Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rude Awakenings; Serve your purpose, then go away, PLEASE.

“They can take the child from the mother but not the mother from the child.”

Should I not have seen the red flag this day? I remember distinctly having lunch with my son’s prospective adoptive mother when I was a few weeks from my due date, at the cafeteria adjacent to the hospital where I was to deliver. During the course of our lunch, I began to cry, thinking about what may transpire in the very near future. I did not mean to burst into tears right in front of her, but it just happened and as hard as I tried, I could not stop them from falling. She looked up at me with a bewildered look on her face. Not one time did she offer a word of comfort. She just glared at me and then proceeded to keep eating, without so much as a word. At the time, I understood and thought it probably made her uncomfortable. It would have me uncomfortable too, I thought.

A few days later, the agency “social wrecker” burst into my room of the maternity home I where was staying and said she needed to talk to me. My son’s prospective adoptive mother had called her in panic and told her I started crying at lunch. She asked the agency “social worker” why I was crying and IF I WAS STILL GOING TO “PLACE” MY SON FOR ADOPTION? That is all she was concerned about, If I was still going to “give” her my son. My feelings? Not too much of a concern.

I don’t know why, but at the time this apparent selfishness and lack of consideration for me did not stand out in my mind as a determining factor in surrendering my child to these people. Other than that, they sure seemed to care and tell me how wonderful I was for being so selfless to give them, an infertile couple this “gift”. My main concern was for my son to have what I THOUGH I could not provide for him; not for them being infertile.

I look back and wonder how naive I must have been, at 19 years old to have found myself pregnant and at this maternity home provided by an adoption agency, which had great financial gains to be made by me. I knew nothing at the time about how much money was exchanged for a baby, a human being fresh from the womb of his mother. I do recall that upon the first conversation on the phone I had with the agency director, her questions to me were what hair color and eye color I had, along with the baby’s father. I thought that to be a little odd. She thought that she had hit the jackpot. A white baby who would most likely have blonde hair and blue eyes. Cha-ching!

This now disgusts me so inherently it is beyond words. These agencies know that most of the young women don’t have a clue as to how they operate and the gains that they and the adoptive families have to gain, all at the expense of the mother. I hope to live to see the day when young mothers are no longer exploited by these baby brokers who lure them in, then spit them out after the ink is dry on the documents. Documents that sever the mother and child bond, sometimes indefinitely.

The labor and deliver experience of my firstborn child was horrible. We were separated after birth with me on one floor and he on another. After coming to (after a c-section) I kept asking to see my son. The nurses treated me like I had no business asking for my child. A full 24 hours later I was reluctantly taken via wheelchair by a nurse to see my son. Sadly, I was so drugged from the morphine drip I was receiving that I vaguely remember it. The next day was relinquishment day. Agency director, social worker and even doctor gave me the speech about how much better off my child would be without his mother. “Just sign the papers and you will go on with your life and have other children one day”. ”You will be just fine, we promise.” “The adopters will be here soon to see their baby, but you need to sign the papers first, before they come.” These are the things that were said to me. No one ever asked me if I had second thoughts or offered me any advice on what to do, should I have chosen to keep him. The reality of the situation was that I had not come to ANY decision while still less than 48 hours after birth. I felt like I was forbidden to see my own child I and I absolutely know that this was done so I would not change my mind, even though it had not yet been made up. I signed those papers still medicated and unsure of my decision, being convinced that I was not good enough to be a mother to MY child. I believed this because this was all that I was told.

When the adopters came to see their (my) child, I was there to witness the blessed event. I wish I wouldn’t have been. Cameras and video cameras were there to catch every glimpse of the birth of the new “family”, while I stood there like an alien who did not belong there. They managed to get a couple pictures of me with my son as well; have to get a couple with “birth mommy” before she is whisked away from us and our lives for good. (Even though it was supposed to be an open-adoption). I will get to that in another post.

I will never forget leaving the hospital without my child. I still remember turning around and looking at the building, wondering if I should run back in and get him… call this whole nightmare off. I had just made the biggest mistake of my whole life and it was binding and irrevocable. The baby that I had nurtured for nine months was gone. I can truly not think of a word to describe how I felt and the eternity it took for the van to drop me off at home, so I could fall into bed for the next two weeks and not get out. Welcome to the world of adoption land. The loving and caring world where everyone win’s. Everyone, that is, except for the mother that walks out of the hospital without her baby.

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