Friday, January 29, 2010

I've Come A Long Way, Baby

Below is something I wrote just two short years ago. I still have some of the same feelings about my son's adoptive mother. I think it is obvious that I was moving through the adoption fog, but I was still deeply ensconced closer to the other side of things than I am now.

Enjoy, and please don't laugh too hard. ;)


January 22, 2008

I recently contacted my son that I gave up for adoption 19 years ago and have yet to receive a reply. I'm good with this. The entire situation is overwhelming, to say the least. I can wait.

But that's not what this blog is for; it's only the catalyst that has spurred my musings. I've read and seen and heard a lot about "birth mothers" and all the other terms that are given to women who have signed papers to relinquish their parental rights.

I recently came across this quote that I can't get out of my head. It's not that I embrace this view point, but there are some very specific points it makes that have made me think.

"Exiled mother: A natural mother who has lost her child to adoption solely because of her age and/or lack of support, information or resources. An unrecognized mother, she has been thrown away, banished and discarded by her parents, the adoption industry and society, who deemed her unworthy to raise her own child. "

First, I don't consider the woman who adopted my son to be "unnatural". I met her. She was as human as I am. What makes ME natural and HER unnatural? I'm perhaps the FIRST mother, but that doesn't make me MORE natural. If it did, would that mean that I'm SUPERNATURAL?

Second, "lost her child"...hmmmm...I knew where my son was after we were released from the hospital, prior to signing the papers. Up until then, I had every right (by law, until I signed papers saying I was no longer legally a parent) to see my son. I didn't misplace him. And while I may not have known exactly where he was his entire life, I didn't LOSE him.

Third, yeah, I was placed into a position by my family, my son's father's family and what seemed to be society in general to put my son up for adoption. I felt maneuvered. Not by this supposedly all powerful "Adoption Industry", but by those around me whom I needed support from the most, and who abandoned me in my biggest time of need.
Fourth, “An unrecognized mother”: Ok, this is right on the money. I spent years without my son, and if I ever talked about him (and when I made friends, or even just chatting it up with someone, I talked A LOT about him), it was difficult to explain what happened. It’s different than it was when I was adopted. In 1969 people still had some of the “unwed mother” prejudice in place. It is suspected that my birth mother more than likely was made to move to the Sacramento area to have me. So, there must have been a lot of shame in her family concerning me. But in 1989, “things were different”, I had other options. Heh, see the third explanation. Some options. Back to the point; I WAS unrecognized! One thing I will agree with is that adoption has made me a first class liar. When asked how many children I have, my knee jerk reaction is 2. But I don’t have just 2 children. I have 3 children.

Fifth; ...and society, who deemed her unworthy to raise her own child.” Yeah, got a lot of issues here, too. I was unworthy on so many levels. Unworthy to be a wife to my son’s father (after the adoption we were married; however, his family strongly disapproved of me for getting Mark “into trouble”. That marriage was doomed.) I was unworthy of being my son’s mother by so many people. In short, it left me feeling like a totally unworthy human being. Within the three months of relinquishing Andrew/Timothy for adoption I sunk into an abject misery. Looking back at it now, I was clinically depressed. I eventually yanked myself up by my boot straps and got myself out of it, but I did just about everything known to man to self destruct. I wasn’t worthy to be a human, so why should I remain in this life? I’ve always felt that suicide was wrong (that’s a different blog), but I sure did one hell of a job to get there anyway. Just not consciously, that’s all.

While I don’t agree with the extreme group that claims the “Adoption Industry” is just waiting on baited breath to snatch single, pregnant women off the streets just to give privileged white infertile couples babies, there is an interesting, prevailing attitude in this society that I think very few people are aware of; and that pregnancy is a disease that we need to cure women of. This attitude is so prevalent on so many levels its sickening! There’s a strong push to separate mothers and children, even when the pregnancy is planned! (I have a whole other soap box dedicated to that particular subject). This attitude is subtle, but everywhere and most people don’t even realize they embrace it whole heartedly.

I guess we can thank our Puritan beginnings. I think they’d be proud of the influence they still wield even after 400 years.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I see it...I don't know where FOURTH went to...lost in the fog somewhere, I guess.