Operation Matthew 6:25-34

Welcome to one of the most coercive pre-adoptive stories you will ever read. Take a seat and prepare to look through a “story book” that defines coercion and duress in expectant mothers. I almost titled this post “Faces of Adoption Coercion: Level Infinity.”

Meet Tuesday Laine Watson and her husband, Josh. Tuesday is very young, in her 20’s and is hoping to adopt a young woman’s baby when it is born this May. Someone she knew from her past, according to Tuesday’s public Facebook profile. However, Tuesday didn’t get the memo that she is a “hopeful” adoptive parent. She has already bestowed upon herself the title of “mother” to a baby yet to be born. For months now. Complete with parking in expectant mother parking spaces, having an elaborate baby shower, naming the baby, and posting about “her” child all over the inter webs. 

To make matters worse, Tuesday is friends with this expectant mother on Facebook and she sees all these posts. Shoot, Tuesday even tags her in some. Posts about how selfless her “birth” mom is (even though she is not yet a birthmom). Posts about how this emom is giving her this tremendous gift. You know. Posts that would make this emom, we’ll call her Sunday (Keeping in theme with the days of the week), feel a gut wrenching guilt should she decide she would indeed like to parent HER baby. Because Tuesday has already laid claim to this baby and leaves little room for Sunday to do the same. 

Tuesday has made it vehemently clear that SHE is the mother to this child and not Sunday. Sunday is simply the vessel of birth. 

I could go on for ages about the need for adoption education in Tuesday’s life for the sake of this child should she indeed adopt her. But anyone reading this will already know what I mean when I’m done. 

I’ll let Tuesday’s words speak for themselves. 

Fundraising for adoption fees instead of to help a mother keep her child and not face immense heartbreak the rest of her life.

Photo of expectant mother “Sunday”

She “deserves” a baby.

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Photo courtesy of Facebook


Still with me?

Some questions. 

How is Sunday supposed to back out of this if she decides she wants to parent? She has been reading these things for months. I would speculate that she thinks God doesn’t want her to have her baby and to hurt Tuesday by parenting her child means she would not be doing right by God. 

How can Sunday make an informed decision with no one guiding her or exploring other options with her?

How is this even happening? 

Dear Tuesday,

You deleted the comment I left on your blog. You silenced my voice. How long before you silence Sunday’s? It appears you believe you are entitled to her child. From past experiences I’ve found that usually leads to any kind of open adoption closing since the adoptive mother’s insecurities supersede the needs of the adopted child. Have you even researched how to parent an adopted child?

Since you decided to silence me on YOUR blog, I’ve decided that I will speak my peace on MINE. 

Here is the comment I left that you would not approve. View the blog post this comment was intended for HERE.

Or here:

https://anotherrandomtuesday.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/first-blog-post/

“You’re right. God doesn’t make mistakes. And he certainly doesn’t plan for another woman to suffer lifelong immeasurable pain to fulfill the selfish desires of another woman. No, he doesn’t do that. God makes provisions in the Bible for women who are struggling. He commands others to care for them, not help themselves to their babies. 

Nowhere in the Bible will you find an instance of a woman planning to give her unborn child to another woman because she is poor. Modern day domestic infant adoption doesn’t exist in the Bible. Because God doesn’t facilitate or plan this. 

No, what you should be doing is helping this mother keep her baby. You know, the mother you say you care about so much. But you only care about her if you get her baby. 

Look in the mirror. Bette yet, listen to what God is telling you. Because he isn’t telling you to help this pregnant mother by taking her baby. Gods plan doesn’t involve pain like that for her.

His plan doesn’t involve pain like that for you, either. But while there is nothing you can do to resolve the pain of infertility, there is something you can do to save this mother, and her child, the lifelong pain of separation. 

You worry you won’t be enough. I’ll answer that for you right now. You won’t be. An adopted child will always straddle two worlds, never FULLY belonging to either. They will see the life they should have had and the life they were given. And they will struggle. You can never be enough because every adoption begins with a loss. Every. Single. One. The loss of the adoptees first family and the loss of the child to the first family. 

If you really truly believe in Gods plan you know what he says about taking care of the poor and needy. 

Is this unborn child’s life in danger?

