WMUR News in New Hampshire.
A girl named Grace, adopted from Haiti when she was nine, is waiting to hear if her mother, Mimose Lubin, is alive, as she lived in Delmas, one of the hardest hit areas. In a one-story apartment. Grace now lives with the Winslow family of Center Barnstead, New Hampshire, who adopted her along with her brother, Jon, when he was two. His family lives in an area that is far away from the quake zone, and they are probably unharmed.
I am so torn when I read these stories: would the girl be better off with her mother? How did her mother feel about handing her over? How did relinquishing her daughter impact her life? But if she had not been sent to live in American, she might be maimed or dead. And the same is true of the boy, Jon.
Were the mothers crazy, or sick, were there no relatives who could care for Grace or Jon? I want to know. I imagine what these mothers were told--that their children would be better off, have a good middle class life in the land of milk and honey and unlimited opportunity, have a future not dreamed of if they stayed in Haiti. Yes, I am sure they were told that, and the mothers gave up their children for the promise of that better life. And soon--months, a year--there is no going back for any of them, mother or child.
I gave my daughter up, as did our readers, my friends, because we felt we were without resources. Yes, I gave up, we all gave up. We could not cope with a baby. We had no funds. Society told us we must do the right thing. My daughter was relinquished in a time when all cultural forces inveighed on me, telling me that a two-parent family, a middle class man and wife of "professionals" were the better parents. I'm not angry with my social worker, Helen Mura, because she did not lie, she did not sit there and tell me that I would be better off without the child, she merely listened and kept her box of tissues filled; I came to her with plans intact, the father a married man who did not want to keep the child--and oh how I think of Rielle Hunter and John Edwards and their "love child" when I read their story in the supermarket line. I came to Mrs. Mura at Northaven Terrace in Rochester, New York in my fifth month defeated by the winds of circumstance and society, and I did not put up a better fight.
In the end, my lover, my daughter's father, did not leave his wife in time to let me keep our daughter. When he did, two years later, it was too late, our daughter was gone. Did my daughter have the better parents, the better life? Certainly they had resources I did not have, but in the end, I don't think so. She was a textbook case of all the psychological problems that beset some adoptees, and she had the double-whammy of also being epileptic. And, oh yes, of being sexually abused by a grandmother's live-in companion. Triple whammy.
Because I have been focused on my career, now and then someone has said in the past, Oh, you did the right thing, you would not have been a good mother, you wanted a career too much.
I used to accept that, maybe it was part of the punishment, maybe it was part of their rationalization in a feeble attempt to make me feel better, maybe they just had to say it, but one day, my husband, my dear husband who has always understood--we are going on 29 years this year--said, How do they know that? They don't know what kind of mother you would have been. You would have been a good mother.
We were much alike, my daughter and me. I would be a different person than the career woman I became, that's all. Yes, I always wanted a career, I won't argue that point, but I did not know how much maternal instinct would roil up in me once I knew I was having a baby. I did not know how much I would want to keep her. I did not know how giving her up for a better life would ruin mine.
And so, when thinking about the situaiton in Haiti my head hurts and my heart aches. I want mothers to keep their babies, rich and poor mothers to keep their babies. I want the world to see that simply removing children from their families and sending them off to foreign lands and genetic strangers is not always the answer. I want the world to know that such relief is also the beginning of grief. --lorraine
It's Unexpected, show about girl not adopted who tracks down her parents, starts tonight. 9 p.m., Eastern and Central time.