Tuesday, January 31, 2012


It was November 18, 2009.  Police were everywhere.  It looked liked every single Police Officer in our town (on & off duty) was out here...nothing like this happens here...not in our town.

I think I was in shock.  The Coach, another Mom and I were talking...how could something like this happened in our town?  The 9th safest city of our size in the US.  A murder at a public park where there were kids on the tennis courts having a lesson, behind a Middle School my daughter would be attending in a couple of years.  I was familiar with this park.  I spent 4 years of my life as a Girl Scout Leader, we had Twilight Camp here every summer with other kids from other troops throughout our Council.  This was a safe place.  This was a happy place.  This was home.

I was in some kind of shock I keep rubbing the palm of my right hand.  Crap! I can't get this blood off of me.  Please God, don't let me have a hidden, microscopic cut on my hand.  Please don't let his blood mix in with mine, if it does please let him be healthy.  

It was dark outside.  The ambulance had already left, no sirens, just lights, going the speed limit.  The Coach and I did everything we could to save this boy.  Oh, he really was dead, I was right.  I want to throw up.  Remain calm.  I can break down when I get home.  Ashley?  Ashley!  ASHLEY!!!  This could have been Ashley!  Oh Ashley!  Where are you? Oh my God!  Ashley, I need to know you are safe! 

A mini van pulls up, looks like a woman gets out, wearing pj's and has her hair pulled back in a ponytail, lots of hair.

A Police Woman walks towards us with her arms out, "Y'all need to back up please".  The three of us start moving further away.  We figured she was the victim's mom.  I looked behind me and they made her sit on the curb.  Then we heard it.  She screamed.  A primal mother's scream.  There was no mistaking it...a mother lost her son tonight.

The scream reached the very core of me, I had chills, I could literally feel her pain.  I wanted to run to her, hold her, comfort her...Mother to Mother.  I looked at the Coach, my eyes filled with tears.  He immediately grabbed my arm and pulled me close to him and told me I couldn't go.  He tried to hug me, but I stepped away.  A hug would have given me permission to cry, I couldn't cry yet, I can't fall apart before the police interview me.  Remain calm.  This could have been Ashley!  What if this happened to Ashley, no one would tell me.  Ashley, where are you?  I need you, I need to hold you close, I need to know you are safe.  I need to hold both of my children close.

I finally made it home a few hours later.  I was shaking, still in shock. My husband and daughter were waiting for me in the kitchen.  I still had my jacket on, the one I used to keep "the boy" warm, when I went over to the sink obsessively washing my hands over and over.  My husband took my jacket to inspect it, then my tights, my shoes, and my skirt.  I told him I was okay.  He said he knew I was fine, he wanted to know if "the boy" was still alive when I got to him.  What?  He knew I used my right hand to apply pressure to the fatal wound, because of where I was if his heart was still beating then I would have been covered in blood, he was killed instantly because there was no blood on me, not on my knees or my clothes, just on my hand.  I went back to the sink to wash my hands all over again, repeatedly.  A mother lost her son, she will never see his smile, hear his voice, hear is laughter, she will never again feel his touch.  I was too late.  Where is Ashley?  What if this was her, I would never know. 

The next day I found out what the boy's name was and his age...he was 4 months older than Ashley.

Last July this horrible crime finally had it's day in court, I had to testify, the trial ended with a hung jury.  We are going back for a retrial.  So the nightmares began again as soon as I receive my subpoena.  The Mother's scream, the air escaping from a lifeless body, the pain of a Mother losing her child.  This is what haunts me...

After I testified last summer the boy's Mother approached me.  She hugged me, we sat down and she held my hands.  She explained to me that a Mother always knows when her child is in danger, she explained the strange little things that happened the few days before her son's murder and she explained the great sadness and pain she felt at the time her son died.  I sat there trying to listen carefully because her accent was starting to get thick as she started to cry, I was trying to fight back the tears.  My tears were for her losing her son, but they were also for me losing my child to adoption...my child is out there and I will never know if she is safe.  This Mother will now spend her life not hearing her son's laughter, hearing his voice, seeing his smile...she will be able to understand a tiny piece of my pain...a pain I would never wish on another human being.

