Thursday, October 30, 2014

Heartbreaking - Another Open Adoption Closed...

Today in one of my online support groups there was yet another post from a mother of adoption loss who was promised an open adoption ~ which never came to be. 

Today is her babies 1st birthday. 

She has never received one single photo. 
Not.  One.  Photo.
Even though the adoptive parents promised her that she would be a part of her child's life always.

She has never received one update. 
Not.  One.  Update. 
Even though the adoptive parents promised her that she would be a part of her child's life always.

Another mother who was told that an open adoption consisted of photos and updates. 
Yet she has no idea where these parents live, doesn't know their name, doesn't know anyhing about them. 

Another mother who wasn't told that receiving correspondence through an adoption agency really isn't an open adoption.

Another mother who wasn't told that this so-called open adoption isn't legally binding.

Another mother who wouldn't have chosen adoption if she wouldn't even be able to know if her child was still alive, much less healthy and happy.

Another adoptive family who thought it was ok to lie ~ whatever it took to get what they wanted.

Another adoption agency that doesn't care about the mother or child once the papers are signed.  They got the baby to supply to the parents who are willing to pay them thousands of dollars in exchange. 

For that's what adoption has become in this day and age my folks. 

Adoption is now about providing a child to a family that wants one.

When it should be about giving a family to a child that doesn't have one.

Two things feed the corruption that adoption has become:

Big Business

Finding the supply to meet the demand to make the $$ 

No matter what lies and myths are necessary to keep that supply and demand coming in


Wanting a baby.  At any cost. 

Who cares about the mothers left behind?

They didn't really want their babies anyways, did they?

For if you really wanted your baby, why would you even THINK of contacting an adoption agency??

Monday, October 20, 2014

Teen Moms - Stereotypes

PLEASE read this article on RH Reality Check!  (Especially if you are one of the many people who land here by searching for advice on your teen daughters unexpected pregnancy.)

Where's the "16, Parenting, and OK" Reality Show?

While the article focuses on the role of media in the stereotypes, the problem goes beyond that to the whole of society. 

Here are a few paragraphs ~ but the entire article is a must read:

...Teen pregnancy and parenthood has almost always been framed as the beginning of the end of a young person’s life

Then there’s the fact that the media often overrepresents adoption, especially when it comes to teenage mothers. “The adoption story line is often used as a way to fix the ‘problem,’” sociologist Gretchen Sisson, whose work focuses on teenage pregnancy, parenting, and adoption, told RH Reality Check. “Teen parenthood and abortion are both very stigmatized. So adoption is kind of the way out and a way for the character to redeem themselves. Before abortion was legal, adoption was a way for white women to ‘undue’ the sins of sexuality outside of marriage. Adoption is used as a solution for teen pregnancy and abortion, when really it is neither of these things.

If one does not give their child up for adoption or marry the father of their child (if the father did not leave them already, as the narrative goes in the media) the identity oft given to parenting teens is one of a desolate existence for both mother and child.

While the media has taken on the role of “teaching” about teenage pregnancy, mostly through shame and stigma, media makers need to acknowledge they are influencing how gatekeepers—including school administrators, health-care providers, and other adults in a young person’s life—perceive and treat young pregnant people.

We have to start asking ourselves, as former teen mother and #NoTeenShame member Christina Martinez recently mentioned to me, “What if we were to surround young parents with messages of hope, support, and encouragement? How might that alter the confidence in which they approach their role as parent?”

I try to not imagine what my life might have been like if I would have had someone to surround me with messages of hope, support, and encouragement...


Monday, October 6, 2014

Step Into Your Feminine Power

I read a blog post tonight about stepping into your feminine power.  The title of the blog post is "Strong Like the Water". 

As I read this post, I found myself thinking that the authors words could be great inspiration for someone facing an unexpected pregnancy:
What is an empowered woman like?
I keep returning to this question and wondering. What is the nature of feminine power? Is it different from masculine power? Do we have any models?
What is more representative of the nature of feminine power than childbirth?  Is there anything that more differentiates feminine power from masculine power?  I think not. 

