About Cheerio

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In general I am a cheery and energetic person. But I am enshrouded in a cloak of iron. That cloak is the weight of greiving my son, whom I've lost to adoption.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

the payoff

I wonder what my pastor would think,

what he would say if he were to read my interpretation of his sermons?

What if he were to read my little journal book that I scribble notes in?

What if he were to read and see what I walk away with after the last song is sung?

Today his sermon was very thought provoking.
I think it’s something everyone should think about, no matter if they do or don’t go to church.

There was a clip from the movie Men of Honor. The man in the movie clip wanted to be a navy diver again – and insisted his injured leg be cut off so he could do it. My pastor then posed these two questions.
“What do you want most out of life?
What are you willing to give up for it?”

Wow, what loaded questions they are!

I’m going to have to think on it for awhile. However, that is not what ‘hit home’ to me.
It was not what I walked away with today.

Early in the sermon, my pastor talked about some decisions he has made throughout his life. He’s had a ‘colorful’ past, and I respect him more than a minister who doesn’t know what life is like outside of the church walls.

My pastor also talked about some of the things he really wanted in life. He talked about goals that he reached for. He also talked about the work, effort and sometimes the sacrifices he made to reach that goal.

He continued on to say that he made those sacrifices with joy, because he knew the end-result would be worth it. When he looks back over his life, he reaffirms that – yes, indeed it was Worth It!

“Worth It”
That phrase thwacked into my little brain like an arrow striking a tree. It kind of stuck there quivering back and forth, so I had to think about it. Think about decisions I’ve made, and if they’ve proven to be “worth it”?

So, now that my mind is mulling over this pointed thought sticking in my brain, I mentally start to wander down another path while my pastor is speaking.

What would he say? Say to these questions I’d scribbled down?
___“But, what if… what if Pastor, you make a decision and it turns out to NOT be worth it?
___“What if 5, 7, 10 years or more you realize that what you sacrificed was way more precious than what you gained in return?
___”What then?
___”It’s nice to see a reward for your decision, but what do you do when you realize that the treasure you were aiming for turns out to be nothing more than fool’s gold?
___”Just what do you do when you realize that what you are holding in your hand is worthless? It is nothing of real value. It was a trick of the mirrors, nothing more than a holograph.
 Then what?

___”What then?

Do you mind that I suggest you would look differently at both what you “sacrificed,” and at what you “gained.”

That you would see the payoff differently, I’m sure.

How would you then view the payoff?
Certainly you would view it as a worthless trinket, far from being the treasure you imagined it would be. Certainly it lost all its appeal and sparkle.

Since it is a mere imitation and not at all what you expected it to be, it would serve only to mock you. Serve to mock that longing for real value. How then would you feel about the payoff in your hand?

Instead of the feeling confidence victorious and successful, I’d venture to say there would be feelings of self doubt, defeat, and failure.

Let me ask how you think you might feel toward the ones involved in or arranged the deal?

Suppose the one involved cautioned you about the risks? Suppose they pointed out the values of what you were going to sacrifice? Suppose they encouraged you to think about it more, or to do more research. Suppose they did research for you. In that research they found examples where others made the same or very similar tradeoff. Suppose they showed you the statistics from those studies and an alarming percent of such tradeoff’s proved to fail.

How might you feel about this person who seemed to care about you and did not want to see you make a foolish or unwise decision? You would probably be thinking of how you wished you listened to them. But you certainly would not blame that you made the decision anyway.

But suppose the one involved, did the exact opposite instead?
The person making all the arrangements never mentioned risks. They talked about all the benefits, even exaggerating and misrepresenting them just to lure you into the deal. Instead of talking about risks they made promises of how wonderful the payoff would be for everyone. They showed how this decision was a positive step for a brighter future.

Although they were aware of studies and research, they intentionally kept the file folder closed so you would not see them. They very carefully steered you away from holding onto what you had, because they wanted it.

They very carefully and subtly eroded your rights to keeping what was yours. They went so far as to suggest it was a waste and even wrong for you to keep it for yourself. Dishonest, deceptive, manipulative, and greedy are words that could be used to describe them.

As you’re looking at this worthless trinket, your thoughts of them would not be so kind.
Yes, you had to blame yourself for not seeing through their tightly woven lies, but I am going to guess you would feel angry. Hopefully, once you realize their destructive ways, you would not sit quietly by and let it go on. Hopefully you would want to speak up about the injustice being done, point out their corrupt ways, and prevent others from falling into their trap.

And the ‘sacrifice”, how would you then view what was sacrificed for the trinket.
What you sacrificed indeed became a tremendous, irreplaceable, unrecoverable loss.
As you reflect on it, most likely you would experience feelings of sadness, foolishness, self blame.

I’d venture to say you’d have feelings of remorse or regret, probably even begin to sense a longing to have again what you lost. You might feel either twinges or overwhelming feelings of anger toward the ones responsible for arranging the deal.

Please allow me to continue and suggest that you might feel hopeless.
The sacrifice has been made, and there is no way to reverse it. You will never have it back.

Even if some day it returns to you, you have still gone through all those years with a mocking trinket. When/if it returns to you, it will not be the same as when it was last yours. Yes, there are decisions we make every day. Some decisions are more important than others. Then there are those critical decisions of life that we make. I made one of those life-altering critical decisions in 1994.
I grew up believing adoption was ‘the answer’ to an unplanned pregnancy. It is the ‘right’ thing to do. So when I found myself in that situation, as a reflex I played out what I had been brainwashed to believe. Unplanned pregnancy = adoption.

