Waking Up is Hard to To Do

"We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are." – Anais Nin

My husband and I often have this discussion of what is blue and what is green.

Specifically, I challenge him on the possibility that what he believes is blue and what I believe is blue is not really the same. He thinks I am nuts and we go round and round.

“Blue is blue”, he says.

I disagree.

My position is that as children a color was shown to us, maybe on a flash card and we were told it was blue. We believed what was told us and from that point on said that color THAT WE SAW was blue.

But how do we know we both saw the same color?  He may be seeing something that is green with stripes and calling it blue and I may be seeing something else and calling it blue.

My point to him is that we can never truly know how another feels or what they see. Unless you can get into their brain like Plankton did to Sponge Bob, you cannot see through someone else’s eyes and see what they see. Add color blind people to the mix and you are in even worse shape. They definitely don’t see what you see. (Or do they?).

This concept is painfully obvious in adoption circles.

So many people refuse to see the negatives of adoption. Is it that they cannot or they won’t? Are they intellectually completely incapable of it or is it too emotionally painful for them?

I have several good adoptive mom friends.  Most are very progressive (naturally) and engaged in open adoptions, reform work or more. A few are wakening to their roles in perpetuating a broken system and crimes against mothers and children and still a few others are completely emphatically insistent that adoption is fantastic, always has been, and always will be. Those of us that feel pain from adoption trauma are lunatics, plain and simple.

It’s the latter group that intrigues me. Do they really not see what so many others do? Or is it too painful?

Cady is an adoptive mom who purchased two children from Easter House. She admits she knew nothing about the agency. She did not care. She was referred by her fertility specialist. The specialist was reputable so surely the agency the specialist recommends would be reputable, right? She and her husband gathered the funds and within 90 days of applying had a lovely white baby boy in their arms. They believed everything the agency told them.

  • The excessive fee went to help the mothers get back on their feet.
  • It went for medical bills and training and schooling for the mothers.
  • The mother WANTED to do this gleefully and joyfully and she is doing just fine. The fees will provide psychological counseling to the mothers – should they need it. But they rarely do. 
  • Mothers can be replaced. Children suffer no negative consequences from being taken from their mothers. Mommies are interchangeable. No different than buying a brand name product or a generic at the grocery store. They both work the same and taste the same.
  • Records are closed to protect the mothers. They don’t want anyone to know they had a bastard child. They don’t ever want to be found.
  • Children will never have a need to find their first families. They won’t ask about them. It won’t matter. Families are replaceable just like mommies.
  • Mothers are eternally grateful and so very glad you could take their child and provide the good home they themselves could not or did not want to.

Gee, who wouldn’t jump on that opportunity?

Get a baby and help a mother? Wow. Imagine the altruistic head rush. Imagine how proud and happy you can be when you can walk around stomping your chest citing the wonderful things you did for a single, unwed mother while accepting her child, renaming it and calling it your very own – as if born to you.  Imagine how puffed up you can be?

Fast forward twenty something years later and you discover that everything you had been told is a lie.  You discover the agency you used is a notorious baby broker that used coercive and intimidating tactics to obtain babies.

Imagine learning that your money, the money you borrowed from family, friends, and the local bank, did not go to help the child’s mother but rather lined the already heavy pockets of the baby broker.

Imagine finding out that your child’s mother attempted suicide due to lack of counseling being provided to her?

Imagine learning that your child’s mother attempted to keep her child and when she voiced such silly statements she was drugged and tied in restraints just so that baby could come to you.

Imagine learning that the neighbor down the street also adopted a white baby boy from the same agency during the same year but they were charged half what you were. Is your child more valuable than theirs or were you suckered because your and your husband had more money available to you?

How do you feel then? Not so puffed up, huh?  Chances are you are horrified, embarrassed, angry and more.

This is how Cady came to me one day. She found me online and wanted to ask me direct, hard questions about the agency and wanted proof that what she read on babybrokerwatch.com was accurate.

So we talked. I shared my story. I told her what they did to me, how they did it, and how I felt during and afterwards. I told her stories of at least forty other mothers I know. I told her the stories of adoptees I know.

She fought me every step of the way. I was wrong. I was making it up. Those state records and legal briefings…well, they just weren’t truuuuuuuue. They couldn’t be.

She quickly reverted to a common tactic. That is, she started to blame me. I was lying, I was wrong, birthmothers made this up, it’s not true. She did a good thing. She was not party to an illegal transaction that took a child from a mother and gave it to her.

In my earlier days, I would have been angry. I would attack her back.

I just couldn’t.

I knew the pain of those realizations. I know all to well what it feels like to have been used, abused, lied to, manipulated and worse, for my child to be at the center of all that. I know what is like to be lead to believe you are doing something wonderful for a child and then you learn you may have damaged that child.

Closed infant adoption. Legalized lies.

I just sat silently and allowed her to go through the motions. I thought she might be processing. I hoped she would come to the realization that she too, was used, as I was.

She didn’t. She couldn’t. She continued to rage on and then hung up on me.

I haven’t heard from her since. Did she accept it? What was done to her child? To her child’s natural mother? To her? Can she?

I don’t know. I may never know. Just like I may never know if the blue my husband sees from his eyes is the same color as mine. I certainly hope she does doesn’t feel blue.

She was a victim in the scheme as much as I was.

8 Thoughts.

  1. Wonderful! Out of the tunnel into the light. You did this one good.
    No one person sees the same thing in the same way. And you will not convince them, not yet.

  2. I hadn’t gotten all the way through this when I talked to you. Love the blue isn’t necessarily blue comparison, but damn that was heart-wrenching to read.

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever commented before. I just started reading your blog and it is great. I am a mom of both adopted and bio. children. After learning so much from blogs like yours we initiated a search for my daughters family in Russia. I was terrified of what I would find out. I wasn’t afraid of the usual things that would scare people. Most people probably think the most difficult thing to hear and eventually tell their child would be that your child was conceived from rape. Also big fears are that the child’s mother drank and did drugs or something else that may impact their future. None of this really crossed my mind because I was too busy being afraid that I would hear that she never signed the papers, the baby was hidden from her or something else. Really, the idea of having been a part of stealing another woman’s baby would have sent me over the edge. How do you look in the mirror, how do you hold your head up? Even if the right thing would be to return the child… how do you do that? Knowing you stole someone’s baby would be as awful as a death if not worse. Certainly sticking her head in the sand is wrong, but wow can I understand the impulse. Maybe she needs time to digest it in pieces. I don’t know.

  4. “It has been said that for the truth to exist, it takes two people – one to speak it…and another to hear it. Mankind will be forever doomed to destruction if we continue to ask for the truth…but then refuse to listen.” Control – The Outer Limits.
    She took the first step in asking and that is a big step unto itself.

  5. half and half – oh god, please do. that would be fabulous and you definitely have the cajones to do it.

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