Short on time today, I googled Christmas Adoptions and found this LINK>5 Holiday and Christmas Movies About Adoption at Adoptions with Love. No personal comments or perspectives today – again no time. Just bringing in the website description.
#2 – The Family Stone
Everett Stone – one of five adult children – brings his girlfriend, Meredith, home to meet the family for Christmas. Nervous and desperate to make a good first impression, Meredith fails to make a positive mark on the family.
One night, around the family table, the uncomfortable vibe in the room comes to a head, when Meredith asks Everett’s brother, Thad, about his forthcoming adoption with boyfriend, Patrick. She asks whether they believe in “nature vs. nurture” in regard to raising a child in a gay household. Questioning herself, Meredith suggests theories that homosexuality may be influenced by one’s home environment. The family works to lighten the conversation and joke that the matriarch, Sybil, had hoped that all three of her sons would grow up to be gay. Meredith questions this statement, suggesting that no parent would really “want that” for their child. Her comments offend Thad and Patrick, and enrage Sybil and family patriarch, Kelly. Sybil and Kelly shout at Meredith, and she runs off from the table feeling awful.
There are many important lessons within this scene. Once Meredith leaves the room, Sybil reminds her son, Thad, how deeply and completely she loves him. Sybil and Kelly are proud of their son. They support his same-sex relationship and are happy to see their child moving toward parenthood and toward the loving choice of adoption.
Meredith did not mean to offend or hurt anyone in the family. She was simply uneducated. She did not understand why her comments were hurtful and how off-base she was in sharing them. This is an important lesson in “listen and learn” when it comes to supporting LGBTQ+ families.
Before the film ends, Thad and Patrick return to Kelly’s house with their adopted child in tow. At the uncomfortable dinner scene, Thad and Patrick are asked whether they have a preference of the race of the child – since they are an interracial couple. They simply answer that they do not care one way or the other. They will love the child no matter the skin color. When the couple arrives with their baby, we see that he is black. This is a great example of a happy and loving transracial adoptive family.
Not my usual kind of story for today but this man was definitely missing his Mom. When his father died of cancer, his mother informed him that she was not his real mother and he was the result of an affair between his father and a Scottish nurse. He was 23 years old.
He was granted refugee status by Belgium in 1981 and tried to travel on to Britain to find his real mother, whom he believed resided in Glasgow. He discarded his identification papers onboard an England-bound ship in the belief he would no longer require them. He was mistaken and this rendered him into a stateless limbo.
Repeatedly refused admittance to the UK and sent back to Belgium or France, he eventually gave up his quest and settled into a life in exile in August 1988 at Charles de Gaulle Airport. In 1992, a French court ruled that Nasseri had entered the airport legally as a refugee and could not be expelled from it. At Charles de Gaulle, he spent most of his time on a red bench on the lower floor of terminal 1. He was known to decline donations and gifts but did accept the occasional meal voucher from airport staff. He lived in the airport’s Terminal 1 from 1988 until 2006, first in legal limbo because he lacked residency papers and later by choice.
His saga inspired a movie by Steven Spielberg called The Terminal starring Tom Hanks. He ended up in a hospital for an operation. Then moved to a hotel near the airport, paid for with the money he’d received from the film rights. When that ran out, he moved to a shelter for homeless people. In recent weeks, he returned to living at the airport again. He died on Saturday around midday after suffering a heart attack in the airport’s Terminal 2F.
~ RIP ~ Mehran Karimi Nasseri Asked by a journalist in 2003 whether he felt angry about having lost 15 years of his life at an airport terminal, he replied: “No angry. I just want to know who my parents are.” Maybe he has now been reunited with his Scottish mother and will have learned the full truth from his Iranian father.
Awareness of this effort is new to me today but it IS still National Adoption Awareness Month and it’s original purpose was to find homes for kids in foster care, instead of letting them age out of the system. This effort comes from Arkansas, a state I have lived in, have genetic roots to and neighbors my home state of Missouri.
Project Zero began as the Pulaski County Adoption Coalition, over 15 years ago, to further the cause of adoption in our county and state. The coalition was made up of adoption professionals, ministry and organizational leaders, DCFS staff, attorneys, adoptive parents, foster parents, and others who were passionate about adoption. In 2009, our coalition obtained it’s 501c3 non-profit status and pushed forward with new ideas and opportunities.
As time went on we realized that, although many of our events were productive, there was more work that needed to be done in the effort to link waiting children and adoptive families. Project Zero was born in the fall of 2011 as a result of that need for change. Project Zero became the ramped-up, overhauled, and statewide version of the coalition with a renewed goal to deliberately and purposefully pursue out-of-the-box ways to find forever families for kids in foster care who are waiting.
