I chose this image because I like trees and Adoption is NOT the main focus. From a perspective of balance and fairness, as it was recently pointed out to me that I might be too negative (though I don’t necessarily believe that), I thought I might comment on the adoptions that have occurred in my own family and their outcomes – briefly.
First, my mom. Her mom did not intend to lose her. I cannot view the exploitation, trap and pressure she faced as being in any way voluntary on my grandmother’s part. My mom was pure and simple – taken away – from her. Not because of any wrongdoing on my grandmother’s part. She was a good mother doing the best that she could under difficult circumstances. My mom was adopted by a banker and his socialite wife. She had many opportunities that she may not have had in her original circumstances. She was troubled at the thought she had been stolen, as she tried to understand the circumstances of her becoming adopted and was denied her own adoption file by the state of Tennessee, until they decided to open the files later on because of the scandal my mom’s adoption had been part of.
Next, my dad. His mom was unwed but she left the Salvation Army Door of Hope in Ocean Beach California with my dad. She went to some cousins who it appears were unwilling to help her. So she applied for employment with the Salvation Army and was transferred to El Paso Texas with my dad in tow. However it happened, she was convinced to give up my dad and he was adopted by the amazing woman I knew as my Granny. She survived an abusive, alcoholic husband, divorced him, found a better man and my dad therefore ended up adopted twice and got a new name when he was already 8 years old. He fully accepted his adoption and never showed any inclination to know more of the details. Sadly, he had a half-sister living 90 miles from him when he died who could have shared so much with him about what his original mother was like.
Then, a niece. My sister did not want to surrender her child to adoption but my adoptee mom convinced her that it was for the best. It was a very secretive thing within our family. I was told that my niece had died at birth and that never felt accurate in my own heart. Eventually, the truth came out, she was able to reunite with us and has been a wonderful addition to our family that we love very much. She seems to have had a good enough childhood and has become an amazing mom to her own two children.
Then, a nephew. This is not the same sister but my youngest sister. Understandably, adoption was the most normal thing in our family and I was close to my sister during her pregnancy. She vetted hopeful couples. Chose the best she was able to do with the information she received. Her life became complicated and unfortunate. He has been loved and his adoptive mother has always supported his desire to know his origins. He is an EMT and a firefighter and an amazing and sweet young man.
Adoption has worked out well enough in my own family. The results have produced good parents (at least for 3 out of the 4, the last one hasn’t married yet). It is what it is. We have a large extended family – extra grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins – as a result. I love them all.