Will this unborn child be a true orphan (both of his parents will be deceased)?

Will this unborn child be in physical danger if she stays with her mother?

If the answer is “no” to these questions this is not Gods plan. 

Help this mother KEEP her baby. 

Or at least admit God has nothing to do with it. You want a baby. You don’t care what God commands you to do. The least you could do is be honest. 

One day you’ll have to answer for it. And when He asks you why you manipulated His word for your own selfish desires what will you answer?”

-——————

So what is Operation Matthew 6:25-34? 

I need all of you for this one and time is running short. Please email me at musingsofabirthmom@gmail.com or visit my Facebook page and send a message:

Musings of a Birthmom

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Legally Enforceable Open Adoption Contracts in the United States

*Disclaimer: I am not an attorney and nothing in this article should be substituted for legal advice. I highly suggest any expectant mother who is considering adoption to retain her own legal representation who understands adoption law in the state that the adoption will be finalized as well as the state she lives in. This is my interpretation of the laws and my opinion based on my own research and the stories I’ve heard from others who have open adoption contracts that are supposed to be legally enforceable.*

Legally enforceable open adoptions are a fairly new thing. There are lots of questions about them from adoptive parents, expectant parents, and birth parents. These “legally enforceable” post-adoption contracts can vary widely from state to state. When an expectant mother hears that she resides in a state that has legally enforceable open adoptions usually she has a sense of security in believing that the adoptive parents of her child will not be able to “trick” or “fool” her into relinquishing her child to them by making promises they don’t intend to keep. She may also feel that if the adoptive parents change their mind about the type of contact they want, she is legally protected. On the surface this is what it appears to be. I’d also assume that adoption agencies, attorneys that represent the prospective adoptive parents, and facilitators would not go into great detail about how exactly the law would work. I’d like to take the time to do that here.

I heard one story of a first mom who lived in a state that had legally enforceable post-adoption contracts. This was just a fact. When she asked about it she was told, “Yes, our state has legally enforceable open adoptions.” However, she had no legal representation of her own and found out, after her open adoption was closed and she sought relief, that the law in her state required the open adoption contract to be entered with the final decree of adoption. Because she wasn’t part of the court hearing for finalization, she had no idea if this had happened. Because she had no legal representation, representing HER ALONE, she was unaware that the law was written this way. She did have a post-adoption contract that had been worked on between her, the agency, their attorney, and the prospective adoptive parents, it just wasn’t legally enforceable in her state because it never went before the court.

I heard another story about a mom who DID have her post-adoption contract entered correctly making it “legally binding.” When visits never happened and communication was cut off as soon as her child was relinquished, she pursued the legal channels put in place to enforce the contract. She put up a lot of money in attorney and court fees to be told, by the judge, that she relinquished all parental rights and if the adoptive parents didn’t feel it was in the best interest of their child to have visits then that was their right. The judge then rewrote the post-adoption contract, taking away all direct contact or communication with her child, and only enforced a yearly update.

There was another mother who lived in a “legally enforceable” state where visits and all communication had stopped after three years. When she sought to enforce her agreement she learned two things. 1) She didn’t have anything near the financial resources to even begin the process (as most first parents don’t) and 2) she couldn’t even start the process if she wanted to because she didn’t know where the adoptive parents now resided since their communication drop coincided with a move to a different state in which they didn’t disclose.

It’s important to remember that post-adoption contracts are a very new area of law and there aren’t a lot of cases to set precedent yet. Really it’s up to the judges or mediators involved to determine the outcome of a contested contract, if the first parent can come up with enough money to begin the process. It’s also important to remember that post-adoption contracts are not the same as “custody” or “visitation” agreements you’d see in traditional family law that involves two parents that are not together. You do not retain any parental rights once you have relinquished a child for adoption. They have been terminated. No amount of legally enforceable open adoption laws can change that. No amount of legislation to make more open adoptions stay open can change that. You will not be fighting in court for your “right” to visit your child. You will be fighting to have a contract enforced. This is contract law mixed with adoption law (like I said, new territory). Almost always, a judge has the right to alter the contract, change things using his best judgment, or void it altogether. So, while “legally enforceable,” they are also “legally voidable.” Since there are no parental rights intact, an adoptive parent could argue that they feel a continued open adoption would not be in the best interest of their child. They could argue they simply feel that the constant “hello” and “goodbye” is not something they feel their child is emotionally prepared for. They’d probably get contact stopped, or greatly reduced, just based on that alone. Their child, their call. If there has been an ongoing relationship between the child and the first parents for a number of years it may not be so easy as a relationship has been established and the courts may find it detrimental to sever that relationship altogether. However, it would have to be a well-established relationship with frequent visits and a solid relationship. A relationship like this is most likely facilitated by adoptive parents who are very open-minded, educated, and “get it.” Those adoptive parents who choose to facilitate an open adoption at that level are probably not likely to break an open adoption contract to begin with.

