Some Challenging Thoughts To Ponder Re. Adoption

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.


  • To Love Bella

    February 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Love this. And as ever, agree with you 100%.
    Still grappling with all the words swimming in my head relating to your last few posts and hope to get it down asap.
    it is a heck of a thing to try to put across. it needs to be revisited…

  • alovebeyondmeasure

    February 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Sjoe, I would be interested in reading these blogs. I have also come across some really negative adoption blogs written by adoptees, but their reasons all seem to be about the way in which some adoptions take place…..being ‘taken’ or ‘sold’.
    What also comes to mind when I read this post is the different reactions that I have come across from adoptees that I have met in real life. Some want to meet thier BM’s, some aren’t interested and others don’t even talk about the fact that they are adopted. This leads me to believe that adoption is so complex. Its anything but straight forward …..and its different for eveyone.
    All I can do for Jayden is to be absolutely open and honest with him. I’ll do all I can to instill as much confidence as I can, and I’ll help him if he wants to meet his birth parents one day. That is all we can do.

  • Adele

    February 13, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Very interesting! Adoption is a very contraversial subject. Like most things in life there is no easy answer. Each situation and each person deals with it differently. We will never have all the answers. All we can do is love our children and try and give them the tools to deal with life of which adoption is one aspect.

    That being said, from some BM blogs, I have found that, especially in America, there is a lot of agencies that does not seem to prepare the BM’s and some BM’s also got their own AP, without counselling and afterwards they are not satisfied, because the adoption is not open enough or maybe because they were not really counselled enough. Adoption cannot be easy for any BM – that I do believe, but it is essential that they do get proper counselling and even then, it will always be with her.

  • Wynette

    February 13, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Hi Sharon, I am in the same place. Been reading the primal wound again, and ended up crying this week-end. I have come to realise that most people who are blogging are people who are still in their process – that’s why blogging can be so therapeutic. It’s often people that dont have much to say or the need to talk thats finish with their process. Think about someone who has had a recent trauma or break up , they need to talk and talk and talk till they find closure. I constantly remind myself its important not to get all our info from people who are still struggling within their process. I have also come to realised that in our situation my son would have been wounded if he stayed with his birthmom due to personal limitations she had- she knew this and thus chose a very diffcult choice. So, has adoption wounded my son. ONly time will tell, but I am sure it has. Would he of been less wounded living with his birthmom – i really don’t think so. They just different – which is the greatest wounde…..well that’s a tender question with a very sensitive answer……

    I have a very dear friend who is an adoptee, she was adopted age 3. Which I personally think is very traumatic, her adoptive parents got divorced and her step dad sexually abused her…This is an awful story. But do I see her as wounded – No. Yes, she has been for therapy but to be honest I think everyone can do with some therapy at some stage of their life. But she is an amzing woman, an amazing friend, an amazing mother and wife, she is just so amazing…..If anything her pain has beautified her. We all have pain but its what we make out of that pain that is important. So with Jesse, I planning to love him with all my heart and trust in him to make sense of his pain and to find beauty in it in someway. And I hope and pray through my love that I will be his soft cloud in life to fall back on and to give him the strenght to walk and ultimately run again. To not compare him to any adopted child – because he is unique and from a christian perspective. The bible says that God creates life, that he forms us in our mothers womb that he makes no mistakes. If this is true, which I believe. Why did he create Moses in the bible? He knew his mom could not look after him and God gave her a way to save his life – that was to release him. I suppose my thoughts are if God allowed that, then surely it could not of been so damaging. Surely, he was maybe trying to teach people sometimes there is a way with adoption. I DONT understand everything – not even biblically but through faith I choose to trust. I have to trust somehow God knows that he is doing and that God would heal Jesse if he needs that, that Jesse will find his purpose in God and through the way his life happens to unfold….That’s what I have to choose to believe….

  • Nisey

    February 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Sharon this phrase sticks with me

    “adoption is a deeply complex process and it cannot be simplified into one or two blog postings or one or two thoughts and feelings”

    Mostly because the word adoption is completely interchangeable with any other life experience adoption could read marriage or divorce or bullying or any manner of experience that we have in our lives.

    Also, every single person will have a unique experience. No two adoptees will have the experience, just like no 2 infertiles will have the same experience. I may meet a woman with a blocked fallopian tube who had one ectopic pregnancy and 3 miscarriages just like me but how we deal with those experiences will be completely different.

    All we can do for our children be they biological or brought to us by miracle is to love them and support them when they need us.

    I’m reading a fascinating article in National Geographic magazine about twins and how they are using identical twins to research the nature nurture theory. It is inconclusive because in some instances twins seperated at birth will have identical milestones and others that are raised under the same roof will be completely different.

    I try not to overthink the fact that Jaden is adopted. He is a miracle there is no denying that but so is every other child blessed with a loving family whether biological, fostered, adopted or any other possible way of being a family.

  • Rebecca Hawkes

    February 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I’m guessing I know the open letter you are referring to and, if so, I wrote my own reply to it. Since you are seeking the opinions of adoptees, hope you don’t mind me sharing mine:
    I’d like to write more at this moment but my kids are now and we need to get ready for school and work. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your understanding of the complexity of adoption issues. My blog, as you know, is pretty much all about exploring that complexity. As an adoptee and adoptive mom I come at things from two angles.
    Anyway, I don’t want adoptive parents to feel guilty, but I do appreciate when all of us can look critically at the institution of adoption. The institution itself is not the miracle; it is a flawed human creation in need of some reform. As you mention, agencies that are not ethical are a big problem.

  • Mash

    February 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Sharon, I’ve seen some similar information over the past few weeks, and I couldn’t sleep at night because of it. One of the things that I keep wondering is if sometimes it could just be something that we all grow up with, that broken feeling of not belonging, that is so much exacerbated as an adoptee, because then you have a circumstance to blame. Again, I’m not trying to invalidate the feelings of the adoptees or BM’s in question, but just trying to put myself in their shoes. And when I do, I know that I have felt that way too, but when I realised the inadequacies and mistakes of my parents, I didn’t have the added burden of wondering if it would have been different with my birth parents. My parents were just what I had, there were no other options. The moment where you grow up and realise that your parents are just human and completely fallible may be experienced differently for an adoptee. I don’t know. It’s like a fertile woman trying to understand the pain of an infertile woman. Completely impossible. I find myself questioning if my longing to adopt is selfish, something I’m doing just to satisfy my need for parenting. But then I read your blog, Sophie’s blog, LM’s blog, Ginger’s blog, and I know for sure that there is something more at play, something beautiful and special and sacred. It’s truly a Sacred Task.


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