Learning more about the victims of post-placement abuse
When I first entered the adoption web-circuit, almost 10 years ago, I was very naive and innocent in a very odd and peculiar way. Truthfully, computers and the internet were literally brand-new to me, (I had never owned or used a computer before 1998), so I actually believed it was sheer providence that within the first days of fooling around with internet options, I found adoption.con's website. The adult adoptee support section, (where personal adoption/relationship issues could be openly discussed), was exactly what I wanted since I had just recently decided it was time for me to to start my own Search and Recovery. When I first became an actively posting-member, I was stunned. Never before in my life did I ever experience so many warm and friendly welcomings... all from complete strangers who told me they knew exactly what I was going through. Never did I receive so much positive attention and feed-back from those who seemed genuinely interested in my life and background. Never before did so many ask questions or encourage me to speak about the feelings I had about being adopted. I can honestly say I felt deeply relieved knowing I found a safe space in cyber-traffic where I could stop, think and purge all that was happening in my new-stage of Adoption History Recovery. It didn't take me long to discover I was given a false-sense of community support. I learned very quickly just how taboo certain topics were within that adoption community. I forgot Rule #1 for me: Never trust those who seem aggressively kind and sincere. I got lulled into the silly belief that it was safe to discuss any adoption-related topic that really bothered me. I was wrong. Never did I think so many adoptees and AP's could get so angry, defensive and argumentative over a very serious topic of conversation I really needed to discuss openly: "child-abuse within the adoptive-home". After a few nasty hits from a few angry AP's, I began to think there was no greater diabolic enemy than the confused/angry adoptee who wanted nothing more or less than complete, open honesty.
At first, the general response given to my more personal postings read a little like this: "I'm so sorry that happened to you, but that was not my experience". As my off-line record-search began to reveal more twisted facts and disturbing "left-out" details about my own adoption-story, my on-line writing became more intense and angry. I was no longer the grateful little puppy seeking pats and scraps because I was expressing myself in a nice calm friendly fashion... I was getting really angry about all the lies, the hidden "half-truths" and the many untold family-secrets I knew and was expected to keep in complete silence. The frustration in me was building, and I was afraid I was going to explode. The more I posted about my deeper feelings, the more I saw others responding with similar stories and experiences. It was a comfort to know I was not alone with so many of these new-found discoveries still swarming within me. Unfortunately, that sense of comfort I got from other adoptees was short-lived. My posting-problems began soon after I decided I wanted to discuss the dark-side of adoption. The divide-in-sides was quickly formed, and it was indeed a sight to see who represented the Us v. Them within a cyber-adoption community. There were the angry and abused adoptees, and there were the more grateful and appreciative adoptees. "Parental support" went accordingly. [The hurt and angry adoptees got group support and sympathetic responses from first-moms, and the grateful adoptees got thanks and praise from the AP's.] It didn't take long for discussions to get ugly, and it was always amazing to me how viscious offended AP's could be towards those those who insisted, "THAT WAS NOT MY EXPERIENCE!". In all honesty, the arguments for/against adoption were entertainingly interesting to read... what bothered me most was the wall-flower response given by "happy and successfully reunited" adoptees. These were the people who kept interjecting their contrary opinion by stating, "I'm sorry, but my experience was very different." For the longest time, this grateful-for-being-adopted attitude really confused and pissed the crap out of me. It took me years to see what was being said each time the phrase "not me" was used within a sentence. It took years for me to see just how different "proper placement" reads to those were abused/neglected before formal adoption proceedings; for those who were abused after formal placement, that phrase took on a whole new meaning. It took me years to understand why so many adoptees actively support adoption practices/services, and the reason brought me to my own sobbing knees. Those adoptees who support and encourage adoption practices were not abused post-placement, and that tiny little detail truly amazed and changed me. It made me very VERY angry.
It took me YEARS to figure out I needed to unlearn everything I knew about family values and child placement practices. I began to imagine just how different life can be if an abused and neglected child is quickly rescued and removed from an abusive monster. I slowly began to see and imagine just how different life can be for the abused child if the dangerous abusive conditions and cruelties are removed, (permanently), and then replaced with something that looks, sounds, smells and feels like genuine loving goodness and kindness. Only recently have I been able to see first-hand how the power of love and compassionate understanding can change the life of one person... this is why I believe there are many who have been able to move past the pain caused by parental abuse and neglect. [This is not to say only AP's have the power to heal a broken child...] However, back when I was posting on adoption.con, I had one theme going-on in my head: Personal adoption-issues aside, what do people think about all those poor little runt bastards who did not get placed within a loving, protective second-home? What could be said about the rescued child who got caught in the dark-side, where abuse and neglect became just an ordinary pattern of daily family-living? Worse still, what if you were the child who was never really in harm's way or physical danger until the (so-called) legal adoption became final? Does anyone within the adoption community care about those who get sold to abusive strangers?
