Empty Cereal Box

Views From Inside an Adoptee

June 24, 2006

Connecting the Dots

Okay, this post is kind of political, I admit it. But isn't everything political? And I admit that sometimes I get a little full of myself, like I know what's going on, but I don't know how else to convey what's churning around inside me.

Lately the needle has gone into the red zone on my anxiety meter. There's the constant background anxiety and grief that I've always known as an adoptee. But that background anxiety has, for the past six years, been intensified by the increasing sense of a noose tightening around our collective necks as we are quietly herded into an invisible, yet fatal boxcar (if you never had a a good history class on World War II, boxcars were used to transport the Jews to concentration camps during Hitler's Nazi campaign).

The sinister strategy is felt by everyone I talk to. Even those in denial are more skittish these days. No one can be certain who's behind this plan, but we do know that it's being implemented by a handful of brutish and secretive manipulators worldwide who pull all the strings and arrange all the pieces with hubris hidden behind benevolent smiles. It's the same feeling I've always known, that the people who adopted me were fake parents who I went along with because I couldn't know who was behind the arrangement that took my real parents from me.

All my life people have told me that my adoptive parents were my real parents because they provided for me and gave me the love I needed. Really? I've been astounded to discover the scores of adoptee bloggers who would disagree with these rightous people. It's awesome to find so many adoptees and first moms who use blogging as a tool to explore our permanent anxiety about how we were plundered and manipulated by the same mindset that is destroying our planet.

I finally understand why I never bonded or respected my adoptive parents. Because they were inseparably devoted to the same destructive materialism that annihilates everything that is good, and whole, and true in this world. They would no more have understood what I'm writing here than if I had arrived from another dimension, which sometimes I think I may as well have.

Likewise, deep and profound stirrings have begun in some of the more desperate nations who feel the soul-destroying plunder and manipulation of globalization. But the majority of Americans remain fat, lazy, and stupid consumers. I know in my bones that there will be no revolution in America because Americans have been coddled and conditioned with infinite consumption choices for over a half century and lulled by patriarchal authority. This consumption and trust in "authority" over intuition has absolutely dehumanized and degraded the integrity of life on Earth. My observation is that such ecological slaughter has produced a nation of vacuous assholes. Vacuous. The word make me think of a vacuum cleaner that sucks up everything it touches. Everyone has been faking it for so long they can't tell the difference between denial and reality. And despite the nation's refusal to see the fakery, this vacuity is coming to a rapid and painful end.

What this vacuity has produced is an insatiable sense of lack (and it's interesting how the adoption machine has bulldozed over truth and honesty for about as long as consumption has been a religion, mainly since petroleum has produced a glut of resource guzzling) . Americans have been conditioned to earn not just enough money to live a good, simple life, but to heap that life with bling so that all will be envious of their glut. Why have a multi-million dollar home and a six-car garage filled with Hummers and Mercedes, with acres of vineyards and trips to France every year if that sunny nursery upstairs remains empty? Anything can be ordered and paid for. Got to have the appearance of family, that appearance of completion and happiness, the period at the end of a marital sentence, and at all costs. Even if it means ordering a baby from China or Bosnia.

These affluents' lives certainly look juicy, but something inside these people has atrophied. Women's barren eggs leave their ovaries in puffs of dust. Men's sperm are bent or sparse. Why is that? What's the correlation? Could it be that they've lost the juciest part of life: their connection to it? Their bond is with affluence and appearance rather than with the truth inside their hearts.

What I was alluding to in the first paragraph is that there are those with power and money who do things and own things simply because they can, without a thought about consequences or accountability, and there is the machine that serves them with terrifying efficiency. And finally there are the rest of us (and our planet) who bear the agony of the outcome with a crushing and permanent anxiety. My writing about it may or may not convince anyone or change anything, but I can't not write about it.

(The crisis graphic? I post it as joke, mostly. Who can possibly help anyone because this entire planet is in a crisis.)

Joy wrote in a comment something that caught my breath it is so obvious and true. All my life I pushed down my consciousness of this because I was too afraid to speak the words aloud:

I think it happens to a certain extent in every adoption, their is anywhere from a sublte to overt second rejection. I don't think people know what they are getting into with adoption. People so grossly underestimate the power of the physical bond to carry you through the rough parts of parenting. With adoption it is simply not there. And you can only fake it most of the time.

