Family Histories Are Important to an Adoptee – Don’t Lie About It

TAO posted an interesting post today for National Adoption Awareness Month:

Adoption Awareness Month – Family History

When I wrote my comment, I realized it needs to be a post on my own website. So here it is.

Family History is very important!

I have an extensive family tree from my adoptive family, and then from my natural family.

I made charts myself to map out how my natural mother’s family married into what would become my adoptive father’s father’s family. No, my adoptive father was not my blood relative, but his two older brothers were! It’s complicated.

From my blood line… my natural mother’s grandmother’s sister (my great grand aunt by blood) married a man in 1897. They had two sons (who were my 3rd cousins by blood, or 2nd cousins, or 1st cousins twice removed). Then the wife died and the husband married a second time. This wife was the mother of 8 children, the oldest became my adoptive father. So, my adoptive father is my half 3rd cousin, or half 2nd cousin, or half 1st cousin twice removed. One of his two older half brothers once told me that, when he was a young man, he took my natural mother to an amusement park when she was six years old – so, yes, the older cousin loved his younger cousin.

I’d have to check the charts again to count it out. There are 2 different methods to chart relationship charts.

THIS was the true, big, horrible family secret that both families determined I must never know. It wasn’t the fact that my mother died when I was three months old and that my father gave me up.

I was found my full blood siblings in 1974. Various blood relatives gave me my natural mother’s family tree. They were apprehensive, afraid to tell me. My adoptive father was quiet, but his sister confirmed it all. I have the marriage certificate, and Victorian photographs, to prove this connection.

In a very distant way, my adoption was an in-family adoption, which was held against me for the first 18 years of my life, and really, for a good number of years after reunion. Why? Because the ones holding this secret lied to me. This includes my adoptive parents and my adoptive father’s sisters and brothers, their spouses, and their children. They were allowed to have cousin-to-cousin relationships, but I was not allowed – because of the belief that an adoptee must never know the truth.

To be fair, a few adoptive aunts and uncles did not agree to the holding this secret. They warned my adoptive parents that they should tell me the truth. My adoptive mother told my aunt, “Oh no, she’s mine! I don’t ever want her to know she has sisters and a brother.” My adoptive father went along with the lie. He didn’t know how to tell me the truth.

Oh, yeah. That was the other big secret: my full blood siblings.

Lying is something no adoptive parent should do.

Tell the truth. Hold no secrets. Give your adoptee as full of a family tree of both adoptive and natural families because both families matter. Tell the truth in the most loving and respectful way. Adoptive parents owe this to the adopted children in their care.

Eight facts about adoption from Lorraine Posner Zapin

Eight facts about adoption from Lorraine Posner Zapin.
1: Infants are not “gifts” to bestow on people who cannot have them.
2: Waiting 10 yrs or 20 or 50 does not entitle one to a baby born to another or make someone more worthy to have that baby.
3: Most natural mothers have been subjected to some form of coercion.
4: When a child is lost to adoption it has NOTHING to do with God.
5: The only reason a baby is lost to adoption is that there is insufficient support of a mother in crisis.
6: The percentage of women who happily surrender an infant, experience no regret and peacefully zip along in life is less than 5 per cent.
7: The concept of an adopted child being “the same as” a natural born child is a myth.
8: Adoption is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

NEW BOOK PUBLISHED: Strangers by Adoption: 10 Adoptees Share Their Stories of Rejection or Abuse

Strangers By Adoption: 10 Adoptees Share Their Stories of Rejection and Abuse

by Doris Sippel (Author, Editor), Sandy Musser (Author, Editor), Patricia Yarrow (Editor)

This is a book about what happened to a handful of adoptees, relinquished for adoption as babies, during a time when society dealt with “unwed mothers” harshly.

Because of the religious mores of the day, it was unheard of for a child, born outside of marriage, to remain within their family. The days of “shotgun weddings” had passed and a new experiment was in the wind.

Young pregnant mothers were sent out of town, away from their entire families and friends. The shame they bore was unbearable, and giving birth completely alone was cruel and unusual punishment – normally one of the most important events in any young woman’s life.

How were those babies who were “given up” for adoption ultimately affected by being permanently separated from their families of origin? Was it an easy adjustment for them? Did they sense something wasn’t right? Did they wonder about the mother who had given birth to them?

