This weekend, I stumbled across a number of blogs from both BM’s and adult adoptee’s. All of them were deeply disturbing and painful for me to read. All of them raised some concerns for me and also left me with a lot of challenging points to think about.
One of them was an open letter to AP’s (adoptive parents) from an adult adoptee that left me feeling like I had forever damaged my daughter by having had the audacity to adopt her in the first place, because I had “taken” her from her BM. I will be doing a separate post on this letter later on. I’ve forwarded on the link to a few of my friends and a family member, all of whom are adult adoptee’s, because I’d like to have some more opinions from adoptee’s before I formulate my thoughts and opinions.
There are a few other points that struck me from this weekends reading.
The first is that the terminology surrounding adoption is a mine field of PC terminology and what may not be offensive to one sector of the triad is hugely offensive to another sector of the triad. Heck, I even learned that some women find the use of the term Birth Mother offensive. Even the use of the word triad seems to be offensive to some BM’s/FM’s (first mother).
There also seem to be a large number of women who feel they were coerced into placing their babies up for adoption and while I have no doubt that this certainly does happen, it was a reminder to me of just how important it is to use an ethical agency or social worker. It was one of the first points of discussion that Walter and I had with our SW’s when we had our first meeting with them. I wanted to know their views, I wanted to know how the BM’s are counseled, I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t “taking” a baby from a BM. Our SW’s assured us that while they were there to protect all parties of the triad, BM, AP’s and babies, that their main concern and number 1 loyalty would always be doing what was in the best interests of the child and that they did extensive research and counseling with the BM’s to try and investigate every means possible for her to keep her baby with his/her mother. Only after every avenue there had been exhausted did they start the process of assisting the BM’s to find suitable AP’s. I have to believe that is true, because neither Walter nor I went into our adoption thinking or believing that our BM was giving up her baby under duress.
I also read that there are a few BM’s/FM’s who feel that they are the forgotten corner of the triad and that their pain, that they live with only a daily basis for the rest of their lives is not noted by the AP’s. I can’t speak for all AP’s but I can speak from my own experience and from those of my friends who have also adopted and quite categorically state that for me, this is simply not always true.
From the moment that we met our BM, we tried to temper our joy for the sake of her feelings. Everyday I live with the bitter sweetness of watching our daughter grow. When I and other AP’s refer to as OUR children, we refer to ourselves and our BP’s/BM’s/FM’s. There is not a day that passes that I don’t think of our BM, there is not a single moment of any day that passes where she is not with me, in my heart and in my thoughts. There have been many a night when I’ve snuck into Ava’s room after she’s gone to sleep and watched her sleeping with tears running down my cheeks at the joy and the privilege we have of raising this precious child while being well aware of the pain her BM must be feeling.
The last point is that many in the triad feel that adoption is not a miracle. And while I fully understand why adoptee’s and BM’s may feel this way, I can only state from my corner of the triad that Ava is very much a miracle. She is a longed for much prayed for child. She is my single greatest joy and I will never ever deny that having her as part of my life is anything less than an incredible blessing and miracle for ME! I have stated in previous postings that she is my miracle child but we are not necessarily HER miracle.
After a lot of reading and introspection this weekend, I’m even more aware than ever that adoption is a deeply complex process and it cannot be simplified into one or two blog postings or one or two thoughts and feelings.