Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What Do We Hear In Their Voices

When we hear the stories of many First Moms, read their blogs, watch their videos, there is so much they can TRULY tell us if we listen to what they have to say.

Listen outside of the limitations the adoption industry places on us. Outside of what so many need to believe to make themselves feel better. To carry the belief that there couldn’t possibly be anything wrong with adoption.

Listen without the beliefs we’ve formed through the media. The beliefs that saturate our society and make it okay for a mother and child to be separated. Not only okay, but often, encouraged.

Yes, First Moms do have their own experiences. And, no, nobody should ever try to take that away from them. But in those experiences is a similarity so many of us went through and still go through to this day. A repeat of how we felt, through society’s view of us, of where we searched for help and the counseling we received.

In those areas, it’s not hard to find a pattern. A repeated script, replaying over and over again.

And when you listen to the stories of First Moms and compare it to the research and studies the adoption industry uses to create more babies available for adoption, you quickly see the connection and the same old routine used over and over again.

And you see where none of us were ever individuals to them with our own experiences deserving personal attention and care. We were merely numbers, herded through the same gates with the same manipulation used over and over again, so that we too would give up our babies.

In so many First Mom stories, we hear things like these women have shared . . .

“I just couldn’t see myself going through with adoption. I couldn’t stand the thought of it. How could I place this baby for adoption knowing how many wonderful things my two sons had brought into my life? I felt like placing the baby for adoption was like giving away an unwanted piece of furniture.”

“I spent the next few months preparing to single-parent, I was set on single-parenting and nothing was going to stop me.”

“I was sure I was going to raise my baby. It made so much sense, I would get to do what I love and I was ready to be a mom.”

“I wanted to parent my little girl so badly, I loved her with my every being, experiencing her life forming within me was the most amazing miracle I had ever witnessed!”

The adoption industry calls these very real, NATURAL feelings, “barriers and/or obstacles” that prevent women from giving their children up for adoption. And because they see this as a “bad” thing, they’ve conducted plenty of research on mothers who have already given up their children in order to learn what best works to push a woman past these barriers/obstacles so she will view adoption as a good thing for her child.

As they say, in their own words . . .

“These recommendations are intended to diminish the elements that inhibit women from contemplating adoption and to enhance those that motivate them.”

“Challenge the assumption that all women should want to keep their unplanned babies and/or want to parent.”

“Inform a pregnant woman . . . Adoption can be a courageous and unselfish decision because you are putting the child above yourself . . . and . . . Adoption is an act of love .”

“Give women sound reasons that will counter the desire to keep their babies. One example is to reinforce the notion that it takes a strong, mature woman to place a child for adoption.”

“Help potential birthmothers see that choosing adoption can be what it means to be the best mother possible.”

And from this counseling, we get statements such as these from the stories of First Moms . . .

“All my reasons for choosing to be a single parent were selfish.”

“I put my son before myself and knew that it was selfish to believe that just because I was pregnant I should be the one to raise him when he deserved so much better .”

“After talking to my counselor I decided that adoption was probably my best choice. I had to stop thinking about myself and start thinking about this baby.”

Do you hear the eerie repeat in what is “coached” compared to what a First Mom says?

And if that’s not enough, let’s look at what is encouraged to tell a First Mom to get her to see that she isn’t good enough for her child and that some other couple is “better” than her . . .

“Enable a Birthmother to choose adoption by helping her see that adoption can provide the joy and security of family life for her child that she cannot.”

“Ask a Birthmother what she believes her child’s life will be like being raised by a single mother compared to being raised by a mother and a father in an intact family.”

“Question the Birthmother on her financial resources, the kind of childhood she desires for her baby and is she able to provide that kind of childhood.”

And in this, we get First Moms who share these kinds of stories . . .

“This baby needed to go to somebody who could give it everything I couldn’t, including a mother and father and a wonderful place to grow up.”

“My baby deserved so much more than I could ever give her. I wanted her to have the perfect childhood and J*** and A***** were able to give that to her when I could not.”

“This little girl not only deserved but needed the eternal blessings of life and the eternal blessing of having a daddy by her side and a mommy who could raise her. I could have given her so much love, but I could not have been there for her in the way I felt was right.”

See, us First Moms aren’t “born” to be failures to our children. We’re told that, over and over and over again, until the message sinks in that we will be no good, that our children deserve more than we could ever give them and that the very thought of keeping them and raising them “on love alone” is so very wrong.

We understand that message loud and clear. It’s shoved at us, pounded into our brains, our hearts, until we believe, as we are expected to, that we would be no good for our own flesh and blood. Our own child that God has blessed us with.

