Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Take that offensive Kay Jewelers ad off the air!

Lorraine
Dear Mark Light, President and CEO of Kay Jewelers:

To say that the adoption commercial you are currently running for the "open heart" jewelry is triggering negative emotions with millions of people does not adequately describe the feelings that those 30 seconds rile up in me, as well as millions of other people, birth mothers as well as adoptees.

While you celebrate the happiness of the couple who receive a newborn baby, you denigrate the impact of the adoption on the mother who has recently given birth and is reeling with the loss of her child. You may have seen animals with newborns on nature programs on television, and seen what happens when newborns are separated from their mothers. Whales, lions, horses--all have that instinct to keep their newborns close. It is not different for humans. No mother gives up a child without trauma.


One of the misconceptions in adoption today is the concept of the child as a "gift."  This particular Kay commercial fosters this concept by pairing the baby with a gift of jewelry. Mothers who surrender children do it for various reasons, but all boil down to one central fact: they believe they are unable to provide for the child and surrender to forces greater than their ability to resist. No teenager, nor an indigent middle-aged woman who cannot provide for another child, has a baby merely to give it as a "gift" to someone else. Though agency workers implant the idea of adoption as a loving "gift" to an infertile, needy couple, the unseen woman behind that closed door in your commercial is deeply grieving with a sorrow that will last her entire life.

Likewise, adopted people do not want to be thought of as "gifts" who are easily traded from one 
family to another. That reduces them to objects, not human beings with feelings and ancestral connections to the people they were born to.

Please take this noxious commercial off the air immediately. As someone--yes, a natural mother--who has been involved in adoption reform since the seventies, I know that I speak for millions of women, their families, as well as the millions of adoptees. A quick check of the comments on the iSpot-TV website will give you an idea of our shared reaction.  

Sincerely, Lorraine Dusky
firstmotherforum.com

Please add your voice to this campaign to stop that ad from running. Take a moment write to Mark Light via email or snail mail, and do leave comments, both here and wherever you can.  Please leave your comments here at FMF. 
--------------------------
Mark Light                              
CEO and President
Sterling Jewelers      (parent company of Kay)
Fairlawn, OH 44333    

Email Mark Light at mlight@jewels.com.

You can see the ad at:
As well as leave a comment and a thumbs down: 
http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7TR4/kay-jewelers-open-heart-waves-adoption-center#comments


READING
Waiting to Forget: A Motherhood Lost and Found
by Margaret Moorman us a mother's story of coming to terms with the child she gave up for adoption over thirty years ago. In 1965 Margaret Moorman was unmarried, pregnant, and still in high school. Forced by societal pressures to give her baby up, she suffered emotional trauma both before and for years after the birth. At forty, she gave birth to a daughter and found herself terrified by the possibility of losing her younger child, a fear she can now trace back to her uncertain decision to give up her son.  Beautifully written, a compelling writer handling the subject with grace and eloquence.        

162 comments:

anon55 said...

I have seen the commercial. I don't find it offensive, Husbands often give their wives gifts when a child is added to their family. Why should it be any different for adoptive parents? Why shouldn't adopted children be welcomed with the same joy and celebration?


My mom was raised by her foster mother, my grandmother, in the 30s. Her rites of passage were celebrated with the same degree of joy and pagentry as her adopted sister and my grandmother's genetic nephews and nieces. (My grandfather died before my mother's adoption could be finalized. In the 30s single women couldn't adopt.) My point . .. the commercial and my grandmother demonstrate the same degree of .joy and celebration however that person became part of the family.

Jay Iyer said...

I felt punched in the stomach when I saw the ad. anon55, how husbands and wives choose to celebrate family moments in private is one thing. It is entirely a different issue when there is portrayal to society at large, in an ad meant to draw the public with its message, an image that adoption is all clean and pretty and natural and bears no ugliness or loss. I see shameless begging for babies all over Facebook, by desperate couples wanting that "as if it was my own child" moment. Ads such as this one serve to further that movement, which is extremely insulting to that smallest, most helpless of human beings, a baby, who is losing his/her natural history before even making an appearance in the world. And while we're at it, let's dig that knife into the birth parents' hearts a little deeper, shall we?

Lorraine, I saw on the comments stream of another blog an e-mail address: mlight@jewels.com for Mark Light. I am going to try it.

HDW said...

anon55, People tend to brush over the traumatic side of adoption.

What if this were a couple taking on the young baby of a mother who had just died in child birth? Would a commercial for a necklace be appropriate in this scenario?

In both scenarios, the child just lost its mother.

I know it's hard for people to get because there is so much elation on the one side. But, let's not forget that a child lost its entire family, and that family lost the child.

In real life, should adoptive parents be thrilled to have their children in their lives? Of course. But, this is a commercial that simplifies the complexities of adoption and perpetuates its myth.

Jane Edwards said...

Thanks for the address, Jay. I just sent an email to Mark Light protesting the ad.

Lorraine Dusky said...

Thanks Jay, I will post the address in the blog. I think it is better than the one I have there now.

anon55 said...

Anon55

Your concern is not what the child has lost, but what you the genetic mother has lost. But your loss should not define how major events are commemorated for the child or their adoptive parents.

The commercial is not creating an event it depicting what already happens .... It isn't creating a new reality, it is simply reflecting reality.

Finally, when parents die rites of passage are still observed. The parent's death should not overshadow the child's present. Before you pile on please note my father died when I was two and I am recently widowed with a young child.

Anonymous said...

ANON55

Your concern is not what the child has lost, but what you, the genetic mother, has lost. However your loss
should not negate the child or their adoptive parent commemorating rites of passage.

The commercial is merely reflecting reality, not creating a new one. Parents adoptive, genetic , foster and step commemorate the arrival of a child.

I thought the what if the mother had died comment interesting. My father died when I was two and I am recently widowed with a child. The death of my father and my childs father did not, have not, will not or should not preclude celebrations of key moments in our lives. That is what I want, my father wanted and my husband wanted.

Sarah said...

Anon55

Why can't you understand how painful the ad is for first mothers? I understand what you say but you diminish our feelings about seeing something that causes us pain.

What if we said about your being a widow, oh, everybody loses somebody. Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

Oh gross. I haven't seen this commercial. Cows especially show serious distress when their calves are taken. Anyone who has ever lived on a farm knows they cry and cry (mooing)and never stop all day long. What network is this ad shown on and is it on you tube to view?
(P.S. please boycott veal too, ie: the baby mama cow cries for)

Anonymous said...

My point your loss, adoption or death, does not preclude other from celebrating significant events.

I have wondered why I have been reading this forum. I wanted to see how others process loss. AFter reading this forum for some time I have realized that how many of the people on this blog handle loss is very different from me, my mom, my genetic grandmother or my child. It is a method that won't work for us. The question is whether its working for you?

Lioness said...

As an adoptee I find this ad offensive. Maternal abandonment for any reason wounds children. The "gift" of my adoptive parents did not compensate for that wounding. It in no way filled the hole left in my life.

Additionally, I hate the fact that I was bought and sold, and this ad only exacerbates the commercial aspect of the adoption transaction.

Earth Mother said...

" I can't believe this is finally happening...(weepy with joy)" . Here anon55, let's clarify what *THIS* is that she's sniffling about. "I can't believe that some lady finally had a beautiful,(one presumes they have actually seen the child) perfect, white baby girl that we get to take home and call our own !" It's the "Oh, I AM finally a Mom !", moment that is particularity offensive. This child's Mother is essentially dead to them yet, they are all about what in it for themselves in their own selfishness. If this had been an organ donor ad, would it have been appropriate for Kay Jewelers to promote the draping of some nonsensical bling over the recipient to celebrate that which "finally happened" as if the one who was dead and gone "finally" got hit by a bus and gave up the goods? One has to wonder what kind of adoptive parents this ad could possibly appeal to. Who on earth would purchase this piece of junk to celebrate their new child's' life- changing experience of LOSS? You don't think it makes some John Q. Infertile Couples think of adoption as much different than say, getting that hard sought after job or closing on that new house they'd been longing for and it was finally "their" turn? Well I do. The psychology behind advertisement is extremely sophisticated and powerful for a reason; it sells product. This ad "says" THIS COULD BE YOU and it could happen JUST LIKE THIS !" Clean as a whistle--a no muss , no fuss adoption. Actually, the entire depiction of "The Exchange" in this ad is offensive and pathetic .....right down to the friendly "corner adoption store" setting. Kay Jewelers has 900 stores coast to coast. Every last one of them needs to receive a piece of literature on the ''real cost' of adoption , in pain and suffering, due to current adoption practice, policy and law. No hunk of flotsam from *The Wave Collection* will ever begin to mitigate the life long separation issues facing adoptees and their original families. The party is over on soft soaping the realities behind the curtain in infant adoption. I find the ad deplorable on every level. The celebrity involvement of Jane Seymour adds a sickening dollop of feigned credibility as if she knows anything about the realities of adoption. Then, who would, with all the secrets and lies built into the system. We'll just see if Mark Light is man enough to even respond to Lorraine's request to stop airing this belittling ad.

HDW said...

anon55 wrote, "When parents die rites of passage are still observed. The parent's death should not overshadow the child's present. Before you pile on please note my father died when I was two and I am recently widowed with a young child."

I never said that adoptees should walk around in mourning for the rest of their lives. Obviously, key moments should be celebrated. I have celebrated many milestones with my a-family. But, when my a-father died, no one came up to me to give me a necklace from Kay Jewelers to commemorate his death.

Theodore said...

Look on the bright side, it depicts adopters as people who have no problem adding a cold bit of metal to a first hug with the adoptee, which suggests a lack of parental instincts. I'm just wondering whether a very angry adoptee thought this up, hurting first families and depicting adopters as uncaring jerks, while still promoting the sale of their stuff...

BJane said...

Anon55

Because the commercial is hurtful does not mean that we want to ban all celebrations. But in regards to adoption MANY people are disillusioned to the realities of how destructive it is. My very sister to this day says that my situation is rare (my son's amom is threatened by me and has closed our 17 year open adoption because I said I am his mother. She is his parent and I respect that).She believes that the majority of aparents honor the natural mothers (hogwash).That adoptions are necessary or we would be promoting teenage pregnancy and poverty. Note that most of her information is coming from pro adoption sites, her sister in law who is an amom, and of course MTV!

As for the reflection of foster parents commemorating the arrival of a child I have a different perspective. I was a foster parent and not ONCE did my husband or I celebrate the fact that the children were in our home. We loved those children and were grateful to be helping them and their family during very difficult situations. But those separations from their families were horrible!

As a birth/natural mother I can't define what goes on in other peoples homes. I can point out to the media and educate that we should stop celebrating and encouraging the tragedy of adoption.Because it IS a death of a mother and child bond.

Now brace yourself, I envy you. You have the closure of death (I have thought of this often, the differences between death and adoption). You knew that your father had died and wasn't out there....somewhere... possibly wondering who you were. And you maybe doing the same about him. Looking into every face wondering if that was your father,QUESTIONING your identity,dealing with rejection issues that surround your very existence, and worrying if your being loyal to those who have raised you. You knew your history, your ancestry. Therefore giving you the go ahead to celebrate those rites of passages. It is different for the adoptees and their natural mothers, just different. I am looking for the words.... Its like celebrating a... kidnapping. Weird.

And your child, if not adopted, will know his/her history/ancestry (I know I am assuming a lot, sorry).

Now, that being said, I AM SORRY for your loss of your father at a tender age and your recent loss of your husband. I hope that you are finding support and healing....

MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel said...

Kay's not only sells ugly-ass jewelry through tacky advertising, but now this ugly-ass "sentiment"! You betcha I'll write what Mr. B calls, admiringly, "one of your letters"!

Kelly said...

This is an excellent ad.

Only a pathetic liberal would find it disturbing. Celebrate Life. Celebrate Adoption. You idiots have issues. Get a life.

A happy ending with my adoptive family. Isn't adoption something to celebrate? Indeed it is.

Birthmother1996 said...

Hey Kelly.....

I'm not a pathetic Liberal, and I am a Birth Mother.

I am rather disappointed in this ad.

Be careful who you choose to label. Unless you've walked in my shoes, I advise you don't go where you don't know.

Jus' sayin'.

Adoption is not *pretty*. No aspect of it. For either party. It is hard, it is tiring, it is draining. It is an emotional roller coaster that both Birthparents, and adoptive parents get on, and stay on for the rest of their lives. It has its rewards, it has it happiness, and for adoptive families, the feeling of completion.

*Celebrate* is not the word I would choose.

Julia Emily said...

Kelly: This ad is disgusting and very disturbing. Adoption is filled with "issues" and trauma, and loss, and grief. It is not the pretty little picture depicted in this ad. I take offense at being called an idiot. Maybe your adoptive situation was filled with rainbows and unicorns, but that is not the case for a lot of us. Kay Jewelers is making light of a very delicate, complicated issue with this pretty little ad, and I would like it taken off the air.

JackieD said...

Kelly, I'm glad you are happy. But I resent that you would call me or my son "an idiot" because we don't see adoption as happy dappy. It's difficult for me to get on board with adoption since my son was forced from me by my family. It's hard for him to know that in 1976 he was purchased for today's equivalent of $27,384 from a so-called Christian agency and lost me and the rest of his family. His natural father passed away before he even had a chance to meet him. Everybody has their own viewpoint. Everyone has their own story. Glad yours was SO GOOD you deign to come on here and cut us down. And, if you are so happy, why are you even on this blog?????????

Anonymous said...

Okay, I just you tubed this commercial and saw it.
I feel sick.
Here is the link for anyone who wants to see it if you haven't.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKTgYeqmD2c&list=UUjBtQrroK1brnxmrXzjKWhw&feature=c4-overview

I did NOT know that stupid Jane Seymour was in it. I can't stand her, I have never liked her. (and I have always thought her open heart necklace was ugly. she has NO artist talent, shame she doesn't see that)
And get this, she had a tv show about adoption on 11 years ago!:

"British actress JANE SEYMOUR is appearing in a new documentary series exposing the ups and downs of child adoption.

The LIVE AND LET DIE beauty's new 13-episode series ADOPTION will showcase the lengths people are prepared to go to when they seek to give their chosen child a happy home.

She says, "This is really something close to my heart. A lot of my family members have been adopted or have adopted. A lot of my friends were adopted from far away places like Russia and China.

"What we do in this show is amazing: incredible documentaries of different families and their journeys, including people who have been adopted, finding their birth parents, people going to Russia and China, the good news, the bad news. Some people are amazing."
26/09/2003

She also is part of the Angels In Adoption Awards.

http://www.thedqtimes.com/pages/castpages/other/janeseymourangeladoption.htm

In all this time she doesn't get it. What a clueless, selfish twit.
I say boycott her too. (And leave a message for her on her facebook page or website(s).

Earth Mother said...

Hey Kelly~ Not sure how you missed this--it's at the top of the page. You need to scroll up. it reads: FMF "A place where first/birth/natural/real mothers share news and opinions. And vent." This is the reason we come here; to share and vent.
As for your advice? Celebrate adoption? NO, thanks. Get a life? Absolutely--that's what I'm doing. After being shunned, silenced and forced to live a lie for 2 decades I am finally living in the real world. My son and I have been reunited for 25 years and he would NEVER--not for one blessed second, tell me to shut up about what happened to me. He enjoyed a fairy tale life ( and still does) with his adoptive family. But he does not celebrate his unnecessary removal from his original family. Society engineered a path for him that eliminated his opportunity to grow up where he belonged i.e. surrounded and influenced and mirrored by his natural family. And if you don't think that's important, Kelly, I ask you WHY most humans turn to adopting the child of another only AFTER failed attempts to fill a strong desire to be a biological parent. Social engineering took him from us--not abuse or neglect. He abhors what it did to me. The "happy ending" of his adoptive experience is in finally integrating with his biological family. If all the empirical data, scholarly research, facts and truth about the coercion and negative impact of adoption were readily available and folks STILL chose to embrace this obliteration of genetic connectedness --then so be it. Just doing our part to make sure that the underlying premise of adoption is exposed once and for all. Nice to hear your point of view---but, I respectfully submit that it is quite limited. If you think adoption, as practiced in the past and( to a fair extent) still practiced today might I suggest you take a look at the extensive writing on the subject starting with The Girls Who Went Away. There is also a gut wrenching film that you might take a look at for more insight. It's called Plilomena..perhaps you've heard of it. Good luck, Kelly.

