Thursday, March 29, 2012

Random thoughts

Hey, I've been sick, but I thought I should write something, keep the blog up.
Being sick makes my brain sort of go all slow-mo or something.
Sort of like a reboot on a computer when you start it again and don't have all the software that makes it run faster and have to re-download things.
So... I thought a day in my life might be interesting, I have been finding that not one person is reading the ordinary posts here, just the ones tagged as 'adoption' or whatever. Whatever, that's to be expected, I have only promoted this blog on the birth mom forum and an adoption blog conversation.
I've been thinking often about how I am truly the exception in many many places.
Often I feel very alien towards many of the common views people have about everything in life from the way people look to the way people react to life events or even the way people like the same things that I like.
I took one of those personality test that gives you letters for the type of personality you have and I am a ISTJ and what's weird about that is that I am sure that I took this test before and I was ISFJ but I guess, no, not really. I saw a site that explains what it means and when I read it I though ...hmmm... I'm just like my Daddy.
Which is kind of sad for me because he died 11 years ago yesterday. The day I was very sick. Mostly because my digestive system decided not to work for me or something. It was painful, but now I'm just kind of weak. It's a good thing I don't actually have to work today. Although I feel bad for not being able to work the small shift that I had yesterday, even though I couldn't really help that, well, maybe I could have avoided my nephew, from whom I obviously got the sickness from..
Anyways, my personality is just like my Dads and it seems to me that he might have been the only other person I have ever known to have the same personality as me. No wonder we argued, but often, more than not were more comfortable around each other than any of my other siblings.
I don't know if my siblings might share my personality type, but they might, or they might be more like my mom, who is the one with the ISFJ and not the ISTJ.
Which, BTW, mean Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging, or switch out the Feeling with Thinking for me.
Most of the profile made sense for me, but I doubt that many other people in the world have this kind of personality that I have, apparently I'm far far far too logical a person and almost the whole world that I come in contact with personally, or online, is more emotionally based and not at all logical.
I'm kind of a female Spock from StarTrek..
Which mean that people think I'm a terrible person because I don't go into hysterics at every turn of life that seems vaguely unfair or unexpected. Well, I might go into hysterics for little bit, but then, after that I form a rational plan for the unexpected events.
I also always think I'm always right, which is probably a bad thing if it weren't true, I mean, I'm usually right!!
No really, I am!! I know, you're thinking I think that just because I'm the type to really believe that I'm right about almost everything.
There have been times when I was horribly wrong, and I have felt terrible about those times and I fear admitting to being wrong because it might make all those times that I was right seem wrong too.
Kind of an all-or-nothing viewpoint. I mean, I would hope that people would understand that maybe I was wrong about a couple things, but right about so much more and more often and than not, right.
I think about my personality too much and I honestly worry about Parker, will he have my personality?
Is personality inheritable?? I feel like I inherited mine from my Daddy, and my mom wishes I was more like her, or something.
I wish my thoughts came out in a way that made more sense, but this is just a test post, to see if I get any page views, I'll probably scrap it when I think of something truly interesting to write.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

verbal snap-shots

I want to give you an idea of the 'highlights' and little moments of my life that stick in my mind often.
This is inspired by all the reality shows that are everywhere and I thought...what would snapshots from my life look like or what would I want people to know that I experience.

