Mother's Day: What are we celebating?
Last year, I wrote Adapting to Mother's Day, After Adoption, a piece that introduces readers to the heartbreak some must endure when one person's loss becomes some other person's gain, thanks to illegal unethical adoption practices - found throughout Adoptionland. I reached the conclusion that children kidnapped and forced into an adoption plan should not be expected to celebrate Mother's Day. Given all that can transpire between and through the hands of corrupt doctors, lawyers, judges, and adoption/orphanage agency directors, when it comes to Mother's Day, what exactly would that adoptee and the adoptive parents be celebrating?
On this day, I am reminded of the scores of women in China who are put through forced abortions and adoptions, thanks to a government's One Child Policy. [For more, visit the website: All Girls Allowed ]
On this day, I am reminded of the misguided mission of misogynists in regions like India, where the ridding of females through forced abortions and adoptions may, in the minds of true women-haters, bring a sense of utopia. [ Read: ‘All Those Little Faces’: Elizabeth Vargas Explores India’s ‘Gendercide’ ] I find this most ironic since much money can be made in India through both the adoption industry, AND surrogacy.... two very profitable businesses that require one of the world's greatest natural resource: the woman's body.
According to the bible I've been reading since I was little, an all male society is not at all as God Planned or wanted for Himself or others. Then again, the bible I read teaches not to envy, steal, or covet what belongs to another... greedy self-serving actions and behaviors often seen behind-the-scenes of media's more pro-adoption version of Adoptionland.
On this Mother's Day day, I am reminded of articles that feature the role of money and politics in every day decisions, especially if one is on a fixed/limited income and learns (ready or not) there is going to be a new mouth to feed in less than 10 months. After reading articles like, Arizona Bans Funding for Planned Parenthood, Organizations That Perform Abortions, and Top Executives Quit Komen After Planned Parenthood Controversy, I am reminded of the limited reproductive rights of women, the lengths some ultra-religious groups will go to maintain a pro-life veneer, and the ridiculous high cost of health insurance, doctor visits, prescription medications and various diagnostic tests, and how this toxic mix makes quality women's health-care cost-prohibitive for many... too many. [I have to remind myself medicine and health-care IS a business... a very profit-centric one.]
I try not to let the realities of life outside that 1% get me too depressed, but that unnerving voice in my head keeps screaming in rhetorical question: where are politicians and religious leaders taking the USA. ... a land that was founded and established by those seeking freedom, the right to choose their own fate, and had no problem stealing and killing others to have those "inalienable rights". And why in the world was I brought into this mess? What is the future for women, and their children, especially if they're not rich and not living as their law-makers want them to live?
It seems to me on Mother's Day, we should stop for a few minutes and remember how we all got here. We should take a few moments to reflect and think about all the harms that have come to women, all because women have been not only not seen as "unequals" by men, but in far too many cases, man still sees women as dangerous sources of evil.
On this day, I am astounded and ashamed how little care and attention is given to the rights of women in this world; their need for advocates and protection is still so great... even here in the USA... where the retail world would truly suffer if women-shoppers went away.
As Perfect Timing often hits, it just so happens, yesterday, after a long night at work, I read an article showcasing a super-model's campaign to abort the popular over-commercialized version of Mother's Day... the one day of the year that shop-owners urge others to celebrate Mom, and all "Mom" can mean to a child and childhood. As a professional nurse, it will be interesting to see how this unpopular yet growing belief held by those who want to boycott the commercialism of Mother's Day will evolve as we continue to live in an age where poor maternal health-care continues, and the inability to afford the cost of living, (which in the USA includes decent health insurance) plagues so many.
Turlington Burns’ Every Mother Counts organization, which raises awareness about the 360,000 women who die each year from pregnancy or childbirth-related problems, wants fellow moms to spend the holiday in silence – no phone calls, no gifts, no Facebook, no fanfare from family.
The act of solidarity shows “just how much a mother is missed when she is gone,” the No Mother's Day campaign states.
[From: Supermodel Christy Turlington Burns defends her campaign to boycott Mother's Day, May 10, 2012]
As an adoptee who was later abused and abandoned by my "forever loving" adoptive family, I can't recall too many times I did not wish for a mom -- ANY mom, who'd love, protect and take care of me.... without the sure-fire signs of burden, disgust and inconvenience.
I can't recall too many times when that sense of loss and feeling lost wasn't the center of my energy.
If I were to name the greatest loss/absence in my life it would have to be this: I lacked the love and care that comes from a good woman. I lacked a good role model and teacher, and that absence in experience still scares me.
In fact, the greatest emptiness and sadness is and has always been most deeply felt when I myself became a mom, and had to do 'mom-things', four times over with no encouragement, positive words, or help. It's sad and funny, as my life can be -- where my own kids serve as a living reminder of all that I have done and can do for another, they are also living reminders of all that I lost and did not have, myself.
So.... on this typically difficult mother's day, I've decided to take my loss and pain and do something more positive with it. My plan begins with a simple wish. I wish we lived in a world where women were not hated, used, abused, turned-away, and left to care for themselves - alone - as so many are forced to do. I wish we lived in a world where it's safe to have children, and I wish there weren't so many in this world working as hard as they do to ensure the bond between mother and child gets lost and broken. Most of all, I wish we lived in a world where we did not have to be told, (by retail companies around the world, glad to spend millions just for advertising), just how much our mothers need and deserve gifts and cards, so they can feel loved and appreciated. Truth is, what women need most is HELP. Women need the sort of help that does not cost her life, her health, or her children... they need the care and kindness that can only come from others with a loving and compassionate soul. After all, a world without women, is a world that would be lacking something... and within a single generation, that empty incomplete place filled with men would cease to exist.
I know for some, such visual is not such a bad thought to imagine.
For my own mental well-being, as a mom, and a woman, I have decided today will mark the start of a new on-going lesson I will try to teach my daughters and sons: this day, ear-marked by the greeting card industry, will not be spent surrounded by the last-minute purchased gifts that serve as the little tangible rewards I get for all the meals I make, clothes I wash, nights I spend taking temperatures, cleaning vomit, or chasing away scary dreamed demons. Today will be spent thinking and talking about what it takes to make a really great woman...a really fantastic mom. What is it about women that makes us want to celebrate and care for others? What is it about them that generates so much hate and resentment? Where do we, and our actions, each fit in that spectrum that helps create personality and attitude development? What will it take, as individuals, to undo the damage caused by hate and anger, by rage and punishment... damage done by others, who are no longer around?
For the sake of women and society as a whole, I want my kids to know, in detail, the many wrongs done to women and mothers, all so others (who saw themselves as superior) can feel better about themselves. My kids need to know certain acts ARE wrong... and wrong acts bring negative consequences.
I want my kids to be part of a generation that knows and understands why righting certain wrongs (often done initially in the name of religion and government, followed by an arrogant sense of supremacy), is not enough.
Yes, changing policy and procedures, laws and punishments is a step in the right direction, but more is needed, emotionally.
There are victims of neglect left behind... and their emotional needs are complex and confusing.
For so many of us who have lost mothers and children through force, the natural negative consequences are many. The fall-out is immense. And for those who have been lost, forced to be removed, and never found or received replacements that were protective, loving and good, the pain and grief caused by another's actions may never fully go away. I know in my own case, that nerve cell that gets so easily triggered is just too raw and deep.... it is the mother of all pains and grief.
The way I see it, as long as man allows or encourages maternal deprivation to continue, I see no reason to rejoice or celebrate the empty misery felt on this, or any other, Mother's Day.