Families Belong Together

I have noticed a rise in adoption related media stories.  However, it is the same scenario, redundant, each showing the adopting side.  I can’t help but ask myself why.  Why are bio parents left out of the adoption story.  Should we assume that no one truly cares about bio/birth parents when it comes to adoption?  Do we believe that average folks may not be able to comprehend the grief of relinquishment?  Can compassion be felt more towards adopting parents than relinquishing parents? Media doesn’t mind showing the hardships of cancer patients, hungry children, abused animals, kids/adults with disabilities, but showing the suffering of a bereaved parent after adoption is non existent.  Why?

I was reading an article that had some adoption fluff.  It was about a couple who after fostering a baby boy for over a year, went to court to adopt him.  Their request was granted.

In the article, the following statement was positioned in the third paragraph, to help set the tone for the remainder of the article.

“Adoptive parents sometimes get to the hospital in anticipation of bringing their little one home, only to find out that the biological parents have decided to keep the baby after all.”

The part that gets me is the wording…notice how the statement has already given a title to people who should be correctly referred to as the PROPOSED adoptive parents.  The statement has also already erroneously assigned ownership, saying “their little one,” when no relinquishment, no adoption or legal guardianship has taken place.  From this statement, one may assume that the couple has not even held this newborn in their hands.

On the other hand, the article references the biological parent’s as “to keep the baby” instead of keep their baby, which was born to them.  This is how pro-adoption folks use their words in newborn infant adoptions.  They use this tactic on vulnerable expecting mothers and parents.  They will allow a stranger to claim what has not even been born or freely given yet.

This statement is degrading to the infant as well.  It ambiguously implies that if the newborn is adopted, he/she is fondly someone’s (their) little one.  He has belonging.  But if the new baby is no longer available for adoption, then the infant is reduced to “the baby” as a commodity; the dog, the couch, the table, the store, etc.  He is no longer a precious little one. You see?

The article leaves out the details of how or why the infant was placed in foster care at a week old.  It provides no details about the parents.  What happened?  I am wary of stories like this.  More so now, with the migrant families being separated.

I am all for protecting children and placing them in safe homes. I know wonderful foster and adoptive parents who love their kids and have provided a good and safe home.  But I am against forced adoptions, forced separations, government forced separations, coerced adoptions, migrant families separations, and any unnecessary adoptions based on ignorance and conspiracy.

When we have one-sided media stories about complex issues with incomplete information, as readers, we cannot make a fair judgement about either parent since we have only been given a partial story.  Too many of these articles make it appear that the birth parents are villainous while the foster to adoptive parents are saints.  That is very narcissistic.  Classic, really.  The adoption industry has operated on narcissistic attitudes for generations.  They play on our emotions to feel sorry for the mom and dad who cannot conceive or give birth while giving the birth parents a blank slate, as if they aren’t human, they have no story, no rights, no validity.  It’s good media advertising.

The adoption industry needs to have people feel sorry or root for one-side.  How do they do that?  Well, they take out the birth parents story or give worst-case scenarios which leaves room for average Americans to generalize birth parents and erroneously portray them as unreliable, addicts, poor, dirty, promiscuous, and possibly abusive and neglectful.  Or as illegal migrants with no rights.

Birth parents can’t all or always be bad or villainous and foster/adoptive parents can’t all or always be saints. This tactic is all too common in the pro-adoption social arena.

Right now, with all the migrant separations, Americans as well as the world around us are appalled and are highly concerned about keeping families together and reuniting migrant families.  Chances are all this media coverage with well-educated commentators speaking out about the impact and trauma of separation will inevitably impact how folks see family separation and how important it is for families to remain intact.  Furthermore, all this information may help those faced with an unplanned pregnancy to see their role differently and help them make a more informed, educated choice. Vital information, by the way, that adoption agencies and fake crisis pregnancy centers conveniently leave out of the adoption plan talk, while giving specific details on abortion, not all based on facts, or the possible pitfalls of parenting, which is based on fear.

