National Adopton Month 2015 ~ Saving Our Sisters style #NAM2015 #flipthescript

In response to the excessively adoptiveparent-centric calendar created for NAM 2015 by the group “The Adoption Exchange,” I give to you this:


If you don’t know about the 501c3 organization “Saving Our Sisters,” you should! It is a grassroots network of mothers of adoption loss and family preservation activists helping expectant and new mothers and their babies avoid the trauma of adoption relinquishment. You can read more about it on the Saving Our Sisters Facebook page or make a donation through the CUB website’s donation page (donations are tax deductible).

Welcome, National Adoption Month 2015! #NAM2015

It’s that time of year again when, by Presidential proclomation, we Americans get to “celebrate” the destruction of the natural family National Adoption Month. Yipee and pass the streamers?

Maybe not.

Today, my news feeds on all of my social media sites have been full of blog posts written by adoptees who are working to reclaim their voice and #flipthescript on National Adoption Month. It’s been incredible to read them as they have come across my feeds. There have been many, but here are a few I thought I would share:

From Kevin H. Vollmers’, “Before you wish someone happy National Adoption Awareness Month…

Here’s a PSA to those of you who “celebrate” National Adoption Awareness Month: Remember that many adoptees like me are not so keen on it. Adoption isn’t just about love. It’s not based in altruism. It’s a multibillion dollar business where there’s a clear buyer, seller, and product. It operates within violence, especially violence toward women.

As an institution, adoption has a history of telling lies, like it did to my mother. As an institution, adoption has a history of taking advantage of women in vulnerable situations, like it did with my mother. As an institution, adoption has a history of favoring privileged women at the expense of disadvantage women, like my mother. As an institution, adoption has a history of erasing the lives of women, like my mother who passed away in November of 1985.

From Chelsea Westfall at the blog, “How Does it Feel to Be Adopted?”:

“Being adopted has always been something I’ve had an internal struggle with. The greatest aspect of my struggle to come to terms with being adopted is feeling as if I cannot talk about the fact that a struggle even exists. Adoption is such a wonderful thing for so many individuals, myself included, but that doesn’t mean it is without consequence.”

From the blog No-Name Changeling in a blog post titled “Bad Seed and Split-Feathers: November’s Happy Adoption Month”

“I am close to sixty—I’ve lived more years, than I have years to live before I die. And I know now, I will die without ever seeing my mother’s face or being accepted by my tribe.”

And released just in time for National Adoption Month, a new anthology of adoptee voices, “Flip the Script: Adoptee Anthology Project (The AN-YA Project).” Get it. Read it. Learn from it.

#flipthescript #NAM2015

Behind the Curtain: Jessalynn Bills Speight


Yeah. This woman.

I had the “pleasure” of tangling with her a few years ago. I am one of those her followers decided to “out” as a “bad birth mother” because I don’t spout the dominant cultural rhetoric about LDS adoptions.

Fast forward to a few months ago – she had the temerity to want to connect with me on LinkedIn with her new “professional” profile. The words Whiskey Tango Foxtrot may or may not have escaped my lips.

LinkedIn invitation.

What the…??? Why would she want to connect with me professionally?

As I am intimately familiar with the cult-like brainwashing of the LDS church in regards to single expectant mothers and birth mothers, I am deeply empathetic towards women like Jessa. However, my empathy is stopped up short when they begin to exercise unrighteous dominion and employ their wretched tactics to keep other women “in line.”

Jessa is a “minder,” much like those of Scientology. Her goal and objective is to keep birth mothers mute, deaf, and powerless before the adoption industry and adoptive parents.

Like AstridBeeMom says in her blog post, Jessa doesn’t speak for me. #notyourhandmaid

Originally posted on Musings of a Birthmom:

There’s an article going around from the Huffington Post. It’s entitled, “How Do Women Feel After Placing Their Baby For Adoption?”  The article was written by Felicia Curcuru who is the co-founder and CEO of an organization called Binti which claims it “uses technology to improve the adoption process and encourage empathy and understanding among members of the adoption triad.”

In this article, Curcuru interviews two first moms who have written a book called, “Birthparent’s Guide to Grief: A 12-Step Process.”  This book was written by Jessalynn Bills Speight and Alysia Foote. I’ve seen the article circulating in some adoption communities and support groups. Each time it pops up I cringe.

I’ve read the article. In my opinion, 90% of it is absolute garbage and is not applicable to the majority of first moms more than 5 years into an adoption. There was a lot the article left out, as far…

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“Understanding Why Adoptees Are At Higher Risk For Suicide”


It’s National Suicide Prevention Week 2015 here in the US and this is difficult reading for me. Why?

Because I unknowingly put my daughter at a four-fold risk of suicide. What mother in their right mind would do that???? How is THAT supposed to be a blessing, dear LDS church? How is an increased risk for suicide “about love“?

