Thursday, April 28, 2016

Saving from Abortion; Losing to Suicide?

Yeah, I know. Heavy Title. But if you read it and decided to read this far past it, you're more committed to truth than the average ostrich. This is an article for anyone, but it is addressed mainly to my fellow Christians.

Adoptee Suicides, at FOUR TIMES the rate of non-adoptee suicides, (and among those, the female average is higher than the male) need to be acknowledged.

We all know who's behind it. It's that Jesus-hater, satan. (I won't give him the honor of a capitalized name.) He can't stand the thought of Christians OR potential Christians and therefore, he loves suicide. Loves it. I don't know when the first suicide occurred but I know it was his idea. It's been his idea ever since.

But we don't get off free of blame just because we know who's behind the pain. Once we know truth, we know. It is our job to do something and if we do not, we shoulder at least a part of the blame. At the least level, our first responsibility is acknowledgement.

Acknowledgement that the suicide rate among adoptees is four times higher than among non-adoptees?
No, acknowledgement of the reasons why.

I believe our irresponsibility is compounded when we know truth, ignore it and then convince others to ignore it as well. How would one do that, you might ask? 

The people who most often blow the whistle in regard to adoptee life are none other than adoptees, themselves.  Stigmas over adoption, (ironically in direct opposition to the lovely pictures painted of adoption), place the adoptee at an immediate credibility disadvantage. Have you ever seen the movie, "Anne of Green Gables"? There is a scene where Marilla's best friend is attempting to talk her out of taking in an orphan. (In those days, people didn't 'adopt' the way they do today.) Her argument? "Mark my words! Those are the ones that put strychnine in the well!" If that one doesn't resonate, what about this one, spoken teasingly from one biological sibling to another and very often the punch-line in family sitcoms: "You're adopted!"  The underlying translation for this is, "You don't belong to us!" And of course, now that it's been pointed out, you'll think of more, or catch it more quickly when another one pops up. So, yes, there is a stigma already in place whether we like to admit it or not in today's politically correct world. 

With this kind of stigma in place, it's easy for a person of influence to do the work of ignoring the truth and cause others to do the same. How piously can such a person do this by shaking the head as if in pity while saying words such as, "Oh, well, she's just sorting through some things", or, "He's just not happy w/his/her own adoptive parents so he thought he'd go find some he liked better", or, "He's just one of those who was abused by his adoptive parents", or here's a good one.... "She's just reacting to his/her own unforgiveness toward her own adoptive parents". 

This isn't made up.

Know this...the word "JUST" can be demeaning and devaluing if used in the right context...or perhaps I should say, the wrong context.

Another way to ignore a problem is to...ignore it. Pretend there is no problem by not acknowledging anything to do with the problem or perhaps worse, smiling and 'bobble-heading' when a person speaks of the problem and then purposefully dismissing the painful truth from thought. 

Life goes on...or does it?

There are still sad adoptees out there taking their own lives.

This pretending things are not what they are and are what they are not and hiding behind the skirt of Jesus, spouting self-righteous excuses while doing so... 

(But we save so many with adoption! But the child would have lived in poverty! But the mother wasn't married!)

...This. Is. WRONG.

Don't get me wrong. There is a place for adoption. A huge place. Adoption is not 'bad'. But there ARE bad things involved in adoption. We need to see the truth of those things and do something to make them better...not bandaged, but better. The biggest 'bad' I see in adoption is this blindfolded approach we take towards it. But with this many suicides, the blindfold needs to be dropped.

Let's find out why.
Let's help make it better.
WE have Jesus! If anyone has THE tools for making things better, it's Christians.
But we have to STOP PRETENDING!!!

It's time Christians access the courage granted by the Holy Spirit and admit to the truth...adoption is traumatic to the adoptee even in the best of circumstances because it removes the baby, who has been proven to comprehend far more than previously supposed, from it 'first mother'. And let's not omit older children from the equation. I have foster-parented children coming from terrible situations at home. It doesn't matter...they mourn and grieve the loss of their home and the parents we know are unhealthy for children to be among. Today, I am happy to say, the foster parent system is learning the better way of temporarily placing children while parents that can be are rehabilitated and trained. It's not foolproof or fail-safe, but it is at least an honest effort that many times works for the best of all concerned.

Movies tell us that the main thing the homeless/neglected child wants is a home with any parents, but the real dream is to have a home with their own parents loving them and caring for them as they should. And even when this is impossible and the child knows it, the wish is there. The sadness is there. The mourning is there.

We should never expect gratefulness from them and we should stop expecting them to be overjoyed at the prospect of leaving their family to live with strangers. That's a word to the wise on the behalf of fostered/adopted children, teens and yes, even infants.

