Thursday, November 2, 2023

The real life Handmaid's Tale

I came across this video on YouTube and wanted to share it. She does a comparison of Ann Fessler's book The Girls Who Went Away to the show The Handmaid's Tale. The parallels are there and scary considering the political climate we're currently in. Have a watch.


Sunday, October 22, 2023

I did an interview for Adoption Uncovered

I haven't shared much on here in a while but recently, I was asked to be interviewed on a podcast so I wanted to share it here. This is a podcast by an adoptive mother. Of course I hesitated about doing this interview because.... who knows how this would be spun. I wanted to tell my truth and the truth about what the adoption industry does. I did a call with Charlyn prior to doing the interview because I wanted to get a feeling for how things would go. She was kind and open to learning about my experience. She's an adoptive mom who knows that there are problems with the industry and she's open to learning more about our experiences. She made me feel very comfortable and I was able to talk about the industry the way I needed to without feeling like I would be attacked for it. If you've been online talking about this, then you know that's a big thing.

Check out the link above to listen. We talked for an hour but it was edited down to about 25 minutes. I really wish that all of our conversation could be included in the podcast but I have no control over that. Many things that I talked about, including birth certificate access, stepparent adoptee issues, Georgia Tann and the origin of sealed records, etc.... were left out. But, the fact that an adoptive mom asked to learn about the problems with adoption, I felt were a good thing. 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

The Supreme Court says it's supply and demand.

Here it is, Mother's Day, and I'm resurrecting this blog because of the Supreme Court. Instead of thinking about Mother's Day and just hanging out with my son or talking to my daughter on the phone, I'm thinking about how many mothers in this country will have their rights taken away. How many women will have the choice of when they want to be mothers or be able to choose whether or not they WANT to be mothers at all? 

This is page 34 of the Supreme Court opinion that was leaked this past week. It demonstrates exactly what the plan has been all along. Cater to the adoption industry and the evangelicals. The evangelicals want a theocracy and the adoption industry wants more money. The so-called Christian right have been very obvious about wanting to tear down the wall between church and state. What hasn't been so obvious to everyone outside of the adoption reform community is how much the adoption industry plays politics. Well, here ya go.... "and that a woman who puts her newborn up for adoption today has little reason to fear that the baby will not find a suitable home."

Why? Why shouldn't women who surrender their newborns worry about their babies going to suitable homes? Well, because there are so many people wanting to buy those babies. Read the footnote below that was on the same page.

("[N]early 1 million women were seeking to adopt children in 2002 (i.e. they were in demand for a child), whereas the domestic supply of infants relinquished at birth or within the first month of life and available to be adopted had become virtually nonexistent.")

It's exactly what we've been saying all along. Infant adoption is a supply and demand business. It even says so right there in the Supreme Court opinion. The supply of infants diminished after Roe so of course the adoption industry is lobbying for more supply. People with money want to buy babies. That's what it boils down to. Give the people with money what they want. If you don't have money then tough shit. You don't get to decide if you can go through a pregnancy, even if you know it can cause you harm or kill you. You don't get to decide if you want to be a mother. If you and the baby survive the pregnancy, give your baby to someone who has more than you. 

When do you ever hear of a wealthy woman relinquishing a newborn to adoption? 
You don't.
Do you think a wealthy woman will have a problem accessing an abortion if she wants one?
She won't.

Please vote like your life depends on it because many, many lives ARE depending on it.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Oh the irony....

The picture below was posted on Talk About Adoption's Facebook page.

Along with this picture they posted the paragraphs below. 

It’s not just crucial for adoption agencies to be honest and ethical; it’s important for any adoption company, business or facilitator to be honest in their practices, transactions and in their words. That could even include birth moms, adoptees, and adoptive parents who make money off of transactions related to adoption. It’s important who we say we are, who (or what) we support, and how we present ourselves in and outside the adoption realm.

Why? Because adoption is already complicated. It’s not just filled with people who are grateful for the option of adoption; it’s also filled with those who are hurt and searching for someone to trust and help them heal. It’s also a community for those who are looking for adoption resources that align with their own personal or moral beliefs. The adoption triad must hold one another accountable in good faith and with the right motives so that we can unite together to make things better... It takes a village. Just be honest.