I should add that my mom’s half-sister Javene, who lived and died in Arkansas, adopted two children as well. It just seems that adoption really does run in my family (both of my parents were adoptees and both of my sisters gave up babies to adoption). Even so, I do struggle with the way adoption has been and do believe in a need to reform the practice.
Project Zero has a LINK> YouTube channel. Here’s one for National Adoption Month – a music video titled Hold My Hand. The kids speak and it IS heartbreaking.
Almost every Thursday (though I sometimes have weeks long gaps or skip a week), I query literary agents for representation of my third revision of my family’s adoption story. I do not intend to revise it again and if I do not succeed, I’ll simply print a copy for my daughter and for my family of today and be done with it. I do not intend to be pessimistic but at this point, I simply go through the motions like it is my “job” – and in a very real way it is. My husband has taken over most of our businesses functions to leave me plenty of time to write and he remains more hopeful about a positive outcome than I do.
Yesterday, I got the quickest rejection yet – like in minutes. Sharlene Martin of LINK> Martin Literary Management sent me this email – “I’m sorry but I recently did Jane Blasio’s book, Taken at Birth, and this would present a conflict of interest for me.” I didn’t know that of course, just sort of got lucky in choosing her (one of the challenges is deciding which literary agent to query). So, I looked into the author and saw that her book was published in July 2021. That is the closest I’ve ever come to finding a literary agent interested in the topic. I don’t know whether to feel encouraged or not at this point.
I was already aware of the story of the Hicks Clinic in McCaysville Georgia before yesterday evening. Dr Hicks was the Georgia Tann of Memphis Tennessee’s compatriot – with similar practices but in a different state, each seeking to grab their share of a lucrative exploitation of babies and hopeful adoptive parents. Adoptive homes are often an expression of secrecy, lies and shame. Everyone living there is living a false reality. Sadly, adoption is often not much different than human trafficking.
LINK> Jane Blasio is not the only adoptee to uncover the truth of their childhood as an adult. It can be quite unsettling for the person who discovers their parents were not the ones they were born to. These adoptees are often referred to as Late Discovery. Dr Thomas Jugarthy Hicks would tell his expectant patient that their newborn child had died at birth and then, sell their baby out the back door of his clinic to the hopeful adoptive parents.
Jane’s own story is that, at the age of six, she learned she was adopted. At fourteen, she first saw her birth certificate. This led her to begin piecing together the true details of her origins. It took decades of personal investigation to discover the truth. Along the way, she identified and reunited other victims of the Hicks Clinic human trafficking scheme. She became an expert in illicit adoptions, telling her story to every major news network that would have her. Her book is a remarkable account of one woman’s tireless quest for truth, justice, and resolution.
I first roughed out my family’s adoption story in November of 2017 using the NaNoWriMo effort to jumpstart it with 50,000 words and the title Lost Chances: Frances Irene Moore’s Georgia Tann Story. In 2021, I submitted a short version of 8,431 words titled With Luck and Persistence (my completed manuscript is 87,815 words) to the Jeffrey E Smith Editor’s Prize with The Missouri Review. This year I am doing a very brief version, less than 1,500 words, for the True Family Stories contest with the Kingdom Writer’s Guild titled Surprised by the Miracle. The prize is nothing to get excited about but my husband long ago suggested I write a version for Christians, so this is that – where I won’t make an issue against adoption – I’ll only focus on the miracle that I didn’t end up adopted as well. All this to say, I can’t say I won’t re-write it in some form again but I won’t revise the long manuscript again or try to shop it if this effort ultimately fails. I still think I have a good story but the challenge is getting anyone else to believe that.
I was reminded today of Georgia Tann’s belief that taking babies from poor families and placing them in wealthier circumstances improved their outcome. Totally not a provable theory but never the less. An adoptee was asking about the effects of changes in socio-economic mobility in subsequent generations for the children and grandchildren of adoptees. I watched the Mary Tyler Moore movie about Georgia Tann on YouTube one night during my roots discovery journey in 2017.
I responded from my own circumstances as the child of adoptee parents (both) – My mom was a Georgia Tann adoptee and would have grown up in poverty had she remained with her original mother’s family. That is what I have been informed by genetic family I’m in reunion with. Her adoptive parents were a banker and his socialite wife. My dad’s socio-economic situation was relatively the same as it would have been if he remained with his natural mother (he was adopted out of The Salvation Army). His adoptive parents had a home based entrepreneurial business and never had any wealth but managed to buy a house. We witnessed two very different socio-economic worlds growing up. My dad was union at a refinery. My mom went to work while we were yet young. We didn’t have a lot growing up but enough. Both of my parents got “some” inheritance when their adoptive parents died. Some is locked up in a trust to be divided by 5 grandchildren when my mom’s adoptive brother dies (generation skipping). I think our perspective was broadly balanced. But whatever residual economic improvement was slight, if any.
