Monday, August 25, 2008

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

I am neither a statistician nor a math wizard, but I am fascinated with numbers. The numbers that have been constantly rolling around in my head of late are the estimated total number of the Mother’s of coerced adoption surrender era. I will just call it (MOCAS).

Between the years of 1940 to 1970 it is estimated that up to four million mothers in the United States surrendered newborn babies to adoption in those years; two million during the 1960s alone.

If you are one of these statistics don't you think now is the time for the mind-boggling numbers of women, where ever you are, to please come forward and speak out.

It is time to kick the guilt and the 'brand' of shame that we all carry to the curb.

I am imploring all of you to be more open about it. Talk openly and often about your lack of belief in the adoption system from your perspective and why. Come out of the adoption loss fog and let people know who you really are.

Today another natural/first mother told me, " my house it was the “elephant”......first, a soft gray and silent, just sitting there, easy to walk around and ignore. As the years went by, the elephant began taking on a pink hue & kind of getting in the way. By the time my daughter found me the damn thing was FUSCIA, and ZOOOOOOMING at the speed of light around the room.

"Once I let out the “dirty little secret”, I flew off on that pink elephant, never to return."

For me it was the sleeping dog, or the dead dog on the table. It stunk to high heaven, but by god no one was going to say a word. Thanks Linda for reminding me again why we ALL need to give a big ole shout out! Time to dump the dog and the elephant or what ever it was you called it in your family, because I am sure we all experienced it.

I know some of you are asking why would you want to do such a thing? The upside of prejudice against us mothers speaking out about the truth of EMS/BSE is that MOCAS isn't an identity worn on the outside for all to see, like race or gender. MOCAS can be invisible as such, if they so choose. But I'm not so sure that really constitutes an upside: Invisibility has its benefits, perhaps, but the costs are far greater.

If we do not speak out now how will progress in ordinary, basic human respect get done? I think a huge portion of the progress will have to do with openness. The "silence = death" campaign against EMS, and countless personal choices by many individual women to be open about their own identities will hopefully create an atmosphere where we the women of that time period are no longer invisible.

As ignorance breeds fear, knowledge breeds acceptance. The only way to undermine the knee-jerk reaction of the truth so many people seem to have about us is to let the world know that we no longer have anything to fear by speaking up .

Only if together we throw off the stifling cloak of invisibility and come out in the open for all to see do we have any chance of altering those prejudiced perceptions of MOCAS and of overcoming people's ungrounded assumptions about who MOCAS are.

Besides, you know you often find the closet dark and stifling, however comfortable its protection may be on occasion.

So, please come out, come out, where ever you are. Please stand up and be accounted for and join our numbers. Together we are formidable.

= 139,676,498,390

Member of SMAAC

Senior Mothers of Coerced Adoption Surrender

Empowered, Wiser and Demanding Justice!

Side bar:
Someone said that the name of our organization, SMAAC, sounded "angry." Well Gee...Ya think?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

No, Hell No, and No Fing Way

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I recently read an excellent blog from another natural/first mother Robin Westbrook (Motherhood Deleted) about an adopter who said that, " the reuniting of her adoptee with the natural mother was "her worst nightmare"

And well it should be. Especially now when our babies, who are now grown adults with families of there own, have decided to find their birth mothers.

However, now the adopters have to play their last trump card, ' guilt'. Accusing their adopted child of being disloyal, and ungrateful for having been rescued by them from the menacing adoption propaganda, the impending trip to the orphanage. Already piled with grief over their mother's loss, our adult children are now being told they are ungrateful?

Our babies that had no more choice then we did. They did not ask this family to take them in and raise them, all they ever wanted were their mommies, the women who gave birth to them, the person who already had a bond with them.

So our precious infants adjusted, tried to trust and function in their new created families.

Most were denied validation for their feelings of being misplaced or lost, but instead were told the fairy tale story of how they came to be adopted. How they were special, a gift, gods will, a blessing.

The actual events were rarely talked of if at all. Our children grew and learned that no one wanted to hear how they felt. "Don't be sad, its your birthday." "But where is my real mother?" "I am your real mother now". "Come on lets go cut the cake and sing happy birthday." As my child begins to cry and runs to his room to be alone with his pain.

How dare them treat our children with such sickening disinterest.

But of course, it was not really about the baby/child's best interest, no, it was all about them, about how unselfish they were to take in someone else's bastard child, what big hearts and generous spirits don't you think?

I cannot begin to describe how that rankles my very being. They took our babies for their own, were praised for raising them, and held in high esteem for their sacrifices. Oh p-l-e-a-s-e! Do not even attempt to tell me that they did not know where the babies came from, I am not stupid nor a fool. They have always known but chose to feign ignorance to have what they could not have, a baby. They suffered not, but gained from our suffering. And our children suffered more.

