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, September 18, 2012

When stuff isn't "just stuff"

This weekend there was a fire in our area.
Headlines read,

Couple's home destroyed by fire

By the time the fire departments arrived, the house was completely engulfed in flames.  “It appears the home is a total loss. The couple who lived there got out safely.”

 It made me think of a conversation from a few years ago. A group of us went out for lunch and were sitting around the tables catching up. One woman was describing some of her struggles since their house caught on fire earlier in the year. It was traumatic even though everyone got out safely.

  I mostly listened as she shared different aspects of her experience. Their house was damaged, but not completely destroyed. She summarized by saying that she is thankful no one was hurt or killed, and that is the most important thing, “everything else is just stuff and can be replaced.”

 “But what about pictures?” I interjected.

 Her response was that pictures are only mementos from events. She still has the memories of the events and the time shared with people.

 Oh, right.  That is what pictures are to most people – they are mere reminders of the experience – a snapshot of the time when …..

 But at the time that wasn’t the case with me. I have completely missed all the events, moments, and celebrations with my son – all those things that actually make the memory didn’t happen. 


 Since holding him for the last time at three days old, there were no more memories, no experiences, and no moments that we shared together. 


 The ONLY thing I had left of my son was the pictures.


 So, to me those pictures of him were
. . . .priceless,
              . . . .precious,
                                   . . . .irreplaceable!

 His adoptive parents have not always sent pictures, and even now they don't send pictures as they agreed to.  But when they did send pictures, I copied them, scanned them, even saved them to a CD and put it in our fireproof safe.

 Pictures of him were not “just stuff”– they were my sanity.

Pictures of him
were not
“just stuff”
they were
my sanity

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kerria japonica's lil yellow pompom flowers

As I sit on the deck and look out over my flower beds, my heart twinges.

Kerria japonica is a few paces directly in front of me here at the top of the hill. It is central, so I can see it with almost any view of the flower beds.

The Kerria produces the cute little yellow multi-petal pompom flowers that I can’t help but love.

In fact this picture on my blog is one of the Kerria I took a few years ago.

Kerria May was what we were going to name our little girl. You guessed it, her first name was inspired by this lovely, cheery, yellow flowering plant.

The Kerria blooms in the spring. In fact the past few Aprils the blossoms were opening at the time we should have been celebrating Our Little Flower Bud’s birthday. The flowers are beautiful in their own right, but they held such a special meaning to me. It actually brought a bit of comfort, not sadness, when I would see the little pompoms seemigly float in the wind. 

This week, three years ago, is when Our Little Flower Bud bypassed her journey in this world and skipped right on to the next.

the Kerria is dying. 
There are no leaves, no longer vibtrant life.
There will be no more of the cute little yellow pompom flowers.

When I see it, my heart twinges.  What else can I say?

will be

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Considering adoption for your baby?

I have one word for you to ponder –

Our society has become tainted by a pro-adoption point of view.  Every day events are colored by it since we were young, and we have assumptions about adoption that are pro-adoption biased.  It is this bias that concerns me for you, for your baby, for your family.

We see messages about adoption from the pro-life groups that claim that adoption saves babies from abortion.  But if you are more three months pregnant, abortion is not really an option for you at this stage anyway, so that false argument doesn’t apply.

We see in the news every few days another celebrity adopts.  The reports herald them as ‘heroes’ when they are actually fulfilling their own need.  Those needs vary from reasons of being incapable of getting pregnant or unable to carry full term, or reason of not wanting to ‘ruin’ her body by carrying her ‘own’ child, or the proclamation that they are rescuing a child.  None of those reasons are “in the best interest of the child.” It really is about fulfilling the need of the adopting person(s).

We see Bethany Christian Services exploiting expectant mothers in shows like “16 and pregnant” and “I’m having their baby”.  The point of those shows is to show adoption as normal and a loving choice.  If you have the opportunity to watch the 16 show again, carefully watch the reactions of the couple that did choose adoption for their baby.  Try to play the devil’s advocate as you watch.  Watch the interaction with the adopting parents.  Again with the most recent show, the treatment of the mother who decided to keep her baby (not ‘their’ baby) – the adoption agency showed a different face toward her.

