Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Danger Ahead

I read a blog post not too long ago . . .

It is, for the most part, the same as I’ve read time and time again. She’s a mom who parented her daughter for nine weeks (that part is different than the usual stories I hear) and then gave her up for adoption. She challenges the idea that others might believe she thought she wasn’t good enough for her baby and gives her reasons why she did know she was a good enough mother but believed her daughter still deserved more.

There’s nothing really special about it. Nothing that is truly different in what she says compared to all the other First Mom blogs and Facebook pages that encourage adoption with all the good experiences they have had.

But somewhere in between the same old, tired label of anti-adoption and the references to “self-described” and “disenfranchised” First Moms, I began to realize, even more, just how dangerous blog posts such as this, as well as the Facebook Pages, the groups like Birthmothers for Adoption, really are.

Because even as they, like this blog author, claim they feel sorry for anyone who feels as if they were coerced into giving up their baby, they don’t seem to realize just how much they are a part of that very coercion . . .the same coercion they go on to say they never knew in their own experience.

They are what the adoption industry knows is a sure way to convince a pregnant woman to give up her baby . . .

- -Put together a book of meditations for pregnant women who have decided to place babies for adoption. These books could include a variety of birthmother stories that reassure women with unplanned pregnancies that adoption was right for many other women with similar circumstances and may be right for them. - -

The only difference is, the “books” have now become the internet, the blogs, the groups, whatever is out there where First Moms tell their “good” experiences to “reassure” more pregnant women that giving their babies away is the right thing to do.

And that is where the danger begins. But it doesn’t end there.

Because, just as what happened in this particular post, adoptive parents and couples desperate to adopt, flock to such messages, praise them, use them – and the ones who write them – to justify any doubts, any “uncomfortable” feelings they might have. It is their excuse so they don’t have to worry about being ethical. Don’t have to concern themselves with those pesky little “truths” that they hear of but don’t want to believe because it goes against everything they have been told. Everything they need to hold on to so they are reassured that adoption isn’t about their desperate need to have a child but instead about offering a better life to a child. About being that savior because the First Moms themselves even admit that they were unworthy compared to that “perfect” couple who could offer their child everything they could not.

It is, in every way, a true example of the propaganda the adoption industry spends good money to keep alive. To use so that more and more women will give up their babies and more and more desperate couples will see themselves as the answer to their needs, taking those babies from mothers who just couldn’t give them the lives they deserved in the first place.

But what the author of this blog, and so many others, seem to miss is the fact that their “good” experiences do not mean that we cheat other women out of the protections they deserve. That their need to downplay and/or pretend the darker truths of adoption don’t exist doesn’t help anyone but those who are already using them to continue their one-sided truth of what adoption really is. Using them so they can profit – financially or personally (getting that baby they desperately want) – from First Moms who not only give away their babies but are also able to influence even more women into doing the same.

They are, in so many ways, the investment that keeps on giving.

An investment that is full of danger.

And yet, I am very much aware these moms aren’t trying to cause anyone harm. I have been there. I spent many years as the poster child for what it meant to be a good “beemommie.” Years unaware of the damage adoption counseling had caused.

And I see that damage now in so many of these First Mom blogs and Facebook pages. I see how so many, just like myself, deserved to be protected from such counseling. Deserved the crisis counseling we needed instead of the carefully researched adoption counseling, intended to encourage women to give up their babies, we received from those who worked hard to earn our trust so that we wouldn’t question what they said. Would believe that giving our children away to the more-deserving couple was a true act of love.

The counseling that left us repeating, like robots, exactly what we were told. Repeating the same things First Moms before and after us repeated as if we all were reading from the exact same script (which in truth we were and still do) . . .

“I knew I wasn’t good enough, mature enough, successful enough to offer my child the life they deserved.”

“There are so many couples out there who can’t have children of their own and deserve the gift of a baby to make their life whole.”

“My son/daughter will always know I loved them so much that I wanted a better life for them than I could give them.”

“I made the most selfless decision I could have made. Though I loved my child and wanted to keep him, I know it would have been selfish of me to do so.”

You could visit a dozen different blog posts about a First Mom’s “good” experience, and you will, more likely than not, find some variation of these very sentiments. You could take a look at one of their many Facebook pages and see the same thoughts and beliefs in their descriptions, in the very content they allow to be shared on their page.

And what so many don’t realize, what would be impossible for any expectant mother considering adoption or desperate adoptive parent to know, when they come across these blogs or Facebook pages, is the fact that, so often, another side of being able to repeat and believe everything we are told during adoption counseling is the wall we build in the process. A wall that doesn’t challenge what we were told, led to believe, by those we trusted who counseled us and helped us see how adoption was the best choice we could make for our child.

It is our protection. The foundation that keeps us from having to question if we really did the right thing. Keeps us happy in our good experiences.

Behind that wall we don’t have to believe anything that might be said by the “anti-adoption” side. In fact, we can cast doubt on what they have to say, limit their voices to nothing more than bad experiences who want only to force women to parent their children.

That wall shelters us from having to listen to and maybe accept the experiences of adoptees who talk about the terrible loss they suffered when their mothers gave them up for adoption. It restricts us from taking the initiative to research on our own the truths of adoption that aren’t shared by the industry but are easily found if one takes the time to look.

It’s a wall that holds us in the place we need to be. Holds us so that we don’t believe we actually deserved anything but the counseling we received, keeps us in the belief that we are the example for what it means to be a selfless, mature mother who made the best decision for her child when she decided to give him or her up for adoption.

It restricts us from seeing anything wrong in the fact that the adoption industry profits billions of dollars off of mothers giving away their children. Keeps us fighting to support and glorify adoptive parents while believing there is no reason to offer any more help or support to keep a mother and child from having to go through the grief of being separated from one another.

