And Then This


Dear Ms. Feverfew –

Over on my Facebook account, I posted a link to an open letter written by an adoptee to prospective adoptive parents. You can read it at Christina’s blog “Out of the Fog” here or at iAdoptee’s blog here. The letter is a powerful, insightful, and moving view into the inner life of an expert about adoption, the person whose life is most affected by the choices others have made on their behalf: an adoptee.

Within minutes, someone from church responded with this comment:

“I could not disagree with this writer more. Chrildren coming into nyour[sic] life grown either in the heart or under are a blessing. No celebration? BULL!!! Even the angels are rejoicing that that spirit has finally found their rightful place in this world!!!!”

I began shaking so violently when I read that, my teeth clattered together. My entire body felt like ice was rushing through my veins, and then my face flushed red hot and I started sobbing into my cold hands.

The woman who left that comment is a lovely woman I have made friends with at church, a woman I have taught to make challah bread and cried with when she told me about her grown daughters. She has Stage 4 metastatic melanoma and is living on borrowed time – her doctors gave her 3-4 months to live and that was a year ago.  Really, I have felt such a warm kinship with her, unlike any of the other women at church here in my new area. She is the one I have sought out Sunday after Sunday after Sunday to sit next to in Relief Society.

And then this.

I don’t even know what to say to her or how to say it. I typed up an angry missive and was about to click, “send” but then I thought better of it and deleted the message. I simply responded by asking if we could speak in private some time. But why should I have to speak to her privately? Why not just let it all hang out on Facebook? Is that need being driven by the fact I don’t want to dress down a Stage 4 cancer patient who is most likely going to pass away in the next few months? Or is it being driven by a fear of being “found out” in my new ward? After all, no one knows about you. Well, except the Bishop because I yelled at him about it, but other than that, no one outside of my family knows. Am I worried about what will happen to me if I “go public” with it like never before? And what will happen if I just say, “Hey – this is me. Love me or leave me.” I have spent so many years being afraid that members of my church will reject me if the truth is known. Is this perhaps an opportunity to set the record straight will all of them? For some reason, this feels like a big fat test and I am terrified I am going to fail.

Many things to think about tonight if I can ever quit crying.

Much love,

M.

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8 thoughts on “And Then This

  1. This isn’t a pass/fail test. I think it is an open book test. (Not sure which book though.) I think you are right in being kind to her. Gently explaining where you are coming from and dropping the subject if you see it isn’t going anywhere productive. Generally people don’t change their opinions by being exposed to an idea once. It takes repetition and time to ponder. I know that is how I have come out of the so called adoption fog. Know that I am thinking of you and Ms. Feverfew.

  2. LOL. She missed the entire point…typical. It is about the adoptee. MY rightful place was with my original family, and I will never “celebrate” my adoption. Maybe if you tell she should re-read the blog with the writer’s perspective in mind (who is an adult adoptee named Lillie) she may “get it”. xoxoxo

    • It’s going to get really ugly really fast over there on Facebook. Most of my Mormon friends have no idea I am a first mother or my position on adoptee rights nor adoption in general. I am working on a response right now where I just lay it all on the line. I can’t live this way any more. I know I am going to lose many friends over there and it is going to make church hell-a uncomfortable for the next while. It should also make the church Christmas party on Saturday oh so much fun.

  3. I am no longer surprised by people who don’t understand that even ‘when’ adoption occurs in the most appropriate circumstances– there is still a great trauma at the base. I think the Open Letter is really very well-written and forwarded the link to our homestudy social worker with a note that I think this is good reading and discussion material for PAP.

  4. Oh my. This is an example of why this Open Letter is so very important. The woman from your church is representative of those who view adoption as only positive and beneficial. She completely missed the point of the thoughts expressed in the letter–as do so many. This letter needs to read from the viewpoint of the person writing it who is an adult adoptee. I would ask that the woman from your church take a moment to walk in an adoptee’s sandals for a moment.

    On the positive side, you have exposed people to the truth of the adoptee experience. There will be resistance. But the words are out there. And if we all keep sharing and talking, perhaps one day they will see a broader picture.

  5. I am very sorry that you were getting such a reply; after all, the letter you linked to is such a very considerate and well-written document. It is hard to understand how anybody could ever take offense in it.

    It must be very hard for you to find an appropriate way to respond. All my best wishes.
    B. (adoptive mother)

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