Thursday, August 13, 2009

Brave and Strong?

Do you feel brave or strong for having lost your child to adoption?

How do feel about being described that way? This blog sees it as appropriate to do so.

How do you feel when others say they could never "do it"?

How universal are the reasons for, and feelings about, the loss of a child to adoption?

CNN’s Robyn Curnow sit down with two mothers in South Africa who gave their babies up for adoption is on video and the reaction of one of the mothers is simply heartbreaking.

What is brave about desperation and having no other choice?

These two women do not have any idea as of yet how they will truly feel once it is done, since as of now, it is only an idea...both the baby and the surrender.

CNN, IMHO, should be criticized for how this was handled by Robyn Curnow and the very - albeit unknowingly - insensitive, judgmental and cruel thing she said to make one of the women leave in tears.

8 comments:

Osolomama said...

I thought she did the best she could. She did not candy coat anything. She did not put words into anyone's mouth. She was very blunt, as good interviewers are trained to be. I felt she felt for each woman. I hope that off-camera there has been some momentum to help support these women financially and/or otherwise.

AdoptAuthor said...

Well...many people battling cancer or any other disabling or fatal disease are told that they are "brave." But I don't think anyone in those shoes FEELS brave at all! Is anyone who suffers from infertility or multiple miscarriages brave?

Bravery is about making a choice - like going into a burning building to rescue someone. People no more CHOSE to lose their kids than to have cancer.

And to say "I couldn't do it" is most insulting, I'm sorry! If you or anyone is not aware of it, you need to be made aware of it. None of us wants to here that anyne else beleives that would not "do it" for two reasons:

1) you (nor Robyn Curnow) haven't walked a mile in our shoes, and

2) it's not a "choice" and to say you wouldn't implies that there are other options any of us could have chosen and didn't

It is all very insulting and lacking in the simple compassion of saying "I'm so sorry you are going through this; it must be very difficult and painful." Period! That is what a good reporter should have said.
Not, "I'm pregnant too and I couldn't do what you're doing." That is a judgement! And, of course she cannot imagine being too poor to raise a child!

Would she say that to mother who has to "chose" to let her child skip meals? To a mother who couldn;t put shoes on her child's feet or had no money for medical care? Are such people brave, too?

AdoptAuthor said...

With more thought, I realized why it bothers me so much.

It's the "line" mothers are given to persuade them to let go.

We are told, it's brave and selfless...as if raising a child is not!

I can look back at some of my earliest writings, while I was still under he spell of those who convinced me that others were "more deserving" and "better" to parent my daughter than I. Back then I often described myself as having made a selfless sacrifice! I hve since grown and empowred myself from that brainwashing.

URGH! All of that implies it was a CHOICE...which it is not, anymore than Sophie's Choice is a choice.

Solo - I have at times said things that were unintentionally offensive to you or other adoptive parents because I have not walked a mile in those shoes. We are all here to learn.

Kippa said...

My definition of bravery includes fortitude - that quality of mind that enables one to endure adversity with courage. It's a component of character, and has nothing to do with choice.

AdoptAuthor said...

Quite true that the dictionary definition does not include anything about choice.

However, in addition to my comments about bravery being a way of convincing mothers to let their children be adopted out, an my personal feelings...that I have heard some mothers say that they felt like they had been weak and cowardly to have believed all the lies they were told in order to persuade them and precisely because they did NOT have the fortitude and felt they lacked the courage to have stood up to it and kept their child.

In retrospect I'd have to say I too feel more cowardly than brave. I LOST! That doesn't make me brave.

Kippa said...

" I LOST! That doesn't make me brave."
I wasn't talking about you.

AdoptAuthor said...

Yes, we each the right to define our feelings. I thus object to others - such as a reporter - making that definition for anyone. Her job as a reporter is to ASK how interviewees feel, not define them as "brave" or inject what she would or wouldn't do in their situation.

It seemed that one of the two women being interviewed felt as strongly about her comments as I did - since she cried and then up and left! That was painful to watch and should not have happened IMO.

Kippa said...

I don't think she necessarily felt as you did - certainly not in every respect.
People don't have to 'feel' brave to *be* brave.

I agree about the reporter though.
Though her predicament does evoke a twinge of pity in me.
Faced with that kind of immensity, I think she may simply have been dumfounded and confused. It would be hard for anyone to come up with the right words for such a situation - even a hardened reporter. Maybe especially one who was pregnant (and privileged)

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