Not Every Situation Works Out

It can be heartbreaking. Case in point –

We were matched with an expectant mother 2.5 years ago who chose to parent. We understood and gave her all the things we had for the baby. We checked in on her legitimately a few times to offer help, but she blocked us – which I also understood. This was not a $50,000 agency adoption. She found us on social media. During the time we got to know her, we also got to know her sister who we have remained Facebook friends with. The sister recently reached out to ask how we were doing. In that conversation she shared that soon after her niece was born, her sister got into a bad relationship and started using drugs. Her child was taken by Child Protective Services, the Termination of her Parental Rights by court order occurred and the foster parents adopted the child. The sister was complaining that at first the foster family let them have visits, but they were super uncomfortable, seemed sketchy, and have since blocked contact with the child’s biological family.

I do advocate for moms to keeping and raising their babies. The woman above asked, “but what about situations like this?” and goes on to make a point that there are some moms that do not do well parenting or maybe their circumstances change. That maybe she wasn’t as able to parent though she thought she was.

A really good response to this story acknowledged that the woman telling this story was really trying to learn and wrap their head around breaking out of the whole “rainbow and butterfly” narrative (what adoptees often refer to as the societal adoption myth). I believe you are mature enough to understand that there is always going to be a “not“ situation that falls into a gap. I have a sibling who could perhaps fall into that not all situation… (and in fact this blog author does too.) To answer your question… Yes, there are probably situations involving parents who don’t want to raise their children. Some parents believe the narrative that giving a baby for adoption is better than having an abortion. Some parents, maybe in this particular situation, decided to parent the child because they honestly feel that’s what is in the best interest of their child and it was. Here’s the reality – being in an abusive relationship can change the victim’s mentality. A person trapped in such a relationship can literally become someone you would no longer recognize and someone they never intended to be. So again… Had this child remained with the mother and had she received the kind of support and assistance she needed when she need it including how to get away from her abusive partner, this story would have had a good outcome. There are so many women in situations that really could use help. There are a bunch of places where the system fails to help. And in her case, those failures resulted in the termination of her parental rights. I immediately wonder why this woman’s sister wasn’t contacted to foster this child who is her kin. Why was this sister not encouraged to adopt this child? It’s too late for answers to these questions. I’m just saying there were so many ways in which this one child was failed by a seriously flawed system. The trauma will be huge over the child and her mother’s lifetimes.

What Makes It Matter ?

My husband said to me yesterday that even though he did years of research and knows a lot about his lineage, his ancestors don’t really matter all that much to him.  I would hasten to add he only ever cared about the paternal line that carries the surname.  I find it interesting that I focus on my maternal line.  Maybe it is a gender difference.  I don’t really know.

However, this is how I answered him.  You always knew you could know if you wanted to.  Nothing was kept un-accessible to you.  With adoption, we know that we don’t know.  There is a void we can’t get beyond.  I think it is the knowledge that we should be able to know that hurts us.  I told him that most people have the right to know their origins but adoptees are treated like 2nd class citizens with rights removed from them.  I continue to believe this is very wrong.

A friend recently made a starting discovery that her assumed father was not her real father and yesterday she had an interesting discussion on her page.  She shared – “When I was two weeks old I came out of the body and saw the man I was told was my father – and I didn’t like him! I saw the back of his head and I asked, ‘who is this man?’ That was right after I asked, ‘how am I thinking with an adult consciousness at two weeks old?’ ….and for all my life I kept bringing up the fact that it is strange you have to ‘learn’ who your father is.”

The discussion entered a decidedly metaphysical perspective that I do not disagree with.  She went on to admit – “This long-term frustration sometimes eats at you. You HAVE to find the right place for all that has taken place. By working with the truth you put yourself at least back in line with truth. And even though you missed out on what YOU might have chosen, you feel back in line with it.”

A commentor on that thread said, “We sell babies (our most valuable and precious treasures) away to complete strangers! And people cheer for this and view it as a proper solution. Imagine the trauma of that infant (yes, with an “adult consciousness”) trying to work out the confusion of the lost mother? The lost voice and heartbeat and body rhythm and smell that he or she knew as THEIR OWN?  And of course we know our fathers as intimately too! What a missing to be deprived of that!”

This is the inconvenient truth – adoption is SELLING babies.

She added, “Our family bonds are strong, eternal and unbreakable. We are linked in a timeless and beautiful way. I desire a society that KNOWS this. Honors this. Teaches this. Pregnancy and birth is not to be feared or hated. At the moment we live in an opposite world that is deeply out of alignment. It breaks my heart.”

There was more in that discussion, such thoughts as –

I come back to bloodline. It goes further back than your “father” or your “mother,” there are ancestors probably checking on you. You belong to a line of people – so I believe.  There are things in the blood. You do have a different intelligence and inclinations according to what family you are born from.  It is plain to me that your heritage is what you are and a deep and significant part of who you are.  Knowing what is natural to you, what is making you you, what you can draw on, what is TRUE to your origins does matter.

Serious irreparable psychological damage could be done to a child / adult if they don’t know for certain who their biological father or mother is. What’s the first thing adopted kids do when they discover they’ve been adopted. They try to hunt down their biological parentage. It’s like a instinctual drive.  People seek out their biological parents to iron out and get the real story, make a picture that is TRUE, creating images where there is a blank. and I think there can be hopes to heal.

What most stands out to me is how little EVERYONE cares about the child itself. The child’s reality and truth. People seem to think they can draw whatever they want on the child and do what they wish and that child will simply accept it.  Babies and young children are NOT a blank slate.

Sibling Separation

One of the impacts of adoption can be a separation of siblings.  The struggles of a mother to keep and raise her child are temporary in nature – though it may not seem that way at the time.

I believe my dad’s mom did her best to keep him but in the end, The Salvation Army’s approach did not support her intention.  She gave birth to my dad in one of their homes for unwed mothers having discovered herself pregnant due to an affair with a married man much older than her.  Therefore, she did not even seek his assistance but in her very self-sufficient way dealt with her circumstances alone.

After a period of time bonding with her son, she was released with him with the expectation that she would be able to live with a cousin geographically nearby.  I think she found little patience there.  She applied for a job with The Salvation Army and was accepted and transferred, still with my dad in tow, from San Diego California to El Paso Texas.

By the time he was 8 months old, my dad was legally the ward of The Salvation Army.  My granny went there for a child to raise (after my dad was adopted, she went there for another child to be his brother).  I don’t know what it cost her but maybe less than some of the other options.

My dad never seemed much interested in his original family.  He was actually adopted twice when my granny had to throw the abusive alcoholic she had been married to out for the well being of her sons and then met and married a different man.  My dad was devoted to them and supported them genuinely as they aged.

Unknown to my dad at the time he died, a half-sister was living 90 miles away that could have told him a lot about his mother, his other older sister and a brother.  I find it sad but that was the reality.