She also suggested a book, Unattended Sorrow by Stephen Levine, which looks intriguing to me. From the flap:

It is like a low-grade fever; it troubles our sleep and drains away our days; it scatters intuition and creates and underlying anxiety; it sours the eye and ear and leaves a distate in the mouth; it's the vague uncertainty that permeates every thought before every action it's the heart working as hard as it can
Levine wrote the book about 911 survivors. That passage could just as well be written about adoptees and first moms who were coerced into relinquishing them, all of them survivors. So I've come to realize that adoption is a metaphor for so-called "life" in America. It is all about suppression and slavery, deception and denial, class-ism and prejudice. It is a bitter, lifelong anxiety and a refined and socially accepted type of death in a nation filled with people who have no idea who they are or what they're doing.

Time to go listen to my CD of Eckhart Tolle's Power of Now again. But even that doesn't take away the sense of something looming, something gnawing around the edges of my cereal box.

[For further insight on this topic, visit The Whole Human Being .]


Anonymous sheri said...

All I can think to say is Wow! You have, for sure!, hit the nail on the head!

The problems I am having, is I can, now, see these truths and I am meeting others who "see" but what can we do? I don't know what to do to change it?

When there are so many people who sees only what they want to see, how they wish to see it. I am sure there are many people who could proably read this post of yours and not be touched by it at all. Because the thinking of sociaty as a whole is serving them well, why would looking at a different view point be a good thing?

Why admit that our "adoption" system is flawed, when it gets some people what they desire?

Blogger Rhonda said...

What a brilliant correlation. And true. Scary, but true.

So much of what is happening in the world today flips all my adoption triggers and you've managed to explain exactly why.

Blogger Dorid Lovely said...

You may find, once you meet your biological parents, that they are as manipulative, corrupt, and miserable as your adoptive parents.

We all build these fanatasies about our parents, and when the ones we grow up with don't meet our expectations some of us have the fantasy of our biological parents to fall back on.

Most kids who are adopted, especially infants, aren't taken from their parents, they are given up. In many cases, no one has pressured these parents to surrender their children, they simply have reason NOT to care for them.

With older kids, sure, there are kids who are taken from their families. In some cases related to abuse, others in cases of kids having kids who simply decide they can't handle it.

Adoptive kids don't undergo any more disappointment in their parents than other kid do, but they do have an outlet that is usually reserved for step parents, the "you're not my parent" card.

You once asked "if adoption was such a wonderful thing, which of your children would you give to strangers?"

I have to turn that around and ask, "if a biological mother is such a wonderful thing, WHY would she give you up to strangers?"

I would guess from your writing that you have NOT met your biological parents.

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

Dorid- We all build these fanatasies about our parents, and when the ones we grow up with don't meet our expectations some of us have the fantasy of our biological parents to fall back on.

Yes indeed. Adoptees DO "build these fantasies" of their original parents. When truth is hidden from them, humans (not just adoptees) to speculate, build fantasies, make up stories they tell themselves to fill the void. This pitiful reality about adoptees shows there's how rotten the system is that made them that way.

Most kids who are adopted, especially infants, aren't taken from their parents, they are given up. In many cases, no one has pressured these parents to surrender their children, they simply have reason NOT to care for them.

Okay, let's focus on children relinquished at birth. Read a few web pages or brochures of adoption agencies that use such warm and fuzzy language to convince these young mothers that "adoption is what's best for the child." Then tell all the first moms who are devastated because someone convinced them that they were unfit or unable to raise their newborn. Poverty (classism) is the unspoken motivator. What you and those who support adoption don't understand are the subtle and deceptive means used to manipulate young mothers. There a fine, perhaps nonexistant, line between "pressure" and a total lack of social support. There is NO GOOD REASON for a mother to be separated from her own child except DEATH. And that's exactly what happens when such separation occurs.

Adoptive kids don't undergo any more disappointment in their parents than other kids do

You're either extremely naive, or if you're an adoptee, you're in total denial. Adoptive kids are like any other kids in that they may find their parents (either adoptive or natural) disappointing. Your observation is sadly a superficial one. "Disappointment" is so NOT the issue here. The issue is the utter devastation of loss of self, of grief, of life-long mourning that affects every fiber of being, every moment of experience because you lost your source of being.

I have to turn that around and ask, "if a biological mother is such a wonderful thing, WHY would she give you up to strangers?"

People who ask such shallow questions clearly have not lived the experience. I wrote this in the same post you quoted:

How is it that a new mother is put in a position to override her powerful maternal feelings in favor of doing "what's best for the child"? I can answer that in three words : guilt and shame. She is immersed in those two emotions from all sides rather than getting the understanding and support that she needs. She is objectified with shame by being called a slut and by guilt by being told she'd make a bad mother. How many young women are strong enough to "just say no" to that? Society's guilt, shame, and denial are heaped on her and she becomes one of its numerous scapegoats.

