Picked up from Facebook from an adopter – “I just had a bad memory. When I got angry with our agency for lying and claiming to not know anything about its counterpart in Ethiopia, the owner said this to me: Why are you upset? We got you beautiful children!” Permission to quote requested and given. Doesn’t this so clearly demonstrate what so many of us adult adoptees have been going on about for years? The lack of ethics, the uncaring, the disregard for consequences and the commodifying of children. That one tiny sentence says so much about the adoption industry – that is all about getting children for parents, all about the product and ignoring the means. Those who adopt so often profess to be angry after the event, after the adoption has been completed. Better to be angry after the event or not at all?
Following some remarks by a fellow adoptee who has been helping to rewrite adoption history with origins vic, I took a little stroll down memory lane, revisited a few posts from 2013 and remembered how it was back then when some of us adoptees were still being abused by mothers-of-loss and a few adoptees who couldn’t decide where their allegiances lay and were confused about what was permissible and where the boundaries were drawn. For those of us who were demeaned, bullied, scorned, harassed, disdained, dismissed and told we were ‘wallowing in misery’ or crazy, it seems our long memories help us not to forget that part of adoption history which like other times in adoption is so easily rewritten or conveniently left out when it doesn’t quite fit the favoured agenda. Following our deletion or unjoining from the group on the forced adoption Inquiry here in Australia I opened the first Facebook group for adoptees where they could discuss their concerns, express their interest in the Inquiry and in making Submissions and lick their wounds, those inflicted by mothers-of-loss, who refused to stand corrected on aspects of adoption which we as adult adoptees knew from the inside. After a false start with an adoptee/mother-of-loss who couldn’t decide her allegiances as one Admin, we set up another group which is still running, with no or little input from me these days. I moved on to other aspects of adoption and made tiny contributions to the Inquiry and to the Report on forced adoption. Eventually the Federal Apology was made by our Government and Apologies by most of our States. I attended that of my own State with my family and in honour of my mother who had not lived to see the day and would never have expected an apology or thought it possible I expect. Of all the recommendations made in the Report very few have been implemented and I doubt will be now. It requires constant vigilance and lobbying to make these things happen and how wonderful it would be to present a united front instead of a climate of sabotage, disinterest and apathy. In receiving apologies, the first in the world a milestone was reached for adoptees through our own insistence on being included as victims of forced adoption despite the discouragement, knock-backs and disapproval of mothers-of-loss. Most of us supported their action, but we were not favoured with inclusion by many and actively judged as ‘not an adoptee’, ‘an abusive adoptee’, not qualified to participate or not interested due to having had ‘a good adoption’. A small number of adoptees would not be part of the website we set up as a support, because they said it was for adoptees who had experienced ‘good adoptions’. One even suggested she was being discriminated against and that there was no place for her. When she later changed her mind and asked to join she had no memory of such an exchange. Some of us have long memories and keep records! It was one of the many areas which required definition and clarification. We finally seem to have come to the conclusion there is no good or bad adoption and that it is like the curate’s egg. It was sad to discover that mothers- of- loss actually didn’t understand adoption and were firm believers in some of the myths of adoption because it was probably too hard or painful to believe otherwise. It is rare to find a mother-of-loss who understands reunion and the process for adoptees or one who has done the necessary work to prepare for reunion and give it a good chance of survival. That is a sad conclusion, but is demonstrated over and over again by the comments made on adoptees and their ‘behaviour’ during reunion. There are rare and precious examples of mothers-of-loss who have prepared thoroughly and are as ready as they can be through their efforts and dedication, their commitment and strong intent. Lucky are the adoptees with mothers like this and I hope they will one day know and appreciate the beautiful, courageous women who gave birth to them.
Bad dreams abound currently. The usual ones with variations on a theme. It is probably an indication of effort I am putting in to Jeff Brown’s course in recovering from and working with unawakened men. I am currently looking at early influences and it’s a rich field which will take me a time to plod through. I’m finding my mind is very resistant and some things are deeply buried, so I need to take great care and proceed cautiously. I’m going to be working with a small supportive group of all ages which will be interesting and hopefully useful and productive. I’m going to be using the big colouring book on trauma I mentioned a few posts ago as it seems to fit in quite naturally. (https://eagoodlife.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/coloring-book-of-healing-images).
As always, life goes on and has many joys and compensations. Living with geese is one of the most rewarding, satisfying and enjoyable activities possible in life. They are wonderfully patient and tolerant in teaching the amateur what they require, enjoy and find necessary for a good life. This year has been a hard one and the losses have been numerous. So far, and it is almost the end of the nesting season, we have managed to have one gosling survive to more than a few weeks old. This little survivor has a lot to teach us and if we observe well we will learn the lessons. S/he is resilient, plucky, cheerful, assertive, adventurous, brave, undaunted and always optimistic with plenty to say and no hesitation in saying it! Goslings grow fast and reach almost adult size in seven weeks. It takes a year or two for them to achieve full adult size and they keep adding to their bulk as the years go by. My oldest goose is now a very impressive size with a fine ‘coat’ of down and feathers and a ‘nesting pad’ of downy feathers underneath which touches the ground. She is developing a slight double chin and looks every bit the Matriach. Who’d be without them?