Robin said...

The ad normalizes adoption and reiterates the message that adoption is 'just another way to build a family'. It also gives the impression that a couple just has to go to the 'baby store' and pick up a #1 on the totem pole, healthy white female. Combining that with purchasing a piece of jewelry is crass commercialism. I wonder how much control Jane Seymour has over the content of the commercials for her open heart necklace design. She is a bio-mom and a bio-child herself. I would certainly lose respect for her if she was a part of this ad concept (even if she does look great in a bikini at 62 years old. lol).

Does anyone know anymore about Mark Light? This ad sounds like it comes from someone who's an ardent pro-lifer.

Lorraine Dusky said...

I stopped eating veal about 15 years ago, once I learned how it came to market. It is pathetic and I urge everyone to google it and learn if you don't already know.

One of the images I have in my mind is of separation of foal and mare. I was giving my daughter a few horseback lessons so we could go riding together, and at some point two guys at the stable had separated a foal--couldn't have been more than a few days old--from the mare and she was having a fit. Finally someone else from the stable appeared and yelled at the guys and put mare and foal back together, and she calmed down immediately. I've seen nature shows on television about lions and cubs and other animals, but seeing this in real life made a huge impression. I was that mare in distress when my daughter was born because I knew I wouldn't be keeping her.

Mistake. The biggest mistake of my life.

Lorraine Dusky said...

As for ulterior motives involved in the commercial--probably not. Kay has been running these "open heart" commercials for a couple of years now and they felt like they needed a new batch to reach out to the specific consumer and hey! how about adoption! Since so many people want to adopt and think of it as a good thing only--the idea was floated (maybe by a woman or man who is adopting, or has adopted) at the ad agency, and the idea approved by the company--Mark Light might not have seen it until it was made. And if they had a focus group, no first mother was part of it.

BTW, the company also owns Jared and a number of other jewelry lines.

I purposely did not include the commercial here but I will try to embed it now. I've seen it twice on the air.

Earth Mother said...

Clarification EMother to Kelly: Nice to hear your point of view---but, I respectfully submit that it is quite limited. If you think adoption, as practiced in the past and(to a fair extent) still practiced today SHOULD BE CELEBRATED, might I suggest you take a look at the extensive writing on the subject starting with The Girls Who Went Away. There is also a gut wrenching film that you might take a look at for more insight. It's called Plilomena..perhaps you've heard of it. Good luck, Kelly. And btw---calling us "idiots" says more about you than it says about us. Didn't your mother teach you that name calling is immature and disrespectful? Gracious.

Sarah said...

From Anonymnous: "...how many of the people on this blog handle loss is very different from me, my mom, my genetic grandmother or my child. It is a method that won't work for us. The question is whether its working for you?"

What exactly is your relationship to adoption? Is there even one? Your comments are rather odd.

Robin said...

O/T
"Mistake. The biggest mistake of my life."

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is an adoptee lite. His natural father relinquished his parental rights to Jeff's mother, and when she remarried, Jeff's stepfather legally adopted him. Mr. Bezos' natural father was interviewed recently. He is seriously ill and when asked how he feels now about his decision to give up his son, he said "It was a mistake. The biggest mistake of my life."

Tiffany said...

So, I don't support Kay or lots of other jewelers, anyway, because of the ethics issues with obtaining gems. There's only one jewelry store I frequent because they have more ethical practices and higher control (own their own mines rather than buying from source mines). For example, Kay still sells natural rubies, which come from the conflict region of Myanmar. Kinda off topic, but a matter of human rights, so I wanted to mention it.

As for the commercial, I'm not terribly surprised by it. It's representing the typical view of adoption as a beautiful, rainbowy event. All that's missing are the butterflies.

I do have a necklace my husband gave me to represent our second daughter. I have one for my older daughter (biological), too. I want to give the necklaces to them someday, so I wanted one for my younger daughter. He gave it to me months after her birth- 3 or 4 months later. We bought my daughter and her other mom matching necklaces to have to signify their connection as mother and daughter (they do not match mine- this is something just for them). Again, this was months after.

What bothers me about the commercial is the timing. Technically, she is not a mother yet as she is shown at the hospital, I assume before relinquishment has occurred? It's also ignoring the emotionally charged situation that is adoption. The timing is insensitive.

Every baby deserves to be celebrated. We were happy when our daughter was born (using this term in reference to who she is today- we did not view her as "our" at her birth)n because she was healthy and safe. We were also incredibly sad about the situation. I felt a lot of grief for both my daughter and her parents, and it lasted for weeks after her birth. This commercial ignores all of that. Pretty typical of the media for many situations, really, but this hits home for me.

I didn't wait years to have a baby, and I didn't struggle with infertility, so maybe my viewpoint isn't really the one they are seeking to represent, and that's why I don't "get" it. But I like to think that even if I had, I would have been too sensitive to the mixed emotions to celebrate so excessively the birth of a child who would not be remaining with her parents.

Tiffany said...

I wanted to add for adoptive parents reading this, that my problem with being ok with the media portraying adoption this way is that is it informs the opinions of prospective adoptive parents. There are several things I would go back and change if I could have a do-over of our daughter's birth (again, using "our" to refer to her as she is now, just to clarify). Some of the choices I made I now realize were informed by the media portrayal of adoption, and I wish I had done differently. But I was ignorant. Only by going through it did I become informed.

I wish we could be more informed before it happens. If we as a whole (first mothers, adoptees, and adoptive parents), forced the dialogue to change and be more honest about adoption, then maybe all parties can enter into adoption more informed. If mothers knew more about the impact of adoption, maybe they wouldn't choose it. If prospective adoptive parents knew more about the difficulties of giving up a child, maybe they could make more sensitive choices with the mother in mind. To those commenting that there's nothing wrong with this commercial, that's why I disagree.

Jane Edwards said...

Mark Light is the CEO of Sterling Jewelers dba as Kay. He made $2.8 mil in 2011.

http://www.forbes.com/profile/mark-light/

Jane Edwards said...

Mark Light: $3,769,857 in 2013 http://www1.salary.com/Mark-Light-Salary-Bonus-Stock-Options-for-SIGNET-JEWELERS-LTD.html

Diamonds are definitely his best friend.

Anonymous said...

"I can point out to the media and educate that we should stop celebrating and encouraging the tragedy of adoption.Because it IS a death of a mother and child bond.
Now brace yourself, I envy you. You have the closure of death (I have thought of this often, the differences between death and adoption). "

I have just returned from the funeral of a friend, a young woman who died suddenly, with no previous medical history, leaving her husband and two daughters entirely bereft. As a mother from the BSE I too have often though about the differences between death and adoption and find the comparison invidious. Separation of mother and child and the destruction of the bond between them is tragic and not something to be celebrated or encouraged, but it is not equivalent to the death of a person and it is a shameful comparison to make.

Cherry said...

My sister lost her baby while he was in her womb. I lost my baby to adoption after he was born. We both grieve and have never compared our grief. But our grief is different.

But every year she rang me on my son's birthday, to tell me she was thinking of him, and of me.

And on her son's birthday, I did the same to her and about him.

For decades now, we have both kept each of our sons alive and present in our families from the moment they were born.

I'm so grateful to her for that. I can't imagine us ever comparing our pain. But I'm absolutely certain she would never say the loss of her son was worse than the loss of mine. Nor would I say the opposite.












Auntie Kelli said...

Hey Kelly-

People like you make me want to punch someone in the face. I bet you wouldn't have the gall to say that to a mother of adoption loss's face. I wish you would to mine.

Let me guess... you are living in the southern most portion of the US, go to church every single Sunday and are a Talibangical Repulbitard. I would be willing to be you are also not an adoptee, but an adoptoraptor or a relative of one. IDIOT. Why don't you start handing over your own kids, then come back here with your rubbish...

BJane said...

Anonymous,

I am not trying to cause resentment with the remark that I envy those who have closure with death. Of course I certainly don't wish death on anyone. However,in the birth/natural mother world, and for some adoptees, the psychological and emotional chains that plague us daily, having such closure can be freeing. For example: I had a friend who was in a battle with cancer. In which he lost. He told me that he looks to death for relief from being trapped. So maybe it is a matter of state or position in which there is closure. In my circumstance, I never know what position with my son I am in. It is always in flux. Especially for me and my son at this moment in time. I often wonder if I had died in childbirth if he wouldn't struggle so much with where I fit in his life. My very living is what is causing strife with his amom. I hate seeing him being torn. So then the question is how do I go away so that he is not struggling so much? I am not suicidal and I love life so don't be all panicky on me. But seriously, I can't just disappear! That is why I am contemplating these things. Plus my mothering instinct is there....I want to help him. Oh, I have other children as well that want him in their lives. Do you see the state of affairs?????

Plus,I am a highly religious person and so my view point is that death is not the end. So, in my mind it is not shameful to compare death and adoption. So, anon....don't shame me into feeling like I can't be a critical thinker and have another p.o.v! Maybe clarify why it is so shameful to you.

I am sorry to hear about your friend. As I get older and more of my dear friends and family pass on from this life it solidifies in my mind that I need to savor every moment. And death is what makes adoption even more tragic. LIFE IS SHORT and the precious relationships with your child or mother and father is treacherous if not void in adoption, and for some there is NO recovery for that relationship in this life.

I am not trying to go off on a tangent from original topic.

I emailed MR. Light.








Lorraine Dusky said...

Many of you know I dealt with not only giving up my daughter, had a relationship with her for 26 years, and then dealt with death by suicide in 2007.

Yes, grieving for her after her death was the lesser of the two.

Lorraine Dusky said...

The other perspective:

http://www.mommyish.com/2014/02/06/kay-jewelers-adoption-commercial/

Renee said...

I am an adoptee and I feel as if this type of commercial perpetuates the same type of adoption fantasy that created the phenomena of "gotcha day". It simplifies the current theme that adoptive parents are heroes saving children from lives of hardship and poverty. Before returning to the adoption community, I remember thinking how much adoption had changed- looking at 'mixed race' families obviously formed by adoption at the playground, church or stores and smiling. The problem is that smiling benevolence hid the fact that many international adoptions were fraught with fraud, bribery and outright kidnapping. Domestic infant adoption is still a legalized form of coercion that truly benefits only the lawyers and agency CEOs. I wrote them that perhaps they can show an adoption reunion commercial wherein an adoptee gives her firstmom a heart with MOM inside its curves...like I gave my mother for her birthday the first year of our reunion- I bought it for her when I was 16-and was able to give it to her 8 yrs later. Our heart charm was closed and unbroken...because the mother and child bond was not and cannot be truly severed.

Anonymous said...

At someone elses anguish and expense that gets worse with time and no doubt your poor grandmother went to her grave never knowing what happened to her daughter, your mother! How sick and cruel to think that adoption is fine and dandy.. to be celebrated as GOTCHA DAY. .long as you get what you want.. .to hell with anyone else. You have been conditioned generationally to forget. How wonderful, empathetic people your family must be!

Anonymous said...

Anon55 you just proved the point.. . that you could care less about anyone but yourself. You don't care about a helpless child who will suffer. You weren't the one who suffered losing her mother. .. it was your mother. She may in her heart of hearts want to or had wanted dearly to know who her real was. Adoptees are great at making everyone else comfortable but hide this emotion. I know this for a fact both reading and personal revelation. I just wonder Anon55.. . when your grandfather died, your father or your husband did you or anyone in your family go on a celebration shopping spree or have a party? Seems the opposite of how normal people grieve. Some adoptive mothers are so sick with grief over knowing the intense pain the real mother is in that they end up in counseling, not celebrating or the time or place to be receiving jewelry gifts.

HDW said...

Lorraine,

The "other perspective" is from a woman who has no real perspective on adoption.

Her post is an unwitting testament to why this Kay Jeweler ad should never have run in the first place.

She wrote, "I have no personal experience with adoption, but I always have thought it to be a wonderful, selfless act."

And, that's one of the major problems with this ad. It perpetuates adoption falsehoods that people unaffiliated with adoption,like this blogger, tend to believe.

Because they don't know what we know, they cannot possibly understand the problem with the commercial.

To her, and millions like her, adoption is a "wonderful, selfless act."






Anonymous said...

Its called counseling...get some...ti carry about so long for a child u gave up...every child is a gift from god.....so celebrate it

BJane said...

Renee,

I find your words very comforting....not that I want or expect anything from my son. But you keep my hope alive. Hope that I might get to know him better, as a living, thinking human being.

"..because the mother and child bond was not and cannot be truly severed."

***Lo,
Thank you for sharing.:)

Denise Smith said...

I watched the commercial on you tube . I didn't find it offensive at all . I gave my daughter up for adoption 28 years ago , I know she brought her adoptive parents that much joy , and that warms my heart . The pictures I received while she was growing up gave me peace to know and see how much she was loved just helped me to see I made the right choice. Nobody held a gun to my head and made me sign those papers , so I see absolutely nothing wrong with a couple who are adopting a child to want to shout it from the roof tops , buy each other gifts or whatever . To me seeing them over joyed like that rather than being scared to show their happiness because they are scared of offending me would be much better. We always have options in life some of us have more than others . let's please not attack the people who are adopting our children and giving them more than what we were able to give . I thank God every chance I get for the 2 Amazing people who adopted my daughter . And the joy they showed through the years because she was a gift to them . I don't expect y'all to agree with me . but you all have your opinion s and I have mine

Julia Emily said...

I have always said that those who are not involved in adoption can not possibly understand it. One must be adopted to understand the adoptee, and the same holds true for first mothers.

People outside the community make light of adoption, as did the person who wrote the "other perspective". Adoption is wonderful, this person writes. She even considered it for herself but is too maxed out at the moment with her bio kids. That's like saying she thought about buying a puppy, but she's too busy right now.

This Kay Jewelers ad should be taken down. And people who don't have a brain in their heads should shut their mouths.

Those with the least information always make the most noise.

Klaaraa said...

I must admit I haven't seen this Commercial, but reading all these comments (plus that "other side" one), I absolutely believe you are somewhat right about finding it offensive. I am not personally connected to Adoption in any way, and live in a Country where Adoption is quite uncommon, but have been reading this Forum/blog for months.
In my Country, it is also not the custom (as far as I know), for a husband to give his wife a gift of jewellery upon the birth of their child. So I do find this whole idea weird and kind of unpleasant even in the context of biological children. Reward for the wifely Service of carrying the Baby, shouldn't be bought in a one-time-action. And if an adoptive dad gives his wife such a gift on the day of Adoption, he is totally rewarding the wrong Person, in my opinion.

I have, however, heard of an (American) adoptive couple who, on the day the older-child-Adoption was finalized, gave the ten year old a Piece of jewellery with the date and her new last Name engraved to commemorate the Event, and I do think that is okay, if the child is old enough to remember both the Adoption and her (orphanage, foster care...) life before. That is, if the child truly wanted the Adoption and is happy about it.

Lorraine Dusky said...

MamaLama and Kelly are out in force at http://www.mommyish.com/2014/02/06/kay-jewelers-adoption-commercial/#comment-1234277545

Where the writer calls the reaction to the commercial "ruffled feathers." Ii responded.

Barbara Thavis said...

Mark Light
CEO and President
Sterling Jewelers
Fairlawn, OH 44333

Your ad depicting the only happy people involved in an adoption is offensive. Where is the crying mother? Why does the baby seem so content when in actuality their life is falling apart? The only people that gain from infant adoption are the infertile couple. Being adopted is a lifelong trauma. Losing a child to adoption, which I experienced, is a lifelong trauma. I’m 54 and will never get over losing my daughter to the coercive tactics used on vulnerable mothers.
Please pull that commercial.
Sincerely,

Barbara Thavis

Anonymous said...

