11 December 2011

An Open Letter from an adopted adult

Recently I read a couple of blog posts which shared the following letter from an adult adoptee to Adoptive Parents, PAPs etc. I have since discovered the author and have been given permission to share the letter here and so I will link to one of the blog posts who have shared it.

Before I do, may I suggest in reading it through please do so with an open mind. This letter is not an attack on you if you have adopted nor is it telling you how to feel. Rather it is a perspective all to commonly ignored and dismissed in adoption and given adoption is SUPPOSED to be about those being adopted, one would think their views would be given the greatest weight, even and especially when they highlight what is wrong with the system. I have the greatest respect for my adult adoptee friends who, despite knowing the backlash they will and do encounter, brave this to put out the truth of adoption and what their experience was and is like.

All too often I see in blog land and indeed on my own blog that unless any of us bow to the 'popular' view of holding adoption up as being fantastic, saving children etc then not only are we ridiculed and put down, we are outright attacked.

So again, please read this letter with an open mind and respect, compassion and empathy towards another human being who may not see adoption as you do.

The Letter (via a blog author who DID NOT write the letter)

30 November 2011

Musings

Life is still good. In fact, I doubt it was not life that was ever not good - it was what happened in life that was plain out bad.

I am happy... and yet there will always be a piece of me that stares out the window, wondering what she is doing today. Wondering what is happening with her at school, in her life. Has she been to the latest Twilight flick? What did she think of the final Harry Potter movie? What is she reading now?

Every day, I still check my emails, hoping just a little there might be something from her. Of course there isn't.

I miss her a lot but I don't miss the visits. They were never about her and I connecting. They were all about her adopters ensuring we didn't. For now maybe they won but really, I couldn't live with myself if I ever inflicted that much pain on another person and I could have prevented it. I couldn't.

As Christmas draws close, she is on my mind a lot. With her sister talking about her so much, she will never be forgotten in our house.

The Christmas Tree is up, the decorations are on display. And despite the glorious sunshine, the warmth and comfort in the rays of Happiness, I feel a familiar chill in the air. I shudder. It is something I can never escape. The missing. That hole I can never fill no matter what I do.

01 September 2011

New Zealand Adoption News

Recently I discovered New Zealand's ancient Adoption Act 1955 has been amended.

Before the amendment (and indeed post amendment) our archaic and barbaric act is/was a jumble of nonsense and has been unchanged from the days of old where the government and hospitals then later lawyers and judges took matters into their own hands and forced adoptions; in some cases outright stealing newborns from their mothers. Coercion and duress are just a part of the furniture - well practised and well denied; swept under the proverbial carpet.

However in August 2011, an amendment was made to the Act that SHOULD change this cruel practise (although I am not holding my breath).

This amendment made to the act seeks to supposedly protect women from being coerced and forced to sign an adoption consent by making this practise criminal. In fact, anyone caught doing this can face up to seven years imprisonment. For the actual wording please see below:

"The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:
1 Title
This Act is the Adoption Amendment Act 2011.

2 Commencement
This Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

3 Principal Act amended
This Act amends the Adoption Act 1955.

4 Purpose of this Act
The purpose of this Act is to enable New Zealand to meet its international obligations under Article 3(1)(a)(ii) of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography by creating a new offence prohibiting the improper inducement of a consent for the adoption of a child.

5 Offences
(1) The heading to section 27 is amended by omitting "“Offences”" and substituting "“Summary offences”".
(2) Section 27(3) is repealed.

6 New sections 27A to 27D inserted
The following sections are inserted after section 27:
“27A Offence to induce consent
“(1) Every person commits an offence who induces another person, by fraud, duress, undue influence (by payment or otherwise), or other improper means, to consent to an adoption.
“(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years.
“27B Safety of child where offence committed

“(1) Where a Court is satisfied that an offence against section 27 or 27A has been committed in respect of any child, the Court may order the child to be removed to a place of safety until—
“(a) the child can be restored to his or her parent or guardian; or
“(b) other arrangements can be made for the child.
“(2) Subsection (1) applies whether or not any person has been convicted of the offence."

