About Cheerio

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In general I am a cheery and energetic person. But I am enshrouded in a cloak of iron. That cloak is the weight of greiving my son, whom I've lost to adoption.

Monday, June 29, 2009

How Long did you grieve for your child?

"How long did you grieve for your child? " In another forum, a question was posted by a woman whose child is under 6 months old. Her question is this “How long did you grieve for your child?” I’m going to confess, I did not read all the replies. There are three pages of replies. But I did read her short paragraph describing her question. Her question broke my heart. Reading her words broke my heart. Basically she described that she recently lost her child for adoption, and cries every day. She missis her daughter and wants her back. She's wondering how long others grieved, and I think she's hoping for someone to tell her that it will get better. One thing that breaks my heart is … How? How in the world can we be in this information age, and people are still so uneducated about adoption as to think that a woman ever stops grieving for her lost child? How? I don’t know if her adoption was handled by an agency or an adoption lawyer, but HOW in the world are We the Women and Men Of the United States allowing adoptions to continue on the same path of being unethical and lacking moral standards? Agencies make billions, but they are not regulated. Does this repulse anyone else? Why is no one accountable? Here is a woman who is asking about grieving. She’s lost her child less than 6 months ago. I’d be willing to be a paycheck that her counseling (but not biased at all, I’m sure) went something like “It will hurt for awhile, but will fade away.” Are you happy with that kind of disgusting misrepresentation? If you are, then you must also believe that she is not a human being as you are. Therefore she is not deserving of truth. She is merely an incubator for a more deserving couple, or someone who has more money. She doesn't have feelings, or emotions. Surely, the child is better off and safer with someone else. And I guess you’re also among the group that would say “awww, honey, but you made the right choice….” When are we going to stop labeling it as a right or wrong choice, and start to realize the key is asking - IS IT NECESSARY? If it is NOT absolutely necessary, then child should be with his/her mother. Why should a mother be psychologically damaged for the rest of their life if it is NOT absolutely necessary? Juno is not real. Women do not walk away into the sunset all happy and giddy. If you believe that, then you need to get off the adoption merry-go round, you’re dizzy from it. Look at reality! These are women and young women who mourn and grieve for their child until the gravel of the grave falls on their closed caskets. If you’d like to follow up on that forum and see the replies, here is the link. I initially wanted to talk about my own feelings. But a more personal post will follow later. For now, I’d rather just leave here. Leave it with this thought ... Does that sound like a win/win situation to you? To grieve until the dirt clods drop and echo on the casket lid?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

From ‘Closet Creep’ to ‘Cannon Ball’

 There are many things that contrast my former neighborhood to the ‘new place’ we live. Sidewalks are one of those things. We don’t have them here.

 I recommend you Do NOT bend down to look in your mailbox if a car is headed down the road. If you do, your rear end might be on someone’s front fender.

 In my former neighborhood the widowed lady across the street was an amazing fiery respectable woman. She also had a manicured lawn. Faithfully she edged along the sidewalks to ensure that the grass stayed in its place and did not creep out beyond its borders and spread out on her sidewalk. She was very adamant that there would be no grass creep while she was on duty!

 Grass creep, you know, that’s when the grass grows over the edge of your sidewalk and in time your sidewalk gets narrower and narrower. If left unchecked, the grass will grow completely over the sidewalk hiding the fact that a sidewalk ever even existed.

 In April I wrote a post “Cheerio sticks her neck out.” In that post, I described myself as an “in the closet first mom.” Basically that no one in my day to day life knows that I have a child, a son whom I lost to adoption. Since he was my only child so far, the natural assumption people have is that I’ve never been pregnant.

 There are a lot of excuses as to why it is people don’t know. The very select few that do know have just brushed it off as me being “a private person.” But to be completely honest - fear is the biggest reason. In April’s post, I described that my on-line friends (other first moms and adoptees) are gently coaxing me out of the closet.

 While I was writing that post, I had light bulb moment.
Instantly it became crystal clear to me that the money grubbing adoption agency wants me to live in fear and to keep to myself. They WANT me to keep the closet doors shut. Even more importantly, they want me to keep my mouth shut.

 Rather than seeing me ‘find healing,’ what they really want is for me (and other first moms) to be paralyzed by the fear, to be quiet, and to stay hidden. So, if I stay in the closet, that makes them very happy.

 After that postl, I experienced a bit of, what I’ll call ‘closet creep.’ Just like the grass that slowly crosses that line to where it is not allowed, in small ways I began to let adoption slowly slip out of the closet and creep into my life in various ways.