This adoption truth would have been a game changer for me. I would have never relinquished her for adoption. I was promised she would grow up whole and happy because she had the magic elixir of Mormondom – two parents who were sealed in the temple. It was supposed to be the secret sauce that protected her from depression and low self-esteem, among many other things.

But I was lied to.

And she suffered.

So yes, this is difficult, but necessary reading.

Originally posted on Light of Day Stories:

Talking about suicide is hard and uncomfortable. Talking about it in connection with adoption–which often has much joy but is more complex than people realize–is challenging. And we need to talk, and keep sharing information and resources.

I am pleased to share with you my article “Understanding Why Adoptees Are At Higher Risk For Suicide,” published today by Forefront, a University of Washington collaboration of the UW School of Social Work, UW Communication, UW School of Nursing, and UW College of Education.

My three main points in the article are these:

Adoption is a trauma.

Adoptees often don’t know their medical histories, which may include depression and other illnesses.

Adoptees don’t want to upset their adoptive parents with concerns about depression or what could be seen as ingratitude.

I know people I love more than words can say who have considered. and attempted, suicide. I do not presume to…

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The Process of Becoming Real

Cover of Brene Brown's books, "Daring Greatly."

“As I look back on what I’ve learned about shame, gender, and worthiness, the greatest lesson is this: If we’re going to find our way out of shame and back to each other, vulnerability is the path and courage is the light. To set down those lists of what we’re supposed to be is brave. To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

Dear Ms. Feverfew –

I don’t write many letters to you lately, but today I echo Dr. Brown’s words: If we are ever to find our way back to each other, past the shame that is the essence of adoption, it is because we support each other in the process of becoming real to each other again.

So today, I set down the list of what a “good” LDS birth mother is supposed to be. I set down the stony expectations of my religion and my culture. They have sought to invalidate our connection, to convince both of us that we are no longer real to each other.

But you are real. Just as Poppy is my real daughter, so are you. You are not a ghost nor a lost daughter. Your presence in this world carries weight and significance.

You are real. You are worthy. You are loved. 

Just as you are.

Know that you are supported in your quest for wholeness, that my love for you is an ever burning blaze, even in your darkest of moments.

You are real. You are worthy. You are loved. 

Just as you are.


Dear Person Who Found This Blog by Searching for, “does giving your child for adoption makes you a bad person”

Dear Anonymous Search Engine User:

In short, no.

It doesn’t make you a bad person, per se, to give your child up for adoption, especially if you have not been told the full truth about the potential risks adoption brings your relinquished child’s life, not to mention anything about yours.  What you need to know is that adoption will break you in ways you did not know you could be broken. Adoption can also break your child in ways that you had no idea a child could be broken. This damage – this breaking along the fault lines of your soul – compounds across the years. It is not a one time thing. It gets bigger as it spreads, like a tsunami traveling across a deep ocean.

And while you are not “bad” for choosing to relinquish your child for adoption without full knowledge of the truth, you will be treated as if you were “bad.” The moment you sign the voluntary termination of parental rights paperwork, you will be treated like there was something defective in you, which is why you don’t deserve to have any kind of relationship with your child. After all, what kind of woman gives their baby to strangers????

And when you wake up from the adoption-industry induced anesthesia and discover the depth of injury you have caused your child and you are crazy with grief, society (and even perhaps the adoptive parents and your once-upon-a-time child) will point at that grief as “evidence” that you were “bad” and didn’t “deserve” your child.

So think carefully about the adoption “decision” and the potential long-term devastation you are inviting into your child’s life, even if you think you are choosing “good” adoptive parents. Your child wants only you. You and you alone. Be your child’s hero. Not some white infertile couple who has a slick advertising book on some corner of the internet, boasting about all their Stuff and all the Things.

Your. Baby. Wants. You. Your. Baby. Needs. You.

And, if after saturating yourself in the true facts of the cost of adoption to your child’s long-term mental health, you still relinquish your child for adoption? Then yes, yes you are a bad person.


One Who Wishes She Had Been Told the Truth 23 Years Ago

A Strange, Sad, Question I Hope No One Has Asked


From the blog post:

“Bullshit aside, when we love someone, we don’t take something precious away from them, especially when we have the power to help them keep it. When we love someone, we want to keep them in our lives and have a close relationship with them and support them and help them and ensure they’re happy to the best of our ability. Pausing in the middle of one’s day to go all dewy-eyed and say “It sure was nice of ol’ What’s-Her-Name to make us a family” isn’t the same thing at all.
The sad fact is, it’s not easy to respect people like single mothers, because society tells us they are the root of the nation’s ills, the cause of poverty and crime (and cancer and acne and terrorism). Single mothers in a patriarchy can be respected, of course, but it doesn’t come easy to most of us. And the hard fact is this: The better-off we are, the less likely we are to care about single mothers AND the more likely we are to be able to adopt. You flat-out cannot respect someone when you know her back is to the wall and you stand to gain from your not helping her. You can’t love her, either.


