Monday, October 6, 2008

Monsters In Disguise

Halloween is just around the corner - one of my favorite times of year.

Pumpkins crooked grins shining from porches. Small feet crunching dry leaves as they scamper to the doors. Ghosts and goblins eagerly calling out "Trick Or Treat" while holding out their bags for the great prize - glorious, sweet candy.

It's a great way to spend the night - standing at the door, trying to decide which neighbor child hides behind which mask. Who is that Frankenstein who remembered to say, "Thank You?" The tiny witch smiling brightly at the favorite chocolate bar she's just been given?

It's a wonderful guessing game. One that should be reserved for Halloween. But is all too often found in the world of adoption as well. Changing the wonder of it to a darker, more evil truth . . .

Behind the masks worn in the adoption world, you don't find sweet children on a night seeking treats. There aren't sweet, innocent smiles. True gratitude for candy dropped in a bag.

Instead there is deception in the worst kind of way.

Masks in adoption aren't worn to portray an evil. They are worn to hide the true evil that exists in those who work in the industry and many of the hopeful adoptive couples that lurk just behind them.

It's an ugly fact I wish every expectant women understood.

Those kind and caring people inside the adoption agency. The attorney who puts his or her arm around you and offers comfort. They are as fake as the werewolves and gremlins who show up at your door year after year.

You can't trust them. Can't believe in them or the understanding they offer because it exists for one reason and one reason only . . . in the hopes you will surrender your child for adoption.

Just as children portray a different imagine in the hopes to gain on Halloween night. Those in adoption do the same. They show you a person different than who they truly are so that they too might gain. So, just like the masked children, they will walk away with a "sweet" treat.

EVERY TIME a pregnant woman walks into an adoption agency, she finds a so-called counselor - kind and sweet. Offering comfort, a supposive deep understanding of what she is going through. They smile just right. Say the words they know will create trust. Become the person the desperate, pregnant woman is seeking in the hardest time of her life. Someone she believes who is there only for her, for her child and for what is best for the both of them.

But the fact of the matter is, the script they dish out from behind their masks is no different than what they have given to so many, many women before and so many, many to follow. The same words. The same understanding, encouragement. It's there over and over again. Rarely changing. Always pushing for what they hope will be the ultimate outcome - that piece of candy falling into their bag.

If you believe for an instant that they are truly understanding you, are responding to you in a personal way based on your concerns, your worries, you are so very wrong. Just as "Trick Or Treat" is a phrase used over and over again - so is the words they dish out to pregnant woman inside their offices, day after day, year after year.

I promise you there is no difference. No change to the rhetoric created to ensure you will see yourself as a terrible mother and see in someone else the "perfect" parents for your unborn child who deserves so much more than you can offer.

Those who profit in the adoption industry know best how to hide behind their kind and concerned masks. They know how to pretend as if they are somebody they're not. How to make you feel welcome and loved in their presence. Someone who is worthy of their attention as long as you provide them with their treat at the end.

We believe them. So many of us have. Never looking beyond the outside disguises they wear. Never doubting them because they work so hard to ensure us that they can be trusted. We walk along believing the lies they tell us, trusting the decisions they have ultimately pushed us to. Never realizing we are nothing more than another door to knock on, another person to repeat the same old words over and over again just as they did with the frightened and confused women before us and those yet to come.

And unfortunately, many hopeful adoptive couples are the same. They put on their masks, become who they believe we want them to be, in the hopes of receiving their own version of candy. We don't get to see the real them behind their masks. We see only the "perfect" couple they want us to see. The ideal husband and wife disguises who have so much love to give a child . . . our child.

The trustworthy, unbelievably caring souls who are so kind to us. So eager to wrap us in their arms, hug us tight, and tell us what wonderful, selfless souls we are while promising they will never forget us. Will always keep the promises they make. Always make sure our children know how much we loved them and how desperately we struggled to try and give them the best life possible.

But all of it. No matter where it comes from - is just empty words, created to get their prize in the end. Just as we teach our young children to say "Trick Or Treat" when they reach a door, these adoption professionals and hopeful couples, are also taught the right words to say when we reach their door.

They know the history of what works. Know the power in their words. Know exactly which mask to wear to achieve their ultimate gain.

And it's about time we finally realize that not everyone who appears before us in disguise is like the innocent children who come to our door year after year.

It's time we let those frightened and confused pregnant women of today know the truth about those who would like to trick them into believing they are somebody they're not. Show them the truth of the actions behind their words. The light of the prize they are seeking.

Until we can be sure every pregnant women understands the monsters who lurk behind the disguises, we will never change the disgusting practice of infant adoption. Until every member of society realizes they must look past the masks in adoption, it will continue on, year after year.

Always taking without change.


  1. The PAPs are always so perfect in their solicitations - you can almost hear the harps playing. So much generosity, so much to give, yet so lonely for that little one to complete their little slice of heaven... the tears seem to ooze from the screen.
    Mention adopting an older foster child however, a child who might actually benefit from such an ocean of generosity and goodness, and they quickly change masks. That's the beauty of masks - they're so easily swapped to fit the occasion.
    But, yes, the true masters of metamorphosis are the agencies.
    Just ask any mother who decided to parent after contacting one.

  2. jimm - I agree. The masters are in the adoption agencies. It's a very sad fact to realize how different they are if a mother decides to keep and raise her baby. The "friend" these women often trust becomes someone else entirely.

  3. Wow, Cassi. How is it everytime I read your blog I honestly feel as though someone has been able to find what is hidden closest to my chest and posted it here? I am truly amazed at the posts I have read and how similarly we think, its almost scary! Where we are different is I will type up a blog post and then delete it as I am afraid it will be taken the wrong way. I just need to get over that! Thanks heaps for another fabulous post. You are soooo right! Those in the adoption industry DO wear masks but instead of looking like some scary monster, they are using their masks to hide behind, to draw the innocent in, almost like a lust for blood. Its ick, really ick.


  4. Myst - from reading your blog I think you are very good with your words and what you write. If there are some who take it the wrong way when it is your truth, your experience and your beliefs then that is a problem that resides inside of them and has nothing to do with you.

  5. wow. how frighteningly true, Cassi.
    I know this comment is a bit late from the posted season, but the words you write are unfortuantely current every day, every month, every season.
    Thank you for this amazing and realistic comparison.
    "Trick or Treat"
    They got the 'treat' and I got tricked anyway...