In Which Suz Rants

"From sublime to ridiculousness there is only one step.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

:: Rant On ::

Two friends in two reunions this week. That translates to two friends being confronted by two adoptive mothers that would have preferred those first moms were not alive. (N.B., In general, we have a shelf life of about nine months and three days. Once our children are in the hands of their new mommies, many prefer to forget that we existed and they do so quite successfully.  It is quite a shock to them when we pop up, eighteen years later, not dead and buried but fully functioning decent people thoroughly traumatized by the loss of our children. Our pain is their gain and they greatly dislike facing that reality.)

But I digress.

Each friend was faced with a situation that would have made me spit nails. I don’t know how they managed through it but they did and I am lucky to know them. They can likely counsel me should I ever be faced with such statements.

Odd statement #1

Upon entering in the home of adoptive family, first mom is grabbed harshly by the adoptive mom in what appeared to others to be a giant forceful hug.  Adoptive mom is crying and whispers harshly in friends ear "She saved my life. She saved my life. You cannot have her back."

Can I get a big old round of WTF?

Have her back?  Um, we aren’t trading Yugio cards here okay? This is a living, breathing, capable young woman able to function on her own and we assume, have a relationship with both her mothers – should she choose to do so.

And what is being implied by saving your life and having her back? Are you now going to DIE since your child has been reunited with the object that gave birth to your human bandaid?

Girlfriend, puhlease.

Furthermore, the point of adoption (as it is painted to young expectant mothers) is to save our children from US.  It is NOT to save the life of a forty five year old infertile woman. My friend did not surrender her child so some other womans life could be saved. What kind of burden is that to put on a child? And newsflash, most moms that I know, are not thinking of saving the life of some prospective adoptive parent. We are not thinking of you. We are thinking of our child. We are told we are not good enough, wealthy enough and smart enough.  We are told girls who have sex outside of marriage are deranged and disturbed and threaten the fabric of society. We are told if we loved our child we would abandon them to strangers. (Effed up, I know). As a last resort, we are told to consider those poor infertile women.

You think of yourself first and how our child can save your life. We think of saving our child’s life (from us, from our family, from poverty). See the disconnect here? See how we will likely not care about saving your life – even into reunion. 

Time to put your big girl pants on and take care of your own dooky.

Odd statement #2 –

Adoptive mom rambles on and on to first mom about her infertility. How awful her life was without children. How she deserved to have children (that implies some dont, doesnt it?).  How obtaining my friends child saved her life (common theme here, eh?).  It is made clear to my friend that she should feel sorry for this infertile adoptive mom and should, do the decent thing, and go away again so this adoptive mom can live in fantasy land and pretend the child she purchased has no other mommy.

Um.

No.

See odd statement #1.

The saving grace in both of these situations is that the adult adoptees involved are mature, amazing, open and managing the situations.  It is unfortunate they have to. But they are.

Thank the gods others believe in for that.

:: Rant Off ::

19 Thoughts.

  1. I’ve spoken to my son’s amother a few times. One thing (among many) that sticks in my mind, as she was telling me about her infertility, was how she “just wanted to feel like every body else”. And I thought (and wish I had said) about how after I gave my son to her I never felt like “every body” else ever again, and I wonder, which one of us felt worse? We just exchanged our pain, and I’m pretty sure I got the worse end of the deal…hers magnified a million times onto me.
    I must say that I do wish my son’s amom would be a bit more possessive (probably not a good word)….he told me that his amom thinks he is “disposable”. He lives with us now and tells me this is the happiest he’s ever been…..puts me over the top and breaks my heart at the same time.

  2. Just like some women’s childbirth stories define them, clearly these women’s infertility stories have defined them.
    When I met the AP’s (with my son’s father in the bar of a very nice hotel.) ADad said to me – “Someone in my family gave a child up for adoption. She’d had so many abortions that she figured she’d better have this one.”
    Meant to put me down but all it did was show me real fast who my son had to deal with all his life. I more or less decided on the spot that Adad was a head-f***er. AMom on the other hand said – “He (my son) tells me he looks alot like your father. He (my son) has stolen things. Is that your father’s character?”
    His father (actual not A) said when we left – “He’s had a tough time with those two.”
    My son had warned me how it was going to go and that’s exactly how it went.
    Oy, Oy, Oy
    Kris

  3. I find it incredible that our children suffered with “mothers” who wanted them SOOOO much but barely took the time or inclination to ever be a “mother”. The last night my son was here on his most recent visit, i was laying beside him for a moment before saying goodnight, I said to him, “R (his sister) likes her back rubbed to fall asleep, do you?” and he turned over looked at me and said “I don’t know, I have never had my back rubbed to fall asleep”
    And if my heart wasn’t already broken beyond repair, it was at that very moment.
    “How is that you never once, laid down beside my son and rubbed his back to help him sleep, not once in 19 years?” This is the only question I think I now have for my son’s “mother”.

  4. These stories are so sad. Thinking of how and why we gave up our children. Better homes, better life, stability. Then you hear of the Amom who just loves to wipe her tears in her apron,gasping of TRULY giving love, teaching guilt trips and the best I have heard yet is “I took you in when there was no one” Grrrr. YES! We all could have done better had we been given the help that was needed. I know that with todays teaching and awareness this adoption thing will roll mom and babe in the same blanket, under the same stars.

