Monday, June 1, 2009

My life, My Passion.

I received a comment on my Adoption Story the other day that really upset me.
It upset me because I couldn't possibly understand how ANYONE could have such negative feelings towards something that seems so obviously AMAZING.

This person criticized and completely downplayed the two most incredibly important, amazing and passionate things in my life. She ripped on the two things I hold so dear and close to my heart....

Adoption
and
My religion.

I have my comments set to be moderated for any post older than three days.
I do that ONLY so that I can see that I received a comment on older posts.

HOWEVER,
this lady thought that meant that I have it set so that I can decide which comments to post.

I have NEVER rejected a comment....until now.
She asked me that I have the "courage" to post it.

It has nothing to to with my having courage, but everything to do with the fact that I am not in a million years going to support the things she was saying..especially when she is bashing two of the most incredibly important things I hold so close to my heart.

Now on to some of the things she said. I am making this post because I want to explain to those of you that cannot see what a miracle these things are, how amazing they are. I am responding to this comment simply because I need everyone to know why exactly I have such strong feelings towards these two things.

Hear me out.

Before I start I would like to thank this reader for reading my blog, and also for stating their opinion. It does help me to know how to further educate others that read my blog about the miracle of adoption. I helps me remind myself that some do not understand the true miracle it is.

I would also like to point out that this has been the second person that has accused me of lying about the way I feel about adoption. The second person in a DAY. The first one simply said that I (and other birth moms that I relate to) were only saying what Adoptive Parents wanted to hear and not how we really felt.

This comment that was left, told me that first off, she was not being personal towards me..which I have taken VERY personally due to the fact that she is bashing the things that are personal to me and Second, well, I will copy and past the exact words:

"I don't want to hurt your feelings or to burst your bubble. I think you need to keep telling yourself how great this was to save your sanity."

If I did not love adoption. If I did not completely and 100% support it, if I had had a horrible experience, WHY in the WORLD would I create a BLOG and do everything that I POSSIBLY could to share with the world how amazing it is? Why would I go around promoting it, if I didn't feel strongly that the decision I made what soo right? Why would I??

My religion has been such a great help and support to me through this incredibly difficult thing. I honestly and truly know that it is BECAUSE of my religion that I have been able to deal with it the way I have. I strongly believe that it is because of my religion that I am healing the way I am.

I know that there are many birth mothers out there that do not handle it well and have an incredibly difficult time with coping throughout there entire life. I want to tell you right now that yes, this experience has changed my life, but I am able to heal from it.

It's because of my religion.
The spirit has comforted me through my most difficult times.
Prayer has helped me.

I'm not in denial about the way I feel.
I honestly and truly can tell you with 1000% confidence, that I am doing GREAT.

here is another copy/paste from the comment:

"Then there is the very real problem of the illusion of open adoption. Andrea and Dustin and move away, change their phone number and shut you out at any time. They can join a religious cult, like my son's family did and raise her any way you like, no matter what they promise now or what you believe they will do. I hope this doesn't happen to you, but it certainly can and does happen."

I failed to mention beforehand that this lady is a middle-aged birth mom.
Let me say right now that I am sorry you regret your decision. Really I am. That must be hard.

I know with 1000% certainty that Dustin and Andrea are not going to shut me out of their life, or join a religious cult...
(unless the cult you are referring to is the LDS church..in that case they had already joined when I picked them. IN FACT, I was looking for someone that was a member of this 'cult', because as you know, I am also a member.)
If they WERE to move away or change their number, we wouldn't lose contact. I don't know how else to explain on this blog that Dustin, Andrea and I are VERY close. A lot closer than most realize.

But even if that was the case,
even if they were to move away, shut me out of their lives, and never speak to me again,
Although I would be hurt, I still wouldn't regret my decision.

I KNOW it was the right decison.

Now, Let's talk about my church.

Here is another Copy/Paste:

"My cousin, who is LDS, became pregnant out of wedlock. She was strongly guilt-tripped and coerced into relinquishment. What is interesting to me is that the church was willing to pay for all of her expenses while she was willing to relinquish, but withdrew all support when she decided, with the help of her parents, to parent her son. That was heinous. Her son is now grown, well educated (BYU grad), happy and doing fine. I read many adoption forums and blogs and find the LDS to be one of the least supportive of those women who want to parent outside of marriage."

Let me Clarify something.
The LDS church does NOT coerce or guilt trip you into doing anything.

If you are referring to her FAMILY guilt tripping or coercing her into relinquishment, that's not the church. That is her family.
The CHURCH did not withdraw support when she decided to parent. The only thing they would have done was stop paying for the insurance and doesn't that make sense? The Adoptive couple was technically paying the insurance. Why would they pay for it if they weren't getting a child in the end? Plus, every agency does this, whether they are through the LDS church or not.

The Church Supports adoption.
That doesn't mean they force you to place for adoption.
I was NOT coerced into doing anything.
I made the decision completely on my own.

I went to LDS family services the day after I told my parents I was pregnant and they did not try to force me to do one thing or the other. They were just simply there to talk about my options. They would have supported either decision, because when it all comes down to is, this was my child and my decision to make.
But they aren't going to pay for your insurance if you don't place..that doesn't make ANY sense.

The LDS church has a Proclamation called
The Family -- A proclamation to the world.

Let me show you what that is. It really is so great and means a lot to me.

"We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society."

Here is a talk also given by the first presidency:
“We … express our support of unwed parents who place their children for adoption in stable homes with a mother and a father. We also express our support of the married mothers and fathers who adopt these children.

