Monday, October 4, 2010
I painted a self-portrait a few years ago. For those of you who get involved in creative endeavors you understand this feeling. You go into the studio, or sit at the computer and in a flash the entire day is gone. That was the day I painted this. I started it in the early morning and didn't come out of the room until it was done later that evening. I don't even think I ate anything that day (I should paint that way more often).
This was done post-reunion and in a way it was about a reunification of my fractured self. When you lose a child a piece of you is missing. You go on with your day to day activities, you laugh and love and you raise your other children but there she is. She's always there, in the hair color of a little girl you see in the grocery store or the eyes of a child you see at a party and you wonder..... could she be? How can I find out her birthday? How can I find out if she's adopted?
Like I mentioned in my earlier post about looking back and not recognizing the letters I had written - the self-preservation mode - living life with adoption is like that. One part is living a life that's happy while the other part is always on the look out, always searching and longing. This portrait was not only about the experience of a mother but about the pieces of a life finally coming back together.
While reading some articles and blogs I see this quite a bit.... adoptees need to quit whining, adoption is a miracle, mothers need to get a life and stop being hateful and bitter, everybody needs to just shut up and be grateful for the generosity of the adopters. In fact, here's a real gem of an article that puts all these attitudes together in one place. The writer of this...... thing.... obviously has no clue about what really happens in adoption. She just sees one tiny piece and comes to the most ridiculous conclusions. Unfortunately this happens a lot, people only see one little segment of the picture so let's look at some more pieces of adoption world.
This is a very, very short list of adoption agencies - some big, some small. If you look through these you'll see the machine in action. These are the people who make the money, the ones who use vacation packages and college scholarships to entice young, vulnerable, pregnant women through their so-called "birthmother" outreach, one of these spends millions a year on advertising to mothers. These are the people who use counselors to advise mothers - counselors who are paid by the adopters through the agency who stands to make the money. Can you guess what they're advising them? Questionable ethics here? These are the people who claim they can get a baby in 4 months because they are results driven!
These are the tools the agencies use. They teach the hopeful couple how to advertise. There are now businesses popping up that help with the marketing to the mothers. If the couple doesn't have that artistic flair these folks can make their brochure stand out among the crowd.
This is big business so there are now lots of ways to finance buying a baby. Grants and credit cards are available and the government now gives a tax credit of 12,000.00+ to couples adopting a baby. It's amazing how willing everyone is to help adopters get a baby but when a mother needs help to keep and raise her baby it's frowned upon.
Then you have the very many reunion registries that adoptees and mothers are pouring over for years, hoping and praying that they can find the part of them that's missing. The powers that be don't think that adults should be able to have their own personal histories. Adoptees are not "allowed" to have their original birth certificates. They're treated as if they're still children and can't be trusted to handle their own relationships.
When you put the pieces together, adoption doesn't paint a very pretty picture.