Posts filed under ‘first mothers’
If you happen to have about 45 minutes or so…here’s a truly compelling story from NPR. This isn’t your ordinary baby-switching story. In this piece, in which all major players are interviewed, you will hear about how one of the mothers knew that her baby had been switched, but went along with her husband’s wishes not to make any waves or make the doctor look incompetent. You will really be hooked after about 5 minutes listening to this. So, grab your knitting, or fill your sink with dishes or find something to do while you listen. You’ll need something to do so you can channel your shock and outrage.
I’m having serious blogger’s block. My last post was a big giant spa treatment for my soul and since then, I’ve tried to sit down and write again, some more…something. Anything. The words, they don’t come.
So, I thought that what I could do is have a bit of an open mike jam session and put it out there to anyone reading. Since I get emails every day with some kind of question relating to my blog, why dontcha just ask me here in the comments following. Go ahead and be anonymous if ya want to. Ask me anything. Or, take me to task. Whatev.
The floor is yours…
The following will be a list of ideas and concepts to reconsider during your wait. This is, in part a reaction to the changing face of wordpress adoption blogs and it seems that we have some work to do. So, in no particular order (and feel free to add more in the comments section) here are things that PAP’s, in my opinion as both adoptee and adoptive parent, must confront before adopting.
1. She is not a birthmother if she hasn’t given birth or signed termination of parental rights. If you are ‘matched’ with a pregnant woman considering adoption, she isn’t ‘your’ birthmother and the baby isn’t yours either.
2. Also, let’s give the terms original mother, first mother and other mother a fighting chance. Consider a woman’s feelings and worth when reducing her role when you call her ‘birthmother’
3. Don’t ever breathe one single negative word about your child’s mother, father, state, country, race or culture. Not for any reason. If there are disturbing facts in the situation, state them plainly and support the feelings that may come. But don’t add commentary.
1. Tough, but the truth. No one owes you anything. Infertility does not buy you the right to parent someone else’s baby. Sucks, but there it is.
2. And this isn’t going to win over any friends, but…here it goes… God did not hand-pick, or decide to have someone else get pregnant for YOUR benefit. Believe me, I can understand how it feels that your child is perfect for you, was the missing piece in your family, or is spiritually connected to you. That still does not mean that there was a grand, benevolent or divine plan, to have a misfortune befall a woman, so that a child could fulfill your family, or so that you could feel as though you are doing what your church teaches you is right. Children are not pawns. Neither are their mothers. Also, just because you believe that children ought to have a two-parent home in which the parents are married, still does not earn you the right to dictate what ought to happen to the child.
3. Along these lines, later on in life, do not tell your child that she ‘grew in the wrong tummy’. Do not tell her that she was’chosen’. Do not tell him that you were able to give him ‘a better life’ It’s a different life…you can’t know that your family and life would be better. Don’t go into an adoption without the implicit understanding that your family will be different than if you had had children biologically. You are taking on extra responsibilities. This means that your child needs nurturing that encompasses their feelings which typically include, but are not exclusive of: lifelong feelings of rejection, insecurity, a certain ‘otherness’ and also feelings of grandiosity. Do you have a longterm plan to support your child if you begin to see these things creep up? Do not minimize the impact of adoption. Yes, even if you adopted at birth. Ask any newborn baby who they want to be with. They want to be with that lady who sounds familiar.
4. Put your infertility issues in the past. If you are adopting straight out of the doctor’s stirrups, you are setting up a highly charged situation which can propel you into unethical behavior such as coercion of a pregnant woman. Again, it isn’t appropriate for a woman to decide on adoption until after her baby is born, as well as having an advocate who is talking with her about all her options and telling her of the support available to her. If you have a serious broken heart, and a houseful of baby stuff – that’s some serious danger! danger! Will Robinson. A child you adopt should not be put to work by being there to heal the serious and lingering pain of infertility. Besides, healing doesn’t work that way anyway.
5. Do nothing but encourage honest feelings from your child about how they see their adoption.
6. Do not lie or misrepresent facts to your child. Adoption happened to your child and they had no say in the matter. Honor your child with the truth. Do as much as you can to obtain their original birth certificate.
7. If your child is old enough to know their name, which is probably younger than you might think, don’t change his name.
8. And just because you see the world and people of color as represented by a beautiful rainbow of colors does not mean that the rest of the world does. The public can be a cruel place for your child. People say stupid and racist things. Be prepared for this if you have adopted a child whose skin color does not match yours. How will you teach your child tolerance while others are being intolerant?.