I learned a fast and furious lesson: I was only beginning to tap-into the root of my own complex personal problems, and as such, I began to see just how damaging "poor placement practices" can be for the child who has no one's long-term protective interest. The truth behind my living nightmares began to consume and cloud me in dark somber screaming silence, because for the very first time, I was beginning to see how life should have been for me, had one person taken a real genuine sincere long-term interest in my own emotional well-being. It took me a very long time to grasp a solid understanding of all that went behind the the meaning of "an alternate ending". The real hard-core grief hit me when I began to allow myself to think about all that could have been, had I been placed with a different family. [At first, I wanted to believe it was my own biologic family that could have healed my soul and fill the terrible void inside... but the truth is, what I was missing most out of life was the unconditional love, acceptance, support and protection only a really good adult could provide a child.] Slowly, I began to see how certain rejections/traumas in my life did NOT have to be, had I not been sent to live with the family Sr. Eugenia adoption agency chose for me. As I dared myself to explore personal reflections written by others who were abused as children, I began to recognize a very familiar writing style... those who were abused wrote differently than those who were rejected by their own mothers, and as far as I'm concerned, that unvoiced anguish is one that can be easily seen in the words so few dare to speak. There was one other style of writing that spoke to me. It was the one that secretly said: "I was not abused BEFORE I was put into the child placement system; I was abused after."
As I went back to the adoption.con webpages to share some of my thoughts and ideas, I discovered more and more angry adoptees were being banned (and their posts were getting deleted) by those moderating their webpages. When I got slapped with my first unexpected "banned" title, and subsequent deletions, I was stunned and terribly upset until a very good contact told me, "You touched a topic no one in the adoption industry wants to discuss openly.".
For some stupid reason, that concept shocked me. Why would an adoption website want to hide the truth?
Holy crap in a baby-basket.
Over the years, adoption has become a huge servicing business, one that thrives on very smart and clever marketing tools. Happy buyers make happy owners/sellers, so the smart adoption-friendly website will make sure happiness and satisfaction is seen and felt by the majority, with only a few sad serious nods to the dark and sobering side of "those unfortunate things that can go wrong and bad". As long as the whole selling scheme doesn't seem too sweet and sickening, who can complain the entire operation behind child placement is a moral outrage? [Enter the adoption-friendly screening/banning process: those who defy the rules of friendly banter are quickly and quietly removed, never to be acknowledged again.] Truthfully, after all I have learned about the underground operations within child placement, for the life of me, I cannot understand why any sane God-fearing person would want to be involved in something that could easily involve forced coercion, child abduction, wrongful medical diagnosis and treatment, falsified documentation, and/or false claims made against a parent... but over the years I have learned, in some cases, there is no logic behind certain wants and needs. My thoughts and ideas were not welcomed within an adoption community so I sadly began to see how America's economy thrives not because of moral virtue, but because America relies on man's insatiable greed.
So, after 10 years perusing the land of happy-go-lucky adoption-friendly facts and figures, I have learned a few disturbing truths:
No one really wants to read just how many people FAIL the true test of "good child-care" and "protective parenting".
As long as there are those who claim God is at the center of every adoption-story, few are going to believe there are liars and deceivers working for (and within) the adoption industry.
No one wants to fully investigate just how deeply depraved the sins of corruption really lie within the child placement industry.
Adoption.com taught me very few people want to question their own belief-system, because it could make right seem wrong and wrong seem right, and that's a confusion few want to complicate their well-programed lives.
I believe the paper-trail left behind the adoption industry serves as the moral litmus test many powerful and influential people don't want in public view. There is huge money to be had for those who don't mind a little deceptive word-play and a few conflicting-interests, and that sure doesn't look good for those believing they are doing good by helping a needy child. God-forbid the average person sees the facts (versus the fiction) many within our churches and governments are doing in terms of "child placement". For those who have taken the time to dig a little deeper, the findings within the adoption/child placement industry speak for itself, and keep revealing the same big problem: there are far too many missing pieces, there are far too many repeat offenses and there are far too many failures within a system of operations that should have universal standards of practice. With all the moral support and the financial backing given to adoption services, can't anyone afford to promise long-term child safety within child placement services? Can't one government promise it's people, "sexual abuse of children placed in institutional/state care will NOT be tolerated"? Can't one child placement agency keep accurate updated records on all the children they serve, making sure not one child gets abused by those who promise "better care"? Failing to provide protection to the world's most vulnerable children is not just a shame, it's a crime and a sin that cannot be forgiven.
The very sad reality about abuse post-placement is simple: as long as sexual predators and rage-filled people are allowed full access to unprotected children, the legacy of child abuse will continue. Not enough is being done to keep pedophiles and emotionally unstable adults away from children, and not enough protection is given to those living in "alternative home" settings. (Who dares to investigate the number of sexual advances made at children living in orphanages, Children's homes, foster/adoptive homes?). In terms of "honest to goodness" child protection, why is sexual safety not a high-marking priority? Why has unmarried sex and homosexuality become the two biggest evils that threat our "God-Fearing" society? Why are these topics not covered by the media? Perhaps more people need to see "A glimpse at the mind of a pedophile". Maybe then more people will begin to better appreciate the fear I have for the children placed within "special services".
I hope with the new presidency, we will all see more compassionate concern go towards the rights of children, and not towards the desires of those who feel it's their right to have a child.
I hope after all the votes have been counted, and celebrations have ended, the American people will begin to see how much more deeply and seriously long-term interest and investigation must be given to child safety, and how the dark-side of adoption needs to be eliminated.
Above all else, I hope and pray all the suffering felt by the generations of uncounted victims of post-placement abuse will not be in vain.