Category Archives: You’re going to Hell for this.

Make-Believe Make Believe is Too Damned Real

I’ve been writing this blog on no particular schedule for over five years now (I can’t believe it either). Sometimes I go dark for month after month, and when I do, I ask myself, “Snarks, what’s it gonna take for  you to post again?” And then something like this comes along, and I can’t not.

Mrs. Kristy Aldridge of Winchester (?), Kentucky says she wanted to share her adoption story and teach children about adoption. But how? Should she start a blog? Write a book? Write a press release? Set up an interview? No, none of those.

No. She opened a fake hospital-cum-baby store for little girls. (So her “adoption story” is yet another one told from the POV of the AP. What a surprise.)

Two weeks ago, Kristy Aldridge decided to start Choosing To Love Babies, a baby doll adoption program in an infant nursery room at the Kids’ Discovery Center.

And, being an a’mom, surely Mrs. Aldridge knows the importance of telling the truth about adoption. She isn’t just doing this to be cute. She’s there to “educat[e] them on adoption.” Sure she is. The education these little girls are getting from her is that adoption is a rainbow of perfect newborns put on earth for their benefit, their amusement, their selection, and their *purchase.

Interested children and parents can schedule an appointment to meet at the Kids’ Discovery Center at 9 S. Bloomfield Road in Winchester, which has been transformed into a mock hospital wing.

That’s right. Adopted children Come From The Hospital (not out of a woman’s body), just like your little brother did. They’re never not newborn. They’re never special needs. You don’t have to wait for them. You just pick your favorite one:

“So basically what it is the girls get to come in and they get to choose a baby that they want,” Aldridge said. “We have different races and different genders for them to choose from.

Pet peeve alert: Genders? Really? Why are we so afraid of the word “sex”? (Or can you really tell an epicine baby doll from an agender version one baby doll? cause I can’t.) You don’t have different genders of baby dolls, you have dolls that represent babies of two sexes.

[“]And we’re educating them on adoption and they have to make the promise of taking care of the baby. That’s a big part of it.”

Little girls don’t know babies need care if they aren’t told so by Mrs. Aldridge. And promising to take care of the baby is “a big part of” adoption, but it’s not the most important part. If it were, it would probably be discussed first. The most important part is customizing your fresh new baby, just like real adoptive parents get to do!–Only not so much. Not anymore. Not if they aren’t filthy stinking rich. Settling for a child who really needs you sucks.

 “We convert one of our infant rooms into the nursery and all of us have scrubs on,” she said. “I mean we really try to make this feel like an adoption.

Again, this is nothing like an adoption, unless it’s one of the ones done by rich, coercive people who don’t care who they hurt as  long as they get a newborn. Why not require the girls to take the doll from the arms of its dolly mother? Why not give the dolls fake umbilical cords for the little mommies to cut? (Why not just sit at home and watch reruns of Adoption Stories?)

These little girls come with their baby carriers and we have babies in another room, so when we re-stock and bring them in we act like they’re just born.”

Straight from the baby store to you!

Part of the adoption process after a baby is chosen is a 15-20 minute medical routine. Aldridge and her team of volunteer doctors teach the children proper care of their baby, such as how to hold the baby and how to change a diaper.

And that’s all adoptive mommies really need to know, isn’t it?

[…]

The program quickly became much more than Aldridge imagined. Part of the program was to raise awareness about adoption, but it has become educational in other ways as well.

“Another thing that is kind of awakening that we didn’t expect is that the children don’t see color.

Again with this color blind horseshit. Of course children see skin color. Before a certain age, they don’t realize it means anything, but they certainly see it. And so do lying grown-ups who want to deny systemic racism.

While they are going through and picking their baby I get to educate them on the true meaning of adoption is just loving the baby.

Wait, didn’t you just say kids are devoid of racism due to their tragic, somehow-universal optical impairments?  Then why do they need you to lean over their shoulders crooning “It’s about luuuuurve, so annny color you want is juuust fiiine” when they literally can’t tell the difference? They don’t, but I bet doing that makes you feel good, Ms. Aldridge.

[“]I have an Asian daughter from adoption and that’s what I bring up that it doesn’t matter. A white family doesn’t have to have a white baby.”

Certainly not. A white family can have pretty much any child it can pay for, sue for, or otherwise acquire, whether they’re in the legal right or not.

[“]Pets are also available for adoption and include a lesson on proper pet care and responsibility.

“The pets we also put in the cribs.

(I originally thought they meant real live pets. They mean stuffed animals, which is bad enough.)

[“]It’s about teaching them responsibility and not just ‘Let’s go to Walmart and get a pet,’” Aldridge said. 

