All Parenting Groups Suck – Including This One; When Adoption Spills Into Real Life and No One is Educated

I was added to a “parenting” group several months back by a birthmom acquaintance. It seemed to be a pretty cool group. They were “woo-free” which means nothing not scientifically proven. They believed in trigger warnings and seemed pretty feminist and non-judgmental.  Until today.  A member, Monique, posted a screenshot of a private message her friend had sent asking about the adoption of Monique’s oldest child. The friend was considering surrogacy and seemed to have adoption and surrogacy confused. The member, Monique LeFave-Borden, seemed exremely pissed that this friend would dare say “give up” instead of “placed” in regards to her child.  Looks like the adoption industry does a good job of propagating their propaganda even in a “woo-free” group. Lots of woo going on with adoption in this group. I interjected with my opinion and was told “NOT ALL!” Of course., That’s always the answer. Its a stupid answer. If I told you to wear your seat belt when driving in the car to remain safe in case of an accident would the appropriate response be, “NOT ALL people get in accidents and need seat belts.” Apply here.

Anywho, I gave my sage wisdom <insert sarcasm here> about my general thoughts on the adoption industry. Gave my credentials since this was NOT an adoption related group. I needed to back up my claims with beef. I got one adopted person in that group saying “thanks for making me feel like a commodity.” Another one referred me to rule number 1 of the group rules.  The rule (I would have screen shot that if I had had time before being booted and blocked) was basically don’t be an asshole and be willing to learn. I guess that only applies to people who think adoption is great. Because these people were certainly being an asshole about MY lived experiences and they certainly weren’t willing to learn anything other than what our culture has brainwashed them to believe their whole lives.

Miss “Not All” even said, “well that’s not my story.” I wanted to rebuttal, well your story doesn’t really matter. Your child’s does and you can’t speak for your child. But I didn’t get a chance.  The name of the group is “All Parenting Groups Suck – Except For This One.” Except this one does, too, apparently suck. Suck big time balls. I was silenced, yet again, for speaking my truths, the truths of countless others. I’m sure there’s adoptive parents in the group unwilling to look at themselves in the mirror and say, “I wanted a baby, I bought a baby, and I’m gonna keep telling myself I was saving a child who needed a home.” But, “woo-free” ya’ll. Uh huh.  They didn’t let me stick around to talk about facts.  Facts like adoptees being FOUR TIMES more likely to attempt suicide. Not because adoptees have something inherently wrong with them. Probably because their brainwashed adoptive and birth parents refuse to listen to anything other than woo and continue to silently damage them while the adoptee is too scared to say how they really feel. But, ya know, “woo-free” group! Yay!

So here I am bitching about it. Maybe warning others. A trigger warning if you must. Like all the trigger warnings people require in this group if you’re talking about falling down on the ground while holding your infant and people laughing at you. Yes, someone actually chastised a member the other day for not putting a trigger warning when she was venting about how she fell down while holding her 6 month old and people laughed at her. But lets sit and spout adoption propaganda positive adoption language all day long and not give a fuck who it might trigger, right? I’ll leave  you with the screen shots. I’m the only one whose name is blocked out.

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Woo

YOU CAN SEE THEY’RE STARTING TO TAG ADMINS NOW. I APPARENTLY COMMITTED AN ATROCITY BY DEFYING THE ADOPTION NARRATIVE SOCIETY HAS BEEN FEEDING THEM.

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I’ll leave you with a list of admins:

ADMINS

ADMINS OF “ALL PARENTING GROUPS SUCK – EXCEPT THIS ONE” EXCEPT THIS ONE SUCKS EVEN MORE THAN OTHER ONES BECAUSE I’VE STATED THESE SAME THINGS IN OTHER GROUPS AND HAVE BEEN CHALLENGED BUT NEVER SILENCED SO SWIFTLY.

PS – Jessica, don’t try to silence me again. I’ll just take my thoughts here to get them out to the whole wide world. This really raises my blood pressure, sweetie.  Bless your heart.

