I’m a cat person, a Greyhound person, a goose person – well, let’s just say an animal person or an ‘everything that lives and moves person’ and then some. I love fossils, rocks, gemstones, crystals, mushrooms, toadstools, lichens and all the non-green plants. Yes, I even love spiders and have a large Huntsman named Mathilda living in close proximity. Freaky! It’s not normal in the eyes of some, but then I’ve got adoption to thank for that. My beloved maternal aGrandfather was the same. He loved and was fascinated by everything that moved, didn’t move, lived or had lived. He was born in Victorian times, so was also a collector, kept a pair of chimpanzees and a Cassowary in the garden.
Every Summer he camped out with his geologist mates from the city museum so that they could collect fossils and set up the collection which is still on show today, still neatly labelled with the source, which reminds me of him every time I visit! I have photos of those times, taken long before I was born, when my amother was a child raised to a life of respect for living creatures and a love of the area I took my family to live in decades and decades later, long after she had died.
Continuity happens in families, whether they are biological families or adoptive families. Adoptees if they are lucky enough to experience reunion can connect with the bits they wish to, not the bits they don’t. Sometimes, just sometimes, we have choices others do not. Does it make up for not having a choice about losing our mothers, the trauma of adoption? Of course not, nothing ever does. It can’t even be viewed as compensation; often too complicated or fraught for that, but at least it is choice of a sort. Mainly of the “I choose not to take any more of your shit” variety or “I choose not to go to this funeral” or take on a poisonous sister-in-law who hates our guts for being born and then turning up late to the party. At least we can choose not to let these people and situations abuse us, make us victims and categorise us.
In four lifetimes I’ve seen a lot of that! Each part of my life as been so very different, it feels as if I have had four lifetimes so far, with another yet to come; not completely coinciding with Brodzinsky’s five stages of the adopted life, but fairly close, with some overlaps. I have no anger about my adoption, I don’t hate anyone, although I believe some of them could have behaved much, much better. I’m not bitter. I refuse to let anyone define my life, what it has been, what it is now and what it will be. I do not believe adoption is ethical or the best we humans can do for children and families, for those living in the poverty others created, manipulated or unsupported for the gains of others. I will not ever allow a group of damaged mothers to define what adoption is to me or stand by while they tell other adoptees what adoption is or is not for adult adoptees. Not in a million years. That is abusive, unacceptable and these days very ill-advised.
Adoption and the adoption industry needs to clean up it’s act, get real and begin to be about finding the very best families for the children who have to become adoptees because their parents cannot, should not or will not raise them. It needs to stop being about baby selling, commodification of human lives and filling orders, greed, profit and lies. Easy?? It could be with the right commitment, intentions and goals and a true belief that is is about the best interests of children and not adults.