I Can See the Horizon 

Sleep found me easily and peacefully. I usually suffer from insomnia and will lay awake for hours praying that slumber will come upon me. A peace I’d never known before washed over me as all of my children were under my roof in the same place at the same time. The people I value and love the most in this world. The ONLY people whose opinions about me I care about. I felt complete and whole.

But sad. Sad for what could have been. Sad for the upcoming goodbye. Sad from what my choice had taken from all of my kids without their permission. There had always been a feeling that someone was missing and while she was here that feeling was gone. But it would soon be back. Nevertheless I tried to revel in how lucky I was to even have this moment, this time, at all.

I have three daughters and two sons. Of all of my children, she is the most like me in every way. It’s almost scary how similar we are. Many times people would comment “its like looking at you when you were her age!” Or “She’s JUST like you at that age!”

And she is.

She’s tenacious, she has no filter, she looks like me, she sounds like me, she has the same mannerisms as me. Admittedly she does have my husband’s nose.

Driving to Taco Bell one day we said the exact same thing at the exact same time with the exact same inflection. That happens within families all the time. Families that you share DNA with. “That’s never happened to me before,” she said with surprise. And it kept happening. My sisters and I are always speaking in stereo. It made me think how sad it would be to go through life without ever hearing someone who sounded like you.

And she’s just like her sisters. When a neighbor started up his motorcycle too closely they all screamed, shook, and started crying. All three of them. All at the same time. DNA is some powerful stuff.

But she’s herself too. It was lovely to hear her talk about the things she loves, the places she’s seen, the people in her life she cares about and how they’ve impacted her.

And still there was this thing hanging in the air. All the shared memories we had that she didn’t. My family is big on talking about “Remember when this happened…” and then proceeding to tell a funny or shocking story. So while she was like us in every way, and fit in perfectly, there was always the elephant in the room that reminded us that she had been gone.

So many mixed emotions. So much to untangle.

My husband was smitten. He reminded me of a new father doting over his infant daughter. Except we had already doted on her when she was born. I can read this man better than anyone and the looks on his face said, “I’m in love with this beautiful creature.” As he should be. She’s pretty amazing if I do say so myself.

And here is where I decided that this blog has served its purpose. For now, anyway.

When I was hurting it was here. When I needed to vent it was here. When I was scared, anxious, worried, happy, hopeful, suffering, it was here. You were here. Some of you lifted me with your thoughts and others pissed me off. And that’s okay. Because sometimes I just needed a good fight and you engaged me.

I know this journey is ever evolving and I’m not completely abandoning this space. There may be a time in the future where I need it regularly again. But this journey is no longer just my own. Now that our lives have come together again, and she is again a part of mine, our stories are intertwined and it’s not up to me what to share.

I have let adoption consume my life. That’s not an entirely bad thing. I’ve found sisterhood and courage in this community. I’ve found courage to stand up, stand out, and help make changes. I will always be an activist. Always. But I’m also a mother and wife. I can’t spread myself too thin so I’ve decided to focus my energy on certain endeavors that will allow me to balance things more equally. I lost my grandfather, who helped raise me, and a beloved pet who was my emotional support animal, this year. The wheels of time don’t stop turning for me to sit behind a computer.

So while I’ve already bowed out of this blogging thing pretty much, I thought I’d leave you all with a happy update. I’ll pop in once in a while. But it’s time to take back my life and focus on where I can really make a change, enjoy my family, and still remain a functional member of society.

 

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PRESS RELEASE: Concerned United Birthparents Partners with Saving Our Sisters

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The vision of Saving Our Sisters, founded by Lynn Johansenn, that has garnered overwhelming support from the adoption community, is coming to fruition with the help of Concerned United Birthparents (otherwise known as “CUB”). I am happy to say that, as of today, Saving Our Sisters (otherwise known as “SOS”) is officially partnering with CUB. I am so excited about this new partnership and know that good things are in the future of the adoption community. I’m sure there will be many questions and this post is to help answer them.

How does this partnership change CUB’s vision?

It doesn’t. It enhances it.

CUB’s official mission statement:

“Concerned United Birthparents, Inc. provides support for all family members separated by adoption; resources to help prevent unnecessary family separations; education about the life-long impact on all who are affected by adoption; and advocates for fair and ethical adoption laws, policies, and practices.”