Read Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew – Sherry Eldridge
Don’t read books about how you can say and do things that will speed up the process. Yes, there is a book like this.
CHECK ON YOUR AGENCY
Check with your state for any grievances or complaints on file regarding your adoption and/or placing agency. Email previous clients, find ones who are not on the provided list given to you from the agency.
In closing, this is not a transaction. We are dealing with human lives. And, as beautiful as you might see the whole idea of adoption, for those of us who have experienced the many feelings of loss because of adoption, we ask you to consider the above. Don’t strip away or deny what is real and what may be troubling for the others involved, namely your child and his or her mother. Please uphold the bond between mother and child. Celebrate family…the one you’ve created and the family that your child also has somewhere else.
If you can’t do these things, or at the very least, be willing to examine and challenge your given ideas or even your core beliefs, then you probably aren’t ready to be an adoptive parent.
…is gratitude and thankfulness. I ought to stroke my daughters’ hair and feel the softness and feel my heart melt. I love the cards I got and the beautiful picture frame that was handmade.
But I am so, so sad today. I am putting on a good show, because it’s the right thing to do. The sadness is winning right now.
My heart is broken in two for missing two mothers today.
What I want, I can’t have. What I want to do is to have my mom over for a big dinner, or to go to my childhood home and celebrate there with my daughters. Instead, I’ll drive to the cemetary that I walked through on my way home every day after school and place nasturtiums on my mohter’s grave.
I would love to call M. today and have her feel comfortable in accepting that she is a mother too. I wish that even if she rejected that she is a mother, that we could at least have a relationship. I suppose we can’t have the latter without the former. I don’t pretend to understand or know. I guess that’s the problem in the first place.
So, what I ought to feel is a whole lot of gratitude. I was never promised any children whatsoever. I have two miracle children who are healthy and happy. I ought to be praying for Isabel’s mother and sending her good thoughts and reassurance that her daughter is alright and loved and that I’m so sorry that her motherhood has not been given a chance.
I’m just so sad. It’s all so unfair, all the loss. For all of us.
Suzanne, over at Straight Down The Mountain has downright made me blush. She has nominated me for the “You- make-the-world-a-better-place” award. Holy smokes that’s fancy. So, I’ll pass on the blog lovin’ to a few people who I know without a doubt are making things better in the world.
www.actofkindness.blogspot.com John Wright and his family walk the talk. They give of their time, energy and money to the people who need it most in Kyrgyzstan. He and his group fix up properties, restore hope and provide dignity for the forgotten and needy. They bring food, vitamins, warmth, toys and money to the orphanages and baby houses in Tokmok and Orlofka. They help people who are living in the dump and have no other options. John plays with the children, reaches out to those who are sick and can’t afford healthcare. He does this because of an unwaivering belief and faith that this is what he must do. I admire him so much. He and his family are there now and I dare anyone to read his blog and not feel the same admiration and respect.
Margie over at her blog, www.thirdmom.blogspot.com is a wise, kind, funny, insightful and amazing mom and human being. I feel that she is an online mentor for me in her graceful and gentle way of interacting with other bloggers (especially ones whose opinions are different from hers) and she writes about adoptive parenthood that exemplifies respect for her children, their mothers, and their country of origin. Margie is an activist, writer and a good soul. Read her.
Judy over at www.justenjoyhim.wordpress.com makes the world a better place because of her peerless honesty, humor, chutzpah, and her all-around sassyness. Judy is another adoptive mom to Nate and I admire her parenting so much. She walks an honorable path in everything I read in how she lives her life. Right now, Judy is battling cancer and is asking the tough questions that go along with a life-threatening illness. I totally love Judy. She makes the world a better place because her writing is as big as her heart.
Lastly, but not leastly, I want to send an award out to Nicole at www.paragraphein.wordpress.com for being an incredibly brave blogger. She writes with her whole mind, heart and soul on being a relinquishing mother who regrets placing her daughter for adoption. She writes with great compassion and anger about adoption, the system that let her down over and over, difficulties and pain in open adoption, and what it all means to her. I never tire of her willingness to put it out there, and to let all comments stand, even the ones that hurt her. So, while I wish she weren’t having to write a blog about her pain, I celebrate her and I feel that she absolutely is making the world a better place by writing at length about that which must be changed in the American system of adoption.
There are many others I’d love to honor. But man, it’s late here. Four is good, right? Oh darn…I just remembered one more new-ish blogger I really like. Talk about honest. KAD blogger Kev Minh. www.borrowednotes.wordpress.com
Feast on the riches of these people.