The majority of adoptive parents aren’t “evil” people who set out to break a first mom’s heart, but rather are ill-advised, ill-prepared, or uneducated. They also don’t care to change these things about themselves and only see adoption in the light they choose to.  The most vulnerable first moms/expectant moms, the ones most at risk of an adoption closing, are the ones in the first 5 years into their journey as a first parent. Relationships aren’t well-established yet.

Many states will require mediation before going to court to seek relief of a violation of your open adoption contract. This means that you (and any other party on the contract, such as a first father), and the adoptive parents will be required to sit through a series of “negotiation,” so to speak. A mediator will play “referee.” You will try to come to an understanding and agreement outside of the courts. Sometimes you’ll be required to pay a fee to the courts for the mediation – which is usually split evenly between both parties. Each state has its own individual laws, but usually after a series of about 3 sessions if no agreement can be settled on it will go to the courts and a judge will decide.

What are the consequences for adoptive parents who violate an open adoption contract? No state says an adoption can be reversed or nullified if the post-adoption agreement is not followed. This means that you cannot challenge an adoption because the “legally enforceable” post-adoption contract has been violated. I can find no codes that specifically state any consequences, punitive or otherwise, for adoptive parents that have been ordered, by a judge, to resume the post-adoption contract as it was entered.

28 states currently have “legally enforceable open adoption contracts.” Many of those are only for in-family adoptions and relate only to grandparents.

For a review of each state’s post-adoption contract laws please CLICK HERE.

If you take the time to read some of these laws, you will see that all of them allow for a judge to use his discretion when it comes to enforcement or challenging the original contract.

There are many things to consider when considering adoption for your child. Regardless of your state’s laws any number of things can arise. Even in states with legally enforceable open adoption laws, the jury is still out, so to speak. There are so many things that have not even been addressed. For instance, what if your child is re-homed? While rare, in domestic infant adoption cases, it can happen. Will your legally enforceable contract be upheld in a court of law if your child is put up for adoption by the original adopting parents? Most likely, not. If you are relying on a legally enforceable open adoption as the terms of being able to go through with relinquishment are you prepared to fight the adoptive parents if they violate the contract? Do you have the financial means to do so?

In review, as stated in the disclaimer, I advise any expectant mother who is thinking of an adoption plan to seek independent representation.  This advice is not limited to post-adoption contracts, but for everything surrounding the legalities of adoption. Don’t rely solely on an adoption agency, attorney representing the prospective adoptive parents, a facilitator, or charitable organization to fully inform you. This is something you must actively seek to do on your own.

Get Baby Kaylee Home to Her Daddy; Miranda and Brad Larsen, Return Kaylee to Her Father

I had decided to spend the majority of this month in a hole, in la la land, safely away from triggering things about adoption. Unfortunately, thanks to some truly horrendous actions of two people, I have decided to not just crawl out of that hole, but to jump out guns-a-blazing.

Just before heading out for work this morning I was made aware of yet another adoption injustice coming from Utah. Go figure, Utah – no way! Surprise, surprise! If you’d like to read more about the back story to this situation, please see the Facebook page Get Baby Kaylee Home to Her Daddy.

Here’s the run down –

Colby and his girlfriend were expecting a baby and expecting to parent together. However, his girlfriend’s parents had other things in mind. After bringing the baby home from the hospital, his girlfriend, somehow, some way, decided (after talking to her parents) that she wanted to put the baby up for adoption. She told Colby of these wishes and he insisted on parenting and did just that, for a couple of weeks, until law enforcement came and removed the baby to be given to Miranda & Brad Larsen.