It has always been believed that a newborn baby could be raised in the home of strangers and not be affected by that experience. This book offers a starting place in pursuing some of these answers.

  • Sandy Musser, author of I Would Have Searched Forever (1979, 2013), What Kind of Love is This – A Story of Adoption Reconciliation (1982, 2013), To Prison with Love: The True Story of Sandy Musser’s Indecent Indictment & America’s Adoption Travesty (1995, 2013), and My Last “Love” Letter to President Obama: Exposing an American Institution (2016).

The common narrative of adoption is that of the illegitimate baby born to a teen or young adult mother, but many adoptees were legitimately born to married parents. Some of us lost one or both parents to early death; we are full or half orphans. Some of us were removed from our married parents due to neglect or abuse, relocated to foster care, and then adopted. Some of us were children of divorce and remarriage who were then adopted by our step parents. Some of us were adopted by our grandparents or other family members. Some of us were re-homed and adopted more than once.

No matter the circumstances of birth and adoption, there are common threads that run through the lives of adoptees that are often ignored by society. Turn this book’s pages to read about the seeds of emotional and psychological stressors experienced by adoptees, including many types of rejection, physical and sexual abuse by natural parents, adoptive parents, extended family and others.

  • Doris Michol Sippel, author of Forbidden Family: An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity (3rd edition, 2016). Since 1975, she has written numerous articles on adoption and adoptees’ revoked, sealed, and replaced birth certificates published in social work journals and newspapers. This is her second book.

SEE ALSO: Identity Press

 

Two Major Adoption Conferences This Weekend

There are two major adoption conferences held this weekend. Due to a combination of private matters, I’ve been unable to attend a conference since 2014.

I highly recommend that adoptees, natural parents, and adoptive parents, other family members, and spouses attend these conferences next year. Hopefully, both of these conferences will not be held on the same weekend again!

Here is a Facebook post by American Adoption Congress showing a photo of, and quoting, New York State Assemblyman Robert Carrol:

2019-4-6 Asbly Robert Carroll speaking about NYS Adoptee Rights Bill A5494

 

Keynote Speaker Assemblyman Robert Carroll speaking about New York Adoptee Rights Bill A5494

“This is about dignity, about allowing adopted people to self actualize.”

 

Here is a news article about this weekend’s conference hosted by The Indiana Adoptee Network:

The non-profit was vital in the passing of a law releasing adoption records in Indiana. They’ll help people working through the process of getting their records from the state.

The Indiana State Department of Health has received more than 4,200 requests for adoption records. The wait to receive records is more than 20 weeks due to high volume. Organizers of this weekend’s conference said they encourage people to remain patient and to contact them if they need help through the process.

“We’re going to help them here at the conference with their information and then once they get their file, we will help them with that, too,” Pam Kroskie, president of the Indiana Adoptee Network, said.

Adoption conferences are more than helping adoptees access their original birth certificates in their state (provided their home state has laws that allow adoptee-access). There are workshops on searching and reunions, adoption psychology, adoption research and family systems, state by state legislative efforts, networking, and learning in general why adoption as we know it, must change.

Many non-adopted people are not aware of how adoption affects adoptees throughout their lives. Many non-adopted people have mis-perceived notions about mothers of adoption loss. For this reason, I suggest that the general public attend these conferences as a learning experience.

You can contact The Indiana Adoptee Network at their website here.

You can contact the American Adoption Congress at their website here.

An Open-Adoption Adoptive Mother Tries to Explain the Anti-Adoption Movement – Here is What I Said to Her

In April of 2018, an adopter named Amey wrote a blog post – The Anti-Adoption Movement – What Does It Look Like?

I will open this post with a hats-off to adoptee Marilynn Huff who made an extraordinary comment to Amey’s post in that blog post’s comment section on adoptees’ birth certificates. Marilynn’s comment is one of the best I’ve ever read, including my own writings.

I will break down Amey’s blog post one phrase at a time.

Under the heading “Adoptees” Amey said:

Adoptees often resent the idea that they were “given up” for adoption. I hate that phrase. We say “placed’ or “made a plan.”

