Just a repost, as this thread is linked on the adoptive mother's blog. (Guest posting is open. FYI, dear reader).
One of the adoptive mother bloggers responded to my last adoption-related post in a blog entry on her blog. I suspect that the minions will be responding with some very venomous comments, so I'm staying away.
The interesting reality is that I don't disagree with her, for the most part. But, the email mistake has so absorbed her (and the minions) that she (they) can't see past it.
Her first point. Not all antiadoptionists are birthmothers who regret. She mentions adoptees. She is absolutely right. I should have included that fact, as well. The vocal antiadoptionists that have attacked me have all been birthmothers, so my focus went there.
This is exactly why I need to be aware of this kind of sentiment to research and try and discover why adoptees who are antiadoption feel the way that they do. I am not sure that there is any right answer here, though. Still, I scratch my head at the gall of this particular individual for believing she already has the right answers and can lecture me on it because she has an adopted child who is a few years old.
I can't say that I haven't done any research, though... but it only ends up leaving me more confused. For instance, I have read of adoptees who were happy with open adoptions. I have read of adoptees who were not. I have read of adoptees who wished that their adoptive parents would have allowed them to make the decision first. I have read others who are glad they were in an open adoption from the get go.
I am friends with a woman who was adopted, and I have seen the pain she has experienced (and her prospective joy of becoming an adoptive mother herself). One of my workmates is an adoptive father of two (one, in Dental School... the other waiting for his bar exam results). And, of course, I have my own sister who was adopted in the 60's (and who was reunited with my father and our family six years ago). So, the resources are there. They are being used. And, they have yet to shove my face in the "excrement" that I "make" when I ask questions or make comments that could be perceived as "insensitive."
This leads me to the conclusion that there is no right answer. Marie and I will raise our child in the manner we think is best, and we will have to keep our fingers crossed that whatever path we choose, it will work for our child.
I never dismissed birthmothers/firstmothers/natural mothers who have regrets. I DO dismiss those who tell me not to adopt. And, you should to.
Her second point. "A great adoption takes into account the feelings and needs of all of its members." No disagreement here. In fact, it was this particular woman who helped me to see that... much more so than my agency. With the agency, the "triad" issues were limited to, perhaps, a three hour period of an eight hour class.
I agree that I made a mistake in not taking feelings in account when I sent out the email. And, you know what? YOU will make a mistake in this regard at some point in your relationship with your adopted daughter and/or her natural mother. Perhaps, something completely innocuous in your eyes, but not in her/their eyes.
I pray that she/they will cut you a lot more slack than you have cut me on this mistake.
I pray that my own child will do the same when I make a mistake.
By way of reform, I think that agencies should have -- at the very least -- a film/documentary of the horror stories in adoption from all three areas of the triad (I think a live discussion would defeat the purpose... I have this picture of the woman who is quoted in my last adoption related video lecturing to prospective adoptive parents "don't ask me for my baby," which I think might not be helpful).
There was NO mention of antiadoption sentiment. I was not even aware that it existed. That was wrong. I was completely unprepared for it.
"Iím sure as heck not going to lecture to birth/first parents about what they ďshouldĒ do ó I will leave discussions of birth/first parent ethics to people who can speak personally to that experience."
I agree here, too. I don't want to be lectured to, either. I have feelings about how I would like things to happen, but I know I have very little control. Flexibility, as this woman mentions, is absolutely essential.
Point three. "That you cannot truly appreciate your transgression for sending that email boggles my mind." The email, on its face, was innocuous, and was sent to people with public blogs on adoption. The video was an alternative method of a "profile book." The comments I got from adoptive mothers in an international adoption were interesting because it was obvious they were not familiar with the profile book/dear birthmother letter concept.
I'll reiterate again (reiterate, because I know that since you read this latest post, you probably read the one discussing the email) that it was a mistake to send out to those who I hadn't "checked" out. BUT, still, I have been chided as if it was an intentionally hurtful act.
I knew I was sending to adoptive parents, adoptees, and birthmothers (18 of them).
I believed that since they had emails on their blogs and kept their blogs open to the public, that any issue regarding adoption was fair game. It turns out that this isn't the case.
"You told me that you deliberately sent it to antiadoption activists because you thought controversy would net you more play."
