25 September 2013

And so another child is fed to the monster known as Adoption...

Like so many others across the world, linked by our connection to adoption, I sit here bereft, empty and feeling broken.

Like so many in adoption land, I am stunned at the recent events in the case of Veronica Brown.  Although, deep down, I always expected this outcome, I hoped beyond hope that good would finally win; that justice would breathe life into an institution founded on lies, deceit and one that is devoid of ethics and morals.

But no.  It wasn't to be.  So as I was trying to brace myself against the emotions that always come up on an anniversary date, I learned Veronica was being taken from her Daddy and the rest of her family.

15 years ago yesterday, I received a phone call.  "We lost her" were the words I heard before I collapsed into a pile and the phone was passed to my father who had flown from Australia to be with me for that final fight.  15 years to the day.  The weather was almost identical.  And for me, it was my first anniversary of this particular date in the city where she was taken from me.  Double whammy.  But I was okay.  I was getting through the day, quietly, and just keeping my head above water.  Actually, I was a bit confused as I was mixing it up with today's anniversary - which was when we found out my Aunt had passed away - the day after I lost my daughter, again, 15 years ago.

Then I found out about Veronica and I felt the calm, the togetherness fall apart.  I sat on the floor of my kitchen seeing Veronica and Dusten and imagined the incredible pain the Browns would be feeling and it triggered my own - in a way it had not been triggered for a long time.

And then I imagined what it must be like for Veronica.  4 years old and being taken from what SHE sees as her home, her family.  Over the last two years, Dusten has done his best to protect her from the media and you can see how he has succeeded in providing a stable environment for her by the smile in her eyes and the way she smiles with her whole face when she is with him and the family.  It is a testament to him and Robin and their love for her that has sheltered her from the storm that has been raging above her head over the last two years.  It is a testament to THEM, not the Capobiancos.  Even this transfer was handled with honour and integrity, unlike the one that the Capobianco's capitalised on 2 years previously and made it into a media circus.  Dusten has kept himself out of the limelight.  He has played this clean and all he has had for his efforts is condemnation.  He is a real hero.  And the Capobiancos are little more than villains.

I know many out there cannot understand why Dusten has so many supporters.  Many have not bothered to educate themselves of the full story.  And you know what?  At first, I was dubious as well.  Given my daughter's biological "father" raped me, admitted to that rape but refused to accept Amber as his daughter, I don't always have a favourable view of fathers based on my personal experience.  So it took me sitting down and researching what was actually happening to find the truth.  And what I found was Dusten was the polar opposite to my daughter's sperm donor.  Here was a father who was tricked and deceived and was fighting with everything he had to be part of his daughter's life.  And he was a father, not a mother - which means the relationship is different so I think it is even more amazing as one expects a mother to fight, not so much a father.  But he did.  He stepped up and he went through this cleanly despite all the ugly things being said about him by everyone around HIS daughter.

Over the years I have written and said a lot about people, strangers, who fight parents to take their children. It is sickening to see the law twisted and broken to allow these crimes.  And regardless of where you sit in this story, regardless of the issues of her heritage, Veronica's adoption was never legally done right, from the start.  Unethical and illegal methods have been deployed from the start, even before Dusten was involved.

People believe the adopters in this case love Veronica.  Sadly, I don't feel that is true.  Real love, which means sacrificing desires and wants, does not pursue custody of a child not yours to  take.  Real love rejoices in seeing a child welcomed into her family and heritage.  Real love does not use adoption to fulfil a lust.  Real love does not bring charges against a father doing the right thing.  None of the actions the Capobiancos have instigated points to real love.  Not. One. What they do scream, is they will do anything to win at all costs, including traumatising and hurting a little girl.  Of course, they have told themselves they are not doing that but anyone, ANYONE who knows children knows that separation from a stable and loving environment is going to destabilise a child and traumatise that child.  They can kid themselves they are not hurting Veronica but they are only doing that to satisfy what THEY want.  And THEIR best interests were NOT compatible with Veronica's.  And so, it is with great sorrow, Veronica and Dusten are ushered into the dark world of adoption.

These situations make it difficult to see how this world can ever be a good place.  I have been sickened by the pure venom that has been directed at the Browns at this time, the gloating and rejoicing of a child being taken from her family.  Regardless of whether you support the Capobiancos' as people, these actions are not rejoice worthy.  They are not cause for celebration.  There are no real winners.  Only losers.  You see, adoption is a life time, not one moment in court.  It encompasses a person's life.  It affects so much from here on in.  And this monster has tentacles.  Ones that spread through whole families and cause pain and anguish so great there are not enough words to describe it.

