Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Theme Thursday #4

The fourth thing on my list was "I'd write more letters to my adopted (released) daughter and her family..."

This one is really pretty self-explanatory. Some details: When I was 17 I had a baby. I knew I wasn't ready to take care of a child properly, so I decided the best option for her was to release her for adoption. It was 1987. Open adoption was a pretty revolutionary concept. The agency I worked through used a semi-open approach. That means no last names or addresses, no visitation, but scheduled letters and pictures from the adopted parents to the birth mother and open access to records when the child reaches 18.

I also had the option to write to her, and to her family. There was no schedule for me to follow. Really I was kind of a mess in my late teens and early 20's so I didn't write often and I fear what I did write sounded borderline crazy. Maybe I was.

I look back on it now, the HUNDREDS of letters I wrote but didn't send, and I just wish I had sent them. Maybe they were crazy, or sad, or lacked interesting content, but still... she and her family would have had a better understanding of who I was/am, what my struggles were, how much I loved her and them, and how hard and how long I grieved the loss of my beautiful baby girl. I absolutely do NOT regret the decision. I still believe with all my heart I made the right choice. It is, however, still a loss.

I'm rereading this post and I realize it has a far less personal feel to it than many of the others I've written. I think I've been negatively affected by some recent anti-adoption groups I stumbled upon. I am definitely pro-adoption. I think it's a loving, intelligent and selfless choice. I think it's a great option for girls too young, or just plain not ready to care for a child. And, most importantly, I think it is a kind, loving option for the babies involved. I don't understand the hatred toward birth mothers who chose or will choose this path. I don't understand the disdain for adoption agencies, the outright aggression specifically aimed toward Christian Crisis Pregnancy Centers. I don't understand the rage directed at those of us who think this is not only a viable option but a good one as well. I don't get the name calling and accusations of child abuse toward birth moms and adoption agencies. What I did was done to protect my baby from unnecessary hardship. I did it to try to give her a better and more stable start than I could have ever given her at 17. I don't get the childish name calling. Seriously. I. Don't. Get. It.

I don't get why I let it bother me. I don't know why I am always somehow hurt by people who carry opinions so rigid they promote hate, anger, and aggression toward those who don't agree with them. I believe everyone has a right to their opinions and beliefs. I believe you should have the right to express those opinions. I just wish people could be more compassionate to those whose beliefs differ from their own. I believe you change more minds and hearts with compassion and mercy than you ever will with rage and hatred.

Hmmm... seems I went off on quite a tangent.

I guess I'm playing this one close to the vest. Hope you don't mind.


  1. How could anybody possibly have disdain for adoption groups? My sister tried desperately to have children for years but was unable to and eventually ended up having a hysterectomy. Thank goodness she was able to adopt 2 beautiful children through an agency. I think it's cool that you had an open adoption-- it's important that the child knows the truth --eventually--when the parents feel it is time to tell their child about the birth mother. Thanks for sharing another thought-provoking post!

  2. I really don't understand some people. Why would anyone not agree to giving children loving homes, education, food, clothes and such like? Or would they prefer if they stayed with the parents in an unstable environment, unhappy, possibly poor, etc if you know what I mean? I don't get it.
    There are so many children needing good homes and so many couples wanting to adopt children. I love the idea you mentioned about scheduled letters and access to records when the child is 18 yrs old. This gives both the mother and child an opportunity to get to know each other when the child is an adult. Sad but lovely post.

  3. Wait, seriously? There are people who are AGAINST adoption?? Why? What's their argument?

  4. Well, the argument amounts to people who probably had bad experiences claiming they were forced into releasing their children and that adoption agencies, and most especially Christian crisis pregnancy centers bullying and shaming people into giving up their children. There are those that say agencies are out for a money grab from desperate people willing to pay whatever cost to have children. You'll actually see the adoption adversaries say that adoption is nothing more than baby brokering, selling human lives for profit. It breaks my heart.

    I'm sure there are people who have had horrific experiences. I'm sure there are some crooked agencies. I'm sure there is evil and greed anywhere you choose to look for it. I just can't stomach the blanket statements about adoption and the process as a whole being a scam, that there are no redeeming values or aspects of it. I've even seen posts and statements to the effect that adoption is child abuse or that people should raise their children or abort. Period. End of discussion.

    I think about my daughter's parents and how much they wanted a child. I think about the love and time they poured into her. Are infertile couples really undeserving of the children they long for? I think about all the babies, and I mean INFANTS beaten to death by people ill equipped to care for them, those that are left abandoned in hospitals or with relatives and wonder how on earth someone can think those endings are better than adoption.

    Maybe I'll make a post soon with links to some of these sites, not to cause problems for them, just because it's mindboggling. The pain and anger these people feel about this is incomprehensible to me.

    1. I do get why people might be against Christian crisis pregnancy centers, because I've heard that at least *some* of them operate as sort of a con to trick girls out of abortions. As in, a girl looks up abortion in the yellow pages or whatever and they're listed, and she makes an appointment, and goes there expecting an abortion, and gets shown awful pictures and told terrible things and basically forced into carrying a baby against her will. And that is not ok. But if there are places that are up front about what they do and don't provide, I've got no issues with them. And obviously I have no issue with adoption in general, because I'm not a monster.

    2. It's like I said, there are bad apples in every bag. I think most are good. We tend to only talk about the scandalous things though. Sad, but true. People like tragedy, they like the macabre, that's what gets shown to the world.