Sunday, July 12, 2015

Life, interrupted .....

If you've spent any time around women, you've probably heard one of them say, "I can't believe it, I'm turning into my mother!"  Quite often, we do take on characteristics of our mothers, since that's what we've grown up with.

In my case, because I had three mother figures, I ended up taking on characteristics of all three.  Unfortunately, none of them were good characteristics.

Given the numerous dysfunctions in my life, I don't know why I ever thought I was capable of being a good mother.  Ego ... pride ... hubris?  Whatever, I was confident that I'd never make the mistakes the adults in my life had made.

And yet .....

On December 28, 2008, I received the following e-mail from my son:

 I got the box a few days ago. I threw it away. Anything else you send me will either be similiarly trashed, or returned. Any emails you send will be deleted unopened, any calls you make unanswered and unreturned. I will never communicate with you again after this email, nor accept anything from you again.
I hope you can find happiness in your life.

This was the last communication I had from him, as he committed suicide two days later.  He was 22.

As soon as I heard the news, it was like a blindfold had been pulled from my eyes.  It was a moment of great clarity and I was immediately aware of my inadequacy as a mother. I realized how much I'd repeatedly hurt and disappointed him in his too-short life.  I understood, with soul-crushing certainty, that his death was, without question, my fault.

I will carry the grief and guilt with me for the rest of my life.

Spring Break in Florida, 1996

Of all the many regrets in my life, this is the greatest. You are my heart, Taylor, and I still miss you so much.

I'm sorry.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The natural state of childhood .....

Sooooo -- on another blog, I was just told that "The natural state of childhood is lack of choice."

This was in reference to comments I posted about my desire to have my adoption annulled.  Of course, other respondents gave me the same, tired, suggestions that I've heard so many times before:  

  • Just change your name
  • Just find someone else to adopt you


I'm 58 years old, folks!  I don't WANT to be re-adopted.  Even if I DID, I'm too damned old.

And I've already changed my name through the courts, thank you very much.  That doesn't change the fact that the people listed on my birth certificates as my "parents" are not, and shouldn't be granted that title.  The knowledge that when I die, their names will also go on my death certificate?  Infuriating.

Here's the thing.  Let's suppose that once you got married, the law said you couldn't get divorced unless you were going to immediately marry someone else.  Once you said "I do," single life is no longer an option for you.  Ever.

Does that sound right to you?  

That's what adoption is, except the initial choice (the contract) isn't something you agree to -- others made the decision for you.

Here's perhaps a better analogy.  Suppose, when you're born, your parents decide that you should marry someone they've picked out for you.  They sign a contract stating that you will marry John (or Jane) on a specific date, and John's (or Jane's) parents sign a similar contract saying their child will marry you.

Should you be bound by that contract?  I'm pretty sure you'll say no.  And why?  Because someone else is determining your future for you, without allowing you to have any say in the matter.

Ahem.  Just like adoption.

But adoption is OK because "The natural state of childhood is lack of choice," right?


Saturday, July 4, 2015

As Maine goes .....

..... so goes the nation?

This story has been circulating widely in the adoption community since it appeared yesterday:

and it's being celebrated as a long-overdue mandate.

Two years ago, Reuters published a series of articles on the underground practice of rehoming adopted children (The Child Exchange).  Most Americans were unaware that this was happening, and certainly unaware that it was going on without legal oversight of any kind.

The children most affected by this practice typically have been adopted from overseas, and out of infancy.  Chances are, they have spent some length of time in an orphanage or other institutional care and, as a result, have developed behaviors that make it nearly impossible for them to integrate into a traditional family.  Perhaps they have medical or health issues that will require extensive treatment in order for them to lead normal lives.  

Many times, would-be adopters are not informed of these behavior and health issues, or they naively assume that "love conquers all" and that once "their child" is home, all will be well.

"Love conquers all"