is very helpful in helping me be aware that my problems in life are not because I am some weird crazy person, it also has left me very very undecided.

Ann Fessler, in this book said that there are basically two types of people who search for their children. Active and passive. So far, I have become the later. I have registered on several search sites and I check them periodically to see if anyone new… My children… Have registered with any of them. My husband told me that he thought it would be a good thing for me to try to find them….. To become an active searcher… But should I?

I know, from Ann Fessler, that many adoptee’s have the same sense of fear when it comes to searching for their First parents as the first parents do themselves. So what if one or all of my children really want to find me, but they are afraid to look. Maybe they are afraid that I don’t want to be found… What if they don’t know about the registries on the Internet? So I should be more active in my search for them.

However, I also know that there are some adoptees who do not wish to be found… Ok, so it’s a small number of them.. But what if my kids fall in that category? Do I have a right to search for them and enter their lives suddenly without any warning?! Just to satisfy my own need to know? And oh I do need to know! I need to know who they are now. I need to know if they are ok. I need to know if they had a good life. I need to know if they want to know me… And there I go… Isn’t that my own selfish needs rearing it’s ugly little head? What right do I have pushing my self on them now?

They are already adults now. They had their childhood without me there. What did I do to prepare them for this time in their lives? From their point of view, what I did was abandon them.

Yes, Yes, I know all the truths. I know the truth is I was emotionally unequipped to make any kind of life decisions at that time. I know that I was well prepped to be vulnerable to the coarsen, but there is a bottom line that I have to accept. I, and I alone, signed those papers. I truly believe that at that time, I was not mentally capable of making any type of decision but I could have, should have, asked for help. I should have known that I wasn’t thinking clearly enough to face all that alone. I could have asked my parents, or even my sister. Maybe I wasn’t even able to see that I needed help. Maybe I was so messed up, that I didn’t even realize how messed up I was.

But my kids don’t know any of that. All they know is that I signed the papers that severed my rights as their mother. I signed them.

Even my oldest daughter, who was 5 years old at the time I signed those evil papers, what does she know? What does she remember? What was she told? When I reunioned with her when she was a teenager, she didn’t ask me anything about that time. Was that because she was still too young to ask the questions, or was it that she thought she already had the answers?

As far as I know she only expressed desire to find me, because she thought her favorite grandmother, my step mother, was dying. So was I just a vessel to get to see her grand parents? Does she feel that way still? If she does, than I have no right seeking her out and forcing her to stand or flee. Do I?

My favorite quote, that I have used way too much in life:

“My rights end, where someone else’s begins.”

 If I strive to live my life by that philosophy, then where to my rights  to know end? What rights do my kids want? I don’t know where their rights begin, because I don’t know what they really want. And I don’t know how I will ever know without risking trampling on their rights. Flip Flop.

July 3, 2006 Posted by | Adoption, search | 5 Comments