Saturday, May 21, 2011

Money, money, money...

I have just read an article at - Blog Hop: Dollars and $ense of Family Building -  about the financial costs of adoption to adoptive parents. Strangely, at the top of the page, it says "This project started with a debate that I facilitated for the Open Adoption Examiner about potential adoptive parents using billboards to connect with expectant parents considering adoption. One of the viewpoints came from first mother Claudia Corrigan D'Arcy, who wrote: I have too many adult adoptee friends that scoff and joke at their adoption paperwork where they see how much their folks "paid" and speak about what they "cost." But beneath the joking, there is pain that they were looked at as a product and used in transactions." Cue the strangeness when the article then goes on to ask adoptive parents and infertile people to blog about the amount of money they spent on infertility treatments and/ or adopting a child.
So, where exactly does the aforementioned adoptee fit into this discussion? Those of us who feel like a commodity, like nothing more than an accessory for our adoptive parents, are once again forgotten. It seems odd to start a discussion like this and not include those of us with the dollar signs printed on our foreheads, the ones who can tell you how it really feels to find out what we cost, the ones who experience the emotional cost of your financial burden. Here's a clue, there is no good time, no good age, no good way to tell a child how much they "cost" you. If there are dollar amounts on adoption paperwork, well, that cannot be helped and adoptees are entitled to see all of the paperwork that has guided the direction of their existence. But as far as telling a child "It cost us "this much" to conceive/ get you", just... don't... do it!!!! You will just be burdening a child with something that is neither their fault nor their problem. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Inappropriate pity parties.

You know what shits me? When one of my adoptee friends posts something on their blog or on their Facebook page about how much their birthmother sucks and then gets inundated with birthmothers throwing a pity party for themselves. We know, we know, we've heard it all before - the baby scoop era was a terrible time, women were coerced, women were powerless, blah, friggin' blah. I swear I am not making light of the horrible things that happened to SOME mothers, what I am saying is that a) not ALL mothers were coerced into giving up their children, at least some did it willingly and considered the whole process like having a cancer removed, a cancer they never want to see again. And b) it is every adoptees' right to feel angry and sad about the fact that, regardless of the circumstances, what they experienced was abandonment by their mother.
It isn't that I don't feel pity for these women who lost their children; I personally know some who were chained to beds and drugged to the eyeballs and told they couldn't leave the hospital until they signed the papers. What annoys me is when they blatantly ignore the experience of an adoptee so that they can tell the world once again all the terrible things that were done to them. Those terrible things are irrelevant to my friend whose mother willingly abandoned her and then two more babies after her. They are irrelevant to all of my friends who have been rejected by their natural mothers in their adulthood, who have been told that they were nothing but a mistake who should have stayed buried, that they should have been an abortion. They are irrelevant to my friends whose mothers have denied even being their mothers despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Reading over this I know it comes off as pretty harsh but I'm finding it hard to care right now. I love my adoptee friends; they are my true tribe. And when someone comes along and tells them that their mother  treats them like they are less than nothing because SHE is damaged, it makes me want to scream. I do not deny that mothers who give up or lose their babies to adoption are damaged by it but so are the adopted people, the ones' her were completely powerless children in the scenario. And throwing yourself a pity and blame-shifting party on my friends blogs and Facebook pages is not... fucking... cool!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mother's Day

Well, Mother's Day is this weekend and as a reunited adoptee, it is a rather loaded day. Thankfully, when I became a mother 2 1/2 years ago, it allowed me to make Mother's Day about me. Last year, we were so broke that even a greeting card was out of the question so I didn't send anything to my amum, thought I'd just call her on the day. She called me on the Friday and told me she was divorcing me for not sending her a card - my lack of attention was compounded by the fact that none of her 3 sons sent anything either. We all foolishly assumed that she would be adult and mature enough to not be a bitch about it. Only my eldest abrother and I copped shit for it - middle abrother, aka Golden Boy, was let off the hook by virtue of being her favourite and younger brother was let off by virtue of being a fuck up all year round. So the 2 children who do actually call her regularly and have the supposedly best relationship with her are the ones that scored the shitty guilt trip - awesome! She didn't answer the phone on Mother's Day and had made a big deal that if a card hadn't arrived before the day it didn't count so I needn't bother sending the card that my son and I had been making when she called.
For those who don't know, several years into my reunion I had a minor breakdown. I went into therapy for it and made the mistake of sharing my feelings about it all with my amother. Being the narcissist that she is, she made it all about her, told me I didn't have issues because of adoption, that it was all about her divorcing my adad when I was 12. It got to the point where she was calling me every day to tell me one more reason she had to divorce adad - the reality is that she had an affair and ended up leaving adad for that man after adad paid for her to have a facelift and boob job. I ended up doing what she has done on many occasions, I wrote her a letter to tell her I couldn't cope with her while I dealt with all this stuff, that I just needed a little bit of space. She wrote a letter back telling me to have a nice life with my new family. We didn't speak for 3 years. The only reason I did get in touch with her again was because I got pregnant.
So I think that little break was really healthy for me because when she had her Mother's Day meltdown last year, I just figured well, at least I won't have to talk to her for a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, my eldest abrother went into full damage control mode, made his daughters sit down and make cards for her and sent them on the Friday and then called her every day until she finally picked up the phone. I used to be that person. In years gone by, I probably would have turned up on her doorstep with gifts and flowers and apologies. It was actually a wonderful revelation to realise that she doesn't have that control over me anymore.
So this year, as I sent cards to her from me and my son, I wondered if she would blindly enjoy them, preen over what a wonderful mother she must be to receive such lovely cards, or will she realise that they are simply a pre-emptive strike to ensure that there is no repeat performance of last years tantrum? I would say probably the former. And what she will never know is that I spent Mother's Day last year and will be spending Mother's Day this year with my natural mum, the mother who loves me unconditionally, who would never lay a guilt trip on me and the mother who I can be totally myself around.