I have another piece that was featured on Medium yesterday.
Today is the last day of November, also known as National Adoption Month, and I feel like pouring myself a glass of champagne and then maybe crying into the bubbles. Originally created to call attention to plight of children in foster care, National Adoption month is a particularly harrowing time for birthmothers who are bombarded by media accounts of adoption that don’t reflect the birthmother reality or perspective. National Adoption Month was never meant as a platform for touting infant adoption or foreign adoption or crowd funding for adoption, and I dare say that anyone involved in the foster care system is unlikely to be so delusional as to promote adoption as one big happiness fest. Yet, all of that has somehow elbowed its way onto the stage of National Adoption Month.
And now it’s over. Of course as the media spotlight dims, all of adoption’s worst practices will carry on behind the curtain and the fight against them must continue. Education is key. I’ve only recently found my voice as a birthmother, and in the coming year, I hope for the courage to speak out when the opportunity arises. I’m most grateful to Carrie Goldman and her series 30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days as a venue to tell my personal story. “Designed to give a voice to the many different perspectives of adoption, this series featured guest posts by people with widely varying experiences,” and there’s an awful lot of good reading to be found. My essay, in case you missed it, can be found here.
Oh, and did you know that tomorrow is National Pie Day? I think I can get behind that pretty wholeheartedly.
I have a piece in the November issue of the American Adoption Congress publication, The Beacon. It’s an interview with a 19-year-old adoptee. Gabrielle’s Story is quite different from the way my son and I experienced adoption in 1970.
There’s another story I highly recommend. It’s written by a young woman I’ve know since she was a baby. Pema Levy is now an assistant editor at The American Prospect. Her most recent piece, Moment of Conception, conjures a future that neither adoptees like Gabrielle nor birth mothers like me like to contemplate.
November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and it is not a celebratory time for most birth mothers. We’re very aware of adoption, and our stories are often bound up with an un-ending grief. Imagine a future time when all abortion is outlawed, the ranks of birth mothers increase ten-fold, and clouds of sadness and shame once again hang over our land. In that future and terrible time, it’s likely that any openness that has pried its way into the world of adoption will also disappear. In that world Gabrielle will not get her wish.