I've tried in vain to avoid all things adoption, but once again it was front and center and unavoidable. I just finished reading Gail Collins' When Everything Changed, a history of the women's movement from the 60s to the present, and of course she discussed Roe v. Wade and out-of-wedlock pregnanices. I sent this e-mail to Lorraine last week:
And I was just reading this chapter about the decline of the double standard in Gail Collins' book; she's discussing the Pill. She quotes a woman who attended my college a decade before me and married her senior year, which was rare in the 60s: Judy Riff remembered that one of her friends at their all-girls Catholic college got pregnant her sophomore year, "and one minute she was there and the next minute she was gone. It was like she was never there.....I don't know what happened to her." The very idea of having a baby out of wedlock "was just so awful....," Riff said, "that probably would have to be the worst thing that could have happened to any of us."
Now, this was my college, but 1967. You know I was a sophomore when I got pregnant in 1976. I had conversations with just about all the girls in the dorm, and several of the sisters, and the sisters agreed with me, sadly, that I wasn't the first, and I wasn't going to be the last (single and pregnant). Thank GOD I had the support of my classmates. Actually, I thought about that when I got pregnant, they could have thrown me out. Thankfully, they didn't. I remember making up a final exam and Sister Lucille brought me a glass of milk and cookies (perhaps a reward because I didn't choose abortion?). And I'm reading this on the 34th anniversary of the day I met [my daughter's father]. I conceived on the 31st, tomorrow. Happy anniversary to me.
And that chill up my spine coincided with the debate over CBS's decision to run an anti-abortion ad while rejecting a gay dating service ad during the Super Bowl. For me, it's a very real possibility that all the rights that Lorraine and Jane and so many of my sisters fought for my generation and our children and grandchildren are slowly eroding...I have a very strong feeling women vacuuming in frilly aprons and pearls may actually once again become a reality, and a woman's right to choose will cease being a right.
And finally, Lorraine shared this gem that was forwarded from another blog earlier this week:
Birth Mother Question: I was just wondering if you get any feedback from birth mothers a year or two after placement regarding their outlook on adoption and their decision to place? As a birth mother who placed a baby through AdoptHelp two years ago, Mark asked me to answer this question. I have spoken with many birth mothers who have placed over the years through my support group on the Web. The good news is that I am not aware of any birth mothers who regret their decision. [Emphasis mine] I have talked with some who wished that they weren't in the position they were in. Then again, I also have talked to women who have placed twice, who couldn’t be happier because there was no other option in their opinion. Every woman, no matter what their story, although they have had their hard times, does not for a single second regret what they did. They know they did what was best for their child, and they respect their story. It has changed more lives than one, and as birth mom’s, that’s what we strive for. Changing not only the lives of our child, but the life of the parent or parents that will love and nourish our child. From my experience, most birth mothers have the same outlook; they are proud and stand with their heads held high! [Emphasis Mine]
Posted on Friday, November 14, 2008 at 08:01PM by Registered CommenterAdoptHelp in Birth mother Questions, adoption, birth mother, place baby for adoption, pregnant Comments Off
I was so stunned by this statement that all I could say was the birthmothers this commenter has spoken to must have been lobotomized. As for women placing children for adoption twice--once was painful enough. And yeah, like Judy Riff said, it's up there with the worst thing that ever happened to my daughter and me. In my thirty-four years in the birthmother sisterhood, I have yet to meet or speak to a birth mother who doesn't wish things could have been different. The only birth mother I'm aware of who is at peace with her decision is the twenty-something woman who posted a FMF comment many blogs ago; I'd like to talk to that woman in about twenty years to see if she's still as happy about her decision.
Just some random thoughts to ponder on a snow day.