My cat Lucy curls up on my bed. Face against the thick pink shiny comforter, Her neck at an odd angle, the only way I know she's still alive, the rising and falling of her fluffy black belly. I poked her bum for fun, she leaped up and attacks my face, but only for a second. Then almost instantly as her eyes squint in cat smile-ness the claws retract, slip away from my face and a loud purring comes from her and she settles back down into the comforter with only a slight twitching of the very tip of her tail.
Lucy runs away from me as I try to play with her, and then, when I leave the room to go into another, she comes out of her hiding places with a questioning 'meow?' and attacks my hair as I move around doing various tasks and it sways. It's getting kind of long, my hair that is, almost past my shoulder blades!
A half-drunk native woman is pursued by an other drunk native, a man. All the way to the train. Others prevent him from reaching her and a smartly dressed Sikh business man gets of the train early (regular rider, I have seen him many times) to avoid the smelly loud commotion.
Was leaving the train to go home, train was out of service, at the end of the line. Saw a young boy, average, expensive clothing, large red skateboard with extra hardware attached to it. He is comatose, I try to rouse him, I mean, awake him, but it doesn't work. I tell the train driver, and I feel embarrassed when I say "I tried to rouse him" but really it sounds like I said 'arouse' which I obviously didn't mean. I go to my bus and it waits like it usually does, then the boy I couldn't awake gets on the bus. I feel so embarrassed still that I try not to look at him or anything, hoping he didn't notice me when I was trying to awake him up. The boy coughs deeply and horribly almost the whole ride, sounds honestly sick. I feel quite sorry for him.
I watch in slight disbelief as a transit cop writes a ticket to a very senior lady for not validating her fare ticket and also, offering her a ride to wherever she needs to go. The officer is an older man as well. 
I use the self-checkouts with confidence and even ask for the code for tomatoes. The clerk, a very nice older lady, rattles of the code without any hesitation. Not like the young girls whose attention is so hard to get these days when you need a little help in a store. A half-eaten cookie was left on the machine from the last customer before me and I tell the clerk this and she responses with a quirky 'Did you want the other half?' hilarious.
I am assigned a trainee but tell my supervisor that I don't like training people, and I don't, it's frustrating and awkward and I am not technically a people person. I really just like serving people as quickly as possible.
Spending more than five minutes with anyone is really tiresome and often I say many awkward unnecessary things to try and promote friendliness, but I often fail at that. Anyways, she took the girl away from me after the first hour, it made me feel bad, like I was rejecting the girl herself instead of the task of training. I do so enjoy working alone though, I can really focus on being as friendly as possible to customers. I am sure the girl liked the other girl who was training her the day before better. Besides, the till where I was is kind of uncomfortable being so close the doors and the wind and all that happens here.

There you have it, snap-shots of my life.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Types of birth dads

Now, because I did for birth moms, and adoptive parents, I thought I'd make up at list of birth dads too.
I think I'm going to do more of this list things, they are kind of fun and I have even more ideas for stuff to make lists about but to finish of most of the adoption type lists. Well, people in adoption type lists (I might do a few others if I think of something new). I don't know much to say about birth dad, and most people don't even want to talk about them, but I'm gonna try anyways.

1) Deadbeat 'bio' dad
A birth father who hightails it out of the birth moms life at the first sign of trouble, or a positive pregnancy test. My opinion is that they are told to leave, shunned, and as an average guy, they don't know quite how to handle the extreme emotions they are feeling. Most birth moms, and people for that matter often think they don't care and don't want anything to do with the pregnancy, but often, they just don't know how to deal with how they feel, so they ditch the whole thing. Often they are guys that have been in loads of trouble before and have really low self-esteem which makes it sort of impossible for them to even have the courage to 'man-up' and take responsibility. In the past, these guys have learned that taking responsibility is often not in their best interest so they have a habit of doing whatever they can to disappear from any resemblance to actions that could be seen as admitting there is any kind of problem. They are often drug addicts and party goers who have very poor decision making skills, or any decision making skills.
An older man or authority figure in the birth moms life who has taken advantage of her and the result is pregnancy. Often this man actually tries to take control of the situation he created, to hide it somehow.
Often he is mostly successful, sadly enough he is often a family member, or the birth moms own father, or even a teacher or team leader of some sort. Being so powerful in the birth moms life, he uses his influence to hide his actions against the birth mom who feels shame and responsibility for HIS actions instead of holding him responsible. The only way this man is found out is usually by other family members/friends to whom his influence has a lesser effect.
The average boyfriend who actually tries to take responsibility for his and his girlfriends(re:birth mom) actions that have resulted in pregnancy. This is the rare guy who stays with his girlfriend, even hopes to parent their child, but is often discouraged by others, and even faces the same facts that his girlfriend does, that parenting might not be a good choice and that making an adoption plan could be a good choice. Often this boyfriend might stay with his girlfriend, even after placement, but the girlfriend is the one who breaks up with him because he reminds her of the emotional stress of placing her child, or vice versa.
This is the guy who actually tries very hard, and had every intention of being fully committed, but life and stress often get in the way of his good intentions.
Sometimes, or more often than you would think, a birth mom chooses to hide her pregnancy from the one who fathered it. She might do this for a variety of reasons, but the result remains the same. The birth dad is completely unaware of what has happened or why. Often though, but not always, some time after the adoption has taken place, maybe years, usually years, although sometimes months, he finds out the truth about what was hidden from him. When this happens, often he will try to obtain custody of his child and do his best to disrupt the adoption. This can lead to dozens of court battles and such, and rarely does it lead to him actually getting his child. Often a compromise is reached and either he gets to send money and/or resources to his child or participate in contact through the adoptive family.

