Thursday, April 21, 2011

Heartbreaking Rejection In Reunion

There have been some heartbreaking posts lately on some of the adoption related blogs that I follow.

A daughter rejected ~ with a half-piece of paper torn from a legal pad.

A daughter pondering how long the relationship with her father will be kept a secret.  Wondering if her mother ~ his wife ~ will ever accept her or tell her full siblings about her.

Another daughter wondering if pursuing a relationship with her father will jeopardize her relationship with her mother, while worrying about how and when to tell her adoptive parents that she is in contact with her natural parents.

A mother who has been fully rejected by her daughter ~ the mother was told to not call, write, communicate in any way.

I am so very, very, blessed to have a successful reunion with my firstborn son.  I am so very blessed that my son did indeed get the wonderful family and childhood I dreamed of for him. I am so very glad that Christopher went from only wanting medical and family history in the beginning to wanting to know me and his siblings. 

Even though our adoption journeys would probably be described as being great ones, it does not make up for the deep loss and grief that I have lived with for almost 32 years now.  I cannot imagine how much harder healing from the adoption loss would be, if my son had rejected me in reunion. My heart stops at the thought of it.

It absolutely breaks my heart when I read stories from the mothers, fathers, and adoptees who are rejected in reunion. 

I completely understand why some mothers are unable to fully embrace reunion.  At the same time ~ I will never understand how a mother could reject her child... for the second, or third, or final time. 

As hard as it was to do the work necessary to come out of the adoption closet, to come out of the fog, it would have been so much harder to lose precious contact with my son again.  I have loved my son since before he was born.  Denial kept me from knowing the full depth of the love I had for Christopher.  Reunion opened my heart, and I have only grown to love him more over these last couple of years.  I truly love him no less than the children I raised.  I am so blessed that I was able to open my heart, instead of closing it like some mothers have.  My heart breaks for those mothers and for their children.

When I read the words of adoptees rejected, I cannot help but feel I myself am to blame for a part of their grief.  (I just cannot get my thoughts on this into coherant written words ~ so frustrating.)  I don't mean responsible for one certain adoptee's personal grief, but in the general grief felt by any adoptee.    My part ~ in believing the sunshine and rainbows myths, in believing the "blank slate" theory,  in choosing adoption for my own firstborn son, and then by staying silent for decades about the truth of the depth of adoption loss, I feel that I was a part of the "adoption is wonderful" culture.  It is that culture that refuses to acknowledge the loss that adoption is built on.  It is that culture that keeps parents and children separated and unable to reunite. 

A mother unable to see that society was wrong for putting labels on her when she was young and pregnant.  A mother unable to face her past because of the stigma that society put on her.  A mother unable to tell her raised children, or husband, or parents, about the child she gave up because of the deep-seated shame she took onto herself as an unwed mother. Sadly, these stigmas are still put on unmarried mothers, on mother's deemed to be too young, or too poor.

The ones given up for adoption who are unable to embrace their natural family in reunion ~ out of anger, or fear, or loyalty...

As I was typing these last words, wondering where I am going with this rambling post.  Wondering why I have been thinking so often lately about those suffering in rejection, a song I haven't heard for a long time came on.  It speaks to the grief felt by those whose love is not returned...

Cause I can't make you love me
if you don't
You can't make your heart feel
something it won't
I will lay down my heart
And I'll feel the power
but you won't
No, you won't
Cause I can't make you love me
if you don't

 My heart goes out to all who have been rejected in reunion.  I pray that one day the closed hearts of those you love are able to be opened.   As this song so beautifully says, we can't make anyone love us.  All we can do is learn to love ourselves, and be true to our own hearts.  Even if that means loving someone who can't/won't love or show love in return.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stop Shorstein Network

I post today to help spread the word about a class-action lawsuit against Shorstein Advocacy Group for using coercion and fraud when soliciting expectant mothers.

Shorstein, a lawyer in Florida known as the "adoption kingpin" is now being sued in Florida courts for using coercion and fraud when soliciting first parents.

He has been known to make promises of open adoption to first parents, and the adoptions quickly close within 3 years-5 years. The significance of this time frame, is that in most cases, it is five years that a person is able to file a lawsuit within the limit of statues time frame. In other words, contact is discontinued at a the pivotal time that first parents have to reinforce their rights.

And sometimes there is a miracle. Now, all mothers and fathers who have been coerced by Michael Shorstein or who have gone through First Coast Adoption Professionals and had Kathleen Stevens as the counselor can now seek relief. All people, regardless of when the adoption happened can now stand up for their rights and join a class action lawsuit against Shorstein and the agency.

Please pass this message along to any person who may have been affected by these people. We want all people who have been made promises to be able to stand up and join this lawsuit. For parents who are new, and whose open adoption is still open, this is your chance to make sure it does not close.

 From Stop Shorstein Advocacy Group:

The Stop Shorstein Network Is Looking For Families Who Lost Their Children To Fraudulent Adoption Practices In Florida!

The Stop Shorstein Network needs to contact families who have been coerced into signing away their rights to their child(ren) by Shorstein. Hundreds of families have been victimized. Please join with us. Together we can create change.

  •  Were promises made to you that were false and damaging?
  • Did you sign legal documents under false pretenses?
  • Were you manipulated, coerced, or tricked?
  • Have they made excuse after excuse for failing to follow through with their promises?
  • Have you been denied the relationship with your children that you were promised?
  • Have you and your children been harmed and damaged?
You aren't alone in your pain. Please connect with us today.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

It's been a while since I have made the time to write anything here.  Part of the reason is that I am so very happy with how things are turning out on my adoption reunion journey.  Another reason is that I am finally comfortable with who I have become after reunion.  It is so freeing to be able to get rid of the secrets.  To be able to stand on the hilltops and tell the world that I have four children, not three.  I am able to live an authentic life, not a life of lies.  The truth did set me free ~ in many ways.  It has been a rough road ~ finding myself again ~ but it was certainly a journey worth starting.

In believing the reasons that helped me make the choice to give my son up for adoption, I didn't realize that I was also taking on some pretty big beliefs about myself as a person.  Beliefs that didn't stay related just to my decision for adoption.  I took them onto my entire self, my entire being.

It has taken me more than two years to shed some of the lies I had told myself for decades.  To shed some of the lies that I allowed others to put onto me.  Lies that I took fully onto myself, so much so that they became Truth.  Truths that were so deeply believed I still find myself beginning to put them back on, like an old comfy sweatshirt.

Society told me I wasn't good enough to be a mother.  I believed I wasn't good enough.  I often heard that I was stupid as I was growing up ~ becoming pregnant at 15 proved to me that it was true.  Society told me I was sinful for having sex outside of marriage.  Society told me I wasn't worthy to be a mother, while prospective adoptive parents were wonderful, capable, married couples who were more than ready to be parents.  I wasn't married, old enough, rich, or ready enough... I simply wasn't enough.

These last couple of years spent trying to find myself again have let me realize that I was and am good enough, smart enough.  I am worthy of everything I have denied myself for years.  I. am. enough.

Take a day to heal from the lies you've told yourself and the ones that have been told to you.
Maya Angelou

It has taken my much more than a day.  It has taken more than two years.  I'm not sure that the lies will ever be completely gone.  When a young woman is made to feel unworthy in order for the adoption industry to procure another child, it doesn't just ensure a choice for adoption ~ it effects her entire life.  But mothers aren't told that when they are considering adoption.  That's just one of the things that mothers find out after it's too late...