Miranda and Brad both knew that Kaylee’s father didn’t want to give her up. His name is on her birth certificate and paternity has been established. However, as those well-versed in adoption laws know, Utah plays by its own rules and, essentially, gives fathers next to nothing as far as father’s rights are concerned.

This didn’t seem to bother Miranda and Brad in the least. They wanted the baby and they made sure they got the baby. Who cares about if I’m taking someone else’s child against their will who NEVER CONSENTED TO AN ADOPTION, right? In my opinion, Miranda and Brad Larsen represent all that is evil in the world of adoption. Ethics thrown out the window to fulfill their selfish desires.

Upon doing some minor digging, you can see that, at least, Miranda has been “child shopping” for a some time.

ss1

ss2

This was a post from this past February about an older child seeking a forever family. Miranda was tagged in it by a friend or family member and her reply is, “Seriously, Serenity (last name omitted)? Now I have to pray about it and ask Dad (name of dad tagged and omitted here). Ask Dad? That’s odd. This seems like something you would say if you were a child considering getting a puppy. “Ugh, thanks for showing me the cute little puppy who needs a home!! Now I have to pray about it and get permission from Dad!! LOL!” At least that’s how it reads to me.

Here is Miranda and Brad’s adoption.com profile:

http://adoption.com/profiles/BradandMirandaLarsen31711-3527

I’m sure that it will soon be taken down so here are a few screen shots for your viewing pleasure.

10386377_10153752284785908_3752070022007265808_n12227013_10153752284265908_5436316955322998317_n12232817_10153752285100908_4330230674347323493_o12232949_10153752284480908_7963966371780045606_o12274209_938054220251_7319174569235421933_n

“Congratulations on your adoption!!” Suck it adoption.com

This should read, “Congratulations on kidnapping someone else’s child!”

But seriously, isn’t that what they just did? They legally kidnapped someone else’s child because of the unconstitutional laws that allow Utah to get away with this crap. Not only unconstitutional, but a clear violation of civil rights – the right to parent one’s own child!

Within hours of this story getting out, there are thousand’s of likes on the Facebook page created for Colby’s fight, and thousands of dollars for his legal fees have been raised. Within hours of this story getting out, Miranda and Brad deactivated their Facebook profiles (one can only guess why) and created new ones – that aren’t so super secret and will probably be deactivated shortly as well.

Brad appears to be the assistant principal of Thomas Edison Charter School. Do you have your children enrolled here? Will you still continue to support a school that employees someone who would steal someone else’s child? Just throwing that out there.

As you can see, the public is not happy:

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Not quite sure I agree with the “great people” analysis on these two.

So, there it is. Pretty simple. In black in white. Just because they could, they did. Without any true concern with the true and real father of this child.

But Colby is fighting back. He has retained a fantastic lawyer, Wes Hutchins. Sadly, I do expect this to be a long drawn out battle, like they all are. His legal fees will surely be insurmountable. To donate directly to Colby’s legal fund you can mail donations to:

Wesley D. Hutchins

Attorney

6751 South Adventure Way

West Jordan, Utah  84081

If you’re more comfortable donating online there is a GoFundMe set up and you can visit that page here: https://www.gofundme.com/g8b7btmk?rcid=5cad896b96a54b1181f69a8f8c110407

Where does this leave us? I am calling on ALL ethical adoptive families to speak out against this injustice. This puts a smear on ALL of you if you sit back and say nothing, allow it to happen. No matter what you think of me and my blog, if you sit back and say nothing, you are just as bad as them.

I am calling on everyone in the adoption community to rally around this father and give him the love, support, and guidance he will surely need in the coming months. If you are able to donate monetarily that is always helpful as well, but it is not required to be an integral part of his journey. Share his page, share this post, lend an ear, offer support, just do something.

