Kudos where they're due

In response to my Key West photos, Kim asked if I was able to spend the entire weekend without thinking about adoption. Well, no. The friend with whom I traveled is an adoptive mom, and we had a really long talk about adoption on the way back from Key West to Miami. She's a terrific woman, someone who has given a tremendous amount of herself to the adoption community by leading a homeland tour to Korea for over ten years.

What struck me most about the conversation was that I could no longer discuss adoption objectively or impassively. During just this one year that I've been blogging, I've met so many people who have lost so much to adoption, and who are fighting incredibly hard to change society's outdated and erroneous views of it. I found myself answering on your behalf - and it was never so clear to me what an insult to human rights adoption secrecy and lies are.

Our conversation focused a lot on when a woman was too young to raise a child. My friend and I could have driven all the way to New York without finding a really satisfactory solution to this, but one thing struck me about my responses: I focused on ways to preserve the relationship between a young woman and her child, rather than accepting their separation as a necessary evil. I can see that when I talk about adoption now, it's a very different kind of adoption from the closed, secretive one that many of us know from experience. (I'm going to put up an Open Mike about the age issue, because I really want to hear your views on it.)

Although I've written a lot about my point of view here, and feel comfortable, empowered even, to speak my mind in writing, I found it harder to express myself verbally. I could feel the anger rise when I disagreed with something, and I sometimes was at a loss for the right words. I wonder if others experience the same thing. Is it fear of negative reaction? Uncertainty about the facts? Or simple lack of practice? In my case I think it's because I don't yet feel I have the empirical evidence under my belt to back up what I know in my gut to be true and right. So documenting the facts is something I'm going to be working on. Feel free to help me!

As my friend and I discussed and sometimes debated our different points of view (for this is a friend I can disagree with for the sake of real dialog), I found my mind wandering back here, to all of you who have been willing to educate me, to help me understand the loss of adoption that I can never experience. My conversation on the Florida Keys causeway showed me just how much you have influenced me. I want you to know that, and to thank you.


Cavatica said…
I just discovered your blog and I'd love to post a link to it on mine. Is that okay?
Margie said…
Hi, thanks for linking - yes, that would be fine. I went over an visited your blog, too, and will get you on my blogroll as well. I'm looking forward to reading more of your story, too.
diana said…
>>>Our conversation focused a lot on when a woman was too young to raise a child.<<<<

I think the focus should be more one "when the woman's family is unwilling/unable to step up to the plate to assist in parenting".

I don't think a woman is ever too young to raise a child. She may be too young to do it on her own but with guidence and support she can do it.

I've got at least a dozen cousins (multiple generations) that have been parented by moms as young as 13. They've all turned out just fine. :-)

I'd really be interested in reseach that compares urban to rural relinquishemt and the role that family structure plays in relinquishement.
Margie said…
You raise really important points, Diana - especially when you point out how important support is. That gets lost in the shuffle, I think because society generally is quick to judge and shame rather than accept and assist. And I'm convinced that if we began all discussions of adoption from the point of view that women and their children should be kept together at all costs, we'd find many more ways of providing that support.

Thanks for commenting!

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