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.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Whenever I hear the word, "Freedom"

For the past few months, whenever I hear the word, “Freedom,” I have a vivid mental picture that plays out in my head.

The backdrop is that of a prison dug into the base of a mountain.
It had been there for so long, that the vines and brush had grown over and around it. It was naturally camouflaged and blended in with the mountain as if it had always been there and was just part of the scenery. It was obscure and barely noticeable.

The hidden door was thick and seeming impenetrable.
On the other side of the door, it was cold. There were no windows or any openings to the outside that allowed the sunshine to spill in. It was beyond the reach of the sun, and the warmth of the sun’s rays could not be felt here.

A cold stone staircase spiraled downward.
It ended in a maze of hallways and dead-ends. This was a dark place of sadness, gloom, depression, and hopelessness. A strong smell of earth and musk hung in the air. When looking closely, it appears that the prison was crudely dug. Further investigating reveals that this prison is not fortified. There were no guards, there were no cells with iron bars, and there was no warden.

It was peculiar to notice the mirrors scattered throughout.
Some were hanging on the prison walls, others sat on a bench or table just within arms reach. All of the mirrors had broken jagged edges. Some had stains of blood where it was held by what should have been a polished handle.

The most puzzling sight of this prison was
standing inside looking back at the door which would lead to the outside.
It was not locked from the outside, yet it was barricaded from the inside. There was furniture, rocks and all sort of objects stacked up against the door.

What I’ve described to you is the prison that I lived in for many years.
It is a prison that the adoption industry wants to keep society ignorant of. The adoption industry does not want original mothers to talk about how adoption has affected them. Instead the industry wants to continue marketing the beautiful ‘win/win’ picture of adoption to society.

Their goal is simple.
Sell as many babies as possible so they can continue making a profit. In order to obtain this simple goal, they will do ANYTHING to strip mommas of their babies, so those babies could be ‘sold’ aka ‘adopted.' Much of what the industry does is not technically illegal, but it is immoral and unethical. Adoption hurts mommas. Adoption hurts babies.

The prison that I found myself in is a common one,
as the adoption industry has spent a lot of money into researching “HOW TO CONVINCE WOMEN TO GIVE UP THEIR BABIES.”

Their primary tactic is extremely subtle, yet precisely effective.
It’s called eroding the momma’s self esteem. It is subtle, because they have created a very specialized vocabulary to cause the momma to have a negative view of her self and her ability, all the while using positive words to do so. Words like “loving,” “stable,” “best,” “deserving,” “selfless” and “right” are all positive words – I think we’d all agree on that.

But here is what the adoption industry does with those words, it draws a line.

The momma is on one side of the line,
and adoption is on the other side of the line.

When the adoption industry uses the positive words,
it does it only in the context of adoption. For example, the word “Loving” they only use it on the adoption side of that line. For instance, “you’re making a loving choice with adoption.” This leaves the antonym to fall on the momma’s side of the line. The antonym of “loving” would be “unloving.”

They tell her that with adoption,
her child could be raised by a “loving couple.” Again, the word “loving” falls on the adoption side of the line, and the message is that if the momma were to try parenting, she is “unloving.”

When the industry counsels the momma,
they talk about what is “best” for the child. And they talk about money (which the momma probably doesn’t have at that time), they talk about stable home (which the momma probably doesn’t have at that time), they talk about promises for a better future (which the momma probably doesn’t have at that time), they talk about everything that potential adopting parents could offer her child now, and all those things are “best”.

Hence the momma starts to think that what is “best”
is on the other side of the line - with adoption. Adoption is “selfless” because it is making a sacrifice, not only for her child to have the “best,” but also for a loving couple to have a child, when they cannot have a biological child of their own.

Since adoption is where “best” is,
that means that if she keeps and parents her baby, that would make her “selfish” because she would not be giving her baby the “best” he/she could have.

The terminology of deserving is where the digging of my prison began.
I was expecting a son. My son “deserved” a two parent home. My son “deserved” to be in a financial “stable” environment. My son “deserved” the promise of a bright future, like college. My son “deserved” to have love poured on him by a couple who could not have biological children of their own. Basically everything my son “deserved” was on the other side of that line.

On my side of the line,
he “deserved” someone better than me as a momma.

Therefore, adoption was the “right” thing to do.
And since adoption was the ‘right’ thing to do and was on the other side of the line, it implies and leaves me, as the momma, with the clear message that parenting my own son was “wrong.”

