January 1, 2016

Attention Moms: It's 2016

I’ve been MIA for a while. In addition to working a lot of hours, I have custody of my 16-month old great niece until July 2016. It’s a privilege and a joy – and also brings a change to how much I am able to do things like blog. Or be in the bathroom by myself. But here I am today with some thoughts. First I want to thank those of you who reached out to me during the holidays to say you were thinking of me, and are thankful for what I write here, and about adoption in general. I appreciate that you expressed that more than you know.

Me on my birthday this year. It's how I spend the day, with my great niece.

So, although I could write on and on about the journey of caring for a baby from day to day, let's get to the heart of what I'm going to say that's adoption related.

This story is on Lynn Grubb's blog today. It's the journey of Buck Winslow, an adoptee whose natural mother refused to tell him who his father was, lied about the name, ultimately confessed the name but caused a lot of pain and heartache all around regarding it. In the end, through DNA he finds his paternal family and regarding that reunion it seems things are just wonderful at this time. While in some ways it’s a great story in other ways it’s so sad.

I am disheartened by two things - how common this behavior is among mothers and how many people dismiss a grown woman’s wrong doing. I guarantee there are some people out there reading this article who feel for  Buck's mom.  Many times when a mother behaves this way we hear about how they had no choice, how the times were so different then, how they were mistreated, shunned, etc. While I don’t deny any of that, it’s 2016.  It’s not 1966 anymore.  We know you get triggered and flashbacks, and emotional pain even though it’s not the fifties or sixties or whatever-era anymore. And whatever has happened then or is happening now – it doesn’t excuse your responsibility to tell the truth and to pursue emotional health NOW for yourself and the good of those around you. Take the excellent advice of therapist Karen Caffrey, LPC, JD in her article, Birthmothers and the Responsibility to Heal.

It’s sad that this behavior exists but more maddening to me anyone enables or   sympathizes with it. I already know I'll be more than likely vilified for this in the comment section, but I don't care. It that happens it's only a reflection that it touches a nerve and further proves my point. 

I believe one of the reasons some people dismiss the wrong-doing is because they believe adoption makes up for it. It’s my hunch that many who are not in the adoption constellation don’t see why any of this is important as long as God “worked everything together for good.” Maybe everything hasn’t worked together for good yet. Have you thought of asking the adoptee and prefacing your question with an assurance that you really want to know  their true feelings and will not judge?

So today’s thought from me to you, although it is nothing ground breaking and earth shaking is that I become tired of people excusing wrong behavior and would like moms to realize we are living in a new era and healing is available. There is absolutely no good reason, no acceptable reason, no God-honoring reason why anyone would not know the truth of their origin. And, for the record, the calendar just turned another year and I have yet to know half of mine.