As you can see, SOS will help to enhance this mission. CUB has been, and will continue to do, wonderful work in the adoption community. SOS will provide concrete tools in the prevention of unnecessary family separations via adoption.

What changes are coming to SOS because of this partnership?

There are many things that will be changing, but so much is staying the same. SOS will now have the ability to keep organized in all facets such as accounting and the ability to easily collect tax-deductible donations via the web. Additionally, SOS will gain heavy exposure benefiting from the many relationships that CUB has been able to create, maintain, and evolve over the last nearly 40 years. Part of this exposure includes SOS being launched on the CUB website, whereas, in the past, SOS has had a limited Internet presence relying on Facebook and blog posts to keep members up to date. Because of CUB’s gracious partnership, SOS will be able to continue the great work we do, focusing on moms and families, without worrying about the technicalities of website maintenance, accounting, and other things. All of these things enable SOS to focus on preserving families.

NEW THINGS

There is now an official SOS membership. If you visit the CUB website and wish to join CUB as a member you will now see “Saving Our Sisters/CUB Membership” as an option. This will give you all of the same benefits and perks of an official CUB membership. The annual membership fee is $40 and, as CUB states, “By becoming a member, you add your voice to the chorus, which seeks to educate the public about the life-long effects of adoption on everyone in the triad. We welcome adopted individuals and their family members, adoptive parents and professionals. Your membership helps us host an annual retreat for learning, healing and drawing strength from one another, and produce our quarterly newsletter, the Communicator.”  We can now add, “Helping families stay together” as one of the perks of a CUB/SOS membership.

Because CUB has taken a huge leap of faith by partnering with SOS, we have to do our best to ensure, when at all possible, that those we come in contact with are aware that all of our members are volunteers and that we are experienced in dealing with the sensitive situations we encounter. Paid SOS members will soon have the choice to go through training and become official Sisters on the Ground or “SOG’s.” These are our “boots on the ground” people who vet new moms, face to face, and stay in contact with them as long as the mother requests while she is making strides to improving her own situation. . The most pertinent part of becoming an SOG is the implication of a “code of conduct” so that you and all members of CUB/SOS can rest assured that we are conducting ourselves ethically and respectfully while representing the CUB/SOS name and reputation. By agreeing to go through CUB/SOS training the risk becomes minimal for our organization which will allow us to keep our non-profit status and continue to help families for years to come.

Just as before, you are not required to become a paid member to donate money or items, refer moms to SOS or participate in other ways. We are all one big community and it is that sentiment that we want to hold onto. Without our donors we would not exist. Without our eyes and ears, that are all of you, we would not know where to find our moms. You are important. The membership is not to exclude anyone.

Online donations of monetary value will now go through the CUB website and you may be able to deduct your donations on your federal taxes. Be sure to indicate, while donating, that you will need a receipt. You should contact your tax adviser for clarification. SOS can also accept monetary donations, by USPS mail, straight to CUB. Just indicate it is a donation for SOS.

How to Donate Online Online

Visit the CUB website and click on the “DONATE” tab.  You will have the option to click on Saving Our Sisters to have 100% of your donation allocated to SOS.

In Summary

I know this all seems so technical. By organizing, dotting our “i’s” and crossing our “t’s” we assure that we can help as many families as possible and that no mistakes are made that would risk the organization altogether.

These last few years have given SOS valuable lessons on how to best help mothers and the varying situations they may be in. We have learned so much. We have made mistakes, we have trusted when we shouldn’t have. Everything that is happening today is a direct result from those very important lessons. We want to protect our community, our donors, our organization, and, of course, the families we are helping.

This is an exciting time for Saving Our Sisters and Concerned United Birthparents. Together we are a force to be reckoned with. Together we can change our culture, our society, and work to fulfill our mission statement, together. Please join us in this exciting endeavor!

If you wish to become an official SOS member, and have a possibility of becoming a Sister On the Ground, please click on this link: Cubirthparents Sign Up

If you wish to donate to SOS please click on this link: Donate to SOS

If you wish to be part of the discussion and/or offer support in other ways, please visit: SOS Facebook page

http://www.cubirthparents.org

http://facebook.com/adoptionSOS

**If you are reading this post on Musings of the Lame, it is a syndicated post. To visit the links please scroll to the top of the page and click on “Beemom” to see the original post with hyperlinks included.**

Adoption Romance and the Subtle and Pervasive Influence We Are All Subjected To

When us “older” birthmoms try to tell pregnant women, who are planning on giving up their babies, that they have fallen for the coercion of the industry, we are often faced with opposition. Whether that industry is agencies, attorneys, or the media, in general, they all seem to parrot the same types of statements.

