Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut

See my Adoption BEWareness Month blog for details on my November mission: exposing the things people don’t want to admit about adoption.
I would like to expand upon the discussions that have developed in the adoption reform community, concerning a recent article claiming that reformers are mendacious, stupid, and most importantly… crazy.

As I commented on another blog, this is Rule #1 In The Adoption Game. If a birth relative or adoptee questions The Game, call them crazy.

Why is one person’s “crazy” another person’s “genealogical research?” Why are adoptees not supposed to complain when they are treated in a manner that, if occuring to anyone else, would be unjust? Why are mothers expected to forget they ever had a child? If a child dies, the mother is allowed her grief; vice versa if a child loses a parent. But if you’re separated by adoption, tough, and if you speak out, you’re nuts.

Note that the people calling us crazy are, primarily, adopters and adoption “professionals,” the sole winners (and creators) of The Adoption Game. I say “professionals” in quotes because any bozo can sell babies, no certifications required. Adoption is a business, a for-profit venture, not a charity. It behooves them to make the people putting a dent in that business look like lunatics.

Because adoption reformers are just… people, everyday people you pass on the street. We run businesses, vote, go to war and patronize the same grocery store you do. I was surprised the first time I spoke with Marley Greiner, executive director of Bastard Nation and author of her personal Bastardette blog. I knew Marley only through highly skewed media articles, and was therefore expecting some kind of outre villain with Glenn Close-as-Cruella hair. Instead I discovered a well-spoken woman who seems as sane as anyone. But if you believe the latest gossip, I’ve been conversing with one of the frontrunners for the matriarchal anarchists, go figure.

Because the minute you breathe dissent, the moment you dare to suggest that adoption is not perfect, you are deemed crazy. You can’t say one word against the status quo without being branded! It’s like you’re suddenly the leper in the room, with a big A-For-Adoption-Activist tattooed across your forehead.

I am used to being called crazy; for someone who believes in dimensional transcendentalism it’s occasionally amusing. It started with my adoptive family, who considered me “crazy” because I was different from them. Kids at school thought I was “crazy” because I was adopted. Now I’m “crazy” because I, as an adult adoptee, assert my rights. But stealing babies from mothers, faking adoptee birth certificates and concocting conspiracy theories about reformers is “normal.” Uh-huh.

I am an average person, your typical middle-aged working mom. If Ms. Saxton, the author of that little piece of vitriol, or someone like her were to pass me on the street, she wouldn’t blink. However, I know that I am really a Bastard, because the world around me makes that abundantly clear. I am treated differently. I am not permitted the same rights. That is why I am an adoption reformer.

They said women were crazy for wanting to vote. They said that blacks were crazy for wanting civil rights. Now they say adoptees and first mothers are crazy because we reject what has been done to us. I happily accept the slur, because it means they are running scared from the progress we are making toward open records and transparency in the adoption process.

Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don’t.

Comments

  1. When I was a kid a neighbor kid called me a “half-breed”. I didn’t know what that meant but knew it was an insult. My older “brother” suggested I say “Stick and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” This advice I took. The kid started throwing sticks and stones at us! There was this realization in my small child-mind at that moment that fighting back makes sense and I hauled off with a stone of my own. The kid high-tailed it home!

  2. Honestly, I just have a hard time grasping all of this separtism. I thought we were referred to as Triads? Adoptee/Birth Family/Adoptive Family.

    So doesn’t that make us a whole? When did Adoptees, of the adult age, Adoption Reformers and those seeking to overturn long overdue change to OBC’s & open records become the enemy?

    I recently became an outspoken member of a blog of an actual adoption website. I was so taken aback when I responded to a thread that was about open adoption. I was the only Adoptee on the thread. All others were either Adoptive Parents or Foster Parents. It was a mildly participated thread until I became involved. I respond, and truly from the depth of my heart as a way to support my junior Adoptees that will one day be ME.

    I was blown away when my Blackberry was chiming that bell over & over that I had email. I am thinking, “Wow, this is great! I am going to use my adoption aftermath as I call it for some good.” Then I read them and am stunned. They were mean, filled with hate, absolutely coming from ignorance and intended to make me feel like an ASHAMED.

