Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You Breed, We'll Benefit

You know, sometimes, even today, with all I’ve seen and learned about adoption, there comes a point when all I can do is wonder . . .

How in the world does anyone actually think about and come up with such an idea and believe it’s a good one . . .

--“Paying women not to get abortions makes perfect sense. Doing so would reduce the number of abortions — a goal shared by the overwhelming majority of people on both sides of the abortion debate — and increase the number of babies available for adoption (there is currently a major shortage of babies available for adoption in the US, which is why Americans often adopt children from other countries)” - -

And to top it off, there are actually others who agree with this and think it’s a good idea.

Here’s a news flash for the man who came up with such an idea and for all those who believe as he does . . . WOMEN ARE NOT BREEDERS FOR YOUR SELFISH DESIRES! Nobody should ever be expected to carry to term a pregnancy just so they can “cure” the shortage of available babies up for adoption. And to pay a woman to not terminate a pregnancy only to separate her from her child at the end with nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders and a signed check is, to me, disgusting and immoral, in every way.

It has been proven, time and time again, that adoption DOES NOT lower the number of abortions performed in our country. If you really want to lower the number of abortions, take that money (which the author estimated as $363 million per year) along with the billion dollar profits from the adoption industry and invest in Family Preservation instead of Family Separation.

Offer help and support to women facing unplanned pregnancies that DOES NOT include them giving up their child, but instead instills in them the confidence and ability to keep and raise their sons or daughters. Take out the threat of living a lifetime without your child, or failing because you are unable to provide for your child, and replace it with true, beneficial, and easy to find assistance to help women and their children remain together, and I would bet you would see a drop in those numbers.

Women and their unborn children are not mere “pawns” to be shuffled around and used for another’s gain. They are living, breathing human beings. They matter. They count. To degrade them in such a horrific way speaks a lot to what adoption, in today’s world, has done to our society and the importance we place on the mother/child bond.

DNA doesn’t matter, love does.”

Anybody can give birth, but it takes someone truly special to be a mother.”

Family isn’t about who you are related to by blood.”

It’s not the parents you are born to that matter. It’s the ones who raise you that count.”

With such opinions so common in our culture, I suppose it really shouldn’t be all that surprising that such an idea as paying women to continue their pregnancies so they will become the breeders for the desperate couples wanting to be parents, is not only actually out there, but agreed upon by so many.

I mean, it is common to hear the belief that it’s unfair that so many “unfit” mothers can just “pop” out a baby while so many “deserving” women are unable to have a child of their own.

So, sure, why not solve that by gathering up all those “unfit” mothers – single, poor, uneducated, etc – pay them off so they won’t terminate their pregnancy and then use them to provide for the much more “deserving” women who desperately wants a child.

Oh, and, in case that’s not enough, lets also do this . . .

--“As part of the deal, they would have to test negative for drugs and get proper prenatal care.”—

Because, you know, we also have to make sure we provide those “deserving” women with the “perfect” babies too. Us breeders do have to abide by their standards to make them happy and our children must also abide by entering this world (and their greedy arms) as healthy and happy as possible.

How can ANYONE see this as right? How can someone agree with treating another human being in such a way?

What is wrong with us? What is wrong with our society?

The author of this disgusting idea claims . . .

--“It wouldn’t in any way restrict women’s constitutional rights, and it wouldn’t limit women’s options. In fact, it would do the opposite: it would expand women’s options by offering a way out for women who don’t want an abortion but can’t raise a child. It wouldn’t exploit poor women, because the amount of money involved would only be enough to cover the costs of pregnancy and wouldn’t affect mothers’ financial situations.”—

The amount of money involved would only be enough to cover the costs of pregnancy and wouldn’t affect mothers’ financial situations 

… which is exactly how you restrict their rights and their options and exploit poor women.

How can anyone not see that or believe otherwise?

You use a poor woman who is facing an unplanned pregnancy, you pay her just enough to supply her baby, and then you walk away. And you believe this is a good thing for her?

Expectant and new mothers have the RIGHT to financial support to keep and raise their baby. (United Nations – Declaration of Human Rights.)”

But such a thought as only paying them “enough” to cover pregnancy costs without affecting their financial situations goes completely against that right. In fact, it completely strips them of it because instead of supporting them and helping them to keep and raise their child, you are suggesting help should only be offered if they are willing to give up their child, and only long enough for them to give birth and hand their son or daughter over.

