Not Everything To Me

“Christianity came into existence in order to lighten the heart; but now it has first to burden the heart so as afterwards to be able to lighten it.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

So, okay, I have to comment here. Normally I don’t. Typically I would worry that someone is using me to promote their own agenda. Even if that is the case, I have to comment.

Normally I cannot get past Christian propaganda, pro life hoo-ha and pro adoption koolaid.  With this artist, I was able to.  Not only do I like his voice, but he is kinda cute (dontcha think?). I liked his website design and oddly, his album title “Broken and Beautiful” bears a strong resemblance to my own myspace handle “Beautifully Broken”.   Overall, I was drawn to the artistic aspects and as such I watched the video and read his site. And yes, I was curious about the commenter.

Who is this guy?  What is this post about?

Someone, I am assuming perhaps the artist himself or someone known to him, left a comment on my blog (see previous post under Karaya).  I was confused at first but then followed the link to Marc Schultz music and watched the video. “Everything to Me”.

I found myself very glad that I am the type of person that can break things down and appreciate things for their artistic value even if I don’t believe in the overall message.

As noted previously, I applaud the creative aspects of this song and the accompanying video. It was indeed touching.

The message however – still disturbs me.  It further disturbs me that certain parties will use a beautiful voice and accompanying video as a Christian stick to beat more mothers into surrendering their children calling it “gods plan”.

Now I don’t get the sense that the commenter was attempting to be a pro adoption Nazi. I don’t know. But my intuition is generally very good and my feeling is that this commenter and the artist (if not one in the same) really believed they are doing something good and more importantly, they were trying to offer comfort to me.

I appreciate that.  I really do. They also seemed sensitive enough by the words in their comment to know that their sharing might be painful or triggering to me. As such, I don’t think the commenter is a total pro adoption putz.

Where I struggle with the song, the message, the video is in the fact that it seems to focus on all that is good in adoption AND it uses religion as a tool to do that. It overlooks the trauma experienced by the mother and the lifelong wound caused to the child that is surrendered to adoption.  Sure, if you are a Christian pro-lifer you will focus on the good in this video and song. If you are a person educated on primal wound, attachment disorder, PTSD and other, you may see otherwise as I did.

I also find it interesting that the video shows a young girl, attractive, presumably middle class, without track marks or missing teeth. In summary, the stereotypical prey for our adoption industry mongrel. At least they got the imagery correct.

I wonder how the majority of adoptees I know feel about this song and video? Do they sit in church and thank Jesus that their mother gave them up? Do they think she did a wonderful thing that may allow her to cut ahead in line when she is waiting her entrance into someone’s heaven?

Seriously, I encourage my adoptee friends that read here to go watch the video and come back and tell me your thoughts. Maybe I am too hardcore family preservation. Read the lyrics too.

I realize there are adoptees who are truly happy, content, and pleased that they were given up, abandoned, surrendered, relinquished and more. They had good adoptive families and leave full productive lives and don’t care about medical history or people who look like them. I don’t speak for them. Nor do I speak for the mothers who give thanks to Jesus for allowing them to be the vessel through which someone else was able to build a family. Hallelujah to them all. To them I extend my hand and offer a hearty “Peace be with you”.

It is for the many mothers and adoptees who were deeply scarred and harmed by adoption that I speak. It is for the young girls that are sent away, forced to sign papers, denied information and legal representation. It is for those that are truly coerced and intimidated and shamed into surrendering their children to strangers. It is for the young girls who desperately want to keep and raise their children but are bullied into believing that lack of a six figure job  or a husband means you  cannot be good mother. It is for the mothers who had the carrot of open adoption dangled in their face only to find the carrot gone and eaten soon after their child was in the arms of their new mommy and daddy.

They need a voice. We need a voice. The NCFA and the religious radicals have all the sweetness of adoption well covered.  Sadly, I fear that  the song and video of Mark Schultz may be  more fuel for the already raging fires of the NCFA.

Bottom line? For me?  Artist to artist – I say, kudos on a nice piece of work but I regret that I cannot support the message as presented. It is not that simple.

