What Do You Expect ?

A comment was shared that read – “I would love to know what you expect for people who don’t want their child to do ? Trash can or abortion ?”

One reply – As an answer to “what would you expect…?” I would simply say that I expect any woman who is choosing to continue a pregnancy would be offered resources FIRST to ensure she feels capable and supported in the “default” choice to parent. If an expectant mom (and dad, if he’s in the picture/available/found) truly and genuinely refuses/chooses not to parent – then options can be explored, starting with the least traumatic. I expect good humans to not take advantage of someone else’s hardship, or encourage/manipulate an expectant parent to permanently separate from their child due to lack of resources.

Another reply – The separation of mother and child at infancy changes how your brain is hardwired because the child is put into a fight or flight mode and grows knowing that as it’s baseline of emotion for life. So yes, literally a lifetime of trauma. I am a functioning adult in spite of the trauma of being handed to strangers at 5 days old.  The trauma can be managed. I think you can learn to coexist with it. But I don’t think it ever heals and goes away. It’s always there.

Another – I’d remind the poster that the number of babies that are found in dumpsters / trash cans are few and a unique situation. Let’s focus on vulnerable young girls/women who seek an adoption agency due to many reasons – mostly resources and money – creating fear and panic. This is the primary reason mothers and newborns are separated. It is money / profit focused (agency & attorneys) swooping in to “help” the expectant mom see how worthless she is and how magnificent the 30-40 COUPLES competing for her baby are!!!!

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.

Not Always Sunshine and Rainbows

From a foster youth’s perspective –

Hello all! I’m a 22 year old female that started my journey in foster care at the tender age of 4 years old. My parents were addicts which seems to be the case for most kids in care. Most children are set up to fail and they assume where they may end up will be much better then where they come from and thus sadly wasn’t my truth.

I luckily only ended up in two foster homes but one became long term until I was essentially kicked out at 17 because my foster mother no longer was getting benefits for me.. she will not admit that but it’s the truth.

She took in me and my bio brother, she had two golden children of her own and always made it a point at any given time to segregate us. Her children could do no wrong and me and my bio brother often got the brunt of things. Punishments often included cold showers, forced to eat food we didn’t like, public humiliation, physical and emotional abuse.. I remember a lot of name calling, threatening behaviors and often time ignoring my need for love and attention. I was often berated over my weight even though now looking back I was an average child along with my brother.

I was told around 9-10 that they would love to adopt us and make us “part of the family” only to turn around a week later and say “we decided we won’t be adopting you because the financial burden would be to much and we get money for you now”.

That always weighed heavy on my heart as a child, I felt like a pay check to them and never truly wanted.

Fast forward to my teens I began to search for my bio parents, with a failed attempt on bio moms side.. but found my father and started building a decent relationship.. it strange how I felt an instant connection even though I hadn’t seen him since I was 6-7. He passed away this past November and we were finally at a peaceful place in our relationship and I’m now dealing with another wave of grief and abandonment even though this time I know it’s not by choice.

My bio mother still remains a mystery to me that I hope some day I can figure out and fill that empty place in my heart. I just wanted to write this to let people know adoption and foster care is not always the sunshine and rainbows you see on tv and often times can leave children with scars that last way into adulthood.

Please protect us, protect the little girl I was, protect us at all cost and try to understand our hurt.