Many years ago, I had many discussions with a first-mother who lost her son, first through adoption, then later to suicide.
Our phone conversations were especially hard because I could hear the sob in her voice. Her voice sounded like that of a child... yet her words written on adoption forums read like she was a very well-informed profoundly strong woman. Like me, (at the time), she was a warrior in words, but a weepy child in private.
Many of our discussions revolved around the Catholic Church, and what it would do to unwed pregnant girls during the Closed Era of Adoption. [See: Maternity Homes and The Magdalene Laundry
In brief, the girls were told they were sinners (for having sex outside of marriage). As such, they had to pay for their sins... make a sacrifice... so they could be forgiven. The sacrifice would be simple: relinquish your child to someone who has none.. or to those who are "much better". Theoretically, asking for forgiveness, paying the price for a mistake, doing what the Holy Father suggests would make everything OK.
When First-Mom and I talked, I would think how this religious approach would work in favor for the infertile, too. In that case, the person burdened with guilt and shame associated with infertility could easily change the situation by admitting a problem (to "the right people"), praying/paying for an answer, and receiving a baby, thanks to the kind generous working people within the church and its extended congregation.
All involved were to see problems can solved, IF each has faith.
Yes, indeed, wouldn't that be great?
But as First-Mom and I would reveal to one another, (in private conversation), once adoption was the decided option, all sorts of hell began to break-loose in our personal lives. In her case, the loss of her first-born son haunted her. Grief could not be relieved. Other children could NOT replace the child she
lost had taken away. In her mind, the mistake was not getting pregnant... her mistake was listening to the limited suggestions made by others. In her case, the ultimate hurt took place the day she learned her son -- the one promised a better future -- was found dead, in his car. Suicide.
In my case, the parents "chosen" for me were not as they appeared on-paper. [Who ever is?] In that house, all sorts of secrets, guilts and shames were taking place... and not one person was allowed to bring-in help. [God forbid people knew the truth!] I cannot put into words how many times I wished to die... how I wished certain people in that chosen family found me dead.
There are those who think the practices of the Closed Era of Adoption are gone and buried. I read about the many recruitment practices done by those advocating adoption, (in the name of Christianity), and I have to ask: how have things become different, how much has changed, and where is the humanity when religion is used as a means to scare and bully?
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