In the beginning of each person’s journey to recovery from our traumatic losses, there is a need to find a shoulder to cry on and to know that we are not alone feeling the pain of our adoption losses. We need to scream, vent pent-up anger etc…all are extremely helpful, necessary and cathartic.
But we each reach a point where we can choose to remain whining, angry victims forever or channel that anger for change! There is no greater force for change than anger. Rosa Parks was damn angry and not about to take it any more. The gays are not taking it anymore and are demanding equal rights.
The second stage of our healing process is empowerment through making changes for others! I think about MADD which was founded by a small group of California women in 1980 after a 13-year-old-girl was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
I think about Maureen Kanka the mother of Megan who got sex offender registry legislation in every state in the union! Child Find, started by parents of loss and the nationwide Amber Alert system begun by parents and named after their abducted and murdered child.
I think about The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Argentinean women who have become worldwide known human rights activists in order to re-unite with their abducted children.
None of these people came to their causes with any other “expertise” or special abilities other than passion and anger. They all had just one ting in common: They knew it was too late to reverse their own loses, but were committed to ensuring that others would not suffer as they and their children did! And they all succeeded in making very positive changes! They are my heroes and my role models. These mothers turned their righteous indignation and deep personal loss of their children into positive action to help prevent the same loss for others in the future. They ensured that their children were not lost in vain. Instead of wringing their hands, they empowered themselves and set themselves free form victimhood. They did something! They made change!
Maureen Kanka and her husband were able to do it with just the two of them because their cause had no opposition (except the ACLU). Protecting innocent children from potentially murderous pedophiles is pretty much of a no-brainer. Legislators were eager to support this very popular legislation.
We do not have that privilege! Adoption is big business and many are very happy with the status quo because it is filling a constant demand for their paying clients and voting constituents. Keeping the babies coming is in their best interest and they have power and money. Additionally, the Christian conservative evangelic movement is waging an full-fledged mass media campaign to promote adoption! They are teamed up with the National Council for Adoption who has opposed open records since we first attempted to open them.
We are in the midst of an all-out major propaganda war. (See blog post directly below, "The Quiet Revolution"). The only chance we have to combat this onslaught and save anyone from the pain of separation from family through adoption, is to put aside our personal likes and dislikes of others and our petty power struggles that have plagued the adoption reform movement for over 30 years…and UNITE! The silver lining in this could is that it might help us motivate and coalesce progressive/liberals on our side.
There is power in numbers and we need all the power can muster to combat those who want to continue profiting by exploiting mothers and commodifying children.
Blogging can be powerful tool when we all work together, as many of us are doing to help Stephanie Bennett. But we need to do more. A website and a blog have been established to serve as a repository for information needed for letter writing to newspapers and legislators. They are still in the process of accumulating the data but there’s a good start, especially in terms of Safe Havens, and the information will continue to be posted. The two sites are:
www.PPFFPP.org and www.FamlyPreservation.blogspot.com. Both are in their infancy.
PPFFPP stands for parents and Professionals For Family Preservation and Protection. This came about as a result of the (unexpected) international interest in the book The Stork Market: America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry which is a no-holds-barred, powerful and well-documented report of the dirty business of domestic and international adoption, and the harm it causes ALL members of the triad. I wrote this book. It is not about me, nor did I write this book—or my previous book, ”shedding light on…The Dark Side of Adoption” (1988), or any of the myriad articles I have had published—to tell my own sad story, for any pity, or any personal glory or “fame”…and least of all not for monetary profit.
In addition to writing, I also created and support www.TwiceLost.org the adoption kinship memorial wall and encourage those who have lost a loved one to adoption who is now deceased to post a permanent memorial there for them. Donations to support it are accepted but not required to submit a name to be posted. I also created and support The BirthParentProject.org, a survey of over 500 mothers and fathers who have relinquished. This project is in need of the help of someone with expertise in statistical data analyzing, presentation and reporting. There are powerful results to be published here about what natural/original/first mothers and fathers want in terms of anonymity/confidentiality and open vs sealed reords.
I do everything I do to stop the damage that is being done to ALL by adoption! But I cannot do it all alone!
The book is the blueprint, the manifesto for Family Preservation. Read it! Encourage others to read it. Request your libraries and legislators order it and read it! If you cannot afford the discounted price (printed cost plus postage) please write to me. Review it online and for your local newspapers. Spread the word…and come together via FamilyPreservation.blogspot.com so we can ALL brainstorm our ideas to get the word out and battle the forces that want to keep selling our children!
We need to work TOGETHER! Power in numbers…power to the people!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
You may think your actions are meaningless and that they won't help, but that is no excuse, you must still act. Mahatma Gandhi
The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people. Louis D. Brandeis
Reformers who are always compromising, have not yet grasped the idea that truth is the only safe ground to stand upon. Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. Edmund Burke
Words without actions are the assassins of idealism. Herbert Hoover
Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it. Mahatma Gandhi
In a democratic society, you're supposed to be an activist; that is, you participate. It could be a letter written to an editor. Studs Terkel
Activism is my rent for living on this planet. Alice Walker
How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. Marcus Aurelius
When anyone steps out of the system and tells the truth, lives the truth, that person enables everyone else to peer behind the curtain too. Walter Wink
In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.
If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when? Hillel