So, looks like some great stuff right? Bring out the champagne and all that? Sadly I would say hold on those celebrations for now. Because duress, coercion and fraud are ALREADY criminal acts and stating it in the Act will hardly change a thing. Why do I say this? Because I had PROOF of my coerced and wrongly obtained consent and yet we still decided against this line of action for the court battle as it is vitually impossible to get this recognised by the courts even with evidence. Why? Because at the end of the day it is up to the judge and many (not all) of the family court judges in New Zealand are from a cruel era where mother and child were routinely separated and mother was thrown to the gutter and her baby forgotten. Thankfully the so called 'judge' at my last hearing, is dead. I was not the only victim to this 'man's' cruel actions. The 'man' couldn't even look at me in the hearing or my father, coward.

So yes, while it appears to be all great news, my faith in the New Zealand adoption process is nil. Why? Because only this year a friend of mine was driven to suicide as a result of the anguish adoption caused in her when her child was stolen from her only 5 years ago. And she is not the only one. This amendment only contradicts the Consent withdrawl section of the act which states clearly there is no revocation period so if a mother was to sign a consent under duress and once the duress was over, she would still have little chance of getting her child back, regardless of what the amendment states.

After thinking this over, my view on this is a waste of space and time. New Zealand, get rid of your rotting adoption system which only serves the adopters who get their booty. You don't offer protection to your mothers and children and you fail the UN Declaration of Human Rights including the rights of the Child. If you want to serve Human Rights, you would scrap this worthless and cruel act and replace it with a system that serves the CHILDREN in NEED and NOT the self serving adults who want to 'build' a 'family' with the children of other families. If you chose to continue this barbaric piece of legislation then you show yourself to be a liar.

18 April 2011

Taking back my Power.... round 2

A couple of years ago I wrote a post titled "Taking back my Power" and when I came to blog tonight, I decided that is again exactly what I have done in a completely different way.

In our lives, we all have fears... heights, spiders, dirt, speech-making etc (and most of these I have as well!!) but one of my BIGGEST fears in the last 13 years, is standing tall and putting my foot down when it comes to my girl. Fear because I know in standing up and putting that foot down I know so well it could cost me so much and the pain that cost causes has me fearing in a totally paralysing way.

So today, I faced that fear.

As I posted a few weeks ago, I had a visit approaching. That visit was supposed to be today however was cancelled yesterday on account of my daughter having an illness. Yes, part of me has wondered how true that was but I do think she was sick. And the thought of that was enough to anger me yesterday because hearing that she is sick (nothing serious) and knowing she has probably been sick many times in the past 13 odd years and I have not been present for those years rubs in just some of what it is that has been lost. However I digress.

After reading a few blogs this weekend, two by other mothers and one from an adoptive mother I love and respect (yes, shock horror, I DID say that!) and an email from another mum friend, I came to the conclusion it was time to speak my mind about the visits we were having. When I received the text about my daughter, her adoptive 'father' suggested I email next week to reorganise another visit. I decided now was my time to take back some of the power I had lost all those years ago and let them know it was time for us to get to know Amber without them; i.e. have visits without them.

I am under no illusion they will allow this. In fact I know they probably won't given the way they have dictated the way the visits will work until now but I am no longer comfortable with keeping my mouth closed and ignoring the proverbial white elephant in the middle of the room.

I will include the text of the email below. Before anyone decides to comment however, I would suggest if you don't know my story or my situation you refrain if you cannot add anything positive or helpful. I share so those I have gotten to know and love can know what is going on, not to be told what to do or how to do it. The email is sent now so there is nothing that can be done about it even if you did want to persuade me not to.

Email:

Hi X,

Thanks for getting back to me about Amber’s illness. I hope she feels better soon and can enjoy the rest of the school holidays.

I was thinking maybe the 1st of May for the reschedule if Easter weekend is out. Or even the couple of days after the weekend like Monday or Tuesday as they are public holidays? Just my thoughts anyway.

I guess I should be honest with you about where I am at with visits. Personally I feel it is time Amber was able to come to us on her own. I understand why you don’t want her to however I would never do anything to hurt her or upset her so I don’t think your fears are necessary. She is now 13 years old; at that age I was looking after people’s children on my own in a different country and was a lot more independent than Amber is. I am not comfortable in our current arrangement and cannot relate to her with you and xxx there given our history.

I have played ‘the game’ for almost ten years now but honestly, what happened to take Amber from me will never go away or be forgiven. It can’t be; its just too big. What happened to me in losing Amber almost destroyed me and has robbed me of a lot of living. Adoption is not a beautiful thing; it destroys families and I am not the only one who says this.

