Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cold Risotto Redux

Confession time: I'm a nosy sort of person by nature. Not nosy, maybe, because that sounds disrespectful. Let's say I'm curious. I think part of it is that I'm the youngest in my family and I always felt like everyone else knew something I didn't. I still feel that way at times. I was the rare teenager who hated missing a day of school, because I was always afraid that on the day I stayed home, they'd announce something important, and I'd miss out.

I digress.

I was recently featured on the BirthMom Buds blog, which was a thrill for me. I found that, in the weeks following placement, when I was feeling down I could always find an inspiring quote or song on BirthMom Buds. Anyway. Every so often I'll click over to the post I'm in and see if anyone's commented - not because I think anyone should, necessarily, just out of curiosity. Has anyone found me comment-worthy?

There was nothing for a while and I was fine with that, because if no one had anything to say that at least meant no one had anything mean to say. But I clicked over a few minutes ago, and there was a comment. It was left by an anonymous person, of course. I've noticed that when people have unkind or unpleasant things to say on the internet they very rarely take credit for them. This person took exception to me saying that Roo was meant to be with the family she has. Anonymous said that if she was meant to be theirs, they would have conceived her.

I thought that was pretty mean. Does this person think that people with fertility problems aren't meant to be parents? Rude! Some of the best parents I know didn't conceive their children. I tried not to let it bother me, because I don't particularly care what Anonymous believes - I KNOW that God meant for Roo to be with P and M, and no amount of anonymous nay-saying will ever convince me otherwise. I tried not to let it bother me, because Anonymous went on to say that she (?) was traumatized upon being told that she was adopted. Cold risotto: served. And maybe I'd be likewise crabby if my risotto has been cold, too.

But I find myself bothered just the same. Part of it has to do with me mistakenly clicking over to the blog of one of the anti-adoption meanies I took to task here. I do wish people would label their blogrolls a bit more accurately. I expected a birth mother blog and instead I ended up on the blog of a woman who quote-unquote lost a child to adoption. And it wasn't enough for her to opine thusly. She had a few comments from people who tried to tell her that although her experience wasn't a good one, theirs had been. And this meanie called these people some of the filthiest, most vulgar names imaginable and verbally ripped them to shreds. I've read some anti-adoption stuff before, but this was the most evil and hate-filled. I felt physically ill after about thirty seconds.

You know what bothers me? It bothers me that these people have taken something like adoption - something that is, for me, an act of pure love on both sides - and turned it into something nasty and vile. I feel like it taints the proverbial waters. I feel dirty just having read such filth. I hate that I could ever be put on a blogroll with such people, grouped together with them under the nebulous heading of "first mother blogs." (A term I hate, by the way. I'm a birth mother, thankyouverymuch, none of this "first" or "natural" nonsense for me.) I hate the thought of people like that reading my blog and thinking mean, evil thoughts about me or Roo or her family. I feel sick just thinking about it.

And what breaks my heart even more is to see that these meanies are giving advice to adoptive parents who, meaning well, ask questions with the ostensible hope that their childrens' birth moms won't end up as bitter and hate-filled as the blog authors.

I read one such question and answer, and the answer made me very, very angry. So angry, in fact, that I had to stop myself from leaving a comment refuting every selfish, hurtful point made in the answer. I thought that maybe I'd have a new feature on my blog where I re-answer such questions from a sane, healthy perspective.

For example, I can't imagine that I will ever once feel hot daggers in my heart when Roo calls her mother "Mommy" even once, much less every single time for the rest of my life. Quite the opposite, at my last visit when I asked Roo where Mama was and she pointed at her smiling mama, my heart felt full.

Adoption is not an "ongoing loss" for me. P and M are not "the winner[s] in all of this." We all won - we all love Roo. I certainly don't feel like a loser. How could I? I did something amazing and it changed all of our lives for the better. Placing Roo is probably the one decision in my life so far that I will never, ever regret. The most peace I've ever felt is that moment when I traded my will for God's and accepted that Roo needed to be somewhere else.

I hate the thought of some well-intentioned, concerned adoptive mother being paranoid about talking to her child's birth mom because of the words of such angry, bitter people. I just hope that the question-askers asked the same questions of less livid birth mothers, too. I think our answers are much more reassuring and much less scary.

I've said my bit before about what I think of the Cold Risotto Susans out there, but the problem is that I can't change them, I can't shut them up, and I can't make them go away. I try to ignore them but it can be hard when they seem to come up more and more. They make me angry, and they make me sad. I just wish I knew what to do about them those times I can't ignore them.

How do you, dear readers, handle the angry Susans you run up against?


Bellatrix and Narcissa said...

Thank you :) A million smiles. Before adoption, my life was pretty uncomplicated (in terms of controversial issues). Now I'm a complete adoption advocate because I feel it's the only way to try to show those "Susans" and others that adoption is WONDERFUL. We KNOW our baby girl was meant to be ours, even though she came from another woman biologically. It's so wonderful to hear you feel the same about your Roo--and I am certain you are right. Families aren't simple, are they? Now we have a birth-mom in our family, and she's as important to us as a sister/daughter/friend/cousin/etc., or maybe even more.

Savannah said...

I think the best you can do is bear your own testimony of adoption. If their hearts are softened, it will sink in. But if they are so caught in their grief and anger, I think its a losing battle. I think the best thing you can do is to continue to share your story as much as you can. They are constantly putting the negative out there and to counter that every one needs to put their positive stories out there too.

