Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sit Down and Shut Up

"Negativity is going to . . . deter possible adoptive parents from going forward.”

Ah, the comments that always come flying from others. Aren’t they fun? Sometimes I just let them pass. Sometimes I allow them to affect me more than I should. And this time . . . I have decided to pick it up and add it here on my blog.

Yesterday was . . . plain and simply . . . one of those “hell” days. A day when I so desperately wished I could just pretend that I knew nothing about adoption and it’s “other” side. A day when I simply wanted to be “normal” like all those other moms I see at the school, on my block, everywhere I seem to look.

I wanted to be one of them. Someone who could look into the faces of ALL her children and never have to know what it felt like deep down inside to know there was always one missing. Always a gash in the heart for the son that was yours but you couldn’t claim as your own. I didn’t want my arms to ache anymore to hold him. I didn’t want that “knowledge” in my heart of what it felt like to lose such a vital part of myself.

It was a pity party in every way. One I toasted with a couple glasses of wine (Okay, it was more like three or four but I have strong Italian blood running through these veins, so I’m going to hold that as my justification.) I forgot for a while the adoption debate existed. I gave myself permission to just “BE” without all the extra tags that come along with it.

And today dawned a new day. With renewed determination and a banishment of all self pity. And as the sun rose in the east, so did my realization of what I’m fighting for and why I can’t ever quit. Why I have to remain strong in the face of comments meant to push me back, shut me up.

Like the one above.

The tears have cleared now, giving me the clarity to approach such an accusation with rational thought and understanding.

It’s called fear. Not mine, but that of the one who posted the comment. What she calls negativity is actually truth – my truth. The one I lived. The experience that was mine.

And because I’m here. Because I actually exist to stand up and speak out about what happened to myself and my son all those years ago, she is terrified of what it might do to the “fairy-tale” image of adoption.

Deterring adoptive parents away from the current trend of adoption is exactly what I hope for. I want them to think, to rethink, and then to rethink again before they sign that check, write the disgusting, “Dear Birthmother” letter and hold their arms out to take a baby from his or her mother.

I want them to wonder with every step they take if their adoption is indeed ethical. I want them to question the affects it might have on the first/natural mother and on the tiny, innocent baby they so desperately want to call their own.

THAT’S why I’m here. THAT’S why I find myself spending so much time speaking out about adoption, learning the stories of others. Researching always every side, every angle I can find.

I don’t do it because I have nothing better to do. I don’t do it because it’s fun or easy or gains me any kind of compensation. I do it because I want my voice to be heard. I want to somehow make a difference and help another in ways I wish I would have been helped.

The accusations and arguments can come from all sides. It will never change what is the basic fact . . .

In adoption, I lost, my oldest son lost, my husband – his father – lost, and my three other children lost. We can never know a day that was not shadowed in some way or another by our truths of adoption. Everything we are, everything we’ve been, has been guided in some way or another by adoption. It has always been the heavy fact hanging over us. The dark cloud that never truly disappears.

At times . . . yes . . . there will be those who can push me hard enough to get me to sit down and shut up. But it’s a temporary setback. One I know will never be permanent because I have too much to fight for, speak up against.

Those who want me silenced because I put a glitch in their goal to gain more will simply have to live with the fact that I cannot be silenced forever.

Never again will I allow someone else’s ugly ways deter me from what I know to be true in my heart. They can fight me all they want. They can tell me what I’m doing is wrong, proclaim the worst of all dooms because I am daring to be heard. It WILL NOT affect me this time. I will never again doubt what I feel simply because another tells me I’m wrong.

So for those who believe like the comment above, you are wasting your time if you hope I will sit down and shut up for good. I did that once. I fell into the trap. And for it, I, my son, my husband, and my other children, have suffered a loss greater than you can ever imagine.

And see, where you might think your arguments and insults carry weight, you have no clue to the truth of what I face.

In my world what carries weight is the suffering of my son. A suffering that fills my heart and weighs on my thoughts every minute of every day. You can go on believing the “fairy-tale” of adoption but, for me, my truth lies in the eyes . . . the eyes of my oldest son. Eyes that are mine and reflect the same pain and loss caused by that one moment in time when I actually let the selfish, greedy voices around me control the lives they never had any right to.


  1. Oh Cassi, My heart Breaks for you, every time I read your blog, every time I have a comment from you on mine, My heart breaks for you. It is so wrong what happened to you. So so wrong and I will stand beside you, behind you, in front of you, where ever you want me to stand to push those people back who dare to try and shut you up.
    Your Voice needs to be heard. I only wish you had been MY first Mum

  2. Ah, see . . . now the tears come back. But that's okay cause these are GOOD tears.


  3. I am SO sorry that you were hurt by adoption. Stories such as these are deeply saddening. I would never want a birth mother to feel the enormity of pain you have felt.

    I struggle with your experience because I am a soon to be adoptive mother. I work with an agency that I feel is NOTHING like the agencies you have mentioned. I have encountered others that appear to have monetary gain in mind over the feelings and well being of their birth mothers. I do believe there are some terrible people out there with the sole intention of gain and not the best interest of a birth mother in mind.

    I will not pretend to know your pain fully. But I do wish that you would consider the pain a woman suffers that cannot have children of her own and who wishes to be a mother. If a woman has no desire to parent and is fully committed to adoption then I feel she should have that right to choose. It is better for her to choose life for her child (which I feel you cannot argue with b/c you are a mother yourself) than to abort if there is no chance of her making it as a parent.

    This is not in an effort to "shut you up" (as you said in your post) like others may wish to do. This is just food for thought. It is easy to attack the other side when you simply see things from only yours.