Despite this and how I feel, I have done my best. My intention with wanting visits with just her is to get to know her. Nothing sinister. Currently I feel she doesn’t open up because she feels the tension. If she had the chance just to be without worrying where everyone is at, then I think we would all be much more comfortable. I get what I have told you will not be welcome, however I need to be honest. You are not the only considerations in this; it affects all my children; all three of them and my parents.

I know I risk losing all chance to see her after this. I am fine with that because I am no longer a willing participant in playing happy families and if that is the price of honesty, then that is the price I pay. I want to get to know my daughter for who she is without all the pressure and I don’t ask all that much really. I am not holding my breath however but leaving it with you.

Cheers,

(Myst)


In sending this email, it represents so much to me about how far I have come. I realised today I have been allowing them to continue holding all the cards in the last few years by dictating how often and the terms of these visits. Every visit has involved a lengthy preparation time; a steeling of seeing my daughter's adopters and pretending as if everything is okay. My daughter and I barely talk and we have a fairly miserable time. I have asked her if she likes the visits and she has assured me she does and yet they are so painful and as we have no real time together I feel they are a waste of time. I feel if she didn't have to worry about them standing over her, she could relax a little and we could just get to know each other. It isn't like she is a little girl anymore. I can understand why they had to be there when she was younger but not after 9 odd years of visits. It is hardly as if we are going to take her and run!

Anyway, I know not what this will bring me and I am not sure I care all that much. Of course if they cut off all contact and visits with me I will be upset but then it isn't something I haven't experienced from them before. However this time I have the evidence to support me for the day she wants to know why and also they would have to explain to her why they are no longer allowing visits to continue.

All I know is I have been honest and true to myself and all my children. I mentioned in a previous post last year I want to be authentic and finally I feel I have been in terms of these visits.

So tonight, for the first time in many, many years, I go to bed a free woman. Free from the chains of an open adoption which has never really been all that open. Free from the games they have forced us to play. Free from them using my girl against me and holding her over me. I am her mother, she is my daughter and I will not allow my family to be used like this anymore. I have told her I love her and I will always be there for her. There is no more I can do as it is out of my hands due to adoption.

I. am. Free.

07 March 2011

Adoption Sucks

Really, it does. Sucks life, joy, energy and love from this world. Really if anyone thought it was anything but destructive then they would be living in a lovely shallow world which denies emotion and the damage to one's soul. Gee, must be swell living in denial.

So yeah, adoption sucks and that is all I have to say about that.

15 February 2011

It still hurts...

My blog has been fairly infrequent of late. There is so much swimming around in my head; posts I have written in my mind already, topics I want to nut out and yet when I come to sit at my keyboard, I just stare at the screen and my mind empties of what I had to say.

Even now, all my ideas have gone.

Only one thing remains. And that is the all consuming knowledge that in just two days time, I will be the mother of a teenager.

My precious, tiny, baby girl will be a teenager.

Never did I think I would make it to now. Indeed, it is a miracle I made it through the first 3 months after my daughter was pried from my fingers and I was left as nothing on the floor of someone's kitchen.

When the light had been taken from my world, I stumbled second to second, minute to minute. Over time, I still stumbled, tripping my way through each hour, the screaming still in my head; the mess of my bleeding heart trailing behind me.

Hours turned to days and then slowly, very slowly, those days turned to weeks, then months and years. I managed to stop the flow of blood and patch myself up. I found a mask that worked and started living again.

But under my mask, under the facade facing the rest of the world, I hold my heart together. Every now and again, on certain days or at certain times the bleeding starts anew. Fresh, dark, life blood which I desperately try to stem.

Her birthday is one of those days.

I have heard and I have been told many adopted children and adults hate their birthdays. I often wonder how A\ feels about hers. If she realises that across the city there is a house with a candle burning for her from morning to night's end. That there is a family singing Happy Birthday to a photo of her, a sister who blows out her candles that she should be blowing out. And how they all sit in silence while they eat a cake she should be there to eat. I wonder if she realises there is a woman sitting in that house silently screaming, missing her, aching to hold her, to just see her on this day of all days. That her Mother is wrapping her empty arms around herself instead of her.

I wonder if she thinks of her actual birth day. Her birth day all those years ago was not without its own pain. A sick little girl, I was told they would know by the end of the day whether or not she would make it. She did but to face her loss even then was harrowing and because of this impending loss, I was unable to hold her until the next day. I touched her though and I can still smell that NICU room, see it as it was all those years ago.