I am absolutely sick and tired of seeing these stories. What has our world come to? In the United States of America, babies are being taken from their parents with no just cause because someone else wants them. How long do we allow this to continue before we rise up, as a nation, and say NO MORE! How long before we go down that slippery slope and YOUR child is next? Or your grandchild? Or your niece or nephew?

injustice

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” -Desmond Tutu

To the Larsen family,

I am begging you to do the right thing, the ethical thing. Maybe you had a momentary lapse of sanity. You CAN redeem yourself and reunite this father with his daughter. You have the power to do so. It doesn’t need to drag out in court for months or years. I have complete confidence that it will not end in your favor so you are only delaying the inevitable. Please return Kaylee to her father. Restore my faith in humanity. Restore my faith, please.

I’ll leave you with a post from my blog that deals with how God feels about situations like this. Seeing as the Larsens appear to be deeply religious people of the LDS faith.

A Tale of Two Women and a Wise and Blessed King

Two women came before King Solomon. Both had given birth on the same day, three days before, but the first woman’s baby had died. Now the women were fighting over the living baby. King Solomon decided that the best way to figure out who would keep the child was to tell the women the baby would be cut in half. One half of the child would go to the first woman, and one half would go to the second woman. The true mother of the baby, the birth mother, cried out to the King. She would relinquish her rights to her child, to save his life. King Solomon, who is often referred to as the wisest man who ever lived because God blessed him with unsurpassed wisdom, saw the passion of the birth mother, and he did the right thing. He gave the baby to his own mother, the one with the selfless love, the one that would rather surrender her baby than see him die. King Solomon had no intention of hurting the baby. He had no intention of giving the baby to the more “deserving” parent. He just wanted to identify the true mother of the child. The woman who gave birth to the baby. It was a clever ploy.

When I think about recent cases in the media I can’t help but think of the shocking similarities with King Solomon’s story. You have two women, one is the true mother of the child, one woman is so desperate for a baby that she is willing to steal the child of another, no matter the consequences to the child, or the child’s true mother. I wonder if King Solomon thought about what kind of mother a woman who steals another person’s child would make? Maybe that’s part of the reason he wanted to be absolutely certain he was returning the child to his mother, and not the crazed woman who attempted to kidnap the child.

The Bible does speak favorably on adoption. Think of baby Moses in his basket, (Exodus 2: 1-10) swept down the river, and adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter. He obviously went on to do amazing things in the name of God and eventually returned to his natural family, the family of his origin. Esther, (Book of Esther) who was adopted by her cousin, was also a tool of God. But in almost every circumstance of ordained adoption in the Bible, there was a life or death situation that led to the adoption. Moses’ mother faced the reality that her son would die if she didn’t send him away. Esther was an orphan. Both of her parents were dead. God still chose to keep her in her family, and she was adopted by her cousin. The Bible only shows support for adoption of true orphans, or in the case of extreme circumstance. You will find infertile women in the Bible, (Hannah and Sarah are two examples.) but nowhere in either of their stories does God tell them to take the baby of another woman, let alone forcefully take a baby from its mother.

Adoption is a wonderful way for a child, an orphan in genuine need, to find a loving home. It should not be used as a tool to separate a child from the loving embrace of his mother.

It’s very clear how God feels about children. When the disciples tried to prevent women from bringing their babies and small children to Jesus, he grew angry and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Mathew 19:14, emphasis added.) He did not leave until he laid hands on the children. He takes especial interest in the fatherless child and defenseless women. Psalm 68:5 says, “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.”

Job laments the truly wicked, and part of his description of the behavior of a damnable person is, “The fatherless child is snatched from the breast; the infant of the poor is seized for a debt.” (Job 24:9) Someone who would take a defenseless, fatherless child from the breast of his mother, in exchange for money owed is listed as one of the many horrible and evil things a person might do to deserve punishment from God. He also mentions people who “drive away the orphan’s donkey and take the widow’s ox in pledge. They thrust the needy from the path and force all the poor of the land into hiding.” (Job 24:3-4) Clearly bullying and harassing single women and their young children, the meek and defenseless, is considered a detestable act. Other comparable sins he mentions in the same chapter are theft, murder, and adultery.

And how does God handle those who harm children? Those who would steal a child from its family? Exodus 21:16 says, “He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.” How much harder will the Lord come down on someone who would kidnap one of his fatherless children?