  5. Suz: You sure have those irons in the fire. Excellent post! There has to be “Odd Statement” #3,4, etc. The aparents meeting with mother first visit playing semantics. My kitty plays with me to, but then he pees in his box not on me!!

  6. Yeah, saved her life.. that’s why my Amom told me she wished she hadn’t adopted me whenever I did something that really pissed her off. Willing to give me away when I wasn’t too perfect, but went into hysterics if I talked about finding my Bmom.
    I think Amom’s have a wealth of emotional baggage, and it spills like oil in an unzipped ziplock — oozing, messy and nobody knows how to control it.

  7. wow. I guess I should feel lucky after stories like these. It’s still a sharp stab every time I think of my dd’s adad asking me where I “disappeared” to for the last 21 years. Or telling me repeatedly that I “made the right choice”. But those were sort of well meaning comments made, I believe, in ignorance and not intended to sting. The ones in your post (and in the above comments)….. can’t see any excuse for those at all.

  8. I would never go into their house. Never. I wish that we weren’t a threat to the people who adopted our children. I wonder what it would feel like to be welcomed and shown love and respect. Sometimes I foolishly think that would be very healing, to feel warmth and respect from those people.
    I don’t think I will ever meet them, I don’t know if I want to anymore. Those poor mothers, in early reunion you are so freaked out and not in a good emotional state to think clearly, what on earth were the adoptive parents doing there? It’s hard enough just seeing your grown up child face to face but to have to deal with the whole family?
    That’s like bringing your entire family to meet them. In my opinion that would be too overwhelming.
    Like mombonnie, I never felt the same afterwards, I still don’t feel like “everybody else” although I have never felt like every body else. Now I see that as a gift.
    Urhgh and argh. What a challenge this all is heh?

  9. Just remember that there is a decent first meeting with the aparents also. I was welcomed by my daughters aparents and still remain in an open and loving relationship. Perfect….no, but relationship is. I feel for the women whom you are speaking of, but I know from first hand experience that there is better out there.

  10. Deb – Agreed. In fact, I was chatting with your daughters adoptive mother via email last night. She was upset with what she read here and wanted people to know there are respectful adoptive parents out there. I told her to post her words here. Better to come from her than me! Hopefully she will.

  11. Hi hon~
    Reading what others have said about adoptive mothers has really upset me. I do realize there are a lot of jerks out there, both natural and adopted parents. BUT, let these woman know there are many wonderful adoptive parents out there too.
    One’s who actually know that this child is their’s legally and their #1 parenting role is loving, truthful and up front honesty; as
    well as having total respect and understanding for the sacrifices their child’s mother had to make, or was forced to make.
    Plus, they too have awaited anxiously for the day when they can help assist in the reuniting of their child with his/her natural parent/s, as we did with Tara-ann and Deb; (and in a freaken black out to boot!) To us, Deb and her family are our family now.
    Just let them know not to give up .. not all adopted parents are mean, self centered and insecure, living in make believe land.
    Again, I apologize 🙁 for these stupid adopted parents who feel threatened, afraid of losing their child to his/her natural parents. If they had raised that child with love and honestly – that would be the last thing they would ever be thinking about and be able to welcome their child’s natural parents into their lives with open arms.
    Maureen

  12. Correction, I apologize for using the word adopted parents, instead of the correct word adoptive parents – just pissed off with all of these jerks – sorry!
    Maureen

  13. Suz: I dont believe you intended to make reference at all to Aparents in their mothering abilities. However, the fact that there are so many adoptees wanting to know and find their real mom’s with no information which is hidden in the family vault until they pass on. And most Adoptees feel guilty should they do a search to find, while the aparents are still alive. And Iam sure many knew the truth all along. There can be no sympathy for this behaviour.

  14. Joyce – You are correct. I was referencing two specific adoptive parents and was not applying a generic stereotype to all. Sadly, its apparently too common of a story. Hence the follow ons.
    However, I realize that many of us traumatized by adoption can easily become triggered and have a hard time separating out our situation from those of others. First parents can easily become offended when another first parent (or more) are visciously attacked. Same is true for adoptees and adoptive parents. We can all be a little defensive at times and have to remember that one perrsons adoption story is not EVERYONES adoption story.

  15. Odd statement #257: An amom who knew about my reunion — she and her husband adopted an older child from Romania, who had considerable developmental problems — once told me: If his mother ever shows up, I’ll tell her, fine, take him, but you owe us the thousands of dollars we’ve spent (on schools, psychologists, etc.).
    Why do some adoptive parents think they’re going to fare any better than parents who raised their own kids, who might just as well have problems? My own mother resented that we, her three kids, didn’t meet her expectations.

  16. Thank you Maureen for standing up for adoptive moms who appreciate and welcome their child’s first moms. Gave me hope.

  17. Unfortunately just as there are adoptive parents who don’t handle themselves well during reunion meetings, there are birth parents who do not either. One too many adoptee has been scared away by overly emotional and demanding birth parents. All the parents involved need to think about their behaviors and the effect on the adoptee. Imagine being an adult adoptee being contacted out of the blue by a birth parent who you are not ready to meet.

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