“Children are entitled to the blessing of being reared in a stable family environment where father and mother honor marital vows. Having a secure, nurturing, and consistent relationship with both a father and a mother is essential to a child’s well-being. When choosing adoption, unwed parents grant their children this most important blessing. Adoption is an unselfish, loving decision that blesses the child, birth parents, and adoptive parents in this life and throughout the eternities. We commend all those who strengthen children and families by promoting adoption.”(this doesn't mean they are forcing us to, it simply means they support and recommend it.)

--First Presidency statement, Oct. 4, 2006

To finish I would just like to say,

I do not feel coerced. I did not surrender my child. I lovingly and very willingly placed her in the arms of another. I do not suffer from unspeakable loss. I never will, i did not 'lose' anything. I am still a mother. I am still in love with my child. I gained family with Andrea and Dustin through the miracle of adoption. while i may suffer heartbreak and other feelings of grief and loss it is because of the biology and i am grateful for these feelings because they mean that i do love her so very much. There is a hole in my heart because a piece of me will always be with Avery, i don't want that piece back. i am happy to have that hole, it is hers and hers alone. I am well aware of adoptees feeling abandonment, i feel that that is probably a very real and a natural reaction to being adopted. I hope that she will not feel abandonment, and if she does i hope she will be able to seek out the help she needs to understand.
I believe that because of the open adoption and the relationship that i have had with her parents (even if it is severed in the future) will provide explanations and answers and knowledge and comfort to her as she explores who she and where she came from that the adoptees from the closed system will never have. I know her parents will teach and help her understand why I placed her for adoption, which will help her understand.

We believe in forever families and that we will live out the eternities together. We believe this is possible by powerful ordinances ordained by God himself. One of these is the sealing covenant performed inside the sacred walls of the temple. The sealing covenant allows family members to be sealed to each other. but in order to be sealed, first the man and wife must be sealed to each other and then the children are sealed to them. The sealing bonds are a means of protection, blessings and spiritual 'security'. I could never be sealed to Avery as a single mother. and most likely i could not ever be sealed to her even if i later married and was sealed to my husband later down the road. There are details concerning these specifics that i don't want to go into. But chances are super slim it could ever happen. I want Avery to be blessed by the sealing covenant. By placing her with her parents she is able to be sealed to them and receive those blessings forever. I am sealed to my parents. I am forever blessed and protected by this. I believe that my child deserves no less, so out of love i have placed her in the arms of another for all the reasons i have previously discussed but most importantly for this reason and this reason alone. Her being sealed is a gift i could not give her in any other way than this act of ultimate love and sacrifice.

That being said, Please don't belittle my beliefs and my happiness in my adoption story and where i am at in my life's journey. they are my experiences and i am grateful for them. Please don't belittle my sanity. Please don't belittle my religion, my religious beliefs or my practices, because they are something that i cherish. I am happy and blessed and at peace. And for that i am forever grateful.

47 comments:

Andrea said...

Thanks for your testimony of adoption and your beliefs. Once again, you have amazed me with your courage and strength in educating everyone on adoption. We are so blessed to have you in our lives. I am a better person for knowing you. Love ya!

Rebecca said...

I found your blog through Mrs. R's and I have to say that I am amazed by you! I am an adoptive parent and I can't imagine what it must be like to go through what you have been through...

It's funny that people who don't even know you think that they can tell YOU how YOU are feeling. Don't let those comments get to you! You are amazing!

Thank you for your wonderful blog that helps to educate the ignorant!

mrs. r said...

i am proud of you for standing up for what you believe in such a classy way.

you are courageous because you choose to post about things that are important to you and that are close to your heart.

it would be cowardly for you to be "coerced" by this person's comment/ego trip and post something that you didn't believe because of peer pressure.

you go, girl.

Vicki said...

Andee,
You completely misrepresented my comments. I did not "rip" on your experience or your religion. I expressed another side of the adoption experience, of which you are either completely uninformed or refuse to accept. I responded aggressively to the fact that you are heavily promoting something in a very one-sided, sugarcoated form that has a very negative, destructive side to it. You can go on the Internet and read thousands of accounts of people who have SUFFERED because of what seems so AMAZING to you. I suggested you address the other side and present a more balanced, realistic view. I think this is particularly important if you are going into the field in the hope of convincing others to follow this path. Finally, I suggested that you may feel differently about your decision later in your life.

I did not trash your religion. I said I was not Mormon to give you perspective. Oh, and BTW, my son is a Jehovah Witness. I believe firmly that the Watchtower Society is a cult. Oh, and BTW, my son's family promised faithfully that they would raise him Catholic and that he would go to college if they were allowed to adopt him. Didn't happen. He spends his time going door to door trying to convince people to become Jehovah Witnesses. Oh...and his adoptive parents are divorced. The children I parented have college degrees and are successful, well-rounded people making positive contributions to society.
To be continued...

Vicki said...

Anyway, I did not trash your religion, I trashed the way my cousin, whom I love and who happens to be LDS, was treated (and I know of other LDS women in crisis pregnancy who were treated the same way).I have known many people who were coerced (which can take very insidious forms) into relinquishment. LDS Family Services is certainly not the worst among those who try to push relinquishment. However, in adoption circles, they are rated among the worst. I believe that before a woman makes an irrevocable, lifetime decision like reliquishment, she should be presented with every possible support to parent. So, I guess from that perspective, I am completely opposed to the views of the first Presidency you cited.