A wall that actually makes it unimportant if our child will be denied his or hers equal rights. Keeps us in the belief that open adoption is the answer to everything and we, as the First Moms to adoptees who have been blessed with such a “different” adoption, will all ride off happily into the sunset with the very best of feelings that prove wrong, discredit and ignore any of the knowledge or experiences that might have been learned before we ever stepped into the world of adoption.

It angers and saddens me to see this cycle continue. To know First Moms themselves play a part in that because they were denied the full truth and now do the same to others while keeping alive the damaging myth that only certain women deserve to be mothers and those who don’t live up to that standard should make the “loving option” of giving their babies away as “gifts” to the more deserving women.

I’ve seen courage, selflessness and maturity. But not in the way the adoption industry wants us to. Not in the blogs or Facebook pages of those who share their good experiences.

I see it in those who know, accept and share the hard truths, even when they are not what they want to face.

In those who search and learn for themselves the realities that are out there so that they do not blindly follow, or encourage others to do so, simply because it is what they have been told.

It’s there in those who stand up and fight for change. Change every women and child deserves to have, regardless of the “good” experiences of others.
Change that comes with many attacks, many days of pushing forward even when the temptation is to quit. Change that only the courageous, the selfless, the mature would ever dedicate themselves to fighting for.

Change that could never be possible if we believed what we were told, encouraged others to believe as well, while never sharing, questioning or learning – for ourselves - the harder truths that exist . . .

The ones that show the danger in the diluted “truths” others so desperately want and need us to believe, to repeat, to share so they can continue to gain off the loss of unprotected mothers and their babies.

52 comments:

  1. None of these First Mothers ever talk about the sadness that children face by being separated from their mothers. That is the worst trauma. If my child was indeed better off maybe I could stomach this life of adoption I entered. But to hear that my daughter missed me her entire childhood is almost too much to bear. No it is never in the child's best interest. What is in their best interest is for the mother to become the best mother she can become and parent her child.

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  2. You are disgusting. I don't think I have read something that is so self absorbed. I read the post and it was beautifully written and you are attacking her because she didn't include your experience or the experience of all you others who play their pity party. I bet the adoptive parents for your child don't want anything to do with you because you have to make everything about yourself. Do something with your life and stop attacking others because of your serious mental problems.

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  3. I decided to parent, but I believe that her blog post was beautifully written and very thoughtful. She parented for 9 weeks because she thought she could do it and then realized she could not. This was not a newborn adoption. She looked for adoption after she had parented. I think Jill is magnificent and I love her blog. Even though I did not place. I don't like this blog post at all. I do realize there are some that get coerced, but Jill is not one to mock. I don't think your analogy talking about adoption, or your hate for it, was right with her blog post. I don't like some aspects of adoption, but this really was harsh.

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  4. I decided to parent, but I believe that her blog post was beautifully written and very thoughtful. She parented for 9 weeks because she thought she could do it and then realized she could not. This was not a newborn adoption. She looked for adoption after she had parented. I think Jill is magnificent and I love her blog. Even though I did not place. I don't like this blog post at all. I do realize there are some that get coerced, but Jill is not one to mock. I don't think your analogy talking about adoption, or your hate for it, was right with her blog post. I don't like some aspects of adoption, but this really was harsh.

    It accidentally posted anon - I want to show who I am.

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  5. There is never any thought to how the child may feel. Just assurances that she will only feel love for her brave mother. How can anyone possibly know how that poor dear baby will really feel? It's always adults speaking for the children.

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  6. And cue the haters, lol!

    Ahh Cassi, you have to know you are onto something when people feel compelled to attack you as a person.

    To the commenters, especially the first anon, nowhere did Cassi attack maliciously as you did another person. In fact, this post has been gentle as far as I can see.

    If you cannot handle the truth and need to fall so low as to labelling someone with mental health issues then this says alot more about you than anybody else. The fact you refuse to see from the other side is testament to your narrow minded point of view. It is very sad.

    Cassi has not attacked Jill. All she has said is sending the message of "I am not worthy to parent" is incredibly dangerous and is untrue. Children are not interchangeable. They are not transferable.

    Cassi is also shining light on the message the industry is placing on women - young or not - in order to get them to relinquish. The coercive tactics used are subtle but to those of us who are now old hands at this, they are obvious. So much propaganda out there and sadly the bulk of society, the followers, buy this crap and lap it up.

    Thanks Cassi for a thoughtful post.

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  7. Oh dear.

    Well, I didn't see the referred to post. but I do think THIS post is honest and insightful and couragous and desperately needed.

    This paragraph, in particular, struck me: "But what the author of this blog, and so many others, seem to miss is the fact that their “good” experiences do not mean that we cheat other women out of the protections they deserve. That their need to downplay and/or pretend the darker truths of adoption don’t exist doesn’t help anyone but those who are already using them to continue their one-sided truth of what adoption really is. Using them so they can profit – financially or personally (getting that baby they desperately want) – from First Moms who not only give away their babies but are also able to influence even more women into doing the same."

    Just today, I read a press release from Bethany Christian Services will be using Tyler and Catelynn of MTV's 16 and Pregnant "to participate in a national campaign featuring media interviews, online chats and college campus speaking engagements, among other initiatives." http://www.thestreet.com/story/11438704/1/nations-premier-family-preservation-and-adoption-agency-develops-partnership-with-catelynn-tyler-of-mtvs-16-and-pregnant-fame.html Another example of EXACTLY what you are talking about.

    I don't begrudge women the right to tell their own stories, to define themselves in their own ways, or to stand by their choices. I do, however, take issue with using the voices of those who feel adoption was the best decision (particularly those to whom it is all still quite fresh) to silence the voices of those who urge reform, and to further the agendas of those who profit from adoption.

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  8. Well said and well written as always Cassi! <3

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  9. Barbara Thavis,

    I agree with you completely. One of the hardest things to know in my life was the fact that adoption had harmed my son. It was like taking a knife and stabbing it through my heart.