I didn’t want to do the wrong thing,
and I didn’t want to punish my child by parenting him when he deserved better, he deserved so much more.

So, do you see the subtle positive language
being used against a momma who is afraid and trusting people who seem to genuinely care and she thinks they are truly helping her? Yet those same people whom she is trusting, aren’t helping her with truth, they are using her and eroding her ability so they can get her to hand over her baby, which they will turn around and sell and make a tremendous profit.

There are many adoption myths that are still thriving in our society.
One I even read recently on an adoption agency website. “Adoption does not negatively affect the mother’s self-esteem. In fact it improves her self-esteem because she has made a loving choice. She was strong enough to make a sacrifice to give her child a better life.” This is a lie! It is an out and outright LIE!

Since I was still very pro-adoption those first 10 years after I lost my son,
the problem (depression, sadness, self hate) obviously was not adoption; therefore the problem obviously had to be me. I believed that I had done the ‘right’ thing. I believed that NO CHILD deserved me as a mother! I believed that as a woman I was defective to the very core because, honestly, what kind of woman gives her baby away?

The very fact that I gave my son away
proved to me how much of a wretch I was. It was a good thing adoption rescued him from me.

The mirrors with jagged edges in the prison,
was the broken self-image I had. I viewed myself as repulsive, pathetic, and defective. I viewed myself as a failure. I hated myself for what I had done. Does this sound like good self esteem to you?

I guarantee you that I am not alone in this struggle of self worth
after the adoption. For 12 years I lived at the bottom of that downward spiraling staircase. I wandered through the mazes and ran into countless dead ends. It was maddening and as time went on, it was increasingly painful and became harder and harder to live without the child that I felt I was not even allowed to call “my son.”

When describing this prison earlier, there was one detail that I left out.
On the barricaded door, there was a placard etched with one small word. It simply read “CHILD.”

I wouldn’t allow anyone near The “child” door in my heart.
NO ONE was allowed near it. NO ONE was allowed to touch that door! I would not even allow myself to go near that door! I was not about to open it, nor was I going to let anyone else open it either. That's why I had all kinds of stuff barricading access to it. All those things were the distractions I used if anyone tried to approach it.

Once I started coming out of the adoption fog,
and started finding out the TRUTHs of adoption – it hurt even more.

Not only was I ‘defective’ as a mother, I was duped!
What kind of fool lets someone talk them out of keeping her own child? What kind of momma gives her baby to complete strangers so they can sell that child to other strangers?

It was humiliating to realize I was used like a worthless puppet.
It was not until 2006, just a few months before my son’s 13th birthday that I started uncovering these hidden truths of adoption that the industry didn’t want me to see. I clearly saw their motive was not to help keep families intact, but to make money by creating ‘new families.’ Their creation of ‘new families’ thru adoption can only be done by separation of original families. Their motive was simply greed.

As I was learning,
I was also making connections with other moms who had lost a child to adoption. As we shared our stories, and our struggles, we also helped each other find some healing. Together we talked about the industry. I realized that my adoption loss was not because I was weak or foolish or stupid.

The reality was that I was overtaken by professional con-artists.
They make it their business to know how to convince a woman who is struggling with a personal crisis, to make it seem that they care and convince her that she can and should trust them.

Most of the women in the group had other children.
These moms gently encouraged me to look at that “child” door of my heart.

Why did I not have other children?
There was a two part answer. The first part was because I felt like having other children would be betraying him, ESPECIALLY since I ended up marrying his original dad. The women in my group helped me realize that such a way of thinking was putting a burden on him. Most adoptees do not want to think of feel like they ruined the life of their original parent(s). If he were think that my only reason to not have other children was because of him, it could cause him to feel like he did ruin my life. I did not want to put such an unfair burden on him.

Through the group I also learned
that most adoptees enjoy finding original siblings. That many of them (even if initially they are a bit jealous) like finding people that look like them, or have similar interests or traits, and siblings just make them feel like they do have a connection in this world.

Once I knew about these things
and started finding out the adoptees point of view, I soon came to realize that having other children would not be betraying him. He might even like having a brother or sister.

That small bit of freedom,
combined with the learning, growing, and sharing with these women gave me courage to look inside. To be brave enough to question if what I had believed about own self as a mother for the past 12 years was even valid? or was it the adoption marketed brainwashing? 

