Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Question for Those Touched by Adoption

“A most striking finding in the present study is that the majority of these women reported no diminution of their sadness, anger and guilt over the considerable number of years which had elapsed since their relinquishment…
“A significant number actually reported an intensification of these feelings, especially anger...
“a very high incidence of pathological grief reactions which have failed to resolve although many years have elapsed since the relinquishment.”

Dr. John Condon, "Psychological Disability in Women Who Relinquish a Baby for Adoption," Medical Jr. of Australia, Vo. 144, Feb 3, 1986.

Do you agree? Does this ring true for you? Do you feel more at peace with time, or more angry as the reality of the enormity of the exploitation of single, poor mothers worldwide becomes ever more apparent?

For me, the cycle seems to have gone like this:

I was brainwashed and believed I was doing the "right thing" in letting my daughter be adopted in 1968. For a few years i tried to continue to beleivehat even as I heard people saying cruel things about a major news story of the contested adoption of Helen Scarpetta: "any dog can give birth" "the nerve of her!"

Within 5-6 years after relinquishing, I learned that adoptees were searching for their mothers and I was mesmerized!

There was relief in finding other mothers and knowing I was not the "only one and not a "bad person" who had done a "bad thing."

Then, I began to feel angry and duped as I met mothers whose kids had not received anything near "the better life" we had been promised. That realization and disappointment led to my first book.

Solinger's Wake up Little Susie, released in 1992, was a wake up call. I really "got" the socio-economic-political backdrop within which the pressures of my family had occurred. It was more evident than ever that parenthood is a wonderful thing for married, mature couples, but looked down upon for those who did not fit the stereotype nd that out families were concerned with their image.

I suffered a major personal setback in 1995 when my daughter daughter died. Once again my loss was marginalized; not allowed "normal" morning. Thank goodness for my other (birth) mother friends!

It took ten years for me to be able to do much of anything - or even think about anything - to do with adoption again. I seethed quietly about the way her adoption had been handled from the beginning and her adoptive parents that all combined with genetics to cause her to take her life. It again resurfaced issues raised in The Dark Side: lack of follow-up and statistics on adoption.

As I worked on continued my personal empowerment and began work on my second book...and through to day, the social circle of blame widened. It ws clealry not me; not even just my family. It was society...and yet, not American society. It had mushroomed into a global issue of exploitation and communication.

Once that door is open and that little devil comes out - there is not going back for me! Being a "nice" girl - trying to be a "good girl" is what los me my child. I have absolutely no desire of going back to that state.

My righteous indignation ignites, invigorates, focuses and motivates me and I totally embrace it. It is very directed and gaol oriented - not vengeful. I have no desire to attempt to sooth it, even if I could. The more I know, the angrier I am. So, yes, for the Condon quote fits.

How about you?

It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.William Arthur Ward

Anger is only a natural reaction; one of the mind's ways of reacting to things that it percieves to be wrong. While anger can sometimes lead people to do shocking things,it can also be an instinct to show people that something isn't right.

Anger is a great force. If you control it, it can be transmuted into a power which can move the whole world. William Shenstone


Lorraine Dusky said...

Well, I'm not a good one to ask as it's quite obvious...that giving up my daughter and it's after effects stayed with me throughout my life, and the grief and sorrow plays constantly in the background.

AdoptAuthor said...


Stayed: Increased over time, or not?

Suz said...

I have to think about this a bit to give you an appropriate response but very quickly I will say the following:

Denial/Avoidance/Believing what THEY told me while I was simultaneously having serious PTSD.

Anger and terror and outrage when leanred what was done to me and that my daughter was sold by a baby broker.

Continued anger and sadness and depression and PTSD effecting every aspect of my life - work, marriage, relationships, friendships, education, health.


Continued sadness, more acceptance, undestanding, tolerance and a desire to turn the anger into energy to fight the ignorance and support moms who need it.

I am finding useful ways to use the anger but the sadness, the loss, the depression, the anxiety, the pain, is always there. It walks beside me as a constant companion.

KimKim said...

I am able to cope with it now but I think that's because I have a reasonably good connection with my daughter. If I talk about it to people who lack empathy I can feel very upset and vulnerable.

I don't think I ever got over the loss but I have found ways to live my life without being crippled by it.

AdoptAuthor said...

Well said, Kim! I have often compared it to a chronic disease: it's always there. Sometimes there are really bad flare ups when you cannot think of anything BUT the pain. Other times there are remissions where it almost doesn't exist...but it is always there.

I have just posted another aspect of this subject. I invite you to read:


Bernadette Wright, President Origins-USA said...

19 years after losing my child, I can't say I'm much better. It's a long, slow road to healing, but I'm working on it.

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget