talking adoption

is getting easier and more frequent.  Blogging has been invaluable in helping me sort through my thoughts and feelings about it, which enables me to express myself more freely.

This shook me.  A couple days ago I witnessed a woman asking my teacher for advice on how to fill the void of her missing children.  She hasn’t seen her children for five years!  They are now 10 and 13.  She was beginning to consider adopting so she would have a child to love.  Though my inner voice was yelling at her, I stayed calm outwardly.  I watched and listened.  I listened to her story while I yelled at her inside myself.  I listened to my teacher asking her questions.  I listened while he gently guided her to look at the fact that she was abandoning her living children.  Never a harsh word spoken, but the message so clear.  You have alternatives you haven’t yet explored.  There are ways for you to reach out to your children, now.  Get help to connect with your children.  She tried several times to redirect or to reinterpret the message that she could somehow get new children.  Maybe she could become pregnant.  Maybe there was a child “waiting for her”.  Now I was inwardly gagging as well as yelling, and getting my shoulders all bunched up.  Still, gently, he was guiding her to see the children she believed were taken from her by her threatening ex husband are HER children.  She can gather up a posse and go see them.  All my rage and righteous indignation receded slowly.  This is the quality of loving that I am privy to,  an unwavering goodness in attendance to what is.

Yesterday, chatting at a reception a new friend said that while it’s all well and good that gay marriage is now legal in CA, they should be allowed to adopt as freely as hetero couples do too.  Well, my practice of telling anyone who brings it up, that I am boycotting the movie Juno, has strengthened my resolve.  I took that opportunity to tell her that my p.o.v. about adoption reform is strictly in the area of family preservation, that couples that can’t have children of their own have driven the adoption industry and commodified babies, using the example of Madonna flouting Malawian  law.  I could hardly believe I was standing in a lovely garden after a beautiful “celebration of life” of a dear friend’s husband, and saying absolutely shocking things as though I was perfectly reasonable.  And I was perfectly reasonable.  It wasn’t as smooth as I’d like it to be.  I need more practice before the words just roll out.  But I was calm and coherent and happy for anyone to overhear me.

I’m just getting started.

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8 responses to “talking adoption

  1. I share your pro family preservation view and have worked for decades and continue to dedicate my life to eradicating exploitation, corruption and profiteering in adoption.

    However, hearing that story second hand, I could not help but relate to the woman’s pain of having lost her children. She is suffering serious grief having lost multiple children whom she had a bond with. That is a grievous loss.

    I certainly agree with the gently prodding of your teacher that she needs to focus on them and not replacing them and understand that “replacing” them is her way of coping. For some it is denial, for some very serious depression – even suicide from such a loss (I know I was there after a divorce and attempted it).

    We each cope as we cope. I was married 3 years after losing my fist child to adoption. Two years later, settled into our lovely suburban home ad wanting to start a fmaily, I found myself calling adoption agencies. Somehow, in my mind at that time it seemed I could “redeem” myself in this manner. Also, without conscious awareness, I asked for children about 3 years old!

    I feel nothing but compassion for this woman and feel her great need for good counseling. I surely hope she does not do a replacement, and yet I have met mothers who lost a child to adoption who did complete an adoption of a child ….adoptees as adults do it too. It makes the first loss somehow “right” or justifiable.

  2. Oh Mirah, I know what you mean. For a long time that I saw the adopting as a way to “pay back” for what I’d done by relinquishing, trying to assuage my feelings.

    It was shortsighted.

    My difficulty is my own questioning of how I can more effectively support and balance. I was inspired by the seeds planted in her mind and the support for her make contact with her kids more important than her fears and discouragement.

  3. I’m sorry to comment on your post in a totally unrelated way, but your inbox at the forum is full! Can you please email me – you should have my address from the comment. Thanks!

  4. I think maybe I am having my honeymoon period now, just a bit late, but better because it is not indiscriminate.

  5. When you come up with some smooth conversation tricks, can you coach me? The last fight I had a dinner party was over the movie Juno. How my friends could think I would like that movis is beyond me, based on my current reunion hell.
    I ended up hearing my voice escalate, making really irrational arguments and bursting into tears.
    I’m a conversation stopper, let me tell you.

  6. Alisha, I try to surround myself with somewhat sensitive people. So far simply ‘announcing’ that I am boycotting THAT MOVIE, has stopped conversation in its tracks, at least until I’m out of earshot.

  7. Hello! I wanted to drop you a quick message letting you know about a new Social Network for Adoptees, called AdopteeNetwork.com.

    http://adopteenetwork.com

    If you’d like any more information, feel free to contact me personally @ johnsaddington@gmail.com. I’d love to discuss how we can work together!

    John

  8. Wow! This is an honest post. I wish I knew someone like your teacher.Somebody who does not appear brash yet put the point across! Have to learn that art! I join you in boycotting Juno!

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