Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Just stay out of it!

You know, I'm not one to rant and rage against adoptive parents or PAP's. As a general rule I'm not hateful toward people. I hate the money grubbing adoption industry but I don't hate people. There are some really great adoptive parents out there. Now here comes the 'but'. There is a page on facebook that's meant to be a source for expectant mothers who are considering adoption. They want to hear from mothers who have been down that road and are willing to share their experience and knowledge. Well, since I've lived with adoption as a mother who lost a child at birth I thought I would comment and share some of my blog posting. I also thought it would be good for them to hear from an adult adoptee so I shared a couple of Amanda's posts with them as well. I think EVERYONE involved in adoption should listen to what adoptees have to say. Plus, I wish there were people around who could've shared some of this stuff with me 31 years ago.

Anyway, it wasn't long at all before the admin was being warned by an AP about the "anti-adoption forces on facebook". She was there to offer help and support should things get out of hand with these forces. Gosh, am I part of a force? That's pretty cool :) My point is though, why is an AP on that page to begin with. Is she there to monitor the dialogue to see how the baby market is holding up? Is she looking for more babies and is afraid that someone like me might have a "negative" influence on the suppliers? Aside from this one person I also saw several posts by PAP's just openly advertising that they were looking for babies. Like I said, this is a group by mothers for mothers who are in need of support and information. Why can't these greedy, selfish people stay out of it and let these women hear from the mothers who have been there. We can tell them exactly what it's like to lose a child, not only in the months following the birth but decades later. If you're trying to prevent an expectant mother from hearing the real truth from other's real life experiences about what it's like to live with adoption then you are contributing to the coercion of that woman.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Words I read this morning on Barbara's blog Motherhood Expunged

Harvest my heart before my child

What would you do if you needed a new heart and a young woman offered hers to you?  What if she was poor and didn't know how she was going to support herself so she just decided it was more important that you have her heart. Of course you would tell her no. You would never kill another to save your own life, even if the person offered.  

Well folks that's what happens when you take another woman's child. Unless a childs safety is in jeopardy everything needs to be done to support the mother.  The mother and child need each other. Another mother will never replace a child's mother. Remember, they were together for nine months. The bond was established and will never be severed. And truthfully if you take a woman's child it would be kinder to take her heart. 

So simple and to the point. It gets to the heart of how I feel about infant adoption.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Imbalance of Power

Imbalance of Power
oil on canvas

Seems like everyone's talking about the 'b'mother terms right now. There's the argument that it's just semantics and what's the big deal. Then there's the view that the 'b'mother term is used to put us in our place and relegate us to just a walking uterus. So where do I stand? Well, I used to stand with the first camp and now I stand with the second. Robin at Motherhood Deleted just did a very good post about this issue.

I used to think it wasn't a big deal but then I learned how important language is. We create our reality with what we think. We think in words. How we define ourselves in our own minds and in words we speak to other people is what we become. If we constantly tell ourselves and others that we're stupid, can't accomplish something, or we're clumsy then that becomes our reality. This is why motivational speakers are so popular. They're using words and their energy to pump you up, get you excited about what you can do and who you are. A child who grows up being told that she isn't good enough will believe it and it then becomes a self-esteem issue to be overcome as an adult in order to be successful.

If language has this much power then it stands to reason that the terms we use to define who we are in the world of adoption are critically important. If we want to make changes and have an impact on how others see us in relation to adoption we have to be careful with how we define ourselves. I am my daughter's MOTHER. There are no qualifiers needed. I gave birth to her, I wanted to raise her, I wasn't allowed that privilege, the power was taken from me.

Sometimes I think it's a shame that we end up having these discussions over and over again but maybe that's what's needed for people to understand. The down side is we end up embroiled in this battle between mothers instead of focusing our energy on regaining some of our power. I see language as a way of doing that. Changing the language can shift the power. Hell, just the fact that the industry uses that word makes me want to never hear or see it again. Taking back our rightful moniker can be one of the ways we take back our identities and our rightful place in our children's lives. That slight change can be very powerful. Making that change in my own mind made a huge difference for me just like working on the painting series has been very healing. This latest painting gives an indication of just how out of whack the world of adoption is.

There is a huge imbalance of power. The industry has the money, the lobbyists, the clout and legislation on their side. The PAP's have the desire for babies, the money and the clout. The adoptee has no say - she hovers there between two families. The mother of course has nothing - no money (isn't that why she's surrendering?) and certainly no lobbyists (our families and society didn't lobby for us to raise our children).

Here's another word that's a lie - triad. This multi-billion dollar a year industry uses a constellation of people, organizations and businesses to keep the scales tipped their way - doctors, lawyers, lobbyists, religious groups, women's clinics, advertising agencies, even other mothers. They use women against each other. Young women who have recently lost their children to adoption and still believing the words of the agencies are put on display on the websites to reassure other young women that giving their child that beautiful fake family tree won't be so bad. What they haven't realized yet is that tree has no roots and they're the ones who are going to be crushed along with their children when the idea of the perfect life in adoption falls.

I'm taking back my power, one word at a time.