Four and a half years ago, when I first found my oldest son’s MySpace page, it felt like a miracle. After over thirteen years of knowing nothing about him, about his life, here was this wealth of information about him. Pictures and information I could have only dreamed of having before.
And one bit of that information was his current place of employment which happened to be only an hour away from where we lived.
For me, the fear was too great to do anything with that information. I was so sure then that my son would hate me. I was so afraid of ever being able to explain to him why I gave him up when I could no longer explain it even to myself. Could no longer find any reason that would justify not fighting for and keeping him all those years ago.
Thank goodness, my husband wasn’t held back by such fears and doubts. Taking my youngest son along with him, he made the drive to my oldest son’s work and took that very first, frightening step into reuniting with him.
It was, literally, the first day of a brand new life for all of us.
It was also an act that, to this day, my oldest son’s adoptive mother is still angry with my husband for doing.
And the question is . . . who is she angry for?
Is she angry for us, my oldest son’s First Family, who never would have had to seek our oldest son out in such a way if promises hadn’t been broken and the adoption completely closed by the time my son was five years old?
Nope. That one is a definite no. Don’t even have to think twice about that one.
Is she angry for my oldest son who, though there have been ups and downs, gained another family in his life? Who, because of reunion, was aware of his family history and knew to act quickly when he was first told about the lump on his thyroid?
No. That’s not it either.
There is only one person she is angry for . . . herself. Angry because she doesn’t like how it has turned out since that first day of reunion. Because that day, to her, forced her to accept that my oldest son’s First Family didn’t just drift off into nowhere land and forget about him. And because, she lost her control over my son, no longer able to abuse him because he had nowhere else to go.
It’s as it always seems to be . . . all about her. It’s not about my son in any way, just, as I believe, it never has been.
And yet, it doesn’t surprise me that she’s that way. It doesn’t shock me that it’s that way for many other adoptees as well, making my oldest son’s experience far from unique.
When adoption is, in so many ways, about satisfying the desires of hopeful couples rather than helping out children truly in need, it only makes sense that there are going to be adoptive parents out there who will forever remain in that frame of mind, expecting it to always be about them and not about the child they adopted.
And with so much of society accepting the same beliefs, seeing no problem in taking children from capable mothers and giving them to wealthier, more successful, married couples who “deserve” a child more, you compound the problem of adoptees being used to satisfy others and being expected to keep their own feelings and desires hidden away.
Do I believe every adoptee has this experience . . . no. Do I think every adoptive parent is concerned only about themselves and their desires . . . of course not.
But the reality is, it is out there. It is a part of adoption for so many. And it can’t be ignored.
Though “selfish” is a word piled heavy on the shoulders of many First Moms, the fact is, adoption, in so many ways, in its very practice, is full of selfishness.
When couples are adopting, not to help a child but to fulfill their own desires, there is a selfish act involved. When adoption agencies counsel pregnant women on the “greatness” of adoption without informing them of the risks . . . the pain, the loss, the feelings of abandonment . . . to increase their profits, there is definitely selfishness motivating them.
And yes, if a mom TRULY falls into that very small percentage of women who doesn’t want to raise her own child because of how it might disturb her life . . . that is selfish.
So, how can it be a surprise that there are adoptive parents out there who are selfish in their belief that it is all about them. All about the ways their child is to satisfy their life. Keep them happy. Give them what they have always wanted.
How can it be anything different than an adoptee’s feelings being ignored and neglected for the considered “better” of others when society supports and promotes what is, in so many ways, a practice designed to use human beings as remedies to another’s wants, whether it be a child for the adoptive parents or money deposited into the accounts of the adoption industry.
It is a reality of adoption that, in today’s world, is never going to change.
I only wish, expectant mothers considering adoption, would step back and think of this. Think of what it does to put their child in such a position. One expected from them, not only, possibly, by their adoptive parents, but by the world they will grow up in.
I wish they could step out of the mindset of, “It won’t happen to my child,” and realize the very act of adoption puts their child at risk of being expected to always fulfill the desires and needs of another while their child’s own feelings are ignored.
It is a reality that is out there. A reality that exists for so many. And the only way to change that is to change the belief that it’s okay to take babies away from good mothers in need of some help and support and give them to someone deemed more “worthy” simply to justify a selfish desire that no child should ever be expected to fulfill.