In answer to your other question:

...If I did not love adoption. If I did not completely and 100% support it, if I had had a horrible experience, WHY in the WORLD would I create a BLOG and do everything that I POSSIBLY could to share with the world how amazing it is? Why would I go around promoting it, if I didn't feel strongly that the decision I made what soo right? Why would I??...

I think it's possible that you feel this way NOW. I think you may feel very differently later in life. I also think it could be a reaction formation. I think you could very well be doing all of this to convince yourself you did the right thing (by getting continual attention and positive feedback from others) and to work through the pain.

Regarding the scripture and church teachings you cited...my response is that is all well and good by the reality is that in today's world, adoptive parents divorce just like everyone else....even Mormons (look at Marie Osmond!) The beautiful nurturing, loving family idea is something for which one can only hope. There are no guarantees.
To be continued...

Vicki said...

I must also say that while I'm not belittling your church or your religion, the idea the my son could be sealed to another family throughout eternity is horrific to me. That would be my idea of Hell and Damnation, not Heaven. But, again, those are just my beliefs. I am not a Mormon and I will never be. I don't agree with many of the teachings of that religion. I am an American, it is my right to believe as I choose. Many Americans choose different religious affiliations (or none at all) because they differ on faith issues and points such as this. I do have family members and friends who are Mormon and we coexist just fine agreeing to disagree.

Regarding Dustin and Andrea, again, my comments were not personal towards them. They are the example you present on your blog. They sound like wonderful people who were thrilled to have a child to love. For your sake and Avery's, I hope that they DO honor their promises to you. However, what you are ignoring in your rose-colored presentation is that many, many adoptive parents DO NOT honor their promises. Many women are convinced to relinquish with the promise of openness and then find that the adoptive parents close the door with the flimsiest excuses imaginable. The fact is that once the TPR is signed the birthmom has zero rights. While you say that you would still be at peace with your decision if Andrea and Dustin treated you in that way, you can't no that for sure. I suggest you read the accounts of people who have had those experiences and I suggest your give yourself a chance to age and live with you decision for a decade or two before you make a generalization like that.

To be continued...

Vicki said...

I also wanted to say that while I appreciate your thanks for the time I took to read your blog and to express my opinion, the rest is insulting in that it seeks to negate the validity of my experience:
...Before I start I would like to thank this reader for reading my blog, and also for stating their opinion. It does help me to know how to further educate others that read my blog about the miracle of adoption. I helps me remind myself that some do not understand the true miracle it is...

The miracle of adoption to me is that anyone would willingly surrender their child. I did not willingly surrender mine. I was under age and was sedated every time I tried to fight for what little I had in the way of rights. My parents, the medical staff and Catholic Social Services ran the show.

Oh, and before you write me off as a lunatic...I assure you I am not. I have led a successful life. I have a PhD, my husband is a surgeon and I parented great kids. I also want to state that I have nothing against adoptive parents. I have friends who are adoptive parents. I have seen the heartbreak, deceit, scamming and other awful situations they experience and I am happy for the joy they experience when they receive a child to love. I just believe that adoption should occur because parents have died or are incapable of caring for a child due to mental infirmity, substance abuse and that type of thing. There are many children in orphanages (of all ages) awaiting homes. I believe with my heart and soul that otherwise children should stay with their family of origin.

You said that you could not post my comment because you believed it would constitute supporting me. Not so. You don't support me unless you say you support me. Your position and your statements actually seem more sincerely believable when you are willing to confront an opposing view.

In closing, you asked:
...That being said, Please don't belittle my beliefs and my happiness in my adoption story and where i am at in my life's journey. they are my experiences and i am grateful for them. Please don't belittle my sanity. Please don't belittle my religion, my religious beliefs or my practices, because they are something that i cherish. I am happy and blessed and at peace. And for that i am forever grateful...

I did not belittle your beliefs or your story or your sanity. I presented an opposing view, equal in strength to your own and raised questions. However, in your follow up blog and your continual refusal to post my point of view, you have belittled mine.

PS I suggest you read "The Girls Who Went Away".

teendoc said...

My daughter's firstmother feels similarly to the feelings you've expressed here. She wasn't coerced. She chose. She hurts but she's even more convinced now that she made the right decision.

She has some very colorful language for those like Vicki whose inability to see past her own trauma makes her need to paint everyone the same color. All firstmothers feel x. All adoptees feel y. This is why adoption shouldn't exist unless the children are orphans.Are all firstparents the same? All adoptees? Does she have anything beyond anecdote to show that the decision to place in an open adoption will result in the same trauma as for those women who were forced to place unwillingly? She had no choice, it seems, from how she tells the story, but you had support and choice. That makes all the difference in the world.

She chastises you for being too rosy about adoption and feels you should be more "balanced," yet I'll bet she has never admonished one of the antis to be more positive in his/her depiction of adoption. Why? Because it doesn't suit her agenda.

As adults we are faced with many, many difficult choices. It is worth remembering that a choice between a rock and a hard place is still a choice. It is time we stop infantilizing women by saying that they are not able/competent and are too gullible to make their own choices.

Her type of simplistic thinking diminishes us all. I support your words, your passion, and your choice.

Andee said...

Vicki,

This blog was not made to show both views of adoption.
This blog was made to tell of MY experience with adoption.

Until you meet me personally,
please do not assume you know what my intentions are.

The Mama said...

