The more things change…

If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.  – Carl Jung

What is that saying?

The more things change the more they stay the same? Or perhaps I should say the more things change the more they stay insane?

My mother informed me a bit ago, quite proudly in fact, that she donated to an unwed mothers home today. Yes, you read that right. An unwed mothers home.

"Standing outside the church doors today there were ladies collecting for an unwed mothers home" she said with a tone that implied she wanted either a medal or a chest to pin it on.

"You didn't donate, did you?" I asked.

"Of course I did. And Father Lynch, you know I adore him, talked all about it during mass. He encouraged everyone to reach deep into their pockets to help those unwed moms." she continued.

"Oh my god, Mom, what kind of home? Where is it? What type of counseling do they provide? Are they for or against family preservation?" I asked rather strongly.

"Oh, I don't know. I was just glad I could donate" she responded.

I was fuming. Inside my own head I heard Dana Carvey in his best church lady impression. I wanted badly to say it to my mom "Well, isn't that special?"

I said nothing.

I knew it would be pointless. My mother has obviously tolerated me and my work for years. She still believes in spite of all the research and words and proof and agony I have shared with her that it is good for a mother to abandon her child to strangers. She still believes that crap about homes helping mothers. She still believes my child is better off without me.

She doesn't get it.

Even after all these years and all our conversations, she still thinks that is a good idea to send mothers away and to lock them up.

I was so incensed I could not even speak to her.

It may be a few days before I can.

18 Thoughts.

  1. My adoptive mother dontes to pro-life groups all of the time. There was a time that I thought it was a noble thing to do. I feel differently now. I am curious; are there any unwed mother’s homes that do not promote adoption?

  2. Well no she doesn’t get it. I think they (these moms of us) can’t get it because if they do get it then they have to admit that the choice they made for us was wrong and I don’t think they are prepared to do that.
    And OMG do they still call them Homes for Unwed Mothers? What is this 1952?
    I was never in such an institution because of small pregnancy bump and loose-fitting fashions of the day but I honestly think if I had been I would have thought about killing myself on a regular basis. Only the baby would have stopped me.
    I’d like to think they are safe houses somewhere (like those for the battered) for single pregnant women who are being propagandized by those around them but I doubt it.

  3. <3
    I finally started my blog back up.
    have you converted fully to typepad? or do you still have something at blogger?

  4. UM – Yes, they still exist and are even still referred to as homes for unwed mothers. Why do they need to spike out the unwed status? That is a framing/language issue for me. It highlights something negative and to me begins the process of pushing mothers to abandon their children to adoption. If it was simply “Homes for Mothers” it would be more likely to be thought of as a place for mothers to get help and support to keep their babies, dont you think?
    However, to your comment, I am aware of a few homes that do indeed help and support single moms. I have a good friend who used such a service in GA. She talks highly of them. They were a faith based organization but never pushed her to adoption – really gave her all her options. She is now raising her children.
    It can and does happen. It just needs to happen more often IMO.

  5. UM – Also, to this comment of yours but I honestly think if I had been I would have thought about killing myself on a regular basis. Only the baby would have stopped me. You are so correct. At least to my experience. It was indeed my child that kept me alive during the time I was incarcerated in Gehring Hall. She was my only connection to life and my reason for living. The instant surrendered her I began a downward spiral towards suicide. A good friend, pulled me out of that, and interestingly, used my daughter to do that. I should write about that.

  6. I was almost sent to a Florence Crittenton home in 1970. I’m pretty sure these homes, all over the country, were converted to drug rehab facilities in the 80’s and 90’s when the number of pregnant girls being hidden decreased. I thought that was still the case. Just googled and found out that they are indeed back in the unwed mother business. Will this never end? sigh…

  7. I have some ideas that may help all of us feel not quite so powerless when we find about about possible baby-farms such as this.
    Can you find out which home it is, the name of it? Maybe then contact and meet with the director and ask for information such as pamphlets, a copy of their mission statement, programming, and what type of “counselling” they provide (re parenting, adoption etc.).
    Get copies of the information they give to the inmates, ask *why* these mothers are there, find out if you can talk to the women yourself, find out if any have been incarcerated there by parents (or feel it is the only place they can go to escape abuse).
    Find out if they are run by an adoption agency, if they make money from adoptions, if they refer pregnant moms to lawyers and give them “profiles” of “waiting parents.”
    Find out what the adoption rate is for inmates. It if is anything above 2% of moms who pass thru their doors, you know you’ve got a problem.
    Good luck. Your mom is right. With the rise of abstenance-only “sex-ed,” elimination of financial support (welfare) for unwed moms (5 yr lifetime limits, no extra money for 2nd child, none for women under 18, etc.), and the rise of the industry, these “second chance homes” have re-emerged. Look at Edmund Mech’s report that formed the basis of the “Infant Adoption Awareness Act” — he recommended these homes as “decision centers” to get more moms to surrender.