This is all I can think of for now. I might add more late. Please comment if you are reading my blog.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

OAR #35 Grand ....mothers....and not much else for me

BOO! Look, I started blogging again!!! Watch out world and prepare to be offended.

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don't need to be listed at Open Adoption Bloggers to participate or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you're thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table. The prompts are meant to be starting points--please feel free to adapt or expand on them. 

Write a response at your blog--linking back here so your readers can browse other participating blogs--and share your post in the comments here. Using a previously published post is fine; I'd appreciate it if you'd add a link back to the roundtable.

Write about grandparents in open adoption.

Alright-y then here goes ....

I do not have a dad, well, I did and I love him very much, but he died(March28,01) so of course that really leaves only my mom. I imagine that my decision to place would have been more secretive if my dad had been alive during the time that I was pregnant with Parker.
As it was, I hid my pregnancy from my mom. Even the point of lying about a found bit of pregnancy test wrapper and moving away from home (I had lived on my own several times for several years, but after my dad died, it was just easier to live at home).
I kept my plans for placing Parker from my mom until everything was almost certain because I know that my mom is kind of controlling and would try to sway my decision to make a decision that she would want me to make.
I ended up telling my mom about being pregnant on Christmas Day.
That is, I showed up at her house being 34 weeks pregnant, and well, it was obvious.
The weird thing is that she did not freak out or anything about it, she just said 'I thought so'
I guess she didn't buy the lie about the tiny bit wrapper on the bathroom floor (seriously I did not know how that happened, I totally got rid of everything, I thought. Too bad my mom is a neat freak)
I don't know why she did not question me more about it then.
Probably because even living at home, I was rarely home, I made myself really really busy(went to church six times a week, worked odd hours, etc) and did a good job of avoiding her at all costs(hanging out at the grocery store at midnight...etc)
I often feel the need to avoid my mom because she sometimes treats me as if I don't have a mind of my own and need caring like a tiny tiny infant or something. I mean, sometimes it's sweet when I'm sick or hurt or whatever, but in normal life, it is usually troubling and leads to many many fights. I don't like fighting with my mom, it kills me inside, so instead I avoid her in the hopes that she will give up trying to run my life, not that she really does, much of her advice is OK, but very much too little to late.
Back to when I was making my decision to place Parker. I would have chosen not to show up on Christmas if I hadn't yet found the parents that I wanted for Parker, but I had, I was just waiting for Jacob to agree with me and for the agency to call me back about setting up a meeting.
Apparently agencies can take a few weeks to even get back to a birth mom asking to meet pre-adoptive couples, weird right?? I had been going to this agency regularly and did have upcoming sessions and stuff, so really, it was just a matter of time.
The thing I remember most about this time in my life was just a couple days (weeks?) after I showed up on Christmas day, pregnant, (it was a good Christmas BTW, no drama) that my mom called me (I was living in a secondary suite) to try and convince me to place Parker with a random couple she had heard about from my youngest (and favorite)Auntie who 'really wanted to adopt a child', because at Christmas I had not gone into the details because I was still waiting for the call from the agency and for Jacob to agree with me. I think I had told them (my siblings and my mom) some vague things, but they have a habit of not really listening to me, even when I am trying to tell them something really important.
To my family, I am the silly crazy one who should not be taken seriously because my devotion to my faith in Christ looks so different from their own nominal actions towards what they say they believe.
I am the one who tells crazy stories and reads way way way too much. I am the one that they do not understand and often just dismiss just because they can, I never protest their rejection of all that I am.
My moms call to me about a couple was laughable because - to her - it seemed I had a problem that needed her help, she again did not expect me to have figured anything out on my own, I had, but she is the type to believe me, remember, she thinks I'm just a crazy silly silly girl.
When I told her that I already had a plan, and that the plan was to still be in my son life, her response was incredulous, she could not believe that I said that I wanted to do adoption AND still know my son.
To her, and sometimes to me, decisions like adoption are an all-or-nothing kind of thing.
A compromise on the part of adoptive parents, to my mom, seems illogical and impractical.
She wanted me either to parent my son completely, or completely separate myself from his life.
To her, that was the only way that adoption happened.