@Denise Smith, why don't you mention HOW the baby would feel later on when the baby is a child and feels hurt and anxious because her mother didn't want to raise her? Everyone is looking at the adoptive parent/natural mother view, and people like you totally overlook the fact that human beings were designed to want to be loved and cared for by the woman who gave birth to them. I wonder what you would of done if babies could talk. If a baby could say no I want to stay with you. Would you have given your child away anyway if she said that to you? I'm tired of all this adoptee's benefit more by being adopted bs. Adoptees like who? Stupid Dave Thomas who founded Wendy's and died because of eating the disgusting fattening food his company made?
Yeah, his adopters gave him a great opportunity there! I am so sick of the Dave Thomas foundation for adoption ignoring that fact all the time. He would of been better off never have been given the money from his adopters to start Wendy's (who he named after his BIOLOGICAL daughter, now isn't that strange?). Dave Thomas was a puppet, a koolaid drinking sheeple and I hope wherever he is now he sees the truth about adoption and other sheeple like you Denise. You need to remember also that many adoptees have been abused by their adopters when they never would of been by their real families.

Anonymous said...

I would like to add concerning my comment on Dave Thomas that Thomas was raised in a closed adoption. He did not have his medical history and did not know that heart disease obviously ran in his natural family. So again if he was not adopted he would not of had the money to start the Wendy's chain and he would of known to watch his cholesterol level and be wary of saturated fats throughout his life. If his mother had kept him maybe he would of eventually gotten a small business loan and started a restu. where low fat foods were served and he would still be here today. Adoption changes an adoptees life but not usually for the better.

BJane said...

@Denise Smith,

I am curious to know how your daughter is doing and if you have a good relationship with her?

And I am curious about the "what you couldn't give" part. Most children just want their mothers.

Plus, a gun to your head? What does that mean? I relinquished my son not because of force but because I believed the propaganda that it was, "best". Mine was based on unconditional love. it was that love that the adoption industry used against my son and I.

And I am glad to hear that your daughters parents are happy.


@Anon who said, "Its called counseling...get some...ti carry about so long for a child u gave up...every child is a gift from god.....so celebrate it"

Um...how to respond? Have you had a child? Have you lost a child? Have YOU been through counseling? Your response is very dismissive. Maybe you should do some more reading about adoption..... Please speak up........and in more that two sentences.

Yes, every child is a gift from God. But celebrating the destruction of the natural family in ANY form is contrary to God, or nature.....(for my agnostic friends).

Theodore said...

If a child is a gift of God, isn't it both a shame and a lethal sin not to keep it?

H said...

To Denise Smith,

You have a right to your opinion.

But, this really stood out to me: "The pictures I received while she was growing up gave me peace to know and see how much she was love."

Pictures? Pictures are a flash in time. They capture a moment.

There are several smiling pictures of me with my a-dad and brother on my dad's various b-days. My brother and I were in our pajamas because it was past our bedtime. But, we were smiling. My dad was drunk in those photos, but no one looking at the picture would know that.

I believe you when you state that your daughter was loved by her a-family, but please don't hold up pictures as evidence of it. Often pictures are smoke and mirrors.

For the record, I love my a-family. But, it wasn't always an easy family, and my smiles weren't always honest.

Sam said...

@Denise-

You said
"I know she brought her adoptive parents that much joy , and that warms my heart."

So you cared more about two strangers happiness than your own or your child's (and believe me, an infant could care less what two genetic strangers can 'buy' them-they want their MOTHERS)? Very bizzare and warped thinking you have. I could care less what two strangers want, to be honest, especially MY own child. Tough luck. It is not theirs to covet.

"The pictures I received while she was growing up gave me peace to know and see how much she was loved just helped me to see I made the right choice."

Ohhh, you mean the crumbs they threw your way showing you only what they wanted you to see. Boy they sure have you brainwashed indeed. How pathetic. Talk to the thousands of women who get nothing when they were promised otherwise, would you please. Thanks.

"Nobody held a gun to my head and made me sign those papers..."

No, but the vultures DID circle around you when you were young, vulnerable and desperate, moved in for the kill after you gave birth and left you for dead after they made off with your infant. Good on you. So happy you are glad they are "overjoyed". They sure are. They get to get away with a crime of humanity and you are just soooo stoked. WOO HOO!!

"let's please not attack the people who are adopting our children and giving them more than what we were able to give."

Let's please not tell people what to do and say, when they are speaking the truths of their experiences. Moreover, let's not spew they same BS "giving them more than what we were able to give." Bullshit. Anything your child needs can be given to by their natural mothers. Promise. I suspect you already know this, that is why you are here with you kool-aide drivel.


"I thank God every chance I get for the 2 Amazing people who adopted my daughter ."

Your gawd has nothing to do with separating an infant from it's mother and our children are not 'gifts'.

Your post is as vomit worthy as they come. Excuse me while I oblige myself right now...

Jay Iyer said...

My bottom line in all of this debate is adoption is not something to celebrate - period. As an adoptive mother, I do not celebrate adoption. I celebrate the wonder that is my son, as I celebrate all children. I delight in mothering him. But I wish I had not had to mother him. I wish his natural mother or, at least, his birth family could have nurtured him.

I will never commemorate the day we became his parents as a celebration. That was the day we all had to acknowledge that the ability for him to stay with his natural family simply wasn't there. He is not second best, not by any stretch, but we as a society could only offer him less than the best option of a home to grow and be nurtured.

I will always celebrate my son, the current and future citizen of the world that he is and will become. I acknowledge the privilege of being his mother every day, and I shower him with passionate love. But I will never celebrate adoption.

Kay Jewelers celebrated adoption. Not that child, that little baby who was placed in an alien woman's arms, but the adoption that immediately attached the title "mother" to the woman who until that moment was completely dissociated from the baby. This I cannot celebrate.

Anonymous said...

@Bjane

Personally I don't care for the way the word "closure" is used in relation to death and bereavement. The only real "closure" that comes with death is for the dead. I can see how people enduring intolerable and irremediable pain (physical, psychological or both) might welcome death as a release, and I can also understand why their loved ones might be relieved for them when death puts an end to their suffering.

But when a loved one dies, the living are left to live with their grief and deal with it as best they can. This is true generally, but especially so when the person who died wasn't unhappy or sick. Then the living are left to deal with the unfinished business of a life cut short too soon.
Perhaps some people are less willing or able to cope with ambiguity, and so would prefer for the person whose existence causes them distress to cease to exist altogether, so that they can, in the parlance of therapy, "move on".
People will feel as they must, but I think it is sad when one person's death becomes another person's gain. Adoptees and first mothers rightly resent the implication that their loss is insignificant, so why wouldn't those bereaved by death resent having their loss described as enviable?

Myst said...

Great post Lorraine. Glad somebody has picked up on the hideousness of this crap.

I find it simply hilarious those that do not find this ad offensive or simply wrong are defending it with typical adoption industry propaganda. Hilarious. Like that is going to make a point. Duh.

Of course, only a person without an ethical compass, moral conscience or empathy would find this ad appropriate, to say anything else simply shows those human beings incapable of common decency and moral integrity.

I would suggest this ad is not just offensive to mothers of adoption loss and adoptees but also ethical adoptive parents who hate to see what they know is a deep and complex process so trivialised.

The whole idea of giving a woman jewellery for giving birth or stealing/adopting another woman's baby is so crass. Seriously. If someone had given me a piece of jewellery for giving birth I would have handed it back and said no thank you. I find jewellery tacky at the best of times so this sort of thing generally shows a person's lack of class. Shudder.

The advertisement is typical of all that is wrong in America. If you have money and no class, no empathy and little intelligence but a whole lot of money, simply buy yourself a baby and some jewellery to congratulate yourself for being such a consumerist git. Yes, makes me just warm to Kay Jewellers. Not.

BJane said...

@ anon,

You speak as though I haven't dealt with the unexpected loss of a loved one.
"..so why wouldn't those bereaved by death resent having their loss described as enviable?"
That is exactly why I was pondering the likeness and the differences between adoption and death and the many emotions associated with the two. Because I am ONE who has lost a loved one to an unexplained death. And the term "closure" doesn't stimulate the emotions of resentment in me when someone refers to adoption and death in the same sentence.

I apologize that the very conversation has caused you to feel that resentment.

"But when a loved one dies, the living are left to live with their grief and deal with it as best they can.This is true generally, but especially so when the person who died wasn't unhappy or sick."

This is why I come here. Only it's in regards to my lost son.

I'm still trying to figure out why you are so hostile toward others expressing their pov? What is your relationship in adoption? What is it that has you so riled? If it is birthmothers/natural mothers that upsets you then what is your purpose in being here? To try and change our feelings?

Are you trying to understand our pov?

Jay Iyer said...

I want to comment about loss as it is an integral feature of these discussions. Losses and Celebrations equally are a part of life. However, when the losses are inextricably intertwined with the celebration, the celebration gets taken out of it. For example, if a man gives his wife a diamond ring saying, "Honey, I finally can give you what you have deserved all along." And the reason he could give her the ring is because his father died and left him the money to buy it - that's not something I'd like to see publicized in an ad.

Can I compare death to the relinquishment of a baby? Absolutely - it is a loss that stays with the person who suffered it, for life. Regardless of how we all move on after such a loss (and I know many commenters have said to the birth mothers here - get over it and move on!), it absolutely is wrong to tie any celebration to an omnipresent loss.

Julia Emily said...

Denise: at least you received pictures from the adopters while your daughter was growing up. My adoption was closed so tightly that my first mother was and still never is mentioned. Pictures?! It never would have happened.

Your daughter is still young. I didn't start to realize the mess that adoption really is until I was way past 28. As life goes on the happy little chosen babies grow up, have children, begin to wonder and begin to question the whole thing. I never thought it would happen to me, but it did.

Kay Jewelers showing the picture perfect white baby all bundled up being handed over to those people makes me sick to my stomach. And in the middle of all this complexity all the husband could think of is to give his wife that stupid necklace?! Lucky woman! She got a necklace AND a baby in the same day! Honestly. This ad is very offensive.

maryanne said...

The fact that a mother would envy another whose child is dead, that being preferable to a difficult and ambivalent relationship, is upsetting to some of us. It is as much a source of pain as things like that ad are to some. Yes, it is your point of view and you have expressed it. This is mine. it hurts. I'd rather never hear from any of my children again, but know they were well and happy, than have the "closure" of death.

Lorraine Dusky said...

Please all of you if you have not already please
Email Mark Light at mlight@jewels.com

Lorraine Dusky said...

We all process our grief differently, and until we truly walk in another shoes we cannot know the depth of another's grief. I remember the first time I heard of a first mother's reunited son dying; I thought, OMG, that is so so terrible.

A decade later I lost my daughter for the second time when she died. Yes, the first loss was much greater. No one wants anyone to die, it is just that the process of grieving has closure while the loss to adoption does not. And for those who have been rejected upon reunion,the pain continues and continues and continues....

Anonymous said...

I am glad of the commercial for the sake of my adopted child. It is not about me, it is not about the birth mother. It is about the child, the most important person here.

Like it or not, children are adopted and they deserve to be celebrated just like any other child. It is a moment to rejoice when you welcome a child into your home for the child's sake - the child deserves to be celebrated.

I just like the fact that it makes adoption more normal as a way to build a family for the sake of the adopted. I don't want my child to feel we have a weird family or that there is something weird about my child.

It is all about the child to me, not the parents, first or second.

I know that I will be called all sorts of names and that is ok. I am glad to see any attempt to recognize the real world and the diversity of families reflected in culture, once again for the sake of the child who had absolutely no choice and is in a life that they have to deal with.

Would I tell my child - sorry we cannot celebrate you being in the family because it might offend some people? No way. My child deserves to be celebrated all the way.

we don't do "gotcha day" but we do celebrate "family day" - the day we became a family. My child's favorite story is when we first met.

For the record, I was not a so-called infertile needy person though I do not subscribe to the name-calling and personal attacks here. I chose to adopt a child who needed a home. and we celebrate our family.

I am sorry for the loss in adoption; while I love my child I am so sorry my child had to lose the birth family. I am very aware of the losses in adoption but I don't have a magic wand to fix the world and I won't not celebrate my family and my beloved child.

Why do I come to this blog? To be the most informed adoptive parent I can be, to help my child navigate being adopted.

I get it is a place to vent. I have learned some things here. some stuff here I very much disagree with, some I find childish in the attacks and name-calling, and some nuggets that I am glad to know.

Kay is doing lifestyle segment commercials. I can totally see them doing nearly the same exact ommercial but with a new mom in a hospital bed and the dad sitting there with the newborn. The child is not the gift; the child coming into a family is to be celebrated.

The last Kay commercial was a man giving a necklace to a single mom and her daughter. another lifestyle segment. Maybe that was hugely offensive to some people too?

Lorraine Dusky said...

"The last Kay commercial was a man giving a necklace to a single mom and her daughter. another lifestyle segment. Maybe that was hugely offensive to some people too?"

Who, precisely, would that offend? Quite honestly, I can't think of anyone. What is so revealing about the push back from mothers and adoptees finding the commercial offensive and triggering all kinds of emotions in some of us, is that we are being told we are not supposed to have those feelings. For some of us, the commercial reminds us and everyone that our participation in the adoption process, a time of huge, incalculable grieving, is being "celebrated." I understand the celebration of couples who feel at last they have a child, but to have to watch the "joy" our intense pain led to is emotionally roiling. Why not just live and let live? Why not let first mothers and adoptees who are triggered have their day in court? Other groups do not find this kind of pushback when they complain about something offensive. Look at the ground covered in recent years by those called "homos" in derision just a few years ago. While certainly that still goes on in some quarters, now that would be crude and classless in polite society. If the LGBT community finds something overly offensive, they are not being told they are out of line. Yet we are.

Seems we can't complain about being triggered of the worst day of our lives without being told, even angrily, suck it up by people who admit they are not involved in adoption. Today that is hard--how many of us do not know a single soul who was adopted or who has adopted?

Your comment shows absolutely no compassion for those of us who find the commercial distressing to watch--or for the other mother of your child, who might be one of us. For some adoptees, it reminds them of the day they were separated from their original mother; for birth mother it reminds them of the day they lost their children. Neither is cause for celebration. But that moment in time is the celebration being blasted at us.

In the meantime, is the commercial still running? I am pretty sick with a winter cold/infection and haven't seen it.

Anonymous said...

maybe first fathers would be sad to see a new dad coming in...maybe heartbroken men in divorce who don't see their kids sent emails to Kay.

my point is - the pain of birth mothers/first mothers doesn't meant that we should not celebrate our children. that would be grossly unfair.

unless you go through life with blinders on, you will always be exposed to painful things that trigger. that is life for everyone.

I lost my paretns and when I hear people talk about spending time with their moms and dads, my heartbreaks and I am so sad. but I don't say hey stop talking about your parents because I don't have mine any more. that would be extremely narcissistic. the world is not my oyster, we are all in this together and we all have a story.

this will sound harsh and I don't mean it to be but ... just switch the channel when it comes on if it is so traumatic. really. a little practical step like that might help. and do all your other stuff too but to not celebrate children because it might hurt someone else is just not gonna happen and should not. they are the innocent ones here and they deserve to be fetted.

I imagine if aparetns did not celebrate the arrival of the child, they'd be slammed for that too. and rightly so. a child deserves to be celebrated.

adopted kids seeing that ad might feel like hey I am normal. Adult adoptees maybe not, but maybe little kids will.

My primary concern in discussing adoption is not me as an adoptive parent, and not the first mom. my primary concern is the child. that does not mean a lack of compassion but that in a short post I am talking about the child the most

kitta said...

"The fact that a mother would envy another whose child is dead, that being preferable to a difficult and ambivalent relationship, is upsetting to some of us"

@maryanne: thank you. I agree.

My reunited son died suddenly from(acute) blood cancer after 18 years of reunion.

When I was searching for him my biggest fear was that he would be dead. Now that he really is dead, I can say that , for me there is no closure. I have learned to live with the grief but it is very hard.

HDW said...

To Anonymous, February 8 @ 11:39

"It is not about me, it is not about the birth mother. It is about the child, the most important person here.

It is all about the child to me, not the parents, first or second."

I hear your perspective, and that is why it is hard to explain the other side to you. I get that you are attempting to rejoice in adding to your family.

But, I am an adoptee. I don't like the ad. So, if you believe what you're saying, you should listen to what some of us have to say. (I realize that adoptees will differ on how they feel about the ad. I'm not speaking for all of us, but I hope you'll at least take the time to listen to this perspective.)

I lost my entire family. That's not something to celebrate.

I want all adoptees to have adoptive parents who love them and who celebrate that they are in their families. But, I don't want them to celebrate my loss.