#TalkAboutAdoption #Honesty #Integrity #ProLove #ProLife #OpenAdoption #AdoptionoverAbortion #Lovethemboth #ChooseWisely #Birthmoms #AdoptionTriad

The first thing I thought was - ethical adoption agencies? It's difficult to imagine such a thing. They used the words "company" and "business". What do companies and businesses have to do to keep the doors open? They have to make money. The adoption system is largely unregulated so how can making money and children changing hands be done ethically?

There are several problems with this post but the things that really got me were "the adoption triad must hold one another accountable" and "just be honest". Really?? 

I commented on that post:

One woman replied with the usual #notall. I explained a bit more saying that I was speaking specifically of domestic infant adoption. Then she asked if I knew this from experience and I said I did and I personally knew many, many others with the same kind of experience. Her only reply was "ok".

When I went back to see if anyone else had commented on that post I saw that my comment and the entire thread was deleted. And I was blocked from the page. How's that for irony! 

Just be honest they said. Sure. But only if you're super happy about adoption! Just spew the usual rainbows and butterflies version and then we'll listen to you and your "honesty". 

Funny how they want us to "talk about adoption" but only if we say the words they want us to say. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

A Meme and a Prayer

I came across this meme online. It was first on Twitter, you can see the Twitter handle of the person who wrote it, @ihateadoption. I thought it was a brilliant bit of satire but apparently many people are very upset by it. I shared it on my IG page and then I saw it posted on FB. A lot of the people commenting on the post were very upset by what it says calling it sick, evil, written by a troll, terrible, disgusting, distorted, revolting, offensive, nasty, horrible, selfish, atrocious, and "it must have been written by a cold evil propaganda drama causing monster". Every one of those adjectives was taken from the comment thread on this meme.

Some assumed it was written by an angry and bitter first/birth mom. It was actually written by an adoptee. You know - the one who is supposed to be happy and grateful. What many of these folks don't see is the satire. They assume it's saying that this is how adoptive parents actually pray. They're taking it literally when they should be looking at what's behind the words.

I also commented on that thread...

It does sound very sick. But aren't those the things that happen in order for a mother to relinquish? If they're praying to adopt a newborn then in essence that's what they're wishing to happen.

No, I don't believe that adopters says these words when they pray. They don't say it consciously. In many cases they're lied to just like the expectent mom is lied to by the adoption agency. They believe what they're told because that's what they want to believe. If they believe then maybe they can get what they want. It's easy to set aside any doubts or misgivings about the process when you're being told you'll get what you desire. But I do have to ask those adopters - do you believe in the stork theory of where babies come from? How ARE you praying for your little bundle to arrive? Those babies don't just fall from the sky.

Let's break it down.

"I pray for a child, any child will do"
When an adoption "fails" what happens? The mother decides to keep and raise her baby. In my book that's not a "fail", it's a win for the child and mother. The couple then moves on to the next expectant mom who, under the agency guidance, picks them from a book. The first one didn't work out so maybe the next one will. Any child will do.

"I pray a pregnant woman is in crisis, I pray she is lost and alone. I pray her man and family forsake her. I pray she is broke and homeless"
A woman who is NOT in crisis, who is NOT lost and alone, doesn't go to an agency seeking help. A woman who has family support or support from the baby's father doesn't go to an agency seeking help. A woman who has a home and money in the bank doesn't go to an agency seeking help.

"I pray she chooses the drugs. I pray that she stays involved in violence"
If she's addicted to drugs and can't find help, her baby will likely be taken from her. There ya go.... a baby to answer that prayer for a baby to adopt. Where is the prayer for the mother's help and healing so she can take care of her baby? If there's domestic violence, a mother will be terrified to bring a baby into that world. If she has help to get out of the situation or help with rehab, she's not likely to go to an agency for help. In order for her to lose her baby to the adoption industry she would still be using or still stuck with an abuser.

All of these situations are used against her by the adoption agencies to convince her to go through that book and look at couples to take her baby. So when someone prays to adopt a newborn baby, they ARE praying for these things to happen. They may not do it intentionally but that's the reality of it because if it weren't for these situations, the baby wouldn't be available in the first place.

Now look at the second half of the meme...

"I pray she chooses me to save her baby from herself. I pray she hates herself enough to believe I'm better."
In order for her to surrender she has to be convinced that she's not good enough for her own baby. What else are those profile books for that the agency has the adopting couple make. They're full of pictures and essays about how wonderful they are, the trips they take, the dog they have, the house they live in, etc.... The message is that the couple is better than the mom. It's intention is to make the mom feel less than so she'll give her baby to someone "better".

