Saturday, April 28, 2012

Un *&^%$#*believable, or maybe not.

Just watched this video. It sickens me. As much as I don't want this man to have any more exposure for what he's spewing, I have to share this so other people know what kind of attitudes are out there and what we're up against.

He says...."Low adoption rates can be attributed to a lack of adoption education". To solve this serious problem he wants his state of PA to institute a policy requiring that a unit be taught in public schools that promote "adoption as a positive family building option". Apparently one of the points he would like them to touch on is that the financial barriers to adoption have been overcome with good legislation and the adoption tax credit.

He's also indicating that adoption promo education is needed to balance out the poor representation of adoption in the media. The biggest problem he sees in adoption isn't the economic aspect of agencies charging tens of thousands of dollars for babies, but the poor perception of adoption created by the media. The example he gives of this - an article about adoptees using DNA testing to find their natural families. According to him the article insinuates that the adoptive family is not the "real" family. By using this as an example he is insinuating that adoptees don't have the right to know their own natural families.

"Lack of adoption is a serious issue concerning all of us" His lack of knowledge about the realities of adoption is a serious concern if he's going to be proposing that the public school system teach children that when they grow up they should buy children to "build" their families.

I wish people like this would put their energy into being concerned about poverty or child abuse. How about working on the cause of children losing their original families? Adoption is a TRAGEDY, not a miracle. Of course it's really not unbelievable that these attitudes are out there. His attitude is the result of the adoption promotion he wants to see more of.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Go Moms!

This is a must see!!!!! Finally our stories are getting out there. This is the promo for the documentary coming up next Tuesday, May 1st. Hooray for Dan Rather and his team. If you don't get the network where this will be shown you can get a copy the next day from itunes for only $.99. Download it to your ipod or computer.

And, just in case you missed it, here's Dan Rather's article again.... Adopted or abducted?

Update: here's another clip from the documentary

One more clip from the documentary....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Fractured and broken in shades of grey.
The stories are sealed, the secrets not lies.
A life hidden and changed,
kept in tidy boxes so as not to disturb
the shining image of others.

Black on red, the letters controlled.
The signs were there, sending two lives down different roads.
One life unknown, the other unseen.

Imagination and grief hold hands under the mask
until the friction chafes and burns
with the once a year flame.
The lids break open, the cracks widen.
The flames get higher, the ash deepens.

Take cover
Let the fire heal and the wounds return
to the soothing shadows.


Over at iAdoptee I saw a list of blogs written by adoptive moms. I want to share this list because yesterday, in my last post I mentioned the lack of compassion in adoptive parents. That sense of entitlement is there in soooo many cases. The wanting of a baby can become so fierce that it seems to blind people to the damage that adoption does and the unethical practices that still exist. But.... there are a few adoptive parents who care about the consequences of adoption on children and their original families. They care about adoptees and their rights. Here's a sampling of what these moms have to say.

"One thing that I saw clearly these past two weeks is the irrefutable was the way the deck is stacked in favor of the adoptive parents at the expense of the parents who brought the child into the world.   I know that there are adoptive parents who loudly proclaim they are the real parents and they want the paperwork to show that. 
 But at what cost to the child and first family? 
 Adoptees have two sets of parents and if you, as an adoptive parent, can't deal with that. maybe adoption isn't for you."  ~ I Will Pull This Blog Over!

"Because of the privilege at our backs, I think we as adoptive parents have an obligation to work to leave space for and draw attention to first parent and adoptee voices, especially those who expose adoption's complexities and dangers." ~ Production Not Reproduction

"As a grandmother, I don't have a lot of years left to fight for open records. How sweet it would be if more of the younger generation would take an active role in overturning archaic (since the 1930s) laws that deny a minority group their birthright." ~ Adoption Talk

"2) Adoptions frequently occur as a result of a lack of resources (money, housing, etc.) on the part of the biological parents. Adoption moves one person (the adoptee) into a situation in which some of his or her basic needs can be better met but does not examine the larger social and political issues at work. It is a tragedy, and a societal failure, when biological parents cannot raise their children because of lack of resources, but the seeming "fix" of adoption prevents us from seeing it as such.

