Saturday, November 14, 2009

It'd Be Easy

It'd be easy to go completely private on this blog. I've considered it several times actually...but then I've realized that it's important to get my words matter how someone else might view my opinions or experiences.

I've noticed other bloggers flouncing out of the public blogosphere because of comments that were made on their sites. And I think it's silly. Grow thicker skin and speak up for yourself! I've had really lousy comments directed my way, but instead of running, I've faced them head on. And I'll continue to do so.

If you disagree with a bunch of lowly adoptees, then tell us why. But I have to warn you, using God or Fate or whatever as a reason for why adoption is awesome won't cut it with most of us.


  1. Dissenting opinions are a great opportunity to engage in productive debate - why run from them? Heavy comment moderation is also a fave, especially among the AP crowd. They choose to simply ignore what they don't agree with.

    C'mon folks! If you don't want discourse, don't blog at all.

  2. I didn't go private because of your comments. In fact, I value your well-thought-out answers and rebuttals. However, when people are cursing at me and linking me to horrible things (when they know nothing about me or my family) I feel the need to protect me and mine.

    I really do appreciate the comments you left for me. And I really do want to talk to adult adoptees. However, I teach middle school, and just like I won't argue with a middle schooler when they are angry and immature, I won't argue with adults who behave much worse.

    You have been nothing but honest and you have been kind. You haven't cut me down or "yelled" at me or condemned me to hell or questioned any number of private areas of my life. And I appreciate that - I truly do. But I took my blog private to protect my family. Maybe in a few months I'll open it back up again.

    If you'd like to continue a discourse, please let me know and I"ll open it up to you.

  3. Rachel,

    Thank you for stopping by. I know that some of the comments you got probably took you by surprise, but honestly, the adult adoptees that you heard from on your site were just as surprised by some of your blog posts and comments. I appreciate you coming here to let me know that nothing I said caused you to go private. As I've said before on my blog, I've had many commenters who have been not so kind and it really would be easy for me to "go dark" but I feel like this is something I have to do for myself first and foremost.

    I'm not saying any of the below response to be mean, so please don't take it like that, I just really feel like you immediately shut out the comments that might have actually helped you to understand things better.

    The children that are not yet born are not "your" children. And to say that "your" child will be born in January or February or March or whatever is a falsehood. Right now, some woman is pregnant with that child and for all intents and purposes, the baby is HERS. Whether or not she's chosen to relinquish that child is besides the point. For this instant, SHE is the mother. And if, at some point, you DO adopt a child, you will not be that child's only mother. You won't be the only "real" mother…and my feeling is, if a natural mother chooses to parent her child, then that's the best outcome all around. Infertility isn't easy, I get that…but neither is growing up in a family that never quite feels like your own. No matter how much you love the children in your household, the adoptee will ALWAYS feel different.

    I'd love to keep reading your blog if you're still open to that…I can't promise that if I comment it will be rainbows and sunshine all the time, but I will be respectful when I do.


  4. I would be willing to bet that as much as a non-adoptee can't fully understand being adopted. Neither can someone who has bio children fully understand someone with infertility. I haven't read any of Rachel's blog - but just want to pipe in and say that everyone has their own opinions based on their own life experiences. And that is okay. We are all entitled to our own opinions. (Again - the caveat that I have no idea what Rachel's blog said or what commenters said).

  5. I agree that we are all entitled to our own opinions Sarah.
    My aparents tried for eight years to have children of "their own" before deciding to go with their second choice, their Plan B if you will, of adopting. I do understand the pain of infertility…but it's not the same thing as having your entire heritage wiped away so a couple can have children.

  6. Cricket -

    Respectfully - as someone who is infertile, you do NOT understand and know the pain of it just because your adopted parents experienced it any more than I understand and know your feelings just because my brothers and sister are adopted. You know something about it - just as I know something about being adopted.

    But I will never claim to know the feelings of adoptees as I am not one and I'm sorry - you do not and cannot know the emotional impact or scope of infertility as you have had the children you wished to have.

  7. Ok, so you are dealing with the incredible pain of infertility. I hear you. When does that equal you hoping for someone to give up their child for you? Does infertility mean you are entitled to someone else's baby?

  8. Thanks for the reply!

    I don't expect sunshine and rainbows, but I do expect to be treated with respect.

    And, I completely agree that in the perfect world, every woman who becomes pregnant does so because she wants to parent. And, in that same perfect world, every woman who wants to parent is able to become pregnant.

    Unfortunately, we live in a very very far from perfect world. So, with that in mind, I have a few questions for you, if you don't mind...

    I have a step-mother who has been my step-mother for over 30 years. She refers to me as "my (her) daughter." She has no biological claim to me ... she did not grow me in her womb ... she did not give birth to me ... she never even pursued step-parent adoption. How would you addess that? I have no problems with her claiming me as her daughter. I am richer, I believe, because I grew up with two women who loved me SO much and taught me such different things.