Proverbs 127:3-5 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”  If the mother wants her child, and she is fit, what right does another woman have to pilfer the blessings given to someone by God for their own selfish desires? When considering the plight of women coerced into signing away their parental rights you need to ask yourself, “How would King Solomon rule in these cases?”

 

‘Tis The Season – An SOS Call To Action

SOS 2015 Sponsor a Saved Family

It’s hard to believe, but the holidays are upon us!Stacey

Saving Our Sisters has helped dozens of families stay together over the last 4 years. Helping mothers preserve their holiday traditions, by passing them on to their children, is just one blessing that SOS has been able to provide.  Which, is to say the least, priceless.  11143146_921721804566799_2089511665001540486_nWe have said, countless times, that it is not enough to help a mom who has changed her mind and decided to parent her child instead of relinquishing her child to adoption.  What is enough you ask?  Ongoing support is necessary to make sure that she knows and uses the tools to find the resources and options that are available to her, to ensure that she is able to conquer anything that is thrown at her, and that her success will last for generations in her family to come.  This is something that SOS has been and still is very committed to.  How can we define success?  We believe that successful parenting includes a safe, stable, loving home with the local support nearby to ensure basic necessities of the family unit are met. Success, in our eyes, does not equate to fancy homes, trendy clothes, or all of the newest gadgets. SarahSuccess is the simple things in life, and these families, who were at one point this year in such a crisis that they considered losing a child, (usually due to financial issues and afraid to ask for support), already have the simple things.  They have love, they have siblings, they have asked and received support, and………they have each other.April

While some may not consider a warm and joyful holiday season to be a basic necessity, we do believe it adds to the joy of the ‘in tact’ family.  It is, often times, the very thing that mothers were worried about when they were considering adoption for their new addition to the family.  Not being able to provide the ‘things’.  Dwayne N KarlyNo mother wants to go to bed on Christmas Eve with nothing on or under the tree for their children. In some cases, this could be the catalyst of a shattered childhood fantasy – Santa Claus. “How can Santa Claus be real when he visited everyone else’s house but not mine?”  The reality is this – while we are ensuring that basic Cheyennenecessities are met and families have support, warm and safe homes to grow and love in, the spirit of the holiday season moves us to provide a little bit extra for these moms and their families.  A nice warm meal, a few new items of clothing, and a toy or two for the kids to open on Christmas morning. Providing these things for their families, on their own, is sometimes just not possible.  Our moms from this year already had children when they came to us for help.  Your sponsorship will include giving these kids, these in tact families, a joyous Christmas.

JaimeeThis year, just as in the past 3, we’d like to announce the 3rd Annual Sponsor a Saved Family. The families that will be sponsored have already been saved through the SOS network in 2015. You can see some of their pictures throughout this post.  We would like to bless all the families that found SOS, and for that to happen we need your help.

Is it enough to just help them parent their baby?  Or should we show our commitment to them when they are least expecting it?  Taking some ofBubbles the stress off of purchasing even one gift for their kids means the world to these mothers.  Helping them to see their children happy together, and that they are sharing their new baby’s 1st Christmas confirms to them, “You did the right thing.  We have your back.” This is the message we want to send.

 

Every little bit will make a huge difference if we all do this together for these families. You can also have confidence that your donation, every Kalenpenny of it, will truly go for something amazing.  The pictures will be shared, and just like when their babies were born throughout the year, will be worth a thousand words.

There are some ‘signature’ things that SOS has been doing over the last few years that we would like to continue doing with your help of course.  We purchase a holiday meal to be delivered from Honey Baked Ham.  honey bakedWe put together a ‘Night Before Christmas’ movie themed family gift – complete with new pajamas for each of the kids, a Christmas themed movie, and of course popcorn and candy!   We get them a family photo package at a local JcPenney or the like, this is something that they wouldn’t be able to afford.  We have purchased a nice ‘pamper item’ for mom, maybe a robe, or a gift certificate for a spa service of her choice.  Last but not least, we purchase 1 gift for each of the children in the family.

You can help sponsor a saved family in two ways.  1)  If you want to shop, wrap and ship a gift, please send an email to Lynn at wsbirthmom@gmail.com so she can keep gifts ‘even’ across the children and families and coordinate with others who want to donate this route   2)  Send a cash donation to the CUB website and Saving Our Sisterslet the SOS organizers handle the shopping, wrapping and shipping of the holiday meals.

