me b zola
me b zola's Journal
Member since: Thu Nov 11, 2004, 09:06 PM
Number of posts: 17,703
Number of posts: 17,703
I searched for my birth mother and learned two things: She’d recently died. And she’d been desperately searching for me.
By Tony Gambino
I was born in Cincinnati in 1956, adopted as an infant, named Anthony for my adoptive father, and raised in a loving home. Parents who adopted then were counseled—correctly—to tell their children as early as possible that they were adopted. My parents told me in a proud fashion that they had “chosen” me (false), that I was the same ethnicity (false), and that because they chose me I was more special to them. Our closest friends included two people whom I grew up calling “Uncle” Jim and “Aunt” Mildred (names changed). No relation, but my parents felt particularly close to them since Mildred had shepherded my adoption through the Catholic adoption agency.
I accepted the doctrine of the era: I was adopted, I had only one family—my adopted family—and had no need to know anything more about anything, or anyone, else. My birth mother was an unmarried teenager from the Cincinnati area who “got in trouble” and gave me up for adoption. I never thought about the man. But then at 13, I started to wonder. An unknown man and woman had had sexual intercourse. I was the result. Who were they? What was their story? I felt I couldn't’t ask my father, so, timidly, one afternoon, I approached my mother in the kitchen. Her startled, anguished look told me I had veered into a completely forbidden area. I slunk away, feeling that I had done something very wrong. I never asked her about it again.
Years passed. I left home, went to college, joined the Peace Corps, got married—but never wavered in my acceptance of my parents’ credo that they were all the family I ever needed. I would volunteer readily and rapidly to anyone that I was adopted. Occasionally, someone would ask if I was interested in knowing anything about my birth parents. I would answer that my adoptive family was my real and only family. End of discussion.
Early in our marriage, though, my wife gently asked me to consider searching to learn more about my roots. If we had children, shouldn't’t we know at least about my genetic heritage, she would say. Each time, I lashed out furiously at her. How dare she bring up this forbidden topic? I guess I had been so seared by my earlier conversation with my mother that I adopted her view as an absolute: that it was unacceptable, insulting, and inappropriate for anyone to probe this area and if someone didn’t accept my short explanation, they were attacking me—and my adoptive family. But, after I’d repressed the thought for 20 years, my wife had started me thinking again. I quietly squirreled away a Washington Post article in 1993 on tools for searching for birth parents. In early 1994, I followed the article’s advice.
~more @ link~
The arc of this man's search is more common than mine. I never stopped thinking of my mother and never bought into the adoption orthodoxy and secrecy. While adoption has many complexities to it, access to our own original birth certificates is something that we should all agree on.
Posted by me b zola | Wed Feb 26, 2014, 01:01 AM (9 replies)
The Catholic Church in Australia on Monday apologised for the forced adoption of babies from young, unwed mothers in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, saying the practice was “deeply regrettable”.
We acknowledge the pain of separation and loss felt then and felt now by the mothers, fathers, children, families and others involved in the practices of the time,” the apology said.
“For this pain we are genuinely sorry,” said the statement from Catholic Health Australia and Sisters of Mercy nuns from Singleton, north of Sydney, in response to accounts of babies taken from their mothers in decades past.
Some women were pressured, deceived or threatened to ensure they signed away their rights to their children, according to submissions to the inquiry relating to births from the 1950s to as late as 1987.
~more @ http://www.cathnewsusa.com/2011/07/catholic-hospitals-in-australia-apologize-for-forced-adoptions/
I am still waiting for my mother's and my apology from the US and the Catholic Church.
Posted by me b zola | Fri Feb 7, 2014, 01:38 AM (0 replies)
I also agree with the posters up-thread that point out that just because someone acknowledges your plight doesn't mean you are any less privileged.
So far people in the thread have mentioned race and gender as points of privilege and the lack there of depending on your status. I will add mine:
Being an adoptee. Most non-adoptees take for granted that they can fill out their family medical history when they visits the doctor. This information is important for a physician when giving medical care: when should a woman begin mammograms, when medications should be avoided because of kidney disease in the family, and the list goes on.