I go back to the idea of what if this family had adopted a child whose mother had died in child birth. Would you still think it was a good idea to celebrate with a necklace?

I realize that my mother didn't die in child birth. But, I lost my entire family. To celebrate your gain with a necklace tends to trivialize my loss.

Moreoever, exactly how is this commercial about the child? The child didn't get the necklace? It certainly isn't "all about the child." The focus is on the soon-to-be mother.

HDW said...

To Anonymous, February 8th @ 1:29:

"adopted kids seeing that ad might feel like hey I am normal. Adult adoptees maybe not, but maybe little kids will. "

You do realize that adopted adults were once adopted kids, right?

We're the adult versions of your kids. I think it's interesting that our perspectives are summarily dismissed.

We are the only stakeholders in adoption who have lived exclusively in Adoptionland. Yet, once we become adults, our opinions are often discounted.

Stacy said...

@Anonymous February 8, 2014 at 11:39 AM

You said:

"Would I tell my child - sorry we cannot celebrate you being in the family because it might offend some people? No way. My child deserves to be celebrated all the way."

My child. Mine! Mine! Mine! ALL MINE!!

That is all I hear. Yours and yours alone but guess what; if you ADOPTED a child is not yours alone. The child also has another set of parents that always get swept under the rug; including in this biased, disgusting commercial. I think that is what many are getting at here.

BJane said...

@Anon,

First of all no one is saying don't celebrate children. I feel your missing the point of this whole discussion and why the commercial is inappropriate. The commercial is perpetuating a lie. It is perpetuating the propaganda of adoption.

In the majority of other circumstances that might arise as in like you say, "..maybe heartbroken men in divorce who don't see their kids sent emails to Kay." I have to ask, really? And might I add I'd like to see the writers TRY and portray a divorced man who is separated with his kids getting a necklace....better yet, let's portray a woman in prison reaching through the fence getting a necklace from her separated children. All of these scenarios are inappropriate.

In my mind, you rationalizing the similarities is in direct contrast to what you say next.

"My primary concern in discussing adoption is not me as an adoptive parent, and not the first mom. my primary concern is the child. that does not mean a lack of compassion but that in a short post I am talking about the child the most"

That comment in and alone says volumes to me as a mother. Number one- it makes me think that you have a young adoptee in your home. Who is not able to articulate to you how painful adoption is. If that's the case it may be years until you hear it (if ever because I am already gathering that you have a hard time listening) Number two- I don't think you understand or you are dismissive to the fact that the separation of the baby from its mother is DESTRUCTIVE to the child.

As a birthmother these comments distress me even more that you have an adoptee in your care. Maybe its my child in your care! And you are not teaching compassion nor respect for me, the natural mother, and in turn my child will grow up to have authority and disrespect issues. How will they ever be able to reunite and be whole if you continue this callousness?

We all have to work together to raise these little ones. Why the divide? Is it ownership? Seriously, I see that we all want what best for these children and I cannot for the life of me figure out why there is so much hate? Particularly between natural mothers/fathers and parents?

It boils down to the respect and the lack thereof.

AND furthermore, I have many other children and believe me, a necklace at every single one of them....I WISH!

"the world is not my oyster, we are all in this together and we all have a story." ALL the more reason to have compassion and love one to another!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

yes HDW I do get kids grow up! I did not go into detail but what I meant was -- adult adoptees grew up in a different world than children are today. Adoption was often hush hush and children were not even told they were adopted. For the most part, adoption is now recognized as part of society and not hushed up. So for younger adopted children, seeing the ad may be another part to "normalize" their own experience. An older person, with a different history, may have a different experience. So that is what I meant. So for my child, young, I do celebrate any thing that makes adoption normal and not a dark secret or makes them feel weird....my mama bear focus is on my child.

once picking my child up from a playdate the other mom said to me in a hushed tone, we were almost like you. I had no idea what she meant. in a very secretive tone(which of course immediately caused the kids to listen!) - she said we almost had to adopt but then we were blessed - my husband got a new job and his insurance covered infertility.

I said oh I was almost like you. I almost had a bio baby but I chose to adopt. I said it in a regular voice not hush hush. I don't want people whispering about my child in the background. I don't want my child to feel shame.

My child needed a home and I was and am everlastingly grateful that I am able to be my child's mom.

I don't want my child to feel shame or stigma. For me, the Kay ad is a step towards that.

Jane Edwards said...

I don't see how a husband giving his wife diamonds celebrates the child. The kid is looking for his mother's breast to suckle and could care less about diamonds. What's he going to think when he sees the film years later and knows his first mother is in the next room, weeping her heart out while his adoptive parents "celebrate" his arrival with crass materialism?

Giving diamonds doesn't make adoption more normal as a way to build a family. My husband didn't give me diamonds when my three raised daughters were born. I don't think that made them think our family was abnormal or weird.

Giving diamonds to a woman who took another woman's child appears to be an attempt to make her feel better about her infertility. "I'm sorry you had to get a baby from a social worker, dear; I hope this makes up for it."

Of course the Kay commercial is really all about selling jewelry by equating obtaining a baby with diamonds, something for the chic and affluent.

BJane said...

@kitta and Maryanne,

First of all Maryanne, I am sorry that your son passed. I can sympathize because that is a fear of mine. That my son will pass away before I can get to know him better. Life is short.

I do appreciate everyones pov. AND I DON'T JUDGE IT.

Now to both of you. Please let me clarify. I am trying my damnedest to address the emotions that arise from the adoption of my son (please don't tell me to seek counseling, as if that's the magic eraser to these emotions, for I have already).

My original comment, "Now brace yourself, I envy you. You have the closure of death" In which I was responding to, anon55 and the comment, "My father died when I was two and I am recently widowed with a child." I was referring that she had closure with her father and husband and her CHILD knows that.

My son (the ADOPTEE) does not have that closure. I say later in a post, "Especially for me and my son at this moment in time. I often wonder if I had died in childbirth if he wouldn't struggle so much with where I fit in his life. My very living is what is causing strife with his amom. I hate seeing him being torn." and to which I was referring when I said, "You knew that your father had died and wasn't out there....somewhere... possibly wondering who you were. And you maybe doing the same about him. Looking into every face wondering if that was your father,QUESTIONING your identity,dealing with rejection issues that surround your very existence, and worrying if your being loyal to those who have raised you. You knew your history, your ancestry." It was in reference to what my son is struggling with.

I was simply referring to death and the closure it CAN bring. It not ONCE meant what you've construed it to be, "The fact that a mother would envy another whose child is dead, that being preferable to a difficult and ambivalent relationship, is upsetting to some of us".

Hopefully that dispelled any miscommunication I may have put out there.

Jay Iyer said...

I am sorry. I see many comments here, seemingly well-meaning, but they have failed to make me see where there is cause to "celebrate" adoption.

"Celebrate the children," you say. Someone please hit me over the head and knock me cold if I tell you that I celebrate my son because he is adopted, or even as one of his facets that is "celebration-worthy." If you really see a message of "celebrating children" in that Kay Jewelers ad (I don't, I see a celebration of a woman finally getting to be a mother), then at best the ad is celebrating the fact that this baby got to be adopted. Why is that a celebration? There is nothing to be celebrated when the occasion is inextricably and necessarily tied in with loss. This is not akin to somebody not wanting to see pictures of happy families because their parents died. That might be the case for a few of us, but the loss associated with adoption happens to ALL adoptee children (even if you have decided the birth mothers' losses are not important enough to consider, which some of you clearly believe or you wouldn't keep commenting in this forum and trying to persuade birth mothers to get over themselves).

I celebrate lots of wonderful qualities about my son, I celebrate our love for one another, I celebrate his uniqueness, but never, ever, will I say to him, "you are so awesome/special because you are adopted." Seriously.

As for the point about Kay Jewelers celebrating different types of families and different family moments....again, sorry to say, you do not find a celebratory family unit or family moment in a family occasion that has heavy underlying loss. If Kay Jewelers is hell-bent on featuring adoption in diamond-land, perhaps they can consider a different situation, like the family I read about whose children are all severely disabled, had been in orphanages and group homes for years before this couple gave them a stable, nurturing home and parents. Maybe Kay can feature each of those children and their parents wearing meaningful jewelry, celebrate them as a family.

But of course that is not the family demographic Kay Jewelers panders to. They know the ones who will go for this - the couples who want a brand new baby and who write, "Dear birth mother who accidentally got knocked up, we have two vacation homes and a mansion and can take care of that mistake of yours." (somebody seriously wrote a letter like this, they thought the agonizing pregnant mother would be enchanted by their sense of humor - go figure). My bottom line - adoption and diamonds don't go together, folks. Let's not mask the loss with that sparkle - and that is exactly what Kay Jewelers has done.

Now for those of you who talk about the joy you experience as an adoptive family? In the privacy of your homes? By all means! But such pervasive loss needs to be kept out of ads. As Lorraine says, "Live and Let Live."

My husband and I wholeheartedly and unconditionally have welcomed our son into our family. We cherish our family unit, and we are committed to nurturing our son in every way that he needs, now or in the future. But I still would not call our joy, our acknowledgement of family as a "celebration." I picture myself saying to my son, "Let's celebrate adopting you" and going out to buy myself a diamond necklace (puke). I might as well be saying to him, "Let's celebrate that I won you as my son, and your birth mother lost." How insulting to him and his family that would be.

Anonymous said...

Stacy - I say "My child" because I am trying to avoid identifying the gender simply because I try to post with as much privacy intact as possible. I can't think of another way to do it w/out saying my child. but this child is my child too so it is fine but primarily I am trying to avoid gender and sayng she or he or him or her....normally I would be using that language in a regular conversation.

BJane I am very certain I don't have you child in my care. so you don't need to worry. I also don't think the first/birth mom needs to worry either.

we are doing very well and I think I listen pretty well. I don't agree always with the poster on this forum but I listen. I primarily want to hear what the adoptees have to say and I am grateful for their posts and for them sharing their experiences. that is so incredibly helpful to adoptive parents, to hear adoptee experiences.

my child is at an age in which adoption is of little or no interest. I bring it up from time to time so there is an environment of openness when he/she (does that work for you?) will want to talk. I also speak very highly of her/his birth parents and try to make it clear that she/he can openly love them. I love my child. I would never disparage the persons who created this beautiful child and my childs wonderful traits are from them.

I am here only to gather all the information and viewpoints that I can to help my bambino deal with the life history. and to post other viewpoints which I presume might be of use in understanding how others feel. I know posting here as an adoptive parent is dicey and unwelcome so I try to post very sparingly and I know that many will simply not listen or will discount what I say or find me flawed. that is the price of admission and that is ok. I worry about deep seated fears of abandonment from being given up by birth parents .... I aim to be well informed so I can do all I can to provide a loving and supportive home to help weather challenges . so I peruse here as it is an open blog.

when I see the Kay commercial I see another step towards making our family "normal" and for hopefully reducing issues for my kiddo with this mainstreaming.

Anonymous said...

BTW I think there is a myth that all people who adopt are infertile. That is not the case. As an AP it was not the case for me and I know many families for whom it was not the case.

Robin said...

@Anon 11:39pm,

But you miss the point that for any child who needs to be adopted, it is a tragedy. It is a devastating loss to lose one's entire family on both sides. You also write that while adult adoptees may be offended, an adopted child most likely would feel reassured and uplifted by the commercial. I think an adopted child may very well hate the commercial. He may be feeling a lot of pain about having been giving away by his mother and now once again society is reaffirming the idea that adoption is a wonderful experience that should be celebrated. Many adoptees hate getting that message, over and over again, when it is so different from what we may be feeling about adoption. Actually, it is adult adoptees who would have an easier time understanding the reasons that s/he had to be adopted and accept that while the relinquishment was devastating, the adoption itself was necessary and positive. And yet, so many of us adult adoptees still found the commercial offensive.

And please don't ever forget, as HDW pointed out, that we adult adoptees were once the adopted children. As for normalizing adoption, I don't think that will ever be entirely possible. Every adopted child sees around her that the overwhelmingly majority of their peers are being raised by their bio-parents. And that the blood connection is the most fundamental aspect of what most people think of as family.

Jay Iyer said...

Anon Feb 8 @2:37 p.m. said that the Kay ad is a step towards dispelling the stigma associated with being adopted. I disagree. There absolutely is no focus on the child in that ad. The overwhelming message is one of acquisition to make a family - and celebrating that acquisition by acquiring something more, diamonds.

There are so many ways, both in our day-to-day living and in media portrayals, that I have found to help my son internalize the message that he is a valued and loved person regardless of his adoption. I don't think making him feel that he is just as good as any of his friends means I have to show him a conveniently selective, superficial, dishonest picture of adoption. In fact I think the dishonesty in that message, if I tout it as a good one, could erode his sense of security in his identity as he gets older. When he fully comprehends the associated loss, some day, he will wonder why I showed him that ad and said, "See what a happy thing your adoption was for us?" I will deal with his circumstances in a fully affirming, age-appropriate manner but I will not lie to him.

Sarah said...

Am I the only one who finds an "anonymous" poster who tells nothing of himself/herself also needs to write "my child" or "he/she" necessary to preserve their anonymity both hilarious and pathetic?

If the he/she "adopted child" doesn't already know who her/his parents are--good luck.

Anonymous said...

Sarah glad to give you a laugh and to arouse your compassion ? (contempt??) as I try to protect our privacy. but I work in this industry and you'd be amazed at how little is private and how much is known/gathered/targeted...so chortle away but I suggest you also think of online privacy in your posts.
I know as an A mom I am an easy target and as I said, I get it.. it is ok. My main concern is learning what I can to be a good mom.

BJane said...

@Anon,

I know that your not the parent of my child. I was just pointing out that it is alarming to me some of the comments.

However alarming it is to me though, I am glad your participating in the discussion. The more we talk the better it is for everyone. Especially our children.

maryanne said...

@Bjane: PLEASE get your names straight! It was Kitta whose son has tragically passed away. Mine is alive and well Thank God. The miscommunication continues.We all need to read and write more carefully.

Lorraine seems also to have assumed you meant the closure that comes with the death of a child, as she reiterated her oft-stated feeling that the loss of her daughter to adoption felt worse than her daughter's death. As she said, we all deal with things differently, that is her reality. But it did come across as if you envied her and others who had the closure of death.


@Kitta: I am so sorry for your loss. There are no adequate words for such a tragedy.

Robin said...

I see you removed this from the sidebar, but I wanted to comment on a book you mentioned called, "The Big Lie".


I think 'The Big Lie' will be one of the major factors leading to a second BSE. Now that adoption is seen so positively and is 'just the same' as having a bio-kid, there will be even more demand for other people's kids. I was growing up during the heyday of second wave feminism and I definitely got the message that I could wait until I was 40 to have a baby. I hope this book serves as a wake-up call, although society will still need to make far more changes in careers, etc., for women to feel they can have babies in their 20s and 30s. Here's a heartbreaking story of infertility. Woman got pregnant as a 19 y.o. college student and gave the child as a 'gift' to an infertile couple. Then at 39 she married the man of her dreams and was unable to get pregnant again. It looks like she was meant to have a baby at 19. We are so controlling in this culture. Life doesn't always happen on our timetable.

Lorraine Dusky said...

I thought no one say the sidebar since it got no mention but here is something from CNN:
(CNN) -- In "The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock," I explore many Big Lies, one of which is that women can delay motherhood until we're ready and if we're not able to get pregnant naturally, then science will make it happen for us.

....The language of the biological clock has been around for decades, but conflicting or misleading messages persist.

Some people claim that no one is unaware of the impact of age on fertility. They're wrong....
A Fertility Centers of Illinois public survey in 2012 showed that only 18.2% of respondents accurately guessed how many couples are affected by fertility problems, and 28.1% didn't know that fertility declines rapidly in women after age 35. In addition, 68.4% of survey respondents weren't aware that as part of a couple, both men and women are equally likely to be infertile.

We should be getting this knowledge from our health educators and doctors, and we should be getting it earlier, possibly during sex education.

Headlines continue to distort the reality. Just last week, Jezebel ran a piece with the title, "New study suggests biological-clock frenzy is bulls--t."