Well, not really. My email that said, if memory serves, that I knew who I was sending to did not mean that I knew anything other than their positions in the triad and that they had public blogs with email addresses on them. [ADDED NEXT MORNING: I did send to one birthmother that I knew was an antiadoption activist, but she posted an antiadoption video in response to my last adoption video (before the email), so I did not think it was inappropriate.]
"It was inappropriate and it was hurtful. It was wrong. And it showed tremendous insensitivity to adoption issues, which ó considering that youíre a wannabe adoptive parent ó is pretty darn disturbing."
I agree regarding the insensitivity.
Point four. Donating to the mother-in-waiting who is getting pressure to relinquish her child to adoption is one of those leap of faith things. Sometimes an act of kindness isnít about the person on the receiving end.
Nothing to add here...
Point five. "Iím not sure why you see guilt as a motivating factor."
Well, I could be wrong, but show me one post that you have written that critiques the thinking of antiadoption advocates. It has been very easy for you to critique my methods, recently (admittedly, I helped make it easy).
Still, I wasn't referencing you here. I was referencing those adoptive mothers where this isn't even an issue (i.e., those who have adopted internationally).
Point 6. "You can tell that Rush Limbaugh on your shoulder that itís a mitzvah."
I just flicked him off. That Michael J. Fox thing didn't help.
Point 7. 'It sounds like you might want to dismiss me because I have ďgenetic children of [my] ownĒ but where did you get that idea that adoptive parents arenít allowed to adopt for selfish reasons?'
I am just trying to make sense as to why you can't understand my impatience (desperation) that led to the mistaken email (and the video, for that matter... your "I am so done with them" comment came after the video and before the email). Just a guess. Not a dismissal.
The selfish reason thing... Not my idea. It has been posted here, and I have received this idea in emails. I have received this comment from both birthmothers AND adoptees.
I imagine that quite a few of your readers will not disagree with this statement. Ask.
"Heck, you think I took Madison on as a daughter to help Jessica??? Like Iím heaving a beleaguered sigh and parenting my daughter for charity? Oh Rob, you silly silly man."
Like I said, "I hope not." I couldn't imagine it... but I do imagine that with you posting this on your blog, you are about to push some buttons with this comment.
"Of course we adopt because we want to be parents first and foremost. When we talk about selfishness weíre talking about people who put their own needs first in an adoption. People who will lie about openness; people who will Fast Track an adoption; and people who will put their driving need/want for a child above the grief of someone else by, say, sending out a plea to pimp out their ďDear BirthmotherĒ video."
Ouch. Cheap shot. If I was a cat, I'd have five lives left after the last two weeks. Still, a hearty "rimshot on the drum kit" award for you!
"Rob, you just donít seem comfortable with the realities of modern adoption. You sound awfully anxious to be a parent but you donít sound ready to be an adoptive parent. You just donít. You sound as clueless and as whining and as self-absorbed about your own difficulties as ever."
When that (your) reality means open adoption or no adoption, then I am not comfortable. Otherwise, I am sorry, but you can't speak for me. I may be whining, but I think it is exactly because I am whining that I think we'll do just fine. I could go in this by just blindly waiting. Instead, I post publically for the purpose of learning from those who are actually experiencing it.
Doesn't it just make you shudder at the thought of all those Rob Reeds out there without a "stupid blog?"
And, as for adoption, we agree again. I am clueless. I haven't spent day one as an adoptive parent. For me to claim or even suggest that I knew exactly what I was getting myself into would be ridiculous. But, the same would hold true if Marie were pregnant and we were waiting for the birth.
And, self-absorbed? "It's my [blog], and I'll cry if I want to."
So, guilty as charged, Your Honor.
If anything, though, I will never accept that I know all the "right answers" because it is then that flexibility (which you and I both agree is important) is thrown out the window.
"This is the last I will speak to Rob-without-a-clue on this here blog. And Iím doing it publicly because this guy is a publicity hound so he probably doesnít care and also because Iím not registering on his stupid blog to make a non-anonymous comment. Bleah."
Hmmm... maybe you haven't read all of the posts. Guest posting is working here again since like a couple of weeks ago.
I am left with a final thought. She posts publically for what reason? Because she can't post here? She has my email (she received the email), so she could send these thoughts privately.
So, I can only come to the conclusion that she is doing this to intentionally hurt me... which, if you think about it, sounds pretty hypocritical when you consider her feelings about my email.
"Treat the Earth not as if it was given to you by your parents, but as if it was lent to you by your children." - Kenyan Proverb
"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw