Sunday, 29 January 2012

Time flying by

Time has flown by over the past week.  On Monday it felt as if we didn't stop and to really cheer me up I sprained my ankle in the evening.  We were visiting a friend and I slipped outside his front door as the ground was very slippy.  I'm still in pain with it and my ankle swells up quickly when I walk.

The past week I have been spending too much time on Y!A again.  It's back to the predictable questions including the 'I only want to adopt a baby and I want to adopt now', 'why are people so anti-adoption' and the 'I'm giving up my baby to adoption how will I feel afterwards'  questions. The people who are desperate to adopt irritate me because they really don't get it how offensive their questions are.  They are the first ones to want to sell themselves and in the next breath have a low opinion of mothers who have surrendered. 

The people who can't understand why anybody can be anti-adoption are usually people who haven't been directly affected by adoption.  They tend to be very huffy about any negative comments by those who have been affected by adoption.  We are the ones who have to live with adoption so our comments should be taken seriously.

The third question I can understand because these expectant mothers want to prepare themselves.  The odd one will slip through that doesn't like answers.  There was one day and I am fairly certain she is British and seems to be very positive about surrendering but is clueless about adoption in the UK.  I pointed out she couldn't consent to surrender until her baby is six weeks, and, potential adoptive parents have to be approved first.  I got the impression from information given she thinks she can do a private adoption but private adoption is illegal in the UK.

There is so much information on the internet about adoption yet the same old rubbish seems to be spouted.  Attitudes don't seem to be changing either.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Pulling my hair out

I have had better days.  Although for a change my depression hasn't been the main cause of it.  On the bright side we got the car this morning so it's a luxury at the moment to be mobile.  It's made the dogs happy as well as they like travelling.  It will make life so much easier when we go shopping as well.

Today I seem to have been spending half my day on a forum I run.  Two of the members have fallen out and I can see both points of views.  It's sad as they are both good people who have been a good support mechanism there.   Neither wants to post so I'm hoping the situation calms down soon as it would be a crying shame if neither came back to the forum.

It took my mind off one of those questions on Y!A which normally makes me vent.  It was one of those questions where the person posting it is very uneducated about surrendering.  She was basically trying to sell herself and her husband as wonderful potential adopters who would like to adopt a baby from a mother who wanted to give her baby awaay through adoption.  These types of people think it is so easy to surrender a baby without actually researching the subject.  It is very rare for a mother to surrender a child and not have regrets afterwards.  It happens but it's not the norm. In this dayand age there is so much literature, blogs and forums that are adoption related that it never ceases to amaze me that potential adopters don't do their homework.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Why does life have to be so hard

Yesterday wasn't one of my better days.  I hate it when I wake up happy then my mood plummets for no apparent reason.  At the moment I am wondering if it is one of my meds, which I take for pain relief, that is causing part of the problem.  On the 1st Feb I have an appointment to see the pharmacist at our surgery so I shall mention that my mood is often low then.  I am also getting frustrated with a rash on my arm that looks like eczema.  It clears up for a day or two then flares up again.  I do believe it is stress related though.

I am looking forward to tomorrow though.  We are getting a car so it will make life easier for us.  I enjoy walking when I'm in the mood for it but it can be inconvenient when we go shopping.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Y!A masochist

Today one of the questions on Y!A was What are stereotypes of adoptive parents, birth mothers or adopted people?.   It’s been a while since a question like this has been posted.  My views over the years have changed particularly since I found my son.
It’s not unusual for people to put adoptive parents into a category.   Some people think adoptive parents are saviours who deserve a medal for taking on somebody else’s child.  Other people believe they are selfish, greedy infertile baby snatchers who don’t care how much the baby costs and that they believe they are entitled to another mother’s baby.  The term womb wet baby is sometimes chucked out there on Y!A for some people who are desperate to adopt a new born.  It isn’t the best term to use but very accurate for some people who only want to adopt a baby.  I know from my own experience that I was made to feel selfish for wanting to raise my son and his adoptive parents deserved him than I did.  I was also told they couldn’t have children due to their infertility.  It was another 23 years before I found out that they could have children.  They had a son when my son was 20 months old.  I have a cousin who had two sons with his wife before they decided to adopt.  I do believe they chose to adopt for the right reasons.  They adopted a girl then twins – a brother and sister.   I do believe adoptive parents have various reasons for adopting and the ones I respect the most are those who adopt from foster care and special needs children.  

I intensely dislike the term birth mother.   The first time I heard of the term was when I joined an adoption forums.  Nowhere on my son’s birth certificate or the paperwork am I referred to as a birth mother.  I am simply referred to as his mother.  It started off in America and unfortunately crossed the big pond.   It does dehumanise mothers and makes us sound as if we are second rate mothers who have been reduced to being birthers.  I have come across a variety of views over the past view years.  I have lost track of the number of people who believe mothers are at least one of the following; white trailer trash, prostitutes, drug addicts. poor, uneducated, young, single, irresponsible and selfish so don’t deserve their children.  This simple isn’t true.  I was 19 when I had my son but came from a middle class back ground and I worked for the civil service.  I didn’t do drugs, was a social drinker and could afford to raise my son.  I have got to know many other mothers who have surrendered children.  A few chose adoption of their own free will, a few had their children removed for a variety of reasons but most of us were coerced or felt we had no choice because we weren’t supported in our choice to be mothers.  Some mothers I have got to know who had their children removed due to their lifestyles deeply regret not doing something about it at the time.  They have since change their lifestyles because they want the chance to prove they can be decent people if they are found by their children.