3) Coercion of first mothers: I wish I could say this was a thing of the past, but it's not. Too many women dealing with unplanned pregnancies still find themselves pressured, and even manipulated, into relinquishment."  ~ Love is Not a Pie

"Because In the history of the world, no one ever washed a rental car. We care only about what we own.

I heard this phrase yesterday in a radio interview with Aaron David Miller. The subject was peace in the Middle East, but it struck me immediately how applicable this phrase was to adoptee rights. It makes me really angry to observe how nonplussed the majority of lawmakers are about adoptee rights, and I think this little phrase offers at least a part of the explanation." ~ Third Mom

Monday, April 23, 2012

Define compassion

I know exactly how Susie feels.... In her recent post she talks about the label she's given sometimes - "anti-adoption". I imagine that's what people think I am too. I really don't care. I don't care about the label itself. What I do care about is whether or not the people who say that really understand WHY I feel the way I do.

"I honestly do not understand how people don't see the terrible wrongs in infant adoption. 

I honestly don't understand how a woman could watch a new mother crying over losing her child, yet think it's "the right thing". 

I will never understand a prospective parent being angry that a mother and child are able to stay together.  Yes ~ I understand that their hopes of finally being a parent themselves are dashed.  But to be angry at a mother for deciding to parent her baby ~ the baby that she has nurtured in her womb for nine months?  The baby that she has been agonizing over for the last several months?  The baby that she loves more than life itself?  Is their grief so deep that they no longer have any compassion?  Could that prospective mother and/or father really feel good about taking the baby from the mother if she wasn't 100% sure that she did not want to raise the baby herself?" 

In this post I mention my 'anti' and 'pro' lists regarding infant adoption. Like Susie says above, I have a hard time understanding how people can possibly think it's a good thing when a mother and child are separated. Well, we really do know why.... it's because the first thought for the agency or the adoptive parent is what's in it for them. I think she nailed it when she said they no longer have any compassion. Compassion is what's missing. Feeling compassion would mean feeling the other person's pain. It would mean not thinking of their own need for money in the case of the industry or parenthood in the case of the couple.

compassion - the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it

If compassion were really felt by those involved in adoption, there would actually be very few adoptions. The work being done would be to help alleviate the root of the problem in most infant adoptions - lack of support for the mother and poverty. I googled the word compassion so I could post the definition. See above. Then I saw the thesaurus listing below. Even in an online dictionary site adoption is mentioned as an example - are you kidding me!? How ironic that it's mentioned in connection with the word compassion. To me, money isn't the root of evil, lack of compassion is. We've all been guilty of it at one point or another, in big ways and small. We see it every day in the way we judge and label each other. But, in adoption, an entire industry is built on a lack of compassion while painting itself as the very definition of it.

heartstrings - your deepest feelings of love and compassion; "many adoption cases tug at the heartstrings"
fellow feelingsympathy - sharing the feelings of others (especially feelings of sorrow or anguish)
tenderheartednesstenderness - warm compassionate feelings
mercifulnessmercy - the feeling that motivates compassion

Where is the compassion for the mother who is grieving the loss of her child? Where is the compassion for the child who is losing not only a mother, but an entire family? Open adoption - you say? No. Most of them close at some point. How is it good for a child to be told that his mother surrendered him to adoption because she "loves" him? Of course she loves him but is that really the reason why? What kind of picture does that paint for the child?  How does the child internalize that? If the adoption does remain open, what does he think when his natural mother visits him and then goes home to raise her other children but doesn't take him with her? What does that do to a little one's heart? I still have only one thing on my 'pro' list. That's where the compassion lies. Lack of compassion is what caused the long 'anti' list.