  8. Your mom needs your approval. I feel you could give it to her asap. She raised you and gave you all her love to the best of her ability. I imagine a pregnant young lady/woman needs to focus on herself. Being away from immediate family influences may help. Did your mother say pregnant young (unwed)ladies need to be locked up?…if she did this to you well then I understand incensed… its best to forgive and move on…

  9. Whoa. No, your mom does not need your approval. She may want it and/or seek it. But it sounds like she’s busy getting Father Lynch’s approval most lately which might be why she isn’t able to hear what you’ve been sharing with her for years.
    I’m a bit touchy about that…Excuse me Suz…

  10. Justice – If I understand your comment correct, I think I agree with you. I question my understanding because I think you were reacting to Maria’s comment and I am not sure I understand hers so I may be misunderstanding yours.
    That being said, the issue for me (in relation to Maria’s comment about my mom needing my aproval) is not whether she needs it or wants it but if it appropriate or healthy for me to give it.
    It seems odd to me that anyone would suggest that a child should approve of a parents poor decisions. Understand, accept, maybe but approve? That is stretching it a bit for me. It seems to completely invalidate the pain and trauma caused to the child.
    Does an adoptee have to approve of a mothers decision (whether it was her choice or not) to surrender the child to adoption? I think not. I dont ever expect my daugters approval. I would like some level of compassion and understanding for me as a human but she never has to approve of my wrong decisions nor is she responsible at all for making me feel better about them. That seems too much like the child parenting the parent to me.
    The truth is I dont approve of what my mom chose to do to me when I was 18. I dont approve of her beliefs today (obviously) in supporting the disembabyment of mothers that are sent to homes. My father is a racist, do I have to approve of his views towards African Americans? No.
    However, I do realize my mother is the product of a conservative Catholic environment. I understand where her beliefs come from but I still think they are wrong and I will never support or approve of them. I have learned to navigate within them and to leave the parts of myself that dont fit into them at home when I visit her.
    I will never approve of those beliefs. I have experienced first hand the damage they can do to a human soul.

  11. Maria – I admit I am a bit confused by your comment. I do not believe children should parent the parents. If my mother has issues regarding her own behavior, that is hers to work out on her own. (And maybe that is what she is doing with her priest). It is not my job, as my mothers child, to make her feel better for the poor parenting decisions she made that have effected me for a lifetime.
    As an adoptee, do you feel you should make your mother feel good about her decisions and her behavior towards you? Isnt that invalidating your pain?
    Forgive me if I misunderstood your comment, but I dont ever believe a child needs to parent the parent. Understand and accept their limations as a parent – yes. Approve of their poor, even abusive decisions, no.

  12. Cedar – It should be no surprise to you that I did exactly what you suggested almost immediately after talking with my mom. I wrote her and asked her if she remembered the name of the place. I told her I would visit the place, drop off some literature, offer to volunteer. She hasnt yet responded. My sense is she really has no idea as it was a random drive by donation at a church. I dont expect the church ladies gave out receipts indentifying the organization. She did tell me where she thinks it is located so I am going to do some searching on my own to see if I can located the facility.

  13. Suz: I think your mom got as close as she could. And her sharing with you was probably for your acceptance. Maybe when you find out these “homes” and how functioned they are you can share with her.
    Why is it sometimes so hard to try to communicate with our older children. We have our ways of thinking and that Father Lynch is joined at the hip. That’s the sadness of it all.
    I wonder if you caught the debate re: McCain
    said what a wonderful child they adopted, etc. and how he will help others get children and offer help to pregnant moms who are considering adoption. He did not say help them to try to keep their child!!@!

  14. Hmmm … If your mom doesn’t remember you what the facility’s name is, or if she has the location wrong, maybe Father Lynch or his fangirls will. I’m very curious myself.

  15. Oh god Suz, just reading this was like being punched in the gut… it must have felt like you’d been hit by a TRAIN, actually experiencing it with your own mom.
    You have every right to be incensed and to not talk to her for as long as you want. OUCH.

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