    When did we become the enemy? Because now I simply must know my background and feel like I deserve to be treated like any other citizen in this country I should be Baker-Acted? Those that organize and speak out in support of myself and other Adoptees are the Anti-Christ?

    So ONCE AGAIN…I am seen as something to be viewed as SHAMEFUL. Those groups trying to promote change should be ASHAMED. Those Birth family members whom are seeking reform to OBC’s & closed records should be SHAMED.

    It is now nearly 2009. We just elected our first black president. We came together as a country, we united as one and elected a black man. We saw each other as equals. So where do we fit into this picture?

  3. It has not been all that many years ago when we personally touched by adoption were triad members. It is still hard for me to not refer to the triad but I’m sure there are some who wonder what triad I’m referring to. We adoptees who continue to fight for a civil right to be restored are referred to as troublemakers. The President of the U.S. even excludes us in recognizing National Adoption Month. I think that many adult adoptees have felt like an outcast at some time or another during their childhood and maybe even as adults. We just need for more adult adoptees to unite and refuse to be categorized as outcasts. We need to let legislators and other citizens know that we are not going anywhere until all U.S. states are open records states. It does not matter what we are called. We are going to continue to fight for adoption reform.

  4. It comes as a shock to we moms too to find our we are feared and despised because of course the sales pitch was you will be so honoured and respected for putting your baby’s welfare first. Now some want to say that we are mentally ill because we felt the loss of our children and care about their well-being.

    It is ever thus that if they really fear the message they disparage the messenger.

    People have trouble, particularly, adoptive parents believing that you,, the normal looking and sounding person standing in front of them, are a birth mother. You don’t fit the stereotype, the one that Ms Hess Saxton works so hard to preserve in her article.

    As I have said elsewhere, I don’t usually responfd to those things but this one was particularly offensive.

    There is a very calm and reasoned discussion going on on her other website/blog.

  5. Bravo! Since I am certain that she is not searching these out, send her a copy of your post. I did. She deserves to see the impact her article had on those who have lived this. Such insufferable smugness she shows. She deserves to feel the backlash. She is a christian…perhaps she missed the scripture about “Judge not lest ye be judged!”

    heidi.hess.saxton@gmail.com

  6. Chynna-I think sometimes parts of the adoption “triad” have a hard time understanding one another’s viewpoints. Which is why I’d rather have us all talking about such things, even heatedly, rather than letting them fester in silence.

    UM-That’s the reason we all have to speak up: to put human faces on the stereotypes. I am glad to hear of the reasoned discussions going on, can you provide a url?

  7. Triona:
    I could not agree with you more when you say we should be speaking about it openly no matter where it takes us.

    I realized how deep the stigma ran when I decided to be as proactive as possible as an Adult Adoptee.
    I have been trying to rally a group together here in Florida for things like RegDay. I wanted to go to a HUGE NAD event in Miami with MANY POLITICIANS & MEDIA attending not to ruin their celebration, but to be a voice for our endeavors and educate those not in the know. I have been trying to rally Florida adoptees/birth fam together as an extended group on one of the forums I am on often.

    Noone has responded to anything that I am trying to put together. At first I thought that it was me or people were busy or maybe they just weren’t interested. But, then I realized that wasn’t it at all. You are unidentifiable behind a computer screen. You can speak out, be bold, be proactive in text in a forum on the computer. You are not breaking any rules as you are typing from your corner still wearing your shame cap on your hat and still typing away without an identity.

    We, as adoptees & birth mother’s, have become so conditioned to keep quiet and take the living in shame as just a part of our life that we don’t unite. As if we are not allowed to unite. The fear & stigma is so incredibly strong it is all controlling. I truly don’t think Adoptees realize this.

    So people such as yourself Triona or the courageous people at BN and others are seen as fanatical kooks as the majority of us keep quiet.

    I don’t think this Ms. Saxton and others in her corner understand the real & serious damage that they do to each and every adoptee and birth family member.

    There is power in #’s as there are 2.1 million adoptees in this country per the US census in 2003 I think it was. This didn’t even include Birth Family Members. If even a portion of this # united we would have to be heard. That is when big change will happen on a Federal level. Which in turn will wash away the stigma.

    I will continue to be proactive. There is no turning back now. I will continue to encourage other Adoptees to join me. I only hope that we break out of this shell soon.