OKAY, FIRST OF ALL, I DON'T NORMALLY POST COMMENTS ON BLOGS, I DO HOWEVER, ENJOY READING THEM. I WANTED TO MENTION SOME THINGS TO "VICKI" THAT SEEMED TO BOTHER ME.

FIRST, THIS IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH COUNTRY, SO YOU CAN SAY HOW YOU FEEL. HOWEVER, FOR YOU TO COME TO SOMEONE ELSE'S PAGE, BEING OBVIOUSLY, YOUNGER THAN YOU ARE. STILL IN HER TEENS, IT BOTHERS ME.

YOU CLAIM IN YOUR MANY COMMENTS THAT YOU HAVE A PhD. WELL, VICKI, MAYBE YOU SHOULD TAKE A LOOK AT THIS:
..I believe with my heart and soul that otherwise children should stay with their family of origin.
BUT THEN AGAIN, YOU MENTIONED THE "MANY" (OF ALL AGES) CHILDREN THAT ARE LOOKING TO BE ADOPTED. WELL, THAT WOULDN'T BE IN THEIR ORIGINS.

YOU RAISED KIDS THAT WENT TO COLLEGE. GREAT. I CONGRATULATE YOU ON THAT. BUT DID YOU EVER THINK, THAT WOMAN WHO BECOME PREGNANT, YOUNG, THAT WERE ON BIRTH CONTROL, RAPED, ETC, THAT THEY WANT THAT FOR THEIR CHILDREN AS WELL?? THAT THEY CAN'T AFFORD IT? I HAD MY DAUGHTER AT 17. 6 WEEKS BEFORE I TURNED 18. I LOVE HER AND STILL HAVE HER. BUT I CHANGED MY MIND ON ADOPTION, WHEN I WISH I WOULDN'T HAVE. SHE WOULD PROBABLY HAVE HAD A BETTER LIFE WITH SOMEONE THAT WAS ABLE TO "AFFORD" HER AND SHOW HER THE LOVE SHE NEEDED. EXCEPT, I WAS A TEEN AND LEFT HER WITH MY MOTHER ALOT. I CAME AROUND OF COURSE, BUT THAT IS NOT THE LIFE SHE SHOULD HAVE HAD.

YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO COME TO ANDEE'S PAGE, YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO COMMENT, IT SHOULDN'T MATTER WHAT "YOU" THINK, IT MATTERS TO HER. WHAT SHE THINKS.

THIS WAS HER DECISION. REGARDLESS ALL THE HORROR STORIES, THERE ARE HORROR STORIES IN EVERY SITUATION. EVEN WITH THE NATURAL PARENTS. SHE HAS FAITH IN HER DECISION AND I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT WHATEVER HAPPENED, SHE IS STILL SATISFIED IN KNOWING SHE GAVE AVERY THE BEST LIFE POSSIBLE. I AM SO PROUD TO KNOW THAT I READ A BLOG OF SOMEONE THAT STRONG. ABLE TO DO WHAT SHE DID.

I WASN'T GOING TO RESPOND UNTIL I READ YOUR COMMENTS. IT ABSOLUTELY DISGUST ME. I CAN'T BELIEVE SOMEONE WOULD DO THAT.

THEN YOUR CALLING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES A CULT. TO EACH IT'S OWN. EVERYONE BELIEVE'S IN THEIR OWN HIGHER BEING. I DON'T AGREE WITH THE CATHOLIC RELIGION. NEVER HAVE, NEVER WILL. BUT I WOULD NOT SIT AND EVEN MENTION IT TO YOU. I DON'T STOOP THAT LOW.

I AM BAPTIST. BUT I RECENTLY HAD THE BOOK OF MORMON SENT TO ME. AND IN ALL MY WAYS OF HOW I FEEL ABOUT THE LORD, I WANT TO GO TO LDS CHURCH. THAT IS MY CALLING, I FEEL IT.

NOBODY PERSUADES ANYONE. I UNDERSTAND THAT SOME ADOPTION AGENCIES "WANT" THEM TO, BECAUSE OF ALL THE FAMILIES THAT WOULD LOVE TO ADOPT. BUT THEY GIVE THEM PROS AND CONS.

LEAVE ANDEE ALONE. YOUR PAST SEEMS TO BE BOTHERING YOU!!!

Cory and Becca said...

Andee,
You gave a wonderful post of the miracle of adoption and I admire you for your strength of character. Certainly there are no guarantees in life no matter what venture whether it be adoption or marriage etc. Thank you for Celebrating and sharing your experiences and what adoption CAN be and IS for many people. It is sad for those who haven't had better experiences. There are many who haven't BUT that doesn't mean adoption has to be or will develop into a tragedy for others also. IT is also HOPEFUL that the face of adoption IS CHANGING for the betterment of all parties involved (regardless of the No guarantee policy life presents many times). And thank you for your testimony. Above all else, when life backfires on us or seems difficult due to our circumstances or decisions how humbling and grateful it is we can find peace and healing in GOD.

Blake and BreeAnn said...

"While you say that you would still be at peace with your decision if Andrea and Dustin treated you in that way, you can't no that for sure. I suggest you read the accounts of people who have had those experiences and I suggest your give yourself a chance to age and live with you decision for a decade or two before you make a generalization like that."


Dear Vicki,

I SUGGEST that you go back to school. I SUGGEST that your PhD didn't do much for you if you're going to spell "know" wrong.

Oh, and I also would like to SUGGEST take your own advice and
look at all the beautiful stories that have come from adoption. Look at the the blessings that have come from adoption for the children, birth parents AND adoptive parents, rather than focusing on the bad stories out there that are in no way the majority.