You are restricting their rights. You are limiting, if not completely taking away, their options, and you are exploiting them in the worst of ways – by using them as breeders to feed the adoption need instead of helping them as mothers to be able to provide for their children.

And this is sadly, so much the truth of adoption. We help, we support, but only if a mother is willing to lose her child forever. We pay her expenses, give her somewhere to live, send her to college, whatever it takes, as long as, in the end, she provides another baby for the growing list of couples waiting to adopt.

And that is, so much, why the ideas of this particular man are even sadder than one would think. Because what he is suggesting is already happening . . .

Under the disguise of supposedly reducing the number of abortions in our country, adoption agencies follow this very same train of thought. They bring a pregnant woman in, they pay her, support her, just long enough for her pregnancy costs to be covered. And then they take her baby and set her out into the world, empty-handed and broken hearted while they provide yet another infant to that “more deserving” women waiting on the sidelines.

It is the dark truth of what adoption has become in today’s world. It is the horror so many women face, day after day, year after year. The only difference is, this man put it in terms the adoption industry wouldn’t dare use because they have researched and learned that it is much better to present it as a loving option and win-win-win situation versus an outright call to pay all those poor, unfit mothers for their babies so that they can provide the best of benefits for all those hopeful couples waiting on the side.

***You can find the article I quoted here . . . We Should Pay Women Not To Get Abortions.***

Friday, February 11, 2011

You Have No Right

I’ve sat on this one for a few days.

I’ve learned from past experiences, when something strikes a nerve and I go at it full force without giving myself time to sit and digest what is bothering me, I can end up throwing punches where none are needed and spend a lot of time apologizing for what I’ve said or done.

But I’m not so sure, this time around, sitting on it and waiting is doing much good because the longer I think about it, the angrier I get.

So I’m just going to try my hardest to jump in and make some sense of what is bothering me without, hopefully, rambling on, or taking too many unnecessary punches.

There is a recent post on the blog, Paper Pregnancy 2.0, titled, The Other Crazies Out There…(Part 2). And though the post itself definitely generates some very strong opinions, it is part of a comment made by the author of this blog in response to an adoptee that has had my blood boiling for the last few days…

- - ******* writes ad nauseum of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her adoptive parents, which is, needless to say, a tragedy. But she also functions as evidence of the adage that victims of abuse grow up to be abusive themselves, and clearly it’s not passed genetically. - -

I know that some might not understand why this bothered me. Why reading her words kicked me swift and hard. But they did to the point where I was cursing at my computer screen as if she could really hear me on the other end and have been gnawing on it and flipping it around every which way since I first read it.

So I am going to do my best to try and explain in a clear, calm voice that gives no hint to the roar of anger that first swelled when I read what she had to say.

But before doing that, I want to make one thing clear, I don’t accept “passcards.” In other words, when someone says something like, “which is, needless to say, a tragedy,” as they are saying something so vicious and cruel, does not, in any way, to me, give them an okay or a “pass” for what they might have said before or after such a statement.

To me, in my mind, if someone truly thought it was, “a tragedy” then they would have never even dared to say such a thing in the first place. It never would have even entered their mind to use such a terrible thing like abuse as a weapon against another human being.

Just my opinion, but one I firmly stick too. You, plain and simple, don’t get to do such things and get an out because you at least thought enough to back it up with your false sympathies.

And, for the record, I did respond to Ms. Paper Pregnant on her blog but, as of now, she has still refused to allow my comment to be displayed. So I will instead use my own blog to not only respond but go into much more depth about the reasons why I find such a comment from her not only completely wrong but also as an act of revictimizing those who have already suffered through so much.

Ms. Paper Pregnant says . . . ******* writes ad nauseum of the abuse she suffered.

Ad nauseum” really?!?! Have you ever been abused? Have you ever been violated, beaten, left alone and unprotected, discarded, by the very people who are supposed to protect and defend you? Have you walked in those shoes, ever understood what that is really like?

I never have. I don’t know such a terror. I can’t imagine what that is like. What such a complete violation can do to you, change you, affect you. But I do know that I am “on my knees” thankful for those who do go through the painful process of talking about their abuse, no matter how terribly painful it is to relive.

When I first learned of the abuse my son suffered it was adoptees who had also been abused that helped me in so many ways. They relived painful experiences, reopened wounds, relived some of the worst moments of their lives to help me and to help my son. They hurt, they bled and they suffered. Never for themselves, but for me and for my son. So that I could learn how to help him. Could find a way to reach him and let him see that the abuse wasn’t his fault. That he didn’t deserve it. And that he wasn’t alone.

