Monday, October 22, 2007

My Confusion Over Adoption

Update: 5 Nov 2007

I talked with one of the teachers at LittleBird's school. I know that her daughter is adopted, and I know that she is a faith-based woman. I finally asked her if, one day, we could sit for a minute and she could tell me the story of her daughter's adoption. I need to hear good stories. As we talked and I explained my conflict over the issue, she said that she had some adoption resources that might help my friend. I would love to do anything to help ease my friend's pain. To help her find a place of peace. I know it is her journey to make, but I love her and want her to be okay. And maybe in seeing her come to some kind of peaceful resolution I might feel better, too.


I am just so confused.

Over the past few months I have been introduced to the world of Adoptees Rights. To the corner of the blogosphere where the pain and anguish caused by adoption is eloquently published. It is heartbreaking to read. I was raised listening to my grandmother go on and on about the desire to adopt a child. About what a beautiful thing it is. And now I have seen the angry flip-side. The resentment. The hatred. The search for wholeness that may never come.

And it breaks my heart.

I feel like there is no right side to this situation. There are children who need homes, and there are organizations that broker those children as a commodity. Not always, but often enough.

This post has been a long time in coming, but today I reached a breaking point. My oldest friend and I spoke on the phone today. She had just finished with a baby shower for a friend who has adopted a little baby girl. The baby was born a week ago. I tried to ask a few questions--it seems like it is some kind of open adoption-type arrangement, but she didn't have a lot of time to talk. Which is probably for the best.

Because I felt sick to my stomach. I did not feel one shred of happiness for the adoptive family. I did not feel happy for the baby. I felt sick for the mother who signed her baby over to someone else.

I am afraid she was coerced. I am afraid that she is sitting at home dying inside because she handed her child over. She may be happy to have it done with, but I do not know that.

I think part of it is because I am only a year away from my last birth experience. And I cannot put myself in another woman's shoes. I am too emotionally close to the birth of my children not to see it through my own filter and not in an objective manner. I do not know much about the circumstances under which the birth parents gave up this baby. Save that the father is going to be "allowed" to write his daughter letters up until a certain point. Then he will be required to stop. And that my friend kept referring to the "threat" of the birth mother, and when that would be finished. This woman gave the child life. How can you call her a threat? I know the argument because I used to be there. I used to be blissfully ignorant of the other side. Now it just fills me with sadness.

My husband and I considered adoption. When we thought I could not conceive, we briefly talked about the possibility. I am just in such a fucked up head space over the whole issue now that I selfishly am happy that I never had to go down that road. Because I do not know how I could have adopted knowing what I know now. To think that my child would grow up to hate me. For thinking that I wrenched them away from their bio parents. I read all of these terrible (and very valid) things that adoptees write about and I think Holy shit! That was almost me. They could have been talking about me.

I know that not all adoptees out there feel that way. But there is so much anger and sadness on this issue that I am having a hard time finding a balance. I do not know that I will ever come to a good place about this. I know so many women with infertility issues. And I think they have the right to raise a child just as anyone else does. But how can I learn to be happy for them? How can I see the positive? Everyone's situation is different--I just need to find a healthy way to balance how I feel.


Heather said...

You know, I have to be honest here. My mother gave up the baby she had out of wedlock for adoption. Back in 1965, she had an affair with a married man and knew she couldn't raise the baby on her own. She's a big advocate for the adoptive parents and the child never knowing ANYTHING about the biological parents. As far as she's concerned, her little boy had a better life than she could have given him and she doesn't want him looking for her because his adoptive parents are his parents.

Ty-man and I wanted to adopt and if we still do, it will be out of country because adoptive parents don't have any rights in the US. Adopt a baby, get attached, baby gets ripped from you when biological parents change their minds. It's not right for anyone.

Hope I haven't offended.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

You haven't offended at all!! I really appreciate your input. It is stories like these I need to hear. Stories that the mom is totally okay with the adoption process. That she hasn't regretted it her whole life and that it ruined her psyche. Thank you for putting this out here for me to read.

I think the only different perspective on this I would have is the necessity of medical records. For example, there is childhood leukemia in my husband's family. And diabetes has affected every single person in my dad's family. For me, medical history is a big issue. I wish there were some way to preserve the anonymity of the bio parents who adopted way back in the day without giving any other personal information. Or maybe there is?

Heather said...

I do agree with opening up the medical records without giving out any other personal information. One of my sorority sisters had been adopted and was trying to obtain the medical records of her biological parents to find out what was going on with her. Other than that, she didn't want to know about them. So, I agree with you there.

Other than that, open adoptions are, I think, really weird. Admirable, but weird. I couldn't do it. As an adoptive parent, I would be paranoid that someday the biological parents would replace me in my child's eyes.

Yep, that's me, paranoid. :-)