“I’m not even working with an agency so how is it possible for them to coerce me?”

“I’m not being coerced, I made this decision before I even contacted an agency.”

“That’s not possible because I’m running the show and everything that is happening is because I want it to happen.”

When you tell them that their views on adoption have been shaped by the subtle messages being conveyed by the industry, they deny ever really thinking about adoption until they became pregnant. Even our media, it seems, has been charmed by the industry.

I’m sure, by now, you’ve all seen the photographs that were posted showing a happy adoptive couple with the new baby that was “delivered to them” via the stork. Yes, the stork. Their words, not mine. In fact, it was a “stork drop” adoption. This term is used in the adoption community to describe an adoption that occurs when the mom has made no earlier adoption plans. It varies slightly, how much background information is known about the mother and father of the baby in question. I’ve done some reading up on forums about how prospective adoptive parents feel about these type of adoptions. The general response seems to be “but what if I get a defective baby because I don’t know the background.” The Olson family, however, was okay with a stork drop adoption and that is how we all came to learn about their vague story.

This story went viral. This stork drop adoption with the perfectly staged and edited photos made to make adoption look like a fairy tale. I looked into the couple who adopted a bit. It seems that one of their sons (they have 2 biological sons) was born with Spina Bifida. Because they didn’t want to risk having another baby with birth defects they did not conceive again. But that’s now where their story stops. They just felt their family wasn’t “complete” without a third child because that had always been the plan. They never come outright and say it, but not only did they want to adopt so they could get a “perfect” child, it seems that only a girl would suffice. Although it seems to now be gone, as of yesterday their website included terminology for an expectant mother that eluded that they only wanted a girl. A final line said something like, “We can’t wait to adopt our little girl!” Additionally, a YouCaring page set up for them says, “Help David and Sarah complete their family and bring their little girl home!  Your contribution of any kind will help towards the costs involved with this process.” Only a girl would do, I guess. Sounds like they wanted the mail order perfect baby to me.

The Olson family isn’t the subject of my post, however. I am using their story as an example for the real point of this article. Their story went VIRAL. Their photos are being praised by the masses around the world. The photographer made them look like movie stars and she did a fantastic job of promoting domestic infant adoption as a fairy tale. In this case, though, a picture is not worth a thousand words. It’s the words the pictures stay silent about where my concern lies.

I wouldn’t doubt if millions of people have seen these photos and read this story. Nowhere is the birthmother mentioned, not even a specific thank you to her directly from the Olson’s. Her story or the stories of other birthmothers are not shared. Adoptee stories are not shared. The term “birthfather” isn’t mentioned at all. I can’t help but wonder if he is even aware he has a child or if his consent was even obtained ethically. Other adoptive parents are mentioned and how great they are. This story irresponsibly glorifies adoption. It is subconsciously influencing and coercing the decisions of many mothers and mothers that will come.

I ran across this in a birthmother support group:

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The first picture is her original post. First, I don’t even want to get into the psychology behind deciding on adoption when you’ve literally JUST found out you’re pregnant. I don’t think a decision like that should be rushed into so quickly. How could she have possibly done an adequate amount of research to come to that decision? Notice everyone encouraging her. Notice how she can’t wait to make some kind of an announcement and incorporate adoption. This is the hero complex of adoption. The way the media portrays things, the way the industry wants them to portray things, is that a birthmother is a hero and she is doing something so wonderful for other people who would otherwise not be able to do it for themselves. Only part of this is true. Someone else would not be able to do that for themselves. But, you see, this is part of the coercion of the industry in general. Become the hero of not only your OWN story, but the hero of someone else’s as well. Grant someone a wish!! Be that genie in a bottle! I’m sorry, baby’s are not presents to be gifted to other people.