Let’s go to the fake maternity ward and get a baby–or maybe a sea turtle!

Although, of course, “adopted” pets and adopted children do have some things in common: Some people will judge them for being adopted even though it was no fault of their own; and, if you get bored with one, you can easily discard it. I know you promised to take care of Baby, but grownups break their promises to pets and children all the time. It’s fine. You did your best. Your dolly or pet had RAD, or was otherwise simply unlovable. This currently happens to 25% of adopted children in the USA, but I’m sure Mrs. Aldridge doesn’t mention that at these events.

[…]

Adoptions are made through the week by appointment. The adoption experience includes a baby blanket, diaper, bottle, birth certificate, adoption certificate, baby and mom matching medical bands, a medical exam with the doctor and ends with the adoption promise for the baby or pet. Pricing and other information can be found on the Choosing To Love Babies Facebook page.

Ho lee shit. Holy shit, it IS like a real adoption! You, adopting little girl, are somehow both the adopting mommy and the doll’s only mommy ever. You have a birth certificate that says so and a hospital bracelet to back it up. Yet you also have adoption papers. If I were a little girl, I would be incredibly confused about all this, whether I already knew Where Babies Come From or not. In fact, as a little girl, I was confused about all this. I thought for a brief time that everyone was adopted. I also thought I had been brought home from a sort of combination supermarket and auction house. You know, kinda like this-here educational setup.

My cold and prickly heart is very sad for any little adopted girl who gets roped into this charade. Becuase you know it’s going to happen (if it hasn’t already).

I think if you want to give little girls dolls and impress on them the Whateverwhatever of Motherhood, that’s…OK, as long as it’s OK with the girls. I also think calling it adoption, and claiming to educate children about actual adoptions by saying this is what they are like, is preposterous and evil.

Now here’s the worst part: Mrs. Aldridge, who is busily teaching little girls (and, no doubt, her own adoptee) that adoption is a funsie wunsie visit to a hospital vending machine, is…well, you guessed it:

The Aldridges run Choosing to Love Ministries, where they help families during the adoption process. A portion of every Choosing to Love Babies adoption helps fund the ministry for those families. 

She’s grooming little children into future consumers at the expense of reality and of other little children (and their mothers). I can’t help but suspect her adult clients expect the same experience.

PS–How do I know it’s adopting families her ministry helps rather than relinquishing ones? Silly girls, adoptees don’t have families! Not until you pick them out and put them in your baby carrier!

*Fees aren’t quite mentioned in the article, but I think they’re strongly implied.

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Filed under Colonialism ROCKS!, It Can't Be Racist. I Didn't Use the N-word Once!, Jesus Told Me To, Stop Saying That, WTF?!, You're going to Hell for this.

Returns Not Valid After Six Years

So this story popped up in my email. You know the kind: Child ungovernable! bad product! give us a refund…and then some!

So I Googled the APs’ names and found this. By their own account, this boy seemed to be adjusting splendidly at that time.

What a difference six years in a loving adoptive home makes! Kinda makes an urchin wonder who gave this kid to these people…and what happened to him under their roof. I would say I’m trying to imagine being eight years old and expected to call a 69-year-old stranger Daddy, but I’m not, because I don’t want to. I don’t want to.

“Love the boy dearly,” my ass. “Ruined [y]our lives,” my ass. Also, what does “he was a risk for severe mental illness” mean? I think it means you have grown weary of your expensive toy, because every human ever born is “a[t] risk for severe mental illness.” If this case is what it seems to be, I hope the adoption activist community and cosmic justice will get all over this couple like stink on shit.

3 Comments

Filed under Forever Family, WTF?!, You're going to Hell for this.

“From her archive”

comes this guaranteed-to-make-ya-click advice column rerun. It’s not nearly archival enough.

Carolyn Hax is an advice columnist for The Washington Post. This “rerun” column posted on 16 August, 2015:

Carolyn Hax is away. In her absence, we are offering columns from her archive.

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I are “bidding”

if you put quotation marks around this word, it won’t be true

for a closed adoption

really, what other kind is there?

through our church. The birth mother is 17 and already has a child.

It’s two thousand somethingsomething and our local church, rather than helping a girl who clearly needs help, is raffling off her baby. We are the bestest Christians ever!

She is considering us as well as one other couple. This process involves a lot of waiting and is really fraying my nerves. We are the “better” couple — higher income, more child care experience, a son who can’t wait to be a big brother, and we live in the suburbs (while the other family has a condo in the city). We have not yet met the mother, but the other couple has apparently established a friendly relationship with her.