I believe my mom does not have a interest in knowing Parker, partly because my sister, Lydia, who is one year younger than me, already had three children.
I have heard from others that after a first grandchild, the idea of having more becomes sort of routine, it's no longer a big deal anymore.
When Lydia had my first niece, Jessica, there was much drama about it, and not only because of certain health and lifestyle issues, but because of this big change that occurred when she was born.
My sister became a mom, my mom became a grandma, it was a big deal.
Honestly I think that with other birth moms, they have problems with birth grand parents because they are the first to have a grandchild and the act of surrendering a first of a kind seems to hold more meaning than a fourth or even a second. I know this is not always the case, but it was for me.
Even though I am the eldest daughter(my brother Mike is older than me) the fact that I knew I was pregnant with a boy, and my sister gave birth to her first and only son(after two daughters) the day I found out I was pregnant meant that my experience was over-shadowed by all the gains to the family through Lydia and her husband.
Nowadays, this is still the case, the grandchildren that are present in my mom's life are more important to her than Parker. Even given chances to visit, and when I show her pictures, her reaction is often indifference, which is not completely unusual. My mom's reaction to many things in my life is indifference. She only really wants me around to validate her life, to be a friend to her ! But when I need a friend she gives me the brush off, or barely disguised impatience in order to unleash the well of anxious thoughts and feelings on me so that she can feel better about herself. Now, I am willing to be a friend, even if it means that most of the time, she will never really be listening or caring about me, unless it is to try and assert herself and needlessly take charge in mostly inappropriate ways. I know it's just the way she is and the way I am is too weak to refuse even the vaguest chance that she will care about things that are important to me and should be important to her.
My mom DID get the chance to meet Parker once, when he was just 17 months old.(he is 6 now, how time flies!) and only because she had brought me along to my cousins wedding. She needed me as a plus one, because going alone to a wedding is just kind of uncomfortable and weird in the huge extended family that I have (my dad had 18 siblings, my mom 8, almost all are married with multiple children my age) so I got her to bring me to see Parker because my cousins live near Parker and his adoptive family.
It was mostly about her wanting me along for the wedding, and she knew that for that to happen, she had to bring me to see Parker. I mean, there is a photo album she created and the pictures she took of Parker and I, and also his adoptive mom are in that album, so I guess that means she cared about seeing him then.
Her general attitude about it seems indifferent though, and her spoken opinion is that she saw him once, that was enough for her. Even during that visit, she repeatedly called him Austin, my nephews name. It was very embarrassing, I know she did not mean to do it, but she did. Probably because Parker and my nephew are very similar and remain so. I know also it is because my nephews name is the name she was getting used to and I guess when you are older, things sort of take a while to 'click' like names and such.

Anyways, I wanted to also tell you a bit about Jacob's mom, whom I met twice while I was pregnant, and once after I had given birth and placed Parker.
Her name is Maria, which is a very comforting name as I have a grandma named Maria and a few aunties as well as a favored Sunday school teacher. She and I really got along to the dismay of Jacob who seems to want to keep his mommy all to himself somehow. She was a real advocate for placing Parker in adoption and was really upset with Jacob for considering parenting as he did in the days after I gave birth.
She was the one who probably convinced him of the futility of considering a different plan than the one that I had told her about. She knew about her son's life and that neither one of us was in a good place, financially, or emotionally, etc, to be parents to our son.
I must say, at the time Jacob's sister was pregnant with twins, fraternal twins, boy and girl, and she had them just about four days after I gave birth. So.. to Maria, they were the first grandchildren - to her - because her daughter had been pursuing infertility treatments and of course, Maria had been more involved with her daughter than she had with me. Maria liked me and everything, but I totally understood that her daughter was the more important bearer of new life. I had come to be pregnant by the poor decisions of her son (from her POV) and her daughter had been planning to parent all along.
So again, it was about this newness with becoming a grandma, and myself, not being the first known grandchild bearer, my situation was seen as a issue of inconvenience and possible disaster.
Now, Maria seems to have no interest in meeting Parker, although Jacob has tried to advocate her to visit with us all (because Jacob and his wife and kids and I, we all visit together, but our lives are separate)

One thing, both she (Maria) and my mom did, and I know that neither of them is even vaguely aware that they BOTH did this, but they sent me the most lovely Mother's day and birthday cards (my b-day is May 23, very close to Mothers Day). I still treasure them, but I'm kind of a hoarder... soo...

This is my entry for the OAR, I really hope that it's OK.    