Today, I found an interesting LINK> blog – Until We Learn from the Legacy of Georgia Tann, We’re Doomed to Repeat It by (I believe) Rebecca Vahle who is the admin for the “Family to Family Support Network. She describes her own self this way – an adoptive parent since 1998, the founder of a hospital-based adoption support program since 2004, a radio host hearing 5 years of stories of people impacted since the era of Georgia Tann. In addition, I have trained thousands of nurses in adoption-sensitive care in Women’s Centers around the country. I have heard stories coast-to-coast from mothers, fathers, adoptees, birth mothers, birth fathers and adoptive families, and I have seen first-hand the invasion of technology in this process. Yes, it has been an invasion. The Internet has poured gasoline on the embers of Georgia Tann’s legacy and until we address what it happening, I worry her legacy of corruption will continue.
She refers to the books by Lisa Wingate – the fictional but accurate Before We Were Yours I have read (and it was riveting for me). She then offers perspectives on “Why & How Georgia Tann’s Legacy Continues.” You can read through them at the link. Her bottom line was this – “When couples don’t know what they don’t know and, like myself, find out too late that their adoption placement was saturated with unethical tactics and financial profits for the agency.” She adds – We cannot look away, justify behaviors, ignore the impact of the Internet and discount the shadow of Georgia Tann that continues to fall across portions of the infant adoption industry.
Understandably, she is promoting her own efforts of providing a hospital-based standardized program of training for healthcare professionals. This blog is not a recommendation – just bringing awareness only.
I had to google the meaning when I came across this today. It is easy enough to find so I won’t repeat it.
The adoptee story today is about a transracial adoptee who has the unique physical characteristic of having blue eyes which is unexpected given her nationality. Her adoptive mother also has blue eyes and this causes some understandable misconceptions but she will always offer the explanation if it seems relevant.
It is amazing how often people see into other people what they want to see. My sons do not have my DNA and they know the whole story about how and why they don’t. We’ve often had strangers remark that one of my sons favors my husband and the other favors me but the truth is that they genuinely can and do favor their dad in some way or other but neither is a carbon copy of him. The funniest one I get when I am with my sons is about being their grandmother. Since I am ALSO a grandmother, that is what I answer, while correcting the misconception, saying that I AM their mother. I carried them in my womb, I nursed them at my breast and I have been here for them 24/7 all of their lives (they are now 18 and 21).
So this adoptee’s very young cousin said he wished he had his mom’s eye color like this adoptee got her adoptive mother’s eye color. She told him honestly that the woman who gave birth to her didn’t have that color of eyes either. That it was just a coincidence. Her cousin asked further questions and she answered honestly. That she had come from a different country and that is why she looks different from him and from her adoptive family. She explained that their DNA was different. He was young enough that after her explanation, he just went back to playing with his Legos because he was satisfied.
Later, her aunt (this cousin’s mother) expressed her disapproval to the adoptee. She said that the adoptee didn’t have to tell the boy that she was not her mother’s “real” daughter. The adoptee affirmed that she didn’t say it that way. The aunt was unhappy that the adoptee would admit to other people that her unusual eye color (blue) didn’t come from her adoptive mother. That separating herself that way from the rest of the family was hurtful to all of them.
This story reminds me of the Toni Morrison novel – The Bluest Eye – that I read (it is a very sad and disturbing story). This adoptee says that her adoptive father used to sing Elton John’s song Blue Eyes to her. The adoptee said AITA for saying I’m adopted ? I didn’t know this song until today.
Infant adoption has long been big business in the US. Each year, over 1 million hopeful adoptive parents place their well-crafted, picture-perfect profiles into the online, independent adoption pool, hoping to be the chosen ones. However, fewer than one percent of unplanned pregnancies result in adoption. This means that most hoping to adopt will not, but supply would equal demand if the adoption industry had its way. The cost of an infant adoption in America runs between $40,000 and $70,000. Adoption entities – crisis pregnancy centers, agencies, lawyers, social workers, and independent facilitators – can all profit from a finalized adoption.
All You Have Is Love explores the challenges of an unexpected pregnancy and examines how adoption professionals use deceptive tactics to convince women that their children are better off being raised in an adoptive family. Through interviews with birth family members, industry professionals, and reform advocates, this documentary film will reveal the adoption process that so often exploits expectant mothers. The film identifies the various entities involved in the industry, exposes the myth of “open” adoption, and presents and evaluates proposed regulations and reforms.
