Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fate, Destiny, and Adoption Justification

We've all heard it... adoptive parents believing that their child was "meant to be" theirs ... that God Himself had ordained it so!  A recent NY Times Motherlode blog, Adoption, Destiny and Magical Thinking by Matthew Hutson says "most" adoptive parents believe it was destiny.

It's been reported that Rosie O'Donnell told one of her adopted children that God had put him in the wrong woman's tummy! Imagine that. Apparently God makes mistakes that adoption adoption corrects.

But, alas, Mr. Hutson provides two very perceptive explanations:
  • Narratives of destiny provide a sense of legitimacy. 
  • Fate is a really useful way for adoptive parents to entitle themselves. 
And there it is. Fate and destiny take what is wrong and feels guilty, unnatural, and exploitive of another's pain and sanitizes it. I didn't do it...I didn't pay tens of thousands of dollars not knowing if it paid unscrupulous child traffickers to steal this child on my behalf, or that my money may have helped another child be stolen for someone else... no, I was the recipient of the fates and thus "I deserve" this to happen to me. 

Hutson speaks of adopters who turned their infertility pain into part of what they were "meant" to endure in order to be the mother of a child that was "meant" to be theirs!

All of the randomness of where kids wind up when they get adopted - is all part of a bigger plan. And all the suffering of the childless and those who suffer the loss of their children is all willed by a higher power. Wow! That requires a belief in a very sick God... a God who even let's some children be kidnapped, or stolen and trafficked to get to their destined homes. 

Surely the Monahans who keep their kidnapped Guatemalan daughter must believe that  God loved them so much he allowed a child to be stolen just for them and "fate" allowed them to defy International treaties and not return her when ordered to do so by the Guatemalan government. How very convenient for them. I wonder how the poor little girl will feel when she grows up and reads her life story in the media. What "narrative of destiny " provides legitimacy to them? God wanted us to be your parents so badly, he sent bad, evil men to kidnap you from your loving mother and siblings? Nice bedtime story, eh? And even after she tried and tried to get you back, God let us keep you, because that's the way it was meant to be. And I guess God or the universe wanted the baby brokers to profit from it, too.

But then doesn't every adoptive parents have a similar tale to tell: God wanted us to be your Mommy and Daddy so much that he first made me no able to have any children and then he made your natural mother and father too poor to keep you with them and your brothers and sister. Isn't God great?  What's that you ask? Why didn't God just help my real Mommy?  Oh, but honey I am you real Mommy now! 

 "Magical"? How about the two words Hutson omitted:  JUSTIFICATION and RATIONALIZATION. There's nothing magical about it.

Over at landofaGazillionAdoptees, this was written about the same subject:

"Destiny?  God’s plan?   Give me a break.  Admit that your adoption agency is a business with a clear seller, buyer, and product.  You’re part of an industry."
Yeah, looked at in the stark daylight of reality without any magical bullshit... the child you adopted  was no more DESTINED to be yours than the car in your driveway!

What About Me?

One adoptive mother in the story, while in awe of what she calls the "alchemy" of it all, recognizes that thinking of is as having been in the stars "seem(s) like a slap in the face to the sacrifices of their birth parents, as well as turning a blind eye to the losses my children may (or may not) feel about being adopted as they grow up." Ya' think?

Yes, if all adoption are "meant to be" than all of us mothers were meant to loose our children and all of our children were meant to suffer a traumatic separation.

I can actually accept that. I accept that my purpose on this earth was to loose my firstborn so that I could use my life's energy to be a spokesperson against such future pain and suffering. Don't then be dismayed by my's all part of what was "meant to be." If was pre-destined to be a vessel for a child who was to be adopted and then kill herself, I was just as surely fated to scream about it till my last dying breath.

Odd, isn't it that South Australia felt the need to issue an official governmental apology for some of the acts of fate.


Giselle said...

How can the Monahans or anybody for that matter, considered themselves "parents" by taking away a child from their mother? How can they based their happiness on having destroyed the life of this mother and the rest of the family? You can not call yourselve a "parent" because you stole a child; because you obtain a child forcefully!!!!! A "real" mother knows the pain of losing a child so she would never take a child away from his mother.
As you say....."nice bedtime story"

Giselle said...

How can the Monahans or anybody else for that matter, considered themselves "parents" by taking away a child from his mother? How can they base they happiness on the pain and suffering that they have caused this mother and her entire family? A "real" mother knows the pain of losing a child and would never do that to anyone. How can they be proud of raising a child that they obtained forcefully... a child with a mother that loves her? What are they going to tell this child? Your mother was poor and we gave you what she couldn't? We are better than her? How can they live with themselves???
"Meant to be"
As you say .... "nice bedtime story".

Anonymous said...

If the adoptive parents in the article beleive in the God of the Hebrew and Christian holy texts (a safe assumption I think), then your requirement that they beleive in a sick God has been met (exhibit A, the Bible).

The God in question is generally believed to be omnipotent, so any thing that happens in your life is clearly according to his plan.

Mirah Riben said...

Yeah, I would agree. If they believe that god ordained it to be that james Homes went insane and shot and killed innocent people in a movie theater, that all who kill and main others are part of His plan, than, wow...what a God to believe in!

The book When Bad Things Happen to Good People was written by Rabbi Kirchsner. The rabbi lost his faith when his son dies. His answer to the riddle is that there is chaos in the world. Some things juts happen. If these events are part of a bigger cosmic picture, we are unable to see it. Some chose to believe that it is all part of magical plan, others of us don't. I think mostly it depends if you are on the winning or loosing end.

If someone dies and you get their kidney and it saves your life - god was on your side. Guess the poor guy who was hit by a car somehow deserved God's wrath! His family may not see it that way however, and neither does the law.

Luckily the holy roller bible thumpers who think the law should represent their every belief, such as when life begins and how people not control the judicial system when it comes to crime. And funny thing is that many right-to-lifers support the death penalty. Why? if they so fervently believe in God why not let Him in His almighty Omnipotentness deal with all these murderers?

Anonymous said...

People that think this way are crazy. Period. I'll say this - I struggled with infertility for 3-1/2 years and finally thankfully was blessed with a child. I never even thought about adoption, because as much as I wanted a child, I couldn't fathom taking someone else's child. I would've raised an orphan or abused/needy child only. (Yes, not all infertile couples are evil baby-buyers). Rosie buying those children doesn't make them hers. Nobody "owns" a child. Doesn't matter what spin you put on it about it being "in the stars." Rationalization doesn't make it right.

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