This painting is from a photo I took on a family trip to Indiana. I was walking along the lake, early in the morning and feeling very peaceful. I've had many moments like that over the years. I've had so much joy raising my children and my husband is amazing. We're soon celebrating our 29th anniversary. I have good friends and a full creative life. I've had a good life and I'm grateful. I'm also angry. There's been a lot of talk in the blog world about this issue so I guess I'm just adding my .02 when I say I've been pissed off for 30 years. Has that kept me from enjoying my life? No. I can put it in perspective. The anger is kind of like the grief. When you lose a child to adoption there is no getting over it. Recently there was a woman who said we as natural mothers need to "get over it and deal", "forgiving yourself is the starting point", "not all first moms want to keep their "problem". I'm sorry..... huh?! Children went from being illegitimate (a word I absolutely loath) to being a problem.
Human beings are neither illegitimate nor a problem. They are people deserving of love from the women who gave birth to them.
The women who lose their children to adoption are young, scared, vulnerable, lacking resources and not getting the info they need to make an informed decision. When they feel backed into a corner, they're not really making a choice. Instead they are getting bombarded with people telling them that they need to do this so they can finish school, go to college, it's in the best interest of the child, the baby needs 2 parents in the home, what will the neighbors think, you can't handle this...... yadda, yadda, yadda. So, you believe the BS because you're already feeling like you've shamed not only yourself but your entire family. Look at what you're doing to everyone else! This is how we were raised. We're good girls, we'll do whatever it takes to make it right so we give our children to other people to raise.
Enter the anger and grief. We're not supposed to talk about it, ever! We're supposed to pretend it never happened. So then what happens to that anger and grief? We swallow it and choke on it. It gets buried along with our self-esteem. Sometimes it's so bad we can't even breathe but can we tell anyone about it? Of course not. We're not allowed. So it festers and once a year it boils over on our child's birthday. Every year we see the month coming on the calendar. February, March... here it comes. It starts to weigh you down, you see the numbers change, the date gets closer and you get more depressed. Here it is, it's now April. As the date comes screaming toward you all you want to do is crawl into a corner and cry and cry and cry........ This goes on for literally decades. When you lose someone to death you have a funeral, you grieve and you have support from family and friends. On the other hand, when you deal with this kind of grief there's no end in sight. There's not only no support, hardly anyone knows about it. How are you supposed to just "get over it" when you have no idea if your child is alive or dead? How are you supposed to just get over the anger when your child is taken from you? You don't, you just learn to cope. You learn how to hide.
So now what. What happens decades down the road. Some mothers and their children are reunited and some are not. In my case I'm reunited with my daughter. Thank You!!!!! What a relief! I know what happened. Now 30 years later I'm here, we have a wonderful relationship. I feel like I've been let out of prison. So, for me, what's the next step? The next step is letting people know what happened. Now my job is to let people know that what happened is not right. Babies should not be taken from their mothers. The only reason to take a child from their mother is in the case of neglect or abuse. Finances shouldn't factor into it. Social class shouldn't factor into it. Whether a mother has graduated from college or not shouldn't factor into it. People shouldn't be traded for a degree. What happens now is I add my voice to the cacophony of other pissed off voices to let the world know that it's ok to be angry. I'm allowed damn it! It doesn't have to rule my life but if the rest of society has no idea that we're angry how is anything going to change for the better?
Anger doesn't have to rule my life. I have a good, happy life, but if anything is going to change people have to know the injustices that happened. If anything is going to change people have to know that the adoption industry is just that - a multi-billion dollar profit making industry that trades not in goods and services but in human lives.
I make my life what it is and I want other mothers to have the opportunity to create their lives with their children free from brainwashing, shame and the grief that comes from losing a child to adoption.