There were no other options.
I was told that I could not possibly be the kind of mother the son I was carrying deserved to have. I was told that as long as they are loved, it doesn’t matter to the child if they’re raised by their natural family or not. I was told a child deserves a two parent home, with a loving couple who is financially stable.

I was discouraged from marrying the father, for surely marriages that start out that way don’t last. I believed all the myths and lies about adoption that still saturate our society today.

For years I lived under this spell. I lived believing all the subtle and not so subtle messages that had been planted in my mind. I ‘believed’ it all to be true and right, but it was as far from the truth as the north is from the south.

Then one day on my journey the adoption rug started lifting in the wind, until it finally blew away completely.

It left me to face everything that I had swept under it.
It suddenly was all out in the open and exposed.

I can’t describe to you, Pastor how I felt when I realized the truth about my adoption experience. ** losing my son was UNNecessary. Right or Wrong had nothing to do with it. It was unnecessary to separate the family unit.
** adoption is not a ‘ministry’ to frightened pregnant women, it is an industry. It is a multibillion dollar tax free profit unregulated industry that put all their money into honing their skills how to coerce a woman into giving them her baby.
** adoption is a very unchristian principal. It is giving to one person at the expense of another person. Religious people constantly distort scripture to support adoption, while at the same time shun the frightened pregnant women who need love and support. They just want the baby, not the baggage of the woman who carries it.
** This is the hardest one for me to face.
Did you know that not all adoptees are happy being adopted? Did you know that many, the majority feel like they were abandoned by their natural parent(s)? Although they may ‘know’ in their head that is not the case, it is how they feel in their secret and hidden heart of hearts.

So, let me share with you Pastor, when I reflect, this is what I see.
I am left holding trinkets, and losing my son to adoption was NOT worth it.
Not one single day has been worth it.

What I have left holding in my hand are worthless pieces of junk. Who cares about my job, my house, my car, my neighborhood – none of those things numb the pain of grieving and longing for my son.

I live with a seeping wound in my heart that will never heal.
Although I have many things I am thankful for, adoption brings a sadness I can never escape and a sorrow that shadows my life. Somewhere out there is a teenage boy who, in the quiet of the night asks himself what is wrong with him? what makes him so unlovable that his natural mother could just give him away? That she could just walk away without him?

No, Pastor – it has not been worth it and it will never be worth it.
And Pastor, unlike what the adoption agencies will tell you,
 I am not the minority in my regret, in my grieving, in my pain.
That is what they would have you believe.

Over the past 6 years as I hear more and more stories from other firstmoms. Out of the hundreds of women I’ve ‘met’, I can count on only one hand the number of women who do not regret her decision.

And yet the adoption professionals still paint this picture of how "worth it" adoption is to the firstmom.

We do not go on with our lives as they [adoption professionals] want you to believe, and we never get over it, like they say.

Have you seen the movie, Juno? That movie is stunning bold message clearly touting the myths and lies. That movie is just more marketing from the adoption agenda.

Pastor, if you don’t mind,
I’d like to be the one to challenge you with a question this time.
Maybe this is the first time you’ve heard about the ‘ugly sides’ of adoption. Maybe until now you didn’t know an ‘ugly side’ even existed.
Well, now that you’ve heard,
What are you going to do with your own belief about adoption?
Are you going to continue believing what has been marketed to our society, and grotesquely promoted by religious people as a win/win situation?
Or are you going to dig a little deeper,
research beyond the surface so that you can stand on the side of the unborn child who already loves the mother that is carrying him/her?

Stand, by not promoting a choice that years later will be worthless trinkets,
 a choice that was... Not Worth It?

1 comment:

  1. "Somewhere out there is a teenage boy who, in the quiet of the night asks himself what is wrong with him? what makes him so unlovable that his natural mother could just give him away? That she could just walk away without him?"

    I was a girl out there wondering why I was born feeling guilty, why I felt always defensive, why I did not fit in anywhere. I never had the why question; somehow I just knew that my birth mother was a scared 16 year-old girl who did for me what she could, even though I had been told nothing.

    I loved my adoptive mother with an unconditional love that I am not sure was reciprocal. She was a beautiful person but I was not what her biological daughter might have been. My father was missing a chip, or perhaps had a bad chip - that aggression men sometimes have toward children that are not theirs, that well-meaning women can often have. I think adoptive parents can sometimes be like step-parents, frustrated at raising children that they did not conceive and whom they cannot fathom.

    But I tell my birth mother that I believe in fate and am happy that I am this me and that I think the me that I am is so uniquely me for having had to find my own way and for having that fierce independence that happens when one spends their first 3 or 4 months in a bin and thus don't make attachments easily.

    I tell her that it is enough that we have met now and that she was spared my wild child years. And that perhaps I'd not be this me - that risk-taker that has lived a crazy and alternative life and chased down so many wild dreams - if I had had that solid base and the feeling that I could depend on others.

    I am somewhat damaged from my childhood and somewhat stronger, braver, more daring, for it. I tell her the good parts of this but barely brush up against the bad, not only because I don't want her to feel guilt but also because I believe it. I am now learning what unconditional familial love is, a thing that was previously just a phrase, a concept.

    Adoption is like a parking lot without lines in a foreign country. I am only now finding peers and discovering how others have been affected by it, on both sides, for having done this search and for finding other people’s stories. Your words are so insightful and so deeply precious. I thank you.