My 'anti' list.....
mothers and babies being separated unnecessarily.
agencies and brokers making tens of thousands of dollars on the sale of babies
price lists for babies - oh, pardon me.... "situations"
pro-adoption language like the word "situations"
college scholarships for mothers who surrender their children for adoption

organizations like NCFA who lobby for the brokers
the lies of open adoption
the unenforceable open adoption
the time frames in which a mother can sign surrender papers
the ridiculously short revocation period for the mother - in many cases, the non-existent revocation period.
agencies advertising for and recruiting pregnant women
PAP's advertising for babies 
pre-birth matching
PAP's in the hospital with a mother when she's giving birth
the connection between abortion and adoption
adoption used as solution by pro-lifers
adoption used as solution to poverty
the lack of resources for mothers and children
the sense of entitlement that many PAP's have
adoption being viewed as a solution to infertility
adoptees not having access to their own personal history
sealed original birth certificates

My 'pro' list.
true orphans or children in need being taken care of by a family

Saturday, April 21, 2012

So many blogs to read, so little time

I'm working my way down the list at A Real Adoption Blog Hop on Adoption Magazine. It's open to everyone who has something to say about adoption and it's not a contest - thank goodness. Take a look.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Young & unmarried = abuse & neglect?

Amanda at The Declassified Adoptee did another great post. Click the link to read the rest.

"Saying "I support Adoptee Rights" does not mean I left off the phrase "....because I hate everyone else in the triad, have no regard or respect for anyone else, and want the universe to revolve around me!" (Yeah, NCFA, I'm referring to you).  Being "Pro-Adoptee" does not mean that one is "anti-anyone else" any more than being "pro-woman" means I hate men (another stereotype).  I'd like to think that being pro-adoptee and pro-adoptee rights would make me pro-everyone else because, hopefully, everyone else cares for and wants to advocate for those adoptees just the same as I do."

I would also hope that everyone else advocates for the adoptee but sadly when I see open adoptions close I realize that isn't the case. Sometimes it seems like pure selfishness and other times it's a case of believing what the adoption industry says. When adoptive parents keep a newborn baby for themselves even though soon after the birth and surrender, they find out that the mother regrets the adoption and wants her child, that is not advocating for the  adoptee or the mother. It's only advocating for themselves. Who makes that possible? The industry. The business makes it possible because they've worked hard at making sure the revocation period in adoption is little to none. In my own state of FL there is no revocation period. The industry also makes it possible because they only advocate for the adoptive parents. Just like any other business, if you want to know where the interests lie, follow the money. Adoption consent can be signed by the mother only 48 hours after the birth and there is no changing her mind. You have more time than that when buying a house or a car yet making a lifelong decision such as adoption, that affects so many people's lives, can be done in an instant with no going back.

Sadly too many people in our society believe whatever the industry tells them. "Those babies are just going to end up in foster care anyway" I heard this from one of my own family members. This is someone who knows my history with adoption loss. Does he think that my daughter would have ended up in foster care? I don't know, I certainly hope he doesn't think that. I asked him that question but he didn't answer it. He's bought into the story of adoption vs. abuse and neglect, if a woman is young and unmarried, it's assumed she'll be abusive. He bought into it because he has a sibling who adopted a newborn. For some to admit that there is a real problem with newborn infant adoption, it would mean admitting that what they've held to be true isn't and how they acted on that belief actually caused harm instead of it being the "saving" act they thought it was. It's a very difficult and sad thing to see this situation in my own family when I'm sickened by what the industry does and how it treats babies and their mothers.

Hanging on to the stereotypes allow people to cling to the comfort of their beliefs without having to question their own motives. Stereotypes do abound and thanks to people like Amanda, who writes brilliantly, maybe these ideas will get chipped away little by little. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happy Birthday

Today is my oldest daughter's birthday and this week marks 10 years since we reunited. You would think that after 10 years a person would get used to the feeling of waking up and just being happy about their child's birthday. I know that seems like a weird thing to say and don't get me wrong, of course I'm over the moon that I have her in my life and I'm thrilled that I can actually say Happy Birthday to her. The difference for us, meaning us mothers who have lost children to adoption, is there doesn't seem to be a way to shut off completely the emotion of what those birthdays meant for so long. Or maybe it's just me and I'm making an assumption that other reunited mothers feel this way.