Thirteen years. They have been the hardest years of my life. They would have been the worst however getting married and having two more precious children have enriched my life in ways I could never imagine. They help me through these days and I am sure my Noodle girl will again be my little champion on Thursday with her compassionate spirit. She just knows, I don't even have to tell her.

I wish though, on Thursday, there was a different scenario to the one playing out. I wish we could all be together as a family. My greatest wish is what so many people take for granted or as evidenced in the adoption world, feel entitled to.

But really it shouldn't be a wish. It should be my reality. But it isn't and never will be. This birthday marks another year lost, another birthday lost. No matter how positive one tries to be about this situation or chooses to see it, loss remains. So while her adopters celebrate their gain on my daughter's birthday, I will be mourning her loss. A hurt that will never go away because it has cut too deep and has fractured me to my core.

19 January 2011

A Rose Taken

As many of you are aware, my friend Kristy also known as nzrose and Rose Taken passed away last Sunday. In her memory and the memory of those who have died directly due to the results of adoption, I have set up a memorial page on Facebook.

Please be aware it is a Memorial page and is there for those who are grieving as a result of their loss. I understand this is a very touchy topic and I am aware many feel suicide is selfish or a cowardly way out. I feel this is because those who feel this do not understand what it is like to be at the point of wanting the pain to end so much that there is a drive to end your own life. I get this pain having been there myself for a long time after I lost Amber. Thankfully I beat that curse but some do not and they need to be remembered for the people they were and not what they did.

A Rose Taken

If you have known someone who has passed away as a result of adoption trauma, please become a fan and add their name to the list in the Discussions under "In Memory of..." I hope we can give our friends, family members and loved ones a page where they can be remembered without stigma attached.

For you Kristy, wherever you are xxx

Just editing to add I have noticed an increase of people searching for her blog so I am placing the link for it here

18 January 2011

Missing...

I think this songs pretty much sums it up. Too much, so close. This monster knows how to twist the handle of the blade embedded in my heart and I can't handle this pain. My arms have been cut free for 6 or 7 years... and now I can no longer resist the urge to see the blood, to feel pain; real pain. Its all too much. Too much destruction and those out there who want to keep this monster going... you are no better than murderers, cheaters, CRIMINALS. Anyone who wants/desires to partake in this world of adoption that KILLS mothers and their children - you are scum.

Adoption is wrong. Anyone who cannot see through all the lies is blind by choice and your choices are hurting others. Its the same as supporting a rapist you know is going to rape again. Shame on you.

Missing
by Evanescence

Please, please forgive me,
But I won't be home again.
Maybe someday you'll look up,
And, barely conscious, you'll say to no one:
"Isn't something missing?"

You won't cry for my absence, I know -
You forgot me long ago.
Am I that unimportant...?
Am I so insignificant...?
Isn't something missing?
Isn't someone missing me?

Even though I'm the sacrifice,
You won't try for me, not now.
Though I'd die to know you love me,
I'm all alone.
Isn't someone missing me?

Please, please forgive me,
But I won't be home again.
I know what you do to yourself,
I breathe deep and cry out,
"Isn't something missing?
Isn't someone missing me?"

And if I bleed, I'll bleed,
Knowing you don't care.
And if I sleep just to dream of you
I'll wake without you there,
Isn't something missing?
Isn't something...

11 January 2011

And the Monster strikes again...

I really do not know how best to start this post. Perhaps there is no eloquent way to say this so I am just going to get it out.

Yesterday, a friend of mine passed away. At her own hand. We met several years ago and then for a time lost contact and then rediscovered each other only last year. She has been broken ever since she lost her daughter and then, with the passing of her brother only a couple of years later in the same way.

I understand why she did this; oh do I understand that dark, dark place all to well. I just wish with everything in me it didn't end this way. That somehow there had been a light for her in that darkness and eventually she could have come out of it.

To my beautiful friend, who I call my Kiwi Rose,

Rest in Peace beautiful. I am so sorry you were broken like this; that there was no other way you could see through this hell. I am sorry we never got the chance to meet up like we were hoping or do most of the things we had planned. I will miss you; both here in blog land and out in real life.

My heart aches for you, for your daughters and although I know you were not fond of your mum after what happened, my heart aches for your whole family too.

Farewell and may you find that elusive peace you have been after for so long.

With much love always,
Myst xxx