And regarding infants, lets remember the other truth no one wants to acknowledge...Many, many adopt because they cannot conceive. I know I'm walking in the thorns in writing of this, but I must. In such cases, the baby is filling a void. Whether or not that's the only reason they are adopting, adoptive parents should strongly rebuke anyone who makes them out to be a hero. In this case, particularly, the infant/child is actually the one doing the emotional saving. Whether the adoption is public or private, extensive counseling should take place in such placements. These parents need to heal rather than try to bandage their hearts with a baby. If they don't, it's a Pandora's Box just waiting for the lid to come off.

And the lid will come off.

First things first, oh world of Fix-Me-Quicks!

Certainly, separation from one's birth parents is not always an avoidable trauma. It is a wonderful thing that there are people ready and willing to care for children as if they are their own. But we get off track when we ignore the 'as if' of the previous sentence and more importantly, any adoptee's woundedness. Remember it simply does not matter what they came from. It also doesn't even matter how much their new parents and family wants and loves them. The hole in their heart is primal. It was there before these new parents came on scene. It is there, regardless. It must be acknowledged, not ignored. It must be understood, not swept beneath a carpet of fear.

The psyche forced to pretend cheer in the midst of such severe loss often splits, hence the reports of so many adoptees of feeling as if they were"living a double life". Most adoptees learn to perfect the game of pretend. They learn, even in infancy, what is expected and what pleases. If pretending is what is expected, they will comply, sometimes for years, sometimes until a point in adulthood and sometimes, forever. But parents who encourage this game of pretend play a dangerous game of roulette. Adoptees make up some of the world's greatest pretenders...until they decide they're tired of playing. Until they, as Deanna Shrodes calls it, 'come out of the fog' in a desperate attempt to find healing for their torn self.

I know. It happened to me. It was like swimming under water and finally finding my way to the surface. Just beyond the surface was truth. Breaking through, I had the sudden joy of knowing I'd live...but then I saw how far I'd have to swim to reach the shore. I survived because I had Jesus. He was my life raft.

Why is it, in every other situation involving loss, we show such understanding of the need to heal, while in adoption, the child so recently separated from it's mother is expected to rejoice? Placing such expectations on the emotions of a child creates a myriad of problems stemming from hidden, unprocessed grief.

I didn't say that right. Not just hidden GRIEF. Repressed isn't even a proper adjective. This is smashed-down GRIEF. This is GRIEF so many adoptees are expected or have been expected to stomp into a bucket until it can be stomped down no more. Ignore it and it will just go away.


Christians, this is a call to truth in adoption. There's so much more. Get involved. Stop saying everything's okay as it is. It is not okay. It is horrendously not okay. It is SO not okay that adoptees are dying by their own hands four times more often than the rest of the sad population.

Which makes adoptees the saddest of the sad.

Were they saved from abortion only to be lost to suicide?
I think not.
Surely we can do better than this.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Adoptee Heart Group Launching Soon!

We are just about ready for the launch of Adoptee Heart, a local gathering of Adult Adoptees! Hello. I'm Cindy Hailey, a facilitator of Adoptee Heart. Christ is our center and we strongly believe he is the central component of all healing.

We are open to all adult adoptees.

To some the need for such a gathering seems...well, needless. And there we've stumbled upon it already, without even trying..."The Adoptee Dilemma". 

Because of a righteous stand for life, Christians have become blinded to the truths affecting the hearts of a huge part of the world's population. Let's narrow that down to America's population to help the average mind comprehend the extent of the problem. Here are some stats:

DID YOU KNOW there are 6-7 million ADULT adoptees in America? There are. This computes to 12-14 million birth parents and 12-14 million more adoptive parents and then siblings from maternal, paternal and adoptive sides of the adoptee's family. (Let's go way low and say only 2 siblings in each set.) 
That would come to a conservative total of 6 siblings per adoptee which gives us about 36-42 million siblings! And what does that give us for the Grand Total in the adult adoptee 'family mosaic'? (Remember, this is only including adult adoptees.)
66-70 Million Americans.
And by the way, that's not even beginning to count the children, grandchildren or extended family members of those 6-7 million adult adoptees.
At Adoptee Heart we acknowledge the truth of the adoptee's adoption experience, whatever those experiences may be. They are as varied as the seeds in a packet of wildflowers. At its core the purpose of this group is the healing of the adoptee heart, so whether or not others agree with the need is really moot. Healing for many adoptees begins with acknowledgement of the truth they've lived, regardless of how unpopular that truth is, even within the Christian community.

