It was still really hard.
One blog was so full of anger and vitriol - at the adoption system and at adoptive mothers in particular - and featured a lengthy post about the silencing of Birth-mothers by those in the system/adoptive families who apparently only want to highlight the gains and joys of adoptive families. She writes about being made to feel "evil", "wrong", "bad" and "without a voice" in the world of adoption. In her words:
Our pain, our loss, our complete denial of help and support when we needed it most, doesn’t matter in the least bit when it comes to making sure adoption is still seen in the great “happy” light as it always has been.
Also in her words:
Why even consider changing anything when obviously, the lives of those who have been affected mean so little to those who can wake up every morning thankful for how adoption has, and will, bless their own, deserving and amazing life?
This blogger and several others also expressed their rage at feeling they were coerced and manipulated into giving up their children into the apparent void that is adoption. That when as young pregnant women they went to family planning clinics and adoption agencies looking for help they were made to feel that they would be unsuitable mothers and that they should consider adoption as the first and only alternative. One woman described herself as feeling totally "expendable." Her unborn child looked upon as a "commodity." Another writes of adoptive parents:
They don't want to hear reality. They want to hear how wonderful they are for rescuing helpless babies from a horrible life with their natural families.
As someone who is looking to adoption as the means of becoming a family - reading these angry words is at once extremely upsetting and thought provoking. Part of me wanted to indulge in anger in return and to respond as such, but I realized, of course, that that would be pointless. Still, I felt compelled to address some of this anger with some thoughtful words by leaving a comment of my own. This is what I wrote:
I just discovered your blog today. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
My husband and I are in the early stages of adoption and so I felt strongly that I should leave a comment. I'm commenting not to try to change your mind on adoption or to diminish in any way your pain and grief. Obviously you and your family have suffered tremendously and for that I am truly sorry.
My comments are simply these - please know that as a prospective adoptive parent I am grappling with knowing that my husband's and my ability to have a family is predicated on someone else's loss. And that I am trying to understand and be mindful of this very difficult fact - trying to see things as best I can from the perspective of the woman who will give birth to the little person that may become an integral part of our family. Please know that there are adoptive parents out here - well, at least one - who do not believe that the woman who gave birth to our children are expendable, evil monsters or that children are something to be sold/purchased. That as an adoptive parent I will be so incredibly honored that another woman would allow me the privilege of raising her child and that I can only hope she knows the extent of my gratitude. Please also know that as an adoptive parent, I do understand that there are very serious implications for all parties involved - the child, the child's mother & father, my husband and I, our families, the family of the mother and father. We're not going into this situation thinking that it's all going to be happiness and joy. Because it isn't. It's incredibly complicated and requires serious thought, integrity, honesty, right action, kindness, and empathy.
I can't know what it means to give up a child for adoption because biological children are not an option for me. And I'm sure that I can't even imagine what kind of suffering that engenders - although your story and those of other moms in your situation have helped me to learn more about that. I'm looking at this from the other side of the adoption table - knowing that the only way that my husband and I can become a family is via adoption. Would we have a biological child if we could? Yes. But we can't so...
Again, I want to thank you for sharing your story. It's good to read your words - and for me to hear the hard stuff. And again - I am truly sorry for your loss and grief.
I have no idea if this blogger has yet read my comment (she hasn't left an additional comment on her blog) and I certainly don't want to push the issue, but it felt right to try to share some thoughts from the "other" side.
Are the angry words of Birth-mothers who obviously feel so disenfranchised and abused by the adoption system intended to make me feel like an evil monster for being an adoptive mom? I don't know - but for a while on Sunday night they certainly did.
Will this ever stop being so complicated?
So much to consider...