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  10. Anon,

    Thank you for visiting my blog. You don't deserve any more than that as a comment from me!

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  11. Wonderful post Cassi. The feelings of the adoptee do not seem to enter into the "well we all feel so great about adoption and you guys are just angry" rationales. What will this mother do or how will she feel if "Roo" grows up and decides that she doesn't buy into everyone else's grandiose and positive outlook? What will the adoptive parents do or how will they feel if "Roo" grows up and does not feel one bit grateful to anyone.

    Not sure why the adoptee's feeling are not mentioned or even considered. She might grow up to be one of us "angry" ones. Hope everyone involved is prepared for that possibility.

    Is it really that difficult to acknowledge that adoption involves loss, pain, grief and confusion for the adoptee? Apparently, it is for some. And that is unfortunate. Because supposedly, this whole thing is about the child.

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  12. I still do not, cannot understand why a mother would *willingly* give away (let's be frank about this: abandon) a child she loves and wants.

    I have not read any of Jill's blog posts other than that one, but I do find it amazing that she would actually stand up and be proud of legalized abandonment of her child.

    BUT, here is a clue, she said she could not give her daughter all that her daughter deserved. Does this mean ponies and swimming pools? Or does it mean 3 meals on the table every day?

    We don't abandon those we love as an "act of love," otherwise you would see loving middle-aged spouses divorcing so they could "give their wives/husbands more," so they could marry a richer, prettier, younger woman or man. Divorce as an act of love ... I don't think so.

    Willingly ... or coerced. It is a dichotomy, given that 'coerced' as a term includes manipulated and persuaded (and brainwashed).

    Jill's child is only two years old. It can take 5 or more years for a woman to come out of the fog, shock of trauma, and numbness of grief and truly feel the pain of surrender. The trigger to wake you up can be seeing the extreme pain in your child's eyes, or having your open adoption closed. Or realizing that letting someone sell your child to a stranger for $30,000 did nothing for you OR your child. But then the pain hits, and it is crippling.

    Two years is not long enough for any mother to truly experience the loss, given the strength of the self-protective state of numbness and shock and how it can last (even Weinreb in her dissertation said 5 yrs is a minimum).

    Where Jill is in 10 years is what will truly tell what adoption has done for her, and if her daughter feels like a "nine-month abortion" as some adoptees describe it.

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  13. Crystal Renee,

    Thank you for reposting your comment under your name. It is so much easier to follow and respond.

    I am very happy to know you decided to parent. I hope you are enjoying being a mother.

    This post was not a personal attack against the blog author. It was nothing more than the reason why I felt it important to write what I did.

    It isn't about hating or loving adoption or if somebody is magnificent or not. It's about the very real danger that exists in anything, any writing, that is a part of encouraging women to give up their babies while denying them the full truth they deserve.

    It's about how the adoption industry uses those like this First Mom to encourage more women to give up their babies and how adoptive parents use them to feel better about themselves.

    It is a part of the coercion and I will not back down from that belief. As I said, I don't think this blog author or any of the other First Moms I mentioned are doing it intentionally, but that doesn't change the fact that expectant mothers read what they write without ever realizing the facts they are being denied from knowing.

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  14. I see you have brought in all the others like you to defend you and make you feel better.
    I know Jill and I know she is an amazing birthmother who only cared about what was best for her child and nothing else. She didn't bother herself with worrying bout any else's experiences but cared only about what her daughter deserved and what was best for her.
    Just because your expderience or anyone elses doesn't match what you expect from adoption that doesn't make these wonderful women wrong in any way. You don't have any facts to back up what you claim. You only have your experiences and the experiences of everyone who is coming here to say how right you are without having any clue to what adoption is really about.
    I know your story and I am saddest most about the fact that your son didn't even get a good enough birthmother to save him from abuse but got one that continues to abuse him as well.
    That is so sad.

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    1. This is the saddest thing I have ever read. It could have been written by my sons adoptive mom. It is the anise of women like you that make adoption worse than it already is. Not only do you think that a woman loving her child is abusive, you admit that he suffered abuse in his adoption. For that I want to thank you. It will show a lot of women considering adoption that even adoptive parents know that adopted children suffer abuse. What I want to know is how Cassi loving her son is abusive? Is the adoptive mother threatened by her? Does the adopted son want a good relationship with her, but feels torn because of the emotional abuse dealt out by his adoptive mom who "loved him enough"? I will find these answers myself when I read more of this blog, as I will freely admit this is only the second post I've read. But either way, thank you for showing anyone who stumbles across this blog how vindictive and shallow adoptive parents can be. And how you think of the birth mother if she ever for a minute regrets her decision to place a child in another family's hands.

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  15. Um, you are a hypocrite justanothermom. Cassi never asked anyone to view he blog let alone the comments.

    Thank you yet again for fuelling the fact how despicable adoption is when you so nastily attack someone at such a personal level. Nope, you have all reconfirmed for me how rotten adoption is when I just look at the comments from the likes of you.

    There was no need for you to spew such vile - Cassi never attacked anyone personally (sheesh, is there an echo in here?) yet your closing comment is about as low in the gutter as someone can go.

    Please crawl back to your hovels where you came from. And thanks again for showing the reality of adoption from those who will not allow one scrap of truth.

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  16. JustAnotherMom,

    I find it interesting that you are telling the natural mothers of children placed for adoption and adoptees that we have no idea what adoption is really about.

    Speaking as a 41-year-old adult adoptee, I have every clue about adoption is really about. And I have plenty of facts that I would be more than happy to provide.

    If adoption is so wonderful and amazing, why do "Roo" and I have falsified birth certificates? If Jill is such an amazing mother, why was her name deleted from the legal record of her own child's birth?

