*This* is a Privilege?


I have noticed a theme of sorts running through many LDS “birth mother” blogs, especially ones belonging to women who are less than 5 or so years post-placement. It is one casting the role of “birth mother” as a great privilege and honor. For instance,

“I can see through the fog of my sorrow, pain and anger that this is a privledge [sic]. That this pain is mine to carry for the sake of others so they can be happy, so he can be happy and have all the joys in life he deserves. I know it won’t be easy, but as one has said I know it will be worth it.” ~the birth baby mama

Maybe it is because I am so over being a martyr and a saint, but I am not seeing how the role of a first mother is a privilege.

If it is such a privilege, then why aren’t women lining up at the doors of every LDSFS office across the country volunteering to do it?

Oh yeah. That’s right. It’s because being a first mother isn’t a privilege.

Maybe it is because I am a little bit older now I can see the life sentence of being a first mother is neither a privilege nor an honor. Maybe it is because I can see the sorrow in my sweet 6-year old son’s eyes when he asks about you that I understand this is neither a privilege nor an honor. Maybe it is because I now know the toll adoption extracts from adoptees that I understand this is neither a privilege nor an honor. Maybe because I have had the “luxury” of nearly two decades of living as a first mother I have come to understand this pain is not worth the trade-off.

Just to put the record straight, you would have been happy with me. Sure, I know your adoptive parents are wonderful and good people, but you would have been happy with me. Perhaps not as rich (at first) but just as happy, if not more so. I know your brother Captain Knuckle is happy being with me, in spite of the fact I raised him as a single parent for nearly six years. I would hazard a guess that he is pretty darn joyful being raised by me, his mother.  You would have been, too.

But you weren’t and for that, I am sorry.

And what is this notion of the pain  being “worth it” spoken of by the birth baby mama? Worth it?

I cannot answer that question for you or for other adoptees but for me, my husband, and your siblings, this was SO not worth “it.” But, I guess once again that is the wisdom and maturity that living nearly two decades as an exiled first family brings.

Much love,

M.

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “*This* is a Privilege?

  1. It’s so not worth it. It’s such a hard life to live and I guess call me selfish but I don’t have the desire to make other people happy.

    • No Cristy, you aren’t selfish. You are a mother.

      It is nice to know I am not the only one who doesn’t think being a first mother is “worth it.”

  2. Wow, that is what they are telling themselves to make them feel better??? That parting with their baby is a PRIVILEGE… oh gawd I think I need to bleach my eyes after reading that. No, to all those post-placement mothers out there, giving away a child is not a privilege, its a tragedy. I wonder at what stage does the sweet tasting kool-aid become the acid that it really is?

    Great post M as was the last one I just read. Never got to see the blog in question but very sad. Love your response to the commenter, Red Hot.

    And yes, Ms Feverfew WOULD have been very happy and blessed to be with you… it is what was MEANT to be. I am sorry you both never got that chance. (((Hugs)))

    And no, pain isn’t worth it. It leaves scars… however does the pain in adoption ever have time to heal enough to leave a scar? From what I have seen and felt myself, it doesn’t appear to…

    • however does the pain in adoption ever have time to heal enough to leave a scar? From what I have seen and felt myself, it doesn’t appear to…

      Oh wow…. that question leaves me in tears this morning. At one point in time, I thought I could find a way, make a way for the wounds to heal but as many of us first mothers (and adoptees) know, every new milestone in life just reopens those wounds again. And sometimes….sometimes, it makes them even worse. Like my sweet little Penelope learning to walk. Watching her take her first toddling, teetering steps just slays me because it reminds me of what I missed all those years ago. It was hard back then realizing that my little Ms. Feverfew had learned to walk but until I saw her little sister doing it this past weekend, I had not realized the depth of the tragedy in both our lives.

  3. Um… yeah… I went and commented on her blog. It was just to sad not to. Her whole speil about needing to do this and that for others really got me going. It wasn’t her job to make the adopters happy.

    • I know. She hasn’t posted anything recently and it makes me wonder how she is dealing with her hurt. Or perhaps the adoptive family was reading her blog and told her how uncomfortable it made them feel to read about her pain. Or perhaps she lost herself in business to avoid and stuff the feelings (as I know I am prone to do). I just hope that she is getting the help and care that she needs to be able to put herself back together after this kind of loss.

      • Sigh. Given what she has said about those around her, I would say as long as she accepts it as being good and moves on the way they want her to she will have support. If she ever face the true pain of what she says, then she won’t. I can see she is trying so hard and I feel terrible for her. I hate that she feels the need to deny her true feelings about being that sweet little boy’s mother. There is just something really creepy about any institution that makes a woman feel she shouldn’t be her own child’s mother.

