Monday, October 27, 2008

EXPECTATION OF GRATITUDE

I am not a real grateful person. At least not in the adoption sense. I am happy to be alive. I am happy to have the blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon. Grateful, I am not real good at. Why? Because it has been shoved down my throat a little too much in the recent years. Between the "you should be grateful that your mother didn't abort or dump you" commentary and "your adoptive parents are ashamed of you", I have lost what remains of gratitude.

Since I did not first read the original article that this adoptive mother is responding to, this letter reeks of the "should have been grateful that someone took you in." It also reeks of the typical foster parent attitude towards adoption. If this girl was adopted as an infant, infant adoption is not the same as foster care adoption. That is the first difference.

Second, I feel the author of this letter is being very petty and entitled. Both of the mothers in this story are mothers. I want to point out that this woman also would not have not been a parent without the other mother having relinquishing her rights as mother. Before you denigrate the first mother, you would do well to remember this. No matter how you got to be a mother, your child first had to face this loss. That loss must be revered and remembered. That is the first step in having a good relationship with your adopted child.

Here is the letter to the editor:

I’m writing in regard to the (likely unwittingly) hurtful and negative way you portrayed adoptive parents in the article “One woman’s search for truth.”
While I am sorry for Denise Lutz’s problems with her adoptive mother and lack of truthfulness in her family search, it is wrong of you to write that any thing other than a birth mother isn’t “real.” In the first paragraph, you state that her adoptive mother “wasn’t really her mother,” and then three times later write “real mother” instead of “birth mother.”
Moreover, you remark of their never bonding being a clue to the fact she was adopted. Well, I guess it doesn’t matter how much diapering, feeding, bathing, reading, playing, snuggling, sacrificing and overall unconditional love is given, as in the final analysis, adoptive parents are “pseudo” ones who masquerade as the real thing. This is also hurtful to the incredibly strong and selfless women who make the hardest decision of their lives in giving their baby up for adoption, and especially adoptive children who surely feel their parents are “real.”
Having taught in Fall River’s schools for many years, I witnessed the consequences of massive societal breakdown and the utter failure of family courts to protect children who languish in the foster care system, victims of a failed ideology of family reunification to the utmost end. Countless children would escape the tragedy that often comes from being with their “real mothers,” if they instead were placed in loving adoptive homes that would provide the nurturing and stable environment children need and were able to be adopted before significant damage is done.
Until then, Fall River and countless communities like it, never will experience significant change for the better until the root causes of our ills are ameliorated by helping children to grow up in healthy, loving homes, ones that will help them far, far more than any government program ever could.

Pam Palumbo
Westport

2 comments:

Angela said...

I adopted my darling daughter when she was 3.5 years of age. That was 8 years old.

I used to be hypersensitive to the vocabulary; real mother, first mother, etc.. Mainly because vocabulary can show bias.

I don't know if you see/feel it... but many adoptive parents get told in different ways that "adoption is second best". They get told they are "second best". They are a failure for not getting pregnant and carrying a baby to term.

Heck I had one former friend tell me... to my face that I wouldn't be a real mother to my daughter. She said that I didn't have a blood connection and I couldn't love the child like a bio-child.

While I was in Ukraine... during my adoption trip. I had a government official (this person controlled my adoption paperwork and the process) looked at my body. Then she looked me in the eyes and said, "You could get married and have babies. You should have babies."

I almost had a heart attack on the spot because I thought she was going to deny the adoption. And I didn't appreciate being looked like a piece of meat. This government official thought I was attractive enough to go catch a man and have children of my own... and that was better then adopting a child.

So you see entitlement in the adoptive parent's letter. I wonder what her back story is... Who told her that she wasn't good enough parent?

I know that entitlement exists. I am not denying it.

mommaL3 said...

Seldom have I heard adoptive parents talk of all they got from being allowed to parent another Womans child so maybe someone should have warned them how awful it would be? For someothing so awful there sure seems to be a lot waiting in line for the next avaliable infant.
If I had been allowed to I would have loved to have changed each diaper and stayed awake rocking my sick baby and begged God to make me sick instead of my precious baby. I would have loved each moment my daughter would have given me.
So tell me who got the title Mommy and daddy?Who heard the first word including all the I love yous? Who saw the first steps?
Who had the enjoyment being mommy and daddy for all the holidays?
Who saw the excitment of the first boy/girlfriend? And let's not forget the parties.There is a lot more but I am starting to feel sad so I will stop.
How about instead of guilting the adoptee ,they need to be thanked ,because without them the adoptive parents would have never had the joy of being loved by a child.
At reunion I don't take for granted how honored I feel that my daughter has enough love to include me in her life.For that I am grateful.And that to me is what makes a "real mommy"