This is wrong not because it’s coercive, of course, but because it allowed them to cut in line ahead of ME. Can you imagine–there’s something I want, and there’s actually a line to wait for it, and there are people who aren’t me in the line, and I have to wait behind them? just because they got there first? Where, I ask you Lord Jesus, is the justice in that?!

We hope to do the same over the summer, to help her decision process

by which I mean to help her pick us and our superior suburban money, NOW because oh mah precious fraying nerves

My problem is

that slavery is no longer legal

that I cannot come to terms with the fact that the choice will ultimately rest with this girl

when obviously she should simply punt the baby into my lap and disappear without my having to sully my hands with her. I mean who does she think she is, the baby’s mother?!

On paper

by which I mean in reality

my husband and I are the easy

by which I mean obvious, correct, only and One True

choice. Nothing against the other couple

except that they suck and we rock, of course

but I believe if it were up to an objective party, anyone would choose us. But the process is designed so that the girl

the child’s own mother! I mean, can you believe this shit?!

has the final say, which I can’t understand. Why should it be her decision? She has already demonstrated questionable decision-making capabilities

in bringing into this world the child I want to love and cherish and raise as my own, that stupid slut

and she will never know anything about us besides what she learns over a couple of casual lunches. We hope to make a good impression on her, but I am really going to pieces over the thought that maybe there are factors we won’t be able to influence. Why is this OK??? Atlanta

Carolyn’s reply: Dear Atlanta: If I were the mom, your quickness to dismiss both the other couple and my right to make decisions for my baby would disqualify you without so much as a follow-up “casual lunch.”

What I see are two families who want a child, and both may offer this baby a wonderful home — neither one “better” than the other, just different. And I see a mother who got herself in a stupid spot [all by herself, apparently] but who is doing her best to get out of it, in the way that best serves her child.

If you can’t get over yourself long enough to see this isn’t a competition, but instead a community effort to save a life — and, therefore, that any good home is a great outcome, even if the home isn’t yours — then I hope you’ll recuse yourself from the “auction” altogether. Yours truly, City-Dweller

Nice answer, Carolyn.Please look away while I vomit. Yours truly, Snarkuchin.

9 Comments

Filed under AdoptoLand, NaBloPoMo, The Adoption Process Moral Pedestal, Those Wacky PAPs, You're going to Hell for this.

How Dare You?

IIRC, Susan Faludi discovered in an interview she did for Backlash that Randall Terry got the idea for Operation Rescue after his infertile wife took to hanging around the local abortion clinic holding a sign that read “Don’t Kill Your Baby–Give It To Me.” I feel very sorry for anyone, infertile or no, who got married to Randall Terry, but the sentiment drives me nuts. And it just…won’t…go…away. This popped up on a couple of adoption-related FB groups I frequent recently.fuuuuckyouuuuuuuu(It made me so mad I downloaded it under the title “Fuuuck youuuuuuuuuuu.”)

“God loves you and your baby.” Translation: We don’t love you. We think you’re an incubator. Too bad God doesn’t love you enough to fix your life so you could raise your own baby, if that’s why you’re aborting. Truth is, we don’t care why you’re aborting. Women’s lives are never complicated, and certainly not by such easy-peasy little ol’ events as pregnancies and child rearing. Women don’t actually have feelings. Well, women like the wonderful Christian lady in the photo do, but the kind of woman who even considers having an abortion? Pffft. Fuck them. Er, I mean, God loves you!

“Don’t abort!” Translation: Don’t carry on with the twenty-minute, actually-safer-than-pregnancy-and-childbirth procedure you decided on long before you had to encounter our righteous asses on the way to your appointment. Do what we, two strangers who know nothing about your life, want you to do!

“We will adopt your baby!” Translation: Come on, just devote the next several months of your  life to making a human being out of your flesh and blood and bones? Pwease? Risk your health, perhaps even your life, just because we asked you to? Pleeeease? And then give birth and hand over the baby to us? We’ll be your best friends, honest.

“Come talk to us!” Translation: We don’t give a flying fuck about you, but you have something we want. Come on, Girl! C’mere! [whistles] That’s a good girl, who’s a goood girl?

How dare you people, whoever you are? If you think she’s aborting because she can’t afford a baby, how dare you attempt to prey on her instead of doing the truly Christlike thing: offering to help? If you think she’s aborting because she’s alone and scared, or can’t face her parents, how fucking dare you decide this is a situation for you to gain from rather than offering to help? If you think she’s a beloved child of God and your sister in Christ, why can’t you have the least speck of empathy for her and offer to help? How dare you see her as less human than the embryo you believe she’s carrying? (She might be going to the women’s health center for any number of other reasons, you know.)

