Feel This

Yet another great read on dealing with grief, this time from Megan Devine.

How can you make them understand? The challenge of translating grief.

Can you imagine a world where we could get others, friends, family members, adoptive parents both current and prospective, to FEEL the grief we feel every minute of the day? Would it change anything for us? For them?

If we could Powder-like transfer the life long grief felt by mothers who have surrendered their children to adoption to prospective adopters, would they still adopt? Maybe so.

If we could transfer the agony some adoptees feel to prospective adopters, would they feel so fabulous about taking that child from his or her family of origin and re-branding it as their own?

Read Megan’s article at her blog.

Zika, Pregnancy, Winterson

This is not necessarily adoption related. More like reproductive rights, which for me go hand in hand, so it may be.

What the solution isn’t: the parallel of the Zika and HIV viruses for women

It is worth the read and the pondering. Particularly passages like this:

“Sudden outbreaks of uncommon diseases do not lend themselves to easy solutions. However, there is one solution we know will not work: resting the responsibility for slowing the Zika virus in the wombs of women.” - Susana T. Fried and Debra J. Liebowitz

And this:

“In response to the outbreak, some countries, for instance, Colombia, Ecuador, and Jamaica, have recommended that women delay pregnancy. This is eerily reminiscent of abstinence education as a primary means of HIV prevention. Indeed, abstinence will prevent sexually transmitted HIV just as remaining “unpregnant” will prevent Zika from causing fetal harm if it is indeed causing microcephaly. Neither solution is grounded in the realities of women’s lives.

The ability to control when, where, with whom, and under what conditions to have sex is, for many women, the exception, rather than the rule. Women’s ability to delay pregnancy requires that they have control over their bodies, their sexuality, and their reproductive decision-making. Yet, some women, in the Americas and elsewhere, have no such control” - Susana T. Fried and Debra J. Liebowitz

While you are at it, read this somewhat (sort of) related article as well. It is a few months old but worth the read, reminder and hey, Winterson is always good to read.

When unmarried mothers were blamed for everything

by author and adoptee Jeanette Winterson

Photo credit: Joanna Fisher

Life Journeys

Claud has an incredibly thought provoking and relatable post up on her blog. It explains her recent six month absence from the adoption community and the current status of her journey. I encourage all to read. Do so with a cup of tea or coffee and a snack as it is a long post. Do not let the length discourage you. Many will relate. I know I did.

I was reminded of my work with ehbabes.com and the Kurtz network of agencies. For years I was obsessed with helping, finding, searching, researching on behalf of all those traumatized by this baby broker. There came a time when the community I served as well as the family I was ignoring let me know that my efforts were not appreciated. I backed away. It took time and some angst but I did it. I will still help if asked but the daily obsession? Gone and replaced with focusing on me, myself and I. The only person I can truly help is myself.

I was also reminded of a recent incident with my oldest son. We are in college application, interview and selection process. Due to his head injury in December of 2014, his junior year grades took a bit of a hit. He had been encouraged repeatedly by many to use the essay portion of his applications to explain this dip in his grades. He refused. I pressed the issue (as moms are known to do). He refused. He admitted he did not know how to write about an event he had no memory of. I wrote it for him and told him to rewrite in his own voice. He refused. Last Friday, following an admissions interview with his top pick, I asked him if he shared his injury story verbally. He became flushed and angry and responded with a firm “No. I will not play the sympathy card”. Again, the annoying mom in me tries to explain he is not playing a sympathy card by explaining to an admission dean the very valid reasons his grades dipped junior year.

He shakes his head. He is adamant. He will not play the sympathy card. We banter. Finally, flushed, angry, he responds “Mom, I want to be known for who I am and what I have done…not for what has happened to me”.

That struck me, hard, in a place I (and likely Claud) can absolutely understand. I dropped the subject.

Read Claud’s post 7000 Words for the Last 6 Months.

Photo credit: Joanna Fisher