All I will comment on adoptees is the experience of reuniting with my son.  It’s been food, bad and ugly.  He is a charming, loving intelligent man who has trust, rejection and abandonment issues.  He has issues with adoption and hates what my parents did to me.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Good days, bad days.....

Today has been one of my better days as I increasingly suffering with severe depression.  For many years it was just certain times of the year that I suffered.  This past year has been a particularly bad one. My mother dying last April probably hasn't helped either.  All I had ever wanted was my mother to apologise for her part in my son being adopted.  I still remember the terrible things she said to me.  My mother had been emotionally abusive towards me for years.  By the time my son was born my self esteem and confidence were low.  I believed every word I was told.  This included being told I would be a bad mother, I wouldn;t cope, I would lose my job, she would make sure I was homeless, I wouldn't get any benefits and more on the same lines.  I believed every thing I was told.  Eventually I emotionally shut down and hot to the point that I didn't trust anybody.  After all I couldn't trust my parents so who could I trust?

Surrendering a child to adoption is an invisible amputation.  The mother and child bond is unique so when they are split nothing can replace that bond.  It is the most painful, gut wrenching experience I have ever been through.  I wouldn't want to put anybody through what I went through. The only people who really understand what it's like are other mothers who have surrendered.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


I have been following Emmerdale which has been obsessive and triggering.  In the storyline one of the characters is called 'Amy' who has been in foster care and ended up being with 'the Pollards'.  She fell pregnant by 'Cain' who is the nasty character and in true soap opera drama she had her baby in the churchyard.  'Amy' thought the baby was stillborn so left him in a phone box.  Obviously being soapland the baby was fine and she was given time to think about what she wanted to do.  'Amy' eventually decided to surrender her son to adoption.

The storyline was good as there were so many emotions shown by the central characters so it also made it heartbreaking.  It was a reminder of what I went through except my parents didn't want me to raise my son and I wanted to.  Even so watching Emerdale was emotional and I felt quite choked up.  I have been struggling with severe depression which hasn't helped either.

In reality the adoption and foster care in the UK isn't perfect, far from it.  There are still children being seriously injured or killed that should have been removed from their parents.  On the other hand there are children who are in foster care that should be and others whose parents just need support so be with them.  Unfortunately because times have changed from the B.S.E. (Baby Scoop Era) the general public think all adoptions happen for the right reasons and children in foster care should be. 


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Coercion and it's changing methods

The Baby Scoop Era is hardly a period of social history that will be remembered in a good light.  So many mothers lost their babies to adoption for no better reason that society wouldn't accept young, single mothers could be good mothers.  It was something ro be ashamed off, brushed under the carpet and for these young mothers to get on with their lives as if nothing had happened.

It started after World War II and ended in the 1970's with Roe v Wade being a part of this.  Millions of mothers in Canada and the USA alone were separated from their babies. In Australia and the UK thousands of mothers were also separated from their babies.

Illegitimacy was frowned upon and society influenced by social work thought the large majority of unmarried mothers were made better off being separated by adoption from their newborn babies. Mothers were made to feel that adoption was the only option, that they didn't have a choice.

Social pressures that led to unmarried pregnant white girls and women believing the main chance for attaining home and marriage rested on their acknowledging their shame and guilt.  This included required relinquishing of  their children.

There was a decline in infant adoptions beginning in the early 1970s,  which also partially resulted from social and legal changes that enabled mothers to choose single motherhood.

In the UK mothers started getting more support from their families and were told what their rights were. Abortions have been legal since 1967 in the UK but it wasn;t until the early 1970's that attitudes started to change. However ways of coercing mothers into surrendering their babies changed.  From my own experience I was told I would be selfish to raise my son.  I was also threatened with being made homeless, that I wouldn't be able to rent a home, I would lose my job because I was homeless.  Constantly I was told I wouldn't receive benefits because I intentionally lost my job and I wouldn't be able to get social housing.  I believed everything I was told because this was coming from people I trusted.  It never occurred to me they could be lying.

Coercion still goes on with adoption being made out to be so wonderful for everybody involved.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Adoption Hurts

I am one of the....

.... forgotten mothers and it hurts so much.  The pain is gut wrenching to the point that I feel like my heart is being ripped out.  I am not alone living with this kind of pain, there are so many around the world.  Reunion doesn't make any difference as the pain becomes even more real knowing my son and the life he has had.  His adoptive parents are nice people who clearly love him but they can't or don't want to understand what I went through for him to be adopted.  It is easier and the comfortable option to believe I wanted my son to be adopte and have two parents.  I want to scream at the world this isn't true, the truth is I wanted to raise my son, I wanted to be a mother.

I am an ordinary woman who lives an ordinary life in an ordinary town yet I have been told by one person that a film could be made of my life.  It could but I wonder how many people would believe it was true.  When I tell friends about my life they can't understand why I was treated the way I was by certain family members.  It does sound bizarre to the point of unbelievable yet I know it's the truth. I know there are people who do bleive me as theyhave had similar lives to me.

When I was growing up I didn't know that adoption would have such an impact on me. I knew I had three cousins who were internationally adopted but I just accepted it.  Adoption just wasn't a subject that was talked about.  Even after my son was adopted I was expected to get on with my life, never talk about him and to get on with my life.

Adoption hurts.