Sometimes true healing...and prevention of future harm...can only come when we knock over sacred cows - crush them, actually. Culture can create idols that God never set in place and unfortunately, there are things about the 5 billion dollar per year adoption industry that have become nearly untouchable idols. Adoption is, in concept, good. But the fallen nature of man has a tendency to taint good and the adoption industry has not been immune. It really is high time that we see past the shine of adoption's 'golden cows'. Is it all bad? Of course not...the enemy works best by mixing arsenic into the honey.

The risk of suicide among adoptees is four times higher than any other group. Four TIMES higher. There are wounded adoptees out there and they are not only those who have suffered various forms of abuse in their adoptive homes. Common sense tells us that if that were all there is to it (as if that's not enough) the suicide risk wouldn't be that much higher than in other groups where abuse also occurs. Secrecy, stigmas, lies and injustice are all a part of the hidden adoption story.

The short and skinny of it is that Christians need to get their heads out of the sand and shift into how-can-we-help? mode. We should be the first on board, but we are not because we believe the lie that if we tell the truth about adoption, more young mothers will abort their babies. However, in states where law has been reversed and records unsealed for adopted adults, the abortion rate has not increased. Hello. Is ANYbody listening?

Here is an excerpt from Adoptee Rights:

"There are myriad factors that influence and determine abortion rates in various states and countries, and as such, it would be irresponsible to claim a causal relationship between open records and lower abortion rates. It can be clearly shown, however, that abortion rates are not higher in states with open records nor do abortion rates increase in countries with open records."
One of the greatest, healing gifts we can give the adoptee is to erase the injustice of not allowing them adult access to their biological roots. It's been proven that this can be done without harm. And just in case someone wants to pop up with the, "But, what about the protection of the birth parent?" question... There is no verbiage guaranteeing anonymity to birth parents in any state and never has been. It's a verbal ploy. A rumor created to be spread and believed by the general public. It worked, too, didn't it?

Here's a wonderful truth...96% of birth parents say they would be happy to reunite or in some way communicate with, their relinquished children. That's a far cry from the story so many adoptees believe. What is also believed about relinquishment is that it was a completely voluntary decision when in fact, (especially from the 40's -70's), relinquishment came after heavy-duty shaming and coercion.

Most adoptees have come to believe, and society as well as scared adoptive parents have allowed the belief, that they weren't wanted, were a shameful reminder of a shameful act and at the very least, weren't lovable enough not to be 'gotten rid of'. What sad, and almost completely untrue concepts to carry through life! Adoptees are expected to lie silent, (and so many do) regarding access to biological heritage. So many adoptees believe the lie that they don't 'deserve' to know their ancestry. Many self-protectively proclaim they don't want to know. ("If they didn't want me, why should I want them?") Many adoptees eventually realize that this kind of thinking is put upon them from their earliest years by a misguided society. When the understanding comes that the adoptee is actually being punished (even if unintentional) by laws that withhold documents that are specifically about them, documents that should be specifically their own to have and hold, while the rest of the world, even those imprisoned for true crimes, have access to theirs ... anger surfaces.

In truth, birth parents of relinquished children, mothers in particular, have sadly always been the last on the list of those with any rights, with their relinquished children following close behind. (Another wrong that needs righting even today when what is spoken aloud is often far different from what is acted out in time.) In truth, the ones with all the rights are the ones with all the money. Closed adoption parents have the right to rename their children, lie to their children about where they were born and who they were born to...In fact, they are completely supported by the government of their state as they are given falsified records with the lies written in the blanks for them. This 'birth certificate' can be obtained by the adoptee and unless the adoptive parents have 'fessed up', the adoptee can continue through their entire life believing this biggest of lies told to them by those they should be able to trust the most. Why? Because in a sealed state, records are sealed away from the adoptee forever.

Supposing the adoptive parents tell the truth. Then the child can ask for their original birth certificate, right? Wrong. In in most states (closed record states), they will ONLY be allowed to have the fake one...again, forever. A social worker sitting on the opposite side of the table from them, however, can study the adoptee's original birth certificate until the cows come home...see everything there ever was to know about the adoptee's heritage...but the adoptee cannot see it or be told the truths within the document.

There are lobbyists and groups out there fighting for these various human rights and we support them, but that is not our main focus. Our focus is helping the heart of the adopted adult. We know the frustrations that can come with some of the dilemmas mentioned above and so many more and that's where Adoptee Heart comes in. We are not professional counselors, but we have resources that can lead adoptees there, if that's where they want to go. We are not a church, but are all connected to a solid church body. We offer ears. We offer hearts. We offer our own stories and guidance to the Healer of healers as well as to tangible resources that can help in biological searches, emotional support and more.

And we're all very, very excited to see what God is going to do next.