"I pray this family falls apart. I want one of the pieces."
In order for adopters to get the baby they're praying for another family has to be destroyed. There's just no getting around that. You can paint it in rainbow colors and slap daisies all over it but it doesn't change the fact that a mother is losing a child and a child is losing an entire family. That child is forever, legally severed from his own flesh and blood. And no, reunion doesn't fix it and open adoption doesn't fix it.

"I pray a child suffers so I can be MOM"
I can't imagine people actually using these words and praying such a thing. BUT.... the truth is every adoption includes trauma. Babies are traumatized by the separation from mother. They are NOT blank slates. They know their mother's voice, heartbeat, and smell. They search for their mother because they think they're still part of her. They suffer when they're taken away from her. If you're praying to adopt a newborn, in essence you are asking for a baby to suffer. Period. And, I'm sorry to say that love from the adopters is not enough to take that pain away.

When you really examine what the adoptee was saying with this prayer, it boils down to selfishness. Infant adoption is a selfish act. Adults want what they want and it doesn't seem to matter how it affects another entire family or how it affects a newborn baby.

The image and words are making people angry and upset. Good. Maybe it will cause some of them to think about the message and reality behind it.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

11 Reasons I'm Here

It's been over a year since I've written anything here. 2018 was a brutal year and I've spent the better part of this year recovering from it. It's a work in progress.

Depression is difficult. It's tiring, all consuming, physically draining, painful, guilt inducing, and unique to each person but shared by many.

We all go through down days. We all know what that feels like. But there's a difference between feeling down once in a while and sitting in a chair in your bedroom, staring at your bed and thinking... "I'm ok with not waking up tomorrow". I never made a plan or thought of ways to end me but just having the thought of not wanting to wake up in the morning was enough to scare the hell out of me. The next morning, when I did wake up, I called a therapist and made an appointment.

Why am I writing about this. Is it to gain sympathy? No. Why do I even have to explain why? It's because too many people want to say that anyone who talks about painful things is just playing the victim. What people don't realize is, depression already causes us to feel guilty about being depressed. The phrase "first world problems" comes to mind. Who are we to feel down when there's so much suffering in the world! Guilt jumps in when you feel like you're not upbeat enough and think you're lousy company. Guilt jumps in when you just can't face going out and being with people. So why am I talking about it? Because I can and because I think more people need to talk about it. Maybe someone else will recognize themselves here and know that they're not alone. 

There was a long list of things that happened last year that took me to such a dark place. It began with my father's death. I don't need to go into the rest of the list because, well, it's long and there's no need to at this point. Just know it was a crap year and when you're in the thick of a deep depression you can't see past the veil that hides all the good in your life. It's like someone is holding a black cloth in front of your face. You can kinda make out some bits of light here and there but mostly what's in front of you is shrouded in darkness. No matter how hard you squint you can't make out what's going on behind the veil. 

What doesn't help are the well meaning comments you see from others.

"don't be so negative"
"just pull yourself up"
"chill out"
"think happy thoughts"
"get out of the house more"

Yes, these things make sense when you're just having a down day. I use them on myself when I need to. Gratitude works wonders! We DO have many many things to be grateful for and reminding ourselves to be grateful can completely change our mindset and mood. But, the kind of depression I'm talking about is a different kind of animal and that animal doesn't respond to cliche sayings. That animal is not just being moody and can't be talked out of it with one afternoon of sunshiney talk.

It takes time. It takes talking to a professional counselor. It takes effort when you feel like just getting up out of the chair is a monumental task. It's hard but it's doable. And sometimes, if necessary, medication can help get you through the worst of it so you can start by getting up. Then you can do other things to help yourself.

Many years ago I believed the saying that suicide was selfish. I know now that's not true. I think it takes going through a severe depression to really understand why someone would contemplate taking their own life. I didn't think about the act of doing it but I did think how nice it would be to not wake up. What that tells me is that it's not a selfish thought. It's about wanting to end pain. It's about feeling like you just can't take any more of it. 

