How is one taught to be small? Have you felt yourself become smaller? I know this is not only relegated to adoption but I can tell you from experience, adoption teaches you to be small. It takes away your voice, your integrity, your dignity. It strips you down to your marrow and breaks you into more shards than you ever thought possible.
All of us experience the feeling of being small at one point or another. Even before I was ushered into the world of adoption, I had experienced the feeling of being made small. It happens through bullying, through invalidation of our experiences, when we are dictated to and made to feel we cannot be ourselves. It happens within our families, our social groups, school, employment – basically wherever we have interpersonal relationships. Over time, we build resiliency and some can rise above these experiences. But there are those experiences where one can never escape – no matter how hard they try to grow above and drown out the toxicity from others.
Our world of social media lends us to being made small and making others small very easily. Some of the things I have seen over social media sites, blogs and forums is enough to want to close my door and never venture outside because the venom and putridity is just so immense. Luckily, I know this is not how all people are but it is sickening to know people have ended their lives as a result of cruel and unnecessary toxic words from strangers.
And there it is. Words. The way we communicate with others is so important. The words we use, the way we use them can have such a damaging impact on another’s life. Adoption is no exception. Look at the industry speak towards (usually young and single) women who are expecting a baby. It is engineered in order to make a woman feel a certain way until she believes their message – that she is not enough for her child. This is done in such a covert way that whilst pregnant, a woman will believe she is loved and cared for by her agency and prospective adopters waiting to get her child. It is only when it is too late that she realises their words and their real impact. And then she is not only made small, but is destroyed. Adoption is all about making someone who is vulnerable, feel so small they will be easily manipulated and brainwashed into doing the most unnatural thing in the world for a mother to do: part with her child.
Even through the journey one is forced on once they have lost their child to adoption does not enlighten, encourage or lift. The adoption community will turn on their own if one dares to speak out of turn – mothers are often condemned regardless of how they come to lose their children. This in turn reinforces the lesson they have learned – that they are small, nothing, nobody. Who teaches these lessons? Obviously, society and its lust for adoption and the false image projected making adoption out to be all rainbows and butterflies. Obviously the adopters on forums, blogs and social media who pray for mothers to give away their babies or pray a newly widowed father will give up his daughter or condemn adoptees and mothers for speaking out about unethical adoption practises and experiences. These are the obvious ones. But I have also learned this through other mothers who have criticised me for not wanting to stay down in the gutter, for rejecting the notion of having a debt to pay. How dare a mother feel she can be a person that needs to be respected as a human? How dare she be anything other than on her knees being belted with shame? How dare she turn the truth back on other mothers, adopters and adoptees? Seriously, how dare she? It is at this moment where she is betrayed by her fellow so-called “sisters” and adoptee supporters that the mother realises how very alone and diminished she is. This hell is not only a place where the lesson is reiterated time and time again, but is expected. Growing, trying to maintain balance in life and find happiness is not allowed here. Doing so means betraying some sort of sick code that all mothers need to be punished.
Being taught to be small is the backbone of adoption. If mothers can feel enough, know they are enough and can shut out the agency lies, adoption, particularly infant adoption, could start to decline. The role of mother is supposed to be sacred, however this most sacred, precious role is diminished into nothing through the act of adoption. It takes what is natural and turns that into something to be reviled in order to fill a lusty desire of strangers. Adoption agencies, some PAP’s and the majority of adopters I have met and encountered over time, are the masters of teaching the “small” lesson. If taught successfully, they will walk away with what they want and so they have perfected it over time and the effects have been catastrophic in terms of how many families have been destroyed.
This world needs less masters of teaching small and more uplifters and encouragers. We need more who will look at the bigger picture and not just at what they feel entitled to. We need more art and those who appreciate the art of others, in our world.
"Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already" - Dave Willis