There you have it. We of course get hammered for suggesting that the uptick in couples wanting to adopt is directly related to men and women delaying conception past their prime fertile years. But we will go on saying it because it is the truth.

And we never want to see "adopting" as the "normal" way of building a family. In the long run, this cannot be good for the child, because it implies that he should have no questions about the other part of his reality, that is, that he has another family from whom he is descended. Although I feel that Anonymous does want to be a good mother to her child, her denying the child his true reality is likely to only make him feel further alienated from everyone.

However, let me add, that the woman who said, "We were almost like you...etc." was quite cruel, perhaps unconsciously; but why say that? If are still reading, Anonymous, your response was right on.

QueenofShebaintheValley said...

@ Anonymous (2/8 at 5:31 PM:

Yes, I think most of us realize that we are being tracked, but whether or not you use Anonymous or create a fake name, you're still being tracked, right?

Using Anonymous just creates confusion on this site--and maybe a false sense of security for you.

You don't need to identify yourself, but it would be easier if you would just come up with a handle, any name will do.

Lorraine Dusky said...

Suzie Kidnap from Facebook found out where Katie who was commenting here is on Facebook, where she talks about her commenting, how we are "assholes," and the link. She is a disabled person who is trying to have a child and will use fertility treatments or a surrogate. There are comments like this over there:
"Lord Jesus, I wish people would get the fuck away from their televisions. My sister is adopted and, basically my parents bought her. They dropped a check off at a lawyer's office and took home a person. Big damn deal. These "adoption loss" idiots have yet to recognize the trauma of buying defective merchandise without a store return policy in place."

and...same person: "Had I known about LL Bean's limitless returns, I totally would've stuffed her into a backpack and shipped her back for replacement."

And...from the same person: "While we're on this topic: does anyone else find the notion of "open adoptions" weird? Beyond just the casual, semi-annual update or school photo of the kid...birth parents who want invitations to birthday parties and whatnot. That doesn't sound like a situation rife with confusion at all."

and from Katie herself:
Katie Churchill "It is crazy. I ended up deleted my comment, I got bullied so bad. Wasn't worth it. All I had said was, "Many of us face a wave of pregnancies, miscarriages, and over again before they are able to experience adoption. That's the wave I interpreted." But apparently, it was all about the mother grieving for her child given up for adoption. It was twisted into how adoption should be what is best for the baby, not to fulfill a potential mothers' needs. I think adoption can kill two birds with one stone here. People are nuts!"

There more, if you feel like it, you can find it yourself at the Entitlement is Still a Disease page on Facebook. The anonymous internet has brought out the worst in people.

Lorraine Dusky said...

PS: I am quite sick with a cold/sinus infection but I don't remember Katie's comment reading like she says. The link is at the page under comments by others, not the admin of that page, which seems designed to complain about people who complain about corporate policies, on returns and such.

Lorraine Dusky said...

And Katie was never blocked. We posted all her comments.

Lorraine Dusky said...

It is actually so difficult for us to track anybody with the software on this blog that is is pretty much impossible to figure out who is who.

But yes, giving oneself a name would make conversation easier. As is stated above the comment box.

BJane said...

@Maryanne,

Sorry I confused you with Kitta and vice versa. My time to respond to this blog is limited and so I try to formulate and write my thoughts as quickly as possible. I was reviewing the previous posts but not as closely as I should've done. OBVIOUSLY.

But you are absolutley right, we do need to be more careful with our reading and writing.

That is why I clarified what I wrote.

With Lorraine's response I didn't take it that she assumed that I meant a death of a child. I read it as though she had experience in that arena and was sharing her feelings. In adoption, especially between the mother and adoptee the feelings associated with the trauma of adoption are directly proportional to each other.


Gail said...

It has been stated here that adopted babies grow up to become adults; likewise, their mothers do as well. Like the vast majority of mothers who lose their child to the forces of adoption, I was a teenager and dependent on the adults in my life for emotional and financial support and guidance. Eventually I became a responsible adult and a terrific mother. Thus, the Kay Jewelry commercial disgusts me for a variety of reasons, one of which commercializes the baby broker transaction of adoption. If you are an adoptive parent reading here, and you have a newborn taken from a teenager, please remember that the teenager is going to grow up too and will quite likely regret her decision and seek out a relationship with her child. It is your responsibility as an adoptive parent to do everything in your power to make that future reunion relationship a positive one.

smakara said...

Re: Katie Churchill's post on Entitlement-It's interesting how she characterized herself as "kinda nice" and omitted the fact that she felt we were deserving of a kick in the head/idiots/a*holes,etc. I do have to give her cred that she uses her name, unlike the ignoramous who hides behind "Entitled". And equally interesting that THEY are entitled to voicing their opinion yet attack those relentlessly who actually HAVE lived personal experience with adoption. Would they tell a woman whose child died to "get over it"? It surprised me that so someone so young, who struggles with a disability can't show more compassion nor empathy. Not all pain is physical or visible. Hate to give these bullies anymore of the "attention" they crave but just had to chime in.

Myst said...

Oh my! Had a quick look at that entitlement page on Facebook... What a bunch of whining hypocrites! Really, they complain about people making complaints... And they fail to see the irony in that. Had a good chuckle. As for the vitriol that comes out of their mouth, wow, they should not be allowed near children. It would be child abuse enough to put a child in the same room with them! No wonder they love adoption... Makes sense when one reads the putrid nonsense they spew from their fingers. Would hate to see what comes from their mouth. Sad little people.

Julia Emily said...

I also took a quick peek at that "Entitlement" page. I am very surprised there is a whole page for people to basically complain and make fools of themselves. They sound like two year olds throwing temper tantrums, and I wouldn't really pay much attention to anything they have to say.

Anonymous said...

@ Bjane, everyone has lost or will lose at some time or other a beloved person through death. Losing someone, whether by adoption death, divorce or any other means, isn't an experience to be envied. Envy means wanting something someone else has that one doesn't have - in this case "closure". But grieving doesn't bring closure for everyone, and there's no indication that Anon 55 has reached closure from the death of her father or husband. Closure can't be assumed, and it is that assumption that troubles me. For some the grieving never ends and there could be many reasons for this, including when the deceased is young and died unexpectedly or after a short illness, like Kitta's son. Or if the person died leaving unresolved issues ("unfinished business") between them and the living.
I just don't understand how one person can envy another for "closure" when there is no evidence that they have it.

I am truly sorry that your son's adoptive mother is causing you and your son such pain. I can quite understand why you feel sad and angry, for him and yourself. I sincerely hope that you and your son with be able to reconnect soon, without interference from her.

You say you "don't understand why I am hostile to other people's povs". I'm not. I just don't like assumptions I think are very mistaken to pass unchallenged. As I wrote in my first comment, I am a first/natural mother from the BSE. I was separated from my child for 40 years, so I am not without understanding when it comes to the difficulties of ambiguous loss.

Anonymous said...

Lorraine you should look at this:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2556119/How-stereotypes-crammed-commercial-Parents-slam-Kay-Jewelers-ad-insulting-portrayal-adoption.html

It came out today and some of the comments are bad. I think Daily Mail may of written this article because of that link on your side bar to give that website a "boo" (those comments on that site are awesome though, I read them). And how weird, I swear, one of the captcha words for me to type now is impregnate!

Anonymous said...

As a first mother and adoptive mother I loved this ad. My child was not ripped away from my arms...and 19 years later I have a great relationship with her and her adoptive parents. I feel some might need to invest in counseling.

Jay Iyer said...

Hello Anon Feb. 11 @2:51 p.m., I am terribly curious why you would take the time to engage in a personal attack against your fellow first mothers. Perhaps we all need therapy - some to deal with their loss, some to deal with their denial that a loss ever occurred. But that isn't even the point, as far as I am concerned. Attack the position, not the person.

Your position is that you loved the ad. You provide no details as to why you think the ad is so lovely. I am going to assume it is because you love adoption in general and the ad's message fits in with the overwhelming love you feel for adoption.

That floors me. Regardless of who needs counseling, here's a fact: adoption is NOT the first (read: best) option offered to any child when he/she arrives in the world. If that were the case, every baby that is born would be matched up with an adoptive family. The fact is, when a decision is made to remove a baby from their primary family (even if you assume it sometimes is necessary), that baby has lost a great deal. That loss is inextricably linked with an adoptive family "getting" that child. You cannot take it away, or pretend it does not exist. That loss exists, period, no matter that some people have less difficulty handling it than others. A loss of that magnitude, when you separate a child from his/her genetic connections, cannot under any circumstances be tied to a celebration.

I hate that Kay Jewelers decided that separating the baby from its natural mother and handing it to another mother should be depicted as a celebration. I hate the lack of emphasis on the baby. And, most of all, I hate the glib portrayal of adoption. I don't think even you, Anon, would say that the first thing we must consider for every baby is whether to hand them over to another family. Adoption should be serious, carefully considered business, not a celebrated casually sought after family choice.

Kay Jewelers, with this ad, has effectively multiplied manifold the number of "by adopting we are doing such a benevolent, beautiful thing" types. I expect I will get to see many more couples posting on Facebook, "Dear birth mother who accidentally got knocked up, let me tell you what a beautiful home and things we can provide if you'd like to hand us your baby....." Sickening, casual, utterly irresponsible to society.

My position has nothing to do with how first mothers feel (or whether or not they need counseling). My position has to do with not celebrating adoption. Let us celebrate all children, but while we acknowledge that some are adopted and that it doesn't make them lesser human beings for it, I find it utterly callous to celebrate their adoption.

Jay Iyer said...

On a more positive note, I want to say that my comments regarding Kay Jewelers have largely been motivated by frustration that there are still so many out there who view adoption as a benevolent, joyful, celebratory thing. My feelings upon re-reading several of the adoptive parents' comments on this thread is that they, like me just a few years ago, are just learning some of the complexities of adoption and are acquiring those sensitivities. Most genuinely want to learn, not attack. I am grateful that this forum provides a place to debate these important issues and learn from one another.

Tiffany said...

Anon said "As a first mother and adoptive mother I loved this ad. My child was not ripped away from my arms...and 19 years later I have a great relationship with her and her adoptive parents. I feel some might need to invest in counseling."

Regarding your last sentence, I don't think that's a very fair statement, and it's pretty dismissive and inflammatory.

As an adoptive mom, I thought this ad was disingenuous. As an adoptive mom, I hope my daughter's other mom doesn't see it because I could see it hurting her. As an adoptive mom, I feel that the celebration of a woman becoming a mom isn't appropriate when that woman isn't a mother yet.

I loved my daughter enough to grieve for her loss, not celebrate my gain. Her birth, yes, that was celebrated. But not the loss of her mother. That's why the commercial is offensive to me, and I don't need therapy because I feel that way.

Lorraine Dusky said...

Anonymous:

Okay, we understand that not every adoptee feels triggered by this ad. You are also an adoptive parent so your reaction is filtered also by that experience. We get it.

Let's talk about how some of Native American heritage object strenuously to the Washington RED SKINS. Some seem not to care. Would you tell those who object that they need counseling to feel better about the use of RED SKINS in a major sport in America? That's what I don't get. You do not seem angry with those who find the ad triggers very negative feelings, but to suggest counseling is to dismiss their feelings, feelings they should not have.

Zaralektra said...

This ad reeks of the Closed Era mentality.

"Oh look! It's my cute little blonde-haired, blue-eyed white baby!"

I must've died and gone back to the 50's!

Why isn't this an African American couple adopting an African American child? What's the matter adoption industry..... doesn't that fit with your client demographic? Or is it just that that wouldn't be truth in advertising (like you care about that)?

Why don't you show a white couple adopting a non-white child? What's up with that, HUH?

Could it be you don't want to stir a political hornet's nests with minority people who are sick of being victimized by you? Is that why you're represented adoption 'agent' in this ad is African American? Are you trying to look racially forward-thinking?! As if.

Whatever the answer, this ad is a rancid slap in the face to one hell of a lot of people!

.....Anonymous in the north

Elaine Penn said...

This is what I saw in my head. Close up shot of about-to-be-adopted baby swaddled in blanket. Announcer "Dear Child, you have been removed from your biological family. You will never know your mother, your father or any blood relatives. You will not be allowed to know your medical history, your roots or anything about yourself. But Congrulations! You get a pool and a pony!" Cue the bubbly music and let the confetti fly.

Lorraine Dusky said...

The Kay Ad celebrating adoption of a white newborn:

I see myself on the other side of the door weeping and being so hysterical that the doctors held me down and gave me a powerful shot of something that knocked me out for several hours.

And that's what happened.

Thank you Kay Jewelers (same company owns Jared), and CEO Mark Light for reminding me of that day.

Julia Emily said...

I am convinced that very few people understand what adoption, especially closed adoption, does to people. I know as an adoptee what it is doing to me. Reading the comments like Lorraine's about the trauma and grief of the first mother's is extremely upsetting. More people should be made aware of it.

Kay Jewelers is insensitive to this, obviously. The miserable judges at the NYS hearing have no clue, either.

My own AP's also have no idea what this did/does to a first mother. My own first mother is never, ever mentioned. If she is, it is in a very cold, casual way. "The girl" had me, and they got me. She never saw me, she never met my AP's. She moved on, never to be heard from again. That's what they think. It never occurs to them that I have a background. That I do not look anything like or think like anyone in my adoptive family. It never even occurs to them that my lack of medical history is upsetting to me. My first mother is simply out of the picture. Yet, if she did not give birth to me, where would my AP's be?

Where am I going with this? Adoption is complicated, and filled with hurt. No matter how good the adoptive family may be, it is an un-natural thing to do, and the consequences linger for years.

Then add Kay Jewelers, and others who make adoption into a warm fuzzy rainbows and unicorns thing, and we are doomed. No one understands it. It is made light of. But some of us actually have to live with it. How do we get this massage to be understood?

Cherry said...

Julia Emily said: 'How do we get this message to be understood?'

I think blogs like this are part of the solution.

They enable adopted people and first mothers to hear each other's truth, instead of being perpetually confronted with false stereotypes or a deafening silence stuffed with nightmares or unicorns.

I think it's absolutely vital we hear our own truth, and each others.

And on this site are some really sensitive and thoughtful adoptive mothers who are also part of the postive movement for change because their respect for the complexity (and other important and ever-present members) of their family adds a whole new dimension to the kinds of conversations and understanding we can have.

Together we can challenge the dominant narrative surrounding adoption (you know, the one soft-lit in the awful advert).

The adoption system has thrown so many obstacles and distractions and downright lies into the path of separated family members seeking knowledge and acknowledgment.

By combining to have these conversations among ourselves, and listening without assumption, we start to become a stronger entity when it comes to pressing for change. It's no longer little isolated, disempowered, misrepresented us. It's a strong, multi-voiced, adamant, clear, righteous us, asking for the respect, understanding and information we deserve as human beings.

Julia Emily said...

Cherry: I agree with everything you stated. Blogs like this are great for us to discuss this topic, to share our feelings, to vent, etc. This blog in particular has been a big help to me. I do not post on other blogs. It takes a lot for me to join a conversation, and this blog has been a HUGE help. I can see I am not the only one struggling with these issues.

However: There are people who should read this who wouldn't know a blog if it fell on their heads. Think of the 2 judges who spoke at the NYS hearing. Neither one had a clue. You can be sure they do not read this material. I would be amazed if they know how to turn on a computer.

My adoptive father, in his 90's, is quite good on his computer. But he would never read this. It would be too upsetting for him. It would turn his world upside down. He and my adoptive mother could never be persuaded to see the "other" side of adoption. They did what they did, in 1957, everything is still a secret, it worked out great....what's the problem?

There are so many people commenting here and saying great things, giving great advice, etc.....but how do we get through to those who are still basically in the dark ages? This is one of the things I find so frustrating.

Jay Iyer said...

"I see myself on the other side of the door weeping and being so hysterical that the doctors held me down and gave me a powerful shot of something that knocked me out for several hours."

Not that I didn't know of your suffering, Lorraine, but those are words to take the wind right out of anyone's sails, no matter how often I read them.

Julia Emily, I have read your posts on this forum and feel so, so sorry about the extent to which you are deprived of what is fundamental to you. I must say that even as recently as 2005, when my husband and I decided to adopt, the message we were given from most every source is that it is a benevolent act. I had no doubt that any child that was placed with us truly would need our home...but it was more than that. I gave no thought at all to the family that this child would come from. He/she would become part of our family, and it would be like the other family never existed. Like your parents conducted themselves with you, Julia. I am shocked that I thought that way but it is all I was ever told about adoption.