This is not a good day.  Nothing positive happened here.  Adoption did not win - but it showed that it cares not how children are procured.  Adoption has long gone from being about the child.  This child was not in need of adoption.  This story should strike fear into the hearts of every parent struggling in this moment... what happened here can happen to you if someone looks your way.  Do not be fooled or lulled into thinking it only happens to stereotyped parents who society deems as unfit.  I was fit and found to be fit.  Heck, I was caring for other children! But still the monster glanced my way and consumed my child and my family.  Now it has done the same to the Browns and Veronica.   I have seen nothing that questions Dusten's fitness as a parent either and from all accounts he is indeed a 'fit' father, loving and capable of proving for his daughter.  No, no cause for celebration here.  Anyone celebrating this lacks a heart and does not care about Veronica.  Because celebrating this child's loss is cruel and heinous.

In closing, I send out love to the Browns.  To Veronica.  To my fellow sisters and brothers in adoption land also in mourning today.  We must keep the faith.  I will continue to stand my ground for Veronica and all those who are at risk.

17 September 2013

The imbalance of responsibility in Adoption

This is a new thought I have had so please bear with me as it is still in the process of completely forming in my head.  (The brain is a bit slow at the moment, so much going on IRL - ie outside adopto-land).

The discussions about infertility and adoption of late have given me a lot to mull over.

After posting my previous blog and receiving a comment on it, something clicked for me and that is there is an extreme amount of imbalance in how "responsibility" is placed in adoption.

The discussions regarding the "misplacing of blame on adoptive parents" etc has made me question why people view calling people to account for themselves in that way is so terrible when really all I am doing is redefining boundaries and lines that should never have been blurred in the first place and trying to find a balance between all parties involved.

In this world, we have this desire to 'fix' things.  To make neat and tidy packages out of situations we feel are messy.  And infertility is one of those situations.  It is messy in that it involves pain, heartbreak and loss.  It isn't something society is comfortable sitting with because we know there isn't really a proper solution for it - ie we cannot make an infertile person fertile again although I am sure it has been tried.  So society 'we' searches for the next best thing.  Ahh, a young woman who is facing an unplanned pregnancy.  Who better?  Society deems her as not in a place to raise her child and so the two parties are pitted together to create a "neat" and "tidy" package.  Mother has baby, goes on with her life (supposedly, at least that is what society wants her to do) and the couple suffering infertility have a baby.  'Problem' solved!  Society breathes a sigh of relief and moves on.

BUT and this is a really huge BUT... it DOES NOT work.

In doing this, the responsibility of "fixing" an issue that actually CANNOT be fixed, ever, is placed on the shoulders of women in their most vulnerable time and also onto their children.  And in this, society absolves these couples suffering of ALL responsibility, making allowances for them, and giving them what they want because this situation must remain 'neat and tidy' at all costs.

In my previous post I linked Claudia's recent blog which raised a phenomenal amount of comments.  Over 300!  In these comments, those fighting adoption and calling sufferers with infertility to account for their own pain, we were compared to the KKK, Mein Kamf and racists.  However when mothers of adoption loss or adult adoptees quote passages about injustice from Martin Luther King for example and talk about human rights violations we get slammed from EVERYWHERE.  We are not allowed to speak up.  Our voices are stomped on by society in general because by speaking out and drawing attention to the fact the "neat" and "tidy" solution actually has caused a bigger mess and is NOT a solution, it places responsibility back onto society and they really don't want that.  Because it forces them to accept there are things in life that simply cannot ever be fixed.

Calling people to account or to own their pain is not actually being nasty.  It is not being mean.  It is doing something sufferers of all different traumas are asked to do the world over.  It is not saying they have "to get over it".  NO WAY!  But it is saying they need to recognise their are boundaries to how we relate to people even when we suffer.  We cannot use our pain as an excuse to go out and cause harm.  And regardless of where you sit with adoption, making allowances for couples with infertility to cause an unnecessary separation between a mother and her baby, is allowing them to use their pain to cause harm.  It is allowing that pain to spill over from their lives and into the lives of a stranger's family.  That isn't okay.  It is wrong.  And this needs to be recognised and understood by those pushing couples to adopt instead of helping them learn to live with their pain.  Rather than creating a demand for unavailable infants, rather than asking couples to shift their personal responsibilities onto the shoulders of someone in a vulnerable position, there needs to be recognition that infertility causes untold pain and heartache and there is NO fix for that.  Even adoption is not really a fix, merely a distraction, but it doesn't fix infertility.

Just as I was sitting down to write this and was checking Facebook as I often do, a blog post written by Adoptive mom Margie popped up and so I headed over to read it.  I really appreciate this post she has written and it raises some more very interesting points.  Head over and have a read as I feel this issue is so much more than infertility vs fertility... adoptive parents vs natural parents.  You can find it here.

I am going to leave this here for now.  Like I said, this is still part of a long thought process that is going on in my head so I may pick this up again some other time.  In the meantime, I will end here.