One of the hardest things I’ve faced in producing this show is my own feelings. Feelings of fear, of judgment, of inadequacy, of being misunderstood……of being misunderstood, of being VERY misunderstood.
This show is not about anger, hate, divide, bullying, who is right, who is wrong. It is NOT an anti adoption show. It IS an educational show, it IS a supportive show, it IS a show to help mothers who WANT TO raise their own flesh and blood babies be able too by putting some money in the hands of the organization Saving Our Sisters that helps mothers with the temporary life challenges they are facing while being pregnant.
Something I have noticed time and time again in discussion with friends, people I associate with through the arts world, people I talk to in random locations is that it feels like society thinks the proverbial birthmother is some type of whore, prostitute, drug addict, person who lives on the streets, in short, in someway less than the rest of us. It is exceptionally painful to hear sometimes, they think I am the exception , not the rule.
In connecting with other mothers who after giving birth to their own child and previously having considered adoption and now NOT wanting to go through with it I have learned alot, I have felt not so alone. I have found others who are pretty much ordinary average american women like me being denied perhaps their most primal biological instinctual urge, to mother thier own flesh and blood child they recently gave birth too. Women who for whatever personal reason were struggling, scared and did nothing wrong but sign a contract, a legal and binding document that says their baby can be given to other people to raise, people who pay high fees to an agencies and/or attorneys to obtain that contract.
Mothers who are grieving a monumental loss are faced with trying to fight for their child back which is pretty hard to do in some states in this country, Florida is one of them. Its even harder to do in a society which judges, condemns and makes assumptions about mothers for considering adoption in the first place. A society that thinks we must all be pieces of shit and treats us as such. A society that demands we now prove ourselves as capable of mothering ( why don’t other pregnant woman have to prove they are worthy of mothering?) as if somehow signing that paper makes all our primal instincts and the basic fact that we are here, alive on this planet and have made it this far, null and void. I can attest, signing a paper does not in fact make any of the biological processes associated with pregnancy, labor, delievry, child birth and motherhood stop.
It doesn’t. Not one bit. I think about things sometimes, fairly deeply. Things like it would still be pretty easy to judge, ridicule, berate, and make me appear less worthy. Right now I’m not employed at an outside job earning a regular paycheck, I’m working on my goal of starting a business, and organizing the benefit show I Am Only Human to support Saving our Sisters. I can do this because one of my sons is covering household expenses until I get through this show. Its a FAMILY choice. It is a tremendous blessing, I wouldn’t have gotten through any of this without my 2 oldest sons. Yes, I was a teenage mother and now they are in their 20’s and we all live together. So you know what…. I guess I did ok. I’m prone to beat myself up but I’ve learned that when I start to…….I look at my resume and realize that in spite of dealing with an unspeakable level of grief I’ve accomplished an awful lot in the past few years. That I feel good about.
I think “would I be here in this position if I had never considered adoption?” Probably not. Grief takes a long time, processing things, learning things, takes a long time, learning how to adapt and overcome a body that is desperately seeking to complete the task of motherhood its programmed to do is hard and takes time, I don’t feel like the feeling will ever go away. Learning to cope with it and accept it as part of my daily life has been pretty rough, as has wondering if my son feels the same way and can’t express it to anyone.
I’m not ashamed of where I am. I am grateful to every person who has helped me a long the way. Those who have let me cry, those who have opened their homes to me to stay with them when I really just couldn’t be alone, those who have given me the strength and support to make it through, sometimes only to the next day like it was in the first 2 years. Do you know…..I cried every time I saw or heard a baby for almost 2 years? Even at my job? Finally that has subsided, but still my heart stirs. I’m grateful to all my artist friends and acquaintances who have encouraged me to stay the course and do the benefit show I Am Only Human which took place on May 14th.
I hope that the time and effort helps raise funds for Saving Our Sisters and educates the public that mothers of adopted children and people who are adopted have feelings and are in fact human beings too. Human beings who deserve every opportunity to stay together as a family and if they can’t, not be denied their entire identity.