Some Wounds Don’t Heal

Knowing what I know about adoption, I’m now against this whole thing and because of what happened, it would just be way too personal. And what happened ?, you ask. I’ll share the story of selfish points of view.

A somewhat distant cousin had wanted to adopt my oldest child when I found out I was pregnant in high school though I did not take her up on her offer. Fast forward to 2 years ago, I was again pregnant with my third child. At that time, I was highly considering adoption. I asked this cousin – knowing shes always wanted to adopt – what would happen if she adopted my baby. I was simply exploring my options. I explained to her that the only reason I was considering giving him up was because I felt like mentally and financially I couldn’t take care of 3 kids. Which was a correct assessment on my part at the time.

Allow me to explain my conditions related to a surrender –

I want to be a part of his life. I would still consider myself his mom. My motivation is for him to have a better chance. And here was her reply –

If she did adopt him – I would not be his mom. He wouldn’t know anything about me other than I was related family. I wouldn’t get visitations or special calls and pictures. I’d only see him at family reunions (get real, in my 24 years in this family, we’ve only had 1 reunion on that side and I was a kid when it happened). She said that other than that, my contact would be seeing her Facebook posts, and occasional text updates, but he would be her child and I would (in her words) “in fact no longer be his mother”. I politely said thank you but that doesn’t work for me.

She messaged me a few more times telling me to let her know if I changed my mind and how badly she “wanted this opportunity.” I kept my baby.

Since then there have been moments in spending time with my aunt (my cousin’s mom), that this has been brought up and I’m told about how much it hurt my cousin that I didn’t let her adopt my son. That “it hurt her deeply and was wrong.” Blah blah blah.

I answer, “How do you think I would have felt having to get rid of my baby? I would have been suicidal.”

Fast forward again –

My cousin has finally adopted the baby she always wanted. She is now having a baby shower, inviting everyone in my family (my aunt, cousins and step-grandma). They are all mad at me that I’m refusing to go and “celebrate this with her and her new baby.”

Back to the beginning, she says, “Knowing what I know about adoption, I’m now against this whole thing and because of what happened, it would just be way too personal.”

When one really begins to read what grown adoptees say for themselves about their experience of having been adopted and when one reads deeply some of the therapists that work with adoptees to heal their trauma, one understands why this young mother feels the way she feels. I belong to an adoption group with all aspects of the practice represented – adoptees, former foster youth, original mothers, adoptive parents and hopeful adoptive parents. This group works actively to encourage young pregnant women to keep and parent their child. Often they even supply resources for her to do so. Society should be actively trying to keep families together instead of tearing them apart. And there are reforms being promoted for dealing with the circumstances of the tragic few that have no family to go to.

4 thoughts on “Some Wounds Don’t Heal

  1. Interesting perspective. Now in reading this in being someone who could not have kids I find individuals able to have many children naturally take that for granted. Adoption is hard on kids as I work with many individuals now adults who have struggled with having been put up for adoption and so many go looking for their bio parents and sometimes are so disappointment with the parents personal story. I personally think because people can just have babies and how many they want and make whatever decision’s which that baby does not have voice as they have not been born yet. Also parents think that they did this huge favour in having the child, well there are many of us as we grow up that quietly think how selfish our parents were to have us into a world of chaos and bad parenting. Really if one can’t afford children there is contraception. I just never understood how people think to have kids and yah we will just give up for adoption. I get it in some circumstances but not all. Since these articles are here for us to share comments that is how I feel and this article made me feel. It is not intended to offend anyone and it is just my personal feelings. Have a wonderful day!


    1. I am happy to have your thoughts and feelings, LucyLu. You have caught me short on time for at least the next 24 hours or I might dig into your remarks more deeply. I’ll try to come back and do my reply better justice. Simply know you are welcome to express yourself here.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. As promised, I finally have time to attempt a decent reply to your comments, LucyLu.