Ten things I want in a (hypothetical) husband

When I was something like 20 or 22 I wrote an undated entry in a note book about things I want in a husband.
I still remember these things because even though I so desperately wish that I could magically find a man like this, it is so unlikely as to be impossible to occur. I am going to write those ten things down, in order of least important to most important and I want anyone who reads this to imagine these things as a pyramid. The first being the tip and the last being the most important base of the whole thing.
These things are things that cannot be had separately, they are things that would need to be altogether or not there at all. Not having the tip might not be important, but not having a middle piece is very important.
So here it is now, my list of things I want in a (hypothetical) husband.

10. Taller than me
Yes, I know that it cannot be something that is under the control of the man, but it's just a comforting thing to have a man who is 'bigger' than me and it would make me feel smaller and more lady-like and pretty and sexy and stuff. So the man being taller has more to do with how it makes me look/feel than the fact that being taller is just easier for someone like me, who is way to tall for a girl at 5'9(and a quarter inch).
9. Good Manners
You might wonder why this is at this place in the list and it is because I know that good manners can be taught. What I mean by manners is not so much just please and thank you, but a developed sense of empathy, patience, deference for others, modesty, and personal hygiene. It is a basic thing that should be taken for granted, but if it is not present, it can be developed.
8. Good Family
Another thing that I know is not fully in a man control. Who can control who their family is? Yes, but it would be nice for my future husband to have a family that gets along, that is nice. That is good in the sense that they have a good reputation, and honest life, and truly show love to one another.
7 Nice Car
I know this might seem vain and selfish, but the fact remains that what a man drives(what anyone drives) can give you a really good idea of how stable his finances and life are. Now, as well, I do not drive because of my poverty and lack of personal skills and having a husband who can fill that need for me is important as it is important that this vehicle be sound. It doesn't have to be pretty, but if it is clean, well maintained, it can be almost any kind of car. It just has to be one that will work well!
6. Common Traits
I have amended this thing from the list. The one in the notebook said 'things in common' but same difference, right? Now for this thing, I mean that I would want someone who likes some of the same things. Likes the some of the same music, hobbies, books, other entertainment. Having things like this in common would just make life easier. I mean, it doesn't mean that he can't like things that I don't like, just that having completely different tastes in home decor or music or entertainment is very inconvenient and I know from experience that I can never 'convert' anyone, let alone a man, to like the things I like. It would just be so much better if he already liked them. Then we could have real fun together and such. Also it would be nice if my future husband had a similar life to me and experienced some of the same things prior to meeting me.
5 Good Listener  
What I mean by this is not a man who says nothing while I rattle on for hours and hours. What I really want is a man who is actually paying attention to the things I am talking about and responding in helpful ways, or just responding. The only way that that I truly know if someone is listening to me is by the way they respond, not just that they allowed me to talk for hours without interrupting. I mean, I would want my husband to do that do, as I would try to listen and respond to him in the same way that I would want as well. Relationships don't work unless the two people can really listen to each other and respond in helpful ways.
4. Common Goals
If I am going to join my life with a man, I need him to have the same overall goals in life as I do. Or at least some of the same goals and hopes. Being simple things like loving God and others and following the principles of the faith that is so vital and most important to me. Also, NOT being obsessed with money or any personal fame or some such nonsense. Not having common goal is always a big problem for many couples.
3 REALLY loves me
Now I know this is very selfish of me, or maybe is it extremely wishful thinking, but I would want a husband who loves me more than I love him. I mean, I would love my husband, but I really want a husband who loves me just a little bit more than I could love him, and I can love people like crazy. Not trying to brag, just the truth. This is probably impossible as it seems that not many people seem to be able to love someone as hard-headed and weird as I am. Although I dream of the possibility,   I know that only God loves me, REALLY loves me.
2. Spiritual Knowledge of the Holy Bible
Now we are getting to the nitty-gritty. The things that are truly impossible for men to do, in my personal experience, or just that all the men who can have this things are all unavailable to me. What I really mean by this is that I want a husband who loves the Bible, to whom the Bible is something vital and personal to him as it has been to me and should be to all who love God and call themselves 'Christians'.
1. Faith in Christ that is stronger than mine
This is the thing that seems most impossible because the guys I have known seem to lazy in their faith.
I would want a husband who's faith is so strong that it compels me to have a stronger faith. Also, I would want a husband who has had this faith for a long time. At least as long as I have known my faith, but at least six months is good enough according to a dating book I once read about dating Christian men(that was given to me by my high school sweetheart who I believe hates me)

This is my list of things I want in a (hypothetical) husband that I will never have.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Types of adoptive moms(parents?)