    Doesn't seem to me as though the adoption industry has any respect for Jill or her daughter. Please note that I am speaking of the adoption industry. Why does that fact that many of us feel that the industry is in need of major reform make you so defensive? If you actually listen to what we are saying, you would understand that we are thinking of Jill and her daughter, not against them.

    And again, you speak only of Jill. What about her daughter? Just because you think that Jill did an amazing thing doesn't mean that her daughter will grow up and agree with you. Will you speak to Jill's daughter the way you are speaking to us? Or will you allow an open dialogue that encompasses all sides of the issue so that Jill's daughter can express her feelings freely, be they positive or negative?

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  17. Hi Cassi,

    Not sure if you'll remember me but my name is Nicole, used to write the blog Paragraphein.

    Have been on a long hiatus from adoption blogs but was directed to this post today. Read it and had to comment.

    As usual... you nailed it. Thank you.

    Considering today is the day the Australian senate inquiry recommended the Australian government apologize for unethical and coercive practices, I find it somewhat ironic that here we are having the same old arguments with people using the same old (now whitewashed) arguments.

    The idea that adoption is what's "best" for a child and that our children deserved "more" comes straight from the Baby Scoop Era, when women were drugged, threatened, and forced to relinquish their babies.

    There is no truth in the statement because the stories the statement comes from are stories of inhumane, torturous treatment. It's rhetoric that was employed to justify horrible, awful treatment of women.

    Maybe some day we (a collective "we") will wake up to the horrid ways in which we still treat marginalized mothers. Maybe someday the culture will change.

    I'm hanging onto hope.

    Once upon a time I was a mother who gave my baby away, saying that I knew I could be a decent mom but that I thought my daughter deserved more.

    Once upon a time I realized how wrong I was.

    Nicole

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  18. Cassi -

    As a wise and seasoned mother (and now grandmother), you nailed it again. And naturally, the hyena pack in on the prowl again, too.

    JustAnotherMom said, "You don't have any facts to back up what you claim." Actually, Justanothermom, the facts are there - the adoption industry in the United States simply turns a blind eye to them because there are BILLIONS of dollars to be made in the trafficking of human flesh. $$Billions$$ All in the name of love, of course.

    The folks in Australia have access to the EXACT SAME RESEARCH we have access to in the United States, JustAnotherMom. As a country, they have figured out the adoption is WRONG unless a child is being abused or neglected (I dare say that Jill did neither of those things to her little one). Why is it taking so long for the people in the United States to come to the same conclusion? (Just a hint: It has something to do with the green stuff that exchanges hands). If you think Cassi is wrong, then perhaps you might want to address the entire Australian government as well because is Cassi is wrong, so are they.

    Like Nicole, "Once upon a time I was a mother who gave my baby away, saying that I knew I could be a decent mom but that I thought my daughter deserved more." And then I realized how wrong I was.

    Like Nicole, I hold on to hope, hope that eventually the people of the United States will realize the wrong perpetrated by a for-profit adoption system. I hope that one day, my church leaders will say about adoption what they said about blacks and the Priesthood: "Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young … or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding" (Bruce R. McConkie, former member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) and ""I think almost all of (these teachings) were inadequate and/or wrong" (Jeffery R. Holland, current member of the Council of the Twelve Apostle, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints).

    The day is coming and I hope I am alive to hear those words over the pulpit. If the incorrect dogma regarding the "mark of Cain" can be done away with in the LDS church, then certainly incorrect dogma about how to treat single mothers can be done away with as well. At that point, we can return to doing what the Bible and Jesus taught - to help the fatherless and the widows (the ancient version of single moms) as a FAMILY UNIT, not help ourselves to the fatherless.

    Carry on Cassi - keep fighting the good fight. You are an excellent mother who has walked this road much longer than any of your detractors. I know you were not attacking Jill, a woman who did the best she could with the information she had at the time. Your were merely calling out the adoption industry and their shameful use of mothers of loss to cull more babies for their billion dollar industry.

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  19. The internet has brought a voice to many of those involved with adoption. No longer are we hearing how wonderful adoption is, but how horrible it can be. I think many people are threatened that there is that voice out there and seek to silence it because it is getting louder and louder.

    Now a pregnant woman considering adoption can easily google and hear the voices of the wounded. She no longer hears only the sales pitches from adoption agencies, lawyers and those who long for another person's flesh and blood. Be afraid, be very afraid. And every time they attack you for speaking the truth, and speaking your mind they give voice to the rage inside them. The rage of "How dare you!" They may call you mentally ill, call you selfish and self absorbed but their venom questions why they are so hostile. Why are they so afraid? The reason is because it is working. The word is getting out. Keep informing, educating and supporting those who are considering adoption. Eventually perhaps ethics and morality will rule over money and the lust to claim someone elses child as their own.

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  20. The adoptoraptor adopter mommies who stalk first mother blogs and call mothers of adoption loss "mentally ill, abusive and disgusting" need to go have a long look in the mirror. They will see all of that and more staring right back at them. It is so easy for them to hide behind their computers and ABUSE us verbally, because they are a shakin in their shoes that the children they covet might see adoption for what it truly is.

    I find them to be hilarious and the idiocy they spew speaks volumes. These are the women who are adopting children. Hold onto your children very tight. Don't let women like these get their claws into them. You can read right here what is REALLY in their hearts and minds and it ain't pretty...

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  21. I started out, and I will continue - tomorrow - to respond to the comments here because there are so many good ones that should not be ignored.

    But for tonight, I just have this to say . . .

    Dear JustAnotherMom,

    Go to hell! And I mean that as respectfully and sincerely as I possibly can. It is one thing to go after me, to try and hurt me or silence me. But it is another thing all together to use my son's experience for your own gain. It takes a truly heartless soul to stoop so low!

    And as for your facts, which, honestly, you don't even deserve my time to give them to you, but here you go . . .

