“I love working with birth moms because they are essential; ~without them, there is no adoption process!”
“It is such an honor to have a pregnant woman share her journey with me and talk through her thoughts, feelings and experiences that have brought her to the decision that adoption is the right choice for her and her baby. Every woman is an individual and I am reminded of that in working with birth moms because no two women’s journeys are ever the same. I also love hearing why they feel drawn to certain adoptive families and watching the process of birth moms feel a sense of control over the placement of their child. It is a wonderful, unpredictable and always unique experience with every individual, expectant mom.”- Leslie, A Child’s Hope Adoption Counselor
In reading the above words, looking at the website and viewing the photos, a deep sense of gloom has descended over your Blogger like a suffocating blanket of doom, a depressing fog of reality, memories re-emerge, flashes of scenes and a catalogue of painful ‘incidents and accidents’ as Paul Simon sang.
I was not subject to the attentions of attorneys, adoption counselors and those who profit from adoption and keep the industry running healthily to the tune of $13 bullion p.a. but I was raised by ‘old’ adopters. I have many memories of the mortification, the awkwardness, the embarrassment, the lack of understanding and their ‘out of touchness’. Not all of that was age related. They were definitely individuals who pursued their own ways and creative paths, for which I’m grateful. I learned from them that you could achieve whatever you set your mind to, that there is great beauty and wonder in the natural world and in some of the world humans have created. I learned to love books and to read early.I learned that being female was not in any way a disadvantage and that I could do anything any man could. I have distinct memories of my father showing me how to clean spark plugs and do routine maintenance on the car, just as he would have done if I’d been a boy. I was not patronised or treated differently.
In a life that begins with loss and trauma, stigma and grief, we grapple with many hardships. Those who say we are ‘wallowing in misery’* or ‘having a pity party’ when we attempt to discuss with others, to make sense of it all, so we can progress in our difficult journey, have never been there, will never have to go there. Whatever their hardships and griefs, their experiences have been different and their lack of empathy reflects that. Those of you who are adoptees will know the misery of living with people who are not like us, who are theoretically old enough to be our grandparents and who emphasise our sense of displacement, stigma, lostness, abandonment and isolation. I remember spending time in the homes of friends where Mums and Dads were young, lively, humorous and playful and there was loving banter between the ages, affection freely shown and given and the sharing of food was central to family life, not a chore and a task to be got over. It made me feel very sad and a sense of longing would come over me as I had to leave to go home. Longing for the cosiness of a real family life, unconditional love, the sense of fitting in with connection and the youthfulness of family life in which the gap between adults and children was ‘normal’ – a child’s hope never to be realised.
There was a reason why, back in the day, adoption was only possible for people up to a certain age. Some determined adopters got round this through the usual illegal channels as they still do today with no thought for the child and the future. There is little to be said for it, except perhaps that more of the adopted life is lived after the adopters die. Harsh as that sounds, life after death is in this case very freeing.
*Lizzy Brew – a mother of loss and then a member of Origins