Misc. Feelings – I Am Only Human

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.Side a

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.

 

 

 

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Book Burning

Ok, so maybe I didn’t exactly burn the whole book but in the interest of spring cleaning,

and preparing to take an artist summer sabatical working in another area of the country I invested some time tearing out the pages and burning the edges of various spiritual, religious and science texts including Sri Isponisad, The Bhagavad Gita, The Wisdom of No Escape, The Science of Mind, the Bible and a text book on the Universe laying them to create a jig saw puzzle effect for a new series of pieces. This piece is called:

Actions Speak Louder than Words here’s a short video of the creation process:

27 inches x 27 inches on board

$140.00

Shipping in USA Included

$40 dollars of the sale of this piece will be donated to Saving Our Sisters, a grassroots organization which helps support expectant mothers through emotionally and financially challenging pregnancies.

To inquire about purchasing this piece please email mswenderful@gmail.com with Actions Speak Louder than Words in the subject.

Thank you.

You can read my professional bio and cv here

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Repost – Dear Hoping to Adopt

Copied and Shared from  http://musingsofabirthmom.com/2015/11/07/dear-hoping-to-adopt/

Dear Hoping to Adopt

I’m sure, by now, I’m loathed by most who have found themselves in my corner of the world wide Web via an innocent Google search about how to adopt a baby. That’s okay. I get it. My writing is blunt and I don’t mince words. I’d like to take some time, however, to speak directly to the aforementioned.

Dear Hoping to Adopt,

For you, achieving motherhood is not an easy row to hoe. For you, perhaps, attaining motherhood, in the traditional sense, is quite literally impossible. I can only imagine the heartbreak of learning that all of your dreams, that were most likely fostered from the time you were able to snuggle with your first baby doll, are now slipping from your grasp and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it.

The countless negative pregnancy tests, maybe the loss of your children before they even had a chance to be a part of this world, the fertility treatments, the worry, the hope, the anxiety, the tears – I understand. I get it. I’m not heartless. I empathize, maybe sometimes too much, with the millions of hardships that we, as human beings, must face.

I think about the hurt you must face every time a friend or relative announces they are expecting or the pain you must feel watching others care for their little ones. I do understand that it must be lonely feeling like the odd man out while others have, what feels like, an exclusive club that only women who are mothers can join. We are women. Most of us, not all, are wired with a natural instinct and yearning to be a mother. I truly understand and empathize.

When you read through my writing you may not think it’s possible for me to empathize with you. But I do. It’s not that hard because I know what it feels like.

I know how deeply it hurts to dream of a child that will never be yours. I know how gut-wrenching it is to grieve a lost child. I have felt lonely as well – lonely when no one else could understand how much pain I was in – lonely when they were praising me for how selfless I was – lonely when I was told that I had given someone a beautiful gift and that I did the right thing. And for the rest of my life I will feel as though I don’t belong with all the other mommies. I surrendered my motherhood to my child and that’s something most don’t truly understand and most are certainly way off base about what that ultimately means.

I empathize because my loss is huge. There was no one there to help me or support me. No one to tell me that I could do it. I was told that adoption was the right choice which, to me, meant I was not the right choice. I was not good for my baby is the message I received and I will forever belong to that lonely club.

Loss is subjective. Some may say the loss of a pregnancy is the same as the loss of a child through adoption. I will always disagree. The path I walk in life, as a first mother, has many layers. I’m sure those who have suffered a miscarriage know what it’s like to blame themselves. The fact is, though, that really there was nothing you willfully did to cause the loss of your unborn baby. As a first mom, however, a good portion of society, as I’m reminded of more and more often, continues to act as if surrendering my child, the loss of my child, was a willful act. Yes, I signed relinquishment papers but there was nothing willful about it. My circumstances forced that hand just as your physical circumstances have forced yours in your journey through infertility.

See, we aren’t all that much different, you and I. We’ve both suffered. We’ve both lost. We’ve both grieved and we’ve both gone through trauma and emotional anguish.

If you ever find yourself asking, “Why is she so angry and bitter?” please think back to everything you’ve gone though in your journey to achieve motherhood. Then ask yourself how you’d feel if the whole of society celebrated it and asked you to be grateful for it, asked you to accept others purposely facilitating it. This is what that feels like to me.

Yes, I have empathy for you, but my empathy stops where your willful ignorance begins. My empathy stops when there are hundreds and thousands of children truly in need of a family but you insist on getting a brand new baby. My empathy stops when I see you begging others for donations to take another mother’s child when the donations that you have rolling in would enable that mother to keep her baby. My empathy ends there. I simply cannot do it anymore. To me, it’s the equivalent of you asking for donations to assure the loss of pregnancy in another woman because, for some odd reason, that’s the only way to ensure your own motherhood.

Facilitating the loss of another’s motherhood so that you may attain your own is where my empathy ends.

It is only a few thousand dollars, usually, to give a home to a child genuinely in need of a family, to become a mother. You seem great at fundraising and that money could be used to help another mother be saved from this life of pain.

I empathize with your loss. Will you empathize with mine? Or will you refuse to because my loss stands in the way of your selfish desires? Look at yourself in the mirror. What does that make you?

Below are my personal thoughts and feelings in regards to relating to the above article.

I feel very much the same, if I had written this I would not agree that I am angry and bitter.  I am disgusted with the inhumane and unethical treatment of human beings, of mothers and newborn babies and the marketing and propaganda that fuels the beliefs of society allowing a highly profitable adoption industry to dig deep into hopeful adoptive parents pockets.  I am a mother of loss who believed she had a choice. I believed I had atleast 2 days after my son was born to make a choice. I was denied that time, I was blindsided just 7 hours after giving birth, I was bullied into signing a paper, told not to joke when I said I felt out of it, I don’t even remember much if anything after that, its all a surreal blur.  At the time I wasn’t even alert and awake enough to realize I was being bullied.  It took about 4 weeks as the hormones cleared and along with that my brain cleared of the hormonal fog and I began asking myself How did I let this Happen?  Please stop the madness and abuse and allow mothers time to choose AFTER they give birth.