Adult adoptees in most states are legally kept from their own original birth certificates. For some adoptees (mostly older) this means that they can not get state identification, which also means that for some of those they cannot vote. Being kept from your own identification means that we are forever treated as a child. I cannot tell you how degrading this is.
Many, if not most adoptees long to research their genealogy, follow their family tree to explore the long ago history of their ancestors.
So yes, I am well versed in those with privilege believing that these are not important issues. And for those who have taken the time to understand these issues, I ask that you demand better for us.
Posted by me b zola | Sat Feb 1, 2014, 02:22 PM (0 replies)
It was a shameful episode, for which there has still been no official apology; and women from the Mother and Baby homes have not been included in the compensation scheme offered to former inmates of the notorious Magdalene Laundries.
Philomena was one of thousands of unmarried mothers taken away from their homes and families in the post-war decades because the Catholic church said they were moral degenerates who could not be allowed to keep their children.
Many of the women who have come forward said they, like Philomena, had kept the ‘guilty secret’ of their illegitimate children for decades, not telling families or friends as the Church had told them they would be damned if they did. And many of them echoed Philomena’s story of appealing to the nuns for help in finding their children. Like her, they were rebuffed.
They have not been the only ones to suffer. The children who were taken away for adoption have also spoken up to say that they too had spent their lives wondering and yearning – for the mother they had lost. As with Philomena and her son Anthony, it was clear that parents and children had been simultaneously looking for each other.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2495391/How-I-helped-Philomena-track-son-sold-cruel-nuns-Its-film-toddler-torn-mother-reducing-grown-men-tears--REAL-story-haunt-forever.html#ixzz2ksZsNdoX
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Please read the story at the link...
Posted by me b zola | Sun Nov 17, 2013, 12:53 AM (3 replies)
by: Sister Wish
The purpose of dismissive statements is to individualize the experience and deny any link to a larger group feeling.
Adoptees feel loss.
Adoptees feel grief.
Adoptees feel pain.
There. I said it. I generalized.
I have spent a lot – A LOT – of time reading, learning, hearing and just taking in what adoptees write and say. There is a chorus of voices. I am justified in making some generalizations.
You go spend no less than 8 – 10 hours (sometimes more) every day hearing what adoptees say with no judgments, no thinking about what you want to say. Just listen. Then come back and tell me how wrong I am in making these generalizations.
I have honestly hit a wall on being dismissed. Not only for myself, but also for my fellow educated, well spoken, honest, selfless adoptee friends. We speak to you. We want you to listen.
But if you find that you just cannot hear us at all, please do not dismiss us.
Dismiss yourself from the conversation.
much more @ link, please read:
Please also read the comments on the blog site. This is not my blog nor anyone that I personally know, just someone else who shares a similar background and feelings.
Posted by me b zola | Thu Oct 3, 2013, 05:16 PM (28 replies)
Rachel Rostad - "Names" (NPS 2013)
My heart breaks for this young woman, like so many others like her. No one knows if her birthmother truly never named her, or received communications from her. Anything is possible, but women don't generally give birth without a connection to their offspring. I've heard countless adoptees from China, Korea, and Africa that were told stories that simply were lies. They were told their parents were dead, but when they pressed to find the truth their mother had been looking for her child for decades.
Its a lot to take in. Just listen to it a few times.
Posted by me b zola | Mon Sep 23, 2013, 09:42 PM (4 replies)
An entire movement, it turns out--fighting with a primal passion to expose what activists insist is adoption's darker side: The lifelong trauma of women coerced into surrendering babies. Adoptees denied their heritage. And, they say, a billion-dollar industry that focuses more on money than youngsters' welfare.
"Offering up fake parents is not serving the best interest of a child," DelBalzo said
"I've never seen anyone more scared and vulnerable than a pregnant woman without resources," he said. The problem is, "if they ask for help, more than likely they are advised to give up their child."
For instance, adoptees often are told their mothers made a loving choice to give them a better life. "But a lot of adoptees have said they feel like a nine-month abortion, which is exactly the opposite of what their mothers wanted," Frisch said.