These amazing men and women relived their own hell for another’s well-being.

Do you not understand how hard it is, how much work it takes, to even be able to admit abuse, much less talk about it? Do you not know how very painful it can be to open old wounds, to relive such dark, terrifying memories?

EVERY single victim of abuse who speaks out about what happens to them should be hailed as a hero, because that is what they are. They are facing their demons. They are standing up to the horrors they faced, the fears inside of them, and they are speaking out, sharing their experiences, and helping those who have been there and need to know that they are not alone.

One of my most poignant memories is when my oldest son, after living with us for a few months, was on the telephone with another adoptee who had been abused. In his efforts to help her, he was sharing some of his most painful memories and the grief and pain was in his voice as he told her what had happened to him, let her know she wasn’t alone, and encouraged her to realize it wasn’t her and that she deserved so much better than what she was getting and how she was being treated.

It hurt him, there was no question about that, to give of those most painful memories he had. But he did it, he shared and opened himself up, because he believed it was what he needed to do to help another. To give them the understanding and care they weren’t receiving in their life.

To claim that anyone who has the courage to do this is “ad nauseum” is one of the worst, most demeaning insults one could ever launch against another human being.

Unless you have been there, lived through such horror, you have no right to make such a statement. Absolutely no right!!

Do you really think it’s just so easy, so “no big deal?” Something you can so easily mock because it means nothing?

I can’t imagine that pain, that horror to not only live but then relive, over and over again, such a terrible violation of everything you are.

We should be supportive, stand behind each and every victim of abuse that has found their voice and is able to speak out about it. There is never too much said or shared when it comes to such a horrible act against children who should never, EVER, be a part of such a vulgar, disgusting act of abuse, in any way, shape, or form.

In my opinion, you are wrong, so VERY wrong, to ever have anything negative to say about anyone speaking out and creating an awareness of abuse. I don’t care the situation. I don’t care how “bad” you think someone treated you. To come back with such a degrading, belittling response to someone who has been a part of horrors you can never imagine, just shows me that you are so desperate to lower another human being to another level, that you will even sink as low as to degrade them, mock them, for speaking out about what is, often times, the worst experiences of their life.

And if that isn’t enough, you go on to claim that . . . she also functions as evidence of the adage that victims of abuse grow up to be abusive themselves, and clearly it’s not passed genetically.

And this is where you revictimize someone who has already been victimized in the worst of ways. You lower her, and all victims of abuse, to nothing more than “doomed to abuse themselves.” And all because you didn’t like, or took offense to what this particular adoptee had to say to you.

You took the easy route, the sure way to lower her to a level beneath you, to raise yourself above her and prove you were better, more powerful, more controlling, than she could ever be. Because she was flawed. Messed up beyond her control. And so much less than those who perceive themselves to have the power.

Which is exactly what abusers do to their victims over and over AND OVER again. They condemn then. Lower then to a level beneath them. Predict they are bad, worthless, deserving of punishment, all in the attempts to make themselves better. Insure they are right and make sure they hold control over their victim who they shame, humiliate, weaken and try to force into remaining silent with their attempts at trying to convince them that their actions, whatever they might be, are the reasons why they deserve such punishment and are “doomed” to be SO bad.

I can remember, so clearly, when my son would talk about the abuse he suffered. It always came with the added on . . . but I did this.

In other words, when he told me about his mom locking him out of his house and refusing to give him the inhaler he so desperately needed because he is asthmatic, he included it was because he had poured a bottle of her tequila down the drain.

When he talked about her throwing him repeatedly into a wall, it was because he had gotten into her stash of Hershey bars that he knew she didn’t want him to touch.

And when she would leave him for a week or more without food or money or any means to provide for himself, it was because he had said or did the wrong thing to make her mad.

He was lowered to a level where it became all about his wrongs that “earned” the abuse he received. He was degraded, belittled and stomped on all in an effort to give his adoptive mother the right to do and say as she pleased against him.

And that, Ms. Paper Pregnant, is exactly what you did when you made such a statement, insinuating that the adoptee you were speaking to was just so bad because of whatever you perceived as her wrongs. You lowered her back to that defenseless child who somehow, in some sick way of thinking, deserves whatever abuse you pile upon her. Because the problem is her. Because what she receives is her fault, and she deserves it.

