Blessings of Adoption

Is adoption a blessing? Some truly believe it to be, but I don’t see it as such a simple answer. There are three types of adoptions. There are those that are legitimate because an actual orphan is involved. Even then, those can be controversial because how exactly was that child made an orphan? There are so many socioeconomic conditions at play. Was the child kidnapped and sold by someone in order to financially benefit at the cost of that child’s family? Was the child from a family left in such destitute poverty that abandonment seemed the only righteous answer? Is there a government threatening the lives of children born without a license? Was the child truly orphaned?

There are mutually agreed upon adoptions. Those women who seek out adoption, place a child with every belief that they did the right thing for the rest of their lives, and seem to move on without trauma. This, to me, is the elusive unicorn. I have yet to come across this mother, but maybe she doesn’t feel the need to blog. She has moved on.

Then there are coercive adoptions. These perhaps are more frequent in wealthy nations like the U.S. Many of us have heard about the Baby Scoop Era. Most people believe it ended sometime in the 70’s. Did it really end or did agencies just learn how to better manipulate their “clients”? I think the Baby Scoop Era still exists, but it has been remade. Its no longer a secret, but a “blessing”.

Psychological warfare is not uncommon in the adoption world. I was certainly a victim of it. If you’ve read my previous blogs, the details of my story are pretty thorough. I’d like to focus on two things in this post- tearing down of the mother, and the eventual tearing down of faith.

I didn’t “choose” adoption. After months of my mother nagging me, I decided only to find the contact number of a local agency. I kept that number stashed away until I was nearly 7 months pregnant. My efforts didn’t seem to be paying off. I was working full time. I was attending parenting classes. I was saving every dime I made. I was trying to bridge the gap with my ex-boyfriend. My mother wasn’t open to my being a single mother at 19, so reasoning with her was impossible. I hoped through my perseverance she would see how much I wanted to raise my daughter. At the end of the day, I still needed a roof over my head, which had been threatened. I still needed a car, which had been totaled in a hit and run when I was 2 months pregnant (thanks a-hole semitruck driver who left me for dead).

How did the agency come into play? With adoption, you have to be broken. Your sense of self has to be destroyed. How is this done? As kindly as possible because these people are there to “help” you. So, I was convinced by the tag team (my mother and my agent) that keeping my daughter would be doing the impossible. I would put her through years of unnecessary struggle. Her father would destroy her sense of self by coming in and out of her life. Every aspect of the future is focused on what an absolutely crap life you have to offer your own child whom you love more than life itself. ie- YOU are being selfish.

What is the alternative? What would a mother do who truly loved her child? Give her away to a caring family who could raise her with all the opportunities you wish your pathetic self could do. Face this mind-fubar in a time of stress and fear; it works amazingly well. ie- YOU are being selfless. Isn’t that what a mother is supposed to be? Selfless? I wanted to be as selfless as I could be for that little angel. She had become my world. I wanted to fiercely protect her. I was convinced, by those I trusted, that in order to protect her I had to protect her from myself.

Before adoption ravaged my life, I was decently confident. I had my doubts, but I wasn’t socially awkward. I was an honor student. I had a scholarship. I had never had problems speaking in front of people. My major depended heavily on public speaking. I had never questioned myself in front of audiences. Fast forward a few months post-adoption and I could barely say hello to a stranger. This overwhelming sense of anti-social behavior had made its presence known.

Somehow, I had the wherewithal to notice it and tried my best to remedy it. I decided to waitress because it would make me socialize with numerous strangers a day. I learned that I adjusted to the routine and almost treated it as being an actor. Once I went back to college, it was harder to disguise my newly found social anxiety. I didn’t want to exist. I didn’t want to be the center of attention where not only I had to admit my existence, but a roomful of people would bare witness to my existence. I dropped out of college with one semester left towards my bachelor’s degree. I had credits for an associate’s. I went to work in a cubicle for an insurance agency and embraced my non-existence.

I look back and realize now how I could have had such a change in my personality. In order for me to place my daughter for adoption; I had to be torn down. I had to convince myself that I was worthless. Of course, keeping her would have been selfish. So, as my mother pleaded with me not to quit school, what exactly did she expect? In one instance, I’m worthless and selfish. Two years later, somehow I am incredibly smart and limitless.

If I had been told those truths about myself earlier, perhaps I’d not only have my bachelor’s degree and a career, but more importantly my daughter. Thing is, I don’t care about the degree and career today. I love staying home with my little ones. I could’ve used that encouragement with my daughter. But then I’d have an embarrassed family, an unpaid agent, and a family without the blessing of my child.

Speaking of blessings. It was laid on thick that my relinquishment was a blessing. I was blessing a family with a child. I was blessing my child with a worthy family. Utter perversion.

I was a Christian in name only when I was 19. I remember the only question I had for the adopting family was if they too were Christians. Somehow I felt there would be this unspoken sense of connection. I received a weak affirmative reply. Even as a non-Christain Christian, it seemed suspect to me at the time. As if anything might be admitted to in order to adopt. But, again with everything being a “blessing”. I went against my own instincts.

I truly became a Christian 10 years ago. Wow. It is amazing how Christ can take your crap and throw it to the wind. Those were 10 really good years. Then this last fall my daughter decided that our connection was too overwhelming for her. And I’ve hit this place that I don’t understand. All these years, I’ve held onto the hopes that all things would work through Christ. But, my daughter has communicated things to me that have broken my heart from afar. And I have no recourse. No authority in her life.