The author ponders on how to step more fully into her power, finding that answer in the element of water ~ from a small droplet to a raging waterfall:

Droplets of water were rolling from the soft moss into the lake. As I listened to their delicate music, I marveled at how these sweet droplets were made of the same stuff that filled the great lake, and which had, over millennia, carved the entire valley.
She goes on to compare that to the daily job of mothering:

I was put in mind of the daily tasks of mothering, which in themselves are so small, yet which add up to something great. ‘Take heart’, the droplets seemed to say. ‘Each sandwich made, each sock hung up to dry, each goodnight kiss is a droplet that partakes of the great lake of love, which has huge power.’ This put me in mind of Mother Theresa’s advice that we should not pursue “great deeds” but rather “small deeds with great love.”

It's Not About The Big Picture All At Once

Often a mother makes the mistake of going to an adoption agency or crisis pregnancy center when looking for advice and help while facing an unexpected pregnancy.  The problem with this is that they aren't there to offer help to that mom.  They aren't there to help her step into her power.  They are there to supply the adoption industry.  In order to do that they have to make the mother think that she isn't worthy of being a mother to her child.  One of the ways they frighten the mother into considering adoption is by having her look at the big picture of being a mother.  How much does it cost to raise a child?  How will you continue school/settle into your career/whatever while raising a child?  How will you work/go to school ~ do you want your child raised by a babysitter? And more...  Oh, so much more do they throw at you to make you feel unworthy...

It's About The Droplets Creating the Great Lake of Love

It's the love and care shown in the small every day tasks that put together has huge power.  It's the small deeds with great love.  You don't have to face the entire first 18 years of your child's life in the first day home from the hospital.  As quoted above ‘Take heart’, the droplets seemed to say. ‘Each sandwich made, each sock hung up to dry, each goodnight kiss is a droplet that partakes of the great lake of love, which has huge power.’

The selling of adoption makes you look at the big picture all at once in an attempt to take your power away. But it's the little pictures that matter. It's all the little pictures ~ taken one day at a time ~ that make up the big picture. The love given, the kisses goodnight, the diapers changed and the belly filled. The boo-boos kissed, the lessons taught.

       The joys of being a mother.

           The joys and privilege of living your feminine power.

                  Is there anything greater?

I think not

Monday, August 11, 2014

Courage ~ Telling The Story of My Whole Heart

I took one of those facebook quizes the other day ~ What Is Your Spirit Stone?  I got:
Fire Agate - This stone represents courage. You are a true leader in your circle of friends and you're someone people look up to. You may come across as intimidating to some people, but you really are a good person. Just make sure that you don't get too courageous, and do something dangerous.
I posted on fb that I would never have considered myself courageous until these last few years. That I attribute reunion and the process of healing from the loss of my son to that...

Suz commented that she thinks of me as courageous.  That really surprised me because it's not an attribute that I have ever thought I had.  I've been pondering on this off and on for several days now.   

Yes, I do speak out about my adoption story.  I do speak out on forums, blogs, fb about the truth of adoption loss in my life.  

But I do it anonymously.  Mostly.  I have let some of the "adoption world" onto my "real life" fb page.  But not much of it.  (I can't really share much there, since Christopher, his wife, and his mom are on my friends list there.)  Most of my advocating is done through this blog, my "Finding Christopher" email and fb page.  

So.  Not so courageous after all...  

The first person in my "real life" that I told about the blog was my daughter ~ and it scared me to death knowing that she was going to read my heart here.  For I felt as Anna Nalick sings "I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd, cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud..."  

I recently also told Christopher about this blog, worried that he might find it by accident since I had started letting some of the adoption world onto my personal fb page.  So far he says he doesn't want to read any of what I have written here.  I was surprised that instead of feeling complete relief at that I was disappointed instead.

I have only briefly considered telling any of my closest friends about my writing, letting them know that my advocating for adoptee rights goes much deeper than just that.  


Since taking that silly spirit rock quiz, I've been finding myself ready to share my whole story, to share all of me.  

After all, my daughter read this online diary of mine and it wasn't the end of me.  

Maybe it's time for me to start telling the story of my whole heart...

*my first post is here

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Adoption and Rejection ~ from those who live it

There was an interesting discussion among several adopted people yesterday on facebook.  As I was reading the replies to the question posed, I was thinking that any mother considering adoption for her unborn child should have to read it also.  For you cannot go into a fully informed decision for adoption until you have learned about how that choice might possibly effect your child in the future.