And you are so wrong! And you are so low, so unethical, so uncaring, to ever do such a thing to anyone who has ever been abused.

How dare you! How could you!

I don’t care how desperate you are, how bad you feel, how much you are sure you have been wronged by something someone else has said to you. You NEVER, EVER go so low as to revictimize someone who has already been abused and terrorized enough.

You never bring up that pain, use it against somebody for your own gain, your own need to feel right and superior over another.

What you have shown, what you have given, is a complete disregard and total lack of compassion for those who have been victims to such terrible actions. Who have been cheated out of what we all should have in our childhood years, the knowledge that we will be loved and protected and saved from harm.

You have wielded your ugly wand and come down in the most cruel of ways against everyone who has ever had to suffer through abuse. You have ignored and negated the very real pain they have gone through. You have taken what is one of the worst horrors a child could ever face and lowered it into nothing, all for your own personal gain. Your own ability to say you are better than another.

Ms. Paper Pregnant. You are wrong and you are, in my opinion, cold and uncaring. Whatever you might try to say that would hint at you being enlightened to anything adoption related, is lost on me and will never be heard. Because you showed your true self, your true ability for human kindness and concern the minute you used another’s abuse as your own weapon to lower them to whatever level you deemed them worthy of.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

But She Wanted To

I don’t see how there can be coercion if a woman seeks out an adoption agency because she has already made the decision that adoption is her best choice.”

This came from a discussion I stumbled upon about ethical adoptions. It was a discussion solely between adoptive mothers and their opinions. As you can imagine, the answers were varied, but the topic was handled civilly, in my opinion, without any intentional disrespect, I believe, to mothers who have lost their child to adoption. (Though I believe using “lost her child” probably wouldn’t have gone over so well with some.)

But there was still the misconceptions. The pre-formed beliefs so common in the world of adoption, especially when it comes to the topic of whether or not an expectant mom TRULY chooses to surrender her child to adoption.

Because there are so many situations where it all seemed so easy. Expectant mom got pregnant, knew she could not care for her child, went to adoption agency, picked the “perfect” parents, made an “adoption plan” and left hospital without her son or daughter.

So cut and dried. No coercion, manipulation or misconceptions in that scenario. She knew from day one her decision , made it, and went on with her life.

But could it ever really be that easily explained and understood when we are talking about a mother losing her child, handing her son or daughter over to someone else to raise and walking away? Does it really make sense that such terrible losses happen without any outside influence?

I just don’t see it as possible. If you take out that very rare, small percent of women who TRULY do not want anything to do with their child and have absolutely no desire to parent in any way, then you are left with a huge majority of women who feel and act and have the very same natural maternal instincts all of us carry within us.

So then why, if we are created to love and care for our children, to guide them through their younger years into productive, capable adults, are there so many mothers who go against this natural act and supposively “choose” to give their child away to another to raise?

One answer is . . . because, even when it doesn’t seem so, there is always outside influences pushing a confused, vulnerable pregnant mother toward adoption, even when they might not see or recognize it in their everyday lives.

Two very poignant quotes that have always stuck with me are the ones from the Family Research Council and their publication, The Missing Piece: Adoption Counseling in Pregnancy Resource Centers, in which they state . . .

As important as influencing adults is on this matter, 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 constant national message directed toward the next generation could help permanently change the value this culture places on adoption.

And from the National Council for Adoption and their manual, Birthmother, Good Mother,” which encourages . . .

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.”

Both of these publications show, without doubt, that the adoption industry intentionally targets children to imbed their message of adoption being the “loving option.” They know that “influencing” the young can help manipulate them to further their agenda in the future that follows. They have learned, through their research, that one of the best ways to get a woman to surrender her baby is to reach out to them before they are even of the age to become pregnant.

A pregnant woman doesn’t need to come anywhere near an adoption agency to have their coercive tactics take effect. She has already been surrounded by them since she was a small child. Flooded with the message that the answer to a crisis pregnancy is adoption and anything less than that automatically makes her an unloving, selfish human being.

And add to that the lingering shame and judgment our society continues to place on women in such situations, and you have everything you need to see why it is so many expectant moms claim they knew from the start they couldn’t keep their baby and that adoption is their only “choice.”

The media, and any other avenue the Adoption Industry can find to use, is instilling in our daughters a sense of failure long before they might ever face an unexpected pregnancy. They have, and continue to, use young women for their own gain, making sure the message they send to them is that the only way they can be deemed “good” if they become pregnant outside of “ideal” circumstances, is to save themselves through adoption.