How dare you expect anyone to give you a baby to raise?

And how dare you call an embryo a baby? You fucking well know better.

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Filed under General Ignoramitude, Jesus Told Me To, Misognyny, NaBloPoMo, Stop Saying That, Those Wacky PAPs, You're going to Hell for this.

A Strange, Sad, Question I Hope No One Has Asked

Do Adoptive Families Respect Birth Mothers? is an author-not-listed page on a not-at-all-coercive baby-trolling site called “Adoption For My Baby” (sorry, “ADOPTION FOR MY BABY”). This essay is horrible. It’s really, truly awful. Content warning: “Birth mother,” “birth mother” used to signify a woman who has not relinquished for adoption, coercion, falsehood, mountains of smarm, and disregard for any and all forms of human decency.

This bizarre question, essay aside, makes the spiky urchin very sad. It makes me sad because I can’t imagine asking it unless I were already half-coerced into doing an adoption I didn’t want to do. I can only imagine a woman thinking: OK, I’ve accepted that my baby will be better off without me because I’m single and/or poor, like society says. I’ve accepted that the solution for this is to pick a pretty couple out of a book, let them lovebomb me for a few months and then give them my child and let them name it and raise it, possibly with some input/contact from me.

I’ve accepted all that. I very possibly feel dead inside. But…but will they at least…respect me in the morning? Is there just one tiny emotional crumb I can get out of them in exchange for my flesh and blood?

Any woman who has ever asked herself this question can judge how respected she’ll be by noting that this article about how respected she’ll be starts out by talking about someone else’s feelings:

All girls are born with the same dream.* By playing “house” and with baby dolls, this dream is acted out at a very young age that follows them into adulthood. Then one day the girl awakes from her dream as a woman and finds herself as what she has always wanted to become: a mother. But […]

You may be wondering about now whether I was wrong and this really is about the “birth mother.” Wonder no more:

But what happens if the dream of being a mom is crushed because of problems with infertility? Where does the woman turn next?

Yanno, just the other day I was talking to a friend about a thing I did that I’m not proud of. I asked, “Do you still respect me?” and she said, “Do you have any idea how wonderful and deserving this other person is?” and let me tell you, it perked me right up.

And we all know where the woman turns next: Anywhere, in sheer desperation. If she has money, maybe she’ll pursue IVF or a rent-a-womb in India or the adoption of a real true orphan from an exotic, foreign land.

But if she isn’t willing to settle for anything less than a white, healthy, newborn, and if she must…if she MUST…she’ll turn to you, or any other pregnant woman/girl who isn’t sure how she’ll get along after she has her baby. You, or her, or that lady over there, or someone else. Whoever picks them out of a book of Superbest Wannabe Adopters. You feel respected already, don’t you?

She turns to you, the birth mother of her future adopted child – the one who can once again make her dreams come true.

That is, after all, your purpose in life: The production of a baby for people more worthy than you are. Have you ever felt more respected?

For all of us, the more we struggle to get something, the more we value it and the less we take it for granted. This is undeniably true with infertile couples who see their baby slipping further and further away after every unsuccessful course of fertility treatments. Many infertile couples spend years and tens of thousands of dollars seeking help from a fertility specialist […].

And this is why, in the history of Everything, there have never been any adoptive parents who went to all that trouble for bad reasons (Hi Masha Allen!), or went to all that trouble and then ditched the kids with strangers (Hi excellent series of Reuters articles!), or put them on a plane back to Russia, or killed them outright (Hi 15-20 Russians and scores of assorted other dead adoptees!). No, USAians love our mone–um, er, our children more than that!

And yes, this essay did just compare your child to any other purchased item or monetary investment. Your child is like a house or car. And not just any car: a car people promise not to mess up because, while they totally didn’t buy that car, they did have to wait in line at the DMV and pay taxes and they will have to spend a lot on insurance and maintenance the way people who did buy cars have to do.

However, once they decide to pursue adoption and when they finally receive a child, the fertility treatments, years waiting and money spent was all worth it, because of you.

Don’t you feel sorry for them, very possibly-poor and single and desperate “birth mother”? Those tens of thousands of dollars they spent–and no baby, which they are obviously owed because it is obviously theirs. You can feel the waves of respect washing over you, can’t  you? Do you suppose they would have felt the same kind of “respect” for their fertility doctor had the IVF worked? I mean, like you, and like the test tubes and laboratory equipment, the doctor would have served his or her complete purpose by producing a baby for them, right?