    FACT: Adoption counselors DO speak for adoptees by reassuring pregnant mothers that their children will be grateful and always understand they gave them up because they love them.

    FACT: Adoptees are standing up and speaking out about their OWN feelings about what it feels like to be given up for adoption and yet they face insults and ignorance because their voices don't match what the adoption industry has told us they would feel.

    FACT: Except for a handful of states, EVERY child given up by his or her mother and then adopted by others, will automatically have their equal rights denied them. They will be discriminated against for no other reason than they are adopted.

    FACT: Though adoption agencies claim otherwise, they do not and never have offered true crisis counseling. There is not now, or ever has been, any licensed psychologist in their employment who has specialized in helping pregnant women work through the crisis they are facing before ever encouraging them to make any kind of decision that will affect their life forever.

    FACT: Those that do counsel women about adoption not only have their paychecks depend on women giving away their baby, they also follow the guidelines of adoption counseling which was researched and created to find the best ways to convince a pregnant mother that giving her baby up for adoption was the best choice she could make.

    FACT: The government uses our tax dollars to fund Infant Adoption Awareness Training which is centered around teaching everyone who comes into contact with women facing crisis pregnancies how to best convince them to give up their babies for adoption.

    (Cont . . . )

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  22. FACT: LDSFS, who counseled the blog author, has the reputation of being one of most coercive when it comes to convincing women to give up their babies.

    FACT: Because of the outrageous amount of profits the industry earns, they are able to, and do, send lobbyists to Washington to fight against any laws that might provide protection for pregnant women.

    FACT: The Adoption Industry spends millions of dollars to feed society with the belief that adoption is the loving option for a mother facing a crisis pregnancy.

    FACT: The "lifetime" counseling agencies offer to First Moms encourages them to remember why they gave away their children in the first place and to continue to see it as a positive thing.

    FACT: For as much as those deeply involved in adoption want everyone to believe it is nothing but a great, "win-win-win" option, the comments here and in many other places around the internet prove otherwise.

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  23. Pity Party? Wow. Losing a living breathing child to adoption is losing a part of yourself. Saying such a thing is testament to the cold-hearted, jealous hatred you feel for the woman who lost while you gained. Such a nice, kind, empathetic, compassionate person you are. Give yourself a pat on the back. Prove to the world what you are really about. We won't need to blog and have 'pity parties' in the comment section. You are proving all by yourself all that is wrong with adoption... Keep it up, please. You are doing the world a favor.

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  24. Excellent post as always and one of the gems of blogland.
    Those of you who have been following the Australian Government Senate Inquiry into forced adoption will know that the Report was handed down yesterday.The Senators who spoke stated that adoption was callous, cruel and abusive and have made twenty recommendations for reparation for past damage and for the future good of mothers and adoptees.These findings although specifically taken from evidence from Australian adoptees and mothers, apply equally across the board to those taken for adoption in the baby scoop era and at other times in modern adoption.There will be apologies made by National and State Governments, arecognition of the damage and harm of adoption for mothers and adoptees.Adoption today is no better, sometimes worse since adoptees often lose their motherland, language, culture as well as and biological relatives.That is not in the best interests of children, family preservtion is, imaginative solutions and an end to unethical adoption practices are badly needed if the rights of children are to be respected.

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  25. And by the way Disgusting Anonymous...isn't it time you did yourself a favour and came by some real information about adoption? We're all so tired of your same old insults against mothers and no doubt adoptees if they give you an opportunity.Same old, same old, so unproductive, so untrue and so self-justifying.

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  26. Another idea has recently come to me. It does not take a lot of thought to realize that no once can guarantee or assume that a child given up for adoption is going to get a better life. Even if the PAPs put on the best show possible, no first mother can really know what her child's life will be like in a different, non-genetically related family. So maybe the issue really is that the first mother doesn't want to parent, maybe she does not want the burden of raising a child. And all this sugar and spice about doing what's best for the child is really just agency spin and first mother spin and really has nothing to do with the child. As several other commentators have written there is nothing in the article about how the child will feel about being given away. It certainly sounds better to say "I'm doing this to give my child a better life" than to say "I really don't want the responsibility of a child right now".

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  27. Barbara Thavis wrote:"None of these First Mothers ever talk about the sadness that children face by being separated from their mothers. That is the worst trauma."

    Giving up a child for adoption in most cases is not in the best interest of the child. Anyone who doesn't know that at this point with all the information that is out there is either brain dead or living in a cave. When I hear these beemommies saying the same things over and over all I can think is "the lady doth protest too much".

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  28. I don't agree with this post at all. When I was pregnant I had lots of people trying to scare me away from adoption by claiming I didn't know all the facts. If I had listened to them my daughter wouldn't have the wonderful life she has today with parents that love her and adore her.
    And I don't agree either that LDSFS is coercive. I was encouraged the whole time to decide myself what I thought was best for my baby and me and I was never pressured to do anything.
    -R-

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    1. So you're saying you don't love or adore your daughter? Wow, she's going to love hearing that someday.