Hey there, so I thought it might be a neat idea to continue with this idea of listing 'types' of people.
I think it's fun to do and I have found other blogs doing this about other stuff and I want to see how far I can take this so without further ado, here is my opinion and idea about what kinds of adoptive moms(parents?) are out there on the Internet today.

An adoptive mom who constantly details her pain and suffering and depression about infertility.
Not that this is a bad thing, but there is such a thing as too much of anything.Also, she is the one who is always trying to justify herself as a mom saying stuff like 'I'm the one staying up with him at 2am when he has a fever, that means I'm his mom' and the like.
I mean, I know some women are naturally insecure, but this is a mom who really wants to make sure everyone knows that she's the more important one. She's the one who's doing all the work, blah blah blah..
She is also the one who complains about the birth mom/family. Making them seem like the most horrible people ever to grace the planet, but then totally proving she is lying by messing up basic information while still trying to make excuses for not keeping up with an open adoption agreement. OR she is the one who seems to live in terror of the thought of her child's birth mom/family. Constantly hoping that people will not notice that her children were adopted or being a complete control freak about what other people can ask or say to her. She is the type of women who does not want to hear about her cousin/friend/etc having a baby and cannot even pretend to be happy about others growing families. She is the woman who has unfair expectations of her children and often even had trouble bonding with the children she so strongly believes she has a right to because of her suffering, etc.

Young, idealist, innocent of the difficulties they will face. These are what seem to be the perfect parents.
A strong, playful marriage, a strong faith in religion of some sort, people that are popular and have had almost no real troubles in life and have decided, not because of infertility, but because of some kind of conviction, that adoption is the way they should 'build their family'. They of course the ones that are willing to take on any child most often, and often get more than they expected. They are good people, the kind that are willing to learn and often completely shocked at the traumas occurring in the lives of birth moms and their families.
They are the kind that agencies love, the kind that seem perfect to every birth mom because they are often good looking. They themselves often have all the best intentions and many of them, even down the road, do uphold the promises they made, but often it is a trail by fire for them in many ways and very heartrending, but rewarding.

These are the gay/trans/lesbian people that seek adoption for obvious reasons. They are usually much better at understanding or at least accepting the tough realities of adoption and parenting in general. The way they parent is as normal as any other heterosexual couple, but the often face problems of the legal sort that get in the way of daily living. Problems such as equal guardianship which is important for matters of education and heath care as well as things such as vacations and interactions with public organizations such as libraries and recreation centers. As well, many birth moms are looking for a default 'mom and dad' situation, by way of wanting a common situation for their child and ask for heterosexual couples not even thinking about them at all.

Adoptive families who have already adopted at least once or have had several adoption related experiences such as failed placements or have worked as foster carers. They are usually older than all others seeking to adopt and know that it is unlikely that they will be a birth moms first choice. Although many are chosen because of their experience and by birth moms who want their child to have older siblings. They are usually not very rich, but very creative in their lives. They are the ones that know what it means to honor the connections that their children have with the past and many have found real friendship with their children's birth moms/family.

I'm too tired to think of more right now, I will probably edit this more later, especially if I get any feed back.
Which is unlikely, but here's hopin'... 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Types of Birthmoms

I have been on the Internet reading for a few years now, and much about Birth moms and adoption and such, because that is why I really when on the Internet in the first place.
For one, to connect with Parker's adoptive family, and another, to find answers to the many many questions I had about my experience as a birth mom. Mostly 'Am I normal' kind of questions.
I have found that there are a popping up a few different kinds of birth moms.
Now, I know that everyone is unique and stuff and we shouldn't label people and stuff.
But I have been thinking about this and I have to get it down, as a reference to myself really.
I don't care what anyone else thinks, I want to put out there what kinds of trends I have noticed about online birth moms. Now, I know there are probably other kinds but these are the kinds that I see often.
These are in no order of importance at all, just as they occur to me.