And as far as finding my biological parents, that's not the issue. I'm mature enough to know that biological parents are just as flaw-ridden as adoptive parents. The issue is NOT looking for "better" parents or to assuage the "you are not my parent card" that adoptees use on their adoptive parents, as you wrote. The issue is finding one's source, however mangled it might be. If you can't understand that, there's nothing I can write here that will help you to "get" it. You will forever be preaching about something you'll never feel, akin to telling a person withoug legs that she can walk.

Blogger Dorid Lovely said...

On the contrary. I'm the one with the legs here. I found my adoptive parents, and know many other adoptees who have. Not only have I found my adpotive parents, I've also found siblings who were also adopted out into other families.

In addition, there were other kids from other families adopted into my adoptive family's home. They did not find their birth parents, although one sister has made a great deal of effort.

Let's face it. It isn't the 50s anymore. Single moms and teen moms aren't giving up their children becuase of poverty and social shame. They're giving them up because they don't want to deal with what comes with rasing a child, despite the amount of help avaiable to them.

When you mature, you will find your source is not as imporant as what you make of YOURSELF, and that no nature or nurture can rob you of (or make you) what you choose to become.

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

Dorid-You are making a lot of assumptions, which shows you may not be as mature as you think you are.

In case you don't realize it, there are still entire generations of people still living who WERE relinquished in the 1950s because of poverty and social shame. These people are still trying to deal with the anger and the pain, as are the mothers who relinquished them. But regardless of the reasons WHY adoptions happened (because they were used as part of the baby mill, or because they simply don't want to raise a child, or whatever trendy, superficial reason you want to come up with),you have dismissed thousands of scarred people with a few keystrokes.

Adoptee bloggers who I have come to know through their honesty are for the most part successful in their lives. They have made things of themselves. They have chosen to become what they are. They are intelligent and capable of doing whatever they want to do. But beneath all of their success they have a black hole that nothing can fill. It's too bad you have no compassion for that.

You conveniently overlook the lifelong grief felt by adoptees and natural mothers. You are one of the ones who says, "You can change; just get over it."

Perhaps you have had a good experience. Good for you. You are one of the lucky ones. But your superiority and preaching to others reveals that you don't know yourself very well.

Blogger AMYADOPTEE said...

Hmmmm. What a powerful post. I hate people who post comments that just don't get it. As far as my adoptive family namely my mother and sisters, I was different. No ifs about it. Although I felt this difference, I didn't stop loving or appreciating them because I am adopted. When I write I do my best to be fair to them. I also realize that my situation is very unusual. I have the love and support of my family in my search and knowledge of adoption. I know that tons of adoptees don't have my circumstances. My brother in law is one of them. Yes I had a good life and am grateful for the parents that I have but adoption is a nasty corrupt business. I might not have faired so well if placed in another family. I still believe that I should have my original birth certificate. I still believe that adoption shames the mother and the child. It still does to this day. When I have a friend that goes to get a pregnancy test for medicaid, she is asked to give her child up for adoption not once but three times in front of her husband and child. All because she is poor. The laws concerning adoption and its agencies need to be changed. I for one would want to be a voice heard in that change.

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

Adopteeamy-I guess what I wrote is provacative and sometimes it doesn't sit well with people. I'm only writing my on reality, and however it appears to others, I can't help it. I know there are plenty of adoptees like yourself who 1. have a generous and forgiving nature and 2. managed to get adoptive parents who not only feel their own loss and grief but that of the other two sides of the triad. They GET it. What I don't get is adoptees who visit another adoptee's site and try to tell them how to live and how to be with a condescending tone. You know what I'm talking about. It's good to know that you and other adoptees have had a good life with adoptive parents. But that just isn't the case for everyone. And the biggest crime for adoptees is, as you probably agree, not having access to our OBCs. Complete strangers can have total access, but not adoptees. Yes, the laws need to be changed because they are medieval, with a stress on the ieval.

Blogger suz said...

fantastic post but that dorid person scares me in their well, cluelessness.

you are an excellent writer and this was an amazing post.

perhaps you should refer him/her/it to babybrokerwatch.com. better yet, lets try goldenlinkfoundation.com. ooh, even better, lets lock dorid in a closet, thousand miles from where he/she lives, not allow them to talk to family or friends, tell them how horrible they are, and when they cannot take it anymore, he/she can give us a limb in exchange for getting out of the closet.

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

Suz, Yeah, cool, I love it. LOL! If he/she/it ever returns to read your suggestions maybe he/she/it will check them out. Now I want to do a post on these in the next few days--just to get in the faces of people like that [shudder]. I always love your insights.


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