The discussion was about the Psychology Today article "10 Surprising Facts About Rejection".  A question was posed asking if others who were adopted felt that #10 on the list ("10. There are ways to treat the psychological wounds rejection inflicts.") was true for those who were adopted.  Below is the question posed and some of the replies.  I asked if it would be ok to post their discussion here ~ some preferred I use their names and some preferred to stay anonymous. 

Thanks to all of you who allowed me to share this discussion!

The Question:
Adoptees, I would like you to share your thoughts on this article. We all face rejection, and we all know it runs viral among the adopted. I see myself in a lot of the traits posted in this column. I don't see #10 in the same light as the author. Thoughts?
 When I began delving into adoption it was the same day as my discovery coming up on 8-years-ago. I was very surprised when I learned that rejection is an adopted person's hugest trigger. While everyone fears rejection, it is 10-fold among we adoptees. "The Primal Wound" details how relinquished babies experience a rejection as soon as we are removed from our mothers. It is a trauma we never overcome.

I cannot totally agree with #10. While there are treatments for feelings of rejection and abandonment, no one I know of has as of yet cured "the primal wound." If someone were to I know they would make millions. Have any of you cured the Primal Wound?

"Number 10 feels off to me, too. We may think we've gotten past feeling a certain way, but something can send us down the rabbit hole where we feel old stings anew. At least "I" do. I hesitate to say we, but I know I've heard other express similar feelings over the years.
I think the best I can do is learn to cope with my emotions and everything that goes along with them better. For me, this is a lifelong process of constantly tweaking my thinking and how I treat myself."

"I can't cure the Primal Wound, but sometimes I can slap a big enough bandaid on it so that I can cope."

"I don't feel we can *fix* the Primal Wound.... Only learn coping skills. Not a professional - but I have lived it."

"They may not be taking into account trauma that occurs in infancy. There's definitely a difference because the infant has no knowledge of it's self before the trauma. Check out for more about this. They also have a page on FB. Paul Sunderland also has a video on YouTube, "Lecture on Adoption", where he talks about this. He's from the UK and trained for many years in addiction. He found such a strong link between adoption and addiction that he began looking deeper into the effects of adoption (or relinquishment, as he calls it). He talks extensively about PTSD. Very interesting!"

"damn, just reading that article...makes me feel hurt."

"Very interesting, especially 7 and 9 for me"

Holly Carter: "You can't correct the Primal Wound. We don't have a self before the actual wound. We can't go back to before because there is no before. We are severed forever and will always carry that with us. While it can be put in the closet and set on a shelf, every so often, when entering the closet, it can jump off the shelf at the most inappropriate times. Also, until society realizes that we have this real pain with adoption and society allows us to grieve our loss, there won't be a real healing of this rejection. I feel it is always there, we just learn to live with it & put it aside & it will erupt at any given time, weather we realize it or not. I'm pretty sure that's why I can talk circles around people when I don't really want to answer a question or discuss something. Hope this makes sense."

"I can see how someone with an adoption rejection experience could find him/herself with twice as much time as others just thinking and anticipating a rejection before it even happens. It's like hiking 200 ft up a hill and back tracking 200 ft and going back up again....the stress is at maximum"

"Holly states it very well…there is no cure for the Primal Wound……Before I read that book, I also read Being Adopted the life long search for self and between the two books…It was such an epiphany for me on how I maneuvered my life…not to risk..not to trust….leave a relationship before one can leave me….Divorce rate is higher among adoptees as well according to a book I read…Our adoptee issues always seems to be there…it is how we manage it all so it doesn't get too overwhelming at one time or moment…"

"I agree that there is no cure for the primal wound, & I've often wondered if those of us that are adopted are so conditioned to it that we subconsciously set ourselves up for more rejection by subtle things like body language & facial expressions, especially to people who tend to be human predators whose skills are honed to smell fear & pounce on it."

From a natural mother: "The saddest thing to me is how much I wanted my daughter. I wasn't looking to abandon. I was told the biggest lie of coercion; If you love her enough you will allow her to have the nuclear family she deserves. No one told me she would feel abandoned or have any negative effects about adoption. And that's why I do what I can to help young pregnant women know the truth. My apology from all of your mothers."

"in reading number 10 I would say it falls along the line with PEER therapy…releasing all the stored negative emotions that exist in the body…self soothing only works so well and having other people soothe us is not always realistic"

"my birth mother was told the same set of lies. It took me awhile to fill her in about my not-so-positive adoption experience and she was devastated to find out things weren't all rosy as she was promised. Young women in distress are prone and want to believe the best case scenarios, especially if those around them are all sending the same message. Adoption should be a last resort, not looked at as the perfect solution."