It doesn’t matter what YOU say – that you hate the phrase “given up” – that “We” (meaning infertile people, or adopters) say “placed” or “made a plan” – what matters is how adoptees experience the permanent separation that adoption actually is. The adoptee, as a newborn or an infant too young to have verbal and mental cognition, experiences the sudden loss of Mother as a terrifying break. This Primal Wound is internalized as the infant cries out for Mother. (Read The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier). The Primal Wound creates brain damage in certain areas of the brains of infants who are taken at birth from their Mothers. On this basis alone, adoption should be seen as extreme child abuse. With new studies being done, hopefully, it will be, and we will see a stranger movement to end adoption as we know it on a global scale.

Be sure to read this blog post and be sure to read the comments for links to scientific studies.

Amey said,

Maybe the birth parents had a problem with substance abuse or were young and not ready to parent. It doesn’t matter. The adoptee still feels unwanted and alone.

Again, it does not matter what the parental circumstances are at the time of birth, the newborn is traumatized by sudden removal of the nurturing mother within whom the infant lived for nine months. The pre-born infant hears mother’s voice and knows her emotions, and is influenced by her emotions. The pre-born infant is happy when mother is happy and feels anxiety and distress when she is nervous or angry. These are proven facts.

The pre-born infant feeds by mother’s food intake – both mother and baby share a symbiotic relationship. The unborn infant needs mother for sustenance, nutrients (in addition to feeling her love), and even receives her bacterial microbiome as she passes through the birth canal during birth. There is now evidence that the infant and mother exchange body and brain cells. The mother’s cells live on inside her offspring’s body and brain, and conversely, the infant’s cells also live on inside the mother. Scientists believe that these cells aid in immune functions.

Such phrases as

the birth parents had a problem with substance abuse or were young and not ready to parent

are a form of distancing the natural parents from their child. This is dissociating, detaching, and distracting from the primary relationship. These words are weapons meant to evoke emotions in observers who then internalize the message that adopters are then “better than” the child’s natural parents. This psychological twisting is then passed down to the adoptee who grows up feeling indebted for being saved from a life of hell with unfit parents. This distorted message permeates society’s belief that adoption saves infants and children.

I hope you, Amey, can now see that your last two sentences in that first paragraph:

It doesn’t matter. The adoptee still feels unwanted and alone

are quite true of the facts of life as experienced by a newborn or an older baby.

The first sentence in Amey’s next paragraph states:

Adoptees sometimes feel that everyone who makes this decision is selfish, while everyone says that they are selfless.

This reflects upon adoption as it happens in today’s society. Adoption has been warping and changing over the last 9 decades. When I first joined the Adoptees Rights Movement in 1975, nearly a year into my reunion with my natural family, I met mothers from the Baby Scoop Era. Here is a blog post I wrote about honoring their contributions.

I might add that you, Amey, should try to avoid words such as “everyone.” There are many adoptees out there who do not see relinquishment, or surrendering, a newborn or older child as selfish. Many adoptees understand that many mothers and fathers of adoption loss are not given proper counseling of all options available, and this includes ways to sustain keeping their child.

As a social worker, I worked in homeless shelters where our clients where homeless mothers with children or were entire families. We had a checklist of goals that we helped our clients obtain one by one – including parenting classes, finding apartments, finding employment and child care – so that the young mother and/or father could raise their own infant and older children.

Still, I have seen just the opposite – where certain social workers are hell-bent on removing children from their parents just to fill their monthly quota of “placing” children for foster care and adoption.

By using your words of “selfish” and “selfless,” I can only guess you are part of the Brave Love Movement. This Christian movement is deleterious and demoralizing to the expectant mother and the mother who has just given birth. It goes against natural to feel obligated to strangers to “make an adoption plan”- specifically because a pregnant woman or teen is already a mother. Her first and foremost obligation is to the infant she is carrying. Pre-birth adoption plans are immoral and ought to be illegal.

It is sad that modern adoption practices, even those that promote and practice open adoption, make it a point and a goal to instill unnatural feelings and beliefs in the minds of pregnant teens and young women. The idea that it is “unselfish” to give your infant to strangers is brainwashing. Many of the women who now boast that they, too, are proud mothers whom selfishly made an adoption plan for their baby, will one day wake up to the horror of what they’ve done. When they do wake up to realize that they were tricked and coerced into giving their babies to strangers, we will see them in the Anti Adoption Movement.