Edit: Jessica has since changed her name on Facebook to Jes Mill. Here is a link to her profile since she’s now attempting to hide: https://www.facebook.com/100000502802495

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Creating a Family: Talk About Infertility and Douche Canoes

I’ve been sitting on this post for several days. I wasn’t quite sure why I wanted so badly to blog about something that happened. In hindsight, it seemed trivial. It seemed like it was just drama-stirring and I couldn’t justify doing it for any other reason except to get revenge. So, this not being a good enough reason to publicly expose something, I sat on it. I stewed. I couldn’t let it go and finally I asked myself why what happened had bothered me so badly. After taking a couple of days to evaluate the “why,” I have come to the conclusion that this post is not about revenge, at all. It is about the bigger picture and the fallacy that “adoption isn’t like that anymore.”

Let me explain.

There exists this group on Facebook. It is the support group for the accompanied website and non-profit. It welcomes all those affected by adoption or those facing infertility. It is a very large group. For some time, when I entered, I just sat back and listened. Mostly adoptive or hopeful adoptive parents post in this group. It intrigued me to hear their thoughts. What I found was that my stereotypes of ALL adoptive parents were wrong. They aren’t all bad eggs. There were some truly awesome adoptive parents in there and it gave me the courage to start sharing my truths and giving my input, when appropriate. Mostly, my input was not met with strong opposition, but sometimes it was. There were some adoptive parents that didn’t like what I had to say. I would make my point, respectfully, and move along. I actually began to have a little bit of faith in the adoption reform movement and it was nice to see a few adoptive parents seeking my honest opinions and truths, taking them to heart, and applying them in their lives AS adoptive parents. How refreshing, right?

Until it wasn’t refreshing anymore. Until many other first moms began to speak up with their truths, their hurts, their opinions. This group that I thought was so progressive and open turned out to be just like the rest. Maybe even worse. It seems a couple of family preservation opinions, from first moms, were easily tolerated, but when there were several many members didn’t like it. Let me be perfectly clear – none of the posts I have ever seen were ever disrespectful to anyone in the group. No name calling, no threats, no dismissiveness. They were simply stating their truths as women who have relinquished children to adoption. A couple of them were also adopted (which should be the loudest voice that anyone is listening to).

One morning I started seeing posts in various support groups that several first mom and first mom/adoptee members had received an odd message from the owner of this support group. They had been informed that they had been removed from the group for their own good. “It’s too triggering for you to be in there so we removed you.” Some didn’t get messages at all, they were just booted.

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So, you may be asking yourself why I’m making a blog post about some first moms getting booted from a mixed infertility group….now you see my hesitance to even write this.

Here’s why.

Our truths, our voices, are tolerated as long as they aren’t too loud or don’t make anyone uncomfortable. As soon as those voices become too loud or make the “entitled” or “privileged” (see adoptive and hopeful adoptive parents) feel uncomfortable then our voices are removed. This infuriates me because this is what society has been doing to us for years and years and years.  Now, make that a double whammy for the first moms who were removed that were also adoptees! The little faith I was beginning to gain back, thinking that there really were adoptive parents who “got it,” was, again, gone.

I had not been booted from the group, but didn’t feel like I should really say too much anymore in case I might be. I sat and I watched. Over the next couple days I saw some more first moms speaking their truths. I saw a post by a man named Joe Tipton, in regards to the removal of all those people previously mentioned. He went on and on about how great it was that those “troublemakers” were removed. He even included the hashtag #dontbeadouce and #douchecanoe to his post. In other words, the troublemakers were the first moms and adoptees that were speaking their truths and honestly, respectfully, advising members in the group. The owner of this group gushed about her crush on Joe. Comments began popping up in the thread about how they should make t-shirts for the group saying “Don’t be a douche.”  He made sure to tag his child’s first mom and rave about how great she was. He also made sure everyone was aware that his wife was a moderator of the group. Of course, his child’s first mom commented on the post. She gushed about how great he was and how privileged she was to carry “their” baby and how happy she was to give said baby to them. An adoptee chimed in and warned that if her first mom had said she was HAPPY to give her up that would have hurt really bad.

What ensued afterwards was a shit show, to say the least. Joe threw out many vulgar comments. He called first moms, that were commenting, douches and douche canoes. He did the same to a few adoptees. He felt he was “protecting” his child’s birthmom.  I’m not quite sure what she needed protection from…the thoughts of an adoptee? A warning because the adoptee didn’t want her child to feel hurt if she said the same thing to him? Maybe Joe needed to protect his own interests. His child’s first mom was lovestruck, to say the least, with Joe. The back and forth comments became a little uncomfortable as Joe and his child’s first mom talked to each more like intimate partners than adoptive parent-birth parent. I digress.