Jodi Gibson Haywood:  "#10 sounds kind of vague. Rejection definitely does not respond to reason or logical thought, especially with adoption wounds. Decades after the fact I discovered I wasn't actually given up, but taken in a family abduction. That did nothing to ease the pain of rejection. The primal wound is incurable. Some days the pain can be managed better than others."

"I think that the important part of #10 is, "To do so effectively we must address each of our psychological wounds... " Because our emotions run HOT it is very hard to stop long enough to calmly and coolly "address" our wounds. Personal experience - I was told by a cousin that I was not wanted. Not by my Mother or Father - No one wanted me. My Mom and Dad felt sorry for me so they took me in. Sound familiar?? Then when I was in grade school a classmate told me that being adopted meant that my Mother was a prostitute!! Lovely, eh. Well, my Mom (at this point - the 50s) was very forthcoming with what she had been told (which proved to be true) so my wound was bandaged by what she told me... BUT throughout my life I have heard the same crap over and over about adoptees and/or why children are surrendered for adoption. It is a very sore point with me. After two years of addressing this point with a useless - USELESS - therapist (?) in my early 20s, I talked to a neighbor who was a Psychiatrist and he asked me one simple question (that I would never have heard or thought of in an emotional fervor), "Did your cousin, schoolmate, or any of these people who say that your or anyone else's Mothers didn't want them know the Mothers?" Because of my own personal life situation at the time I was able to look back at these situation and realize that all of these people (or their parents who had planted the idea in their heads) were all talking out of their asses. This was not the end of having to deal with feelings of being "other" or not good enough But it was the beginning of awakening and working for reform."

Wendy Blitzer Barkett: "Tylenol??? Really??? Tylenol actually makes me feel the need to throw up, perhaps now I know why. It's trying to fight with rejection, and rejection wins out every time.
Someone mentioned the band aide and that I can relate to. I had no idea that I pushe
d people to see how long it would take them to leave, to reject me, to walk away. I knew I did it, I never knew why. It was when I pushed my husband while we were engaged that the fear that he might actually leave hit me. For the first time, I was pushing someone away that I didn't want to leave, and so I stopped, for the most part.
Years later I read about rejection and abandonment and being an adoptee and how they all related to each other.
I don't think we can ever cure it, or heal it per say. Make it less painful, yes, for sure. Even tylenol will do that!
But there are plenty of healthy, as well as rather unhealthy ways, to erase the rejection feelings. Some refer to healing their inner child. I can't relate to that. If there ever is a cure, or a clinical study, I'd be sure to think about giving it a shot. Until then I just ignore it."

Jodi Gibson Haywood:  "the fact is that prolonged separation from your mother, as a baby or young child, is automatically perceived as rejection because we're not capable of understanding the circumstances behind it. Whether we were abandoned, abducted, or orphaned in the true sense of the word, it feels the same. It also makes us especially vulnerable to - and traumatized by - subsequent rejections. My healing is coming from acknowledging the primal wound while not allowing it to define me. Not an easy thing to do, but less negative side effects than the self-destructive stuff I did before."

"I do believe there is a way to address and treat our wounds. One way is to be aware of self defeating behavior that may elicit rejection and make changes in our imteractions with others. I have done this in my own life. Am I "cured"? Of all wounds? No. But the pain lessons with time. Like cully mentioned about those people who didn't know what they were talking about, sometimes logic can help me see that it isn't just me walking around wounded. Everyone has their baggage and fears rejection so I have learned not to take it as personal when it happens. Painful? Yes. But I can soothe my wounds by spending time with those who love me and have shown they won't reject me. (Of course this takes trust)."

"Just look in the animal kingdom at how mothers react when separated from their babies…they scream, cry and mourn and their babies if alive do the same…why do we think it should be different for human beings? I think that the loss is so understood by so many in the subconscious and for that reason no one really wants to talk about…it's unthinkable and yet is happens all the time. These are defenses we have and our mothers have, and the goal is SURVIVAL. It's so devastating, so horrible, so unfathomable that these defenses help us and our mothers survive them. I don't believe the primal wound can ever be completely healed, but I do think we can learn new coping skills…since we survived we can do anything!"