And just to be sure, the adoption industry knows a vital part of it is to create a trust between the expectant mom and the hopeful adoptive couple and to bring the expectant mom to a point where she no longer sees her child as hers but instead as the hopeful adoptive couple waiting to be the “perfect” parents . . .

“A Birthmother’s positive attitude toward the Adoptive parents can help a Birthmother see her baby as belonging to the adoptive parents and not to her.”

“A Birthmother will feel more confident about an adoptive parents ability to love her child and feel that she is making the right decision if she is able to get to know the adoptive parents through files and meetings.”

“Make sure that birthmothers understand the extensive screening procedures that are followed in selecting adoptive parents so they will believe that their babies will be cared for.”

“When the Birthmother can see firsthand how important adoption is to the family it is more difficult for her to back out and disappoint them.”

And that is why, in their stories, First Moms share this . . .

“I had refused to allow myself to enjoy my pregnancy or even bond with her. I was determined to stick through with my decision so I shut myself off emotionally.”

“I knew I couldn’t disappoint them. No matter how bad I wanted my baby, they were the ones who deserved her with all they could offer her and give her what I could not.”

“After their miscarriage and failed adoption, I couldn’t bear to break their heart and keep my baby. I trust them and I know they will be everything I can hope for him.”

It’s the same old, tired script. Drummed into pregnant moms facing crisis pregnancies and then repeated by them, over and over again. The same feelings of inadequacy, of believing someone else is better than you. It’s that same vision of yourself when you look in the mirror. The mother who first wanted to keep her baby more than anything but, along the way, was forced into seeing herself as less worthy and selfish by the very natural love and desire to raise your child.

Though many don’t want to believe it, the minute a First Mom says . . .

“After a few hard, but caring talks, I was able to make a decision that was right for my situation.”

“I got hooked up with the adoption counselor at the Light House. We met every week and discussed all my options. She really helped me put things in perspective.”

“So I called the 1-800 number and a sweet lady answered the phone and she told me that Jesus loved my baby. I cried and then again I felt not alone. My counselor was loving and kind. We just sat and talked and talked. I did a lot of homework and journaling and a lot of sessions I decided on choosing an adoption plan for my baby.”

It’s very obvious what happened. The minute a confused, frightened women walks into an adoption agency and meets with one of their counselors, it’s next to impossible for her to walk out of there with the decision of parenting her child. Because, though they pretend they are, they aren’t there to help her make any TRUE choice. They are there to make sure she gives up her baby . . .

“There must be solid counsel and encouragement of adoption.”

“She will be guaranteed at least one very positive exposure to adoption on her first visit, even if low-key.”

“Present adoption as one of the most unselfish decisions a birthmother could make. Reinforce the many benefits her child will acquire through adoption.”

There is no choice in any of this. Only a very careful manipulation, designed to convince mothers they are no good for their children while encouraging them to give them up.

And if you are wondering about all those “happy” first moms who encourage adoption for other pregnant women . . .

“Adoption has got to be the most amazing thing ever!! I placed my son for adoption about a little over a year ago and the family that he's with is so freakin amazing!!! God truly works in mysterious ways!!!”

“I love adoption because it is thru adoption that i was able to give my son everything i could have ever wanted for him, and that's what I think being a mom is all about! “

“Adoption is a win-win-win decision. My daughter's parents win by finally getting to become parents, I win by knowing I did what's best for her, and she wins by being able to live a life far healthier than I could've provided.”

The adoption industry knows very well how to use them to get more babies in their clutches . . .

“Deliver the message through other birthmothers that choosing adoption is what it means to be a good mother.”

“Include birthmothers in messages by having them speak directly to pregnant women considering adoption.”

“Continue reassuring birthmothers by putting together a book of interviews with birthmothers and their adoption experience.”

And for those who like to bring up the old adage of . . . she chose adoption before she ever talked to anyone. It was all her decision . . .

“It was interesting because I was standing there one day and it hit me that this baby needed to go to somebody who could give it everything I couldn’t.”

“I knew before I ever talked to anyone that adoption was the best choice for me and for my baby.”

“As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I knew in my heart that adoption was God's plan for my baby.”

“The more I thought about it, the more I knew I wanted to choose adoption. “

Remember this very important fact, the adoption industry knows that one of the best ways to get more women to give up their babies is to feed the “greatness” of adoption into our society in any way they can and they have no problem targeting the youngest of victims . . .

