Monday, May 12, 2014

Adoption, pain, tears, hope and joy

So my sister is pregnant and due to certain conditions (money and health) is proceeding with adoption and will be placing her child with a family that can afford to give the baby everything she currently cannot. I have been right beside her with each step of the adoption process so far and it has been a unique, enlightening and highly emotional experience for me, and her. 

First off, whether you are Mormon or not, if you live in Utah you go through LDS Family Services.  So far the people I have met there have been fun, nice, kind and willing to go the extra mile to help my sister and answer any questions she may have as well as provide a type of support system for her. She works with the same Case Worker and they have built up a rather fabulous rapport.  They have a support group for moms who are placing and moms who are choosing to parent that meets once a week and the ladies there all have individual stories and are more than willing to share information and give advice, or just listen. There are tears and laughter, hope and despair, but all in all a positive environment.

Second they no longer call it giving your child up for adoption, now it is simply placing your child with another family. I find the new terminology so much more positive and lighter than what I grew up hearing.  They use this term because over 90 % of their adoptions are open adoptions. My sister’s case worker informed us she has barely worked a closed adoption in the 20 + years she has been working in the adoption field.  Open adoption means that my sister can have as much contact with her baby as she and the new parents deem appropriate: Pictures, texts, Facebook, emails, phone calls and even visits.  They might be the new parents, but my sister will never be forgotten as the courageous female who chose to give her baby the best life possible and her child will know who she is, where she is and what circumstances led to her decision. 

Third I want to address the issue of negative stereotypes of women who place their children up for adoption. I have heard people say these must all be poor slutty young women or even stupid women who can’t handle “real life”….I have met several of the other birth mothers, some were married and the timing wasn’t right, some have been young, some older, a few have been pregnant from promiscuity, others have been with long term partners, one didn’t even realize she was pregnant until she went into labor. Some have careers and homes of their own; others live with their parents or are homeless. It takes all kinds. Just like with abortion there is no one TYPE of woman, there are all kinds, all creeds, races and religions, with so many different back stories and back grounds. You cannot lump them together and before you open your mouth please remember you don’t know someone unless you try and actually talk to them. Ignorant people make me angry. anti-vaccers  

 I have heard people say it is taking the “easy way out” among other selfish horrible concepts. I find these statements from people who a) have never had a child, b) are uneducated when it comes to adoption and c) are ass holes. Giving your baby up has got to be the hardest thing any person can ever do. I have watched over the months as my sisters realized she was not going to be prepared to take care of her baby; Emotionally, physically and financially.  She had a hard choice ; place her baby with people who have money, a home  and stability or keep her baby with her and run the risk of being homeless , starving and eventually having CPS forcibly take her child from her.  As much as I her family want to help there is only so much we can do for her, and it is not enough so that she would have the option of parenting.  For my sister this was the best and smartest decision she could make. Having children myself I applaud her, I have no idea how I would handle being pregnant and knowing I didn’t get to keep my baby. Striving to stay unattached, not getting baby gifts, preparing a baby book or even naming my child. It would drive me crazy and I have high respect that even as emotional as my sister is she seems to be handling herself well. Though I know it is hurting her inside.  Letting others raise her child is the toughest thing she has ever dealt with and will ever deal with. She will be stronger for it. I find this to be my sisters first real grown up decision. 

Fourth, I have heard my sister say things like, “If I can’t raise this baby, doesn’t it mean I have failed?”  From an outsider point of view I am going to rail against this statement in fury. OF COURSE NOT. In fact it means you are thinking of your baby first, the way any parent would. Sometimes you make hard decisions in your life that suck for you but are good for your children, this just happens to be one of them. I know a few people who placed children for adoption and then years later had healthy happy children when the time was right. It doesn’t mean my sister loves this baby any less or has failed in any way to be an adult or a parent. In fact the gift she is giving the people she has chosen to raise her child is a miracle for them. My sister can have other children is she chooses, this family cannot. All they can do is wait for someone to place with them, this ultimate of gifts. That’s right conservatives the ultimate gift isn’t your V-card it is a mother placing her baby with another family, putting aside her fears and trusting these strangers to raise and support her child when she cannot. 

Fifth- I briefly thought about adoption when I got pregnant at 20….It was only for a few minutes and not really seriously. It wasn’t for me, but I remember how I felt for just that moment, sad and terrified and trying to figure out if I had what it took to parent my daughter, would I be able to provide for her like my mom had for me? The answer was yes for me, but it could have easily been no. Everyone is different, what is the right choice for some might not be for others. It does not diminish your decision and choice; it is all about what is right for you and your baby.  Fuck what anybody else says. This is YOUR CHOICE; don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.

 Sixth- I want to applaud all people involved in honest adoption services, the birth mother, adoptive families, case workers, and anyone who is positively supporting the process. I have been sitting next to my sister for two months now while she deals with this and no matter how irritating or obnoxious she is now , was in the past or will be in the future…I am always going to remember what a strong female she was in the face of this decision. If you are out there right now entering into this process, in the middle of it or even thinking about it I just wanted to say I support adoption Still totally pro-abortion though, your choice. and have tons of respect for the whole institution. 

 My sister is due in two weeks and is placing her daughter up for adoption, I am gaining and losing my only true blood niece at the same time…It’s hard for me too, I don’t have a lot of immediate family and am not close with my other sister… But I know how to be there  for people when things are shitty, and that’s exactly what I am going to do. You might see me write Wicked Witches Unite, on this blog, well for the next month it will be Sisters for Adoption Unite.

Bright Blessings   

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