After several people were called douches (or some other form of the word), their thoughts dismissed, and voices squashed, by Joe (remember, these are first moms and adoptees), posts began popping up for a moderator to stop him. It was really a long tirade of vulgarity, to say the least. He just kept going. Eventually the thread was closed.

For first moms and adoptees to get booted for sharing their opinions and truths, respectfully, without calling anyone names, because the group was “too triggering” was one thing. For this guy to go on a disrespectful, vulgar tirade, and NOT get removed was another thing.

I waited to see if he would be removed. After the mass exodus of my friends and acquaintances in adoption land new rules were posted there. One of them specifically stated to show respect and not call names. Joe was clearly in violation of this rule. Yet, he remained in the group for hours after his tirade…as well as all his douche-y posts and comments.

I had enough. It made me sick to my stomach that all of these first moms and adoptees had been victimized by this group of people. I was not going to allow myself to become a victim with them. Society has done enough to us already, we don’t need some infertility and adoption group carrying the torch.

Before I left I posted a goodbye letter. I know, I know…I hate when people do that too. I couldn’t help myself. The hypocrisy was driving me insane!!

After I left, Joe WAS removed. But, it was temporary. Today they let him back in.

I guess its okay to call people douche bags, douche canoes, and other names when you don’t like their truths or their opinions in that group. Especially if the owner has a crush on the dude doing it and his wife is a moderator. I guess its NOT okay to share your truths as an adoptee or first mom if it makes too many adoptive or hopeful adoptive parents uncomfortable. So much for this great progressive group, huh?

I am SO sick and fucking tired of adopters controlling the narrative. This is how they do it! Every. Single. Fucking. Time. This is why I was outraged. It wasn’t really about making their group “safe” or removing people who were being too triggered. If that was the case the guy who called multiple people horribly nasty misogynist names would have been removed as well. Permanently.

Before Joe’s removal he even made ANOTHER post about his name-calling. It was a “sorry not sorry” post in which he continues to call those he disagrees with douches again. It remained up in the group for quite some time – until they purged everything. In the comments of this post, another moderator tells him that he may get booted from the group but “it will only be temporary.” Because, you know, they all love him so much.

Even more interesting is a post on Joe’s personal facebook page directed at a very young woman’s boyfriend. Apparently the boyfriend became very uncomfortable with Joe’s contact with the young woman and told him to stop talking to her. Joe decided to call him a douche too.

Pot meet kettle.

I’m debating on whether to show the screen shots of the entire conversation here. I have no problem with it. It’s not like I give two flying fucks about the privacy of anyone in there after the shit show that went down and how my friends were treated.

Fuck it.

Here’s a few.

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(Degrading and spiteful?? Degrading is, apparently to Joe, an adoptee saying they would be hurt to hear their first mom was happy they couldn’t parent them)

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AND HERE’S ONE OF THE GOOD ONES (adoptive parent) POINTING OUT HOW OBVIOUSLY WRONG JOE WAS.

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(And apparently you’re a douche if you say anything about adoption is unhappy)

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Oh I have so many more….I could tell a story if I want, but I trust that you trust me.

 

 

For the Fathers

For the fathers who were never made aware they had a child, this one’s for you.

For the fathers who fought like hell to keep their children but the adoption industry won out, this one’s for you.

For the fathers who felt they had no other choice, this one’s for you.

For the fathers who were tricked, coerced, or lied to, this one’s for you.

For the fathers who were accused of horrible things so that the industry could obtain your child, this one’s for you.

For the fathers who are still fighting a David & Goliath battle, this one’s for you.

For the fathers who are about to embark down the path of hell but don’t know it yet, this one’s for you.

To the overlooked, under-represented, swept under the rug fathers out there, I see you. I hear you. Happy Father’s Day. This one’s for you.

When An Adoptee Doesn’t Conform To Their Adoptive Family

Nature versus nurture. The age-old question. You’ll hear sound arguments for both sides.

My official stance is both. However, the foundation lies in nature, in one’s DNA. Everything else will be built upon this foundation. We mold and shape our kids, throughout the years, and teach them to channel their talents and personalities to be as successful as possible in their lives. Traits in our children that can be used for good things in their lives, can also lead to detriment if proper parenting has not taught them how to assert (or wrangle in) these traits. Nature and nurture work together to shape who we will become.