My husband and I were very lucky to get an adoptions worker who educated us about the reality. My heart warms when I think of our former adoptions worker, who opened our eyes when her first sentences to us were, "This is not about you, it is about the child, don't ever think this is about what YOU want. Every child deserves to stay with his/her family, if at all possible." Can't believe it never occurred to me before she said those words! I must add that this adoptions worker, now retired, is actively engaged in family preservation and other causes related to child welfare. We are lucky to still have her in our lives - as a friend.

And then blogs like this have advanced my education greatly - so I feel that my awareness really increased in spades about 2-3 years ago,when I learned about "anti-adoption" factions and started reading blogs by several of them (I of course first thought they were all just being emotional and irrational but then decided I needed to probe the anger more and found it indeed is justified).

I want to add this little tidbit now, not to get people depressed but to show that there is much more education that needs to be done. Recently we had our annual visit from our foster licensing worker, just to check that our home is safe and meets the licese guidelines. What was supposed to be a half hour inspection turned into a two hour visit as the social worker decided to talk at length about her family. Then she talked about what a great foster family we were, and how most of the families she visited only wanted to adopt and not foster. Then she said, "And they're such lovely couples, really darling, so young and so sweet, all they are asking for is a little baby that looks like them and that's so hard for us to find!" I kid you not, she said that. I must have had a weird look on my face because she immediately said, "Of course we DO explain to them that perhaps they should increase the scope of what they will accept." I can tell you that after she left, my husband said to me, "Do you just feel like you've had the life's blood sucked out of you?" That was one emotionally exhausting session to listen you - and sad because it happened just a month ago. So, you see, there is much about thinking in the community at large that must change (even among social workers). Had we had this particular social worker as our adoptions worker, and had she found a baby that "looked like us" for us, we may still have been ignorant - pretty scary.

Julia Emily said...

Jay: Thank you for your kind words of understanding.

I tell myself that my AP's are a product of their generation. After all, there was no counseling offered in the 1950"s. I WAS the baby in the Kay Jewelers ad. It was about THEM, certainly not about me. They wanted a baby. They waited a long time, went thru so much. You get the idea. Then here I was! The little baby with the golden curls. It was magic! Who cares where I came from? All of that was erased and we went on to be the happy suburban family.....kind of like Ozzie and Harriet!

But you say, until you were told otherwise, that you believed the same warm fuzzy adoption picture! And you are not alone! Thankfully you received good advice. As your child grows and matures, you will be aware of the changes in thinking that might be taking place.

It can happen at any time. I didn't start to unravel until the birth of my first daughter. It occurred to me at that time, like a ton of bricks hitting me in the face, that my mother had not handled me as a newborn. She did not know what to do. I went thru severe post partum depression, and she didn't know what to do. So.....she stayed away, until things got back to normal. I felt very alone at that time, but it was when I pieced together the fact that I was not with my AP's until I was almost 2 months old. They were not present at my birth. My birthdate is made-up, because no one was there except the girl, and we don't talk about her. It was a very difficult, but eye-opening time.

Sorry for rambling on....but you hopefully understand. Adoption IS, or is supposed to be, about the child. You, thankfully, are now armed with useful information about adoption that my parents did/do not have. This is crucial id adoption is ever going to work. And it can work, if the adoptive parents are educated and informed, like you are.

Anonymous said...

Sitting in a waiting room recently, I browsed through one of those glossy magazines, and approached with trepidation an article about Sheryl Crow (who I believe opted for a closed adoption).

And yup, there it was, her blabbing on about the unbelievable luck of adopting two boys who...yes, you guessed it... LOOK JUST LIKE HER! No self-awareness at all about why on earth she might want that, and what that whole bag of unsorted psychic goo might do to those children.

Then onward into more cringeworthy, super-entitled, empathy-dessicated burble. About how heartbreaking it is when you try to adopt a newborn because 'the birth mother sometimes decides to keep the baby'.
Not 'their baby'.
THE baby.
(Who thus gets to stay with his/her family).

Note how she viewed the mother as a birthmother before a single paper had been signed. This mother obviously didn't understand her role as incubator.

The sense of entitlement in the article was like a stench.

Julia Emily said...

Anon: I read the same miserable article. I also read an article where She stated, about her youngest boy: "This is a closed adoption. I wanted a fresh start".

Good for her.

So she wiped away the history of her child because she wanted a fresh start. I hope she is ready for a firestorm of questions someday when these two boys grow up and want to know why their adoptions are closed. Right now she's having fun with her little toddlers who look just like her. It all worked out perfectly, she says.

Wait. And I wish her luck with it.

Lorraine Dusky said...

Where was the Sheryl Crow interview published?

And Jay: I read again about your visit from the social worker and it brought home how clearly the social workers in foster care and adoption associate with the agency's paying clients, the adopting parents. Talking as she did, of course she was referring to infertile couples who are looking to replicate themselves--and getting a child who, as luck would have Sheryl Crow--"looks like" them.

Sad. Pathetic. And more to the point: Infuriating. I don't know about others, but in my own adoption situation, my social worker did not know the adoptive parents--they dealt totally with another person at the agency. Consequently, Mrs. Helen Mura (that was her name, she is deceased) was mine, in the sense that I completely felt that she empathized with me, not the adopting parents. Knowing what I know now, I realize how fortunate I was to have her as my sounding board, and my friend when I felt so alone and isolated.

No child anyone adopts from the larger gene pool will carry their traits down to the small nitty-gritty things I see in myself that were like my mother, and that I saw reflected in my daughter. My mother, for instance, would save the waxed paper she used in the microwave to prevent splatter to be reused. I noticed it one day, long after I left home because of course microwaves were not around when I left home!

Then one day visiting my daughter, I saw her unfold a piece of damp paper towel--yes,she did--and lay it across the edge of the sink. She looked at me, and said, it's not really dirty, no reason not to use it again. I didn't say anything because but I thought: WOW. Of course, I sometimes had done the same thing. This might seem like such a funny little thing, but magnified it a hundred times, and you find that these differences add up to comfort growing up with people who share the same DNA.

Of course that doesn't mean that the "nurture" of the adopting parents will not also play a huge and complementary role in the "nature" of the person we become. But I can't help but wonder if Sheryl Crow's children will grow up feeling "lucky" because they "look like" her.

Jay Iyer said...

Julia Emily, you are right - any decisions impacting a child's life should be about the child, first and foremost. Too many adoptions are still happening without any thought given to whether that is what is best for the child's well-being: it is all about supplying babies to needy, paying adults.

All this talk about finding a child who looks like the APs is extremely distressing to me. Wow - I now look at Sheryl Crow with a very different eye, I had no idea. And yes, Lorraine, I am shocked that not just prospective APs, but even our licensing social worker would "commoditize" the child this way! It was clear to us that she felt sorry for these couples who had been waiting a long time...."and all they want is a baby who looks like them." Really? You think that is a trivial "want?" That is a very scary "want" to have: "Let's go get someone else's baby who looks like us because we can't make one ourselves." Talk about the first steps towards erasing the child's identity.

When our adoptions worker met with us (me and my husband), she asked each of us to write down, on a piece of paper, what we imagined our child would look like. Then she said, "I do not need to see what you wrote. Just tear up the paper and put those thoughts out of your mind. We are finding homes for children who need them, not children for parents who want them."

Tiffany said...

Regarding adoptees looking like their adoptive parents...

My biological daughter looks very much like her dad, and it is only occasionally I will see a bit of myself, mostly in her eyes, reflected back in her. Even her expressions are mostly my husband's, and their personalities are remarkably similar.

My adopted daughter and I share a random resemblance to each other that is all the more odd given her completely different ethnic background. For a very long time, people have mistaken me for having one of the ethnic backgrounds of my daughter, so I guess I can understand why so many people comment that she looks just like me. Even people who know she is adopted say they cannot believe the similarities we share. She and I have similar personalities, and my mom has remarked how odd it is how much she is like I was when I was little.

It's a chance occurrence, really, and I don't celebrate it nor am I glad for it. It simply is what it is. We are similar, her and I, in a random way that is nice simply because I am happy to be able to relate so easily to her personality. But while she and I look similar, when I see her with her parents, the actual genetic resemblance is striking (she also looks very much like her father), and it makes me happy to see the little parts of her reflected back in her parents.

As an adoptive parent, it's important to never take these things for granted. I am not genetically related to my daughter, and trying to force such an impossible connection would cost my daughter her true genetic roots. There is no reason to try to do this; I can see nothing is gained except perhaps the false feeling that the child is born of the AP, which will never be true in spite of random chance similarities.

(Oddly, my captcha code is ancestor... how interesting)

Anonymous said...

I don't think there is anything especially nefarious in adopted kids looking like their parents (adoptive). I think that most kids go through a phase in which they desperately want to blend in and not stand apart, and maybe that can help them (the kids) if they look more like the family they are being raised in...

my adopted kids look nothing like me, and while I am fine with that, I do worry that our very different looks will cause them concern when they become teenagers and become another hurdle for them in feeling different.

so if by happen chance, the kids look like the parents, that might be a good thing.

I try to look at every aspect of adoption from the children's viewpoint, and I find it is often different than mine and the birth parent. their path is their own.

VHM

Jay Iyer said...

VHM, I agree with you that there is nothing wrong with adopted children perchance happening to look like their adoptive parents. It is when prospective adoptive parents ask for a baby that looks like them that I worry....that is when I see nefarious signs of wanting to pretend that they conceived the child, i.e., pretend the child doesn't come with a history that is different from theirs.

Julia Emily said...

Lorraine: there were a few different interviews with Sheryl Crow. If you put her name in Google and add "adoption interview" or some such thing, they should pop up. They were pretty awful reading, I must say. She sounds like she's in fantasy land.

Jay: your adoption worker sounds like a person with some brains. People like that did not exist in the 50's when my adoption took place.

Both of my AP's are dark/olive skinned with dark brown hair. Very Mediterranean looking. I am a blond with freckles. There were many comments made, by people who did not know us, over the years. One that I remember distinctly, upon being introduced to some people at a party: "She's not yours, she's blond." I was about 8 or 9 years old. I wanted the floor to swallow me.

My adoptive mother would then scramble to find excuses to make to these people. She would mention family members who had blond hair. She would say something ridiculous like my father was blond when he was a boy. It clearly threw her and bothered her tremendously. And she never explained the truth to me in a way that a child could understand. Comments were made all the time. So here I was, a little fair-skinned, freckled blond with very different looking parents and a long Italian last name. It bothered my AP's, which then filtered down and started to bother me. If they would have explained things better to me, I probably would have been fine.

I am different from them in many other ways as well. Even though they brought me up a certain way, I think my genes are winning. There are certain things that nurture must have brought to the table, but my nature is far more dominant. My parents and I , especially my mother, get along, but we don't agree. We do things differently and think very differently about everything. And we always have, which I guess is why there was always a feeling of "disconnect" in my life.

Again...they don't think so. They think all is well. It's a very weird situation to be in.

Cherry said...

'It is when prospective adoptive parents ask for a baby that looks like them that I worry....that is when I see nefarious signs of wanting to pretend that they conceived the child, i.e., pretend the child doesn't come with a history that is different from theirs.'

Exactly - this is exactly why Crow's burble was so problematic, and so insulting to the children in question, and inevitably to their original family members. But no matter, she's arranged the world (and their world) to fit in with what she wants, and as we all know with the entitled, that's all that matters.

This discussion (which, in my view, is about how unthinking APs try to force a biological connection with their adopted children, as if the child itself isn't wonderful enough as it is) reminds me of a quote I saw doing the rounds a while ago, being posted and lauded by many PAPs. Just a warning here - I found the following quote extremely painful and deeply, deeply wounding, so please approach with care...


"Parents are the active sculptors of their children's growing brains.
The immature brain of the child is so sensitive to social experience
that adoptive parents should in fact also be called the biological
parents because the family experiences they create shape the biological structure of their child's brain. Being a birth parent is only one way parents biologically shape their children's lives."

(From "Parenting from the Inside Out - How A Deeper Self- Understanding Can help You Raise Children Who Thrive" by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.)


I had a meltdown after I first read that. The unabashed voracious greed of the clapping APS; the absolute dismissal of original mothers like myself (and of course fathers) and our unique place and role in our child's life; and the catastrophic denial of the child's full existence and perfect completeness just as they are, and their forced role as malleable playdoh for their ego-driven, needy APs was horrifying.

Poor trapped kids.
Mourning, discarded mothers. Gleeful playtime APs.
Too ugly and morally corrupt for words.

Compare that with this quote from Nancy Verrier:

'Only when we set aside our denial ... when triad members acknowledge
their pain, and when clinicians recognize the differences between
biological and adoptive families ... can we proceed down the path to
healing with understanding, insight, honesty, and courage'.

Julia Emily said...

"The absolute dismissal of the first mother". Cherry: your post will probably stay in my mind forever.

Isn't that exactly what my own AP's have been doing for so long? I don't look like them and I didn't as a child, but they wanted me to. So, as I have stated, stories were made up as to where I may have inherited my features. My mother always became very nervous when comments were made, however innocently. Telling people my father was a blond as a boy.....knowing full well how I loved to look at all their old snapshots and studio pictures and could see for myself that he was never blond. It was a game. My first mother was erased. My background was erased. I was supposed to just pick up the background and hereditary traits of my adoptive family. But it could never really happen that way.

They were ill-equipped in those days to adopt. Imagine if they had adopted a child of another race? They could never pretend that child was biologically theirs, the way they tried to do with me. There was no counseling at all. Blissful ignorance.

But nowadays I would hope that adoptive parents were in a better position to understand the intricacies of what they are doing and what they are saying. It's not like adopting a puppy or a Cabbage Patch doll. Children are people and deserve to be respected. But I am afraid that has yet to happen. And it is very upsetting indeed.

Tiffany said...

Cherry, and this man is a DOCTOR??? What a load of garbage!! As someone who works in the scientific field, I get really upset when scientific facts are ignored. When it's someone who should know better, like a doctor, it's all that more infuriating.

The idea of someone's genetic makeup not having an impact upon her outcome is absolute nonsense that is not in any way supported by hundreds of scientific studies. This man should have his degree revoked.

My daughter who is adopted shares many traits, large and small, with her biological parents. Of course she also is exhibiting traits I can recognize from us, particularly her older sister ;). We are raising her, and nuture does have an impact. However, it would be pure stupidity for me to not acknowledge her genetic makeup from her biological parents is not something I can replicate.

Even more than that, I would never want to. My daughter, the person I love, is who she is in a large part because of genetics. I love her exactly as she is, and I don't have a need to try to pretend away her origins to satisfy some twisted desire within myself to pretend I gave birth to her.

He said that "Parents are the active sculptors of their children's growing brains." I partially agree with that statement, but I disagree that biology doesn't also play a role. I do not need to deny my daughter's biological roots in order to help her achieve her highest societal and intellectual abilities. And I would be potentially doing much harm to her mental state if I did.

I'm sorry you were hurt, Cherry. There is absolutely no truth in these statements, though. None. Genetics DO play a part in who we are, and you cannot manufacture biological connections when there are none.

Jay Iyer said...

Hi Cherry and Tiffany,

I went and read that section of the book (online, I don't own the book) after seeing Cherry's shocking quote. In the context of the book, the doctors are not saying that genetics do not have an impact. Had they said that, I too being a scientist would have been shocked at doctors saying something that is outright wrong.

What bothered me, however, is the tone is meant to convey to adoptive parents that nurture is so important that the biology matters much less - and to just focus on loving your child because he/she is yours, you are the parents. There is some gratuitous language about the biological parents giving them their "disposition, etc." and to tell your child that they (bio parents) love him/her too, but mostly it is trying to convey to the adoptive parents to not worry about the genetic connections. Like reassuring them that you can carry on as a family unit that is not connected to another, because you ARE the parents.

Nurture can only build on nature, it cannot create new nature as these doctors are slyly implying in their efforts to comfort adoptive parents. Because guess who will buy their book? That's who they want to please!

Cherry I am so sorry you came across this passage. I hope most people (especially adoptive parents) realize how meaningless it is

Cherry said...

