Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mirah's Reflections on Adoption and Adopters

In the world of technology, they are called "early adopters." The ones that have to have every new gadget as soon as it hits the market. The one's who wait on line all night to get the first iPad and had a GPS when the prices were sky high. And they will be the first on their block to have a 3-D TV before the kinks are worked out, too.

But kids? Do we adopt that way too? Do we chose countries that are "in"?  Is that how Torry Hansen and others feel about bringing a child into their home? Is it stylish, "hip"...yet not so very well thought out?

Like some iPhone users, do they expect a fix for anything wrong with their acquisition and a return policy? Indeed, many have sued agencies for lack of sufficient information, or "wrongful adoption." You know, the ones who say: "We never would have adopted him had we known." or: "We made it very clear what disabilities we could handle and which we could not."  (Unlike, of course, those of us poor primitive individuals who get pregnant the old fashioned way and take what we get.)

Think about the commitment we make to spouses in marriage, a voluntary choice made by most in this country by two willing, consenting adults. Each person takes a vow to love, not to be loved. We promise to love one another through sickness and in health.We are expected not to bail on our partners if and when they are ill or incapacitated in any way.  The commitment to care for a child - who is not consenting - should be taken far more seriously.

On the other end of the spectrum is one of the great lines from the movie "Eat, Pray, Love." A new mother friend of Liz tells her: "Having a baby is like getting a face tattoo. You have to be committed,"

You also have to expect to get pooped and peed and spit up on. And don't get one of these little critters - newborn or older - for "it" to love you.

Young adult and teen moms are chastised for wanting a baby to love them.  They are told how immature that attitude is.  They are clearly children having children when they think like that and babies are not dolls, after all.

Yet read the blogs of adoptive mothers and you hear it all the time from women well into their forties. They not only want a baby or child to love them, they expect it, demand it, and feel short-changed if it does not happen almost instantly.  "He didn't bond with me" is part of the litany of every failed adoption, putting the blame clearly on the innocent child and not them. The child was defective and the agency failed to disclose the truth. They of course were the victims in their description of their failure to meet their commitment of "forever."

Children are taken from half-way around the world, from institutions, and are expected to have no feelings of loss, no grief, no language and cultural re-adjustment issues...nothing but love and gratitude for being taken away from everything they've ever known.

Of course, when the shoe is on the other foot and a domestic adoption is contested, then the story reverts to NOT separating a child from "the only mother she or he has ever known." Amazing isn't it how the general public can change it's sympathies to and fro, but always to favor the adopter over the natural parents.

Why? Because they chose to identify with the savior, not the loser. The noble one, not the one who, after all, must have been defective in some way to have chosen to give away her child in the first place, or worse still had it taken from her. Add to that newer mother in open adoption who are so beholden to their child's adopters and so in throes of Stockholm Syndrome, they sing the praises of their "choice."

Torry Hansen was the first to have gotten mixed reviews because of the way in which she went about ending her adoption, not because she chose to end it. Torry Hansen received little support from the adoption community because they feared she had screwed it up for those who want to adopt from Russia in the future, not so much because of what she did to poor Artyem. As far as her expectations and inability to deal with behaviors common to institutionalized children. she was flooded with compassion from many who said they know what it is like and feel for her.

And that's the difference. there are many adopters now speaking out publicly who do identify with her struggle. Too few voices of mothers who are pressured to relinquish, or who think they are making a good "plan" for their child through adoption being heard in main stream media to remove the stigma and have the general public "get it" and IDENTIFY with us.

While all things adoption have become fashionable and very public to speak about, that once were secretive...not so the "giving up" part...the loss.  We still remain the shadowy figures...the bad girls. The ones no one wants to think about because to accept our pain adds to their guilt of taking our children.  The ones who are feared will be better liked than they by "their" children. The ones who are able to give their children "advantages" no amount of their affluence can: a blood line connection, the roots of their talents and quirks...and the truth of their origins and heritage.

Like lower class women who clean the homes of their wealthier, some are "gracious" enough to invite us to stay for lunch, so that like our children who they have taken from us, we too can be grateful for the crumbs of photos or visits they "allow" us in return and are commended and applauded for by their peers - those who are equal in social stature to them in ways we - the handmaids who bear their children - will never be.

No comments:

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