Posts by Claudia Corrigan D'Arcy
The way I see it: if we make the concept of responsibility (or even blame) a pie, then I will eat my share of Regret Pie. I will not, however, eat my mother’s share, my family’s share, the adoption agency’s fair share or Max’s dad’s fair share of Regret Pie. I am quite full enough.
Have a piece of adoption regret pie.
Oh, believe me: I am well aware of the parts I played and the mistakes I have made.
If you are an adoptee or a birthparent planning on an adoption search and hopeful to have a family reunion, there is no such thing as too much planning. The time to start preparing for an adoption reunion is actually way before you start your actual adoption search. I have seen searches that take 30 years and I have seen searches that take 30 hours, so you can’t think that you can let the search pace be your timeline. Get ready. An adoption search and the subsequent reunion with family can be both time consuming and sometimes even obsessive inducing. It’s often very hard to go from some sort of life removed from adoption to a life where adoption “stuff” is constantly on our minds. Plus every situation is different. There is no one right way or one wrong way, a check list of sorts, we all just wing it somehow. Read Stories of Adoption Reunions You will want to be reading all the adoption reunion stories that you can so you can gain insight and knowledge from other people’s experiences. As much as everyone has a different take on the whole thing, there are many common themes in Read more
Thus in the 80s began the “Open adoption experiment.”
What a perfect solution to the problem! No longer will these children grow up and not know their roots. They will know what their biological parents liked to do, what they looked like, their athletic ability or lack of. They will now know that they were in fact loved and that the transfer from one mother to another was an act of unselfish love.
I am a product of this experiment. Read More
After giving birth and relinquishment, the birthmother goes back to “normal” life, but nothing would ever be the same normal again. That was always the bit of irony about adoption. You went through this experience, this incredible perceived “sacrifice” and certainly heartache for the ultimate plan to not have your life changed, but no one tells you how unavoidable that is. You can’t have a baby and place it for adoption without the experience changing your very being. Yet, that is how it is sold. Adoption is supposed to remove the actuality of being a mother and having a child, but you DO have a child and you DO become a mother. Just that now, no one knows, and you can’t act like it, and you get treated all the same, but you’re not. I wasn’t the same. I couldn’t be. For one, my body was now the body of a mother. I had stretch marks galore on my now deflated belly. Granted I could get back into the coveted jeans and wear a belt again, but for anyone with any intelligence could glance at the roadmap of my life experience riddled on my midriff and know that I had Read more
It was close to 10 years ago, if not more the first time I was called out on being a birthmother in denial. Max was only 13 and years away from being found and I was new to the adoption community online. I was still saying things like “Adoption was the hardest decision, but the best choice for my baby I could have made. I do not regret it” and expecting to get pats on the back for my selflessness and courage. Instead I was publicly edited, felt mad as a hornet and couldn’t sleep that night. I was told I was unaware of what adoption really was like and that I was in birthmother denial. How DARE they, I thought, they don’t KNOW me! Immediately, I started drawing lines in the sand of my mind. Somehow, I had to make this horrible group of angry birthmothers different than me. They were so angry. They had horrible things to say about adoption, so they had to have completely different experiences that I did. We could not be the same. In a way, I was right. The majority of moms I was speaking to them were older and had very different Read more
The subtle coercion in adoption counseling often does not seem real. “Coercion” is such a harsh word. Adoption is seen as a decision, a wise choice; made by selfless mothers, for the good of others, for the betterment of her child. We place our babies for adoption. In adoption counseling, we work on making our adoption plans. Adoption agencies do not truly violently rip children out of wailing mother’s hand, but wait until a birthmother “says her goodbyes” and tearfully hands over a child to the waiting adoptive parents. The words “Adoption Counseling” should seem to invoke a positive response, but the counseling as practiced by many adoption agencies in this country is truly a delicate dance that gently contorts one’s boundaries with subtle, and unfortunately usually un-acknowledgeable, coercion. Coercion as Defined a form of power based on forced compliance through fear and intimidation. The act of compelling by force of authority compulsion: using force to cause something; Another act defined by most states as an “unfair trade practice.” This one occurs when someone in the insurance business uses physical or mental force to persuade another to transact insurance Pertaining to unacceptable participant recruitment methods which involve duress, undue inducement Read more
This post was supposed to be “10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Was Touched By Adoption”, but I can’t use the feel good wording of “touched.” I was not touched by adoption, it’s more like torched, trampled, traumatized, terrorized, tortured and torn apart by adoption. My role in adoption is that of a birthmother and in so many ways I was so unprepared. We all are. Adoption Was More like a Destructive Force I Let into My Life Adoption was almost more like a crack that happened in my soul. A crack that I thought, and was encouraged to believe, would be temporary or always below the surface. Over time, the rest of life worked its way in, like water in cement, and caused the very foundation of myself to crumble. So that gives me number one on my list; the rest is really, really easy and I can also quite easily go on and on, but this carnival only called for the ten things we wish we could have known. I think I just have to go over the number 10. I wish I knew that relinquishing my child to adoption was not a onetime event that Read more
Sometimes I look in the mirror and after feeling the shock of seeing my mother looking back at me, I am amazed and hear the infinitely wise words of David Byrne from the Talking Heads: “Well, how did I get here?” It’s in those moments that I look back and try to find the answer on what got me to the place that I am at now…why this life, why this house, why this husband? It is with all the clarity that hindsight can offer, I see just a few distinct moments in my life where it all could have changed. Not the little inconsequential choices; this job or that, this new car or another and not the weird “beyond our control stuff” like if I hadn’t tried to carry too much up to the attic that time, I would not have fallen and ruptured my spleen, but the big stuff… the decisions that completely and totally changed the course of my existence and the foundation of who I am. One is a minor blip, not so much a huge choice, but a lack of possible opportunity. The Moments When Life Could Have Altered By far the biggest of Read more