Sunday, August 29, 2010
Baby for Adoption
Sometimes when doing these posts it feels like I'm preaching to the choir. The wonderful mothers I've met online know what I'm talking about, they've been there, they understand and thank heavens for them. After 30 years I've finally found people who get it. It hasn't taken that long because they weren't out there, it's taken this long because so many of us have been silent. We were too ashamed to talk about it or too hurt to talk about it.
Now, I'm seeing a new type of mother out there, the happy mother of adoption loss. These are the mothers who have no idea what happened in the past. They don't understand why we speak out. They call us "meanies" for just speaking our truth. Even if we just express an opinion in a kind, civil tone we are called names, deleted and dismissed. They don't understand that if we as a society don't acknowledge the crimes of the past we might be doomed to repeat them.
When I was in the hospital giving birth to my first child, the one I lost to adoption, that red sign above is what I saw on the door to my room and on the wall above my bed. There were 2 of them, they glared at me, they mocked me. BABY FOR ADOPTION: the standard code for decades. It let the staff at the hospital know that they were not to let us see our children.
Because of that sign I never saw my daughter. I wasn't allowed. I was her mother, I had every right to see her, hold her and feed her. Did I know that then? No. I was a good girl and I did what I was told. I was told that seeing my baby would make it harder for me to deal with the adoption. What they actually meant was.... it would make it harder for them to take her because they knew that if I held her the chances of me letting her go dropped dramatically. Even in the delivery room I wasn't allowed to lay eyes on her at all. As soon as she was born they whisked her away and quickly wrapped her up in a blanket. I got a peek of a little arm as she flailed and I heard her cry. It didn't last long, her cry got weaker as she got farther and farther away. That was my last contact with my daughter. It took over 24 hours to find out if I had a girl or a boy. It took 22 years to find out how much she weighed.
No one could be bothered with what I was going through. I only found out the sex of my baby because I was walking down the hall in the hospital and one of the nurses asked my last name. When I told her she said with a big smile...."oh, you don't have to worry about signing the form for circumcision, you had a girl". She didn't see my scarlet brand. She didn't know I was one of those girls - BFA. If it weren't for that little slip up I wouldn't have found out it was a girl until 4 days later when I signed the papers. What a way to find out the sex of the child you've given birth to. How could women be treated this way?! And by other women? This happened to so many of us and so many people have no idea. This is why I comment and blog and run my mouth now. The young mothers coming up behind us need to know what happened then AND what's happening now.
And, to the mothers who know..... thanks for being here and understanding.