Between the Lions

"There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet the enemy." – George Washington

It is consistently disheartening to me when my sisters turn on me. When I am alienated and ostracized because I choose to sleep with the enemy. Yeah, the enemy, you know, those evil adopters.

During a conversation yesterday with a long time friend and fellow natural mom, I was informed that she had a “real problem” with me attending the adoption ethics conference. She felt that I was a traitor to our “cause” by fraternizing with the enemies.

Slightly hurt and definitely perplexed, I asked her what she thought I was going to do there? Did she think I was going there to help people acquire the children of others? Maybe I was going to raffle off a baby? Sell an egg of my own?  Did she think I was going to say adoption was such a good thing? Exactly WHAT did she think my position was? I asked her.

She stated she clearly knew my position as a pro-reform, family preservationist. She knows I sponsor single unwed moms. She knows I tell my story so others can learn from it. She knows I work hard to help those separated by Kurtz. She knows I regret my decision to surrender my daughter. She knows my daughter’s adoption was unethical. She doesn’t doubt my will or my position but she does question how I can be in the same room with those that took our children and more importantly those that continue to take our children.

How can I not? I responded.

I paused for a bit and then I asked her, a woman of Jewish faith, how she expected Israel and Palestine to come to peace if one party disregards the other?

She looked at me like I was nuts. (Maybe I am? I am not Jewish so perhaps that was a bad analogy?)

“What the hell does Israel and Palestine have to do with adoption?” she asked.

I tried to explain my analogy to her using the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and their fight over their rightful homeland.  I used this analogy as I knew it was something she could relate to.

She kind of “got it”.

I further went on to tell her that while I am absolutely pro-reform and family preservation I feel there are many facets to what is wrong with adoption.  In my world, there are two  key groups that are affected daily by the horrors of adoption and it those groups that I pledge my allegiance and support to.   Note that adoptive parents are not one of them.

Group # 1 – Current Adoptees
These individuals have a right to their records, their names, their family, whatever the frick they want.   Hence, I support open records.  Additionally, I believe that we need to come to terms with adopters, those that acquired and raised our children – FOR OUR CHILDRENS SAKES.  I am not suggesting we enable additional adoptions or have tea and crumpets with the adoptive families, but can we talk about the divided loyalties our children feel? Can we acknowledge their pain and do whatever we can to minimize it?  I have no desire to caress the infertile boo boos. I do have a desire to treat our traumatized children with some respect. To do so requires treating the only parents they have ever known with some degree of civility. Would it HELP my daughter if I bash her aparents? If I hate them?  Will that make her love me more or less? Will that make her feel more bonded to me? I am going to guess the answer is NO.

So, I told my friend, when I am “sleeping with the enemy” I am not doing it for them or their benefit, I am doing it for our children.

My friend asked “Well, what about those adopters who bash you?  What if your daughters adoptive parents bash you?”

I have no doubt in my mind that happens or will.  But you know, I view that as a reflection of "those people". Furthermore, if my daughter’s parents bash me (I have no idea if they do), they are affecting their relationship with her – not me personally. They hurt her.

Additionally, befriending an open minded adoptive parent is an opportunity to educate them and help the children they are raising and maybe, just maybe, prevent them from harvesting more children from others. I never encourage adoption as it is today. If someone else must take care of a child (and those situations will always exist in my opinion) then I advocate kinship adoption and guardianship.

Group #2 – Mothers and their Unborn Children
I believe we owe future generations improvements to the world they will inherit. That means, we need to work today to insure that future mothers and their unborn children are not subjected to the adoption horrors that happen today. That means we must work towards improved social programs, awareness and education. We must educate the public, the masses on the damage of adoption. We must focus, strongly, on young girls and our daughters. They and their unborn children are being preyed upon. Their low self esteem, their lack of familial support makes them prime targets for those who wish to buy and sell babies.  While we work toward saving those mothers and children from the machine, we must simultaneously work with legislators to make adoption more human and truly, ultimately, in the best interest of the children and not in the interest of the infertiles or the baby brokers.

How can you effect any of this change if you don’t sleep with the enemy? I asked my friend.  If you stand in a room of your supporters, people who think just like you do, how are you making any change? You aren’t. You are merely talking to yourself.

So yeah, my mother friend, I will indeed talk with adopters, past, present and future. Doing so doesn’t mean I believe adoption is right or good or needed. Doing so doesn’t mean I am a traitor to the “cause”.

Doing so means I am willing to throw myself into the lions den in support of the cause.

As I have said many times, if ONE child is saved from the machine by me sharing my experiences, I have saved not just that child but all future descendents of that child.

Adoption damages not only a mother a child but an entire family constellation – forever.

4 Thoughts.

  1. Valerie Mantecon wrote her dissertation “re-membering broken bonds” about women who relinquished and were reunnited. This particular quote is one I found fitting and so very true, “like a single pebble thrown into a pond, creating fluid circles ever expanding, ever widening, ever connected, echoes from a long-ago event–the surrender of a child from one clan to another–seems to create an ongoing spiral, touching many lives, affecting all members of a family collective, including those who went before and those yet to come(270)”
    Seems to fit well with your like for family constellation theory.

  2. If all you did was preach to the choir, how would that be real change? I’ve got a liberal activist friend and he listens to Rush Limbaugh because unless he knows what the other side is saying, he can’t know how to undo their efforts. And it’s an ETHICS conference — you’re so much more likely to find allies in adoption professionals there, people who are willing to listen. Besides which, what’s an ethics conference without the voice of first moms?????????

  3. Suz, You are the BOMB!!! Of course it’s easier to hang with “our own,” always be agreed with, never challenged. Who learns from that? No one, it’s just a feel good frenzy. I have been questioned about having links to the Donaldson Adoption Institute and other “triad-oriented” organizations on my blog. And have said the same thing, although near as eloquently as you. You go girl!

  4. jean – i remember you citing valeries work before. thank you for the reminder. i agree. it seems similar to my beliefs that adoption damages an entire family unit forever – not just the mother and child (though they are most damaged)

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