1. The Teenager
This is the kind of birth mom that comes to mind when people think about adoption.
Also it is the one that most adoption agencies seem to market themselves to and who's image is promoted the most. The fact is that teenagers are not the most common type of birth mom, just the most thought of as such and judged. Within this type, I think of the fact that there are a few sub-categories
a)Party-girl - the girl that lives for the party and becoming pregnant is a huge wake-up call that dramatically affects this girls whole life. She is either someone who's family life is either quite solid, and therefore she feels compelled to rebel to be different. Or she is someone whom the family has 'spoiled' and been allowed too much freedom. When new of the pregnancy happens, often the family of this girl will not take any responsibility for their own liability in their influence of her life decisions. This complete rejection is often devastating for her as she is often counting on them to help her with the new baby. This type of teenage birth mom is often the one who most wants to 'keep' her baby, but is overwhelmed by the loss of family support and either concedes to her family's wishes to make and adoption plan or makes a decision with a bit of haste and high expectations toward the adoptive family 
b)Romantic - this girl is all about boys and gets taken advantage of, usually by boys/men that are kind of dangerous. She is a kind of very trusting girl who is very obviously looking for love in all the wrong places.
This is often, but not always, because her family is either distant or overly controlling of her and she wants a boyfriend to sort of  'rescue' her from her life. Being that her judgment gets clouded by her hope for relationship with boy/man. Another way that a birth mom is a romantic is the one that actually stays with the father of her child after the adoption has taken place. These relationships often do not last, but some do.
Her choice to place in adoption is often a last resort, as she really hopes there is some way to parent her child. Often, because of family pressure, and even from the father, a very emotional decision is made.
c)College bound - A girl who has very concrete plans for her life and often has had a long term relationship with the father of her child and has honestly used birth control (although this can be said for all). For this girl, becoming pregnant is a road block for her future. She understands that to have a future, she must make the difficult decision to place her child in adoption. Often (although this can be said for all) she is good at hiding her pregnancy and  often claims she feels that the baby 'is not really hers'. She is a very rational girl, and very good at hiding her emotions, even to herself. She is the one who is often surprised at the emotions she feels after she gives birth and even the months and years following.

2.The Old School
This is the forgotten middle-aged birth moms who had their children taken from them against their wills, who were sequestered in maternity homes and treated like they were second-class people. They were shamed into surrender, sworn to secrecy and threatened at every turn in their adoption journey. They are the ladies who were told to 'forget' and carry on like nothing had happened. They were all often teenagers, but many were also women of divorce and women who had extra-martial relationships.
Nowadays, these ladies are in very simple categories
a) Reunited - those who have searched and found their now-adult children, or those adult adoptees have found them. Their lives differ in the way that reunion has treated them. For many, at first reunion with their lost children is very joyful and exciting, but often that is just a faze and soon adoptees start to lessen the relationship with their newly found 'real' family. This often is very devastating to the birth mom who has longed to know her child for decades. For others, they find something they did not expect and cannot handle it. For those birth moms it is confusing for them to reconcile their current lives with the decision they made so many many years ago. They still think of their child as a baby and seeing them as something else, an adult, is sometimes too much for them to handle. Others yet, have fantastic relationships with their found children and are able to find the right way to make them a part of their lives.
b)Searching - These are birth moms of a 'certain age' who are just starting to have the courage to search. Often is it because their other children are getting married/moving out and on with their lives or because somehow the fact that she had a surrendered child is discovered by either her children or other family and so she is convinced by them to search for the child she surrendered. Or else it is because this birth mom was counting the years until her child would be 18 and therefore have a sort of freedom from the adoptive parents and also may be findable in registries and the like that often have this sort of 'release date' of 18 years of age for adoptees(or so I have heard)
c) Denial - This type of birth mom is probably not even on the Internet, but I am including them anyways because I feel that many women who surrendered in those days when girls were forced to 'give up' their babies live in a kind of denial. They really do their best to follow what they were told, to pretend that nothing happened, or even if it is acknowledged that something happened they never personally address the subject. Instead just living 'normally' as possible. These are the birth moms that will reject reunion and refuse to even consider themselves as 'birthmoms' preferring instead to view the surrender of their child as something that happened in the past that should not effect the present. These birth moms are often very controlling in their lives and seem very 'driven' to make the most of everything. While the truth is that they try to be as busy as possible to suffocate the feelings they have about the loss of their child.