  4. Reading such proclamations makes me feel nothing but sadness and anger for these women. The only people who are privileged are adopters and the brokers who made money off the sale of the child. No one else. These women are a pathetic, because they cannot rid themselves of the brainwashing from their church and their family.

    I am embarrassed for them, really. To be “proud” of a decision that destroys children and themselves is shameful.

    My relinquishment and adoption because of that relinquishment was never “worth it” to me. Never. I will die with sadness in my heart that my Mother had no choice BUT to give me up. No child support, no moral support…nothing. For first Mothers to support the destruction of a natural family is heinous, and is “woman against woman” crime. It is a crime against children.

    I never wanted to be raised by strangers. I wanted my Mother- the Mother God intended me to be raised with, my natural Mother, my first Mother, but society and the “church” got in the way.

    Adoption is a legal procedure. It is NOT a Godly act. It is quite UNgodly. It is NOT the responsibility for fertile women to provide children to the barren. Adoption is immoral and an abomination and should never happen to “make someone else happy”.

    My first Mother has never been “happy” with adoption, and neither have I. And honestly, my ap’s realized in time that a stranger’s child never really made them happy, either.

    • ((((Linda)))) I love you. You are sooooo right, adoption is NOT godly or anything close. I am just so, so sorry. You deserve so much more.

      • God does not do adoption Melynda, we have said it before and will say it again. God is into being born again. *sighs* This poor girl, her pain is just gut wrenching to see. Because no matter who she couches it, the pain is palpable and leaps off the page at you. Frak it- I am so done with the whole thing. Did I mention I hate adoption?

    • I am very sad for these women but even more so for their children, Linda. I have been them and have been subjected to the tremendous cultural and emotional manipulation that ensues when a single woman gets pregnant in the LDS church. My anger is directed at the institutions that perpetuate the abhorrent practices necessary to convince a young mother that she is not good enough and will never be good enough to parent her child (i.e., LDSFS and NCFA). These young mothers don’t stand a chance against the billion dollar adoption machinery that chews them up and spits them out, all in the name of love.

      Like I have said before, lest anyone think the BSE is completely over, look no further than the LDS church and Utah adoption practices. In some ways, it is even worse for these mothers because they will not be able to claim ignorance, they will not be able to say, “No one told me differently” because we are telling them differently. Like you, I am embarrassed for them but that embarrassment is tempered by the knowledge that their path is going to be a very, very, VERY difficult one. Then I am just left with sorrow for their children and pity for them. In the end, it is their children, those relinquished for adoption, future children they might be lucky enough to parent if secondary fertility issues don’t set in, their grandchildren and their grandchildren’s grandchildren. THEY are the biggest casualty of these craptastic adoption practices.

      Sending gentle thoughts your way as you work through the latest events in your life –

      M.

  5. I have read that quote “nobody said it would be easy but they say it will be worth it” applied to many situations. I don’t even understand that quote. Granted, life isn’t “easy”, and anything working hard for isn’t. Yet giving your child up for adoption is NOT “worth it”. It is the result of failure- not for the birthmother but in an entire society. I am a birthmother who felt that I literally had no choice. The biofather cut and ran, I didn’t have the financial resources to do it on my own, my employer wasn’t supportive, I couldn’t afford health insurance, etc. etc. I feel that my adoption decision was the very last resort. I love my daughter’s adoptive parents. I am not a “bitter birthmother”. I signed the papers, nobody put a gun to my head. Yet why aren’t social workers, churches, community groups etc trying to help women in unplanned pregnancies KEEP their children? It was very clear when I worked with my agency and social worker that their support and help was conditional on the end product- me giving up my daughter. There was no offers of assistance had I chosen to single parent. There were no reassurances that if I decided against adoption, they could connect me with community resources that helped single moms, low cost housing or counseling etc. This was not the fault of the adoptive parents. They had no involvement in the agency’s “approach”. However, of course now child-less and after the fact I have to wonder, why weren’t all of these people trying to help an expectant mother raise her child? I wasn’t any less “worthy” than anyone else to raise my child. I read a lot of birthmother perspectives where they literally say that they feel they were meant to have the baby but place the baby, that God put the child in their lives to teach them a lesson but that the child was always meant to be with another family, etc. Almost as if their penance for having sex outside of marriage is to give up the child (thus “erasing” the evidence). Drives me batty, and it’s an attitude that is widely promoted. It’s heartbreaking because many girls are in their teen years when they place, perhaps minors, and do not have the freedom or ability to truly make that decision without enormous pressure and coercion from family members, friends, church, etc. How can that be a “choice”?