I don’t feel as though I did  a good thing for my daughter by abandoning her to strangers. I don’t think she will ever thank me for leaving her at 3 days old without a clue where she was going or to whom.

Since I don’t believe in God, any God, I cannot fall back on some religious belief that my efforts will get me into some ones heaven. If you can and you are fairly certain you are going to heaven, then you will likely enjoy this video.

Just remember, in heaven, all the interesting people are missing.

4 Thoughts.

  1. I apologize, again in advance as I’m not verbally eloquent, if anything at times stumped in ways to express my opinions and beliefs.
    I do believe in God, in a one God, I do believe that its been twisted by religious zealots over hundreds of years. And I do believe we work towards heaven in our lifetime. But those are details not so pertinent to your post but kind of supporting my upcoming statements.
    I do believe abortion is murder, and before I get attacked, I understand that women should have the choice to commit this act, if its their choice. But in my heart, I believe its murder. Do I judge, no. Not my place, I’ve comforted friends who’ve done it, sat with friends who consider giving up their children for adoption, and been with friends giving birth to a child with a bunch of illegitimate stigma, because it still exists, especially in churches.
    I am usually not the type to post about religion, except in my own blog/sites/home/etc. Because I’m private about my beliefs, and I admit at times I still am trying to figure out. And usually when I think I’ve got it, I find something else that gets me. Mayhap a bit naive, but this is me, right now, today, I’m living what I’ve learned from life up until this moment.
    I’m on the path to be an adoptive parents. I have two kids, and I’m a single parent, in my late twenties. My kid’s mom committed suicide, leaving her children at the age of 5 and 8, to their biological father who was an alcoholic, abusive, unavailable, mentally disturbed man. She suffered countless moments of abuse, I can’t even begin to understand what reasoning she used to justify her suicide. I can’t judge that. I know she hurt them, I can’t be blind to that because I live with those results daily. I talk to my kids, daily about their mom. She was a friend of mine, I considered her an older sister.
    I look at stuff, all the time and try to value the artistic point, sometimes I try a little harder then others. Like when I listen to my boy’s angry rap, and promotion of violence, those are true struggles of valuing artistic points. I thought about the video before I sent it, I wasn’t happy that it had simply one girl, that looked well put together. Most of the adopted/foster kids I meet, don’t come from parents that are well put together, most have mental health issues, drug/alcohol issues, poverty, etc and well they look it.
    I’ve read that you were incredibly pressured to give up your child, and I definitely do not believe that it was excusable. Coming from a mom, who could have done the same thing but was thankfully supported by close friends and managed to struggle and persevere. My mom, managed despite the pressure to keep me. And well, I am grateful because I know she worked hard for me, and our little family. Could there be a song written about a mom who was giving up an older child, a 5 year old, a 10 year old. Much less a music video. But then how can you tell a child that age, some how its okay that you gave up on them. Somehow newborns make it easier, I guess, knowing your getting your baby from that idealistic ‘white’ (I use the term loosely) girl from the suburbs who’s giving up a child to pursue her life dreams. Doesn’t the poverty stricken mother, who’s lived most of her life in a hut, struggling to get by day to day, miss her child any less? Or the mentally ill mother who’s given up several of her children to the system, in a moment of clarity not hurt less upon realizing what she’s given up? Or the mother who’s been rehabbed through drugs and alcohol not suffer struggling to survive the pain so she doesn’t fall again on the same mistake?
    I don’t know when or how or why its okay for a mom to surrender her children. What conditions need to exist to make it justifiable, I just know it happens. And then there are those of us, who believe we are called or need to bring hurt children into our lives, and so we pursue this path of adding traumatized/hurt/abandoned children. Should a mom that is unable to give birth not just live with that fact, and surrender herself to a life with out that fulfillment in her life? I don’t know. There’s a lot in life I’m still trying to understand.
    Maybe Mr. Schultz is writing music and words to try and comfort the hearts of children who have been given up, recognizing that maybe it is a very hurtful subject for them to face, to hope that their biological mothers were doing it with their best interest at heart. The woman who gave birth to me gave me up, due to pressure, choice, easier future life, inconvenience, drugs, poverty, or whatever. I’m not sure the full intent of Mr. Schultz’s words, but I know it comforted me to think that maybe in some hard to understand way, my children’s mom found some reason to make her death “okay”. I think about the guilt, I’d be feeling, and I can’t understand it. I don’t think I ever will, because I love my kids, I’m amazed by them daily. Even when I deal and fight against attachment disorders, raging tantrums, suicidal gestures and self-injurious behaviors, I try and push them to see how amazing and beautiful human beings that they are. And I make decisions based on how much I believe their mom, my friend would have done, which again is hard to do because she made a choice to end her life rather then continue it with them. What words would she have said, how much would she have comforted them. I can’t replace her, ever. I can only be there since she’s not.
    I do strongly believe the system is messed up. It needs to be fixed. It is wrong when a teen mom is pregnant and who wants her child but can’t support her child, and there is nothing she can do but give up the child in hopes that the child can find a better life. Or a mom who’s been taken over by drugs or alcohol can’t get the services she so desperately needs to pull herself and her family together. Having to give up your child, giving up on your child or even killing your child, I can’t see it ever being justified.
    Yet I see it at my job daily, parents due to education can’t push their children to go past 2nd or 3rd grade, because they never did. Using violence to discipline, because they don’t know better, but their kids are removed. Giving up on out of control teens. Foster care teens (often carrying loads of mental health diagnosis) are easier to dump in JDC (concrete walls, orange jumpsuits, level system, and a PB&J ) where they are suppose to find a “fix” to function in “normal” society. Not sure how government officials sleep at night, I know whenever I have to deny a case that needs services, it kills me a little on the inside.
    I do believe from the little I’ve read, what they did to you and countless other women was wrong. I believe it must be stopped.

