Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Broken Can Be Beautiful

I read a blog once about a young mother whose newborn had died shortly after birth. She was racked by grief and loss. At some point in her story she felt compelled to shatter a water pitcher that she had and slowly glue it back together. To her, that pitcher is more beautiful now. It will still hold water, but now the light shines through the cracks. That pitcher is a representation of her life and her healing.

You can take something broken and make it beautiful. Adoption is broken. There is coercion. There are unethical lawyers and social workers. There are adoptive families that believe they are entitled to your child. There are birth families that are not supportive. There are even birth parents that are selfish.

My attorney was unethical. My agency was non-existent in all the ways they should not have been. I remember the social worker coming to my house one time before the placement. She asked a few questions and was on her way. After 5 minutes with me she gave the green light on my placing my son. The lawyer, the most dramatic thing she did was insist to me that the post-placement agreement was legally binding. That if it was notarized and we both signed it was now a legal contract. Each page of that agreement is initialed. The document is notarized. It's not legal though. Not even a little.

I met with a dear friend, a lawyer, several times. I was so angry. How could she lie to me like that? Did she not see how important that agreement was to me? That agreement was my sanity. That was how I made it through those first few months. My friend started attacking me with questions. Asking about all these personal things. About my son, finances, my job, my friends, where I lived, my family. He was relentless. Then he asked about the adoptive family. He asked about my choice to place. He asked about my feelings. It was one of the longest evenings of my life. I cried until I could cry no more. Then he asked me one last question. "Do you want Frogger removed from R&P?" I was horrified. Of course I didn't. I just wanted my lawyer to pay for her lies. I wanted my lawyer to burn in hell. It was then that I realized what he had done.

The defense would have torn me apart. I was a grieving mom that changed her mind. Oh no, wait, I wasn't. I was just bitter and angry and out for blood. I didn't pursue going to the bar. My wounds were to too raw and too deep.

This is why I say we, as birth mothers, need to speak out. We need to change the way adoption is handled. If it wasn't so hush-hush then the laws would be known. Open adoption would be the norm. Everyone would know what an ethical, moral, upstanding adoption looked like.

Take something broken and make it more beautiful then it was meant to be. Fix it. Don't trash it. Someone may need it one day.

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