Naah. Doctors are actually, already, nigh universally respected. A medical professional who did his best to get a couple a baby and failed to deliver while taking tens of thousands of their dollars expects respect, even takes it for granted. Maybe women considering relinquishing a child should, too.

Every adoptive family is exactly the same in one very important way: Their adopted child is the light of their lives.

Yes, every single one, as we discovered above.

They love the child as much or even more than they would a biological child because of the painful journey it took to finally become parents.

Every. Single. One. Every adoptive parent is not only as good as, but probably superior to, a natural parent. And yet most people, while claiming to want what’s best for their children, refuse to give them away. Funny that.

Also, this “painful journey” stuff…does it also mean that women who were in labor for the longest time love their kids the most? Does it mean that parents who fucked without birth control three times before she conceived love their kids three times as much? What if a woman were in a car wreck on the way to the hospital and she gave birth in the middle of the road with a broken arm, a ruptured spleen and a concussion: best love ever, right? If that were true, then PAPs who wanted to love their child lots and lots would selflessly decline at least the first child they were offered…so as to make their journey even longer and more painful…so they could love the next kid that much more.

That is why any family you choose will place your child on the highest pedestal

Stop that. No human being belongs on a pedestal. Also, shouldn’t the very respected “birth mother” be standing there if anyone? This article is about her, right?

and will provide him or her with as many opportunities as possible. Your child will have loving parents, a stable household, a good education and countless other opportunities that adoptive families literally can’t wait to share with your child.

Swimming pool, pony, blah blah blah. You can’t buy those things, can you, “birth mother”? You couldn’t even trap a man to help you raise your little bastard (sorry, but how else am I supposed to interpret “loving parents” and “stable household”?). You can’t even afford private school, you worm.  But we respect you so so so much. Nope: Tearing a woman down is not respecting her. This should be obvious to anyone.

There is one opportunity, however, that is bigger and requires more love than all of those combined: The opportunity you provided your child by deciding to place him or her for adoption.

Again, your inability to send your kid to **Stanford makes rich people respect you very, very, much. That’s how our patriarchal, capitalistic system works: It values the poor and the powerless above all others. (And gosh, we’re not asking you to do this to make US happy, no, no, no! do it for the baby! do it for YOURSELF! Help us help you.)

This selfless act will be remembered for the rest of your child’s and the adoptive parents’ lives. You will be thought of not just on holidays and birthdays, but every day, because every time the adoptive parents interact with the child, they will remember the blessing you provided them.

Maybe they’ll put up a little shrine on top of the toilet tank…. I know damned well my APs did not think of my first mother “every time they interact[ed]” with me. Were they grateful for the blessing the stranger provided them? Yes! Is that the same thing as actually thinking about the stranger every time you see your child, hear your child, speak to your child, change your child’s diaper, drive your child to school, etc? No. Is thinking about the stranger the same thing as respect? No. Does being “respected” by people who are nowhere near you help you? I mean, if an AP respects you in the woods and you never know about it, is that respect? No.

Because of their own emotionally draining journeys, adoptive families are empathetic of the pain and grief birth mothers endure throughout the adoption process.

It’s true. You can read all about that empathy here and here and here and here. That empathy is all over the internet if you know where to look for it. The fact is, “birth mother,” some P/APs who haven’t even met you yet already resent you to the point of hatred.

Also, this is a failure of logic. “I never had a baby, so I know how it feels to lose one” makes as much sense to me as “I’m a mugger, so I really empathize with people who have had their wallets stolen” or “I’m rich as hell, so I really empathize with people who struggle to pay their bills.” Sorry, but I don’t believe you do.

They know it is bittersweet that the most exciting day of their lives coincides with one of the most difficult days of yours. That is the reason adoptive families treasure birth mothers, and the love, courage and generosity they exhibit throughout the adoption process.

No, it isn’t. They “treasure” you, whatever the fuck that means, because you have something they want. And there’s no guarantee they’ll go on treasuring you once they get it. But they sure can talk pretty:

[…]

Their relationship and respect of the birth mother often result in the birth mother becoming an extended part of their family. Many adoptive families are excited to maintain a relationship with the birth mothers, depending on what is most comfortable for you.

Women considering adoption, do not believe for a second that this is ever going to be about what’s comfortable for you. Wouldn’t it be more comfortable for you to raise your own child and have the resources to do so? And yet no couple is offering you that, are they? If you’re considering “open adoption,” you should know that it is not legally enforceable in (last I checked) forty-nine states. APs can and have cut “birth mothers” out of their children’s lives for “interfering,” for wanting too much input or information, or because they planned to do so all along and played pregnant women for months–all the while professing their respect, even love. Oh yes they have. They say it’s best for the child. They say it’s a decision they made because it was right for their family–you know, the one you’re a member of. And there’s nothing you’ll be able to do about it.