Notice the comment from the original poster in the third picture. She wants to make an announcement about her choice of adoption with a stork. A stork. A stork. Let that sink in. Coincidentally this was posted just days after the news story about the Olson’s was released. Did their story have some sort of influence on her? Is she missing something in her life that she needs to fill? Does she need to place value on herself by going through with an adoption plan? Maybe millions of people will be praising her. And if they aren’t praising her specifically, she will fit into that “birthmom” club. Even if she hasn’t given birth. She has declared herself a birthmom. Certainly the thousands of comments on the articles and Facebook posts about the Olson’s would include her as well. “Birthmothers are so brave!” or “Birthmothers are so selfless!” This young woman has romanticized adoption. Why shouldn’t she? Everyone else is. Everyone else is ooohing and aaaahing and goozing over these viral photos. Why would she not want to be included in that to fill a void of value in her life?

Most women do not even publicly announce their pregnancy, save close family or friends, until they are safely past the date where miscarriage is still a risk. Typically this is 12 weeks. This woman is planning on not only announcing her pregnancy on Facebook well before that mark, she is also incorporating adoption into it. She’s not excited to announce her pregnancy (which would be understandable) she is excited to announce the adoption. I simply cannot understand how anyone would be excited about being pregnant and not being able to parent the child you were carrying. I wasn’t excited. I was sad. It wasn’t something I “couldn’t wait to announce.” Throughout my entire pregnancy I prayed for a miracle to happen before my daughter was born so that I wouldn’t have to go through with an adoption. I wasn’t excited.

The portrayals of adoption that make the headlines are mushy gushy adoptive parent gets what they wanted and all their dreams come true. It doesn’t show what happens to the other parties. It doesn’t show suicides, depression, self-harm, medical illnesses that could have been avoided if a solid medical record was available. It doesn’t show PTSD, sleepless nights, the hole in your heart, or the tears that flow – for  years and years and years. It is portrayed as a fairy tale. It has subtly and pervasively influenced the public opinion over years and years. But it is far from accurate. It is like a coercion that has happened to the majority of the public. It lives in everyone’s subconscious. It thrives there. Who needs an agency to coerce your opinions when the coercion has happened since you could see pictures and understand words.

Of course, this is not just the Olson’s fault. Their story is one. I have only used it as an example. We are bombarded with stories such as these, images such as these, day in and day out.

Some may ask, “Why shouldn’t we be encouraging young mothers to give up their children if they aren’t financially stable or married?”

To that I say, why do they deserve less to be a mother? Why do their children deserve less than to be raised within their biological family? What are you doing to help preserve these families and give women the tools they need to overcome their obstacles?

Babies are not blank slates. Mothers do not forget. Adoption isn’t a black and white photo.

Adoption Option Council of Minnesota – Active Baby Mining of Vulnerable Teens; A Mis-Education – Saving Our Sisters Official Response

Saving Our Sisters, as you know by now, is the grassroots efforts by members of the adoption community, mostly birthmothers, to help pregnant women avoid adoption relinquishment and the grief that comes with it. We actively seek to educate the world about the realities of adoption that you won’t hear from those who stand to gain something from it. As important as our education mission is the assistance we provide to families to give them a way to parent their child. In my last post I said that what we do is considered controversial, and it is. Why is it considered controversial? Because we lower the supply of babies that are available to those “more deserving” hopeful adoptive parents (see my sarcasm?)

What we do can only be truly successful when there is a major shift in the way people look at adoption. Unfortunately, we have all sorts of adoption advocacy groups that have tons of money invested in telling people how “different” adoption is today. Take, for instance, the Adoption Council of Minnesota. Saving Our Sisters would like to make an official statement about a news article that has come to light in regards of this adoption advocacy group.

To summarize the article, Adoption Council of Minnesota is being heavily praised for sending people out to high schools to “educate” kids about how great adoption is and how it isn’t what it used to be. This is not an accurate education, of course. This education does not include the statistics about the majority of open adoptions closing or contact being greatly diminished within the first 5 years. This doesn’t include the staggering statistic that adopted children are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than the rest of the population. This doesn’t include the trauma, grief and depression that many first moms go through. It includes none of the bad stuff, at all.