To combat this new mass social awareness about family separation, the pro-adoption industry feels like they are under attack.  What has been kept hidden for decades to average folks has now been exposed and revealed on news channels, major newspapers, video clips, and social media memes.

Socialized and sensationalized adoption stories are being created and shared to bring folks back in.  The Adoption industry needs to gain the trust and favoritism of average Americans again.  Social media is their one source for getting that information out to the general masses, using people as protagonist or antagonist to help send their message of the adoption story.  It is a well written script but one that can have lasting trauma and emotional impact for those involved.

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Remember, Woman

In honor of Women’s History Month, a beautiful poem about women.

Reese Leyva

Remember, Woman, you were born
++life giver, miracle creator, magic maker.

You were born with the heart of a thousand mothers,
++open and fearless and sweet.
You were born with the fire of Queens & conquerors,
++warrioress blood you bleed.
You were born with the wisdom of sages & shamans,
++no wound can you not heal.
You were born the teller of your own tale,
++before none should you kneel.
You were born with an immeasurable soul
++reaching out past infinity.
You were born to desire with passion, abandon,
++and to name your own destiny.

Remember, Woman, remember
++you are more than you can see.
Remember, Woman, remember
++you are loved endlessly.

Remember, Woman, your power and grace,
++the depth of your deep sea heart.
Never forget you are Woman, divine,
++as you have been from the start.

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ACEs science can prevent school shootings, but first people have to learn about ACEs science

Great article with a plan and tools and research to make positive changes for our youth and in our communities.

ACEs Too High

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David Hogg, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, speaks at a rally calling for more gun control. Photo by Jonathan Drake / Reuters

After 17 people, mostly teens, were shot and killed by another teen last week in Parkland, FL, what seems to be a real movement is growing, propelled by kids devastated by their friends’ deaths and wanting to prevent such a massacre from ever happening again.

Their rallies and marches and lie-downs probably won’t have much effect in the short-term, as some of the Parkland teens learned as they witnessed — and some of them wept during — today’s lightning vote by state lawmakers along party lines to end debate on an assault weapons ban, which killed any further consideration of the bill in the Florida legislature’s current session.

But their persistence can make a difference in the long run, especially if they — and we —…

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Dear Adoption, Tell My Mom Merry Christmas

By a young adoptee’s voice…

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Dear Adoption, Tell My Mom Merry Christmas

I don’t know if my mom celebrates Christmas because I don’t know who she is. I know she exists but I don’t know where she’s at.

Christmas and my birthday are the hardest times and are the times that I think about my mom the most.

I try thinking of meeting her except it’s too hard to really know what that would be like.

I think about my mom a lot and if we like the same stuff and if we both have brown eyes.

I think it’s possible that she doesn’t think about me like I think about her except I also think that it is impossible. I guess that I don’t really know.

If I could send her a Christmas card I would put my school picture in it and a picture of my family because I would want her to…

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The Baby Peddlers

If you have not read much about adoption, this is the one to read. Investigative journalism at its best.

“When WCAU-TV did an adoption series eight months ago, reporter Jim Walker ran into the same practice. His crew filmed one Northeast housewife talking to a Miami lawyer about adopting a baby that was then a six-month-old fetus, a fetus that already had a $10,000 price tag on its head. The lawyer also asked for a $1500 deposit before the baby was born.”

Maury Z. Levy: Greatest Hits, Volume One

phillymag_baby-web

[Author’s note: This story led to major Congressional hearings in DC, led by Sen. Walter Mondale. The hearings resulted in new legislation. The story also won some awards.]

SHE ALWAYS THOUGHT it was a figure of speech. She’d hoped that one bearing her name wouldn’t have to lose its life. They were such lovable little things, so round and soft and white. But deep in the dawning of a cold Monday morning, the rabbit died. Crazy rabbit.

It created certain problems because Carrie and Jimmy weren’t married, even though they had told all of their relatives and most of their friends that they were, just to avoid the hassles. But when Jimmy found out about the baby, he didn’t exactly run out of the apartment to buy a box of cigars. He just ran out.

