May 11, 2013

For Birth Moms and Adopted Kids

I think I have to post this. It helped me. still does. by Joe Soll

The Respect We Never Got

I’ve looked into your eyes thousands of times and through them into your hearts and I’ve seen the pain and anguish. Alone you have had to endure what no human should ever have to endure. Alone, hiding from the world that exiled you. You who have lost your precious child. Your precious child who is Missing in Adoption and for whose loss you receive no respect. I know your pain for it is pain that we have shared together from the beginning. Exquisite pain because it is ours. At least we have that. Now, as to respect...

Without blaming anyone, I suggest we take a look at the respect we never got. To start with, we need to look at the beginning. The beginning was birth and separation for the mother and child. For the adoptive parents, the beginning was the discovery of being infertile or being unable to bring a child into the family any other way.

It was like a big plane crash in a field. All the mothers and babies lying there crying and the rescuers came and carried them off in different directions. When they got to the Emergency Room, they dusted them off, told them they were fine and sent them on their way. The mothers went home and the babies went to new homes. All were told they were fine. The most sacred relationship in the world has now gone up in smoke. They were told that there wasn’t any accident, no crash, forget about it, just get on with your lives. The new parents of the babies were told the babies were fine and they should treat all the babies as if they were their own. As If. That’s a great little phrase. As If.

As if is sort of like treating my cat as if she is the German Shepherd dog I really wanted. But I get so frustrated. She won’t fetch, she doesn’t bark at the door and she won’t get my slippers. I love her, but I get so angry she doesn’t behave the way I want her to. As if just doesn’t work.

So what really happened to each of those mothers and babies from the plane crash? As I see it, there is no substantial difference between the experience of losing a child to death and losing a child to adoption except if there were a real death of a child shortly after birth, the mother’s family and friends would have gathered around and said to her I am so sorry your baby died. You must be sad, let me comfort you, I know you hurt, let me ease your pain. I know you must be angry, let me help you. There would be a funeral and grieving and acknowledgment of what really happened, and there would be a grave to go to and there would be validation and healing. This mother would be given respect.

Instead, the mother who loses her child to adoption experiences the psychological death of her child. Instead of comfort, she gets told she did a brave and noble, unselfish, loving thing and she must forget about it, go on with her life. No one wants to help her talk about it, acknowledge it, cry about it, or mourn the loss of her child. So the loss becomes almost unresolvable. The grief stays stuck in her body and keeping pain in is destructive. She has to go into a kind of shock to survive, hit the pause button on her life and she goes numb. Life is forever changed. You can’t really live that way, but you can exist. She gets no respect.

If there were a real death of a mother shortly after birth, at some point, the child’s father would tell the child that mommy died and it is so sad that this happened to you and you must hurt, let me comfort you and ease your pain and I know you must be angry, let me help you... and there would be pictures and stories and a grave to visit, and grieving, and eventually the child would find out that mommy didn’t die on purpose. This child would be given respect.

Instead for the child whose mother surrenders her to adoption, the child suffers the psychological death of her mother. But she is told that she is special and chosen and lucky. She is supposed to forget that there was another mother. Make believe this is your only family, make believe that all is well. “As if” it is your own. The message is that it is a good thing your mother is not there for you, is dead for you. You are not allowed to be sad about it, acknowledge the pain, anger or sadness, perhaps even to yourself. You are not allowed to mourn the loss of your own mother. The grief gets stuck in your body and keeping in pain is destructive. (So is keeping in anger and sadness). The child has to go into a kind of shock and go numb. You can’t really live that way, but you can pretend. We adoptees are great pretenders. This child gets no respect.

What would happen if your mother died today and you were told you couldn’t cry, you couldn’t go to the funeral and you had to make believe she never existed. What would happen to you? Take a moment and think about it.

Isn’t that what happened to most people in adoption in some way?