These efforts, by Adoption Option Council, are nothing more than propaganda such as the #bravelove campaign to meet the ultimate goal – more babies. By the articles own admission this is why they do it. And I quote, “Getting birth parents to consider adoption is an uphill battle today. With greater access to contraception and abortion and a reduced social stigma for single parenting, fewer babies are available for adoption.” First of all, no one is a birth parent until after they have relinquished their rights so this statement doesn’t even make sense. No one who is already a birth parent can still “consider” adoption as they have already terminated their rights. This statement is misleading. It adds to the coercion that someone who is pregnant under less than ideal circumstances should automatically be considered a birth parent. It gives a sense of entitlement to prospective adoptive parents to a child that is not theirs. Yes, getting parents to consider adoption is an uphill battle, as it should be, and Adoption Option Council of Minnesota has taken that battle to the high schools in a plot that we can only see as “brainwashing” with “adoption positive” language. Of course this language won’t include terms such as suicide, PTSD, and broken families.

Who are they?

About a year and a half ago the board members for Adoption Option were changed. The President is Kate Gillen, a birthmother. You see, by using a birthmother as the front person it makes them seem like a legitimate organization who only want to educate. What does Kate get out of this? Like all birthmothers that are used in “today’s” adoptions, she gets to be the hero. How many times do we hear the “in the fog” birthmothers talking about how great it felt to “give someone such a huge gift.” They get praised, like goddesses, and some even write articles for pro-adoption sites and get paid.

But who is the Vice President? That title belongs to Allie Schmidt. Who is Allie Schmidt? You can probably guess. She is a social worker for an ADOPTION AGENCY. Hope Adoption & Family Services International to be exact. Which seems to be called Evolve Adoption & Family Services now. How can a person who works profiting from the adoption of children be the Vice President of a “non-profit” that claims to educate people about how great and different adoption is now?

I’m so sick of these “non-profits” popping up that advocate for adoption and look to be so great on the outside when at least ONE person in power, sitting on the board, PROFITS off of adoption in some way or another. Huge conflict of interest. They are using these organizations as a front to, essentially, lobby for more babies. I wonder who Adoption Option sends moms to when they fall for the propaganda. I would go out on a limb and guess, oh, um, probably EVOLVE Adoption Agency. That wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit. But, wait, you may say…they’re a non-profit! The director made almost $90,000 in 2014. I’d say her very financial existence relies on getting more infants to stay in business, wouldn’t you? No salary or a very small salary, to me, is considered non-profit. You can read more about the adoption non-profit myth here.

You see, these agencies, the ones who profit off of adoptions, cannot go out and talk about how great adoption is and be taken seriously. So they create a separate “non-profit” group that appears to benefit birth parents and expectant mothers. It’s all a front. All of it. It’s ludicrous to think we are even allowing this stuff in our high schools. It really is. Our PUBLIC high schools are allowing people to come in to brainwash people into giving up their babies as commodities for what is, really, a legal child-trafficking ring in the United States.

And we’re considered controversial. We do not profit. We do not have a salary. We are not compensated, even, for expenses incurred helping these mothers. We keep families together and provide assistance without expecting anything in return. Our organization is not a front. It is for real. What you see is what you get. We have NOTHING to gain. Not to mention, we are NOT well-off. At all. Money is always tight in my household, and I live quite a meager existence. Yet, I know what it is like to be scared, frightened and pregnant…looking for any way out. A temporary financial situation led me to lose my daughter. I was told how great adoption was. I was NOT offered any help to keep her. The little help I DID get was with the stipulation I would hand over my child. So I know what it is like to be in that place. I don’t want anyone else to ever have to be there. This is why we do what we do.

The down side in not getting all sorts of government grants for being a non-profit? We don’t have a drop in the bucket to launch such huge faux pas campaigns in the name of adoption to get what we want. This is our only outlet, our readers, our volunteers, our donors, social media. How much money do these organizations spend on their campaigns to get more babies? How much of that money could have helped just one mother parent her child? Ask yourself these questions and see what kind of answers you come up with.

But adoption is different! Isn’t it? No, not really. The tactics have just changed, as I covered in my previous post. That is why they are so misleading. At the end of the day, just like in the 60’s, you have no parental rights, adoptive parents are not required to keep contact, and your grown child, who you have relinquished, is not required to want anything to do with you. As a matter of fact, its worse than having no parental rights. You are historically ERASED from your child’s life. The birth certificate is sealed and even in states where it has now become legal to get, it isn’t an official government document. The names of “mother” and “father” are changed to a lie. It will state that the adoptive parents gave birth to your child. Not much at all has REALLY changed in adoption. Even open adoption where promises are kept does not equate a “perfect” adoption. While open adoption is preferable to closed adoption, we now have adult adoptees, from open adoptions, discussing how difficult it was to grow up that way, constantly leaving your first family and not understanding why. My favorite open adoption adoptee is Kat. Her blog is SISTER WISH. Here are some quotes from her front page:

“I felt trapped between two worlds.”

