And If It Does?

"The hottest seats in hell are reserved for those who, in time of great moral crises, choose to do nothing". — Dante Alighieri

"I wonder if your advocacy might scare her a bit…just a thought. " Dan wrote.

My reaction in reading that?

"And what if it does?"

Is there something extra implied there (by Dan and/or others who have said this, for Dan is not the only one)?

What if my daughter is "scared" or uncomfortable by my advocacy or activism or whatever you want to call it?

Am I supposed to do something about that? Change to make her less scared? Filter myself? My words? My actions?

Important to note I am shooting in the dark here.

If she were indeed bothered by it, if she could articulate, speak, discuss her feelings with me, I would be more than happy to discuss them and even perhaps modify my approach. If she could engage in two way dialog (versus throwing stuff over the fence at me and then retreating), we might get somewhere. However, given the limited information I have been provided, I will continue to do what I do. Is she really going to say "I am embarrassed that you fight for adoption reform and the rights of mothers"? Maybe. Maybe not.

But I will continue. This is important to me not only for me but for my daughter.

Again, I feel, indirectly or not, I am some sort of role model for my daughter. If I go silent on my feelings, on who I am, I may inadvertently give her some sort of direction that she should do the same.I know what it is like, all too well, to be disregarded, denied, avoided, banished. I don’t ever want my daughter to feel I have done that to her. More importantly, I want her to stand up for herself in the world. It has taken me far too long to believe I had value. My hope for my daughter is that she learns earlier than I did that she is wonderful and amazing and valued and human and entitled to feel what she feels and be who she is.

I don’t want to lead my daughter (but I suppose in some way I do or am supposed to as the parent/mother/whatever) nor do I want to follow her.

What I really ache for? Is a level field. Open, honest discussion. A conversation where she says how much this situation confuses and pains her and I acknowledge that. One where she sees my situation and can acknowledge that. One where there is not a demand for power and control and pain game playing (as in who hurts more). One where there is just acceptance of our human condition and that we just for lack of a better word (and at the risk of being corny), love each other.

Folly?

Perhaps.

But I wont give up on me, not on her, not on us and not on mothers and children of the future.

I just can’t.

6 Thoughts.

  1. You know I was waiting for your response on that one, because it is something I haven’t spoken to S about at all. I guess I am afraid of pushing her away and believe me when I say, she’s pretty far away as it is. As you remember I even closed my blog for fear she would read my feelings on the adoption industry and how that might taint her feelings on her adoption. Do you think adoptees want to know the “whole truth, nothing but the truth” version or would the knowledge hurt them more in the long run? I ask myself all the time if I am being true to myself by hiding the pain and destruction all the coersion did to me, but I cannot bring myself to even take the chance of losing her again. Hmmmmmm does this ever get any easier?????????
    You know I love ya!
    Kristy

  2. Kristy – I would love for the adoptees who read here to answer you. My suspicion, or perhaps my hope, is that with maturity our daughters will value our feelings and opinions. Maybe not value, but at the very least respect. I believe by respecting their feelings, they can learn to respect ours? Maybe I am wrong or a pollyanna. I dont know.
    But again, this effort transcends my daughter and my reunion. They are entwined not doubt but they are also distinctly different.

  3. I don’t know about all adoptees, for me and my mom when I as younger, I had a hard time accepting her version of events, I felt like she was trying to dodge responsibility, but then I was very young.
    I don’t think your daughter Suz, would have any problem articulating her feelings, and I think she would be very straight with you, so if she hasn’t told you herself I wouldn’t worry about it. My impression of your daughter is that she is very sweet, but very fierce, with a strong streak of self-protection.

  4. Kristy & Suz I am a very honest person. For me I would want to know EVERYTHING – all of it. But that is me. Some people do not like such in your face honesty and do not like confrontation of any sort.
    And Kristy I’m waiting for the day it does ! (get easier i mean)

  5. I am not an adoptee, so take this for what it’s worth… as a long time reader of your blog, that comment really resonated with me, and your response
    “What if my daughter is “scared” or uncomfortable by my advocacy or activism or whatever you want to call it?
    Am I supposed to do something about that? Change to make her less scared? Filter myself? My words? My actions?”
    compelled me to comment. Maaaaybe… part of the problem – which stems from your internet presence, to which she has access – is that she doesn’t see a point in explaining herself to you because you’ve already decided what her position should be.
    Let me explain. I don’t mean that you’re wrong or that I disagree or that anyone ought to disagree with any of the things that you’ve shared. What I mean is – you are so far along the path of thinking about adoption issues – and, rightfully, *politicizing* adoption-related interactions as part of the larger adoption issue… that she may not feel there is room for a real dialog. If she says “I don’t feel like you are my mother” you hear “she is lashing out at me because she has not processed the truth of what happened.” If she says “x makes me uncomfortable” you hear “she is lashing out at me because she has not processed the truth of what happened.” Even here, to her hypothetical discomfort with your advocacy, you jump to the conclusion that she is trying to steal your voice and shut you up and do something *bad* to you as a birthmother.
    AND MAYBE YOU’RE RIGHT.
    But that doesn’t mean it’s any easier for her to communicate with you because she knows, from your writings, that you will not accept the truth of anything she tells you. If you see any deviation from acceptance of you as mother as a typical case in the “adoptee in reunion” textbook – then she may not see any way to engage with you.

  6. I think for a long time the only voices that were heard about adoption were those of the adoptive parents and the adoption workers. I think it is wonderful that “we” have found our voice and are telling the world that there is another side to all of this – that for every set of arms in which a child is placed there is another set of empty arms and a damaged heart. I think as our voices have become louder, the others have raised theirs to the adoptees and the world because what we say is threatening, never mind economically threatening to the adoption industry as in your country but threatening to what the others have wanted to believe about themselves.
    You can’t live your life in perpetual anger but what happened (and appears to continue to happen) was not right.
    However, the children had absolutely no role in that. I feel sometimes that in focusing on what we went through (and not that I haven’t done it, I have) we are doing the equivalent of making a child feel an obligation because you went through – in my case 72 hours of labour then a c-section – to have them. I never want any child of mine to feel that.
    In the adoptees’ case, it must be hard to know or find out that your existence has caused someone so much pain.
    I don’t even know if I’m on point or speaking coherently here but that is what I have been thinking as I read the recent posts and conversations.
    Kris

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