    I mean, I recognize that this woman who is pregnant currently and has chosen us (through no coersion from us or anyone else) to parent her child, will ALWAYS be this child's mother. But how do you define "real"? If my mother had died and I had been raised by my step-mother, and she was the only mother I ever knew ... would I not consider her my "real" mother?

    I'm asking respectfully... what is your definition of "real"?

    The woman in our lives who is expecting a baby boy in January...there are circumstances I cannot discuss that currently prevent her from being able to parent her son. She chose us to parent. She wants to be involved .... and she will be. I believe, if she chooses to continue down this path, this child will be so much richer for having two mothers - two families - love him.

    Also...another personal (and perhaps very volatile) question to ask ... would you prefer that women who find themselves pregnant and either A) don't want the child or B) can't for some reason raise the child ... do you prefer they abort those children?

    I'm just very curious about that. Would it better to abort a child or place a child for adoption if the alternatives are things like abusive fathers and/or grandparets, poverty, etc. Or do you advocate adoption in no circumstance ever?

    Again...I'm asking respectfully, trying to figure out the position.

    See, I realize that this child (due in January) isn't "mine." In fact, I realize that this child will never be "mine" in the same way my husband will never be "mine." We cannot make a claim on another human being. But the very nature of parenting language makes it such that all parents refer to children as "theirs."

    Again, having been raised with such a wonderful step-mother, and having two women claim me as "theirs" has been a positive experience.

    And I know that I don't want ANY child to grow up feeling unwanted or unloved or like an outcast (except, seeing as how I teach middle school - all of us feel that way at some point). I do want to know what I can do - should S choose us to parent in January (and she'll have to make that choice all over again when she gives birth, and I know she may choose to parent - and I will support her in that decision 100%) - I want to help this boy grow up loving BOTH of us.

    Do you believe that is possible? Or is adoption doomed from the start?

    Again- please understand I am asking these questions with the utmost respect...

  9. I just have to say I don't view adoption as "plan B."

    It's our second plan, because our first plan didn't work.

    But that doesn't it make it any less valid - or valued - as the first plan.

    It's certainly not second best.

    And I won't wipe away any child's heritage. In fact, I read an adoption book that suggested just that. And I quit reading it and would never recommend it to anyone. Heritage is extremely valuable. It is true I will have to make a huge effort to have any child that comes into our family via adoption participate in his/her heritage. But I know that going into's not like I'll be surprised by that.

    And unless someone is declared permanently infertile (which maybe you have been...I don't know) I don't think they can understand infertility fully. Just like I will never understand fully what it meants to be an adoptee...

  10. Tina…I like you more and more every day. I do really appreciate you coming and putting me in place when I need it…and I guess this was one of those times. You're absolutely right, I DON’T know what it's like to be infertile. And I didn't mean to come off sounding insensitive…at all. Sadly, my typing sometimes escapes me and I end up sounding horrible, and I hope that by now, you realize that I'm not horrible. Just in a really bad horrible place right now, and for a long time before this.

    I can't stop being bitter. I wish I could. I know that it'd be easier for the AP community if I, and other adoptees, could get over the loss of so much.

    Please don't take this the wrong way (and feel free to put me in Time Out if need be) but I get tired of reading about the entitlement aspect of adoption. "We deserve to have a baby…we've spent so much money so far…we were called to adopt by God…". It's when I hear those phrases, and others, that my claws come out and I start hissing. I try not to…but I'm human, it happens. Just like it happens to some AP's when we start talking about how the adoptees will feel years from now.

    I found a website today that really gave me pause. For the life of me I can't find it now, but really, it's not somewhere I'm comfortable visiting again. AP's were debating about open vs. closed adoption. And so many of the AP's who were commenting were saying that they'd NEVER want an open adoption because they were afraid that the birthparents (I never use the term "birthparents" by the way, but that's what they were saying) would try and get "too involved" when they weren't parents anymore. It really made me sick to my stomach and just made me wonder if there's any hope at all in getting our message across, even if we tiptoe and mince our words.

    I have no idea what the hell I'm saying right now, just that I understand where you're coming from and that I DO care about people's feelings and that I'm sorry if yours were hurt.

  11. I understand what you are saying about the entitlement thing - I am an AP and I can clearly hear when someone is using that kind of language. I didn't necessarily recognize that kind of thing when I first started the adoption process. So I have become MUCH more aware. Just know that not all of us APs are like that. Like everyone - we sometimes do and say the wrong thing. But we do not all feel entitled.

    Also wanted to comment on something you said in a previous post about not feeling like you are allowed to be bitter. You are certainly allowed to feel anyway you like - but do you really want to live life feeling that way? That would be my question. I have my share of negative feelings about things and I wish I could get rid of them.

  12. Oh and about the APs hoping for closed adoptions - man... that's awful. People chose international adoption for just that reason. How sad that they are hoping their children will never know their roots.

  13. I'm not saying that my adoptive parents weren't my real parents…they were (for better or for worse)..but I also have my natural family that is no less real than my AP's. So, you nailed it right on the head when you said that the child you adopt will have more than just you and your husband as his/her parents. My son has two dads, for all intents and purposes. His natural father, and my boyfriend. His dad was unable to be with him for several years…and during that time, my boyfriend assumed the role of dad while his father was gone. Even though we're not married..yet…he's my son and daughter's stepfather. I've always felt like the more people to love a child the better… On that point we don't disagree.

