Saturday, January 31, 2015

Speaking for us again





You know..... I see articles like this and I go through such a range of emotions. I want to scream, I want to cry, I want to punch somebody, I want to laugh, I just smh. Once again an adopter is speaking for us. Once again an adopter thinks she knows what we think, what we feel and what she thinks we should do - such as "move on" from our grief.

First of all, I wish they would stop calling us "birthmothers". They are mothers, I am a mother. Period. She writes of a mother's experience after giving birth....

"They may feel a surge of connection to him, as well as pride, sadness, and grief."

May feel? Ya think? Yeah, maybe she'll be sad that she's losing her first born child. Maybe, just maybe, she'll feel connected to this little person she just grew in her womb. The child she shares cells with, a child who carries her DNA, a child she's nurtured and loved within her body for the last 9 months. It's utterly baffling to me how people can make such statements. 

"Adoptive parents who experienced the grief of infertility may use that experience to empathize with their baby’s birth mother. One mother told her child’s birth mother at the delivery, “I am sorry you are going through so much pain. I wish I could go through labor for you.”

I've talked about this before and some people may not like what I have to say but.... gonna say it anyway. When grieving infertility the grief is real, it hurts, I get that and I'm not trying to minimize it but it's grieving what could have been- what will not happen. It's grieving an imaginary child, the child that will never be. When a mother is grieving the loss of her baby to adoption she is grieving the loss of an actual child- a living, breathing human being. They are both grief, they are both real but they are completely different. I don't know what it feels like to feel the grief of the infertile and I won't pretend to. An adopter who is infertile has no idea the level of grief a mother deals with. She can't grasp what it is to carry a child and feel that child kicking and moving within. She can't grasp the sacred connection a mother has to her own flesh and blood. She can try to empathize but she will never know. I appreciate an effort to empathize but not when she still feels entitled to take the baby from his mother.

"I wish I could go through labor for you"?  She says she cares so much about the mother that she wishes she could go through the labor for her. BS! If she cared so much about the mother she would ask that mother what she could do for her to clear whatever obstacles are in the way of that mother taking care of her own baby! But of course that won't happen. That would interfere with her being able to take that child from the mother. She says things like this so she can show concern but still she thinks she's entitled to take the baby home and raise him as her own.

"Following a period of emotional chaos and grief, most birth mothers reach a level of acceptance in their lives. As your child’s birth mother becomes more at peace with her decision, she may gain renewed energy for her current life, and more clarity about her role as a birth parent and her relationship to you."

Reach a level of acceptance? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. How does she know what most mothers do? Mothers don't reach acceptance, they learn to hide the grief, they learn to hold in the tears and let them go when no one is watching, they learn to function so they can go to work everyday. In an open adoption they learn to cover up and keep silent so the adopters don't see it and decide she shouldn't have contact with her child anymore. She learns to be the good girl so she can, if she's lucky, stay in the adopters good graces because they hold all the power.

"While each contact may reawaken some of her feelings of loss, most birth mothers report that these contacts help them to move on from the sadness and be more productive in their lives."

The loss isn't reawakened, it's always awake. Every minute of every day for the rest of a mother's life. That doesn't mean a mother doesn't have a productive and fulfilling life, even a happy one. It just means that the loss is always with her. The lost child is not replaced with the birth of more children or a fabulous career or anything else the mother might do. There is no getting around that and reunion doesn't fix it. You don't just "move on" from the loss of a child. 

And why do they feel the need to tell us to move on? Did they just move on from the loss of their fertility? Did they say- "well it wasn't meant to be that I have children so maybe I should focus on volunteering or fostering children"? No. They jump through hoops, pay a lot of money to the industry, have business cards made that they can hand out to pregnant women who aren't wearing wedding rings, hire people to design slick full color brochures advertising themselves as better than mothers who are poor, in a bad situation or are just unsure of themselves, place ads on Craigslist and use crowd funding to get other people to help them buy a baby. 

Adopters, please stop. Stop telling us to move on. Stop telling other adopters how to help mothers leave their children.


8 comments:

  1. Yes, yes, yes and yes. Thank you.

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  2. Thank you for eloquently and elegantly stating the rage I feel when I read things like this. They are so transparent; all they really mean to say is "Give us your baby. Now move on." Whatever they can do to diminish us and our loss/grief to justify their taking. Their need/greed is more important than our grief/loss.

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  3. Thank you for speaking up, using your voice.

    I, too, wish wanna-be adopters or adopters would listen to their own advice regarding their own infertility. I'd be much more pleased if they found a way for themselves to move on and find acceptance that didn't involve leading others to suffer instead.

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  4. I cannot stand this kind of sanctimonious crap from APs. And the idea that this is a "role" to them, as if we were all cast in some sort of sick horror film, makes me sick. (Everyone involved is a freaking HUMAN BEING...not a generalized group, not a character in a story, not an anonymous "birth thing", not a " gift"...actual flipping people.) Goes to show how much pretend goes into the whole thing. I guess that means they are "playing" the "role" of "Mother".

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  5. They made me see red when they attempt this, Beautifully written.

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  6. Absolutely.
    I can't stand the comparison of infertility to adoption loss. Like you said, EVERYONE misses the point that if an infertile woman actually CARED A GODDAMNED BIT ABOUT ANYONE BUT HERSELF, she wouldn't be trolling for pregnant, vulnerable women on the internet, or placing herself in the delivery room, or wanting to be the first one to feed the baby, or, or, or...
    Loss of the idea of a child should AT VERY LEAST give these women the tools to emotionally be better at "understanding" what their child's mother is going through, but NO, it never does.
    And if you don't move on, forget it. You get cut out completely. When I called my son's adopters out on going back on what they promised me as far as contact, they wrote me a 4 page letter about how they "understood how hurt I must feel" and "how hard this must be" and "how much better they would feel if I sought counseling" and how I "misunderstood what they had said" prior to acquiring my child.
    I honestly can say that I hate any adopter that writes anything like this.
    Selfish assholes.

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    Replies
    1. I am so sorry for what you're going through. Like Priscilla said- I feel such a rage when reading these articles. The self-entitlement is just astounding.

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  7. Seeing red... Again.
    To this day, I am the only person in this world who cannot talk to my own child... 42 years on.

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