      Your comment about “individuals able to have many children” caught my attention, coming as it did immediately after “being someone who could not have kids.” I have some sense of infertility. I had my biological/genetic daughter at age 19. I re-married when she was 15. She was my maid of honor. Ten years into this marriage, after he claimed he was glad I had “been there and done that” and thankful there was no pressure on him to be a father, he shocked the heck out of me that he had been thinking (after several Margaritas in a Mexican restaurant) that he wanted to be a father after all. After my mouth hung open for a few minutes in shock, I said “okay.”

      Fact is, it was too late for me to conceive naturally. Thanks to a wonderful egg donor and assisted reproduction, my husband was able to father two sons that have the exact same familial genetics. That makes me, but not my first husband who went on to father another daughter, nor my husband with two sons, reproducing more than the 2 replacement level of children. We live in complicated times.

      All of the people I know with 5 to 7 children are conservative Christians seeking to go forth and multiply the faithful (that includes the current nominee for the Supreme Court – who is also responsible for two transracial adoptions – but I’ll leave that point there in this comment). Fact is, no one is guaranteed the right to reproduce in this life. Nor will I ever believe that taking children away from their natural parents is a good thing, free of trauma. Moving on responding to more of your comment.

      It is true that not all adoptee reunions turn out happy. It happens. That doesn’t mean it is better to keep adoptees in the dark about the truth of their origins. Some don’t even discover the truth until they are cleaning out their deceased parents homes and stumble on some paperwork. What a shock and a feeling of betrayal. In our case, we’ve never hidden our sons’ origins from them. In fact, we have facilitated their connection to the egg donor by doing 23 and Me DNA analysis (after both she and my husband did theirs). Yes, it is difficult to see her listed as their “mother” but genetically that is the truth. As to my sons response, it is hard to tell. The younger one was sad he didn’t have any of my genes. But at least, honesty has ruled our choices in response to the reality.

      You are 100% correct – the children don’t have a voice because these things are adult actions. My sons didn’t have a choice but they would not exist otherwise, plain and simple. The situation is different for adoptees whose existence isn’t the question – only who raised them and what kind of childhood that afforded them and how comfortable or not they are with their own reality.

      Having a child is NEVER a favor for the child. Having a child is only a blessing for the parent. What that child’s life is like is what determines how they judge their own circumstances. I am glad we had our sons. It has deepened our marriage and provided us with a family life and they seem to have thrived in our care. But we are the ones who have been blessed. They had no obvious say (though my own spiritual beliefs tell me they did choose – just as I chose to take a chance on being born to teenage parents, who were not married at the time of my conception, and I am grateful I went for it).

      I do think about the chaos in this world (both my husband and I worry now about our sons’ future – things weren’t so grim when we decided to become parents) and certainly there is some bad parenting out there but ever has that been true. Personally, I think parents treat their children better now than decades or centuries or millennia ago. It is my belief that each generation betters the previous ones. That’s progressive evolution and I do admit to believing in that.

      It is true that contraception exists and it sometimes fails us. I know. I had an abortion when I developed an unplanned pregnancy (and I did use contraception but we were on the road and the dispatcher didn’t get me back to my pharmacy location on time) that was not developing in what I considered a normal way nor was my partner (who I was driving the 18-wheel truck with) equipped to take on fatherhood. Thanks to the Pro-Birth movement (some call it Pro-Life but that is really a misnomer) it has been a difficult decision to live with but I don’t regret doing it. I’m glad it was safe and legal in the late 1970s.

      I really don’t know of anyone who is so cavalier about having children that their intention is to just give them up for adoption. Maybe you do. You haven’t offended me – as I said – you are totally welcome and encouraged to comment. It was not my intention to offend you either. I am only speaking from my own subjective truth as best as I am able to understand it today.

      Stay safe. Be well. Best wishes always and thanks for reading and commenting !!

      Liked by 1 person

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