3.The "Mature" Ones
This is the kind of birth mom that I am, sort of.
This is actually the most common type of birth mom currently deciding to place or most likely to place their child in adoption. This kind of birth mom is an experience 'adult' in the sense that they are not a teenager and they not middle-aged. Often they are between 20-35 years old and have either had gainful employment or college education, or both. Their child is their first and only child often they hope to have more, but face infertility themselves, just like their child's adoptive parents, or they do not wish to parent at all in their lives  They are often Christian, but not always. They are woman who are usually single-never married and not had any other children. Often they choose to place in adoption because of financial problems or relational problems. I should be putting these in sub-categories... oops....
a)Worker - She works, but does not have enough money to support a child and knows it. Often she has had a strong relationship with the father, but as time goes on there are too many problems and she sees adoption as a way to provide a future for her child that she knows she cannot do alone or to save her child from possible harm from the father with whom she is experiencing abuse and or relationship break down. Also, she is a woman who is very independent in her life and wishes to remain so, because parenting a child, for her, would mean that she would need to 'surrender' her independence in many. So for that reason she chooses to make an adoption plan.
b)'Other women' - she is the woman who has had a relationship with a man who is not her boyfriend/husband. Often it is with a man who is a different race than her own (ie: black man, Caucasian birth mom) and would be obvious to everyone. Not always though, sometimes it is only obvious to the husband/boyfriend that the child his not his because of time spent away from her or the lack of intimate times.
She is a woman who realizes her mistake, she is also the type of woman who probably was a 'romantic' teenager and possibly had a abortion and doesn't want to have another one. Or so just wants to make a 'fresh start' with her husband/boyfriend and believes that adoption will provide that for her. Often that is not the case, but sometimes, it does work.
c)Unexpected - All birth moms will tell you that they did not expect to get pregnant, but also, many adult woman who use birth control and live responsibly still become pregnant at a time when they cannot provide either financially, or emotionally, for their child. Also, this is the woman who doesn't realize she is pregnant until she is far along, or even, the day after she gives birth. This is supposed to be unusual, but it happens more often that you would be believe. This type of birth mom is usually a former 'party girl' who has grown up but still has occasional times of poor decision making, hence an unexpected event in the form of pregnancy.

4.The MOM
My final type of birth mom (that I can think of) is the woman who is already parenting either one or many children. Often she is a single parent, but many married or newly divorced woman are part of this type.
She is the kind of birth mom that usually seems to have the least amount of emotional trauma about placing her child in adoption because 'she is already a mom' and understands some the feelings of adoptive parents who want to parent a child. She is often late 30's to early 40's, sometimes even older and is just not physically, emotional, or financially (again this is true of all) able to parent another child.
Here are some of the sub-categories I can think of for her
a)Super-mom - a mom of more than one child (although a mom with one child can be this too) who has very busy children who really take up all of her time and energy. Whether it's providing for them or serving all the many different needs of multiple children. This birth mom sees her life as very full and happy already and not needing the complication of a new sibling. Many of these ladies feel compelled to make someone else a parent because they know by experience how rewarding it can be.
b)Unlucky - a mom who has a child or children with extensive special needs, or is special needs herself and knows she doesn't have the strength to raise a new child in the family. Often her family is either very supportive of her decision to place in adoption, but as often as that, her family is very unhappy about the decision. Usually because of the love that they do have for her children.
c)Young mom - A mom who had her child as a teenager and decided to raise her and now finds herself pregnant again and knows she can barely handle being a mom to her first child and so makes a decision to place for adoption. Often she is a woman who is at risk of living in poverty or actually living in poverty and still depending on family for help. She knows that she might have used up all her 'favors' with the raising of her first child and she also sees her short-comings as a mom and has learned that adoption is a better choice, for her.

I thought of a another type of birth mom today
 The Invisibles
These are birth moms of the children adopted internationally. The woman who may or may not have other children and live in a country who's social norms greatly hinder choices for women and also where extreme poverty robs them of the right to be mothers. They are the birth moms that the adoptive parents will probably never see or know or even know anything concrete about them as agencies often tell lies on there 'profiles' in order to make adoption more profitable for them. Categories of them include
a)the deceived - the ones who believe there is no other way but to surrender because of possibly a great debt to the hospital, or some other life or death struggle that resulted in a great monetary debt to a powerful place or people.
b)the shunned - these woman are the ones that have possibly been raped or become pregnant outside of marriage in a culture that does not accept the possibility of either situation.
c)coerced - woman who have been convinced that surrender is the best thing they can do for their child.
Often all these woman are illiterate and forced to sign papers they cannot understand, if they can understand they often have no real rights to contest them and very dramatic consequences for their loved ones if they don't sign. At least this is what I have read about. International adoption can be good, but it is by far the most messed up kind of adoption that does the most emotional damage to both the child and the birth mom.

So this is my description of the types of birth moms that I think are out there today.
It is not a complete list and some things can be true of all and parts of things can be true for some and sort of combined with other 'types'.
I just had to get this down and out of my head because I don't want the world to think there is really only one kind of birth mom, there is NOT.