Ah ~ now fast forward 30 or 40 years and our children who were never ever validated by the adopters as having feelings and a grievance for being adopted are now told they are being ungrateful?.

Well, me thinks it is the adopters who are being ungrateful. Geese give it up fakers, they were never your babies and they never will be. It is their right as human beings to find their own. You have had them all these years as yours, and now it is our turn to have a few years with them before we leave this earth.

And before adopters go off on the "after all we have done for you", perhaps it is time for you to tell our children thank you for allowing themselves to be raised with total strangers. Time to pay the fiddler.

NO, No and hell no, I am not buying it.
Feigning ignorance only makes you look worse.

SMAAC Member
Senior Mothers of Coerced Adoption Surrender
Empowered, Wiser and Demanding Justice!

EMS (Era of Mass Surrenders*TM)
Someone said that the name of our organization, SMAAC, sounded "angry." Well Gee...Ya think?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Can we just stop pretending?

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We all come into the world with experiences. For many adoptees it is a early experience of loss, the loss of birth family. With this comes, a need to understand and make sense of why this experience happened. Sometimes there is a nagging question of whether something is wrong with them. It is a natural fear that without knowing why or how this happened, it could occur again and the fear of what it would be like to be alone.
Adoption practice, in attempting to soften the loss experience has tried to alter the reality. It has tried to omit the harshness by focussing on the experience of being chosen by a new family. It has created beliefs that one could forget that early experience with enough love in a new family It put forth a belief that children raised in an adoptive family would develop in the same way as children born into families. It said the early connection and role of the birth family could be ignored and that young, unwed mothers would be happier not attempting to parent their babies. As the numbers of adult adoptees searching for their birth mothers increases and many birth mothers are stating that they did not feel they had any other options, we are slowly having to face the limitations of these beliefs.
As a society we are often unsure and sometimes uncomfortable about how to grieve losses and are uncomfortable with things which are different. The historic approach to adoption has tended to edit out the loss and difference and focus solely on the joy of the new family. The truth is that it is not possible to omit such powerful and important realities so they become secrets and unexpressed emotions which affect everyone involved.
This means that perhaps we need to rethink our basic understanding of adoption.
Adoption means that when we lose someone very important to us at any time, it has some profound effects on us. When it happens when you are really tiny, it's harder to understand the effects, the lack of continued connection means that you did not have the opportunities you needed to understand your loss and your experience.
For adoptees this missing information and foundation can leave them guessing how they fit into this world. Without this "nascent connection", a solid understanding of their self can be missing. Without this "nascent
connection", their sense of where they fit and belong can be hard to achieve.
Keeping secrets, pretending something did not happen when it did, omitting parts of stories and truths can leave them with the feeling that something is missing or something is wrong.

What if we just stopped pretending that we are ALWAYS doing it with the best interest of the child in mind. What if we stopped pretending that lies, secrets, and denial are a good thing. What if we stopped telling adoptees to feel lucky and grateful, but instead said, "Tell me your truth, I am ready to listen?"

Monday, August 18, 2008

let sleeping dogs lie?

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To "let sleeping dogs lie" is to avoid restarting old conflicts. Revisiting an old conflict is like waking a sleeping dog; we are better not to do it.

Oh yeah, well I say 'Hell No' too. The time has finally come to stand up and be counted among the half a million mothers who had their babies taken from them for no other reason then the fact that they were young and unwed during the
EMS (Era of Mass Surrenders*TM). We were forsaken by our families, the church, the social workers and the system. Our civil rights were violated and we were robbed of our children. We were told to get on with our lives as our 'shameful secrets' were conviently and systematically swept under the rug. And that is where the sleeping dog has been lying for decades.
No ~ today the sound of our silence will be replaced with a loud roar of indigntion and resolve. Our day has been a long time coming, but it is indeed coming.

Member of
Senior Mothers of Coerced Adoption Surrender
Empowered, Wiser and Demanding Justice!

The Elephant in the room

The Elephant In The Room

There's and elephant in the room. It is large and squatting, so it is hard to get around it. Yet we squeeze by with "How are you?" and "I'm fine… And a thousand other forms of trivial chatter. We talk about the weather. We talk about work. We talk about everything else… Except the elephant in the room. We all know it is there. We are thinking about the elephant as we talk together. It is constantly on our minds. For, you see, "it" is a very big elephant. It has hurt us all. But we do not talk about the elephant in the room. Oh, please, can we give it a name. Oh, please can we say "it" again. Oh, please, let's talk about the elephant in the room. For if we talk about it's death, Perhaps we can talk about it's life. Can I say "it's" name" to you and not have you look away: For if I cannot, then you are leaving me alone… in a room… with an elephant with no name.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


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One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways