10 January 2011

An Adoption Story

A couple of weeks back, the minister at my church preached about adoption. The gist of the sermon was that we are all God's adopted children. That God made a covenant with his people (Hebrew scriptures, the Jewish people) that was handed down generation by generation, but through Christ, we are all adopted into the covenant. It's a lovely, biblically sound thought. I like it.

I'm a big proponent of adoption. I suppose that's because I'm an adoptee. My parents, that is, the people who raised me, are/were wonderful people (Mom's still around, but Dad died in 2007). They took me home and gave me a wonderful life filled with love and pretty much anything else I wanted. They drilled into me from the time I was able to speak that my birth mother had given us a wonderful gift, each other. It's why I always remind people that it's a good alternative to abortion in an unwanted pregnancy if you can possibly manage to get through the pregnancy. But I know it's a hard choice. I've met my birth mother (and father - they got married after I was born and had 5 more kids), and I thank God regularly that she had the sense to give me to someone else. A priest convinced her to do it. It's one of the reasons I'm so faithful. It was VERY hard for them, and I think it would be easier today with the semi-open adoptions where they get a picture once a year and can send small gifts if they like. But still a brutal choice.

So I believe in the gift of adoption. I know it doesn't always work out for everyone, but it worked beautifully for me. I'm both a child of God and a child of some pretty great people.

6 comments:

Mirah Riben said...

You were separated from your mother and father and five full siblings, and you still think it was for the best? You cannot imagine them receiving assistance they needed so that you and they could have all remained together? Do you maintain a relationship with your family?

Are you aware that you are fortunate to have been reunited? That most adoptees are not so lucky? That original birth certificates of adoptees are sealed from them in 46 states? Many such adoptees do not feel it was for the best that they forever are disallowed to know their roots and heritage or any family medical history.

Luna said...

"You were separated from your mother and father and five full siblings, and you still think it was for the best?"

Oh my, yes. For me and for them. My birth mother agrees. She says she's so glad I'm not mad at her. I send her a thank you card every Mother's Day.

"You cannot imagine them receiving assistance they needed so that you and they could have all remained together?"

Of course I can. That's how the rest of them stayed together. They had nothing.
My eldest sister was born 6 years after me. So it wasn't like they broke up an already established family.

"Do you maintain a relationship with your family?"
Sort of. I meet with my birth mother when she's in town. We go for coffee. And we're on facebook together. I don't talk with my sisters much any more. One of my brothers is a total write-off and the other is only 15.

"Are you aware that you are fortunate to have been reunited? That most adoptees are not so lucky? That original birth certificates of adoptees are sealed from them in 46 states? Many such adoptees do not feel it was for the best that they forever are disallowed to know their roots and heritage or any family medical history."

Of course I'm aware of all that. The way it worked in Saskatchewan was if I was interested in meeting them (after age 18) I could contact Social Services. If they had also made contact, then the social worker would set up a phone call. So that's what happened. After that, we met (my parents paid for me to fly out and meet my birth parents for a few days). In retrospect, we should have kept it to phone calls and letters.

I never suggested it was fair to seal docs entirely. In fact, I said it was much easier now that adoptions were partially opened. Especially for the adoptee to know health history. That's the only reason I called Social Services in the first place. My health sucked and I wanted to know wtf was going on.

But roots and heritage come from the family you grew up with. My roots are with my German mom, my 'been in Canada so long we don't know where in Europe we're from' Dad and their families. They're the ones who instilled values and ideals into me. They're the ones with whom I have common customs and culture. That's heritage.

Memoirs of a Bulimic Black Boy said...

Luna thanks for your thoughtful narrative and response to what I'll come right out and say was a not so thoughtful post. As a 40 year old trans racial adoptee who grew up with an older Samoan sister and older black/white adopted brother. I'll be the first to say I've been out of the "adoption debate" for awhile, usually only giving commentary on the trans racial aspect. Which usually comes via my solo performance- all that be said there seems to be a lot of this new unsubstantiated claims of children being ripped from their birth mother's arms and placed into the evil world of adoption. How the previous poster could get
"You were separated from your mother and father and five full siblings, and you still think it was for the best?" From what you said, says a whole lot about their story and nothing about your.

As for me I’ve never longed to find/meet my birth parents, about every 2/3 years I have a warm moment where I realize that I likely have partial blood siblings. As for my history I know a fare amount about my birth parents, including education/health on my maternal side down to my great grandparents. Including both of my maternal great grandparents were preachers and had master’s degrees from prominent northern colleges. As for my birth parents, both were college students in Cleveland. As they were also activists I was said to have been conceived during a student protest where I guess they did more than take over the presidents office. And while my mother might have loved my father's politics she didn’t love him nor did she want to drop out of college. And that’s my birth story, for me it is a complete story. One in which I have never been cast as tragic.

margorunaway1 said...

Aside from the fact that you obviously love your adoptive family, what was it that made you glad, or thank your natural mother, for placing you for adoption? Im just curious, because was there something specific about their lives/traditions/situation when you found them, that made you thankful you were not raised by them?? I am an adoptee and a mother who lost her firstborn, a baby girl, to adoption..reuntied on both fronts. I always felt that because my daughter had the wealth and opportunuties I thought I had always wished for her, I always got the sense during our reunion, , that because of growing up privileged, we were somehow not what she had hoped to find..Values as well like you say, dont always match up in reunions either, as i have learned the hard hard way..Just wondering..Happy that you found some answers..

Luna said...

Hi Memoirs. I think that Mirah maybe didn't have as good of luck as we had and is a little bitter, but that's just a guess. I'm glad you're happy with your story.

Luna said...

Hi Margo. Privilege is part of it, I admit. My adoptive family gave me everything - I grew up solidly middle class. But it's more than that. My birth family was not in any emotional state to raise a child when I was born. They were young, and had had hard lives themselves. It's a long, personal story, and I probably shouldn't share too much of it. There's drug abuse, mental instability, and a number of other issues in their history.

I'm sorry you feel you lost your daughter. :( God, how I wish there was better adoption terminology.