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Adoptees Have a Past that Must be Acknowledged

I am torn on the issue of adoption. I realize that in some cases it is something wonderful. LIfe happens and things get in the way of dreams. Life doesn’t always go the way we planned. Please walk away. They stop loving, or caring, and they leave people behind. Babies left behind deserve a family, but they don’t deserve to be ripped from their mother’s arms because a nation sees her unfit.

I was a “banished baby” taken from my mother’s signed away and sent sight unseen to a family in America who didn’t even know who I was. I used to be told how I was “chosen,” but I wasn’t. I was based on a criteria, and the choices were narrowed down.

Key points:

  • a girl
  • age 4-6
  • healthy

There was no request for blue or green eyes, blond or red hair. They wanted a baby. I could have been anyone. When I came, all my “baggage” was left at the airport.

This is a piece of past.

I came empty-handed, so much so that my new family had no idea what to expect. They had no idea that when the Sisters said I was “fragile,” I really was. Rickets, malnutrition, intestinal parasites, unable to walk or talk. I was shy of five.  Where had the five years of my life gone? Who had I loved? What did I think about? What had I left behind?

No one asked me. As I grew older, I was told to be grateful and never once was I given history from a life I once knew, only that it was awful, and that I should have been so grateful.

This not only happened to me, it happened to my birth-mother as well. At 15 she was told to let go, forget that it ever happened to her, forget that she had a child, forget that she named her, forget that when she left her arms she was healthy.

Funny, neither of us forget what happened to us. 58 years later when we met for the first time, she told me details of my birth, how I felt in her arms, the color of my hair, the pain of letting go.

I had been told she died (in the 50s that was the smart thing to say. Death sort of ended any possibility of communication.) I turned her into a hero who died for me.

Everyday I think of her, even though I can’t walk in her house, or talk to her family. I so get this from her point of view. I have honored her wishes for nine years and I will continue to do so.

Maybe I can offer advice to parents adopting a child (not an infant).

  • We have memories. Please ask about them, allow us to talk and hang on to what had value to us.
  • Leave us our name. We might have heard it before. It might have had a meaning in our prior life.
  • Acknowledge that we will not be the same as the children you have. We have different interests, and personalities.
  • Let us know our history, whether it is the country, the language, or pictures that might trigger memories.
  • Don’t tell us we were chosen (most of us weren’t. We were paid for in some way or another.) We are an alternative because the original couldn’t be attained.
  • Please don’t tell us to be grateful. We didn’t ask for it. Even if our life is amazingly better, we still may have left someone behind who meant a great deal to us.
  • Answer all of our questions honestly, no matter how old the child is.
  • Don’t call us your “other” child.
  • Remember you may have gained something, bu we gave up a life, the only life we knew. That is a big deal.

Just a word, if you do adopt, remember your child has his/her own past. Please do not deny them of it. Don’t tell them it never happend, or that it isn’t important.

4 comments on “Adoptees Have a Past that Must be Acknowledged

  1. Ann noble

    Hi Anne

    What a lovely piece, as l read it l cried. l am a birth (natural) great grandparent, who lost a child through forced adoption. The social service lied about the family in assesments both on paper and in court, about the child’s mum and the extended family. To say the whole family is heartbroken about this is correct. l get through this by campaigning against such a bad law, and bad system where family are abused and lied about. To say lm very angry would also be true

  2. Ann noble

    l read your post and agree with you, although babies have memories as well. l know that because my earliest memory is been carried to a house, l took my mum to the house. She told me that my meory was correct. l also have to say recent research states that babies memories start in the womb.

  3. The sacred bond between mother and child remains a life time – commenced during pregnancy as a new life grows within a mother’s body – the sacred bond that is a miracle – birthing process both mother and newborn dependent on each other – to complete the miracle of life – erased on the psycho and soul of both mother and child that can never be erased – an invisible cord that runs from a mother’s heart to her son/daughter’s heart no man can severe – forced adoptions means the criminal and legal removal of a newborn from its natural mother without legal consent – legal guardian of her newborn – part of a mother’s body and anything resulting from a crime can only be a life time of inconsolable grief, pain and loss for both mother and child – forced adoptions resulted from illegal and unlawful policies and practices – with many illegally separated but never adopted – the healing component is achievement of justice and accountability that is happening in many countries under the heading STOLEN CHILDREN – hugs to all mothers and sons/daughters who were illegally separated by heartless and criminal medical professionals (newborns) malpractice and mistreatment – sexual abuse during pregnancy – obstetric crimes – injected with banned drugs that only medical can write prescriptions for – crimes that should never ever have happened – same crimes the notorious Nazi medical criminal Josef Mengel committed against young pregnant girls and mother and child after birth

  4. Error my apologies – should read forced adoptions means the criminal and ILLEGAL REMOVAL OF A NEWBORN FROM ITS NATURAL MOTHER WITHOUT LEGAL CONSENT etc.

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