I’ve seen the jewelry line for Brave Love. I’ve seen T-shirts for pre-adoptive-parent- wanna-bees that state “Paper Pregnant” or “My baby is in Nepal” (for those who are waiting for a baby who will be born to a poor woman in a baby farm who will get paid to gestate a baby for strangers so she can use that money to sustain herself and her family).

Such baby farms exist so that wealthy gay men, lesbian women, heterosexual couples, or even single men and women can make a baby through buying sperm and eggs via contract and then rent the womb of a poor woman for their selfish motives of making a baby at extreme means for the pleasure of experiencing parenting.

Buying and wearing a t-shirt that state the words “paper pregnant” with the drawing of a pregnant belly is an advertisement of the absurd ego-mania that exists in today’s wanna-be-adoptive-parents. Only narcissistic, selfish women with too much money to spend would demean themselves to the point of walking around wearing such a t-shirt, let alone actually using a vulnerable young pregnant woman for the sole purpose of taking her baby upon birth.

Amey, your next sentence:

The Expectant or Birth Parents don’t want to parent; the adoptive parents only want a baby.

seems to accept the myths that are out there today. Most unexpectedly pregnant girls and women actually do want to keep their babies and to parent their child. True, there are some mothers who are, indeed, drug addictions, or are involved in crime, or are completely detached to their pre-born infant. I saw a few of these mothers in the homeless shelters I once worked at. There are mental illnesses that won’t allow a mother to be a mother. There are addictions and criminal behaviors that warrant the removal of newborns or older children from such parents.

Children born to these mothers and raised in foster care in safety carry with them their own birth certificate. They may be raised together with their own siblings. One or two of those siblings may eventually be adopted. However, the one who ages out of foster care maintains the birth certificate created upon her birth, even when her parents are dead beats, drug addicts, in prison, or do not want to have anything to do with their children. Meanwhile, the siblings who were then adopted are given new names, new birth certificates, and new parents. The siblings are still full-blood siblings but are not legally siblings.

Amey, I must challenge you to re-examine your words:

The Expectant or Birth Parents don’t want to parent

How do you know that? According to the natural mothers I communicate daily with on Facebook  and on their websites say that they wanted to parent their baby, but many were coerced and many were de-babied during birth by harsh birthing methods of the attending physician and by nurses who took the baby immediately upon birth.

Amey, your next words:

 the adoptive parents only want a baby.

say it all. Wanting a baby and then using a pregnant girl or young woman to meet your desires is the worst form of anti-woman, anti-feminist beliefs and behavior. Rich and powerful women should not abuse and use disadvantaged pregnant women to satisfy cravings to be a parent. Coveting another woman’s baby and actually going through with the plan to obtain her baby for your benefit is a very selfish act.

And your next words, Amey:

In an infant or young child adoption, they are the only people in the triad who don’t get a choice. Other people make it for them, decide what is best because they’re too young to understand. They resent that, too.

Of course adoptees resent the actions of adults who made life-altering choices and made legally-binding contracts over them when they were too young to say no. The world is now facing a great uprising. Adoptees are gathering together to not only voice opposition to what was done to them, but to end adoption altogether.

Then your next paragraph, Amey, is about adoptees:

And it doesn’t matter if they had a wonderful home life with an adoptive family. Often, they’ll say that they love their adoptive parents, but that they resent them for taking them away from their birth family. They recognize that they were given opportunities that they might never have had, yet they feel incomplete, never whole.

Yes, many adoptees do feel this way. It is a burden to walk through life knowing that you may have had “a wonderful life” and that you do love your adoptive parents, and at the same time feel that loss, feel that resentment. While many adoptees have been raised in economically superior adoptive homes, adoptees are split in half feeling guilty for wanting to know their natural parents and to know why they were not kept. Yes, many adoptees know that they were bought at a high price – thousands of dollars – $25,000 or $50,000 or $75,000. When the realization sets in as to the truth of baby-selling, baby-trafficking, and that adoption agencies make their living this way, many adoptees are disgusted as to the means they became adopted.

And yes:

For them, the loss is more powerful than the gain.

Amey, your next section is about Expectant Parents. I will only say this – that pressuring expectant mothers and fathers into a pre-birth matching contract with adoptive-parent-wanna-bees is just that – unwanted and unhealthy pressure for both the pregnant mother and her unborn child.

Your next section, Amey, is about Birth Parents is actually correct in your assessments of the situation for many natural parents.