Melanie is a stubborn child, like her biological mother. She is also prone to being hyper and erratic. Melanie likes to challenge authority and question everything. She gets these traits from her biological father. Melanie has two sisters who are just like this as well. Melanie, however, did not grow up in her biological family. She was relinquished at birth and adopted by another family. The family that adopted Melanie had two biological children of their own before she came along. The adopted family could be described as quiet, conservative, passive and driven. Melanie’s foundation, the very building blocks of what makes her Melanie, is almost the total opposite of her adopted family.

When Melanie’s traits, that come from her very core, her DNA, start to demand attention, Melanie’s adoptive parents become worried. Stubborn, hyper, erratic, challenging, and questioning are not things they are used to dealing with. They begin to seek help to deal with these “problems.”  You see, because the biology, the foundation of her adoptive family, has no experience with these things to them her traits and characteristics are abnormal. They are abnormal for their family. They then see this as a problem that needs to be fixed. For Melanie, however, this is just who she is. Melanie doesn’t need to be fixed. She needs someone to teach and guide her. She needs someone to show her how to mold these traits into something positive and good. Melanie isn’t stubborn, she’s strong-willed. Melanie isn’t hyper and erratic, she’s spirited. Melanie doesn’t like to challenge authority, she likes to understand WHY things are the way they are. Melanie doesn’t like to question everything, she likes to have all the information because she has a desire for knowledge.

However, because her adoptive family knows nothing about living with these traits, they are upset with it. They want her to “fit in.” They want her to be like them. She was supposed to be “as if” born to them. When they start seeking “help” for Melanie’s “upsetting” behavior, what they are really doing is trying to squash these traits and characteristics instead of molding them into something she can use for good.

Here’s the thing, though. Squashing these “undesirable” traits in Melanie is the same as killing a part of who she is. It IS who she is, no doubt about it.

Too many times adoptive parents expect their adopted children to conform to their adoptive families. It is expected of them. If they do not or cannot conform it is assumed there is something wrong with them, which is simply not the case. This puts the adoptee in a precarious position, and usually by the time puberty is rolling around. They can either deny a part of their very being and conform, or they will fight the people who are trying to change their foundation. Those that choose to conform will still be accepted as “normal” in their adoptive family but at a huge cost to themselves. They will suffer silently, maybe not even aware that they are really suffering, until it eventually comes to a head. Those who fight the people trying to get them to conform to the adoptive family’s accepted standards also face trouble. Adoption re-homing, being institutionalized, sent away or maybe even abuse will occur for the adoptee. Either scenario is not good.

All of this ties back into the “as if” theory. Adoptive parents, still today, would like their adopted children to be like them. They want them to fit into their family. That’s human nature. That’s what happens when a child is born to us that shares our DNA. The refusal to understand that adoption is not the cure for infertility leads to adoptive parents putting undue pressure on their children to conform to the accepted traits, characteristics, and standards of a family they share absolutely no biological connection to. Adoption IS NOT A CURE FOR INFERTILITY.

Certainly there will be adoptive families who get lucky and adopt a child whose biological foundation, in regards to mannerisms, traits, personalities and characteristics, are similar to them. But that’s all it is. Luck.

Adoptees cannot be expected to have a part of them, the biological part, squashed to please the adoptive family. Yet that is what is happening and continues to happen. They are their own people, a product of nature and nurture. To deny the nature part of them, and expect them to conform, means that the nurture part is going to be harmful in one way or another. One adoptee said, “It’s nature and nurture, but I never got to see any of the nature part. It was taken away from me.” That sums it up nicely. Adoptees walking around with half of what makes them who they are, their nature, out of sight or very rarely exposed to. They then have people who have no idea what the nature part of them is like attempt to raise them in the same fashion they would raise a biological child. How confusing this must be for these people.

We take it for granted, those of us who are in our original families. We can say, “She’s stubborn like you” or “I know that look, you’re upset with me, it’s the same look your father gives” and we don’t think twice about it. We understand each other, in our biological families, because we have had our nature nurtured by the same people who share our nature. Who better knows how to nurture it than them?

Adoptees should not have to conform to the identity their adoptive families think they should have. They should not be forced to either deny their nature or face the consequences of being a problem child. Their DNA is not a defect. It isn’t a problem to be solved. It doesn’t mean something is wrong with them. Perhaps it means something is wrong with you.