For the first 22 years of her life her birthday meant incredible pain. The entire month was about grieving. It's like the loss that I had to hide the rest of the year came ripping to the surface, broke through and destroyed me. The only way to get through it was to cry my eyes out until I was swollen with grief yet felt shriveled and wrinkled like a dried out dishrag.

Those years are no more but there still remains the remnants of what they did to me. It's like a muscle memory. It's an automatic reaction. The memories come back to haunt and make the day bitter sweet. Right now my focus is to be thankful that I can look back and say those years are behind me now and hopefully I can continue to look forward to many more Aprils when I can say Happy Birthday dear Liz.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Contests and Censorship

UPDATE: After serious consideration, we have decided to cancel our Adoption Blogs by Moms – 2012 contest. Our Top 25 program is meant to celebrate, connect, and support mom bloggers. Following some feedback from participants in our 2011 contest, we decided to make this year's Top 25 more inclusive. In doing so, we unknowingly stepped into a very sensitive issue and debate, and we apologize to all the moms who have been offended, no matter what your position on adoption is. We're committed to finding a way to give all parties in the Adoption Triad a voice on Circle of Moms. If we run a Top 25 Adoption Blogs in the future, we'll consult with mom bloggers in each part of the Adoption Triad on how to create a supportive contest where all bloggers would feel welcome and respected by Circle of Moms and by all participants. We appreciate the time and energy every participant put into this contest during the past week, and we sincerely regret that we can't reward those efforts in the way we had planned to when we launched the contest.

That was the message posted yesterday where the Circle of Moms contest used to be. What a shame. It's truly sad when adult women can't be adult enough to handle being in the same silly contest with women who have a different viewpoint. What Circle of Moms did was censorship pure and simple. A few people didn't like the fact that an adoptee and a natural mom made it to the top 2 spots in the competition and didn't like what those blogs were about so instead of allowing people to read, think, learn and decide for themselves they just decided to pull the plug. 

Unfortunately, the voices of adoptees and natural mothers are shut down on a regular basis. We get blocked from Facebook pages, have our comments deleted from blogs and we're banned from certain websites. What the people doing the blocking, banning and deleting haven't realized is, their attempts at censorship are futile. They're attempting to stop the flow of information and ideas that they don't like but now that so many of us have come out of the closet and are speaking up, now that we have the internet to share that information, we won't be stopped. It doesn't matter if they keep playing their childish games, the information is going to continue to be shared and more people will learn about what really happens in the adoption industry.

So, congrats to Amanda and Claudia, the top 2 in the Top 25 Adoption Blogs by Moms. You're both amazing.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Growing a backbone

There's nothing sweet about this cranberry. In her post she's talking about the Dan Rather article and I felt compelled to comment on it along with numerous other commenters. I had my doubts about it getting past moderation on the blog but was then pleasantly surprised to see that the blog author did post my comment along with the others. Several of us thought - kudos to her for putting them there and allowing her readers to see other points of view. Well, the kudos didn't last long. She removed the comments and then did this follow up post. My original comment on her first post was....

You feel sympathy yet you also feel contempt for us? Would you feel less contempt for us if we had spoken up when our children were first stolen from us? Would that make you feel better? Most of us haven't spoken up before now (although I have been blogging about this for a few years) because of the shaming. We were shamed by our families BECAUSE of the church! Our children were taken from us BY the church. Getting pregnant was not a crime but what the church did was criminal. It was illegal for a woman to sign adoption consent forms before the birth of a child but they had  me sign away my rights when I was only 6 months pregnant.

I have a few other things I'd like to say about her post. One thing I found interesting was the information she shared about herself.

"My parents told me that abortion was not an option if I ever got pregnant, and that I would have that baby no matter what (if I ever got pregnant). I took my dad very seriously and used birth control faithfully to prevent pregnancy. I was in one relationship for 6 years, and when that ended, I took almost 3 years off of dating before I started to socialize again, and eventually met my husband."

Fine. Then in the next paragraph she says

"I wonder sometimes that these single women of decades past were even capable of providing a family for their children. Their own moral failings in giving in to frivolous sex instead of waiting for proper marriage indicate impulsiveness or naivete that might mean failings as a mother, as well."

