Letters to Ms. Feverfew has a new post, Some People Rob You With a Six-Gun, about a new mom who not only had to go through the pain of losing her child at birth to adoption, but now has to suffer the heart-wrenching reality of losing her son all over again because the adoptive parents have chosen to close the adoption after promising her an open adoption.
And their reasons for doing this . . . because she is speaking out and sharing how badly she has been hurt by the loss of her baby.
For the last few weeks, through this First Mom’s blog (which she has now set to private) my heart has ached, not only for the grief she is suffering and the loss she is struggling to deal with, but also for the cold-hearted comments she has received in response. Blaming her, attacking her feelings as wrong, accusing her of doing wrong and deserving what she got, as this particular commenter felt he had the right to do . . .
***And this, my dear (****), is why you wait to be intimate until AFTER you find and marry your (***).
You call it corrupt that a committed couple is willing to take (****) as their own? and provide(****) the loving environment he deserves? that you were unwilling to wait until you were ready to fully provide?
You say you felt like you had to place (****) - and you were right to do so. As soon as you have sex you invite a life and if one comes, your own life, your own wants become secondary.***
And another particular commenter, who I am unable to copy exactly what she said so will have to paraphrase, told her all about everything the adoptive couple had to put up with from this First Mom while she was pregnant (always love how, after the adoption finalizes, it goes from we love you and are here for you for whatever you need to, look at everything we had to put up with just to get our baby) and made sure she, over and over again, capitalized “you” to emphasis that it was all in this First Mom’s control. She made all the choices. Everything happened because of what she wanted. And, because of that, she had no right to be upset or angry now that she has lost her son.
This mom, who has already been victimized (she was against adoption until, as seems to happen way too often, she was “counseled” by LDSFS) and beat up on enough, is going through it all over again, in the absolute worst kind of way, and all for one reason . . .
Because instead of being the good “beemommie” she is expected to be, she is actually grieving the tremendous loss she has suffered. Is angry over what happened to her. And is speaking out about her true feelings in an attempt to heal from what has been one of the worst traumas she has experienced in her life.
She is doing and feeling what so many of us never had the courage to do. What so many of us First Moms wish we had been brave enough to feel, to say, to be against everything expected from us.
After losing my first son to adoption, I was too frightened of what it would mean if I actually expressed the terrible grief I was suffering. I wasn’t brave enough to admit to anyone how badly I was hurting, how much losing him was affecting me. Instead, I stuffed all those feelings deep down inside of me, did my best to ignore them, and concentrated only on being the good “beemommie” I was expected to be. The one everyone would like. The one they wanted me to be. Happy and content with losing my son. Admitting that I wasn’t good enough and loved him so much I gave him away to a couple that was better than I could ever be.
And it is First Moms like who I once was and many of the ones you see today who have a part in why this particular mom is being met with such hostility and anger. Why the adoptive parents expected her to be happy and content and couldn’t imagine the loss of her son would hurt so bad.
Because, though not intentionally, we set the standard that is expected from moms who have lost their children to adoption. We give the belief that it’s okay. That it doesn’t tear us apart, rip everything from the very depths of our souls. Change everything we are and everything we are yet to become.
We provide the proof, for those who seek it, for something that, when truly thought about, doesn’t make sense in any way. We justify what is unjustifiable – the terrible pain of losing a child. We become the balm over that deep, forbidden knowledge that losing a child is a horrific event that nobody should ever have to suffer through.
We become the poster child for what they want, what they so desperately need to believe.
And, just as the post at Letters to Ms. Feverfew pointed out, many of the happy “beemommies” who do this, who create that image of happiness at losing their child, really don’t have much of a choice. Because if they were to even dare to show even a sliver of the true grief that comes with losing your child, they could very well face the same terrible fate this First Mom now must live with, having their open adoption close because they are not reacting in the way they are expected.
That’s the sad reality of the vicious cycle that adoption creates. It inflicts the worst kind of loss on a mother then demands she be happy and content with that loss and threatens her with losing her child all over again if she dares to speak the true depth of her feelings and her grief over losing her own flesh and blood.
And yet, because she cannot express her true feelings and must be happy with adoption, she lays the foundation for more mothers to step into the same cycle, because those who don’t know and are told over and over again that adoption is the loving option, believe that they will be just as happy, just as grateful to be separated from their child. And once such a loss becomes a reality, they face the same expectations of having to be the perfect “beemommie” or being cruelly rejected if they feel otherwise.