So those 11 reasons I'm here are...
       3 children I love and adore with all my heart.
       7 grandchildren I love and adore with all my heart.
       1 online community of first mothers and adoptees who understand

The little bits of light that I could see through that black veil were the faces of my children and grandbabies. I couldn't stand the thought of not seeing them go through life while I have the chance. I want to be here to see my grandchildren grow up and become whoever they're meant to be. They all need a healthy mother and grandmother and the thought of those little lights waiting for me got me up out of that chair.

My online adoption community has been a lifesaver in so many ways. The first time I realized I wasn't alone with adoption trauma was when I read The Girls Who Went Away by Ann Fessler. Since then, having a group of mothers and adoptees who understand me and what I've been through has helped me cope just by being there. I know I can jump into a number of forums and groups, be real, spill my guts, and they're there for me. We're all there for each other. And if you have a "real life" person who is your nearest and dearest friend that you can confide in, you can help each other through a lot.

Just as important as having people in your corner, is knowing who is not in your corner. I finally figured out that I can say no. I don't have to spend time with people who trigger upset. I can decide for myself who I want in my life and who to avoid. It's called self-preservation and there's nothing wrong with that.

What else helps? Doing something creative. For me it's painting. For you it could be singing, crocheting, dancing, baking, photography, scrapbooking, woodworking, journaling, anything that takes your mind to another place. You know that feeling when you look up at the clock and suddenly see that hours have gone by and you didn't realize it? That's being in the zone. Do something that takes you there.

Real self care is not selfish. I have my kids, my friends and my art. Art is my work but it's also my salvation and therapy. I even have what I call my therapy canvas. It's a 4 ft square that I throw paint at when I feel the need. Along with my canvas, real therapy does wonders. When you learn about CPTSD and what it does, suddenly, some things about life make sense. When you have a better understanding of why your brain does what it does, you can find ways of dealing with it. You can survive depression. You can make the veil go away.

        When you learn what it takes to keep yourself mentally healthy, do those things.      

Friday, June 15, 2018

The stench of hypocrisy

I'm having a hard time with the news right now. It's no secret how much I can't stand this current administration but right now I'm so enraged I can barely speak. The sight of children crying for their mothers, children behind bars and in facilities not knowing what's going to happen to them, the mothers not knowing where their children are, it's horrific and disturbing that this is what our country has become. I saw this article today and on one hand I'm glad to see it but on the other hand, I want to know where these leaders were when our babies were being ripped from our bodies and our arms and taken for adoption!

From the article.....

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Catholic bishops’ conference and archbishop of Galveston-Houston, denounced a recent decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that women fleeing domestic violence and families fleeing gang violence are not eligible for asylum.

“At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life,” said Cardinal DiNardo in a statement he read aloud to the bishops.
The Catholic church has long advocated for the rights of immigrants and refugees, and while the bishops have criticized Mr. Trump’s immigration policies before, this letter amounted to their strongest censure yet.
“Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together,” the Cardinal wrote. “Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”
Oh really Cardinal? I'm glad you're standing up for these children and their families but why couldn't you do the same for me and my daughter or the millions of others separated by adoption? Why are people outraged by what's happening now but don't seem to have any outrage over babies being separated from their mothers at birth for infant adoption. It is still happening. Every. Single. Day.

What's the difference? We all know the answer to that. Let's all say it together shall we - follow the money.

With the situation of the immigrants, the church gets to stand up and act all righteous. See? We're about helping families. We have family values. Where are those family values when it comes the mother and child bond if the mother is unmarried? That's right. It goes right out the window because babies are big bucks. Gotta keep the machine rolling but at the same time, gotta pretend that these family values mean something, so they show the world how caring and just they are with one hand while the other hand is cashing in on the profits made by tearing families apart.

Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Tucson, Ariz. suggested to the meeting that “canonical penalties” be imposed on Catholics “who are involved” in the policies of family separations, though he did not specify what he meant. Canonical penalties can involve denial of the eucharist or even excommunication. His suggestion was not adopted.

His suggestion wasn't adopted. Big surprise. How I would love to see penalties for those involved in the policies of family separations. They could start with a Catholic Social Services file from 1979 that includes a document they coerced me into signing when I was only 6 months pregnant. That document gave them custody of my daughter at birth. How about looking into the legality of that? Do you think any of these people in the church give a shit about that?

Although I'm glad to see leaders standing up for those immigrant families, the stench of hypocrisy is sickening.