    • I have read that quote “nobody said it would be easy but they say it will be worth it” applied to many situations. I don’t even understand that quote.

      It’s one of the greatest and most widely used FALSE “member teachings” out there. It is generally coupled with a picture of Christ with those words printed along side, implying that Christ said it wouldn’t be easy, but it would be worth it. Never said it would be easy

      Uh….that is so not true. Actually, Jesus said it would be easy: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:29-30 KJV)

      Christ tells us HIS burden is light (i.e., choosing to follow in His path). The role of being a first mother certainly is not a “light” burden, which is one of the first indicators that this whole institution of womb-fresh infant adoption isn’t exactly centered in gospel principles. As first mothers, it is something that we wrestle with for the REST OF OUR LIVES (which is why LDSFS offers free counseling to women who surrender babies through their system). I would expect that there are a fair number of adoptees who do not find adoption to be the easiest yoke to carry throughout their lives either.

      Yet why aren’t social workers, churches, community groups etc trying to help women in unplanned pregnancies KEEP their children? ….why weren’t all of these people trying to help an expectant mother raise her child?

      A question I ask myself on a daily basis and one for which I am trying to work out an answer and a solution.

  6. I can’t read those “new” birth mothers…they are just way too optimistic which is depressing as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know if it is because of more openness now or if they are just as in the dark as I was and it will come crashing down on them in the future like it did for me, but I just can’t read how they believe they were “chosen” for this “privilege.”

    • I wonder Desi, if that optimism isn’t a false one, projected by the first mother and required by the adoptive parents. If the first mother were truly in tune with her feelings of grief, loss, and yes, anger, and blogged about it, most adoptive parents would slam their “open” adoptions shut faster than you could say, “Bob’s your uncle.”

      I don’t have clinical data to back up my claim, but my hunch is that most of those happy-happy joy-joy first mothers are dying on the inside. I have been contacted privately by enough of them to know that they are terrified the adoptive parents will close the adoption if they don’t continue to toe the LDSFS approved line about the “miracle and blessing” that adoption is in their lives. They are scared to death to say anything that might jeopardize their “open” adoption. The ability to continue having contact with their lost child is purchased through their continued silence about their increasing pain.

  7. Great post, great comments too. This reminds me of something I was pondering last night while driving home. I was listening to the song “Broken” and couldn’t quit thinking about the line “there is beauty in the breaking”. Where, in the breaking of myself, of my soul, from adoption loss, is the beauty?? My three hour drive wasn’t long enough to come up with the answer…

    • I spent two hours last night asking my ecclesiastical leader this exact same question. Where, in all of this sacrifice, suffering, and breaking of my soul is there beauty? While he reassured me there was always hope through the Atonement, he didn’t have any answers…all he could do was sit and cry with me. Sometimes that is enough.

  8. She hasn’t written in almost a year and you think it’s okay to send people over to her blog to rip her apart? Wow. Compassion.

    • I did no such thing. If you care to read the comments after the original post, you will see that I actually point out that she has not posted in quite some time.

      “She hasn’t posted anything recently and it makes me wonder how she is dealing with her hurt. Or perhaps the adoptive family was reading her blog and told her how uncomfortable it made them feel to read about her pain. Or perhaps she lost herself in business to avoid and stuff the feelings (as I know I am prone to do). I just hope that she is getting the help and care that she needs to be able to put herself back together after this kind of loss.” ~ Me, in the comments.

      Even a quick, cursory reading of my original post and following comments will reveal that I did not encourage anyone to go post anything on her blog. I was simply trying to follow appropriate blog etiquette and link to the original source of the quote. Are you implying that I should have just lifted her comments without proper attribution?

      I feel only compassion for her – I have been her, I have lived her life. I am living her life. The only difference is I am a few more years along on my journey. Why would I send anyone to “rip her apart?” I have not returned to her blog since I linked to it. I cannot control what others do. The last time I checked, we were still living in the United States of America and people still have their agency to choose what they do.

      My point is that I do not understand the thinking that being a first mother is some kind of honor or privilege. As I stated in my original post, if it is such a privilege why isn’t every fertile woman out there lining up to give away their first born to the infertile women in the world? Believe it or not, it is possible to hold that viewpoint AND feel compassion towards a a first mother who believes otherwise. It might be above your pay grade, but it is possible. I promise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s