  2. Karaya – Thank you for your explanation. I appreciated it. I am glad, even with your religious beliefs and experience, you are able to see that what was done to me, and others is very wrong. Your last two sentences said it all but the back story was helpful. Peace to you and your kids.

  3. After listening to the video and reading the words, I had a feeling that Mark was adopted. So I went searching and Yes, indeed he was. Since he wrote the song, I am assuming that is how he feels about adoption. “Mom, thanks for the life you have given me and I will see you in heaven and not before.” I grew up with an older brother that was adopted and he feels the same way. He has no need to reunite and does not care to. Sounds like Mark is saying the same thing.
    I consider myself a Christian and love going to church, but no I don’t sit in church thanking God that I am adopted nor do I thank him for my nmom for giving me up. In fact, I thank him for helping me get my life straightened up so that I can have a relationship with her. I thank him for keeping her safe and me safe so we could be reunited with each other. And I am glad God was there with me, when I was young, when I sat there and cried thinking that my mother did not love me. Now I know she did love me.
    So for Mark’s video, it is his way of telling/showing people the way he feels about adoption. But it doesn’t mean that all adoptees feel the same way. He comes from a BSE mother and you have to remember that us adoptees were told some awful stuff about our nmom when we were growing up by what I would call “some idiot” people who were “stupid” about adoption.
    As for “heaven”, it is how you live your life, not the fact that you gave a child up for adoption.

  4. Religion is an evolved response to the environment, just like every other cultural and social aspect of our lives. Whether its rules and structures provide an advantage or not can’t be measured in the moment. Rather, we need to look at it over time. Quite apart from the question of whether or not religion is true, the question is whether it contributes to health and survival of the species across generations.
    However, in the moment, we can still try to forecast where we’re heading. The majority of the Christian and Islamic religious movements in the US seem to me to be working against our collective interests. They’re support for bellicose foreign policy and apocalyptic fantasies is one of the seemingly negative tendencies. It’s hard to see how shortsighted and violent policies will help us.
    Likewise, it seems that the Christian church in particular is working against human interests in the family policy arena. Failing to adequately support the principles of family preservation in favor of policies are aimed at fostering its idealized version of family result in considerable “collateral damage” as Suz frequently demonstrates.
    Just as dreams of Armageddon and the second coming create opportunities for cynical war profiteers. The position on family creates a ready pool of support for the baby brokers.
    Let’s evolve.

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