Carrie was 20 years old, a very thin girl with very small bones and very blue…

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Dear Adoption, I Know You, Now. I See You

Another adoptee shares his story, his voice.

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Dear Adoption, I Know You, Now. I See You

I’m not that baby long ago trembling, motherless, unloved, while strangers decided my fate. In a crib, maybe in someone’s arms, clearly not standing in a courtroom while others spoke in my “best interests.”

I asked my first mom late last year if she’d like to “unadopt” me.  She said, “Yes!” On my birthday this year, I went back to a courtroom to be adopted.

We reunited 12 years ago after living my whole life not being told, even relinquishing my first son. That discovery led me to a world where blood relatives aren’t legally recognized. So I sought “Unadoption.” My mother and I found that some states permit adult adoption. We filled out the paperwork, turned in the forms, and planned to restart our journey.

We sat in the courtroom with the judge looking at the paperwork. I watched as…

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National Adoption Awareness From a Birth Mothers View

National Adoption Awareness Month just ended. And the internet was flooded with adoption videos. Most of which were from one side. The happy side. The gifted side.

I am a birth mother. I will always see adoption through my side. Through loss. So as any awareness campaign, please know that there are two sides to adoption and actually three sides because as the adoptee grows, they have their side as well.

Please take the time to watch this video. Share these stories too. And know that adoption almost always is based off of loss and sometimes trauma.

This year and this month marks 18 years that I had a heart-wrenching choice to make. When my son left my arms and my home, and I didn’t know if I would EVER see him again.

This video expresses what women experience just before they make their final decision. Just before they terminate their parental rights. When there is no crystal ball into what the future holds.

 

May God Bless the grieving birth mothers and heal their broken heart.

Children of Adoptees

Exposing Adoption

I’m not sure if I can write this article. It may or may not stay up. I am trying to be empathetic and see adoption through the eyes of a biological child, born and raised by their parent who is an adoptee. This article though may need to be written by such a person. All I can say is I will try my best here, and mean no harm.

Society overlooks a lot of things in adoption. There are next to no studies on first fathers, first fathers are always seen as never around, no psychological programs out there tailored to helping siblings who learn they have an adopted out brother or sister, and no support group, psychological tailored program, self-help book (you get the picture) for children of adoptees. The voice of a child-be they still a child or an adult- of that of an adoptee is completely mute…

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15 Things You Should Never Say to an Adoptee

Pushing on a Rope

If you’re adopted, you’ve likely heard many of the comments below. (I even heard three of ones on this list from members of my biological family early in my reunion with them.)

SHH Credit: Chiara Vitellozzi Fotografie | NuageDeNuit/Flickr

And if you’re not adopted, you may have uttered some of these chestnuts thinking you were being thoughtful and empathetic.

Trust me, you’re weren’t.

And on behalf of all adoptees, many of whom are working to #FliptheScript for National Adoption Awareness Month, I beg you to stop.

  1. You don’t look adopted.
  2. Who are your real parents?
  3. How much did you cost?
  4. What a gift you are to your adoptive parents.
  5. It was probably for the best. Who knows what kind of life you might have had otherwise?
  6. Why would you want to find your birth mother? She didn’t want you. 
  7. I have a friend who is perfectly fine with being adopted. 
  8. You must…

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Yes, I’m adopted. Please spare me the L word

Adoption Awareness…

Pushing on a Rope

On Wednesday, it’ll be National Adoption Month — the time when I and other adoptees work even harder then usual to dispel all the myths misconceptions around what it’s like to be adopted.

Luck Luck, by 8ShroomFairy8/Flickr

For reasons I’ll never understand, non-adopted people seem to feel they have license to weigh in on the adoptee experience. In my 51 years, I’ve heard any number of ridiculous comments about how I should feel to have been adopted. “Grateful” ranks up there (that pronouncement is often chased with a solemn comment about how glad I must be to have not been aborted. I’ve started to respond to that one with, “I’ll bet you’re grateful you weren’t aborted, too.”).

But my all-time favorite is how “lucky” I am to have been adopted — the idea being I needed a leg up in the world.

Yes, how lucky I am to have been relinquished…

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