You are correct in assessing that many Adoptive Parents are:

Adoptive parents are affected by the anti-adoption movement, but I find that they are more often Anti-Open Adoption. I think it’s pretty obvious that this isn’t me, but I understand the sentiment.

This “Anti-Open-Adoption sentiment exists because many adopters feel that they are the adoptees ONLY parents. Many adoptive parents do not want to know that there is another set of parents who has more than genetic ties to the adoptees in their care. They believe that the adoptee owes them loyalty and elegance. Often times, these types of adoptive parents are very possessive over their adoptees. Some actually believe the false-facts stated on the amended birth certificate – they are living in a delusional fantasy, believing that they gave birth to someone else’s child.

Amey, now I will tell you what happened to me.

My mother was dying of cancer while pregnant with me. During her 7th month of pregnancy, my father took his wife to the hospital. She was very sick. It was two days after Christmas 1955. The doctors x-rayed my mother’s abdomen. There they saw me and a cancerous tumor the same size as I was. Two weeks later, in early January 1956, I was born at 8 weeks gestation – two months premature. My mother died on March 28, 1956, at age 30.

My 31 year old father was left with a deceased wife and five children. His parents were old and sick. He was an only child, so he had no family to lean on. His wife’s siblings were married with several young children, and a few had newborns of their own.

At my mother’s funeral, two things happened very close to one another. The parish priest came up to my father and said, “The baby needs two parents.” A few minutes later, a woman approached my father and said, “I know someone who will take your baby.” My father was given no options. No one offered help to keep his family together. My father was a deeply religious man so he followed the priest’s suggestion. He contacted that woman and arranged for her brother and his wife to come and get me. When he gave me to my future adoptive parents, he also gave them my birth certificate, baptismal certificate, and my clothes. I was 4 months old.

My father married his second wife very soon after. His second wife helped take care of my four older siblings. Meanwhile, my adopting parents lived just one block over and three blocks up away. About nine months later, they moved six miles to the north.

By the closed adoption practices of the time, my father was told to never contact my adoptive parents. He was to stay away from me. My adoption became final when I was one year and one week old. My name was changed. My birth certificate was revoked,  sealed, and replaced by one that states my new name, and my new parents – as if I was born to them in that hospital. The Catholic Church even changed my baptismal certificate.

It is these lies and cover-ups that I resent.

I also resent my adoptive parents’ possessiveness.

In 1974, at my age of 18, I was found by siblings I did not know I had. My adoptive parents knew I had siblings, but they did not tell me. They knew where my mother was buried but never told me. Why? Because I belonged to them. I was theirs.

There is much more to my adoption/reunion story; too much for this blog post. That is why I wrote a memoir: Forbidden Family: An Adoptee’s Struggle for Identity.

There are many reasons why I am anti-adoption. I did not need a new home. I already had a home. I had parents. I should have been allowed to grow up knowing my Mom died and visiting her grave. I should have had my siblings and my father with me. Adoption took all of that away from me.

What did I gain from adoption? I was raised an only and lonely child. I had my independence. I had material middle-class things that my siblings did not have. This created resentment in them when we were reunited. While I loved my adoptive parents, I mistrusted them ever since 1974 when I learned that they lied to me for the first 18 years of my life. I spent the next few decades as the adoptee who belonged to two families, who had the burden of integrating two identities, and the burden of taken the brunt of everyone else’s opinions as to what I should feel and what I should do. It was bad for me to be an anti-adoption activist.

All four of my parents are dead now. I have no contact with any abusive relatives – that means my siblings as well as extended family by blood or by adoption. I do have close relatives on both sides…

My life was ruined because of adoption. I am very resentful, and I will fight to my dying breath to end the revocation, sealing and replacement of adoptees’ birth certificates. I join thousands of adoptees around the world who say that adoption should end.

I will close with this thought:

Amey, your last token of a misguided message is this meme:

death-is-not-the-greatest-loss-in-life.png

I don’t know who this person “Tupac Shakur” is, or was, but that meme is extremely hurtful. My mother died when I was three months old. That loss was the single most devastating event in my life. My mother’s death led to my adoption. I am not grateful for this.

On the other hand, maybe the meme is right. I lost my name, my family, and my birth certificate all because of adoption. I am supposed to be grateful and happy. I am not.