Thanks.

Cory said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story with the rest of us. It amazes me that in today's society, with all the selfishness and the "me" generation, there are strong women who put themselves behind the needs of their children. Adoption is about love and about giving the precious baby those opportunities, blessings, and the stability that a child needs.

Unfortunately, there are those who think adoption is misguided, making comments like "the miracle of adoption to me is that anyone would willingly surrender their child." But they miss the point of adoption by thinking only of themselves and disregarding the needs of their baby.

Thank you again for your comments and showing the rest of the world that the miracle of adoption is just that "a miracle" that can bring blessings to all that are involved, including the selfless birth mother.

Anonymous said...

Vicki,
Wow, you seem to be carrying a lot of luggage from your past. I don't need to say anything for Andee. I know her personally and if you knew her as I do you may feel different. I am 44 yrs old and have known her, her whole life. Watching her as she worked through the decision of what to do with this baby was an aw inspiring thing. You see, Andee is my daughter. Andee has never had to be pushed or pulled to do anything. She has always been one of those people who know who can just figure it out on their own. wheather you know it or not she is at peace and very happy in her life. I'm sorry that you are not. The one thing I can say is that you'll never find it by pulling others down to feel the same sadness as you do. I'm sure there must be something that makes you happy. Figure out what it is and share that.
Until then, just because one part of yours and Andees past is the same don't assume the all rest is.

birthMOM said...

Well said, if i do say so myself! All you can do is share what you know to be true in your heart mind and soul and you have done exactly that!

You know, (this goes for anybody) if everyone in this world felt exactly the same way about everything then there wouldn't be anything exciting to live for, to work towards, to learn from, to share, to be passionate about, to create, to love, to laugh about, to cry about, etc.... i would suggest to not get caught up in a back n forth. Stick with what you know and be who you are, that's all anyone can ever do. Take pride in your choices, decisions and pathways, enjoy your journey, and be at continued peace.

you are awesome!
many adoption luvs, ~desha

Anonymous said...

Andee,
I love you and I thank you very much for telling your story..As another young birthmom, I think you represent how most of us feel about adoption. I love you very much and I know, from personal experience, that you care very much about others and you are helping many other birthmothers who are in this situation. Keep the stories coming!!!
Love You!!
~Nicole

birthMOM said...

Vicki - i can totally see how it would seem horrific for my baby to spend eternity sealed to a different family. but the big picture is that we are all gods children, we are all brothers and sisters, we are all trying to get to the same place in heaven, we will all be bound together by the sealing covenant ... in the end, it doesn't matter who exactly we are sealed to, what matters is whether or not we are SEALED. We will ALL spend eternity TOGETHER. Like andee this factor was THE most important in my choice to place, and to place with an LDS family. Unlike andee i am not even active in the LDS faith, but still regard this aspect of the big picture to be important enough that my son be sealed to SOMEbody, and it was impossible for it to be me. Unlike Andee i was 28 when i placed, i have a college education, i live in a 2 bedroom apt with an empty bedroom that could very easily have been a nursery, i have job skills in various areas, i was in every way perfectly capable of providing a great life for my son. I couldn't give him a dad and i couldn't give him the sealing blessings. Adoption was my choice and i too have never once regretted my decision and i KNOW i never will. Adoption is also my perfect miracle and i share andees passions. I don't deny that it has been a journey and there are plenty of 'if i knew then what i know now' aspects, but none of that takes away from the sound peace knowledge and higher understanding that i have, that for me and my son, this is what was meant to happen. And lives have been blessed because of that. I am PROUD and LUCKY and HONORED and GRATEFUL for the opportunity to be a birthmother.

fivewalkers said...

Andee, I am so proud of you taking on Vicki's opinion. It seems that she is a person that wants to focus on the disappointment of her story of placing her son. From reading her comments it sounds like she carries a very large burden on her shoulders. She is right that there is "no guarantees" in life. But that is no reason to focus on the negative of the situation. We have to have faith and hope. She should be happy that he is alive and healthy. She should be happy that he is probably old enough to make decisions to be happy. I think we hope our loved ones can find happiness.
In life we have opposition in all things. Andee, I know this will only make you stronger and have more compassion. As for Vicki we can only hope that she finds happiness and peace from her experience.
Love you!!!

Vicki said...

To all the flamers who responded to my posts:
First, yes, I did make a typo. The "k" key on my computer sticks. I used a different computer when I typed my dissertation. My committee approved. I suspect you would have overlooked the typo had you agreed with my comments.
My views are hardly simplistic and they are shared by many. Check out the Baby Scoop Era Group, Exiled Mothers, etc. etc. Read something outside of LDS propaganda.
You have no idea what baggage I bring. You do not know me. My request is that you consider a balanced perspective.
No, I do not know you, Andee,but you claim on your blog that you plan to proselytize your views to women in crisis pregnancy. That scares me. Otherwise, I would have ignored you.
Regarding the "many children are waiting" comment. I was referring to abandoned and orphaned children in orphanages. No inconsistency there.
To Andee's mother, I would ask why you didn't take in your grandchild?
I don't understand that at all.
I am very sorry for birthMOM who said she had all the resources to parent but didn't because she didn't have a dad or the "sealed blessings." I don't have an anthropomorphized view of God and I don't believe in "sealed blessings." (Yes, I have read the Book of Mormon...years ago, at my cousin's request. I found it implausible.) If you can surrender your child because you do believe in all this, that is your decision to make. I'll never begin to understand it. I only ask that you consider the experiences of countless others who have not found adoption amazing and who suffer and who continue to suffer because of those who promote it by painting it as something it's not.