Originally posted on Adopto-Snark:

Do Adoptive Families Respect Birth Mothers? is an author-not-listed page on a not-at-all-coercive baby-trolling site called “Adoption For My Baby” (sorry, “ADOPTION FOR MY BABY”). This essay is horrible. It’s really, truly awful. Content warning: “Birth mother,” “birth mother” used to signify a woman who has not relinquished for adoption, coercion, falsehood, mountains of smarm, and disregard for any and all forms of human decency.

This bizarre question, essay aside, makes the spiky urchin very sad. It makes me sad because I can’t imagine asking it unless I were already half-coerced into doing an adoption I didn’t want to do. I can only imagine a woman thinking: OK, I’ve accepted that my baby will be better off without me because I’m single and/or poor, like society says. I’ve accepted that the solution for this is to pick a pretty couple out of a book, let them lovebomb me for a…

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She Asks for Bread

Hmmmm….This sounds a lot like the LDS church and the LDSFS’s treatment of single expectant mothers. It also parallels the church’s teaching that adoption
“blesses” the birth parents and the child in this life and in eternity and that it should be considered a gift to all involved. Sacred, even.

Is it really a gift and blessing to be severed from your heritage, your ancestors, your people, and your mother for eternity, thanks to the sealing ordinance? Is it really a gift and blessing to be severed from your child, your future grandchildren, and your descendants for eternity?  Is having your existence expunged from history, a complete and total annihilation of your motherhood – from a legal and a doctrinal point of view  – really a gift?

Most of us with any heart or conscience would say no, those are not true gifts nor are they blessings.

Yet these are the gifts and blessings a Mormon god and his people give the most vulnerable of among the church, single mothers and their newborn children. She asks the Mormon god for bread, but is given a stone instead.

After all, she got herself into this mess. She can live with the consequences.

Consider the Shades of Grief

Empty row boat docked at dusk.

Grief is a universal experience. We all walk through these shadows at one point or another. We all eventually experience its awkward, faltering steps. A Facebook friend, Kristen Shill, penned these words in memory of the passing of her mother, but I have a feeling many of my natural mother friends recognize the experience of walking away empty handed, having not yet made peace with the young person’s grief we now carry in our grownup bodies.

Abide with me today? Twenty years of grief is a lot to hold. In the early hours of the morning twenty years ago, my mom’s organs shut down as her body stopped fighting leukemia. Her name was Alicia.


I hold up memories of her like paint chips against the walls of my life.
Most are faded and wan,
A few red as heartsblood.
Mostly I tuck them carefully into a drawer,
To pull out now and again
As I consider the shades of grief.

Grief is not a destination.
It’s not the journey or even the load.
Grief is the vessel,
Carrying one so gently through shock
And later dashed against the shores of sorrow.
I’m on a one-woman voyage through desolation.

The work of grief is a lonely business,
As I stand in the produce aisle squeezing tomatoes
And tumble down the wormhole of memory,
Hands still and eyes pinwheels of loss and regret.
“Ma’am, can I help you with something? ”
“Oh. No. Thank you. There’s nothing you can do for me.”
I walk away with empty hands.

I have not made peace with the child’s grief housed in a woman’s body.
I lean away from her pain, her confusion–adult problems in a child’s body.
I cannot remember.
I cannot remember.
I cannot remember.
I cannot forget.

I set course on the good ship Grief,
A reluctant sailor through uncharted waters,
Dashed against the shores of sorrow,
Grasping the rudder
And trying to remember the feeling of the sun on my face once more.

Interestingly, I have found those who have lost a child or mother to death tend to be the most compassionate and understanding of the natural mother’s plight. Perhaps it is true, that great suffering can open open the doorway to compassion for others. Perhaps mindful surrender to the grief (as so exquisitely exemplified by Kristen’s poem) really does open up the gate to a sacred place where we can simply be  – be more tolerant, be more loving, be more accepting – with each other in our shared suffering.

Forced Adoptions in 21st Century America & The Bitch from Birmingham


“This is what “open adoption” is in America. It is a systematic mind-fuckery of scared women in precarious positions who love their babies…”

Yeah, tell me about it.

Originally posted on The Burning Times of Vesper Woolf:

The most evil thing you can do is separate a mother from her baby, whether through coercion or brutal force. And that’s what adoption is….

.Elliot flyer

So, there’s this hipster movie, “Juno”…  maybe you saw it? Adoption is all rosy and pristine in “Juno” with a young mother who’s “just not ready” and “making the ‘right’ decision” for her baby.  What the fetus-centric message of the movie unintentionally tells us is that impoverished, often young mothers are fair fodder for older, barren women – women with the money and social standing to purchase a newborn. Whether attached to a man or not, these barren bitches represent the patriarchy at it’s most insidious and subtle incarnation – women betraying women. As Taylor Swift succinctly said, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” And this is the real issue at the center of a forced adoption…

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