I wish I had some statistics about the percentage of adoptees who go on to relinquish their own children to the adoption machine. I suspect it would be rather high. We spend our childhoods being told how wonderful adoption is, that a single parent isn’t good enough for a child and that youth equals inability. When an adoptee finds themselves in a crisis pregnancy it seems only natural that adoption will be brought up, over and over and over. After all we look to our parents for guidance and if adoption was good enough for all of them it must be good enough for us! Our natural parents gave us up to “a better life”, shouldn’t we strive to follow their unselfish lead? Our adoptive parents wanted a baby, shouldn’t we also give another couple that gift?
I knew, deep inside, that adoption was wrong when I found myself pregnant at 17. I knew instinctively that my child needed and wanted me. Our bond during my pregnancy was intense and magical. This tiny person was a part of me, my kin, my blood, my family. The only blood relative I had ever known. I knew he was mine and I was his, we belonged together. Others saw it in a far different light. I was told over and over that I was unfit, too young, too single, selfish to want him etc. The worst thing I remember being told was that I was showing my bad blood. My natural mother had me at 17. I was shamed into believing that both of us were horrible people, undeserving of our children. I fought back and kept my son but the little whispers in my ear continued. Every day was a struggle to keep it together. I was offered no support, I made my bed and it was time to lie in it. I wonder how things would have played out if I had been given a tiny bit of support, if someone had said “I believe in you” just once. Maybe instead of longing for a lost child I would be fighting over curfew rules or him not taking out the trash.
As my own adoption journey has moved along I find myself on two sides of the same fence. I am adopted, I grieve the loss of my mother deeply. I long for things that can never be. Her hugs before bed, her kisses on my owies, her pride over a good report card, fights over car keys, fights over clothing and make up choices, so on and so forth. I long for a connection that was broken the day of my birth. At the same time I feel pain over loosing my son and long for all the same things with him, minus the make up fight maybe 😉 I feel shame, not that I tried to parent but that I failed. Shame over being exactly what everyone said I was, inadequate as a parent to my son. The adoptee in me hates so deeply, she hates that she put her son in the very position that has caused her so much inner turmoil. How could I allow this to happen knowing full well what adoption has done to me? It wasn’t a choice, never a choice, his adoption was thrust upon me, I was told what would happen. No discussion, no ifs ands or buts. My choice was made for me and it was celebrated by those who should have supported me. I wonder how many other adoptees have had their choice taken from them. How many other abandoned people have been pushed to abandon their own?