@ Julia Emily:

I hope my post hasn't injured you in any way. I am venting my own anguish - I don't want that to hurt you. My own context is that my son's adoptive mother entirely dismisses me (when not insulting me), and that adds pain to what is already the absolutely intolerable one of having lost him, and then finding out he was treated badly. So I am pretty scalded by closed adoption and all it brings.



@ Tiffany and Jay Iyer:

Thank you for your understanding and kindness. When I first read that quote, I literally couldn't breathe. It was particularly the line "...adoptive parents should in fact also be called the biological parents...".

I thought "But that's all I've got!" I didn't have anything, not a single thing regarding my son, just that one fact, that one relationship. I thought "You can't have that too! Leave me something!"
It felt like being erased. I just couldn't bear it. Not because I'm an ego maniac, but because the experience of having, and losing, my son was the most important and meaningful, and then unbearably painful thing in my entire life, and to have that summarily dismissed was beyond what I could cope with.
I also smelled the dangerous sulphur of conditional love regarding the adopted child in that quote, that they must exhibit some biological impression made by the adoptive parents in order to ameliorate something, otherwise there'd be hell to pay. It's really great knowing that you two are not in the slightest like that. I wish my son's other mother was like you.

Julia Emily said...

Cherry: Your post certainly did not hurt me.....basically the damage is done. I was floored by what you quoted, though. And floored by you, as a first mother, giving the other side of the equation. In my experience, first mothers were and still aren't allowed to have feelings. Mine was erased completely, mentioned only about 3 or 4 times in my entire life. The whole thing is a horror show.

I often wondered if my adoptive mother's dismissive attitude toward my first mother could be in part because she could never become pregnant herself. She never became pregnant and miscarried. She never experienced it at all. To her I appeared as if by magic.

Having given birth to two daughters I can not imagine what a first mother feels. When I think about it, I can't even begin to imagine the turmoil and pain. Like I have stated before, more people need to know this side of the story.

The whole thing is a nightmare. And people have no idea about the subject at all. the warm, fuzzy, pretty adoption ideal is still in most people's minds. And don't get me started on lawmakers and politicians! Nobody knows what they are talking about.

But we, who have to live with this every day, are stuck because the rest of the world will not listen to us. Or they don't want the bubble burst. Whatever the reasons, it is time to somehow right this wrong. Change is happening WAY too slowly, if it is indeed going to happen at all.

Katherine said...

I can understand why this ad causes pain for many natural mothers and for adopted people. I also entirely object to the idea of a baby as a "gift', though I'm not really seeing how this ad reinforces that concept. As others have said, many husbands give their wives jewelry, etc. after a child enters their family in any way that happens.

Please consider this: As a woman who desperately wants a child and does not have one, there are MANY things that I hear and see on a daily basis that cause me pain. For example, I work in a hospital, and every time a baby is born in the labor and delivery unit, a lullabye plays over the intercom. Every time I hear that song, it feels like someone punched me in the gut. I can only imagine how it makes one of my coworkers feel, who lost her beautiful twin girls at 20 weeks gestation on that very labor and delivery unit that plays the joyful music an average of 3-4 times a day. So, do I expect them to stop playing the song because it causes me pain? No.

I think it is possible to feel your pain, own your pain, have compassion for yourself for your losses, without expecting other people to stop celebrating things that are heartbreaking for you. Adoptive parents are always going to celebrate the day a baby came into their lives. They just are. And I don't think that means that they think everything about adoption is sunshine and flowers and rainbows.

When it comes to adoption loss and pain, I like to think I "get it". I have friends who have surrendered their babies for adoption, friends and family who have adopted, and family members who are adult adoptees. I've seen the pain. I've also seen joy. Nothing in life is all good or all bad.

I feel for all of the natural moms here who have experienced such heartache, and I wish peace for all of you. But please, understand that adoptive parents need to find joy in the process where they can, even with frank acknowledgement of your sorrow.

BJane said...

@ Cherry,

You say, "So I am pretty scalded by closed adoption and all it brings."

Mine WAS open....well that can be debated..... But I feel the same way. I am pretty scalded too.

Just saw Philomena. I took my very staunch supporter, my very wise daughter. She is a teenager and during the birthing scene I thought, "Uh oh," (She is 14 and we've already talked about sex) but then I thought, "I guess this could be a great argument for abstinence and birth control" and then I thought, "Crap...now am I ever going to have grand babies?" A

Anyway, I did mention my thoughts to her and she said that she was really worried for Philomena during the birthing scene. She was horrified at the cruelty of the nuns. And that she still wants kids....and she understands that not all pregnancies are "planned".

@ Julia Emily,

And then I thought of you Julia Emily. (And all the other children that were of the BSE.) You said, "My first mother was erased. My background was erased. I was supposed to just pick up the background and hereditary traits of my adoptive family. But it could never really happen that way."
And maybe that's why they refer to your mother as "the girl"? ........ They didn't know.

In my instance, an open adoption, my son's parents do know me... tell my son,"she is just a family friend.".....I am not even mentioned that I am his birthmother. They changed the language. Maybe in their minds they think that being a friend is better than a birthmother.

Either way is dismissive.

Julia Emily said...

Katherine: with all due respect, and I mean that sincerely...... you like to think you "get it". But you can't. You may know first mothers, but you are not one yourself. And of course adoptive parents celebrate....they are in the winning situation. They got their baby, the very thing that they wanted and wished for. My AP's would celebrate forever....their wish came true.

And, unless you are an adoptee, you can not have ANY idea how an adoptee feels. That is one thing I have stated all my life. I was not consulted, I made no decisions, yet I was handed over to a young couple, my background erased, my documents sealed, my questions never answered. Yes, I am upset at the Kay Jeweler's ad. The baby appeared like magic to the couple in the ad, just like I did to my AP's. I can not celebrate that, however good my life may have been, because my entire history is missing.

Adoption is a very complicated, trauma filled situation. A lot of people may think they understand it, but one must be involved in it to see what it really is about.

I am sorry for your losses, and your situation. Of course it is hard to do the work you do whilst being reminded how much you want a child. But, while I do feel for you, I can not claim to understand. Nor can you claim to understand adoption.

Cherry said...

@ Julia Emily

'The whole thing is a horror show.'

I absolutely agree, and I wept for you and for me when I read that.

'It is time to somehow right this wrong'.

I couldn't agree more.

I think speaking our truth is part of that. I know it's small for now, but you heard me when I spoke mine, and it changed what you knew. And I've read yours and the voices of other people who've been adopted and that really opened my eyes and helped me to understand something I could never have understood in any other way. And the Internet is global - we actually could have (and are beginning to have) a pretty massive conversation.

Loads more needs to be done, but just hearing each other is revolutionary, I feel. Particularly given the propaganda. Many social movements for the good began in very small but determined ways.

Tiffany said...

Katherine

I was watching a diaper commercial the other day and was struck by how it could pain my daughters mom if she saw it. It was all about "first's": first laugh, first steps, first smile... my daughter's other mom is missing out on all that. I was immediately flooded with sorrow for her and hoped she hadn't seen this commercial. It was nothing about adoption, and it certainly wasn't offensive. It was rather sweet. But for a first mom, it could be a painful reminder of what she is missing out. No one is asking for that commercial to be taken off the air even though it could be a painful trigger. First mothers carry their pain every day, face reminders every day, and I do not think anyone here is suggesting all triggers be removed.

But that commercial is wrong. I'm an adoptive mother, and it is not reflective of what I felt in the waiting room. I felt so many mixed emotions- joy and sadness and grief and happiness and guilt and pain.... there was no celebration of becoming a mother when my daughter was born because her mother knew she would be giving her up. I did not become my daughter's mother until 24 days after her birth, when the relinquishment papers were signed.

Infertility must be such a difficult thing to deal with. I do not know personally, but I'm sure it is heartbreaking. And to finally be able to have a child through adoption must feel like an answer to prayer. However, this commercial is offensive to me as an adoptive mom not only because it ignores the pain of the mother who gave birth, but also because it ignores the mixed emotions an adoptive parent experiences. I have given birth and I have adopted. They could not be more different emotions. There was no tears and grief with my child I gave birth to, but there was with the child we adopted. You cannot pretend they are the same. An infertile woman cannot give birth, and that acceptance that she will not experience many of the typical birth events needs to happen. A "push present" isn't appropriate for an adoptive mother. We need to acknowledge as a society that giving birth and adoption are not equal, not the same.

Cherry said...

@ Katherine

'...every time a baby is born in the labor and delivery unit, a lullabye plays over the intercom...'

Why?
Isn't the birth of a child lovely enough?
Why the need for a public bells and whistles too, especially for such a personal and private event?

I'm not being miserly here. I'm just acknowledging that not every birth goes to plan, not everyone leaves with a living baby. I can't see how the lullaby thing adds to anything, while I see very clearly how this superficial bit of sugar could actually wound quite a few people, as you have described.

Personally, I wouldn't have it if I was in charge of that hospital. What it adds is minimal and superfluous, if sweet, while the hurt it potentially causes is deep and unnecessary. The family of the newborn will probably be impervious to it anyway.

Just my view and probably not shared widely.

Jay Iyer said...

Dear Cherry, I do not wish that I was your son's adoptive mother. Rather, I wish that you had been able to keep your son.

And yes, the passage in that book was extremely dismissive of the biological family. It only goes to show that the insidious message of adoption being benevolent, a reason to put adoptive parents on a pedestal, is widespread and can be found everywhere. I really, really am so sorry you had to read that.

Katherine, I know you mean well. Others have commented along your lines, the theme being "Life is pain, Highness" as quoted from the movie Princess Bride. But you are missing the point.

We are not talking about people's personal celebrations or tragedies in the privacy of their homes. Nor are we talking about music, which is an artistic expression of personal feelings/inspirations. We are talking about an ad, whose sole purpose is to RECRUIT the public to sell a product. When you choose to convey a PUBLIC message, designed to RECRUIT, by presenting a sanitized version of a family that is NEVER, EVER built without accompanying loss, you are promoting something that will continue to be practiced in a harmful way.

Let's say Kay Jewelers had an ad that showed a young girl getting diamond jewelry from her mother to commemorate her circumcision. I am sure some families still practice and celebrate female circumcision as a coming of age and doing right by tradition. But we certainly would not want to convey that celebration, built on what is established as a painful social practice, in a public ad.

This is about correcting social practices, not about whether we are acknowledging personal celebrations or ignoring personal tragedies. We all have losses, Katherine. I have suffered from the loss of children too. Life is pain, Highness - but let's not advocate for more pain in public ads. Especially not when it spreads an incorrect and harmful message about an established social practice: adoption.

Lorraine Dusky said...

The playing of a lullaby over the loudspeaker every time a baby is born in a sounds like someone's very misguided idea. What happens to the women in the wards whose babies are fighting for life, or who died at childbirth? What about the woman who just had a miscarriage? And the woman whose baby is slated for adoption? Who is that music going to make feel better?

Perhaps Katherine you could point out that the stupid lullaby over the loud speaker could be stopped? Do they also play a dirge when someone dies? Or read For Whom the Bell Tolls?

The lullaby is as thoughtless as the Kay commercial.

We are saying here at First Mother Forum that the commercial is the source of an unnecessary trigger that causes some of us intense grief; you are saying--Get over it. I can't have a baby and I have to deal with babies all the time.

You know what? We have to deal with babies and scenes of giving birth in movies and on TV all the time too. We go to family reunions (and sometimes not--too painful) and see our relatives keep their babies. We play peek-a-boo with our nieces and nephews. We accept that. We have no choice.

If a birth scene comes on TV, I immediately change the channel; I sit through the birthing scenes in movies often cringing with my eyes shut, hope it is short, as it was thank god in Philomena (totally gratuitous, I thought). But to have a commercial so that we can see how "happy" giving up a baby made someone? Please.

I find your comment here at First Mother Forum thoughtless--just as thoughtless as some of the parents of first mothers who told them to "out on their big girl panties" and get over losing their children.

I doubt most (or any) of us are reading infertile blogs and telling people to get over it.

To look at this a different way, would you also tell blacks that they should "get over" the use of the N-word because some people like to use it? If this strikes you as cold water in your face, it was meant to.

Cherry said...

@ Jay Iver:

'...I do not wish that I was your son's adoptive mother. Rather, I wish that you had been able to keep your son.'

That made me sob. Thank you for such a warm and deeply kind thought. It strikes me that, even now, it still doesn't cross my mind as one of the options.

@ Lorraine:

Thank you and Jane for this invaluable blog, where we can have full conversations and which is so hugely helpful in every way. It must take a lot of your energy, but I am so thankful for its existance, and yours.

Julia Emily said...

@ BJane:.... Yes....in both of our situations the first mother is dismissed. And it is not justified in either case. To have your son think you are a family friend....I can't even imagine how you feel. I don't think they believe a friend is better than a first mother. I think they feel threatened. I think that adoptive parents feel very threatened, which is why nowadays so many open adoptions are closed as soon as possible. And it is the adoptive family that usually does the closing.

My adoptive parents feel threatened to this day. but when I think back....my records, and therefore "the girl's" name, was not sealed until I was almost 4 years old.

Obviously my AP's could not wait for that day to come, and have the records sealed, and never have to think about it again... because that is exactly what happened. And even though I remember that day, and had asked questions about it when I was a child, my questions were dismissed. Why was I all dressed up to go to someone's office in NY? Why did I have to behave? What were we doing? It was something important we had to do in the city, and that was it. The underlying message being that it was now over and I was not to ask about it again. So I didn't. My questions and my first mother's identity, along with my first 3+ years were dismissed in one fell swoop.

Both cases are a travesty.

@ Cherry: yes...this blog is a tremendous step forward. Now, can we get some of the people who really need to read it to do so? Like the judges at the NYS hearing? Like Gov. Christie? The ACLU? I could go on forever!

But it has helped me to come here and read, and post. Now I know I am not alone. We are all damaged somehow by this great experiment gone wrong. But we can lean on and learn from one another.

Thanks, so much, Lorraine and Jane!

Lorraine Dusky said...

Julia Emily: You say that your 90 year-old father is quite competent on the computer. That means he is quite capable of a real conversation, hard as it may be to start it. Before I came out as a mother who had relinquished a child, I remember how incredibly difficult it was to say that to my first husband when he asked me to marry him. I did not know what his response would be. I was scared.

I am going to urge you again to find the courage to be honest with your parents. Perhaps talk to your father instead of your adoptive mother; I have heard of many adoptees who find their fathers are understanding but their mothers have a much harder time with the truth and reality. From what you have said--you are the sole caregiver--they need you. They know that and they will be aware of that in their dealings with you. It is still possible they know something, something that could help you. Or write a letter and give it to him. They cannot be unaware of the revolution in adoption that has occurred in the last half century.

I read the comments here, and your pain just drips out of yours. I can say, hugs and all that, but you need more than viral hugs; you need reality.

Julia Emily said...

Lorraine: thank you for your concern. I cannot express my appreciation. Honestly....there are no words....

My mother is probably blissfully unaware of the changes that have taken place in adoption over the decades. Or, she wants to be. My father is another story. He knows what is going on to an extent, but he disagrees with it.

He was and still is a great father. Gave me everything. He holds the mortgage to my home, for goodness sake, just so my husband and I could make the move to a neighborhood with great schools for our 2 girls. He gives my girls everything, loves them beyond anything I have ever seen. He is convinced that the adoption worked out great (he has said so) and there is no reason to delve into any issues. Why should there be issues? Look at the life he gave me. Who could possibly ask for more?
He is a very intelligent man, and this is what he truly believes.

When my father hears of, or sees on TV, stories of adoptees searching and possibly finding their bio-families, he sees red. He considers such adoptees spoiled and selfish, to use his exact words. My own dear friend, the black market baby who is a bit older than I, is struggling with issues I cannot imagine. When we speak about her, my father always says she should let it go. Her parents gave her a life. In other words: what's wrong with her? Where would she have been without them? The adoptive parents needs trump any that the adopted child may have.

I was an unwanted child. My AP's took me and gave me a home. They wanted to me fulfill their dreams. They wanted the perfect family. And they believe they got exactly that. I love them. I owe them a debt of gratitude. I will care for them in their old age, as they EXPECT me to do. But I fear I will not be truly free, for want of a better word, until they are no longer here.