Adoption has left me fighting for my civil rights to my factual birth certificate. I fight not only for myself, but for millions of adoptees worldwide. I fight for the humanity of all pregnant girls and women, and for all mothers, and fathers, of adoption loss.

As for adoptive parents – you reap the benefits of adoption. I don’t see any of you running to legislators to turn in those amended birth certificates to demand adoption certificates instead, nor do I see any adoptive parents demanding that the revoked and sealed birth certificate of the child in your care is reinstated. I don’t see any adoptive parents willing to, and actually returning the child back to the natural parents after they rebuild their lives.

Why? The answer is because you now have what you want: ownership of someone else’s child.

That just about sums up the need for the anti-adoption movement.

 

 

 

From Adoptee Ferera Swan: On Adoptee Psychological and Physiological Trauma Caused by Adoption Separation

Quoting my new friend, Ferera Swan:

When discussing the fact that neurons are not only found in the brain but also the heart as well as every organ, the question of why so many adoptees actually suffer from ‘unexplained, random’ ailments and illnesses must be explored. Four different medical doctors and five therapists later, I had no answers for my personal experience until the trauma of relinquishment was delved into. Many don’t realize the magnitude of affects the removal of an infant from its mother has on an adoptee – and birth mother – for a lifetime not just psychologically, but physiologically.
Stay curious.

#naam18 #neuropeptide #trauma #heartintelligence #emotionalintelligence #adoptee #adoption #adoptionstory #reunionstory #universalstory #ptsd #grief #fereraswan

Ferea Swan 2018

2018 NAAM Adoptees’ Poll – Can you Hear Us Now? By Adoptees Connect

⚡️ National Adoption Awareness Month⚡️

On behalf of Adoptees Connect we asked a series of questions via How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? taking advantage of the poll feature. Our campaign is called “CAN YOU HEAR US NOW” We’ve encourage adoptees to participate so we could share the results for #NAAM18

Thousands of Adoptees have participated in these polls, and our hope is these questions validate the experiences of so many adoptees who’ve always felt isolated and alone regarding their adoption journeys. They are also to help raise awareness on how adoptees feel regarding different topics that might have a direct impact on us in multiple ways.

For those who don’t agree or can’t relate to these polls, or results please know while you are entitled to your opinions, our main focus is reaching the adoptees who are struggling with abandonment, rejection, grief, loss and all the other complexities many adoptees face today. If you are one of the adoptees who can’t relate, great but please allow the space for those who have different journeys than you do.

Experiencing connections over the years with Adoptees who are hurting and hurting deeply, it’s obvious these adoptees have come across my path because I’ve opened my life up to receiving ALL ADOPTEE STORIES, not just the ones that are happy, positive and well adjusted with the adoptees experience which are the stories everyone wants to hear. Adoptees are dying out here, being heard is life or death for many of us.

Let me challenge you to the fact that there is another side of adoption and I ask you consider opening your heart to learning what you might have never known before. Once we learn and know something, we can’t unlearn and unknow it. I know there is another side to adoption because I’ve been dedicating my life to adoptee advocacy for many years and I’ve invested in building hundreds of real relationships with Adoptees all over the world.

All we’re asking for #NAAM18 is that you have the willingness to listen and learn from adoptees and understand not all adoptees share the same experiences. Our mission is reaching the hurting and broken adoptees, who have felt helpless regarding their journeys. Let’s consider having compassion for them, while gaining the willingness to understand different adoptee perspectives and viewpoints.

Every poll and every poll vote matters. Each of them is making a difference. Everyone that shares this is making a difference. Please consider sharing these poll results to help us raise awareness on the adoptee perspectives.

Below are some adoption/adoptee resources for all.

www.adopteesconnect.com
www.howdoesitfeeltobeadopted.com
www.adopteeinrecovery.com
www.adopteeson.com
www.dearadoption.com
www.iamadopted.net
https://adoptionsurveysblog.wordpress.com/

We’re focused on raising Adoptee Voices. Help me raise Adoptee Voices by sharing this information and participating in helpful dialogue of discussions should arise with those who have the willingness to listen and learn from adoptees. Pamela Karanova 💝

#NAAM18 #naam #adoptee #adoption #adopted #justlisten #adopteevoices

Can You Hear US Now 2018

Anti-Abortion-Pro-Adoption Woman and Her Adoption ‘Splaining to An Adoptee

To unwind from the stresses of life, I enjoy live music whenever I can. On Thursday Nov 1, I arrived a bit late for a performance by an Irish rock band that I know. Then, on Friday Nov 2, I attended a show by a local boy who made it “kinda-big,” as he would say.

