"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend. "- Henri Bergson
My younger sister reminded me that in our house as a child it was common place to tell another sibling they were adopted. It was said with cruel intent, meaning “you were/are unwanted, you don’t belong, you should go away”.
I actually wished I was adopted when I was a kid. I did not fit in with my family. I was different, odd, too vocal, green eyed where they had blue, I had an S name, they had a J name, they were passive, I was aggressive. I secretly wished I was adopted and that my real family would come take me away. How messed up is that? To me being adopted would have been a relief (again, cue baby brokers for prime incubating fodder).
So yeah, while I outside my house never said anything rude to others about being adopted, apparently inside we did. We did realize to some extent that there was something wrong with it, something bad and we used that presumed knowledge to hurt our other siblings.
As such, I stand corrected.
I may have found the family that fostered my daughter before she went to her adoptive parents. I don’t know for sure but it seems highly likely. The pictures look similar, the clothes are identical. I won’t tell her of course. She doesn’t want to know about adoption. I will however hold the info and if she wants to know in the future, she and I can explore further for positive confirmation.
This leaves me feeling oddly lightened, more clear. Now that I may know the family that kept her when she left me, and the daughter of that family seems like a loving wonderful adoptee, I feel a bit well “okay” with it. Not that her fostering was ever right or the lies told me to me were right, but knowing more about her story, makes my pain less. Not sure if that makes sense. Its like filling in gaps, voids, the picture becomes clearer and there are less unknowns, less scary monsters in view. I can fill the holes in with truth versus blackness and fear.
Just Plain Old Wrong
In doing some additional research for my site and group list, I stumbled upon this not so lovely bit of news. Boils down to adoptive parents who adopted from one of the agencies in my network. The baby they received was apparently ill, defective, and they returned him and then sued the agency. This makes me ill. What? Adoptive parents only take perfect children? They think they get a money back guarantee on their purchase (apparently so)? Are written warranties given in adoption? Like cars? Is there a 7 year/70K mileage type of approach?
Court of Appeals of Arkansas,
June 1, 1994.
[46 Ark.App. 59] Robert A. Newcomb, Little Rock, for appellant.
Kenneth R. Shemin, Sammie P. Strange, Jr., Little Rock, for appellees.
JENNINGS, Chief Judge.
Appellant, Friends of Children, Inc., is a nonprofit corporation doing business in the State of Arkansas. The appellees, Randall and Diane Marcus, are residents of Potomac, Maryland. In the fall of 1990 appellees contacted American Friends of Children, Inc., also a nonprofit corporation, seeking to adopt a child. The child that was ultimately delivered to the Marcuses was born May 23, 1991, in New York City, was moved to Washington, D.C., and was placed in foster care by American Friends of Children. The child was later transferred by American Friends of Children to Friends of Children and transported to the State of Arkansas.
On July 5, 1991, the Marcuses met with John Rushing, assistant executive director of Friends. They signed a Placement Agreement, the child was delivered to the Marcuses, and the parties immediately obtained an interlocutory decree of adoption in the Pulaski County Probate Court. Almost immediately, Mrs. Marcus noticed what she believed were signs that the child was not "normal" and "healthy".
Friends was notified and the child was examined by a series of physicians both
in Arkansas and in Washington, D.C. While, as the trial court pointed out, the evidence was in conflict, there was evidence that the child had a neurological impairment and might have cerebral palsy.
On August 15, 1991, an agreed order was entered in probate court dissolving the interlocutory decree of adoption. The order provided, in part:
Friends of Children is revested with the right to place said child for adoption. The claims either the petitioners or Friends of
Children may have against each other are not settled with this order.
In December 1991, the Marcuses filed suit against Friends seeking "rescission" and restitution of the $25,000.00 fee they had paid to adopt the child. The complaint alleged that the appellant [46 Ark.App. 60] had committed fraud by concealing certain medical information about the child.
In July of 1992, the child was placed for adoption once again and Friends collected a placement fee of $28,000.00 from the new adopting couple.
There was evidence at trial that the literature provided by the appellant stated that it placed for adoption "healthy white infants," and that the appellees were told that if the adoption did not go through their money…
I also recently met another adoptee who was given back. Aparents adopted to “save” their marriage and when they received a baby, two months later decided it wasn’t going to work and gave her back. They felt divorce was the answer and not adoption. What a nice service the agency and the baby provided there, huh? How did that measure up to marital counseling? (She was then adopted by another family.)
I find myself wondering why adoptive parents can give back a child that does not measure up to their standards yet mothers, natural grandparents (eg Stephanie Bennett, Alison Quets) cannot get their child back when there has been coercion, intimidation or worse.
Still another story from my agency archives. Twelve year old girl. Adopted as an infant again to “save” marriage. Twelve years into it, Adad dies. Amom gives the 12 year old over to the State citing “she never wanted the kid to begin with the adad did” and now that adad is dead, she doesn’t want her. Child becomes ward of state of GA.
How can people so easily justify giving children back to the state, to the agencies but not to the natural family?