It occurs to me that if we really had respect for the mother and the child we would do all we could to preserve the sanctity of that relationship and not separate them at all. If the mother and child could not possibly stay together, then giving her respect when she lost her child, the mother’s family and friends would have gathered around and said to her, “I am so sorry you couldn’t keep your baby. You must be sad, let me comfort you. I know you hurt, let me ease your pain. I know you must be angry, let me help you.” Then there would be grieving and acknowledgment of what really happened.

If the mother and child could not possibly stay together, then giving the adoptee respect when she lost her mother, the new family would say, “You must be sad you lost your first family, it’s okay to cry about it. I’m sad too, you must hurt. Let me comfort you, you must be angry, let me help you, be with you and hold you.”

If adoptive parents got respect, they would have gotten complete information on their adopted child and the truth about the effects on their child of losing the first family. The adoption agency and others would have acknowledged the sadness of infertility or inability to have a child on one’s own. Their pain and anger would have been acknowledged and they would have been encouraged to grieve the child they couldn’t have on their own.

Ignoring the realities of adoption increases the pain and hurt. How can anyone function well if they’re told that what is true isn’t and what isn’t true is?

For example, what if I lose my leg in an accident right after birth? And they tell me I didn’t lose my leg right after I was born, I was mistaken. But it hurts, mommy, and yet it still feels like something is missing. And I keep stumbling around as if I had only one leg (they wouldn’t lie about that would they?) and I don’t know why I’m having trouble managing as a two-legged person...

Our society doesn’t want to acknowledge what has happened to all of us, to give us respect. Truth be told, I lost more than a leg, I lost my mother. Wait, I got a prosthesis, a new mother, a substitute. Why doesn’t it work just as well? Why does it still hurt? Of course our first mothers lost a baby... but they got no replacement, no substitute.

Respect is truth, no secrets, absolute honesty. We can all deal with the truth.

Have we in adoption had our eyes wide shut? Isn’t it time they were wide open?

Well, how can we give ourselves the respect we never got? By learning to experience our feelings. By learning to make “I” statements about our experience.

By learning to say I feel sad because______, I feel angry because_______, I hurt because_______ (fill in the blank). When we say these things out loud for the first time and get validated for the first time, our feelings become real in a way they can never be if unexpressed. Once our feelings become real, we can start to understand why we feel what we feel and once we understand why we feel what we feel, we can start to change the way our experience affects us today.

We can respect ourselves by expressing our anger at what happened to us. Having anger about something that happened to us and expressing it does not make us angry people. We need to express it. If we don’t talk our anger out, we will surely act it out or act it in, in either case, it is destructive. It is poison and will poison our lives and relationships unless we release it.

We can respect ourselves by expressing our sadness. Feeling sad about something sad that happened does not make us cry babies or wimps. We need to express it. Keeping our pain in is destructive. It is poison and it will poison our lives and our relationships unless we release it.

The only way that I know of to be truly happy is to give ourselves the respect of feeling all of our feelings. If we don’t feel the bad ones, we cannot feel the good ones.

Those around us often try to minimize our losses, our experience. We must not buy into that. We can respect ourselves by acknowledging the true extent of the effects on us of the events at the beginning. If we don’t acknowledge the full extent of our wounds, we cannot heal. Only by acknowledging the truth can we begin to heal from our wounds. If I am in an accident and go to the ER and they don’t examine my wounds, don’t clean the depths of my wounds and get the dirt or poison out, I will get an infection, the wound may heal superficially, but the infection is there nevertheless and I will pay a price. Only when I respect myself and take the risk of opening that wound again and clean it out will I be able to truly heal.

Healing involves a lot of pain, but the alternative... I guess we have all lived it. We need to give ourselves the respect to climb the mountain of pain that leads to healing. The mountain is steep, but climbable. There are many crevices on the way up, but each crevice still puts you closer to the top. We are all here in this adoptive family to help each other, nurture each other, support each other, share with each other and learn from each other on this road to respect and healing.

Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs, who wrote Women Who Run with the Wolves, has said that those who have been “abandoned” and face it and work it through can become the strongest people on the face of the earth.

Don’t doubt it for a second. Only the truly brave do this work, come to conferences and support groups and work it through.

The alternative to doing the work — Well, we can continue to bury our heads like an ostrich, but if we do, we will likely get kicked in the behind and not see it coming. Or to put it another way, if we continue to swim in Denial we will likely get bitten by a crocodile.

My dad loves buying flowers at the grocery store. He thinks he is so cool, cause he knows yellow rose is the "Birth Mother's day" rose or something... (I think it is, & I prefer yellow roses so I go with it!) He said "at least this way all the roses were not sold out" (like there would be a mad rush Saturday for yellow roses..lol) I think there will be plenty around....

May 12, 2012

Birth Mother's: You are Loved Today and Everyday

I mean it. You are not invisible! Someone sees you...
(Ive written so much over the years. This is a copy and paste sorta job and I hope it makes sense. I mean every word. Love, Brooke (birth mom missions)


Birth Mom Missions has all sorts of things planned for Birth mom's "weekend" like every year. We want you to know you are loved throughout the whole day and every other day too. So something will always be going on (via the facebook) Like you weill receive emails or surprises and you can talk ANYTIME of the day you want to a birthmother 1 or 100 on a community call. Radio show tonight to remind you and the world what tomorrow is. And that we don't (I dont) think I am too cool so I want my own day. The day, for me, is a chance for my daughter to know (wherever she is) that her bmom loved her enough to require an extra day just for her love.

I know you still remember
On that April Day
When you gave birth to me
and had to walk away
I know it is not because
You did not care for me
You only wanted what was best
And that is how it had to be
It takes a very strong person
To give a child away
Doing what is right for the child
No matter what others might say
I think of you often
And wonder who you are
If I will ever know you
And if I am up to par
I hope to get the chance
To talk to you some day
I have so many questions
So many things to say
I want you to know that I love you
And I always will
I hope to have the opportunity
To tell you how I feel
All I can hope for
Is that you feel the same way
Please do not turn away from me
And not hear what I have to say
I promise to honor
whatever you choose
I have to take a chance and find you
what have I got to lose
Poem to my Birthmom by Patti Vinsison
Changing the face of adoption, Cherishing life, & Supporting women... one birth mom at a time!!
http://birthmomsupport.com
you

http://www.facebook.com/adoptionsupport

The mission touches the lives of those adopted, adoptive parents, hopeful adoptive parents, pregnant woman at risk, and the unborn and other parts of society in ways yet to be seen.

Some background: It seems that the grief which results from adoption loss more often follows a pattern which is the exact opposite of what one might expect in the case of other losses. From my research, I have made certain conclusions on the grief associated with adoption loss, based on my own experience, the experiences of the women I have encountered and the books on grief and grief counseling which I have read. It became obvious to me that the common models of grief counseling would not work with mothers who had lost children through adoption. I concluded that the grief resulting from the loss of a child through adoption was fundamentally different from other types of grief. I explored grief associated with abortion, with stillbirth and neo-natal death and with loss of custody. Although there were some similarities, it seemed that adoption grief was unique.
This disenfranchised grief is when the grief is connected with a loss which cannot be openly acknowledged, publicly mourned or socially supported. In many cases of disenfranchised grief, the relationship is not recognized, the loss is not recognized or the griever is not recognized. The loss of a child through adoption is usually a loss which cannot be openly acknowledged, which is why mothers often suffer in silence...people who have experienced any type of loss often feel anger, guilt, sadness, depression, hopelessness and numbness and that in cases of disenfranchised grief, these feelings can persist for a very long time. The lack of recognition of their grief often results in them holding on to it more tenaciously than they might otherwise have done.