Now, I made my way through the front door, paid for my ticket, and walked by people sitting at the bar to find a seat. A woman called out to me saying that she recognized me from the previous night. “If the violin player had a sister, it would be you! You look just like her!” she said.

At first, I took that as a compliment. I don’t think I look like the young woman who plays the violin, but, okay, I’ll accept that perhaps I do! Thank you! Must be the Irish in me!

But that compliment also stung. I’m adopted. I met my natural family already. No more surprises, please.

As this woman and I talked, it was light, fun, and filled in some blanks for me about the table full of people at the previous night’s show.

As it always happens, conversation led to, “And what do you do?”

Well, I answered that I’m a writer.

“Oh,” the woman said. “And what do you write?”

“I write about adoption. I’m adopted.”

The woman immediately drew conclusions. “Well, you should be grateful your mother didn’t have an abortion.”

I cringed. This correlation, again, by someone who knows nothing of the topic. It was obvious she wanted to tell me how to think and how to feel.

I stopped her dead in her tracks.  “My mother died. And I’m not grateful.”

The woman looked stunned. “She did? When?”

“When I was three months old,” I said. “My mother was dying from cancer while pregnant with me.”

“Well, then. She could have had an abortion to save her life! She didn’t! And you are here!” This woman was so confident in her answer, she was beaming with delight.

Now my blood boiled. “Abortion was not even discussed. My parents were married. You seem to know a lot about my mother that I don’t know!”

I fumbled in my wallet and gave her my card – my business card that not only advertises my memoir, but also explains that my mother died and her death led to my adoption. My card also addresses identity theft inherent in adoption.

“Here,” I said. “Read this when you get home. By the way, adoption is baby-trafficking, baby-selling. I don’t think you want to keep going on the topic of adoption or abortion.”

The woman threw her head back in disbelief. She didn’t say it, but the words were written all over her face, “What? How could you possible think that adoption is child trafficking?”

“Just read my card when you get home. There’s much to adoption that you don’t understand or even know about.”

I moved away from the bar and took a seat to be nearer the stage.

I love it when people who know nothing about adoption explain their misconceptions to an experienced adoptee.

And please, don’t ever compare me to an abortion. You don’t know the circumstances of my mother’s pregnancy, my mother’s illness, or my birth. I do. I met my father in 1974. He told me everything.

Stop Adoption ‘Splaining to Adoptees. We are the experts, not you.

Adoption is Not an alternative to Abortion. We are not grateful to be alive because adoption took us away from our families. Adoption took away my birth certificate and gave me a fake one.

I’d like to abort anyone who feels the need for Adoption ‘Splaining to me. Ask questions. That’s how you learn.

 

#AdoptionSplaining

#Ignorance

#AbortionVSAdoption

#NAAM2018

#NationalAdopteeAwarenessMonth2018

My Take on “Runs in the Family”

It is a tragedy that a mother felt helpless when she was pregnant and 16 years old. It is a tragedy that she made the decision not to tell the father of her child that he was the child’s father. It is a tragedy that their son grew up without either one of his natural parents.

It is important to know that there should never be a need to separate a baby from his parents. A mother and her baby should never be separated. Not even when the mother is 16 years old. And the father should always be told he is a father.

When adoption separation does happen, the mother, father, and son live life without one another; until one of them begins a search and discovers the others.

What follows is a well-balanced reunion story. This adoption, and this reunion, was handled in the best possible way.

But keep in mind, the point is: the goal is to never be separated in the first place.

But since adoption separation happened, everyone involved here had the sincerity, the maturity, and the humanity to handle this reunion with grace and love.

In July, a huge family reunion in Youngstown brought McCullough, Briggs, Smith and Comer together for the first time. All of McCullough’s parents in one place, reflecting on nurture versus nature, what is inherited versus what is taught and the many different forms of parenthood. It was both the culmination of a journey and the start of something new for the families that the journey had introduced. A man found his parents, a mother found her child, and a father discovered a son he never knew he was missing. There is no jealousy, no resentment and no regret. There is just gratitude for the winding paths that brought them all together.

You can read the whole story at this link.