April 22, 2013

The End Doesn't Justify The Means

Photo Credit: Kate Dahlquist

 When I was searching for my original mother, a few people who supported me in the search told me to do whatever I had to do, including lying if necessary, to find her. 

There were plenty of occasions to lie. 

But that didn't sit well with me, as much as I desired to find her.

I never wanted anything so much in my life. As I searched I was often asked if I was adopted by those holding information I needed.  I learned that those who are overjoyed at helping people with genealogy often change their tune very quickly when they find out one is adopted. 

My heart sunk each time I was asked to clarify. Why did they have to ask that question?  

Each time I told the truth.

I’ve always believed that if I have to abandon my ethics to get something, whatever I gain is meaningless. So I’ve never sold out to get whatever I’ve wanted in life -- including my reunion.

The lack of ethics in adoption saddens me.  

I hear a lot from my adoptee friends about adoptive parents who are willing to do whatever they have to do to get a child and make an effort to keep them exclusively to themselves. I find this kind of amusing as I have three natural children and keeping them entirely to myself is not possible. They have minds of their own and furthermore I don't possess them. During their growing up years, I was called by God to be a steward, not own them.  

I was shocked when an acquaintance told me they adopted their son from China so that his original mother would be as far away as possible. They are also hoping that once he reaches adulthood, the distance will discourage him from searching. I was saddened months later to learn from others in the adoption community that this is common. 

Two of my adoptee friends were told their original parents were dead when they really weren’t. This lie was told by their adoptive parents in hopes that they would  not search. Adoption is sometimes fraught with secrets and lies, in order to gain or retain whatever one desires. Think about the fact that the first piece of legal paper (amended) about all of us adoptees is in itself a lie, proclaiming that someone birthed us who really didn't. 

It took me longer than desired to find my original family. When I did find them, at least I could still lay my head on the pillow at night and sleep in peace knowing I hadn’t sold my soul.     

I'm a firm believer that if we can't get and keep something honestly, we shouldn't have it at all.  

There is never a right time to do the wrong thing.