The Mission has many goals and many projects this is just a tiny part of the overall mission to help women, love children, and protect life. Women pre and post adoption as our main focus. Adoption in general is a word thrown around by politicians and pro-life groups as a save all solution (there is no save all solution to anything in life though) we want to save the women and the child from the choice of abortion (not for us but for them long-term) So I stand here to say that even a child conceived in rape is not justification for abortion (giving live is actually what healed me from the rape more than anything) We spread awareness of pre-eclampesia and other diseases that affect the mother (I had a bad case and we almost died, but still no reason to kill her.. she just cam out a little bit earlier than planned) so basically no topic is taboo for us. We want that to be how it is for everyone in the world concerning everything. If we don't admit something happened we can never work towards healing or peace. Adoption is a beautiful and also tragic thing and anyone that cares will see both aspects of any adoption. Someone is leaving and someone is coming together. Its bittersweet. It can be less bitter with more communication and less "whatever you call it" between mother's. No one "owns" a child, your just lucky enough to have there presence for a while. There is no jealousy in love and therefore adoptive moms have no excuse (if they have fears thats OK, as long as they confront and ask about them) No Birth Mother wants to take a baby (they placed) away from you and they can't if they tried. So why in the world would you not want your child to be loved by as many people as possible? The more the merrier! What is a "godmother" for anyway? Society has a wound that needs healing, and that wound is called "adoptions of the past" the situation was worse in the 60's and 70's and some off those affected are still hurting. I know that from talking with other AP's (that are caring and want to help) that hearing thank you from another aP is the next best thing to hearing it from your own. Same goes for children who have said that by me talking with them it has helped them fill the void of the mother they will never know (due to death or birth records lost) That's all for now! Please Please Please look around you for someone who needs a hug right now. (If it's you, then maybe we can help you somehow... at birthmommission.com & the other mediums we have) Thanks from another invisible woman for just reading this.What also make us unique form other charities or missions is that actual birth mother's founded it and run it (basically just a few of us who do this when not at there day job) Adoption agencies each in so much money it is ridiculous. The agency I used, gladney, they fundraise millions of dollars for "birth mother support post adoption" but we have never seen or heard of any support ever coming from them. So next time you see an adoption fundraiser, just check who is behind it... because just because it uses the word "adoption" in it they know it will give the donor warm fuzzies about it. One goal is to see someday that every birthmother have another birthmother (a bit farther along) by her side at every major event and decision within the adoptions (hopefully she can have many birth mother's by her side and giving her opinions... because not all bmoms are alike at all! and we need to hear from every side. Basically the AP's have a lawyer watching out for them, the birth mother's (even if adoption agency says they might have) have NO one offering unbiased support as they sign away and make the most important decision of there life. They can never take that decision back. The AP's on the other hand are held to nothing by paper, just there word that they will send updates (and how huge the number who then don't)


OH I FORGOT... You can purchase at birthmomshop.com (for now just click and let us know how we can help too)
Any size donation helps Birth Mom Missions tremendously, and provides membership as an honorary supporter. Without you we could not continue to keep all of this going. We have no staff that works for pay here at BMM, so you can know all your money, 100% goes into funding all our financial needs.

 http://www.causes.com/causes/124733-birth-mom-missions
(Membership portions of all donations are tax deductible)
    As soon as we receive your donation, you will receive correspondence from us. So donation might not have gone through, if no response from us. Then email us and we can help!

You can indicate for a specific purpose 4 it to go to. Such as, saving the unborn from abortion, Recovery programs for rape, helping change your local agency, speaking engagements, being with girls through adoption process, bringing gifts to bmom. Our live radio show (very pricey!) Making the DVD scrapbooks, and so on...so much to do!!! Check out our facebook page and our reviews if you are not sure this is the best charity to invest in  (Because it really is!) Gladney is bad.


