|Lorraine and reunited daughter, Jane|
I am the anonymous poster who is the daughter of a very damaged adoptee. I am from Utah and I chose to parent as a single teen based on my mother's experience as an adoptee. I feel very confident discouraging any one from giving up their baby, but what do I say about adoption to friends that want to adopt? I want them to know the true situation, but it is so hard when they feel like adoption will solve all their problems. And most of them believe that the mothers truly want to give up their children. Have you covered this before?
Let us applaud you for dealing with the zeitgeist in Mormon-dominated Utah and keeping your baby. Yep, even for me it is very difficult to talk to people who are hell bent on adopting and telling them about birth-mother grief and the long-term impact on the adoptee. A friend wrote me about this very issue, and she remembers crying on the phone with her friend when adoption was being considered. After the adoption, they remained friends but drifted apart somewhat, as the other couple had a young child and she did not, adding however, "their adopting was a further wedge between us." She wrote, "They may not feel it but I certainly do, because today, twenty years later, adoption still finds its way into our conversation in ways that seem hurtful, or at least uncomfortable, for me."
But back to you. You can only save the world one person at a time, and you started out by keeping your child. By living in Utah, surrounded by people who think adoption is only wonderful, you are in a more difficult position than most. We have had an anonymous Mormon first mother commenting on another blog last week who wrote: "i love adoption and am SO grateful with my experience with it." Maybe what you will accomplish more than you realize is being an example to other women in Utah that it is possible to be a single mother; and you can talk to them about how damaged your own adoptee mother was by the fact of her not being raised in her family of origin.
The best thing would be to tell those who want to adopt about the difficulties of your own mother, and suggest that they read various blogs to learn how complicated it is for the adopted person to grow up among genetic strangers.
I've listed below a few of FMF posts that could be helpful.
The saddest story of all: Opting for adoption today
No Matter How Adoption is Done, Grief Remains for Mothers