 

‘TIS THE SEASON!!!

Dear Hoping to Adopt

I’m sure, by now, I’m loathed by most who have found themselves in my corner of the world wide Web via an innocent Google search about how to adopt a baby. That’s okay. I get it. My writing is blunt and I don’t mince words. I’d like to take some time, however, to speak directly to the aforementioned.

Dear Hoping to Adopt,

For you, achieving motherhood is not an easy row to hoe. For you, perhaps, attaining motherhood, in the traditional sense, is quite literally impossible. I can only imagine the heartbreak of learning that all of your dreams, that were most likely fostered from the time you were able to snuggle with your first baby doll, are now slipping from your grasp and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it.

The countless negative pregnancy tests, maybe the loss of your children before they even had a chance to be a part of this world, the fertility treatments, the worry, the hope, the anxiety, the tears – I understand. I get it. I’m not heartless. I empathize, maybe sometimes too much, with the millions of hardships that we, as human beings, must face.

I think about the hurt you must face every time a friend or relative announces they are expecting or the pain you must feel watching others care for their little ones. I do understand that it must be lonely feeling like the odd man out while others have, what feels like, an exclusive club that only women who are mothers can join. We are women. Most of us, not all, are wired with a natural instinct and yearning to be a mother. I truly understand and empathize.

When you read through my writing you may not think it’s possible for me to empathize with you. But I do. It’s not that hard because I know what it feels like.

I know how deeply it hurts to dream of a child that will never be yours. I know how gut-wrenching it is to grieve a lost child. I have felt lonely as well – lonely when no one else could understand how much pain I was in – lonely when they were praising me for how selfless I was – lonely when I was told that I had given someone a beautiful gift and that I did the right thing. And for the rest of my life I will feel as though I don’t belong with all the other mommies. I surrendered my motherhood to my child and that’s something most don’t truly understand and most are certainly way off base about what that ultimately means.

I empathize because my loss is huge. There was no one there to help me or support me. No one to tell me that I could do it. I was told that adoption was the right choice which, to me, meant I was not the right choice. I was not good for my baby is the message I received and I will forever belong to that lonely club.

Loss is subjective. Some may say the loss of a pregnancy is the same as the loss of a child through adoption. I will always disagree. The path I walk in life, as a first mother, has many layers. I’m sure those who have suffered a miscarriage know what it’s like to blame themselves. The fact is, though, that really there was nothing you willfully did to cause the loss of your unborn baby. As a first mom, however, a good portion of society, as I’m reminded of more and more often, continues to act as if surrendering my child, the loss of my child, was a willful act. Yes, I signed relinquishment papers but there was nothing willful about it. My circumstances forced that hand just as your physical circumstances have forced yours in your journey through infertility.

See, we aren’t all that much different, you and I. We’ve both suffered. We’ve both lost. We’ve both grieved and we’ve both gone through trauma and emotional anguish.

If you ever find yourself asking, “Why is she so angry and bitter?” please think back to everything you’ve gone though in your journey to achieve motherhood. Then ask yourself how you’d feel if the whole of society celebrated it and asked you to be grateful for it, asked you to accept others purposely facilitating it. This is what that feels like to me.

Yes, I have empathy for you, but my empathy stops where your willful ignorance begins. My empathy stops when there are hundreds and thousands of children truly in need of a family but you insist on getting a brand new baby. My empathy stops when I see you begging others for donations to take another mother’s child when the donations that you have rolling in would enable that mother to keep her baby. My empathy ends there. I simply cannot do it anymore. To me, it’s the equivalent of you asking for donations to assure the loss of pregnancy in another woman because, for some odd reason, that’s the only way to ensure your own motherhood.

Facilitating the loss of another’s motherhood so that you may attain your own is where my empathy ends.

It is only a few thousand dollars, usually, to give a home to a child genuinely in need of a family, to become a mother. You seem great at fundraising and that money could be used to help another mother be saved from this life of pain.

I empathize with your loss. Will you empathize with mine? Or will you refuse to because my loss stands in the way of your selfish desires? Look at yourself in the mirror. What does that make you?