Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hate In My Heart

I have come to know so many First Moms in my years fighting for Adoption Reform, Adoptee Rights, and even Father’s rights.  Some I consider my greatest friends.  Wonderful allies in this knock-down, painful world of adoption and the fight to change it. 

Then there are those who I often disagree with.  Believe are playing right into the coercion and manipulation the adoption industry seeks.  Pushing and encouraging more vulnerable, pregnant mothers into giving up their babies to make themselves feel better for their own experiences.

And though it’s no secret that I am often frustrated and angry with these First Moms, I also have an understanding, in my heart and mind, of what they have gone through.  I know the counseling they’ve had.  The messages they’ve received from society.  I can understand, on a level, why they do what they do.  Why it’s so important to them to push adoption as some wonderful thing that creates only happiness for everyone involved.
But, as I was reminded yesterday, there is yet another group of First Moms.   Those I find myself having no care, concern or understanding for.  Who push me beyond anger into hatred.  Of who they are, what they have done to their children.

It struck me yesterday, just how differently I feel for these particular First Moms. 

Though, for me, it was easy since I’m already in Colorado, so many traveled from all over to support Rob Manzanares in his years long fight for his sweet little girl . . . since before she was ever born.  And in those hours I spent there at the courthouse, from the rally before to the actual hearing, I saw and witnessed so much love and pain mixed together in the faces of not only Rob, but the other fathers fighting for their children who had come to support one of their own.

I saw the bonds they formed from the heartache they shared.   Realized, even more, the hell they live through every day they are denied their own children.  Their flesh and blood.  Theirs sons and daughters who they refuse to give up on, regardless of hard it becomes.
And to see how kind and caring Rob is.  To hear in his voice how much he loves his daughter.  To be witness to the pain that is with him every day.  The loss he suffers.  It truly is something that hits you so hard about the horror these fathers are forced to face for no other reason then they are being denied their rights to their children.

It’s something I can’t even imagine how they live through.  How they face the next day.  Keep going with such a terrible loss weighing them down.

But they do it.  And not only do they do it, but they turn around and offer support and love to others who are facing the same struggles.

To see that . . . feel it . . . and then, for the first time, actually be in the physical presence of a First Mom who holds blame for creating such loss and heartache for a father and child, it was an experience I will never forget.

It made me realize, whether right or wrong, just how differently I feel toward First Moms who create such horrors for their children and the fathers fighting for them.  How I can have love, or at least understanding for the majority of moms, regardless of agreements or disagreements.  But also can actually have a hatred in my heart for a select few.  For those who are a continuing part of denying their own child their right to be with their father. 

As I walked by the First Mom in Rob’s case – the very one who used so much deception and lies to deny him the right to keep and raise his daughter – as I looked her in the eye, all I felt was contempt for this woman looking back at me. 

I wanted to confront her.  Tell her she was an insult to so many First Moms.  An embarrassment to even be considered a part of us.  I wanted to smack her.  Shake her until she finally realized the hell she was responsible for.

And I wanted to demand she tell me why . . .

Why did she feel like she had a right to deny Rob and her daughter the chance to be together?

Why did she believe it was okay to use such outrageous deceit to make sure he was left with no choice but to face so many terrible years fighting for his little girl?

And why was she still a part of fighting him?  Still having an active hand in hurting her daughter by doing all she still can to deny her a true and full relationship with her father?

How could any mother be a part of causing such terrible harm to her own child?  How could she continue to cause that harm, year after year?

I’m not naïve.  I’m not blind.   I know how the industry works to deny a father his rights.  I know what they encourage vulnerable, pregnant mothers to do in order to get around those pesky fathers who want to keep and raise their children.

I know the counseling is good and strong.  I’ve been through it.  Was caught under the weight of it for many years.  Fathers are represented as unreliable.  Unfit for their children.  Scare tactics are used so vulnerable, pregnant mothers are left to feel as if they will never be able to count on the father.  Suggestions are made so they view him as the one being selfish for even considering wanting to keep and raise his child.

I do get that.   I also understand how some mothers are left to feel as if they not only have no choice but to give up their baby.  But also have no choice but to fear the father being involved because of the suggested “bad things” that will happen.

But there are those situations where any understanding or care ends.   Situations such as in Rob and his fight for his sweet daughter.  Trent and his battle.  Brandon and his.  And so many, MANY more.

Because when a father is breaking himself, tearing himself apart as the fight continues.  When he makes it clear, over and over again, he wants his child and the only response from the First Mom is “too bad” it takes it to another level all together.

It’s beyond the counseling one might have gotten.  Beyond the fear of the father walking away.   The belief that it was best to give up one’s baby.

It’s seeing the pain, the heartache you are causing (whether through coercion or not) and not giving one damn about it.  It’s being a part of continuing the fight rather than joining it for your own child.  It’s the horrible loss you are refusing to see or acknowledge you are causing your own child who has a father fighting for her.  Wanting nothing more than to raise and love her.  A right every child has!

It’s sitting in a courtroom in downtown Denver, hearing the judges acknowledge the fraud you committed to steal a daughter from her fit and loving father and still fighting to justify the hell you created.  It’s about refusing to help your own child but instead continuing to do all you can to deny her of so much.

How can any mother be a witness to how hard a father is fighting for his child, look into the eyes of their own child, and still continue to fight against it?

How can these mothers, any one of them, justify what they are a part of?  How will they later explain it to their children that they were a part of them being kept from their own fathers who were fighting so hard for them.

How will they ever be able to look in the eyes of their own son or daughter and say, “I denied you the right to be with your father.  I fought for years to keep you apart because I believed I had more say and decided you should suffer the loss adoption brings rather than being spared such a loss by being raised and loved by your own flesh and blood?”

How will they ever be able to make it right after all they have done?