Finding My Way Through The Minefield Of Adoption Opinion

As mentioned in this post – Some Challenging Thoughts To Ponder Re. Adoption – I’ve been reading up a lot online on adoption experiences from all angles of the triad. A lot of what I have read is negative, very very negative, painful to read and hurtful and had left me feeling very guilty.

But with some more thought and open discussions with my cousin, who is adopted, a Twitter friend who is adopted and her BM (I have a very interesting blog posting on these 3 conversations coming soon, some interesting perspectives to share) a lot of what I was worried/hurt by has been resolved. And also a lot of the comments received on the aforementioned post really helped me to find my peaceful place again.

Then yesterday, I read Jill’s latest blog posting and all my thought’s suddenly seemed to fall into place.  The posting could have been written by our own BM. Jill’s words resonated a familiarity with me because I had heard them all before from the mouth of our own BM during the time we spent together. I know that, just as with Jill, our BM never placed Ava because she felt she wasn’t enough, she placed Ava because she felt/believed that she couldn’t give her enough or the life she hoped and dreamed for Ava. I love this passage from Jill’s blog, it speaks volumes about a BM’s love for her unborn child:

I didn’t place her because I wasn’t enough. I placed her because I couldn’t give her enough. Do you see the difference? It’s not that she deserved better than me. It’s that she deserved better than I could give her. The former is about me. The latter is about her.

I’ve also started to realize that all blogs re. adoption, whether from AP’s, BM’s or Adoptee’s are just opinions. Each one of us will have a different opinion on the complex issue that is adoption and our opinions will be formed by our own experiences from the varying angles of the triad. I also realize that ones experience of adoption, regardless from which angle of the triad, will be skewed in a certain direction depending on where in the world the adoption had occurred. The adoption stories of South African’s is VERY different to American’s for eg, and the bulk of the adoption blogs I’ve read are American. Adoption is different in South Africa. Just a couple of the differences include open adoptions being the exception and not the rule, in SA most adoptions are what’s termed a “medium” closed adoption. This means that while there is no physical contact with our BM, we do have written contact including photo’s and updates on Ava, all of which is facilitated by our SW. The choice then rests with our BM on how much contact or how little contact she actually wants to have and she can then manage her own journey. The other difference is that BM’s in SA get 60 days to change their minds and revoke consent. I was shocked to read an adoption story from New Zealand where a BM was not given/allowed to revoke her consent. I feel this is wrong on so many levels.

I’ve thought a lot about this over the past week and will make a more concerted effort in future to try not to get sucked into the anti-adoption blog and sentiments. It would seem that for every BM/AP/Adoptee who is against adoption, there are as many, if not more, who are for adoption.

I’ve learned that I cannot just accept what one person has written on a blog as fact, that I need to remember these are opinions based on personal experience.

I discussed with my Mom how many anti-adoption lobbyists felt that I had no right to call Ava my miracle. My mother sobbed when I told her this. She told me how Ava IS very much our miracle. How she has bought a family (not just Walter and I, but our extended families as well) immeasurable amounts of joy, joy to a family who had been seriously lacking in joy and overflowing with sadness and loss, not just of my infertility but also other family members struggles, that this joyful child had restored our hope, our faith and our joy. And I rightly agree, adoption is not the miracle in this, Ava is the miracle and I will NEVER deny that fact ever again.

So yes, just like other blogs are based on opinion dependent on experience, so is my blog. My blog is based on my own opinions, formed through my own experience. And every aspect of our adoption journey has been one of immeasurable joy and love. The love of adoptive parents for their child, the love of a BM for her child and the love shared between our BM, Walter and I. There is no way to ever express in words what that feels like. We love her so very very much for placing Ava with us. We love her so very much for giving us the opportunity to love her/our child and to experience parenthood in all it’s joys, trials and tribulations and because of how strongly we feel about her, we will always act in Ava’s best interests and what is in her best interests is absolute honesty and openness surrounding her placement and the information (which I have stored in her memory box, including birth certificates for tracing her BM when she is ready). There will NEVER be ANY secrets in our home and Ava will always know the truth.

So, in ending, my opinion on adoption has not changed and is based souley on my experience and that is that Adoption IS love.


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  • Reply Adele

    Well said!

    February 16, 2012 at 11:45 am
  • Reply Sian

    Yip, very well said. I have been reading a few of those blogs this week too and I have come to some of my own conclusions. I think you encapsulated most of them in this post.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm
  • Reply denise

    I love the balanced perspective in this post 🙂 your journey is very much your own, but your research is encouraging people to look at all the different angles!

    February 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm
  • Reply panjels

    YES! It is about finding your convictions and standing by them… i’m busy writing a post on this. Love conquers!!

    February 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm
  • Reply TJ

    Sharon, I’m glad you know your truth! And that you set yourself apart from the negative blogs, whilst acknowledging them. You are a great mother! Trying to find the different perspectives so that you can best parent Ava – she most certainly IS a miracle!

    February 17, 2012 at 9:51 am
  • Reply To Love Bella

    When I first started to blog about adoption waaaay back when we were still waiting, I got some negative feedback from a girl in the UK who was adopted. Hers was one of the sad stories where she was abused by her adoptive parents and her posts were dripping with bitterness and hatred. I don’t know HOW she stumbled on to my (previous) blog … but she commented on one of my posts in a very mean way, basically saying that ‘how could I even consider adoption as I would be tearing a family apart’. I took note of her sad situation; but seriously, it was so biased. Not all adoptions are like that – and THAT is what the World needs to know.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:18 am
  • Reply Mash

    This is exactly what I mean… the INTENTION behind the action is so important. You had truckloads of love to give. The intention was never to hurt or destroy anything. You acted (and still do) from a place of love, and therefore, it’s a miracle that you have Ava in your life. There are people who become parents (biologically) for the wrong reasons, there are also people who adopt for the wrong reasons, there are people who get married for the wrong reasons. The list goes on and on. But when an action comes from a place of love, then the results will come from that place too…

    February 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm
  • Reply adesolaf

    I read this post today and coincidentally there was a movie on TV : Mother and Child. Storyline: Almost 40yrs ago a young (15yr old) girl gave her baby up for adoption. Now one woman uses her body to get ahead, one pines for her lost child and a third wants to adopt (because she’s infertile), sad for the third her husband wants his own biological child even though they had discussed and agreed to adoption.

    February 17, 2012 at 10:03 pm
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