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    2. That is not at all what she just said. She is saying no one held a gun to her head when making this life altering decision. Her daughter is not in an abusive home. The bottom line is that not all adoptions are the same. Not all agencies are the same. Not all pregnant women are the same. We will all have different experiences. Some are wonderful. Some are horrible. Plenty of people live with biological parents that abuse them, neglect them, say I don't love you with actual words or with actions. There will be patents that adopt that are not as well suited as we would like. There are predators who adopt. I've seen adoption mess up a friend because her mother left her at 5 years old. She is scarred by this, but it doesn't mean her life is in shambles. Kids are uniquely resilient. I also have a sister who adopted a baby 7 months ago. Birth mom did no prenatal care and acted like the baby was a tumor. She did not want to see him at all. The agency did not coerce her to be that way. Birth moms cousin was with her and trying to be an advocate for her voice. It saddens me to know that the birth mom was in this kind of state. The bottom line is that each person makes their decision. My sister loves her baby with all her heart. She is thankful to the birth mom. She sends pictures and updates to the cousin. (mom didn't want any) My nephew is as loved as any. child that would be genetically linked to her blood line. He is a first choice. He is their first child. He's not an after thought or a way to make money. They sold their new cars and got used ones to make sure she could stay home to raise him. We do need to be aware of people doing deceptive things to get a child adopted. We need more home visits (in my opinion) to secure the welfare of the child even years into an adoption. I have heard from actual experience a dr office tell a friend that abortion would bd a certain way. It convinced her that all was ok and she'd feel nothing but relief. Can a woman have those emotions? Yes. Can a woman deal differently even years later? Yes. We all deal differently. We all need to make decisions with knowledge. That's my rant. To each his own opinion, but to each their own decision made regretted or not.

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  29. Robin, I think you may have something with the statement:

    "So maybe the issue really is that the first mother doesn't want to parent, maybe she does not want the burden of raising a child."

    As a natural mother, I agree because I simply CANNOT wrap my head around a woman HAVING ALL THE FACTS about what adoption does to a person (herself, her relinquished child, her future children) and STILL think it is "for the best." Unless she *really is* an abusive crack-whore who is unsafe for her child to be around, then BEST is for a child to be raised by his mother. Period. If it was good enough for the son of God, it is good enough for my children, too.

    The only reason I can come up with to explain this new breed of birth mothers is they simply don't want to be mothers, parenting isn't convenient, and they don't want to be burdened with a child. Just like you said, if they aren't abusive, have ALL THE FACTS and then still claim adoption is in the "best interest" of the child, perhaps somehow they feel "the best interest" clause absolves them of their culpability.

    I believe most mothers WANT their children and are CAPABLE of parenting their children, but as a social science researcher, I have to accept the reality that based on the normal curve, there are going to be 1-2% of women who cannot parent (their children end up in foster care) and 1-2% of women who do not want to parent (their children end up being given away in this modern era of adoption...oh that's right, the PC language is "placed.")

    At any rate, the more I think about it, the more I am coming to the conclusion that as tragic as it is, perhaps it IS better for those children to be raised by people who ACTUALLY WANT THEM than by a mother who doesn't want them (speaking as a child raised by a man who didn't want me).

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  30. "R" - how far past "placement" are you? A couple of years? Less than eight, I would imagine. Come back and talk with us in about 20 years when you can speak with some authority about how you weren't coerced by LDSFS. Come back when you have had some time to really process what this loss means to your daughter. The truth of the matter is LDSFS adoption counseling practices are some of the most coercive in the business, regardless of what your case worker claims.

    The fact LDSFS offers you a LIFETIME of FREE counseling should be a big fat red flag that your "choice" is going to be one that you struggle with FOR A LIFE TIME. Most women need counseling across their life-span to help them cope with the loss of a child to adoption because there is no "closure" with ambiguous loss like adoption. And LDSFS and their counselors know this. What this means is even when you are old and grey, a grandmother, a great grandmother, you will still be deeply affected by the loss of your child to adoption.

    LDSFS knows adoption loss is absolutely brutal for a woman across her entire life-span, which is why they offer free lifetime counseling as part of the package. Did you realize there is NO OTHER member of the church that is offered a LIFETIME of FREE counseling by LDSFS? Not victims of abuse perpetrated by Scout leaders, not rape victims (even if their bishop is the one who raped them), not women who are beaten by their Priesthood-holding husbands or children molested by their Priesthood-holding fathers, and certainly not drug addicts or alcoholics. Only women who lose a child for adoption are afforded that "perk." Stop and let that sink in: By engaging in this practice, LDSFS is tacitly agreeing that you, R., will never completely heal from the loss of your child, even when you are a 90-year old temple worker.

    Don't think for a second the "counseling" offered by LDSFS is meant in any way shape or form to help you grieve the loss of your child, to help you deal with the ever-widening bruise on your soul. It is to keep you compliant, to keep you from thinking for yourself about what this loss means to your children - relinquished and parented. The goal and aim of LDSFS post-adoption counseling is to keep you on the plantation. How do I know? Because I have lived it, as have thousands of other LDS women. When we start speaking out about the wreckage adoption has created in our families, we are shunned and shunted to the side by our religious community. Our testimonies of Jesus Christ are called in to question, and we are told we are "bitter" and "out of touch." And then young mothers like you are admonished not to listen to adoption "detractors." You know, the ones who have been living with adoption for decades and know where the road leads.

    R, if you can honestly say you had ALL the facts and STILL chose to relinquish your child for adoption, then you and I are cut from different cloth. That being said, should you ever start to wake up from the adoption anesthesia so carefully administered by LDSFS and the LDS culture (note: I didn't say LDS doctrine), please know there are thousands of us willing to help you through the recovery process, mothers and adoptees who can help you put the shattered pieces of your heart back together again.

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  31. R,

    I hear what you are saying. And as an adoptee, your words are telling me that you wanted to give your child away. You feel that you made a conscious, well-informed decision. Which is fine if that is the truth. But I do get confused. What makes this life with your daughter's adoptive parents more wonderful, loving and adoring than the life she would have had with you? I'm not trying to start an argument. As an adult adoptee, I am genuinely curious as to what you feel this wonderful, loving, adoring life is truly like.

    Adoptive parents are not perfect. They are no better than anyone else. They face the same challenges and struggles in life which everyone deals with at certain times. Adoptive parents fall out of love, get divorced, engage in domestic violence, abuse children and lose jobs every day. There are no guarantees that adoption will provide your daughter with anything wonderful or not wonderful over the long-term. What might seem wonderful right now in this moment could be entirely different three years from now. Or it might not. There is simply no way to know for sure.

    This what so many of us object to when it comes to adoption agencies and the industry itself. You feel that your daughter has a wonderful life with parents who love and adore her. What if that scenario changes at some point over the years? What if life becomes not-so-wonderful for your duaghter? What if she ends up struggling with being an adoptee? Or what if she just plain doesn't appreciate having been placed? Did LDSFS offer any realistic counseling or guidance about the holistic adoptee experience? Or was it all about what a "wonderful" thing you were doing and how your daughter would end up with "wonderful" parents?

    If you were not provided with any information regarding the more challenging aspects of adoption or chose to ignore the possibility of negative reprecussions, then you did not make a fully informed decision. If LDSFS did not address the possible negative reprecussions of adoption for mother and child, then the counseling you received was extremely biased and focused on the agenda of the agency. Not what was truly best for you or your daughter. This would mean that the agency failed you and your daughter.

    I wish you and your daughter the best as you both move forward in this life of adoption.

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  32. All I can say to first parents like R and others is that I hope the child is as happy to have been given away... er I mean placed... as you are to have relinquished him/her. After all, adoption is all about the child. Ha ha ho ho ho.

    @Melynda,
    That idea actually came to me just as I was falling asleep one night. Although it is incredibly hard for me to believe that there are mothers who really don't want to raise their own child, we all know it is sadly true.

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  33. All I can say to first parents like R and others is that I hope the child is as happy to have been given away... er I mean placed... as you are to have relinquished him/her. After all, adoption is all about the child. Ha ha ho ho ho.

    @Melynda,
    That idea actually came to me just as I was falling asleep one night. Although it is incredibly hard for me to believe that there are mothers who really don't want to raise their own child, we all know it is sadly true.

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  34. Anon/R at 5:50 am wrote:

    "If I had listened to them my daughter wouldn't have the wonderful life she has today with parents that love her and adore her."

    Then you clearly do not love and adore her, do you? If you did you would be loving and adoring her as her mother and parent instead of as a "birthmother."

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  35. Chiming in on Melynda's excellent comments here.

    I also wonder why LDSFS offers lifetime counseling if adoption is so wonderful? I can't think of any other major life event that is thought to be wonderful (ie marriage, graduation, etc) that comes with a prescription of counseling for life.

    Just imagine - "hey, congrats on your fabulous marriage to Mr. Wonderful, here's your coupon for the lifetime of therapy that you'll need to get through this marriage with your psyche intact. And don't forget to try the free samples of Prozac!" I'd love to see that on a marriage license.


    As to this comment - "The only reason I can come up with to explain this new breed of birth mothers is they simply don't want to be mothers, parenting isn't convenient, and they don't want to be burdened with a child."

    Sadly I think Melynda is onto something here. There is something amiss about these happy beemommies. Either they just don't want to be bothered, they are narcissists seeking fame and affirmation(ala Catelynn of MTV), or they truly are would-be abusers whose kids are better off away from them.

    It's heartbreaking, but I would rather be a bitter natural mother and know that I loved my baby than to be associated with that group.

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  36. ***As a natural mother, I agree because I simply CANNOT wrap my head around a woman HAVING ALL THE FACTS about what adoption does to a person (herself, her relinquished child, her future children) and STILL think it is "for the best."***

    Hmmm . . . I can see another blog post coming out of this. I'm wondering if this, from the NCFA . . .

    **Choosing adoption enables birthmothers to see themselves in compassionate,noble and heroic terms, righting the WRONG and correcting the MISTAKE of their unplanned pregnancies.**

    Is now being taken to the extreme with social media and the ability to be praised and hailed a hero by so many. Is it possible some of these moms outright ignore the facts that are out there about how damaging adoption is because (in their current state of mind facing a crisis pregnancy) the desire or need to gain that attention is more important?

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  37. R,

    I have a question for you. Your description of them trying to scare you away from adoption - is that your own or is it one you were told by someone else?

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  38. I decided to "do" the online NCFA counselling course (it is free).

    The counselling itself seems very much about making sure the emom ends up feeling that she herself is unimportant to her child - that what she feels for her child is in no way reciprocated by her child. It is also not just that she is made to feel that she doesn't deserve her child - she is made to feel that her child doesn't deserve someone like her eg "look at you, do you think any kid in their right mind would want YOU when they could have THIS?".

    They end up taking themselves so out of the picture that they don't realise that they are just as entitled to be in that picture as anyone else.

    No-one tells them either that they are, in effect, placing us adoptees in an unnatural position of being born into one family and being raised by another - not a position that any child would actually ask for. APs when your child is saying to you "i wish you had given birth to me, mommy", they are not saying to so much because they love you but because they are saying "I wish I'd been like the majority of popele and just have one mother and father - this having a birthmother and father and adoptive mother and father is doing my head in". Of course, many adoptees are just going to end up thinking of only their APs as their "only" family because it is their way of coping with the situation. We adult adoptees who actually care about our first family as human beings as well as our APs are then considered the maladjusted ones.

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  39. In regards to "grief counselling" - this is a document from the NCFA's training scheme:

    http://reformadoption.com/Advocacy/InfantAdoptionTraining/AdoptionPracticesInTheHumaneWorld.pdf

    An excerpt:

    "Whenever we do the right thing as we see it, whenever we are true to conscience, even our sacrifices are moral acts. Moreover, in the humane world, we do not see ourselves as victimized by life, but as able to meet injustices, setbacks, surprises—even losses—with a confidence borne of living true to our beliefs. Thus, the same event—making an adoption plan—can be experienced in the humane or inhumane world. But there is one more key to why this is so. The self-betraying grief associated with an adoption is rarely a sign that we have gone against our conscience in the sense that we should have kept the child. Rather, the self-betraying feelings are more likely symptoms of having pitted our own self-concerns against our concerns for the other.

