Monday, May 9, 2011

Tackling the tough questions [for me]

Last week my two posts on ‘adoption as an option’ located here and here resulted in some high reader traffic as well as some facebook dialogue and private e-mails. I must say I enjoyed the civility and honest opinions and questions that came about because of what I had written What I want to do today is to provide some of my thoughts in regards to questions or ponderings that have come about since then. I am not doing this post to make fun of great questions, commentaries, nor ponderings that have made themselves known to me through comments or private messages, I am doing this post because adoption is complex and I don’t think one really grasps that until there are honest posts about different subjects within adoption. I also think that many questions or statements were done with no malicious thoughts, ergo why I’m really proud to say that I have some great friends and online friends…you guys rock!

There are also typical stereotypes that come from either Lifetime movies or Law & Order episodes, or sensational news items which then many people take and generalize to all adoption families or scenarios. Here are my thoughts to the questions that followed....

What about in situations where a single mother kept her baby and then the baby entered foster care because the mother wasn’t ready to be a mom? Wouldn’t it have been better for a woman to have considered adoption?

What a point blank observation/question and a hard one at that! Thank you to a couple of people who asked in both an open way and a private way. My thoughts on this question are that we as human beings have choices in life. Every option is a choice….to have sex or not to have sex. If one becomes pregnant, whatever your beliefs are, your choices are to a) have an abortion b) consider adoption c) parent the child.

Without rhyme or reason, I’ve personally seen and read about women with horrible pasts and literally not have any knowledge about resources become completely changed by a pregnancy and for the sake of the child “turn around” and persevere through unthinkable odds. I’ve seen and witnessed women who have had a crappy childhood and just repeat the cycle. However, my first phrase is that there is no rhyme or reason why some continue the cycle and some rise up and overcome. Without going into platitudes of “who are we to decide who will persevere and who will not” it is still a mystery because of personal choice. So I leave it up to women to make their own choices. Unfortunately because we do live in a fallen world (my belief system) some women will not choose wisely and the state intervenes.

I will reiterate though that the state doesn’t put a child in an adoptive home or foster/adoptive home with the initial thought being adoption. Reunification is always the primary goal and the state will give parents programs to attend, resources, and job/work help in order to help parents overcome and continue parenting in a healthy way. It’s only after everything has been tried that the decision is made for them.

What about the fact that sometimes it seems as though adoptive parents are beat over the head with guilt over being happy over parenting our children?

I am so not a fan of parenting out of a place of guilt. If one can’t tell from random posts I put on my blog. I am the queen of cheesiness when it comes to my child. I am very happy parenting her and my everyday life is not filled with “woe is me, I need to ponder the sadness of Tigger’s mother every second of the day” type thoughts. It really isn’t. The point of my blogging and bringing up adoption issues every so often is to show how some things are really borne out of grief and loss. Yes parenting my child brings me joy, no I don’t have guilt over that, however, I do respect that there was loss associated with adoption and depending on how Tigger sorts it out in her mind, I need to respect that sometimes adoption feelings may not be all rosy and peachy with her in the future.

As moms there are plenty of ‘mommy wars’ to gear up to make us feel guilty. Did we breastfeed or not, are we SAHM or Work outside of the home moms, did we have fertility issues or not. There will always be nasty stuff out there to deal with as a mom. I don’t advocate parenting from a place of guilt. When we do, that’s when parenting mistakes that shouldn’t have been made ARE made (and I’m not talking about mistakes that we all will do throughout our lifetime). If one feels that they are having negative feelings or feelings of guilt and are having a hard time parenting, I would respectfully put it out there that maybe some short term counseling is needed. Not because one is a failure, but because sometimes an outside opinion is warranted and truly helpful in the long run. Our children deserve parents that parent…..not a parent that is guided by guilt or any other places of pain whatever that may be.

Is adoption really that complex?

This question was really asked out of curiosity, not with malice. I didn’t used to think so. I was wrong. I’m ok with knowing I was very naïve about it when I was younger. Some online friends of mine have always said that it’s tiresome to explain that they love their mom and dad (adoptive parents) yet they want adoption reform and will fight for that….because they will get classified as ‘angry’ about adoption and their upbringing must have been just awful. They say over and over again that it’s quite possible to hope for reform and fight for ethics in adoption and search for birth family without having ill feelings or loving their adoptive families any less.

I can see where they are coming from. I can be quite cheesy and I love my daughter with intensity and still grieve her loss without it canceling out my feelings of joy in having her as my daughter. Having these two feelings do not interfere with each other. They are what they are.

That is all for today. I received a doosie of a question that needs its own post. I hope these thoughts have been helpful in some way. Maybe gets more dialogue or thinking going on.

I’ll say it again….I have the best friends both in real life and online a gal could ask for!

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