One thing is for sure there is definitely a need for this Mission and I'm glad at least I discovered that! All these women want is basically to not be invisible. Us just talking back and forth on the websites and forums just helps so much. And the radio show was great too for helping women. I had to put on hold though due to funds, but I know we must bring that back, It was a live call in show for 3 hours a day! Anyways, the depression/substance abuse among birth mother's (no not because they were addicts before the birth) is horrible, but recently the suicide statistics also hit closer to home and has become recently all too real to ignore. A mother taking her life because she missed her child so much, when all the AP's had to do was respond do her "caseworker's" or her pleas for information? That is just ridiculous and I won't let it happen ever again. It's like losing your baby to death, but you never have any "resolved" feelings about it until the day (if/when) you meet them ever again. Most B moms wish 18 years would come and go already so they can just hug there child and tell them what only their birthmother can tell them... that they "were wanted" more than anything and they "have always been missed since the day you were given away" I mean really, there is no need for all of us walking around this world "half full" (my lingo) when the smallest action by one person can make the glass full (or us whole) Adopted kids, most of them, don't need to grow up with questions about their identity and where they come from, or feelings of worthiness... we are right here in most cases dying to tell them how "worth it" they are and always will be. Just because my daughter was conceived in rape, doesn't mean I love her ANY less than another, I love her MORE and I know she needs at some point to make contact with me as she grows into a woman. (Self identity and self esteem is crucial for women) Without acknowledging or openly talking about her adoption to her parents, I worry for her and her ability to ignore the "ghost of the birth mother" (Joe Soll "Adoption Healing") surrounding them all the time. And I know if they choose to pretend she is not adopted, they will be parents who choose themselves over their own child's happiness. Please let us live at least knowing we did the right thing and they are safe with you. Updates mean the world to us! (source to say that: http://facebook.com/adoptionsupport & every phone call I've ever had with a birth mother) And the Holiday's are hard for some of us, especially Mother's day.

I for one am glad that in 1988 a group of women created "Birth Mother's Day" as the day before Mother's day, every year (the yellow rose as our symbol too. more info on website..) So think about if you know anyone in your life that has been affected in some way by adoption (a lot of folks) and consider remembering them on a day when everyone else seems to have forgotten them. Not only the birth mother's, but the adoptive family, extended family, friends, and of course the adopted child can benefit from a little acknowledgement that it is OK to be a part of adoption and proud of it. It is such a taboo subject today and no one wants to bring it up or remember and they claim they never know what to say if they were to try. Well, now no need to worry. The words are already written for you in our cards (blanks too) and you can't go wrong when the logo on the back shows that the card you bought was used to support Birth Mother's of Adoption... (they will blame us if the wording is not proper or PC enough for them! That's fine...!) There are adoptive parent's who could use a card at any time, adoptive grandparents too. There is the Adoption Day" when the child is brought home, and that is an occasion for cards too. There are "adoption hopefuls" that are waiting any praying for a child to come to them, maybe they've had a few moments of pure disappointment and shame... that could use a card from anyone! There is "National Adoption Day" in November some choose to celebrate. There are cards I've made to give from AP's (adoptive parents) to a BM's (birth moms) OR for BM's to give to AP's, or AP's to give to "prospective birth mothers, OR birth grandparents to a birthmom or birthfather (Yep they can use one too) (When i say birth mother, I also am referring to first mother's ,natural mother or any other name you like to call them). So many cards different occasions and people! (email me if you need help on what to say or a custom made card).


We offer local supportive groups (growing nationwide) made up of women who have been through the similar experiences. We want to provhttp://www.birthmommission.com/de young women in the future with the knowledge and support that we wish we had from a birth mother. Someone unbiased to talk to us, inform us, guide us, emphasize with us, and answer all our silly questions. One goal of the mission is to someday see every pregnant woman that is considering adoption, to have at least one birth mother mentor.

For the Birth Moms

image.jpg 
for the birth moms, life moms, belly moms, whatever moms! Go to the private network link.
For all the Birth Mother's of Adop­tion out there...  You are loved!

Nov 26, 2011