“Jealousy ran rampant with my kept siblings. I had things. They had my mom.”

“I ALWAYS wanted to see and talk to my mom more.”

“Open adoption is an adult concept based on boundaries. As a child, I didn’t know that. I was fully vested.”

Also, in my previous post, we learned the Nebraska Supreme Court, in a landmark, precedent setting decision, ruled that promises of open adoption were COERCION.

There is no great, awesome, adoption for a child, unless, of course, that child was in an abusive household. Even then it isn’t great. It is still sad their original family was not competent and they had to get a new family. What is adoption about for Adoption Option Council of Minnesota? From reading the article it seems to be about adoptive parents and birth parents who want to appease their guilt. Definitely NOT about the child who will be adopted. If it was they would be honest. But they’re not.

Saving Our Sisters takes the official position that we are adamantly against any group of people who would come into a high school, speak to vulnerable minds, claim to educate them about a subject, when it is really propaganda for personal gain.

Guilt, Coercion, Threats – A New Mom Changes Her Mind – SOS In Action

UPDATE: Almost $1100 was raised for Clara in less than 24 hours! You are all amazing!!

As some of you may know, we are in the process of legitimizing our grassroots organization called Saving Our Sisters (SOS). The goal of SOS is to help vulnerable women avoid adoption relinquishment. Over the past couple of years the organization’s brain child and front-runner, Lynn Johansenn, has helped dozens of women, that had decided to utilize adoption, to keep their babies and successfully parent. SOS offers whatever support is needed to achieve this. Sometimes the support is emotional, sometimes financial, and sometimes legal. Most people who have been helping with this are members of the adoption community themselves. They include birth/first/natural mothers, adoptees, and even a couple of adoptive parents. When the alarm call is sounded, this vast network of people contributes to what is needed and we always end up with enough for the new mom.

Initially, when hearing about an expectant mother who is set on an adoption “plan,” she is approached gently and given the encouragement she needs to know she is worthy of parenting her child and that SOS will do whatever it takes to make that possible. Each reason that a mother has to contemplate adoption is systematically removed with our wonderful network of donors and volunteers. Some harsh realities about the possibilities (probabilities?) in adoption are taught and then the ball is in her court. She is left with contact information, if she declines help at that time, if she changes her mind after the birth of the baby.

If a mother contacts us and needs help we will immediately send out a local contact to be by her side. This contact will go through the needs and even speak on her behalf to the adoption agency, attorney, or prospective adoptive parents so there need not be any awkward moments. We literally do anything we need to do to make the change of mind as easy as possible for the new mother.

More often than not, after the mother has changed her mind and the prospective adoptive parents have been informed, a series of harassment and coercion, coming from selfish people who will do anything to get their hands on the baby they think they have been “promised,” ensues. Prospective adoptive parents, in general, seem to think they are more worthy and more deserving of someone else’s child and will pull out all stops to coerce her, even threaten her, into signing over her rights.

I would like to introduce you to Clara’s* story. Clara is a young mother in Kansas who was expecting a baby within days. Help and information were offered to her. She originally declined but, after the birth of her baby, changed her mind and reached out for help.

Clara had already picked out prospective adoptive parents and was in the process of beginning a private (non-agency) adoption. Since there was no agency the prospective adoptive’s parents’ attorney was pretty much running the legal show. I have no information about how she came about picking this couple or if she was coerced during her pregnancy. I can only speculate. What I do know about Clara is this: She is a hard-working, frugal, single mother who does a kick ass job as a mother. She manages to provide with very little and does damn good with it. She is smart, level-headed, and loving. The father of the baby she just delivered ran out on her with another woman. He wanted nothing to do with the new baby. Clara’s story is so familiar. I’ve heard it time and time again. Are these ideal circumstances to bring a child into the world? Well, no, not really. Does that mean it’s impossible to successfully parent this child? Absolutely not. I’m sure Clara could think of family members or friends that would be willing to be a positive male role model in her child’s life. After deciding to parent she had an outpouring of support from family, friends and her community. Bottom line is this, Clara is worthy of parenting her child and her child is worthy of staying in his original family, of keeping that family intact. When this is a possibility it should always be this way. Adoption should always and only be a last resort.