Jerry and Lisa as well as the rest of their friends and family are one example of thousands of adoptive parents whose lives were made complete by the birth mother. Jerry and Lisa and their extended family will always view the birth mother Lona as a blessing.

“We hope (Lona) realizes that she filled a tremendous void in our lives and we will thank her for the rest of our lives,” Jerry writes. “Our entire family and all of our friends only with they could have had the chance to personally tell her ‘thank you.’ We want her to know that she is loved and respected by so many people. She is truly a remarkable lady and will forever be a member of our family.”

The author filled in “(Lona)” above because Jerry, in his his expression of love and respect for the mother of his child, didn’t use her name once in this paragraph. He wrote “she” instead, every time. And when Jerry says he “hope[s] she realizes” and wishes he “could have told her,” he raises two points. One: Sure sounds like this adoption is closed. Unless Lona insisted on that, which is stated nowhere, Jerry and Lisa want nothing to do with her. They don’t give a shit whether she realizes anything, this member of their family they apparently never met. Two: he implies that silly Lona maybe doesn’t know what a serious thing she did in relinquishing her own flesh and blood. Because geez, “birth mothers”…can they really love kids the way you and I do?

Heads up, anyone who’s considering being a “birth mother:” this is what at least one adoptive couple thinks is sufficient “love” and “respect” for you as their “family member.” Words have meanings, but Jerry doesn’t give a shit. I suspect he said anything he had to say to get Lona’s child, and that now he’s saying anything he has to say to help himself look and feel good about that.

Birth mothers like Lona are the heroes of thousands of families who all share the same sentiment: The child’s birth mother is one of the most loving, unselfish and caring individuals on the planet, and she is the reason that their family is whole.

The slaughter of Native Americans is the reason the USA exists. Some of them greeted the white invaders with friendship and gifts. Some white people even have “Indian heroes.” Look how much we respect them! See, in this world, when individuals who don’t have much power are loving and caring and unselfish, they not only get the shaft, they get it extra hard. They get to be cartoons and costumes and sports team mascots.  And when they complain these things disrespect them, those with power insist that this mockery is respect. If you’re considering being a “birth mother,” is that the kind of respect you want?

Adoptive families cherish their children because they are a symbol of the love and selflessness that you and the couple share; they are a symbol of the miracle that helped them overcome the curse of infertility. The love they show to your child will be felt by you, wherever you may be, knowing that you did what was best for your child.

If my parents had ever told me they cherished me because I was a symbol of selflessness, I’d be a lot more fucked up than I am. Adoptive families, if they’re composed of decent people, cherish their children for the same reasons every other decent family does: They love them. And, through the miracle of Adoption Love Transference, that supposedly means they also love you. Even if they lie and cheat and slam the door in your face forever after, you’ll somehow feel their magical love radiating from them to your child to you, no matter how far away they might whisk your baby to get him or her away from you. Sure you will. And that will compensate for your loss quite nicely, kinda like that cheap teddy bear they may or may not have handed you after one of them cut the cord connecting you to “their” baby.

Bullshit aside, when we love someone, we don’t take something precious away from them, especially when we have the power to help them keep it. When we love someone, we want to keep them in our lives and have a close relationship with them and support them and help them and ensure they’re happy to the best of our ability. Pausing in the middle of one’s day to go all dewy-eyed and say “It sure was nice of ol’ What’s-Her-Name to make us a family” isn’t the same thing at all.

The sad fact is, it’s not easy to respect people like single mothers, because society tells us they are the root of the nation’s ills, the cause of poverty and crime (and cancer and acne and terrorism). Single mothers in a patriarchy can be respected, of course, but it doesn’t come easy to most of us. And the hard fact is this: The better-off we are, the less likely we are to care about single mothers AND the more likely we are to be able to adopt. You flat-out cannot respect someone when you know her back is to the wall and you stand to gain from your not helping her. You can’t love her, either.

If there really is any woman out there who’s worried about being respected as a “birth mother,” consider this essay. It was written by someone who is trying to convince you that you will be respected. It appears on a website made by people who profit from adoption. That means they are putting forth their best effort to look good for you, and that this transparent, unwashed tripe is the best they can come up with. Think about that, and then think about what they’ll do and say when they’ve got what they want and any power you had to command their respect is gone.

*No we fucking well are not
**Stanford in particular. I’ll probably get around to that page by and by.

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I’ll Just Leave This Here.

Now snark away, snark away, SNARK AWAY, ALL!