When a mother is pregnant with her child her body changes, the chemistry in her brain changes.  A maternal instinct kicks in.  I don't know how, but I understand why.  This maternal instinct is suppose to protect the child.  When the child is lost to adoption that instinct does not go away.  No piece of paper, no Judge, no court can remove that maternal instinct.  I know you have heard the saying "A Mother always knows", well, the Mother can sense what is going on with the child, it's part of that maternal instinct, part of that bond that is developed during pregnancy.  A court document can separate the Mother and Child, but it can not remove that bond, that instinct.

When I go next week to sit on the stand again I will be relieving the moments from that night, how I tried to save another Mother's child and I will also be reminded how losing my child to adoption will always leave me wondering if my First Child is safe.  It will be a cruel reminder, reminding me that I will never know if Ashley is in danger and I will never be able to protect her like a Mother protects her child from danger.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Oh Crystal Ball, What Does Her Future Hold?

First/Birth/Natural/Biological Mothers have been repeatedly told the same thing through the years by those in a higher, authoritarian position.  We are told how our unborn children deserve better, we are not good enough, we would live a life of ruin, etc, etc, etc.  They have been repeating the same words over and over for decades.  The Mothers who have been coerced, manipulated and threatened into losing their infant children to adoption can repeat these words in an almost trance-like state, we were like little robots repeating these words year after year, until some of us finally get our strength back and we can fight back.

The people who do the dirty work, you know the ones...they sit there with a warm and gentle look on their face explaining what a horrible life this Mother would have if she kept her baby and then they will go into another room grinning from ear to ear lying to the "Hopeful Adoptive Parents".  Telling them how they will soon be parents because a baby will be coming soon and the "Biological Mother" can't wait to get on with her life, everything will be perfect, etc, etc, etc.

These people who are in charge of manipulating expectant Mothers, who are they?

Are they some kind of psychic who can predict without a doubt the unborn child would live a life of poverty if they were raised with their own Natural Mother?  No, they are people who do what they can to get the unborn child and hand them over to couples who would in return hand over their life savings.  These people are like sleazy salesmen who sell stolen merchandise out of the trunks of cars.

Do these people gaze into a magical crystal ball asking to show the expectant Mother what a horrible life they will give their unborn child?  No, they see dollar signs.  It is a legal way for them to sell human beings, make a profit.  These people threaten and coerce naive unmarried expectant teen Mothers so they hand over their babies so these people can sell them to the highest bidder. 

Are they Oracles?  Does God speak to them telling them the expectant Mother will live a life of despair if they do not relinquish their child?  No, these people prey on expectant Mothers who have a less than perfect home life.  "oh, you're parents are divorced?  You will continue the cycle if you keep your baby."  "Oh, you were raised in an abusive home?  You will continue the cycle if you keep your baby."  "Oh, your father was non-existent in your life?  Is that what you want for this baby?" and so on and so on and so on.  These people think they have higher morals, higher values than the expectant Mother.  These people play off of the fears the expectant Mother has, they never tell her what her options really are.

So all those years ago my Counselor Brainwasher / Manipulator played off of my fears.  She threw statistics out there...saying statistically I will be this, statistically I will be that, statistically there is no hope for me.  Statistics.  Statistics.  Statistics.  How I hate that word.  Statistics.  I will be destined to live in a cardboard box under I-20 in Downtown Dallas if I kept my child.  My child would only receive clothes and toys from charities if I were to keep her.  My child would never have her own room, a yard to play in and other children would tease her because she is poor.  These are a few of the things that were "predicted" for my future if I kept my baby.

Who was this woman who could sit there and honestly predict my future?  Nope, she wasn't a psychic, she didn't have a crystal ball, she wasn't an oracle.  She was someone who became a Master Manipulator in her many years of working for the Agency.  This woman knew how to play on my fears, she knew how to make me feel guilty for even considering raising MY child, she was very good at her job.


Her job.

It takes a cold, heartless person with no conscience to sit there and manipulate a scared teenager like that so she can get her hands on the unborn child.

Have these people ever stopped once to put themselves in our shoes?  Have they ever taken a moment to think what it feels like to be separated from their child and continue living with a huge void in their heart? Probably not, because if they did they would not be able to do their jobs.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Missing Sister

The daughter I am raising (who I will call Cindy) was told last August that she has an older half-sister, Ashley.  Cindy wasn't upset about the news, she was happy to hear that she really does have a sister.  She understood what happened and she understood that me losing a child to adoption was completely different than her biological father losing his parental rights.  I was young and was coerced, manipulated and threatened...he was a meth addict who admitted to endangering her life...two completely different animals.

Cindy is a smart kid, wise beyond her years.  School Teachers, Principals, and School Counselors keep trying to lump her into the general cloud, they get frustrated because she doesn't act and respond like every girl her age.  Bottom line is...Cindy is not a doormat.  Things are either right or they are wrong, she stands back and analyzes situations and then decides if it is a cause worth fighting for, if she decides it worth fighting for then she will stand up and fight to the bitter end.  With her peers she is someone that likes to stand out in a crowd, she doesn't do this for attention, she is comfortable in her own skin and doesn't see the point in being like everyone else.  Cindy embraces her "inner weirdness" and we are proud of her for it, her friends love it.  They come to her with their problems and she helps them find a solution.  She is capable of recognizing people for who they are, she is starting to see through their BS and see what kind of person they really are.  If she knows they have a good heart then she embraces them, protects them and thinks of them has her Sisters.

For three years now Cindy has been bullied by this one girl.  We know it is jealousy, but this bully has been obsessed with Cindy.  It started in 5th grade, Cindy tried to be friends with this girl, but it got worse.  The summer before 6th grade the bully managed to get Cindy's best friend to turn against her, Cindy was devastated.  In 6th grade Cindy tried to be polite towards the bully, but it didn't work.  Cindy turned in bully reports, but her school wanted to bury their heads in the sand.  The summer before 7th grade the bully started threatening Cindy on facebook, we started documenting.  So far this year the bully has sent threatening text messages to Cindy, started rumors, tried unsuccessfully to get the 8th graders to gang up on Cindy.  Bully reports were again filed and again, nothing happened.  The bully managed to get Cindy's best friend since Kindergarten to turn against her and the bully talked this other girl into shoving Cindy into a Teacher.  Again, the school principal acknowledged Cindy was being bullied, but he can't do anything.  Needless to say, after this conversation with the school counselor and the principal we are now labeled one of "those" parents.  Damn straight we are one of those parents...Cindy will not be forced to be a doormat by her school.

The point is...

7th grade is tough.  I'm sure a lot of you can remember what 7th grade was like.  There is hormonal girl drama like no tomorrow.  Cindy can deal with the drama, she's got a good head on her shoulders.  She is being bullied by a girl who has spent the last three years being hell bent on destroying her for some sick reason.  Cindy has all of her friends and acquaintances running to her for advice and solutions to their problems.  Cindy has no one to turn to besides her parents and Grandma.

This post is not about Cindy being bullied...

Adoption has separated two sisters.  This is a time in Cindy's life where she needs to lean on someone, unfortunately she is the youngest of two daughters being raised as an only child.  With sisters there is a special bond, they share the same blood, DNA, they have a unique understanding into what makes the other tick.  Cindy knows she has an older half sister.  So instead of having a sister to lean on, to seek guidance from, to be a shoulder to cry on she has only her parents and Grandma.  My husband can only do so much, he was never an almost 13 year old girl.  Me and Grandma can only help so much...things have changed since we were her age.  She really needs Ashley, but Ashley was lost to adoption.

So I wonder....I see where Cindy needs her Sister.  Is it possible for Ashley to need her little sister too?  A sister who shares the same blood, DNA and family history.