So it was ok for her to have premarital sex yet when we did the sex was frivolous, we were impulsive and naive, we would probably fail as mothers and we were moral failures. Interesting. Did she not realize that her birth control could have failed her at any time? That she could have found herself in the same predicament as the mothers who were sent to maternity homes? Would SHE then be a failure or unable to mother a child? Part of her concern appears to be church teaching on the matter of single motherhood. What about the church's teachings on birth control? Where was her concern when she was "faithfully" using birth control? I thought the faithful weren't supposed to use birth control. More of her post....

"Is this an unprecedented time in history, that single moms are not only exalted but encouraged to take on the task of raising a child without a father present? I can think of no other time when illegitimate children were so tolerated and their mothers were forgiven and championed for the job they do.

This can only be bad for the Church, for it further erodes credibility in the public eye. But even more damaging is the response of the Church to this issue – already the Church accepts single moms, divorce and divorcees in its parishes, and bastard children. This might not be official, written policy, but informally it’s being done. It signals tolerance, which is good, and forgiveness, which is also good, but those are gifts freely given. No remorse or change in lifestyle or commitment seems to be required of women and men who divorce or abandon their children or choose to have children out of wedlock. No chastising or shaming is done from the pulpit (as happened in my younger days from our stern, scary, old-school but entirely correct pastor). I don’t know what kind of counseling is offered to young mothers but I suppose it does little to shame and frighten them into adopting better morals."

First thing I have to say here is... every child is legitimate whether that child's parents are married or not. The marital status of your parents should have no bearing on your standing in your church community. It's a sad statement that children are still being called bastards and the attitude still persists that they are just people that must be tolerated. Here she is also lamenting the lack of shaming by the church. Does she want us to go back to the days of hiding in maternity homes? If not, what type of remorse is she looking for? Keeping and raising your child is a commitment in and of itself. Should a mother run out and marry the first man she finds just so she can say she's not a single mother?

The author of that blog would love to think that the church performed some sort of service that benefited us and our children and that all of us speaking about what was done to us are just out to cause problems for the church. She asks when the accusations and demand for apologies from the church will end. We've only just begun. She thinks the church should grow a backbone and put parishioners in their place. I think the church demanded more from their parishioners than they had the right to and it resulted in the stealing of our children. We are now the ones with the backbone and won't let the church's criminal activity just be shoved under the carpet because some people who have just found their way back to their church feel the need to defend an organization that destroyed families.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dan Rather and more

Sharing some links today. I've been too busy to get on here much lately, working, teaching classes and of course working on taxes. I handed them off to the CPA and now I can concentrate this week on shipping art to a show and advertising for an upcoming workshop. I do have to divide my time between here and the art world.

Anyway, the first one I wanted to share was of course the article by Dan Rather. I had heard that there was a documentary in the works by Dan Rather Reports and I was contacted by another mom who thought I might be interested in being interviewed for it. I contacted the producer and then did a lengthy phone interview with Sean. After that interview he emailed with the question - what one word would you use to describe your first birth experience? As it shows in the article I said "torture". Why? This was my answer to Sean....

The first word that comes to mind is "torture". That's for multiple reasons. The torture of not being able to see my baby, the torture of having to keep this huge secret, the torture of the doctor sewing me up without anesthesia after tearing during delivery.

So the torture was physical, emotional and mental. Did this feeling go away after the birth experience? Only the physical. The emotional and mental torture remains to this day. It's probably the same for most of us who have been through this experience. We learn to cope on a day to day basis but it's still there.

This post - Coercion Not Choice was published the same day that Dan Rather's article came out.

"When just even a hint of coercion exists, there can never be true choice. You can try to wrap it up in a pretty bow, sprinkle some sugar on it to make it sweeter, but it will never change the fact that the moment coercion enters the equation, in any way, choice leaves it."

This is an important post and worth every minute of reading time. If you have any doubts about coercion still happening in infant adoption, please read! And here's one more along the same lines.... The 5 Most Coercive Aspects of Modern Adoption

If you're an expectant mom please read! If you're a prospective adoptive parent, please read!