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5 Things You Can Do to Show Your Adopted Parents You Love Them

Returning the love is vital in all relationships.

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When you were adopted, it wasn’t just your parents who adopted you to be their child. You also adopted them to be your parents. If you were a baby, you obviously didn’t have a say in it, but people who cared about you did. They made sure you ended up in a stable home with parents who would love and care for you your whole life. Or you may have been an older child wanting, even pleading, for someone to adopt you. Either way, you were fortunate enough to be brought by loving parents into a family, just as though you had been born there.

My husband and I are parents of five adopted children, so I know how it feels to be an “adopted mom.” When our kids were little, we loved holding them and tucking them into bed with stories and songs. Some days, I was completely exhausted caring for three little ones under 3 years old. Yes, you heard right. Once we started adopting, we went for it, and God blessed us with these three in three years. I loved being their mom. Two more came along later.

Through the years, they’ve all expressed their love for us in many sweet ways. Here are just few of the things they’ve done that let us know they love us. I could list many more, but this will do for now.

5 Things Our Kids Do to Make Sure We Know We’re Loved

  1. They call us.

When we adopted our first child, a tiny baby boy we named Michael, we were happy beyond words. For years we had wanted a baby but could not give birth to our own. Holding this sweet baby in my arms and knowing he was mine was a dream come true. We cannot express the love we feel for this son. He’s a grown man with children of his own now. And what a blessing he is to us! Now here’s the fun part. Even though he lives hundreds of miles away, he calls us every week at least once, sometimes more. Last time he called, which was just two days ago, he said, “Just checking in on you and Dad. Are you doing OK? I sure do love you.”  How do you think that made us feel? He worries about us and always makes sure we’re doing well. That’s what a good son does. It puts a big smile on our faces every time.

We love it when he shares his life with us, tells us about his job and what he and his wife did for fun that week, or shares a hard time he might be going through. Then he asks us what we’ve been up to. He cares. We wish he lived closer, but with today’s technology we keep in touch quite well. He’s a computer geek and keeps us updated on the latest, including how to use Skype. We love seeing his face as we talk. It’s fun when his wife wanders into the room and says “hi” to us, too. They have a cute little dog that we call our granddog. Sometimes when we’re talking, she climbs up on his lap and vies for the camera. It’s so cute. We almost feel like we’re there. As for his kids, they grew up. The fun part is, they call and check on us, too. We love this sweet family he’s given us.

  1. They thank us for hanging in there during the tough times.

When our daughter Lynda was a young teenager, she was a bit difficult (and so were the others at times). She didn’t like our rules. Sound normal? Yes, she was pretty normal in that department. So we had to learn how to discipline her with love. Sometimes it was really challenging. There were a few times we heard the words, “I hate you!” It hurt, but we knew she didn’t really mean it.

I made some mistakes along the way. After all, I had never been a mom before, so I wasn’t all that good at it at first. Even as they grew I still made mistakes. But I kept trying my best to be a good mom. That’s what moms do. We keep on doing the best we know how.

Now here’s the interesting part. Lynda now has a daughter who gives her fits just like she gave us. It makes me chuckle a little inside when she calls and says, “How can she do that to me?! After all I’ve done for her.” Deja vu. I know exactly how she feels. Then she says, “Thanks, Mom, for hanging in there with me when I was such a brat.” I promise her that it will all work out well if she just hangs in there with her daughter, like it has for us.

A few weeks ago this daughter moved about six hours away to a new home. Last week, she sent me a card (well, us—she loves her daddy, too, so it was for both of us). It was cute, with an adorable dog holding a smiling sun. The card said, “You are my sunshine! Thinking of you, both of you.” Then she wrote a sweet message, which in part said, “Just wanted to drop a quick note and let you know how much I love and miss you.”  I love that she sent the card because I can save it. She calls and sends me text messages, too, but you can’t put them in a scrapbook.

  1. They thank us for adopting them.

Many years ago when our other daughter Carol was about 12 years old, something happened that I’ve never forgotten. It was a simple thing, but it meant the world to her father and me. Let me set the stage by telling you that this daughter is mentally disabled. She spent her school years in special education classes. She endured ridicule from insensitive “friends.” Her life has been challenging, for her and us. Through it all, our love is real and never-ending. Here’s what this special child said to me that day as we sat in our living room. I can’t remember what we were doing, but, like I said, I’ll never forget what she said.

She looked up at me and, out of the blue, said, “Thank you for adopting me. No one else would want me.” I assured her again of how much we love her. It broke my heart to think she would say that no one else would want her. But it touched me deeply to hear her thanking us for adopting her. It was way beyond her years and her mental capacity to think like that. She would surprise us every now and then with statements that belied her mental condition. We knew that inside her is a whole person we will someday know in a life beyond this one. In the meantime, we continue to do all we can to make her life as whole as it can be in her situation.