Vicki said...

Consider the following (please note that I did not say ALL or NONE):
1) Adoptive parents (including Mormons)factor into the more than 50% divorce rate (probably higher now)
2) Adoptive parents are not immune from dying prematurely
3)Many adoptive parents renege on open adoption agreements
4) Many adoptees have abandonment issues
5) Many birthmothers suffer lifelong effects of relinquishment
6) Many birthmothers later report having been coerced, either insidiously or otherwise by agencies, religious based or secular.
7)Some adoptive parents are abusive.
8) Many women in crisis pregnancy who choose to parent raise healthy, happy, productive children.

People making choices about what to do in crisis pregnancy should know about these possibilities as well as the possibilities you present. That is my point.

Anonymous said...

This is Andee's Blog Vicki. Not the newspaper. she is allowed to say what she believes on her blog..in fact she is allowed to say what she believes ANYWHERE.

Like you said, she doesn't know you. You don't know her. What she will be doing is helping birthmothers get through placement. There is nothing wrong with that.

If you do not agree with the things being said, you don't have to read. As you said, it's a free country. I'm not sure why you read her blog if you don't agree??

I'm sure you can be spending this time you are using going out of your way to offend others by doing something else such as service maybe?

Just a thought.
you might want to stop now.
no one here is going to agree with you. you obviously have issues you need deal with.

oh and by the way, if you reread the comments..not everyone that commented is LDS..it's not just the "LDS Propaganda"

Times have changed Vicki. Adoption isn't like it was 20 years ago. There are very VERY few negative adoption stories now than there used to be. Research the new times. it'e different.

Maybe if you stopped reading all of the negative, you would see that there is mostly postive out there. Just a thought.

Sincerely,
a proud to be Birthmother.

Anonymous said...

Vicki makes a good point. We should all look at the terrorist issue from al qaeda's persective too. You know, some things are just right. Once you've found truth, you know it. It's no longer a question. When a child burns their finger in a flame, they know fire burns. They don't have to find other flames to see if they will burn too. They just know.

Anonymous said...

Vicki, you're totally missing the point. you don't understand? Do you understand selflessness? If you truly love someone then you would always put their needs first. That's the point. If somebody wants to place the baby, it's because they love that baby more than they love themselves. When you figure out how to do that, write back. Until then go away.

Andee's Mom said...

I wasn't going to respond but since I was asked a specific question I will be happy to answer:
We did not adopt Andee's baby because this was Andee's choice, not ours. Having us raise her child was not an option for her. She wanted Avery to be raised by her Mom and Dad, not her Grandparents. It was her personal decision which she did not take lightly and had every right to make on her own.
Thank you for asking.

Anonymous said...

Vicki,
Obviously there are pros and cons for adoption. Andee is not stupid, I am sure she realizes that, as she has expressed some very raw emotions. You don't even have to be a college grad to realize this. But you really cannot believe that there can be 'balanced perspective'. Those who adovcate adoption believe the pros outweigh the cons while those who don't, like yourself, believe that the cons outweigh the pros. I am so sorry for what sounds like horrible experiences you have had with your adoption. They DON'T have to be like that for everyone, they may BUT they DON'T. I aplaud Andee and birthMOM for wanting more for their children. Regardless, if a woman in a crisis/unplanned pregnancy receives counseling from either perspective I pray that in the end what is the child's best interest will be utitimately the focus and it not being about guilting a woman to either side. This issue is more then ripping down someone's religious beliefs.
-B

Vicki said...

Anonymous,
I certainly do understand selflessness. I parented children and I exemplify it in many ways. You do not know me other than someone who strongly disagrees with someone planning talks with vulnerable teens and presenting a skewed picture. The people who do know me would be appalled by your accusations.
Because I do not believe in "sealing" as you and other LDS do, I do not see relinquishing a child and removing them from their biological family as a selfless act. Because statistics loudly proclaim that there are no guarantees that an adopted child will grow up happy and healthy with a mom and dad in a two-parent family or that adoptive parents will honor open adoption agreements, I do not see relinquishing for these reasons as fundamentally selfless acts. I see adoption as a permanent solution to largely temporary problems. I have seen many damaged by it (even those where someone made free-will decision). I see your reasons as all being based in a faith tradition that others may or may not share or in wishful thinking. That is not enough for me to believe you should go out and proselytize relinquishment to people. I have no problem with you telling your story, but those women/girls should hear from multiple perspectives. While there are many happy adoption stories where all are well adjusted, satisfied and wouldn't have it any other way, there are many that have turned out otherwise. I firmly believe that before someone signs a TPF, they should have a glimpse of what may lie ahead. They should also be offered every possible resource that would allow them to parent. I believe that is selfless where all are concerned.
I really resent the implication that I've trashed your religion. I said I'm not a Mormon. I said I had read the Book of Mormon, coexisted with LDS family members and friends, but don't share LDS beliefs. That's giving perspective.
A participant in this discussion stated they could never be a Catholic. Fine. Doesn't bother me. America is supposed to be a land of religious freedom.

Anonymous said...

how can you tell someone here not to bother you??? you have intruded. you have come to THIS blog and harassed THIS SITE! Stay away if you don't agree. YOU ARE BOTHERING US!!!!