Photo:  Graphics Hunt

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Ripple Effect

One of the things they said to me was "You will continue on like nothing ever happened" and "This won't affect anyone else".  Both of these statements were drilled into me over and over, to a point where I almost believed it.  The first statement I realized was a lie pretty quick...but the second statement took longer for me to figure out it was a lie.  

It took my husband to point out the painfully obvious.

About five years ago, shortly after I received the information about Ashley from a Search Angel a friend of mine found a picture of Ashley and sent it to me.  I printed out the picture.  I was ecstatic!! I showed the picture to my husband.  He told me I had no right, I need to forget about it and move on, etc, etc, etc.  I was horrified, he was repeating the same words they said.  I was overcome with anger and I said "Until you miraculously grow a uterus and give birth you are not allowed to tell me what to think and feel on this subject!"  End of story.  Since then I would mention little tidbits about Ashley and he would not respond...which was fine with me.

Last August I wrote about coming home and finding out my kept daughter had "friends" in the house (including boys).  I ended up telling her about Ashley, not the way I wanted to approach it, but the cat was out of the bag.  My husband came home in the middle of this, I was expecting him to go on about how I had "no right", blah, blah, blah.  Instead he surprised me...

So he explains...as an outsider...this was his explanation, his viewpoint that left me completely speechless.

"I never popped a baby out" (Wow!  That was crude!  Looks like what I told him five years ago actually stuck with him).  He continued explaining that he could not understand what goes on with a woman when she conceives, carries the child to term and gives birth, especially when this woman is still in High School.  (I listen to him, in shock...curious)

"The point is" as he continues.  Your Mother not being allowed to raise her First Child affects all of us.  (What?  I was always told it wouldn't affect anyone else)  I have watched your Mother swing from one emotion to another when it comes to Ashley, I have watched her close herself off and cry for what I think is no good reason.  This affects me because I can not fix this for her, there is no fixing it and I have come to the realization that this will never go away.  It hurts me to see her get excited over some trivial piece of information then watch all of her hopes get crushed.  They say "adoption is the best choice", but it is not, look at what it has done to her family, our family.

"It affects you", my kept daughter looks at him confused.  You have a sister, half sister, that was never allowed into your life.  You may never have the opportunity to get to know her and vice versa, Ashley has no clue that she has a little half sister who would look up to her and love her because she is her sister.  There is a void in this family, the void will never go away, the void will continue with you, your children, your grandchildren.  Adoption doesn't just affect your Mother, it affects everyone connected to your Mother.

Then he told her something that caught me off guard.  "When you get a little bit older and one of your friends end up pregnant, bring them to your Mother.  The crap about Adoption being a loving, selfless act is bullshit.  Let your Mother explain to them what it really does to the Birthmother."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  I wasn't being insulted because I wouldn't "let it go", I was hearing for the first time how adoption affects those around me.

Adoption causes a ripple effect.  Ashley was taken from me, it left an empty void in me.  After my husband explained what it was like being on the outside and looking in I was able to see how this touched so many things in my life.  It wasn't just my life that was affected...

My Mother never had the opportunity to be in her Granddaughter's life.

My Grandmother never had the chance to meet her first Great Granddaughter before she passed away.

My Step Daddy was never given the chance to teach his Granddaughter how to ride horses or chase the chickens when Grandma wasn't looking and telling her bad jokes when she came of age.

My Sister never had the chance to get to know her niece and spoil her.  Take her shopping and show her how she makes her incredible filled cupcakes.

Other family members never had the chance to pass along the crazy family stories before they passed away.

My kept daughter who is being raised as an only child will never know what it was like to grow up with an older sister.  Her future children will never have their Aunt in their lives and will never have the opportunity to spend time with their first cousins.

When They say "It will only affect you" then they are lying.  Losing a child to adoption destroys a family, it leaves a void, an empty space that can never be filled.  It doesn't affect just the Mother, it affects everyone connected to the Mother and continues on to the next generations...like the ripples in water.