 I’ve mentioned the Adoptee Rights Demonstration more than once on my ‘real’ FB. Twice I’ve commented on the evils of adoption to people, as part of passing conversation. (Just short comments, not deep discussions). I’ve ‘confessed’ to a co-worker. This is someone whom I’ve actually talked to in the past, at times when I was really really sad; however, I would never tell WHAT I was really really sad about. I have even worn my cute little ARD tshirt out in public. Once to church, once to a family event, and once just out and about doing errands.

Yup, "closet creep." So far I’m just trying to engage in ‘adoption’ related topics, yet the fact that I have a son lost to adoption is still quiet – still in the closet.

Although that may soon come to an end. Early May I was reading one of the flyers at church. The flyer was regarding support for a local crisis pregnancy center, and it claimed that this center “provides accurate information about options.” For over two years I’ve bitten my tongue and kept quiet about this pregnancy center. Two years earlier I called and talked to them to find out for myself about their counseling. It is very pro-adoption biased and does NOT provide accurate information about adoption.

 I’ve had enough of being silent, and took a week to compose a letter. I sent the same letter to all the elders of our church, and to our pastor. I've challenged them about their flyer. In my letter I asked how they knew “accurate information” is provided? Has anyone actually investigated it? And what if? What if they find that the counseling is inaccurate and/or biased?
I sent these letters to people who don’t know about my own adoption journey.

Last week I sent letters to my government legislators.
Recently I got an e-mail with an “assignment” to help adoptees in their fight for open records. Whoa… When I got my “assignment”, to be honest, I was ready to give the assignment back and say I didn’t want it. That I don’t have time. Or that I’m doing enough already. Or that I’m doing more than other people. But I didn’t.

 I left the e-mail in my inbox and thought about it. So, tonight I replied to the e-mail asking for more help, because I don’t really understand what it is she wants me to do. I reminded her that I’m brand new to all of this, and need a little guidance in the beginning.

I want to share with you WHY I decided to take on this assignment. Because I
want to fight
the adoption industry.

  I can not undo the decision I made so long ago. I realize that I cannot change the past no matter how much I regret it.

 While I hope that I am making a difference to one woman, to one child, to one family – I know that I cannot stop the unnecessary adoptions from happening. But what I “cannot do” has nothing to do with what I “can do.” I can join with adoptees in their fight for open records. After all, who are they really fighting against? They’re fight is with the adoption industry.

 It is the adoption industry that pays the lawmakers to block adoptees from their records. And it the adoption agencies that wishes the same silence from adoptees as they wish from first moms. The closet was closed for years and years and years. I don’t think I really had any intentions of ever coming out willingly. A month ago it was just closet creep, but now it feels like I’m being shot out of the closet, as if from a cannon.

from Closet Creep
Cannon Ball

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Letters to Leggies

Cheerio joined the campaign to send out letters to the Legislatures who may be attending the Leg. Nat'l Conference @ Philly in July. Letters are written, signed, and stuffed in their envelopes. Stamped and ready to drop in the mail tomorrow. I included this pic as stationary header. June 2, 2009 The Honorable Governor The Honorable Senator The Honorable Representative This July, individuals from across the Nation will be traveling to Philadelphia to take part in the second Adoptee Rights Demonstration. As a registered voter in your District, I wanted to advise you that I have made plans to attend the National Conference of State Legislators, and add my support with those who view adult adoptees as equal citizens under the law. The State of Pennsylvania must stop discriminating against adoptees and allow them full access to their original birth certificates. Such access is a right that non-adopted citizens already enjoy. In other states that have opened records, there has been no damaging fallout as a result of such access. There is a fight to keep original birth certificates sealed, but it is based on unfounded claims. One such ‘claim’ is that birth parents do not want to be identified. I am a Birth Parent and feel it is long overdue that this myth is addressed. Birth Parents want what is best for their children. Adult adoptees have a right to know their heritage, their origins, and at the very least their own medical histories. To deny them access is discrimination, and I’m sure you could agree with me that no parent wishes their child to be discriminated against. As my elected official, your support on this matter is extremely important to me. Thank you for your time and attention to this important civil rights issue. I hope you will be attending the convention, and will visit The Adoptee Rights booth# 935 inside the convention center (July 21, 22, and 23). If you should have any questions or wish to speak with me, I can be reached at ###/###-####. Cheerio,