~more @ link...please read~
I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone can view the purchasing of an infant as anything other than human trafficking.
Posted by me b zola | Tue Sep 3, 2013, 03:17 AM (22 replies)
My genealogy research has been a bit stunted. I was adopted at birth, so I (as others like me) have had more of a challenge than most. Last January I finally found and spoke with my mother! I spoke with her on the phone at least once a week until I finally made the trip to meet her just recently.
Frankly, the very last thing we talked about was the family tree, at least formally. Throughout our conversations family history that I was not privy to until finding her was woven into our conversations. Apparently I look and behave like Aunt Natalie, although Mom's and my similarities were pretty mind blowing.
My mother is 5'3", her mother was 5'2", yet at 5'8" I am the "runt" of the litter! My sister closest to me in age is 6' foot So much about us is so similar, from mannerisms, to the manner in which we speak, to outlook on life...we are family. I am no longer a mutant, a weirdo, I come from people just like me. I am Nancy's daughter. For right now that is enough.
Posted by me b zola | Thu Aug 29, 2013, 02:40 AM (4 replies)
This has been the conservative response to President Obama's remarks today on the Travon Martin case and all of the issues that revolve around race in Martin's death and subsequent trial of Zimmerman that has lead to conservatives digging in their heals to their ideology of not wanting to hear people that don't "look" like them. As a non-African-American, it has been embarrassing, frustrating, and infuriating to hear other non-African-Americans stick their fingers in their ears, refusing to hear our Black brothers & sisters experiences and histories. Most people who consider themselves progressive are embarrassed and frustrated by this, wishing that others would open their hearts and their ears and actually listen to the reality of our African-American brothers & sisters.
What President Obama did today with his presser is easily one of my top five favorite things that he has done since becoming president. He reached out to those of the unreceptive audience of Caucasians who don't understand why some Black folk and others are upset with the outcome of the Zimmerman Trial. This was met with an immediate "push-back" from conservative commentators who condemned him for speaking his truth."SSHHHH, can't say that outloud..."
I have to tell you that this very much reminds me of the struggle of adopted people. Some(many) adopters and people whom love adopters take a defensive pose at the thought of an adoptee speaking their truth. When we speak our truth about our identity being stolen from us it met with a stark and saddening response. As other minority groups, we don't all believe the same things and have different outlooks, but the one thing that almost all adult adoptees agree on is that we deserve the same rights as others, so we demand our original birth certificates. It has been quite shocking to me to see the sentiment raised against our civil rights have such strength and hostility.When you see African-American conservative judge Larry Elders speak about how African Americans should be racially profiled(on Piers Morgan Show), and you are outraged by that, please keep in mind that this is how adoptees feel when one of their own are quote about how their second class citizenship is just fine with them.
Thankfully, the adoptee rights movement also includes adoptive parents who love their "children" enough to know that they are entitled to...and fundamentally need...to know their origins, history, DNA, and culture. I encourage others to drop what they think they know about adoption (from adopters point of view), and listen to adoptees.
Please listen to people who tell their stories. It may well break down long held beliefs that you hold, but if those are misinformed beliefs, wouldn't you like the truth?
Posted by me b zola | Fri Jul 19, 2013, 05:50 PM (12 replies)
Saturday, June 01, 2013
A High Court decision to allow a woman who claims her baby was put up for adoption in the 1970s without her permission to sue for damages could open the door to challenges from thousands of women who had their children taken from them in forced and illegal adoptions.
The woman is suing a religious order and the HSE, as successor to the adoption agency which arranged the placement of her daughter more than 40 years ago, claiming the adoption was done without her knowledge while she was a resident with the order. She is not contesting the adoption order.
The woman claims she was not even consulted when, as a teen mother, the baby was taken for adoption. She says that she suffered psychological harm, among other injuries, due to the defendants’ alleged negligence, breach of duty, and breach of her constitutional rights.
She also claims fraud and undue influence in relation to documents she allegedly signed for the adoption.
Posted by me b zola | Sat Jun 1, 2013, 04:27 PM (3 replies)