I’ve discussed coercion, guilt trips, and all sorts of other fun stuff that goes on behind the scenes in adoption land. I often hear new birthmoms say “that doesn’t happen anymore” or “that didn’t happen to me.” Let this stand as a testament that it does indeed still happen, and often. Ask yourself how your child’s adoptive parents would have behaved if you changed your mind?

I did, indeed, make an adoption plan for my youngest daughter (the daughter that was born after my relinquished daughter). I asked the adoptive parents of IKL to adopt her. I changed my mind. When they learned of this change of mind they said, “You will never see IKL again.” Visits were stopped. That was 12 years ago. I have not seen her since. Initially they tried to talk me into giving the baby up. Telling me how it would be selfless and I would be giving her all sorts of things that she wouldn’t get with me. When that didn’t work they resorted to threats. Threatening to take IKL out of my life. When I didn’t relent they made good on their promise.

Meet Becky, prospective adoptive parent. This is her text message to Clara after learning she had changed her mind.

Screen shot number one.

Screen shot number one.

Screen shot number two.

Screen shot number two.

Guilt and coercion. “Look how upset we are. Please still consider adoption. We can give your baby what you can’t. We are more deserving. We’ll let you pick the middle name! See how great and open we are!” That is the message I’m getting from this text message. Notice she mentions Tom. This is the father of the baby. She is using Clara’s fear of a court battle (which she knows full and well would never really get to the point of “fighting” just based on custody laws) with Tom to attempt to sway her into handing over her baby. Pretty disgusting. But it get’s better.

Screen shot number three.

Screen shot number three.

When Becky’s attempt to coerce and scare Clara didn’t work, she resorted to having her sister text message Clara. More guilt. She even goes so far to call her selfish for parenting her child. Do these people not understand this baby is not and never was theirs? This is just more of the same, trying to get her to sign over rights via guilt and making her feel like a bad person – selfish – for parenting HER child.

Screen shot number four.

Screen shot number four. He meant to say, “if you are NOT willing to let the child be adopted.”

So here’s where things get “Are you kidding me?!” This is the bio father’s text message to Clara. Here’s what you need to remember. Clara did NOT give her contact information to Tom (the bio father). He attained this message through the adoptive parents somehow, most likely their attorney. As you’ll remember from the first text message, Becky was trying to convince Clara to give up her baby to protect the baby from Tom (bio dad). If Becky was truly concerned about the baby’s safety would she be giving out Clara’s contact information to Tom? Even if it was through a third-party such as her attorney? Of course not. This is, yet again, another tactic to scare Clara. This time with direct threats from the bio dad. When Becky’s text message didn’t work, and then her sister’s didn’t either, she now tried FORCE. Coercion and guilt wasn’t working, right? Let’s FORCE her hand into giving us her baby. Let’s scare her…even if it really does put the baby at risk. Who cares. We want what we want and we’ll do anything to get it.

This is the face of adoption. Expectant mothers heed this warning. The same people who are nice to you, that you feel “connected” to, that you LOVE SO MUCH, I would estimate 90% of them would turn into this if you changed your mind. They have one goal in mind – to get a baby. They are shameless and will stop at nothing to do it.

Dear Becky,

Go fuck yourself you entitled piece of shit.

Dear Becky’s sister,

Noneya.

Dear Tom,

Go ahead and try. I dare you.

Where does this leave Clara? Well, none of this is working on her, thank God. The ONLY thing Clara needs right now is her rent of $500 paid since she was not able to scrape that together being at the end of her pregnancy. We don’t usually ask for monetary donations straight up but, in this case, it is needed greatly. Her rent is due on the 1st. As of now we do NOT have tax exempt status so your donation would not be tax-deductible. However, if you would like to donate to the PayPal account that is being used to help Clara with rent next month (and if we get enough rent NEXT month as well) it would be greatly appreciated.

To donate to Clara please message Lynn Johansenn on facebook HERE.

What Clara is doing is #bravelove.

Adoption is #notabravelove

*Name changed to protect new mother