Akin to law enforcement’s unbroken “chain of custody,” we humans have an innate desire to know our history. ALL of our history, including, as one writer points out, any time between one’s birth parents and one’s adoptive parents.
Amanda had a mother in between her two moms. In her Letter to My Foster Mother, Amanda says:
Dear Foster Mother: Having my adoption documentation and being able to talk to my two other mothers has enabled me to form a complete picture, not reliant on an institution in the middle, of what the first chapter of my life really was.
But it’s not a complete picture; not really. You’re missing. The first four-and-a-half-months of my life are missing.
When was my first smile? When was my first laugh?
An incredible post well worth the click-over.
It’s not surprising that during the month in which Mother’s Day falls, a second letter to a mother caught my eye.
Terri writes (in a letter written in February but on my radar just recently) A Letter to the Mother I’ve Never Known. In it we are privy to the feelings behind an adoption search and hopeful reunion:
I hope you don’t mind that I’ve been looking for you, wishing and hoping I might answer the questions, finish the puzzle, gain some understanding. The kind women who are helping with my search assure me you would want to be found, that birth mothers often don’t search themselves because they were told they had no right to, or because they fear rejection.
I fervently hope they are right. My letter isn’t intend to hurt you, invade your privacy or stir up trouble. I just desperately want to introduce myself, get to know you.
As Terri reaches back in time to her birth mother, she includes photos of her growing up years. May Patricia Clark find that post.
My kids want to see a certain summer blockbuster. I’m glad I read Avengers: Why is Making Fun of Adoption Still A-OK? first. Triona, an adult adoptee, asks about a line in which Loki’s badness is explained thusly: “He’s adopted.”
Why is this joke acceptable? Why did the audience laugh? Why didn’t they rise up in HULK SMASH anger like I wanted to and scream, “Hey! That’s not funny!”
The line, reportedly the funniest in the whole movie, disturbs me, too. And makes me wonder what are adoptive parents to do — take their kids, not take their kids, talk about the offense beforehand, talk about it afterwards? And say what? Maximize it? Minimize it? Write to the movie studio?
Read Triona’s thoughts about this textbook example of bad blood. Your thoughts?
What if, in order to meet someone who was related to you and important to you, you had to go through a disinterested third party. In Why I Oppose Confidential Intermediaries, Susan enumerates reasons why using an intermediary to make contact within a closed adoption is not only wrong but also ineffective.
My history and my identity belong to me, and these things should never have been taken from me in the first place. As an adult, I very much disliked placing my personal affairs into the hands of an unknown party whose competence I had no way of judging.
It is unfair and unethical for two parties to sign a lifelong, binding contract over a third party who had no say in the matter.
Susan offers six other reasons why the intermediary system is dysfunctional, discriminatory and suspect.
The bad news? The Intermediary was not successful in setting up a meeting with Susan’s birth mother. The good news? Susan was. Of course! She has a vested interest in making it work. An intermediary doesn’t. A fascinating perspective.
KatjaMichelle had a tweet co-opted by an adoption agency, which used her words for its own purposes, not passing along the deeper, richer texture. She fills you in at The Importance of Context.
I know that twitter isn’t Vegas.
Be on the lookout for what you consider Very Important Posts during the month of June — I’d love to know your nominations for the next edition of VIPs.