    By making ourselves the center of the decision, we have created a set of rationalizations and griefs that justify us as a good person, in spite of having “given our child away” instead of as a compassionate humane person who was willing to think first about what was right for or best for the child. In other words, we substituted some form of self-concern for a genuine concern for the other.

    When I am betraying myself, everything is about me. As a person going against conscience, I seek to justify myself, and I experience rationalizations. When a person who has chosen adoption simply regrets and rethinks the act, and even years later is still grieving, what is going on? Generally, ongoing, victimized, seemingly helpless suffering, suggests an inordinate concern for self. This is way beyond healthy self-esteem, or taking care of yourself, or whatever. If I were to grieve in a victimized way for years, it could be a way of reminding everyone that I am a victim."

    So there you are first moms - apparently you're grieving because you are self-centred!

    No wonder the agencies are happy to provide "grief" counselling - if a first mom actually went to an unbiased counsellor who actually cared about them as human beings and truly allowed to come to terms wih their grief, they might realise what had been done to them.

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  40. "So there you are first moms - apparently you're grieving because you are self-centered!"

    Yes, how dare we grieve for losing a very part of ourselves. What nerve we have!

    In other words, shut up, go away and suck it up. No one cares. You were had, now go away and die for all we care...

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  41. And let me add a new dimension of Hell to all those considering placing your child up for adoption.

    How would you like your minor child to find you. Find her natural family and beg you "Please can't you get me back?" While you are left on the side lines watching her suffer a life of confusion and sadness while she lives adoption with a "family" that she is not bonded to, is not loved by and is not happy with.

    When you have all the love, all the means to parent her and give her a better life. But the adoptive parents view her as a possession and you as a threat.

    Do not believe for a minute with the internet that your child will not find you some day. And you might not like finding out your "loving decision" has not turned out to be so loving and rosy after all.

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  42. LOLOLOL at R. Good holy God, If women REALLY knew what relinquishing a child would do to them and their child, NO ONE WOULD EVER RELINQUISH A CHILD. Period.

    LDS and the entire state of Utah (LDS) are the most coercive, fraudulent people involved in the adoption industry. Wake up, women, and think for yourselves! Adoption is abnormal and is NOT what God wants. Babies want their natural mothers and fathers, not strangers with things.

    Good job, Cassi, you nailed it again!! <3 The truth has a way of bringing the uglies out in people, doesn't it? It scares them, because it hits them way too close to home.

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  43. Fabulous post yet again Cassi!

    As Linda writes above ~ if it was possible to truly know what life is like as a mother without her child or also what life is like to grow up adopted, no one would ever again relinquish a child.

    I'm willing to bet that the majority of these mothers speaking out on behalf of the adoption industry would not have "chosen" adoption if they had been able to truly know what this life was going to be like. Now that the ink is dry on their signatures, they have to believe in what they are saying in order to go on with their lives without their children.

    Sadly, these mothers will not only one day realize and have to come to terms with what they have done to themselves and their children ~ they will also have to deal with their part in tearing apart of more families through their public adoration and encouragement of adoption.

    As for all the mean & ugly comments you are getting on this post ~ they are strong proof of the truth that is in your writing. Your truth speaks against all that they want/need to believe about adoption. They are nothing more than attempts to "put you in your place", to silence you, to scare all of us speaking out about the truths in adoption back into the closet. So carry on Cassi ~ keep up your brilliant writing!

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  44. My daughter is 24 yrs old and 6 months pregnant.The father is 27 and wanted her to abort and she would not and now he has told her she will get nothing but a hard time from him. He doesn't want anything to do with her or his son. His last gf had a abortion. My daughter who was living with us gave into his commands of adoption and they visited someone in california last month. We live in Va. Most of our family is heartbroken. this would be our first grandchild. My husband and I have been happily married for 25 yrs and offered to help her with lawyers, living expenses and paying for nursing school. Since flying out and meeting the parents she feels she is "invested" in the people who want to adopt. They were there for 4 days.We also have 2 other children a 21 yr old and a 8 yr old boy and the 8 yr old will not understand were this baby has gone. He has many friends who have had siblings lately and he will actually be an uncle but to him it means he is no longer the baby and there will be another child at the house. We are lost. It's not our decision to make but, we want to try and give her the best advice we can.....she has become distant to the baby and will not even let us touch her stomach. She moved in with her grand mother and father (hubbys parents) so we weren't in the middle of all the drama between her and the ex....its just healthy for our 8 yr old. Now she is talking about moving into an apartment she can't afford and has made statements about birthparents paying for nursing school and apartment. She is covered under our insurance so the health expense is covered. We have paid the $1500 in co payments. Does anyone have any advice? ..........................heartbroken and despondent grandmother to be..

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    1. Pam, I am so very sorry for what you and your family are going through - most of allyour daughter and her unborn baby. Please ask your daughter to research the effects of adoption on her and her child. Adoption is not the rosy happy story they talk about in the agencies however she will be sold a song and dance about how wonderful it is.

      I understand she feels invested in these people - she isn't though and needs to know they are actually invested in her as she has what they desperately want. She is this child's mother, she has the right to want to keep this baby. Are you able to apply to adopt the baby if she wants the child adopted? I have no idea what the laws are over there - things here in Australia are very different. I hope you have emailed Cassi - she is brilliant and has contacts with many people all over the States who could possibly help you out. If you would like to email me too for some more support, please feel free as well (myst1998@hotmail.com). Hoping with everything out there that this will not go ahead.
      Take care,
      Myst xxx

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  45. Oh Pam. I am going to immediately put this as a new post on my blog and I am going to share it everywhere I can to hopefully get you some help.

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  46. Cassi, I have heard a lot about you lately! Mostly good. I just want you to know that I am so glad you are here offering the truth of adoption. I have just seen your blog for the first time today, and will be catching up. :) This is a wonderful post! And hit some nerves, I see. Great job!!!

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