Bethany Christian Services is not the only agency/professional that had two faces.  Most of them do – actually it is the majority who has two faces.  For an expectant mother they are your best friend.  They do everything to woo you into believing they care about you, that they care about your baby.  But what they REALLY care about is you signing that paper that terminates your rights to your baby, and gives those rights to them. 

If you are in contact with an adoption professional, please step back for a few moments and re-evaluate that relationship.  It is so hard to know who to trust in this time of uncertainty and fear.  It’s like winning the lottery; all of a sudden it is hard to know who your REAL FRIENDS really are.  People show up and pretend to be a great friend, but they have an ulterior motive called money. 

It is a gross conflict of interest that adoption professionals are even allowed to “counsel” expectant mothers because adoption professionals depend upon you giving up that baby so they can sell it and make profit.  Yes, even those that are supposedly “non profit”.
The marketing pro-adoption message is EVERYWHERE! 

There is one other place that you will hear only the praises of adoption, and it saddens me to say this, but church is a dangerous place for you.  It is not church itself, or the truths of the Bible, it is the people who blindly promote adoption.  The history of current adoption practices in America goes way back to religious organizations forming maternity homes for those sinful girls who got pregnant outside of marriage and needed to hide their pregnancies so as to not ruin the family reputation, and give the woman a chance to redeem herself from her fallen state via adoption. 

Church is also the perfect place for couples who are unable to have children of their own to mask their motive with “God called us to adopt.”  Right, He ‘called’ you to adopt after every other attempt at having children has failed?   The Bible is actually contrary to adoption as we know it.  However, the Bible DOES call people to care for widows, and orphans.  I’m sorry, but their proclaimed calling is just the desperation of their own unfulfilled desire.

When I say pro-adoption, I am referring to all the messages we get in a day, week, month that show only one side to adoption.  It is on billboards, it is on the radio, it is on tv, it is in the movies (Juno, The Odd Life of Timothy Green), it is right here on your own screen while you surf the web. 

If you make a comment about adoption, or visit adoption related pages, all of a sudden you start seeing adoption advertisements showing up.  FB is just one of the many places those ads appear.  You’ll see advertisements with messages like, “Pregnant? Scared? We can help” or “Hi, We’re Tim and Tammy and we’re looking for a baby to adopt.” 

The problem is that this one-sided point of view of adoption has so saturated our society that your friends and family may be encouraging you to give up your baby too.  They do not have an ulterior motive to make money, they genuinely care about you.  However, where have they gotten their information about adoption?  Movies?  TV?  Their hair-dresser’s cousin’s wife’s sister adopted, and the adoptee is happily adjusted?  If they have not done their own research and digging on ALL the effects of adoption (on Both the Mother and the Child), then they giving you biased support.

It is up to YOU to break free from the bias. 

It is up to YOU to empower yourself and find out not only the motives behind the people encouraging your to give away your child, but also find out what research they’ve done to give you BALANCED information.  It is ok to listen, but then follow up with a question, “where did you get that information?”

Here is one excellent source for you to start with.

It is a link to a pamphlet written by CUB (Concerned United Birthparents) and it is titled “What you Should Know if You’re ConsideringAdoption for Your Baby.”

One extra little word of caution for you regarding advice/support/encouragement from other mothers who have given up a child for adoption,  if she is relative new in her own journey, be wary of what she has to say.  Many cope with the loss of their child with unhealthy methods (such as denial), which is actually how the adoption professionals coach them.  It would behoove you to seek out mothers who have lived the adoption journey for 10 years or more.  Seek out those whose child is 18 and older, to get a glimpse of reunion with their child later in life. 

And please don’t believe most of what the adoption professionals will tell you about “open adoption” – it’s hard on both mother and child.  The damage/difficulty doesn’t outweigh the ‘benefits’ of adoption.
As I sat out on the porch this morning, I felt compelled to write this post.

I hope it helps one woman break free from the pro-adoption message that surrounds us all, and searches for the truer side of adoption that isn’t in the media.

Your Baby