You don't have to agree with us, but that doesn't give you the right to come to Andee's blog an harass her! STAY AWAY!!! Really, stop acting like you're trying to do good. The bad experiences HARDLY exist anymore. The only people that have bad experiences are people like you that don't have the ability to think of anyone else but herself!!

Anonymous said...

Vicki,
Is it that you are jealous of Andee's situation? That you wish you had the peace she has? You point out reasons that no parent adoptive or natural can guarantee. If your situation were the way you desire it to be...Would you be where you are today??? As for the proselytizing, I don't feel that she is. She is merely stating how she got through it. And religion just happens to be a big part of that. She not sending representatives from her church out to others. Readers have a choice to find out more about it. Maybe you should start you own site and explain "more balanced point of view." You know it would have been much better for you and everyone else if you apporched this in a way that said something to the effect of My story didn't end up the way yours did. I wish that you would talk about other perspectives. Here are other websites that have different points of view.

Andee said...

Vicki, I can see that it doesn't matter what anyone says, you're still going to find a way to argue.

Let's just agree to disagree. I can handle it when you offend me, but when you start offending my readers INCLUDING the adoptive mother of my little girl (which you have), I won't handle that. Please just accept that this site is not going to change and move on.

We are done arguing and I'm letting you know now that I'm deleting any and all of your future comments. I won't allow you to offend the people I care about and that is EVERY SINGLE ONE of my blog supporters.

Thank you.

Andee's Dad (Anonymous 1,4 and 5) said...

Perfect!

Anonymous said...

Andee-I don't know any of these people, I just happened to stumble on this blog from a friend of a friends....All I can say is how wonderful it is to have the gospel. And what a neat person I find you(Andee) to be, and what great parents you must have to raise a person like you. There are always people out there who will mock your decision; pay no attention to Vicki. I hope she can let go of the bitterness that is in her heart and stop taking it out on someone else.

Angee said...

Andee-
I really appreciate your courage to tell a different side of adoption. I am hoping to become an adoptive mother soon and have been researching into it. There is plenty of bad press about adoption out there. And I do read the information so that I can be armed with knowledge. But to read your blog, gives me peace in my decision to adopt and brings in the spirit. I know that adoption is a wonderful thing, though it may not be for everyone. I hope to find a young woman that has the courage and strength to do what you did. Thank you for your testimony and for strengthening mine!

Angee

Our Happy Family said...

Andee, I have said this many times before that I love reading your blog. Being an adoptive parent we researched all the pro's and con's of adoption. We heard lot's of negative, but we also heard A LOT of positive sides-from adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, and grandparents. I am so glad we chose adoption and now we have our beautiful daughter.
I also just want to say that I am so glad to hear your mom say that this was your decision, when asked why she didn't parent your child. I am so grateful to our daughters biological grandparents on her birth mothers side and birth fathers side. They also knew that this was her birth mom and birth dad's decision to make and they were there to just be there for the both of them. They were there to love and support them both.
Adoption has come a long way and I love hearing all the positive stories.
Thank you again for sharing and I do have to say a big thanks to your parents for raising a wonderful daughter. Our daughter's birth parents and their parents are in our prayers every single day, just like I am sure your daughter's parents do.
Thanks!!!!!!

Andee said...

Thank you to all of the amazing blog readers I have. To all of my supporters. You really are just amazing and I love that I have met such great people through blogging!

As for those of you that are for some reason AGAINST my good experience...just got away. I will delete ALLL negative comments.

I'm not allowing negativity on my blog. I WONT. This is a POSITIVE adoption blog, because yes, I had a POSITIVE experience. There is no reason you should try to change that. I don't go to anit-adoption websites and harrass them..I just feel sorry that they didn't get to have as amazing of an experience as I had.

So again,
I AM DELETING ALL NEGATIVE COMMENTS.

Thank you.

I LOVE ALL OF MY SUPPORTERS!!

Michelle said...

I'm a little behind on reading your blog. I'm so sorry that someone had to do this to you. I believe every word you say because I have an adopted daughter myself who just turned 10 months and I think you are incredible. I only WISH that our birth mother was as strong as you so that we could have a better relationship but it hasn't worked out that way.
Dont let anyone get you down. They come from ignorance.

Mike said...

I am Andee's Dad. I hated seeing the pain she went through in making the decision to place the baby. But that is exactly what happened. she made the decision, Herself, on her own. We told her from the very begining, it had to be her decision and her decision only. I am so glad that it all happened the way it did because seeing her grow into the the young woman she has become has been an amazing experience. I draw strength from her strength. She is an awsome daughter but the truth is the only thing her Mom and I have ever tried to force her to do is clean her room and do her home work. (Trust me that never helped)

I would never want to go through this w any of my children again. But that being the case, I wouldn't trade the expeience for anything.

Andrea said...

I have been blessed to be on the receiving end, as the adoptive mom, in this beautiful adoption story. I have SO MUCH gratitude for Andee.

It saddens me that not all have had such an incredible experience as we have. I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world.

Being told you are infertile is heartbreaking to say the least. I cried many nights and days just longing to be a mother. Adoption has made my dream of becoming a mother, a reality. I love adoption with everything that is in me. I love Avery with all my heart and can't imagine life without her. Without adoption, I would never have the opportunity to be a parent. I tried to convince myself at one point that I was okay with that, but in reality I wasn't. I longed for the opportunity to raise a child. I feel a bond with Avery that I have never felt before. Her sweet spirit has blessed our home in an amazing way.