For me personally, when I come in contact with those kind of people, I know its a losing battle. One memeber of my extended family is really concerned about our adoption plans because they had a relative adopt 50 years ago and after 6 months they had to give the baby back. I can talk until I'm blue in the face about how laws have changed and people have changed, but they will only hold onto that one tragedy. I hope that after we adopt we'll be able to show them the positive of adoption so they won't dwell on the negative.

I get similar reactions when I mention how much we want an open adoption. I can't believe how much it scares some people! But I know that if we do it right and have a healthy relationship with our birth mother, we will be the shining example these people need to see.

Unknown said...

As an adoptive parent I have come across these "meanies" who look at me like I stole someone's child. It hurts... a lot. It took me a good 2 years to not feel "guilty" for being chosen as my daughter's parent. I'm thankful my daughter's birthmom is not one of those meanies. I can't imagine how I would handle the guilt for the rest of my life.

Along with these "meanies" are those well-intended friends and family who make comments to me like, "Why did you invite her to the sealing?", "How long are you going to keep allowing visits?", and "Doesn't it upset you when she hugs your daughter?" To these people I kindly remind that we are all children of God and that we have been told to love one another. My children's birth families are important to them and to me. My daughter's birthmom chose us to be her daughter's parents. I will never forget her or treat her as though she does not exist. Without her, my role as mom would not exist. She has put all of her faith in us to raise her daughter in a family who loves her wholly. This birthmom IS part of that whole.

It's easier for me to walk away from the meanies but much harder to handle the comments from friends and family who can't understand that jealousy and a feeling of ownership does not need to and should not exist with adoption.

To these "meanies" I say, I'm sorry that you were served Cold Risotto. I think I can speak for our birthmom and tell you that she has not been served Cold Risotto. I'm not saying adoption has been easy for her, it hasn't been, our birthmom's decision for adoption was something she wanted to do FOR her daughter. The great thing is, my daughter will always know how much her birthmom loves her. She'll be involved with her birthmom throughout her childhood and into adulthood. I'm so thankful her birthmom will be there for our daughter and I'll be eternally grateful to her for making me a mom.

It's sad that Cold Risotto has been served to some people. It doesn't have to be like that.

LeMira said...

I have to admit that the first time I ran into an "angry Susan" that I was shocked. I have gone through a paranoid-about-adoption stage because of them. What has gotten me through it is the real blogs out there, like yours and a few others, that tell the truth about the loss, the hurt, the pain without insulting remarks; and you also share the blessings that have come. I rely on that inner peace that the choices we are making are right, although very hard. I accept the fact that adoption is hard and different for everyone. I accept that these angry Susans have a reason to be angry, and that's okay. Their anger is THEIRS, not mine. I listen to what they have to say, then learn from it, but I don't make their feelings, hurt, fear, anger, or distrust my own.

Meg and Ken said...

I had to stop reading the blogs. They make me sad. I know there is sadness in adoption, I know there is loss and I except that and I will cry with my child that he could not be with his birthmom one day. But to be called a baby snatcher and an evil adopter by certain people was making me loose sleep at night. I do try my best to be very open and honest and to have people whom I don't know question that because they were hurt by their adoption is just mean. I am not their childs adoptive parent, I love our son's birthmom with my whole heart and I want what is best for our son and for her. So ya know what, I took great advice from an amazing friend who happens to be a birthmom to a beautiful lil boy to "stay away from those" I will come back here instead Jill! I love reading aout you and Roo and her parents. Keep believing in yourself! Remember sticks and stones :) xoxo

Angee said...

I just stop reading the hateful things. I won't be able to change their mind if they are that dead-set against adoption. So I focus my energy on promoting adoption to people who don't have a testimony of it because it has not affected them. I try to be a positive example on how an adoptive mother should love and respect and cherish her child's birth parents. I get a lot of questions about why we do an open adoption. Most people can't understand the relationship and how it progresses and grows. So I show them with pictures and write down all the wonderful experiences I have with them. When they see what a wonderful relationship we have, they don't doubt that open adoption is great on all sides. :) So just keep writing beautiful and inspiring things. It may not be as "loud" as the nay-sayers, but a quiet testimony will be heard and will change lives! <3

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

I usually put on a brave face, and then cry alone later.

Danya said...

Quite honestly the very best defense I've come up with for them is to run in the opposite direction. Cowardice on my part? No, I don't think so. Defense - that's what it is. Some people might disagree and think the best defense is to rebuttal their hate filled statements but I've learned with these type of people you will NEVER win. You will only leave that conversation damaged - doubt what you thought you knew to be true. Because just like The Adversary they creep into your subconscious and whisper doubts and half truths. Now it's not about becoming a martyr - it's about protecting myself and my family from their hate.

Sarah Oman said...

Some people say the most off the wall things! Thank you for being offended for those who have infertility issues. What? If we were meant to have a child, we would have conceived on our own? What logic is that? Anywho,

We were blessed with a positive Risotto experience and I don't think there is a prayer said that I don't give my thanks.
I appreciate the things that you say and I come back to follow your blog because you are positive and real.

Rachel said...

I am new to the adoption world, and I am SHOCKED to hear about this hateful negativity to those who simply want to love a child. Thank goodness there are blogs like yours. Keep getting your voice and perspective out there!

AubreyMo said...

"Anonymous said that if she was meant to be theirs, they would have conceived her." yikes...that girl was taking her own anger and confusion out on other innocent people. That's tough. I hate hearing stories of people who have a bad experience with adoption - it's sad that it was bad yes, but it's worse that they let it taint what for most people is a beautiful experience.

BirthMom Buds said...

Hey, I'm sorry that comment even got posted. I try not to post the really mean rude ones!!