Friday, July 6, 2012

The Tornado of Adoption

The other day, Rebecca of "Love Is Not a Pie" was telling me about a dream that she had last night about a tornado and how she was yelling at people who were cheering because the tornado missed them.  How could people be glad about a tornado missing them when it was ripping apart others' lives, after all?  She then mentioned that tornadoes have connections to adoption too, and that inspired me to do some thinking.

As a birth mom I could say that when I relinquished my daughter I was saving her from a tornado.  I was saving her from a life I didn't want for her and giving her a life outside that tornado.  I saw the tornado barreling right into my path and instead of subjecting her to that life inside the tornado of emotions and life turmoil, I put her in a place where I thought she would be safe from that.  I'm not saying that I believe she won't have any mini tornadoes of turmoil in her own life.  I don't think that's possible.  But exposing her to the tornado of my life the way it was then and is now is something that I can and did prevent.

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When I saved Mack from the tornado, I exposed myself to a new tornado of emotions.  This tornado will always be there.  Sometimes I'm in the eye of the tornado.  Things are calm, and I can see blue skies.  I can even concentrate on those blue skies by looking up and not focusing on the tornado whirling just out of my immediate reach.  But tornadoes are out of my control.  They capture me again and whirl me around in the confusion and grief.  There's nothing I can do about those emotions but hold on to the hope that I will be in the eye again soon.  This is a lifetime tornado, always passing in and out of the eye.

When I'm in the eye I can also concentrate on helping other people caught in their own tornadoes, their own whirlwinds of emotion, confusion, and grief.  I know the pain and loss they endure because my tornado is similar.  I know the destructive emotions that feel like they're never going to end or even take a break.  These emotions inspire me to speak out for ethical adoptions and to use my blog as my positive voice for truly open adoptions.  Part of the reason I speak out is because I know the tornado and I want those who step into those tornadoes to be stepping in with both eyes open, not because they were coerced by the adoption industry as a whole to do so.

The firsthand knowledge of the tornado is why I have a difficult time with anyone who likes adoption but who doesn't speak out for adoptee access to their original birth certificates or with the industry people that are gleeful when parents relinquish their rights to their babies without appreciating the heavy burden of the tornado these parents enter.  I don't think that I've ever met any parent through adoption who has not ached with their child's birth parent or parents when relinquishment takes place.  They sympathize with the whirlwind of conflicting thoughts and emotions because they can put themselves in that spot, so this is not directed at them.  However, in such a spot, seeing the industry so focused on parents relinquishing babies, I want to scream out at them.  I want to shout that these parents are not entering the tornado to save your job, to redirect the tornado, so to speak.  They're entering that tornado, and should be doing so willingly, to redirect that tornado from their children.

So I continue to shout over the tornadoes of self-importance and of selfishness.  Adoption is not a selfish decision for the parents of those babies, and it shouldn't be about the selfishness of the people pushing for adoption either.

1 comment:

  1. So thankful for this post. I am in turbulent waters as of late with my son that I gave up for adoption 25 yrs ago. I feel I did the right thing all those years ago..saving him from my "tornado" of a life at 19. He feels abandoned by me. Our joyous reunion has taken a nosedive. He has wonderful parents and family~and yet he still feels pain from the adoption. I feel like I can't say or do anything to help him. Does anyone know what I'm going through? Does anyone have any insight to help me?