Thursday, November 5, 2015

Happy to be Alive? - Nov.4 #FliptheScript

Nov. 4, Wednesday

In response to the GOP effort to defund Planned Parenthood, #ShoutYourAdoption was created to posit adoption as a better alternative to abortion. 

Talk about your reaction as an adoptee to the idea of adoption being pushed as an alternative to abortion. Whether you are pro-life, pro-choice, or somewhere in between, your opinion on this issue as an adopted person matters. Consider these questions...

A couple of years ago, Kate and I were having a painful heart-to-heart discussion about how much I lost in relinquishment. My youngest self didn't have her mother, and she needed her. It was one of the first times I really identified with myself as a newborn, what that loss must have felt like. I felt such deep sorrow for that infant... for me... at the loss experienced.

Kate stayed gently firm in her belief that it was the best choice given her situation. Faced with the newly legal choice of abortion, she chose life instead. She expressed how glad she was she made that choice. Wasn't it the better choice? Wasn't I happy that I was alive?

My answer shocked her.

"No," I said. "I wouldn't have cared because I wouldn't have known any different."

Don't get me wrong, there are days that the beauty of the world makes me want to fall to my knees in worship. There are also times when the burden of the sorrows in my life cripple me. The experience of being alive is powerful. I understand why we must respect life. But...

We are conditioned to honor human life over all things. Sometimes it even seems that the opponents of choice honor the unborn life over that of the mother's life. Kate wasn't anti-choice, she respected others who had abortions, but couldn't have one herself because of her values, because of what she felt. I respect her choice.

But I can't say I'm grateful to be alive. I happen to be alive. Just like you. Just like anyone. We popped into this world because of the innumerable instances that led to our conception and birth. And now here we are. All of us trying to figure out the meaning of it all.

Half of me suspects there is no meaning (I relate to existentialism, believing there is no God, love and kindness is the highest form of being); the other half of me feels that Buddhism probably has it right (we are here for a moment, our spirits should be unattached to the worries of the earth, focus instead on enlightenment, our souls eternal, part of the whole).

Either way, whatever we believe, there is one fact - with life, comes death. Before we are born, we are essentially dead. An essay that stuck with me (but that I can't recall who wrote it) pondered this, saying that they were not in distress to not be alive before they were born, so why fear death? It'll be just like how it was before we were born.

Without the fear of death, there is no need to mourn not having been alive. We will just be as we were. Our souls enact, just not here on earth in this body at this moment.

But I do feel gratitude. I am endlessly grateful that my life was surrounded with love from so many sides. I am so happy that I am able to be in a relationship with all sides of my family. All sides. I am infinitely blissfully humbled by getting to be the mother of the two most wonderful people that I have ever met. There is so much to be grateful for. But being born isn't one of them.

Getting to live with the loss honestly, without masking it with gratitude - yeah, I'm grateful for that.


Thoughts? Reflections? Opinions?

Your comments matter!


  1. I am a father, in union for the last three years. 27 years of absence has been my sentence, years and years of grieve. Adoption the gift that keeps on giving. It makes no sense to cut out a mother from child and vice versa, save for one. Adoption is not about the mother or the child, its about fulfilling someone else's desires at our expense. End this suffering, please stop separating children for adoption pleasure. Do not take a mother's role from her permanently, give her more options, for the child's sake if not for the mother's sake. Motherhood should not be something sought to be taken from another creating an artificial orphan. I can not make sense of the sickness that perverts god's natural plan. Desire to covet someone else's child as if your own should sound like the sin it is. I am saddend such a society exists that exhalts such devastation in a child's life, in a mother''s life, that prescription is pain for much more than just mother & child, which by itself should be enough to say what about a mother & a child's needs, not my own stinking desires that will cause so much pain. Mentor or guardianship, not ownership, not destruction of family for sake of desire. Don't take a child from an intermediary, how impersonal, how cruel secrets are. Don't secrets just make you feel dirty, sinful.......I wish that dirty feeling alone existed in adoption, it would be the correct feeling to have, and put the brakes on such cruelty of taking children. You should never be able to own a child and have their rights to their family trumped by strangers desires.

    1. Last week, as I often do, I think of how wrong and revolting it is that adoptees' birth certificates are sealed for life from the person born on their certificate, including adoptees' original identities, and how unfair and cruel it is for adopters to either go along with this or even want this.

      I've dishearteningly experienced my own adopters basically say 1) "too bad, I'm too old to care or do anything about this. I have my own stuff, dreams to follow, to take care off to deal with parenting (which apparently was supposed to be a temporary role for them)", 2) use their delusional cognitive dissonance to explain that they didn't "actually remove me from my country of birth as I was learning to walk, because they don't FEEL like they did" and 3) that I should think of how "having to adopt" has hurt THEM (who went through all their troubles to displace a little one who never sought removal, loss of country, culture, language, identity, or family, and who was too powerless to stop them).

      As I hear them, I wish I could return their "love" in an equitable way. Unfortunately they are both even more fully grown than when they deliberately went through the actions of displacing me to add to their family, so the effect would be miniscule compared to their effect on me. But, at the very least, I can assign them a new identity. From now on, I've renamed them Bart and Maggie. From hence forth, I'll reference them as Bart and Maggie. Perhaps I'll even make up an entire new history and lineage of their families and claim that it must be true. Heck, I'd love to focus on myself, my history, and my identity instead, but they were ALL taken from me (at their beckoning).

    2. Scott ~ a big Amen to this!!
      "Desire to covet someone else's child as if your own should sound like the sin it is."

  2. Then there are all those amazing parents who choose to adopt children of people too sick to take care of them...or those orphaned by war or accidental deaths. Hopefully there are paths to healing for these children as they sort out who they belong to, if anyone. Hopefully there are ways for strangers to become family.