They know exactly what they are doing every time our children are introduced to another “happy” adoption story. They have no doubt of the impact it makes for our youth to see their “mistakes” rectified through sacrificing their own flesh and blood.

And because we have become such a materialistic society, so wrapped up in who has bigger and better, the industry has no problem guiding the majority of us to believe the way they want us to. To see failure in any pregnant woman who is poor and without proper support to raise her child. To see doom for a child born into anything outside of what is now perceived as the “perfect” life. And to cringe and pull back anytime we might be asked to help those who have less than us.

We pound our chests and demand women’s rights and yet have no problem with making many women feel like they will be failures as mothers, leaving them weak and helpless and encouraging those feelings for the profits and gains of another. Us women, the very ones who should be fighting the hardest for change, become a part of the message to our young girls and young women that if they don’t have what society has deemed as enough then they don’t have a right to their own child.

Confidence is power. It is the driving force behind pushing ourselves for more, reaching our goals and being the kind of person we want to be. When you strip that confidence away and send the very clear message that someone can’t do something, without even giving them a chance to try, you take away their power, their ability to believe in themselves and what they are capable of doing.

And when that stripping of confidence comes in a loud and clear message tossed over and over again on the shoulders of our young, it’s very clear why so many women facing a crisis pregnancy believe from the very start that they aren’t good enough, can’t offer enough to their own child and so must lose them to give them what they deserve.

We aren’t encouraging women to find their strength, their confidence, to become the best mother’s possible even in the desperate times. We aren’t reaching out and saying, “I believe in you and all that you can do to become the best mom your child deserves.”

Instead we are sending the very clear message that if a woman is single or still in school. If she doesn’t have a good job or make enough money, she isn’t worthy of her own child and will only harm her son or daughter by raising them.

We, society as a whole, shame and degrade them, pull them down to a level where they believe they can’t do it when we should be holding them up, supporting them and giving them the confidence that they can.

And every time we do this, every time it happens, we send a very clear message to our children that if they ever face the same situation, they will be expected to fail as well and the only way they can prove themselves and their worthiness is to give up their child.

And the Adoption Industry eats this up likes its candy and adds to the message with their own images of smiling First Mom’s “saved” by adoption. With tales of young women who would have been doomed, and in return, doomed their children, to a life of nothing but are now happy and thriving because, they couldn’t possibly do both, but by losing their child, they were able to build a good life for themselves.

Young girls don’t sit around and dream about losing their children but they are very much surrounded by the message that if they aren’t “good” enough when they do become pregnant then the only way to redeem themselves and give the best to their child is to give him or her away.

We are repeating a cycle, generation after generation, of stripping women of their confidence when it comes to their worth and ability to be a mother. We’re teaching our daughters that it’s okay to see yourself as “less than.” It’s okay for others to view you as “not as good.” We’re teaching them to hang on to their doubts and fears, to believe they can’t do it before even trying.

And worst of all, we’re teaching them that what’s important in mothering is not love and care and giving of yourself in any way you can to raise your child but instead it’s the material things and the marriage certificate and college degree that makes a good mother and if they don’t have those things they aren’t worthy of the title.

That’s one reason why so many women walk into adoption agencies already “knowing” they want to lose their child to adoption. It isn’t a decision that is just theirs to make. It’s one that has been given to them, year after year, in so many different ways. One that makes it very clear to them that keeping and loving your child when society views you as not having enough is a selfish act and the only way they can prove themselves and their love for their child is to lose them forever.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Forever is Forever

My house is much quieter these days.

For many years, it was always a loud busy place. Full of comings and goings, of constant activity. And in the last two and a half years, since my oldest son who I lost to adoption moved back in with us, it was even more so. And better . . . so much, WONDERFULLY better. Not because I didn’t treasure and love every moment with my three younger children, because I did. I am very biased there believing I have the most amazing, wonderful children any mother would want blessing their lives.

But it was better because, for the first time, our family was truly complete. Complete in the way that there wasn’t always that constant knowledge in my heart that one of my children was always missing. Wasn’t a part of everything our family shared.

Time moves on though, and our children grow. And my three boys have grown and moved on with their lives, leaving just me, my husband and my youngest, and only daughter, in the house.

It is, I’ve realized, yet another phase of motherhood. From their young years, when they are dependent on you for everything, when scraped knees and nightmares brings them running to mom’s arms for comfort. To their older years when they begin to step away. When they groan if you dare to kiss them in front of their friends or roll their eyes at you if you even suggest you might have any kind of idea what they are going through as they start to learn who they are independently of their parents.

