Monday, July 4, 2011

Whoa, Nelly

I don't like being attacked and I don't like reading about people attacking one another. I know that there is so much loss on all sides of the adoption triad. I know that there is a lot of anger out there.  I know that the adoption establishment has set us up to point fingers at each other, while they take our children's rights and identities away from them.

Even though I am a strong willed, independent thinking, determined woman, I hope that one of my best qualities is that I am a compassionate human being.  Even though I haven't lived it, I understand the pain that an infertile woman feels, the longing for a child to love.  Even  though I haven't lived it, I understand the pain an adopted child can have, the longing for connection to heredity and nature.  I have lived through losing my child, having someone else raise them and the feelings of insignificance and incompetence that led me to believe that I wasn't capable of raising my son.  I understand the pain and loss that other first moms experience.

I may not agree with all the choices people make, but I have not spent a second in their life, feeling their desperation, loss or pain.  Who am I to judge or correct them?  I have learned a few things in the almost fifty years I have been on this planet.   One of them is that you cannot change someone's mind if they are not open to having it changed.  It is a waste of time and energy to try to change them.  I own a store and people ask me all the time if I think about my customers when I am buying.  I don't.  I buy what I love and the people who share my taste are my customers.  The people who come in my store and don't get it, are not.  There is nothing I can do to sway the non-believers to my side.  The same in the adoption world.  There are people who want to learn from, grow from, understand and support each other.  There are those that want to blame and hate each other.  If we spend time trying to change the minds of blamers and haters, we waste energy that could be spent healing ourselves and educating the public/legislators that can help us attain our goals.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good, healthy debate as much as the next person.  It is certainly possible (and preferable) to be respectful and debate an issue at the same time.  There are fence sitters out there that can be educated from our experiences.  What I don't want to participate in any longer is the drama that goes along with being able to express an opposing position only by personally attacking someone.  Sinking to that petty level only fuels the fire and there is never a winner in that.

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