Empty Cereal Box

Views From Inside an Adoptee

April 10, 2006

The Illusion of Choice

This is my second post today. I've been reading so much about other adoptees and nmoms this past week that it's finally broken through the first layer of my armor, that protective shell I clasp so tightly around me to survive.

Today I began to cry in front of N my younger daughter. (I say "began" because I know it's only the very tip of the healing iceburg.) She was very kind and understanding. She asked me gently if I was feeling sorry for myself. I told her that maybe I was, but I thought it also went much deeper than that, to the soul level, to genuine grief. Grief is important because it's part of the healing process. Many of us adoptees never allowed ourselves to grieve over our adoption because no one ever told us that we could. I had to take a very long walk in the hills in the rain. Right now, only nature, my Big Mom, has the power to soothe.

I explained to N that she will never know what it feels like to be cut off from the root of life at birth because even though I had a c-section, I fought the hospital and its rules to allow her to remain in my bed with me from day one, and I never let her out of my sight until she went to school. She is an integral part of my being.

I can only imagine the horrible, suffocating depression that nmoms go through because of a series of rote euphemisms that society parrots at them, that coerces them to relinquish their babies. I can only imagine the wrenching, life-long grief they must bear. I could never have given up my babies to anyone. My first daughter and I were separated for about a month (which I explained in an earlier post), and I can see a difference between the two of them in their ability to cope with the onslaughts of life. But both are precious and both are from my blood and bone. There's a cellular connection between an nmom and her child that nothing can extinguish, not even adoption.

My thanks to Warriorwoman who offered a link on her blog to a series of six essays written by Stephen Fitzpatrick entitled "Adoption," "Panic Attack-The Adoptee Legacy," "Rape of the Soul," "Divide and Rule," "Choice," "Mothers," and "The Time Has Come." These essays have had an explosive effect on my level of awareness, jacking it up from around three to about ten on a scale of one to ten. These essays are the most powerful and important essays I've ever read on the subject of adoption. Like an onion, layer after layer of deception and lies are peeled away. Every aspect of the crime of adoption is exposed for what it is. I cannot say enough about these essays. Every adoptee and nmom owes it to him/herself to read these essays to boost their level of awareness, to educate themselves and others. The writings held up a large mirror in front of my aching soul and showed me what I've needed to see for a long, long time.

My earlier post touched on the word "choose," as in "I can choose to wallow in my misery or I can choose to heal." Here is an exerpt from one of Stephen's essays, "Choice":

"Choice is not high up on the agenda for mothers and adoptees...Where is the choice for the adoptee? It may sound rediculous to complain that no one asked us whether we wanted to be adopted or not, but the fact remains--no one did. If we had been able to choose, I don't imagine anyone saying yes, take me away. Assumed not to know the difference between two mothers, which any basic book about motherhood will prove to be complete nonsense, it is someone else who decides the adoptee's fate. Choosing to explore our heritage later in life, it is other people who decide that it's not in our best interests to do so, and keep our records sealed. Simultaneously, families unaffected by adoption are buying family tree programs for their laptops, which in the course of a few minutes will tell them the name of their great great great grandfather.

"There are those in society who say that we all have choice, that we are all creating the moment that we live in. They claim that we choose everything in our lives. I cannot prove this statement to be untrue, but I find it hard to believe. I cannot imagine that the people in Iraq choose to be bombed. I cannot imagine that people in Africa choose hunger over nutrition. Yet, there are those who claim this to be so, without realizing, that being one community, one society, one global family, we are interdependent beings, so that a decision made in one corner of the globe can have consequences in distant continents. In other words, we are robbed of our choice when someone witholds food from us when we are starving, and instead of passing the buck to the one without resources, it has to be made abundantly clear that the person who is withholding is committing an act of violence."

This exerpt is just a tiny fraction of the brilliant and truthful insights Stephen, himself an adoptee, has written about the criminal bondage of adoption. Please do yourself a favor and read these essays.

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