You are correct. There is a lot of pain here. I am struggling. But, I am so glad to have found this outlet, where I can speak and be understood. Where people don't judge me. Again, thanks.

Katherine said...

Regarding the lullabye, it must be a local or regional thing, because every hospital in my area does that. I guess it usually makes new moms and their families feel great to hear it. I can imagine joyful family members in the waiting room grinning and clapping. Unfortunately, it hurts other people. Is it worth it? I don't know. I'm not under any impression that I can change it, or that I should try. I'm a small fish.

Lorraine, for what it's worth, my intention was not to suggest that natural mothers should "get over" anything. I'm sorry my comment came across that way. My point is just, perhaps there is a way to acknowledge and address pain that doesn't involve asking other people to give up celebrations or rituals that bring them joy?

By the way, I'm not here as a heckler. I'm here as a woman who hopes to adopt, and who actively tries to understand different perspectives. I will tell you, it is hard for me to read much of what you write. I don't know why I felt compelled to comment on this post, of all things. I guess I'm just feeling defensive of my right to feel happy/peaceful/celebratory (among other emotions) if I'm able to eventually adopt, even with the understanding that my joy is somebody else's sorrow.

Lorraine Dusky said...

Katherine:

If you can get the lullaby off the speaker, consider what a favor you will have done not only for people like yourself, but for women in those other groups. Whomever started this can pull the plug. My guess is that no one ever suggested that it was in such poor taste.

The way to effect change is to do something, not sit there mute.

Lorraine Dusky said...

And I am wondering, what do you find so hard to read here?

BJane said...

@Katherine,

You just visiting this site is breaking the propaganda of adoption.GREAT! NOW ABSORB.

Next step is to deal with your infertility. This is CRITICAL! The children you want will never be "yours". Do you understand this? I understand your drive to want to nurture and that you want to parent. That's OK! There are children in the foster care system that need a loving home. A home that won't replace their existing families ties and will help them with their trials. But educate yourself, get training, read....READ a lot of books about adoption. Oh, and go to FB and find the Adoptees Reunited page...people looking for their families. ...that'll be a huge eye opener for you. It was for me. There are recommended readings on this site as well. I am still trying to read them all. For the health of the children, the health of our society, know what your WANT entails. Adoption is the separation of the sacred mother/child bond, entire family.

THE LOSS...

Julia Emily said,"We are all damaged somehow by this great experiment gone wrong."

and you want to participate?

BJane said...

@ Julia Emily,

What about your two children. They are going to want to know someday, their heritage. I see it all the time, people doing ancestry work.

Please don't be offended by me asking.

Julia Emily said...

@ BJane: It is interesting that it was never considered that the chosen baby would grow up and probably have children! We were to remain babies forever...but now there are generations of adoptee descendants who are also without information. Why can't the lawmakers and politicians see this as a problem?

My two girls are very far apart in age. My older girl is interested in medical history, if possible. As I have stated, I never heard back from the famous adoption registry as far as any non-id info. My AP's probably don't have any medical info, since the whole thing was so hush-hush and secret. It wasn't thought to be important in those days and they would have thought to ask. My daughter is also following the goings-on as far as the adoptee rights bill in NY.

My younger daughter is too young to really understand the implications of all this. Not yet, anyway.

Unfortunately, my husband doesn't get any of this. At all.

My older girl and I talk about this when we can, and we both feel that I am really stuck. The only possibility is that I may in the future have trouble if asked to produce a birth certificate. When that day rolls around, I will have to approach my folks. We are taking it one day at a time. And we both agree that, if that day comes, my AP's will be very upset indeed. That is the fact of the matter, which I can not change.

@ Katherine: I hope you will keep reading here and on other blogs and visit Facebook. This is the truth about adoption, from people who are still living through it. It never goes away and It is not easy, as you can see.

As far as that lullaby thing, it would be great if you or someone else could stop it. It is in VERY poor taste.



Jay Iyer said...

Katherine, as an adoptive mom, I wanted to commend you for visiting this site and reading and learning, hard as it is. Adoption is complex and never a first choice in any society.

There are some children who truly need the stability and love of a home that they are unable to get with their first families. But even then there is a history and loss for the children that must always be considered. I do not believe in ownership of children anyway - and in adoption, that is even more true.

I came into adoption from a position of infertility, just like you. Modifying my thinking so that I no longer focused on "I want a baby of my own" has been a good thing, I believe, for us as adoptive parents as well as for our son. It doesn't take away the complexity or the loss, but I hope we are now better at considering our son's needs.

I think, Katherine, that you will feel less tormented as you equip yourself with more knowledge about this multi-faceted beast (and a beast it is): adoption. I wish you strength and happiness.

Oh, I also wanted to add how shocked I am with the whole "lullaby-playing" thing. It is not as bad as the Kay Jeweler's ad, which seeks profits while riding on a phenomenon of ever-present loss, but insensitive nonetheless.

Tiffany said...

Katherine, you said " I'm here as a woman who hopes to adopt, and who actively tries to understand different perspectives. I will tell you, it is hard for me to read much of what you write. I don't know why I felt compelled to comment on this post, of all things."

I'm an adoptive mom. I'm curious as to whether you read my comments on this post and my agreement that the commercial is inappropriate. I am who you hope to someday be- an adoptive mother.

"I guess I'm just feeling defensive of my right to feel happy/peaceful/celebratory (among other emotions) if I'm able to eventually adopt, even with the understanding that my joy is somebody else's sorrow."

We felt positive emotions when we brought our adopted daughter home from the hospital. I can tell you now that those were very much overshadowed by the grief and sorrow we felt for her first parents. There were many tears between the smiles. Our grief continues, too. We are still filled with a lot of sadness that our daughter lost her parents. It doesn't go away.

A necklace won't fix any of that. Honestly, if at the time of her birth, my husband had given me the necklace I do have to represent my daughter, it would not have good memories associated with it. Her birth was colored with grief. It just was. While every baby deserves a celebration when she is born, the fact is, the emotions surrounding the birth when a child is going to be adopted just are not mostly positive.

I find it hard to read here, too, sometimes, but perhaps for different reasons than you... I find that sometimes, the overwhelming sadness I fear my daughter's mother might feel that is reflected here is too much for my heart to handle. In adoption, it's important to realize that it's really not so much about you as it is the child and the first parents. Our "difficult emotions" as adoptive parents frankly pale in comparison.

Julia Emily said...

Tiffany and Jay: You are both what adoptive parents should be. Or should strive to be. You try to understand that there is loss in adoption. Loss that words cannot describe. You realize that the first mothers certainly have feelings and issues beyond what a regular person could understand.

Katherine: hopefully you are reading their comments, as well as comments from adoptees and first mothers, and putting this picture together as it really is. It is not a pretty picture.

You can build a family through adoption, but you must be prepared to face things that other families do not face. Deal with issues that never come up in other families. As the adoptive parent, of course you will be happy and want to celebrate. But you must make a TREMENDOUS effort, as your adopted child grows, to listen, understand, be honest. It is of the utmost importance.

My AP's are from another generation, as I have stated. They were so happy and so relieved, after waiting years for a baby, and 3+ years for the thing to be finalized, that I am convinced they believe the fantasy that adoption was made to be back then. Records sealed. What does a baby know about records? Questions never answered. There is no need for answers when everything has worked out so well. Issues? Why would there be issues? I had the perfect 1950's childhood. There can't be any issues.

When my birthday rolls around I fall into a depression every year. But I must hide it for my parent's sake. Why don't I like to celebrate? They do not understand. They certainly want to celebrate. But I do not know my birthdate. THEY do not know the date. They never asked the appropriate questions in order to learn the correct date. They picked one. This was after having announcements printed up with the wrong date on it. They just changed it. Well....maybe the new date we picked is better. What does a little baby know? She has a "birthday". End of story.

When I asked about this discrepancy I never got an answer. I mentioned it once again not too long ago and my mother told me I was hung up on it, and it didn't matter. She certainly didn't come across as being very understanding. My feelings in this whole thing are not really considered at all.

If you are going to adopt, you must be aware of the child's feelings. The child WILL have issues. The child will grow up. I am in my mid-50's and I am still struggling with all of this. It never goes away. I hope everything works out for you.

Lorraine Dusky said...

Julia Emily:

Reading how you are pouring out your feelings here is sometimes painful for me to read--I guess it depends on how vulnerable I am feeling that day myself. Today: pretty vulnerable. Not even sure why.

Julia Emily said...

Thank you, Lorraine. Adoption is a painful thing.

I am very glad I found this forum even though I must sound at times like a broken record! At least you all are listening! I really don't have the feeling, and I never did, that too many people are listening. NYS isn't listening. My AP's have their own view of the situation, which is never to talk about it. My husband can not even try to make his brain understand my feelings. My older girl tries, but remember....she is not an adoptee. Try as she might, she will never get exactly what this situation does to me.

I obtained the papers for petitioning the court. This is what I was going to do to bypass confronting my AP's and destroying the two of them. I would need all kinds of signatures from my doctors to try to get the records opened for medical reasons. I don't, thank God, have any medical issues, so I wonder if my MD would cooperate in that respect?

And guess what? I must provide the names and current address of my adoptive parents on the form. I can't leave it blank since they are still living. So here we go again. Another brick wall.

So here I am. The perpetual child. Didn't one of the judges who testified at the hearing actually come out and say that he didn't think adoptees have any rights? Looks like he might be correct.

Thank you for providing this platform. I know you have your own terrible pain to live with, so I really appreciate you helping me with mine. Please know that this sharing of feelings is doing me some good.

And I am eager for your memoir to be published!

Lorraine Dusky said...

Julia Emily:

FILL IN YOUR PAENTS' NAMES.

I doubt they will be notified. Attach a note saying they do not know you are doing thus but are 115 years old and deserve to be an adult. And BTW--WE REALLY NEED YOU TO LOBBY IN NY RIGHT NOW.EMAIL ME AT Forumfirstmother@gmail.com

They are voting to pass our bill (we believe) in the Assembly Health Committee today.

We need you!!!! to speak up for yourself and all the other Julia Emilies and Juuius Emiles out there.

Cherry said...

@ Julia Emily

I am so appreciative of you writing here. Everything you say is important. Thank you for sharing this. I am listening deeply.

@ Tiffany and Jay Iver

You two restore my faith in people. Really, you do.

Julia Emily said...

Thanks, everyone, for the kind words and for listening!

I am going to do what Lorraine suggests and fill out the forms with a letter attached explaining the situation. Let's see what happens. If the NYS Registry has been stringing me along for almost 2 years, how long will this process take, I wonder?

What a mess! Who gave all these politicians and lawmakers the power to play God with our lives? It is infuriating.

Lorraine Dusky said...

JE: How is the registry stringing you along? With your scant information there is probably nothing they can do for you and the guy who runs it has been against unsealing the records, so there you have it. The registry is a sop but not an answer. As I said: You Go Girl! You may still not get anything from the court, but it will likely be more definitive, I suspect but am not positive--we have some real assholes in NY as judges who will not release the birth record.

You have no real had information about yoursel--not even a birth date--and even if your mother was registered (a slim possibility), how would anyone be sure you and she were a match?

Fill out that form. The names of your adoptive parents will help them locate whatever information is available.

Jay Iyer said...

Julia Emily, I am rooting for you so hard I can barely breathe! I truly hope this forum has inspired and enabled you to seek out your first family, your identity. Your pain reaches out across computer boards - I wish for that pain to be gone and for your story to come to a happy full circle.

Cherry, you brought a little light and comfort into my day by kindly remarking that I restore your faith in humanity. I have been feeling really low of late, a failure as I go over and over in my head what I could have done that would not have scared Rayna and Nina away from our commitment to help her. I failed them both, and now I deal every day with my son who is having a very hard time with Nina being absent from our lives. Coward that I am, I try hard not to think about Nina, staying away from pictures of her and Rayna, stashing away their things in closets that I will not open....but I cannot keep my son from talking frequently about them and how much he misses them. Then of course he goes on to talk about everyone who has left his young life and asks me not to "bring more people into his life and then take them away." It is terribly sad - this little, sensitive, empathetic boy just breaks my heart these days and makes me feel that I have let him down too. I certainly don't want to compound the losses he already faces as an adoptee.

So, thank you for saying I give you some sense of faith because I have not been feeling much of that for myself these days.

Julia Emily said...

Hi Lorraine: Maybe "stringing along" was the wrong term to use. What I am so frustrated about is that no one at this famous registry could take 2 minutes of their time to write a little bit of a personalized response. I wrote to them 3 times after sending in the initial forms. I got the same form letter back three times! Couldn't they even try to explain a little bit why this is taking so long? Outline whatever the problem might be holding it up? Apologize? I certainly did not need three copies of the same letter!

So I am definitely going to go ahead with the petition. I have forms to fill out and get notarized. I will keep everyone posted on the result. Fingers crossed! And thanks for the push I needed to do this!

Any news on the Assembly bill today?

BJane said...

Jay, have your son write to her(Nina). It'll help him!

My kept children miss their brother (my oldest, relinquished). They don't understand. So, I tell them to write......it seems to help them.

Jay Iyer said...

BJane, thanks for the helpful suggestion. Do your kept children not ask whether their relinquished brother will get the letters? I worry that my son will ask whether we can deliver the letters to Nina. And we can't do that, of course, we have no idea where she is. He is totally puzzled and worried about the situation because she disappeared so suddenly, after they spent loads of time together for his entire life (he is now 5 years old).

Perhaps I will tell him to write the letters while keeping the faith that he can deliver them to her in person one day. But any other suggestions too are appreciated - him being so young has made it more difficult.

In gratitude,
Jay

Jane Edwards said...

Jay,
Don't blame yourself for Rayna and Nina leaving. You gave of yourself and did what your could. She may just need the time and space to develop trust.

Julia Emily said...

Jay, Cherry, Lorraine: I must thank you wholeheartedly for your support. It has given me the incentive to go ahead with petitioning the court.

Look at this thread! Over 150 comments filled with hurt, pain, and grief from all sides of the adoption equation.

When first mothers relinquished you were told to forget about it and move on. Did anyone honestly think that could happen? The anguish from first mothers here on this forum is mind boggling. I wish there was something I could do to help all of you.

Adopted children were supposed to be happy, fit in, forget that we came from somewhere else. Well, that didn't happen either.

Now what do we all do?

Thankfully, we can talk about it here. And hope the rest of the world catches up someday soon.

Cherry said...

Julia Emily said: 'I wish there was something I could do to help all of you.'

You do already! Your mind is open, your heart is full of humanity, you listen, you consider, you share your truth, you take time, you are here. You have no idea how rare all of that is!

I feel the same about you too, wanting to respect and support you (and other adopted persons too).

@ Jay

Don't berate yourself, you have done so, so much. Anyone is lucky to have you in their life - I hope Rayna comes to realise that soon.

Jay Iyer said...

Cherry and Jane, thank you so much for your words of comfort.

My social worker friend has helped me understand where Rayna might be coming from and why our relationship became painful for her.

The hardest thing for me right now is my son's pain - and the pain that I know Nina must be feeling. They were joined at the hip, those two. This morning Lenny said to me as he gave me a hug before going to school, "I dreamed about Nina again last night. I am not able to stop thinking about her, I miss her so much." It is hard when 5 year olds are dealing with sorrow. I hope they will be reunited some day.

In the meanwhile, I am following BJane's advice and he will write a letter to her this weekend.

BJane said...

@Jay lyer,

For your son he will never know if the letters are received. That doesn't matter. What matters is he is expressing his love for her and communicating. It might help with the dreams as well.

Your idea of keeping them until Nina returns, or when you can send them to her is great. But then again, even if you send them you might not know if the letters are received/shared.

I don't know if my son gets the letters. He might someday.....

All I know is that it is helping my children. They miss him. He's a really good big brother.

Jay Iyer said...

Dear BJane,

Your support and advice have meant a lot - thank you. Although I am not a first mother, I feel as if you understand my sorrow in regards to Nina and I at least to some degree am able to empathize with what first mothers like you go through. And of course you help me with the "sibling" angle as well.

We will keep the letters with the hope of reuniting some day. I hope that happens - for you and for us.

Hugs,
Jay