I found much of this discussion helpful and so I am sharing it for today’s blog.
The original comment –
My 17 year old son adopted from foster care at 15, after 8 years in care. 2 failed adoptive placements before and he was living in residential treatment for 15 months before he transitioned to my home. He’s been with me for 2 years in total. He has not had contact with any biological family in 5+ years and did not have consistent care givers for the first 7 years of his life. He expresses hate towards his biological family and will not discuss with me.
He’s dealing with depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Although I believe the depression is very long term, today is the first day he has ever said it out loud. He had actively denied it previously. I also deal with depression and the sentiment he described of feeling like nothing even matters is something I’m very familiar with. He’s been let down so many times and I often tell him he’s had a very normal reaction to abnormal circumstances. He is so afraid to hope. He is in weekly therapy and working with psychiatrist. I feel like tonight him acknowledging his depression was a really big step forward. I am trying to help him navigate depression and be more hopeful. He is incredibly intelligent and capable and could really pursue so many opportunities and be well supported in whatever he chooses. He’s sabotaging himself instead. He is an older teenager navigating the transition to adulthood. Thank you for sharing any thoughts.
Response from an Adoptee with Depression and ADHD –
Just to translate some of what you’re saying here and how it may come across. You may not say these things out loud but “could really pursue so many opportunities and be well supported” tells me you probably imply these things:
“You could do so much more if you’d just apply yourself.”
*I’m never going to be good enough*
“Why are you struggling with something this basic”
*I’m stupid and can’t do basic things*
“You self-sabotage a lot”
*Push past burnout and ignore self-care*
My support network lets me move at my own pace. Also learning that I can’t brute force my way past ADHD by being “Intelligent” has helped.
No one really figures shit out until their 20s. Heck – I didn’t figure out anything until my 30s. Gen Z just has more pressure because you can’t live off the salary from an entry level job anymore.
The original commenter replied –
I definitely think this is something I’m struggling with and I appreciate your translation. I think what’s hard for me is that he is 17 but in many way operating as someone much younger. However he has the expectation the he be treated like every other 17 year old. We are fighting regularly because I won’t let him get a driver’s permit or I set structures around bedtime and Internet and he wants freedom. I’m very comfortable trying to meet him where he is and help him grow at whatever rate he grows. But he wants adult freedom and responsibility – he’s simply not ready for and it feels negligent on my part to just give him that because of his age. So I’m trying to help him set meaningful goals for himself, so that he can work towards the things he says he wants but it seems that his depression is a major barrier to working towards those goals.
I’m not rushing him to figure it out or trying to prescribe specific goals. I’m trying to support him in doing what he says he wants to do and having the freedom he wants to have. As a single parent, I’d love for him to have a driver’s license, just as much as he wants it. But how do I help him be ready for that, when the depression he’s experiencing seems to suck any motivation to do the work ?
Response from an Adoptee with Depression and ADHD –
Why can’t he have a learner’s, if you don’t mind me asking ?
People with ADHD (and often undiagnosed co-morbidities) struggle with being infantilized.
You’re talking about controlling bed time when ADHD can come with delayed circadian rhythm and insomnia.
Yes – ADHD often means you have issues keeping up with organizational skills, goal management, emotional regulation and peer relationships. That doesn’t mean you treat that person like a young child. In an environment where controlled exploration is allowed, you develop coping skills.
ADHD – ESPECIALLY as a teenager – means you’re fighting yourself for control of a brain that seems constantly against you. Emotions are hard to regulate. Your rewards system is fucked. Object permanence is a myth. Time is an abstract concept I’ve yet to grasp.
How can you expect a 17 year old to be motivated to control things that are hard and wield an intangible reward like “opportunities,” if he can’t have any control over what’s in front of him that matters.
“Opportunities” offers no tangible reward. My ADHD/PTSD/Depression brain looks at basic chores and goes, “I don’t get why that matters.”
I’m an adult. With therapy and support, I’ve found ways around that. But I also found it after I started having my own boundaries and stopped infantilizing myself.
Meaningful goals don’t work with ADHD. They just put things behind a glass wall you’ll never break. You get frustrated and give up easier.
You need to give him simple goals he can succeed at to build self confidence.
Don’t make freedom a “reward”. It breeds resentment. Work with him to set personal boundaries and schedules. Those won’t look like what works for a neurotypical.
I like “How to ADHD” for life hacks. I also really recommend Domestic Blisters but she’s more aimed at 20 somethings. Catieosaurus is great. She does talk about sexual health on occasion but nothing a 17 year old with Google hasn’t seen.