    In a perfect world, I DON'T believe that adoption should be necessary. I feel that, after hearing from some of my other adoptee friends, the chain of action should be support put in place for the natural families so they can stay together…then kinship care…and then guardianship for those that really need it.

    I'm sorry to say that I can't/won't answer the "Shouldn't adoptees be grateful they weren't aborted?" question. You, I mean that in the most general sense of the word, could have been aborted too…but I would never think to say that to you. See what I mean? It's a moot point…and a bit disrespectful to be honest. Yes, I could have been aborted…and some days, in my darkest of hours growing up, I wished for that. The pain of feeling unwanted and unloved by everyone around me caused me to withdraw from enjoying my childhood.

    I was placed in an abusive home…emotional, mental, physical, verbal, sexual…so the argument I've heard over and over that I was given up to have a better life doesn't fly either. I'm told to "get over it"…and be glad I "wasn't aborted". It hurts…and that's the anger and bitterness I write from.

    I do believe that open adoption is better than closed (see my comment to Tina below)…but I do not believe that adoption in and of itself is the best option for a child…ever.

    We grow up as second class citizens…fighting to get our original birth certificates and identifying information…can't get a passport without jumping through hoops…and then, if we're lucky enough to find our natural families, the shame is sometimes too much for our mothers and fathers to bear and we're abandoned again.

    I do appreciate your candor...

  14. I haven't been declared you're right, I don't know what that's like...but I just don't feel like adoption is the answer. I'm sorry if that hurts any one of my readers...but I had to say it and be true to myself.

  15. It's not a matter of WANTING to remain bitter...but honestly, it's just a fact of my life. It's not like I spend my days ranting and raving about the abuse, or the loss I feel surrounding being adopted (although you may not believe me after all the comments that have been flying today lol).

    Telling an adoptee to get over the pain and bitterness is like telling someone to hold their breath for an hour. It's just not possible. It will always be with me...

  16. Cricket-

    You have not gotten out of line in any way and I really really appreciate your willingness to talk and to educate. You are not obliged to, and lord knows you have had enough bad experience of AP's to wish us all on a fast track to hell. I always look forward to reading your posts and having you make me think. I think you are an extrodinarily strong woman dealing with a horrific past with more grace than I can imagine.

    For the record I agree with you and with some of the others that commented in this thread - no one is entitled to someone else's child. Except I'd go one further - no one is Entitled to a child period. That's right, not me not, a fertile couple, no one. A child is an enormous responsibility we are entrusted with not entitled to. The only entitled party is the child itself. The child is entitled to a loving careing and safe environment to grow in. Its a damn same that not everyone sees it that way but unfortunately its the world we live in.

  17. Krista-

    I am infertile, yes. I am not entitled to someone else's child by any means and would not think to try and take a child from someone else since I do know the pain of losing a child. For my Husband and I infertility took the painful path of lost babies rather than an inability to conceive.

    I do not consider adoption second to procreation. My husband and I had discussed both as options before even getting married. I conceived before we intended to but we were thrilled none the less and decided that it would be the first way we added to our family. However I lost the baby. Genetic testing revealed that this would be the inevidable result of any conception. I wish that we had known that before experiencing the death of our child. We would never have even tried to conceive. I don't feel any pain at not beign able to have a baby - but at having lost two - yes that is a pain no one who has not lived it can understand.

    I don't wish the loss of a baby on ANYONE not to death not to adoption not to anything.

    However, there are children out there without families. My son was one. He is a special needs child that was declined by numerous foster and adoptive families. His biological relations also refused to care for him even if compensated by the government to do so. I believe God meant us to be a family. NOT that God put him in the wrong woman - what a repulsive idea - but that once she chose to abuse him and herself with alcohol and drugs during his gestation and then to abandon him after his birth - God brought us together so he would have someone who loved and cared for him and we would have the child we wanted. I did not save him - God did not call me to that. Instead he gave me the incredable gift of being able to love this wonderful child.

  18. Cricket -

    I can't find your email to invite you to be a reader. I think by leaving a comment here, though, you'll have mine.

    And to clarify ... I didn't ask you "shouldn't adopteed be grateful for not having been aborted?" I would NEVER ask such a question or eve insinuate that abortion is a better option. I'm just curious what your views are on women who genuinely don't want to be parents (*shrug* if there are such women).

    And I agree - natural families should have access to all the support they need to keep their families together.

    Anyway...not trying to pick a fight :)

    Email me if you still would like to read. I can't promise I won't annoy or anger you - but I can promise it won't ever be on purpose!!

  19. Rachel,

    I think that the women who say they don't want to be parents need all the support they can get...therapy, classes..etc. Her family and/or the family of the natural father should be given the chance to get involved and take the child in so he/she grows up with the natural relations whenever possible.

    Email is on its way... thanks!


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