This adoption that was sold to me as a blessing for her has been anything but. So, I find myself questioning God. I find myself questioning those who I thought were Christians- people I had trusted. Can it truly be a blessing that a child is manipulated from the arms of a mother into the arms of strangers? The adoptive family has always been kind to me. I have admired them in many ways over the years. At the same time, they are politically and spiritually my polar opposites. This family my mother picked out as a “blessing” has never once taken her to church. In fact, they dabble with Buddhism.

These are things you cannot control from the outside looking in. These are things that aren’t communicated to you in those moments of fear. Adoptive families can make decisions regarding your child that you have absolutely no say in. Perhaps, you’re liberal and come to realize you couldn’t have placed your child with a more conservative family. Or you’re non-religious and years later the family decide to become Mennonites. There are those small nuances that make us who we are, perhaps making that child even more a stranger to you through the years. So now, my daughter and I have no religion or politics to share on top of not having national heritage since my mom sent her out of the country. There is no “lifebook” that can prepare you for handing your child over to strangers.

Coercive adoption, or adoption, must destroy self. It will take nearly a lifetime to rebuild. The person I was before is just no more. It has tested my faith. I wish so badly adoption was not referred to as  a “blessing”. There is tremendous pain and loss that has led to the point of adoption. I don’t believe, and never will believe, God placed a child in my womb specifically for another woman. I do believe I was manipulated by individuals perverting God’s word for their selfish desires. Perhaps, adoption can be a “blessing” in those rare instances of true orphans. We are commanded to take care of orphans. There is no where that we are commanded to make orphans. Adoption, for non-orphans, tears down both self and faith.

 

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7 thoughts on “Blessings of Adoption

  1. I don’t think adoption as a whole is a blessing for orphans who suffered a loss. Maybe they are blessed with amazing parents the end up with but the journey they had to get there I can’t see as a blessing.

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    1. Absolutely. The few international adoptees I know…when I see them my gut reaction is immediately to their loss. They’ve lost their family. Their family lost them. So much tragedy. The more I learn, the more I’m careful about throwing around the word “blessing”.

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      1. I think people mean well in that they don’t intend to hurt others. Sure it’s a blessing that these kids who do get families to care for them are blessed but it still sucks what they go through. It’s like telling a cancer survivor that they are blessed rather than someone dying from Cancer. Sure they are glad to be a live but it still sucks going through treatments.

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  2. I’m a baby scoop era adoptee. I can tell you that I was not a gift or a blessing. I was a human being who lost out on my genetic family. I am 44 and consumed with grief and regret for a life I never got to live. It is only worsening the older I get. My natural mother did not want to have anything to do with me, her dirty secret, at reunion. I limped along begging for scraps. She still doesn’t want anything to do with me 12 years later. She likes things on FB but thats it. My father of origin wants to have more to do with me than my mother, but he still only wants to see me at Christmas time. The sadness is consuming and crushed the remainder of my soul. Thanks for writing this. I hope moms who are potentially giving their children over to the adoption beast will read it and see what their future holds. I’m not grateful. I’m not thankful. I’m not a present or a gift. I’m not a blessing. I’m just a person. I was just a baby who wanted her mother. I wish I had been aborted-

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    1. So much pain has been left in the wake of adoption. I’m new to all of this. So much pain I haven’t allowed myself to feel or examine for so many years. I think for some, it can be too much for them to absorb, so they do their best at pushing it away. Out of sight, out of mind. I truly wish a sense of closure for you. Thank you for your comment.

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  3. My heart aches for you. (Many of you on here) I’ve NEVER thought of adoption in this way. I cried and then prayed for you, I hope you were able to be reunited with your daughter! It is very eye opening- I am a mother and have had a desire to adopt (outside my blood line) bc I truly want to “help”, naively. I have volunteered at and still support financially, a center that does just what you described about taking the mothers, who are in a bad situation- you name it- financially unable, unplanned pregnancy, etc in, then they give them life/parenting skills and bible study and in return, they get free resources such as diapers, carseats, etc to take care of their baby that were donated- ALL FOR FREE. Now that’s the church and what I believe how you saw we are to help the poor, etc. There’s also a fatherhood initiative… There are women who do come to the facility seeking an abortion, but that is not an option at this place. 🙂 The option of adoption is presented when the mother wants to terminate the child through abortion. May I please share your writings with the center to better help some of the counselors deal with our clients? Maybe to train to seek out even more options like other family members etc. instead of strangers…Do you think you would feel any different about your daughter being adopted by family members (like you referenced Ester)? I know your daughter wasn’t a true orphan but I am trying to think of reference for a mother who would choose adoption over abortion. There are many mothers out there that are unlike you, sadly, who mistreat their children and I feel the pain of adoption is less than the pain they experience from their own mother- what do you think/feel about these scenarios? I guess that’s where the fostering system comes into play but again, there’s hurt there too- what are your thoughts on fostering- do you think it is the “help” the Bible is referring to when it commands us to help the poor/mistreated? I respect your opinions, please write me back at my email address!

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    1. You are more than welcome to use my writings.
      In regards to fostering, I honestly have no experience. I feel uncomfortable speaking to that. I can say that mothers that I have personal experience with were not mothers in danger of abusing their children- they were mothers who simply had no other way; specifically financial. There are so many adoptee blogs out there too. I would be more comfortable sending you in that direction than me trying to speak on what an adoptee might feel.
      I think its wonderful that you are part of a center; I am as well. I’ve made a point to always do something related to keeping moms with their babies. If mothers, for whatever reason, can’t or don’t want their children, then I believe family should be approached first. That seems to be a consistent desire among adoptees. Unfortunately, it was my own family that chose not to keep my daughter. It is something I’ve come to realize I will never understand.
      In regards to Scripture, I know children are abused, and at times there is a need to separate children from their parents. I’m not speaking with any authority, but from what I gather from adoptees, letting them keep their names and their biological connections is very important.

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