To now this phase, for me, when they are venturing out on their own. Their own homes, college and work. Falling in love, and for my youngest son, marriage and a child on the way. They don’t need mom so much anymore. I’m not a central part of their life. They are moving on, just as they are supposed to and I am a different role in their life than I have been in the past.

And it makes me stop to think about how when I look back and look forward, and look on what today brings, there is so much of being a mother that is never shared with a new mom, pregnant and confused. There is so much we don’t tell them about how much adoption continues on. Not only through childhood and teenage years, but into adult years as well.

The adoption industry takes so much of what an expectant mom feels in the moment and isolates it. They encourage, suggest, and even push for her to only see the “now” instead of looking at the overall picture. Of the many, many years that are yet to come, of the different phases of motherhood and all that comes with it. They hold them in whatever crisis they are currently facing, using that to convince them adoption is the best option, cheating them out of the very real fact that there is so much, so many years, so many changes, that they have ahead of them.

I can look back now and see, when I was pregnant with my oldest son who I lost to adoption, just how much I was isolated in the here and now. It’s a common factor, I know, for most mothers facing an unexpected pregnancy, struggling to see past the next day, much less the next year. And my counselor was very good at keeping me in that moment, never encouraging me to look past it at the real truth of what it meant to lose my child.

But the reality is, being a mother is forever. It shifts and changes. What you face one day will be so different a year later, a decade later. It’s the natural process of life.

And when you lose a phase of mothering, it’s gone forever. You can never get it back. Not even the best of open adoptions, most successful reunions, can ever get that back for you. It’s gone, no matter what, and it will ALWAYS affect every other phase you might go through as the mother of your child.

EVERY pregnant woman considering adoption, should be made to understand how much more there is, at the moment they become pregnant, to their child’s life than what they can possibly see at the moment. They need to know that missing out on their child in their early years will affect them, and their child, in the years to come.

And that there is absolutely nothing . . . . NOTHING . . . that can take away that loss. Because it’s a part of nature, a part of life, that is gone forever.
My oldest son is back in my life in every way imaginable now and yet that will never change the fact that there is a void there between us. A missing part that I have with my other children that I can never get with him.

And it’s because, through adoption, I lost those phases of motherhood that are such a fundamental part of a mother and child relationship. No, I do not love my oldest son any less. My feelings for him are just as strong and powerful as they are for my three younger children. Read anywhere in my blog and you will find that.

But how much I love my son or how much he loves me, can never change what we lost, that part of his life that is void of the memories parents and children carry of each other. Those early phases of being a mother. Of being there for him in every way as he first started to grow and learn to letting go a little at a time as he started to test the waters to learn who he was independently of who his parents are.

And that loss will always be felt. It will always exist between us.

There are no words I can think of to describe that “black hole” kind of feeling. And unless you have lost a child to adoption, or are a child lost to adoption, I don’t believe there is any way you could truly understand what it’s like. Understand the true magnitude of such a void in your life in something that is so unnatural to feel.

And it’s not healed with visits or pictures or letters about how your child is doing. Because the natural act of mothering isn’t there. Those first steps we take in caring for our children, so much a part of us, are absent even if we get to see our children and know about their lives.

It’s a “forever” loss. One that we will be reminded of for the rest of our lives.

I think of my youngest son, about to be a father. I think of what we will share just in the simple act of watching his own child grow and being able to look back on when he was so small. Of knowing the answers to, how long did it take me to sleep through the night? Was I this hard/easy to potty train? How did you finally break me off the bottle?

Those oh so simple questions, shared between parents and their children everywhere. Questions I will never, EVER have the answers to when my oldest son first steps into fatherhood. Moments we can never share because they are lost forever in the ugly reality that is adoption.

Twenty three years ago, I never imagined just how much and how deeply adoption would continue to affect my life, that the loss will always continue on until the day I die. Even with my son back in my life, even with adopting him back, even with those first years of a very open adoption, that loss will remain forever.

Pregnant women who feel they have no choice other than losing their child to adoption need to know the truth of what they, and their unborn child is facing. Not just in the few years to come, but for their entire lifetime. They need to know that forever really is forever when it comes to such losses they and their child will go through. And that nothing, absolutely nothing, will ever take that away.

Because, as we all know . . .

Adoption is forever!