“Influencing children must be the highest priority. First impressions of adoption tend to last a lifetime. To be effective, any public-relations effort must encompass programming and media that are child-friendly. A consistent, national message directed toward the next generation could help permanently change the value this culture places on adoption.”

“Work to include adoption in sex education classes. If young women are aware of adoption, they are more likely to consider it as an option.”

“Educate adults who work with young people. Make them aware that adoption is a positive option for women with unplanned pregnancies.”

“Use the media and public relations to help potential birthmothers understand the positive message of adoption in advance of unplanned pregnancy.”

See, all we have to do is listen. Listen to what first moms share in their stories. Listen to what the industry teaches others in their hopes of getting more babies.

By doing that, we see the connection in what happens to so many mothers out there who never deserved to lose their children. We see how this . . .

“Choosing adoption enables birthmothers to see themselves in compassionate, noble and heroic terms, righting the wrong and correcting the mistake of their unplanned pregnancies.”

“In doing what is best for her child, she fulfills her need to see herself as a good mother and can accept the pain of relinquishment.”

Has so much to do with first moms who share this . . .

“It makes me very proud. I made a mistake, but made the best of it.”

“I’m proud to know I sacrificed my own feelings, put my own feelings aside to help a complete stranger. I was like a hero.”

I was pregnant and not married. So I had to make it right and started looking at adoption.”

“I know I messed up but knowing I did the right thing by placing my daughter for adoption makes it so much better.”

The truth of adoption lies here, in the voices of those who have lived it and in the coercion of those who use it for their own profit. We can’t keep turning a blind eye to what is happening. We can’t continue to accept such practices as okay.

If we don’t stand up and speak out then we condone, and in many ways, encourage, this kind of treatment against mothers and their unborn children. By keeping our voices silent we are exactly what the adoption industry wants us to be . . . pawns who will do and believe whatever they tell us.

Is that who we want to be? Is such treatment of pregnant mothers really what we want to support?

In my book, the answer is simple.

What’s the answer for you?

6 comments:

  1. Not counselling, brainwashing;not ethical, immoral and coercive.
    An excellent post which I'd like to link if I may.x

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  2. If we don’t stand up and speak out then we condone... By keeping our voices silent we are exactly what the adoption industry wants us to be...

    And THAT is exactly why, when I often think about stopping all things adoption related, I don't. I need to be a voice of truth. Because when I needed a voice of truth, all I had was the adoption industries lies.

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  3. You know, I was never honey smacked like that...the social worker flat out threatened my little one with a horrible life in a foster home that had abused me and then her (5 years later). The only honey they tried to smooth on that was the lie of the Doctor and Lawyer that were going to adopt her....such horse crap.

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  4. The pattern and techniques of coercion are so clear, and as you say, predictable. And one of the sickest things of all is that the agencies that use these tactics seem to be perfectly OK with placing babies with APs who don't honor their open adoption agreements, and dismiss and disrespect the mothers. This is such incredible hypocrisy.

    So well done, Cassi.

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  5. Great post. Of course they need "counseling" (brainwashing) to relinquish their babies. It goes against everything nature intends.

    It is up to all of us to stop these flesh peddlers.

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  6. GREAT POST!

    When I read this, I think "Who makes a decision based on the "happy, happy joy joy'-ness of those who are happy with adoption?" Like Lori said, I know I did not. I actually read every horrible thing I could find about adoption. I went in the opposite direction. I am the type of person who when told something is absolutely a certain way, I automatically go in the opposite direction looking to prove that point as wrong. I HAVE to find out for myself, even if I don't like what I see or hear. In my case, I am a FIRM believer in "If it sounds too good too be true, then it probably is". I am always looking for cracks in the facade not solely to prove anyone else wrong, but to more so confirm my already sneaking suspicions were correct; that I in fact can trust my gut/instincts.

    In closing I just want to say this: Just because the women you speak of don't talk about pain and sorrow associated with adoption, doesn't mean it's not there. Not because you or I say so ,or our personal experiences with adoption tell us otherwise, but because we know as mothers that can't be true. IMO, EXTREMELY rare is the woman who does not bond with her child in utero and who doesn't have that "maternal instinct" to continue that bond.(Rare, but not that hard to find..Just google the name Kathleen Hoy Foley) I offer this thought: Maybe they aren't comfortable sharing that side of their adoption; each person grieves in their own unique way, some are more private when it comes to grief. Maybe they don't want that part of who they are being exploited by others. Should they share that side so as to not make it seem as if adoption is the "be all and end all" option? I say yes, but that's not my choice to make. Again, simply food for thought.

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