It’s a sick fact that exists in the world of adoption. And what makes it even sicker is that whether you are a happy “beemommie” or not, you are still being treated in the worst of ways. Because, the simple fact is, even the ones who are loved by adoptive parents because they are so good with losing their child, are being abused and used as well.
Think about it this way, my husband’s grandmother, over fifty years ago, had a son who died at birth. It was a terrible tragedy in her life, one that still affects her today. In all the times she has talked about it, her grief comes through loud and clear. To this day, she still mourns that loss. Still feels the emptiness inside.
But what if, right after she had lost her son, she proclaimed she was happy with what happened, and never expressed any grief or loss from such a tragedy in her life?
Such a reaction would have thrown up red flags to everyone and anyone near her. They would understand immediately she wasn’t processing or dealing with the trauma she had suffered. They would clearly see something was wrong and seek help for her so that she could begin to deal with it and heal from such a terrible event in her life.
And one of the ways she would have been encouraged to deal with it was to allow herself to be sad and angry. To question what had happened. To share whatever she could in an attempt to heal.
But in adoption, many don’t see a happy acceptance over the loss of a child as a red flag. And they don’t, because of their own feelings, their own need to believe the separation of mother and child was a good thing and meant to be.
Adoptive parents claim to love and care for the First Moms of their children. They proclaim, over and over again, how they are part of the family. Special to them. An important part of their lives.
But are they really? Do they truly mean that much to them?
Because the fact of the matter is, if adoptive parents love and cherish the First Moms so much then why are they so eager, so willing to embrace and believe that the ones that mean so much to them are perfectly happy and okay with the loss of their child. Why do they not see the same red flags they would hopefully never miss if a spouse or child, sibling or parent, proclaimed such an unrealistic acceptance of such a terrible loss in their lives?
Because, in the truth of it, the acceptance of such a terrible loss and denial of feelings by happy “beemommies” serves to make adoptive parents feel better. The red flags that would be so obvious to them in other situations, are ignored and explained away. Not because of their love or concern about the First Mom of their child. But because such reactions make them feel better. Offer them the proof that their adoption was for the best.
And in that, they use the First Mom who has already lost and suffered through so much, to make them feel better about the very real fact that their happiness comes at the terrible loss of another. Such a happiness reassures them and helps calm their doubts. It gives them proof that, though they would suffer from the loss of a child, it just has to be different for that mother who gave them her child and she obviously doesn’t feel what they would if they ever had to suffer such a loss.
It’s a cruel, cruel box First Moms are shoved in to with no escape. Either they are everything expected from them and adoptive parents love them and allow them to be a part of their child’s life as long as they continue to be happy and content and satisfy the adoptive parent’s own fear and doubts. Or they show the true grief and struggle that comes with losing your child. They are honest with themselves and their feelings. And then they risk losing any and all contact with their child because they threaten the beliefs the adoptive parents desperately need to cling to and give them a glimpse of the very real fact that losing a child is hell and it is far from normal for anyone, for any reason, to be okay with such a deep, painful wound.
And it’s wrong, and, to me, it’s an abuse in every way against women who don’t deserve it. Having sex, getting pregnant when you aren’t planning it. Being unmarried or poor does not justify such treatment against any living, breathing human being. Nobody should be used in such a way. Nobody ever deserves to be treated like so many First Moms are.
And nobody, ABSOLUTELY NOBODY, should have to continuously, whether through giving up their own flesh and blood or burying and denying their feelings, be expected to, over and over again, sacrifice in such terrible ways for the happiness and acceptance of another.
Losing a child is one of the worst experiences any mother can go through. No excuses, no “but ifs.” It’s a terrible fate for any person to go through. And adoption is not an excuse to ignore or punish mothers for such a terrible grief.
First Mom’s already sacrifice their own flesh and blood. Should they really also be expected to sacrifice their own feelings as well so that adoptive parents can feel better about their own feelings?
(I feel I need to add the disclaimer - though I mention adoptive parents in general, I hope it is known that I am not trying to clump any and all adoptive parents together. I am very much aware and have a great respect for those adoptive parents who don't fit the mold of what I portrayed here.)