  1. They send us cards with loving messages.

When we receive greeting cards on special days from our youngest son, who is now a principal of an elementary school, he always writes personal messages to us. On my birthday this year he sent me a beautiful card. The best part was the hand-written message at the bottom. He wrote, “I hope you have a happy birthday. I love you and appreciate all you have taught me and do for me. Love, your son, Paul.” Alongside was another endearing message from his sweet wife. I am always filled with overflowing gratitude at these cards and messages.

  1. They call us their “real” parents.

Our son, John, filled my heart with warmth and love the day he told his younger brother that when friends ask him if he wants to meet his real mother some day he says, “I’ve already met her. Every day when I come home from school, she’s there with snacks for me. That’s my real mother.” I love that he feels that way because that’s what I consider myself. I can’t imagine having any children besides these precious ones that heaven brought into our home.

We feel so blessed to have these five delightful, interesting, caring children as our own. And we’re getting the message that they feel the same about us. That’s what I call happiness.

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AUTHOR / Joy Lundberg  

Joy Lundberg and her husband, Gary, are the parents of 5 children, all of whom were adopted. They are also the proud grandparents of 20 grandchildren. Joy is a prize-winning lyricist and has written/co-written several books and articles about marriage and families with her husband. Learn more about her on their website.

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Filed under Adopted And Happy!, AdoptoLand, General Ignoramitude, Sad and beautiful, Stop Saying That, The Adoption Process Moral Pedestal, WTF?!, You're going to Hell for this.

Demons In Adoption

The votes have been tallied, and this award couldn’t have gone to a shadier, shittier bunch of people.

This year’s recipient of the Demons of Adoption Award is a good example of being among the worst in an industry that thrives on bad practices.

Founded, in 1978 by attorney James S. Albers, Adoption by Gentle Care has been in the spotlight before. Already in 2011, the agency was nominated for a Demons of Adoption Award for their handling of the case of Benjamin Wyrembek.

In that case Adoption by Gentle Care placed a boy with an Indiana couple, in November 2007, knowing that the paternity of the child was not established. Benjamin Wyrembek, the father of the child contested the adoption and after a long court battle, the adoption was dismissed.

As a result, the child was officially in custody of Adoption by Gentle Care, which was ordered to show the child to his father on February 8, 2010. The agency failed to comply with the court order and through it’s [sic] executive director John Cameron was held in contempt on July 2, 2010.

The Indiana couple appealed all the way up to the US Supreme Court, but eventually October 30, 2010, the boy was handed over to his father.

Adoption by Gentle Care quickly dismissed executive director John Cameron, who was replaced by Trina Saunders. This change of leadership however didn’t change the way Adoption by Gentle Care operated.

Nope. After “cleaning house,” they snatched Baby Camden, using every dirty trick in the book:

When the issue of paternity came up, the agency coached Carri Stearns to list the father as “unknown” on the birth certificate, even though the father was known.

The case worker, having learned her lesson from the case of Dusten Brown (baby Veronica) asked if Carri had any Native American blood. When she answered truthfully that she did, the case worker responds: “Carri, you can’t say that. If we name Native American blood, then this adoption won’t happen. He’ll go to foster care.”

[…]

During the relinquishment [Carri] had to testify that she was of “sound mind and body”. In such testimony one must state that they are not under any mind altering substances and are making this decision of their own free will, independently of any coercion of duress. At the time Carri was still under doctor’s prescription for Vicodin and Dilaudid, but was advised by Adoption by Gentle care worker to say “no” to the question whether she was using any medication.

Three days after the relinquishment, reality what has transpired set in and Carri came to the conclusion she had made a terrible mistake.

Adoption by Gentle Care refused to revoke the consent and pushed through with the placement of Camden. However, the family chosen to adopt the boy, returned him to the agency and he has been in foster care ever since.

Yes, the same “foster care” the agency used fear of to bully Carri out of her baby. Only it’s worse than they threatened: Camden had now been declared “special needs” because he has de Morsier’s syndrome. Not only does no one seem to know what sort of treatment he’s receiving, the condition also makes him less adoptable than the average white male baby. Doesn’t matter: He’s still white and little and cute, there’s still a chance he can be sold, and Gentle Care is keeping him.

Remember how awful it is to take a child from “the only family s/he’s ever known”? Camden is reportedly now in a second foster family. Including his real one, that makes four. He’s only seven months old.

 

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