This leads me to the second part of my reason I didn’t have other children.
It was rather simple. If I did have other children, this would mean that I am not incapable of being a mother. This would mean the perception of myself and of my ability as a mom, was skewed, and all the reasons I ‘chose’ adoption were false.

Coming to one sober conclusion … I lost my son to adoption based on a lie. Losing him was unnecessary.

For weeks and months I quietly pondered things.
As I came to understand things without the adoption rose colored glasses, I started to see how chained and bound I was by the myths, by the lies, by the untruths. Once I started seeing things for what they really were, I was able to unravel some of the chains. I was able to push them from my arms and let them fall to the ground with loud clangs and clattering sounds.

One summer while working in one of my clients gardens,
I finally decided that I’d at least like to try. That is my biggest regret with adoption – that I didn’t at least TRY to keep him. I’m not getting any younger while the biological clock is ticking.

After two years of thinking, pondering, weighing it all,
that was our conclusion. We would “try.” If nothing happened, it was not meant to be. If we did have a baby, I would love him/her with everything I’ve got.

And so that is where the word “freedom” comes in.
When I hear the word “freedom,” I picture myself inside this prison. I push aside all the garbage I piled in front of the child door. I thought I was protecting myself from going ‘in’ the child room, without realizing that the child door was the door to life, to the outside world, to freedom from so many of the adoption shackles.

When I hear the word “freedom,”
I pictured myself pushing that door open and the sunlight washed over my face and chased away the darkness as it spilled inside. I pictured myself taking those first few tenuous steps outside. I closed my eyes and turned my face toward the sun and felt it’s warmth. I breathed in the fresh clean air. I heard the sounds of nature around me and I stood a little straighter. I took a few steps toward the clearing in front of me, and paused to look back at the prison that I was in for too many years of my life.
I turned away from the prison and resolutely walked away confident, steady, and strong.

Summer of 2009 and the all the tests confirmed I was pregnant.
When I hear the word “freedom,” I picture myself walking from the prison and into the clearing. After years of being a captive to the adoption lies, I was finally free.

I was halfway across the clearing from the past
into what I thought would be the joys of motherhood. Suddenly the wind was knocked out of me and I felt a sharp pain rip between my spine and shoulder blade. My arms flew into the air as the impact from behind propelled me forward. I could see the tip of the spearhead projecting through the front of my chest as my knees buckled and I felt myself falling in slow-motion to the ground.

So that’s the mental picture that plays out in my mind
when I hear the word, “Freedom” – It’s the irony of escaping from prison only to be run through with a spear just a short distance into my new journey.

The stinging reality of their words sinks in
as I lay there helplessly on the ground. The blades of grass jagged into the side of my face and every gasp for breath was a struggle. I wrap my fingers through the blades of grasses and flowers of the field as I clenched my fists tightly. I was grasping -- clinging -- dying as the words pounded in my ears… “can’t find the baby’s heartbeat...” Reality that my unborn baby has died takes over, and with that I lose consciousness.

Sooo... THIS is freedom ???


  1. I'm so sorry, what rotten luck and just when you thought all would be well.I know the pain of miscarriage too.As an adoptee I had no role model for biological birth,once I had sorted that out and with help from a good Acupuncturist was ok.I can really recommend acupuncture to help with this sort of difficulty, arising from the emotional scars we carry.
    So glad for you that you had/have support and have come into a different space.I so hope you can heal from this recent terrible experience and further loss.Life seems so cruel sometimes.
    The adoption industry is a wicked con for us all and the point you make about the use of words is so well put I would really to put your post on my adoption blog.Would that be ok for you?
    Very best wishes......

  2. Oh, Von, I'm sorry for your loss as well. I don't know where I'd be in this journey, or if I'd even still be alive if it wasn't from my on-line support (and a very few people IRL).

    please feel free to link or share on your own blog, that is ok w/ me

  3. ((((((Cheerio))))), what a fabulous, marvelous post!

    The way you described that prison ran chills up and down my spine... I know only too well of what you speak. I only wish that when you finally got out of that prison, there was no spear for you.

    Lots of love as always,
    Myst xxx

  4. Ah Cheerio. This was an amazing post, and like with Myst, reading it gave me chills.

    My heart breaks for you and all you have been through and I hope, if nothing else, your words reach others and help them in the way you have helped so many of us through the years.