A story making national news recently is about a baby found, wrapped in a towel in a stroller outside of an apartment complex, by a Coeur d’Alene Idaho resident when they left for work around 6 am.
A woman, identified as an adoptee named Webster, in this youtube news story, is quoted saying “We are living in a time where people feel like they are alone and they don’t have a support system or a net under them.”
If you are considering abandoning your baby, you likely are experiencing many different thoughts and emotions as well as being faced with one of the toughest decisions of your life. You might have one or more of these factors occurring in your life –
Have a history of substance use and are afraid to share that information
Not have proper documentation to live in the United States and fear being deported
Be living with a mental illness or facing postpartum depression
Be afraid of the baby’s father or worried about what your loved ones might say
If you are desperate for help, you may see no other option but to abandon your baby. Perhaps, you even wonder what happens to abandoned babies after they’re found?
There are really only three ways a woman can abandon her baby:
A prospective birth mother can work with an adoption agency to make an adoption plan for her baby. This is one legal way a woman can release her baby from her responsibility to care for it.
With Safe Haven laws, women have the option to safely, legally, and anonymously leave their baby, unharmed, at a safe haven location — like a hospital, fire station, or a church.
Even so, some women, feeling completely overwhelmed and unaware of the first two options, will take drastic measures, such as the case with this abandoned baby, leaving them in an unsafe condition.
The way a baby is surrendered will affect what happens to the infant afterwards. Babies who are abandoned in an unsafe location often have tragic outcomes because help comes too late. Babies that are found safely, after they’ve been abandoned or surrendered to a safe haven location, become a ward of the state.
Safe Haven babies are typically checked out by a doctor and, if necessary, given medical care. Afterward, the state’s social services department is contacted. Once that happens, the baby will be placed into foster care and become a ward of the state. In some situations, a private adoption agency might be contacted.
When a woman does not contact an adoption agency for assistance or use the Safe Haven law locations, if she can be located and identified, criminal charges will be filed against her. That is why the police in Coeur d’Alene Idaho are actively seeking information about who the woman may have been.
My sister is a hanger baby. My mother was terrified of giving birth after then seven children. When she was pregnant for my sister, she tried to abort her using a hanger. It was one of those secrets of the family.
My sister was born normal but as she grew, she was more street smart than book smart. My mother favored her terribly because of the guilt in what she had attempted to do. She thought she made her stupid.
My mother had three nervous breakdowns, suffered with debilitating alcoholism, and we lived in incredible poverty our whole lives. The only pride we were afforded was knowing we our father was a good catholic who used that at every turn to borrow money using his ten children as collateral.
There were little joyful experiences in my childhood. One friend asked me once to think of my happiest moment when I was a child. I have a photographic memory but could not think of one happy experience. I am sure there were some, but they were usually times that were devoid of trauma, so they were happy in comparison.
I was cursed on my birth by my mother. She delivered me in a drunken stupor.. She hung on to the doorway frame of the wall when they tried to take her to deliver me. She just screamed how much she hated me. I lived my life in galvanized numbness. I don’t think I have been able to fully shake it. I was well in my twenties before I realized that some parents love their children.
People always say they are speaking for the unborn. But they are not. They are speaking for their religious bias. They are speaking for a conditioning to bring babies into the world for some kind of political numbers game. The unborn would be better off if they landed in a place of love for them. It worked out well for my sister being born because of my mother’s guilt, she had an advantage in life.. I was not so lucky.
Every child has the right to be loved. I did not have to endure such a loveless existence. As I grew, I have had many memories bleed through about my past lives. It was not a thing that was in my belief system and yet the memories bled through.
If I had past lives, then I know I have future lives. I have the knowing that all of who I am doesn’t depend on this one lifetime. Nor does it with any fetus. I have had sessions with clients who brushed people’s lives by being their miscarried baby. It was all the interaction they needed to complete the transaction between parent and child.
What I have endured, I would not inflict on an innocent baby. There is the starving, being poor, being unloved and trying to thrive through incredible dysfunction. It is not something I think of everyday but the trauma of being a “have not” in a world of “haves” is the most cruel fate you can thrust on a baby. It would be different if it was merely a material thing. A mother’s love can help a child through any disadvantage. But without the love between a mother and child, the fate of both seems an unnecessary fate.
I know everyone who says they are pro life think they have the most scrupulous vantage point. But if they lived the life of a loveless baby, they may be much more agreeable to allowing there to be a choice. Perhaps they can trust Love to make the best choice for each soul and take their discretion out of the equation.
~ this personal experience was shared my Facebook friend – Jen Ward. Her website is – Jenuinehealing.com