I researched both sides and felt that the positive outweighed the negative. We have an open adoption and it works well for us. Adoption isn't for everyone, but it certainly was for our family.

We have gained relationships with some amazing people as a result of adoption. When I have moments of sadness from infertility, I pause and remind myself of the power of God in my life. He had a bigger plan for me and knew the desires of my heart, and for that I am grateful.

This adoption has turned out beautiful for all who were involved.

I love you Andee and your wonderful family!

Andrea said...

P.S.- Without birth mothers like Andee, women like me would NEVER have children. Thank you for your strength, courage and the selfless choice that YOU made.

Hema and Becky said...

I have read your blog for a while now and love your honesty and willingness to discuss openly your tender feeling about adoption. I am an adoptive mother and I have a great realationship with my children's birth parents too. They are amazing! I can't say enough good about them. I love them not only for bringing my childern into my home, but also for adding so much to our lives. They are so much more than just the biological parents of our kids. I occasionally hear negative comments from others about our children being adopted. I do believe that it was harder for adoptees in the past who had very secretive adoptions and maybe never even were told they were adopted until much later. I also feel sad for women like Vicki who didn't feel like they had a choice. (She did say she was sedated - that is not right - ever.) No women should be forced to place a child if that is not her wish. Before we adopted our first child, we had a birth mother who had chosen us change her mind after the baby was born and decide to parent. It was very difficult, but it was her decision and I do not feel any negativity towards her we still pray for her and that baby and wish them only the best. I would feel terrible raising a child if I knew that the birth mother did not make the choice. Although adoption is a wonderful amazing miracle, it is not easy and it must be the birth mother's choice. I am so grateful to be adopting in this day and age. I am grateful for open adoption and the understanding that it is giving and will continue to give my children of who they are and why they were placed. I am grateful that our birth parents are open to being involved in our lives. I am grateful for your blog and the positive attitude you have. Hopefully, many others who have had bad experiences with adoption in the past will read your blog and see that adoption can be wonderful and that many people's experiences are positive and maybe that can help heal their pain. Keep up the great writing and may God continue to bless you and all the other amazing birth parents out there!

Mandy said...

ha.. this is freakin crazy dude. that's all i have to say.

miss you!

mandy_moo said...

Andee,
You go, girl!! I am glad you are such a strong young lady, what a great example you are to so many. Thank you for opening yourself up to share your experience with all of us. I found your blog via Mrs. R and it just warmed my heart to read your adoption story. Okay, I bawled like a baby. LOL. Anyway, thanks again for sharing--in spite of some negative responses you have received. It really is a shame those people feel that way about adoption, because I think it is a beautiful thing.

Valerie S said...

Hi Awesome Andee
I just found your blog (thanks to your Mom) and I just wanted to say again that what you did last year was a very selfless act and took a lot of courage. Watching what you went through was so heart wrenching but you never seemed to waiver. You were so confident and sure of your decision that I’m sure it made it easier on everyone who loved you to go through this with you and I, for one, never had any doubts that you didn’t know what you were doing. I have a sister who became pregnant at 15 and had her baby at 16. She married the father but they were divorced by time she was 19. By then she had another baby and was left alone with two children. She never got past 10th grade, had no skills and no education. She never even learned to type (this was 35 years ago) because she dropped out of high school before she could take those classes. She never went to a prom, never went to college, never took a dance class again, never took driver’s ed, etc. You get the picture. Having a baby changed the course of her life. By time she was 26 she’d been a mother for 10 years. By then she was tired of it and found no joy in being a mother. She has lived in poverty most of her life. She’s been married and divorced three times. Her children followed her example and never finished HS, never went to college, are in dead end jobs they hate, have children with no fathers in the home and are basically so unhappy it’s hard to watch. I'm not saying that every young girl who keeps her baby will have this kind of life but I’ve often wished my sister had given up her baby for adoption even though I love my niece dearly and am so happy she’s in our family. I KNOW she would have had a better life with a two parent family and opportunities and direction in her life that would have benefited her. I wonder if “Vicki” would have the wonderful life she has now if she hadn’t given her baby up for adoption? Would she have her PhD she is so proud of or have her great husband and children? Her life would have taken a different path and she might not have gotten the same opportunities she’s had. We all have regrets in our lives but I always try and remember something I heard President Monson say at the funeral of a young missionary who had died in a car accident. He said we should not dwell on “what if’s”, this does not help, and to just keep moving forward. All of us, in this life, are just trying to do the best we can. We can’t live in the past and progress. We have to live in the “now” and plan for the future. I think there are great opportunities in store for you Andee. I think your goals and ambitions for your future will only take you to a good place. I know that some day you will have all your heart desires. You are loved! Not just by your parents, sisters and brothers, but by all who come to know you. You are awesome!

Help Que and Brittany Adopt said...

Because adoption has so many variables, everyone has their own unique experience with it- this blog documents Andee's [positive] adoption journey.

Also, adoption practices and policies have drastically changed over the years. Just because you (or someone else) had a horrific experience doesn't mean everyone will (or should).

Just as you say you agree to disagree with your LDS friends, you need to take that same approach with adoption and respect the fact that Andee can (and is) having a positive experience with it. And that's OK.

Lechelle said...

Hi Andee,
I found your blog through Mrs. R, and I've been peeking in every now and then. I somehow missed this post until today. You handled this beautifully. Thank you so much for sharing your story and the feelings of your heart. I appreciate you putting yourself out there, you are inspirational. I hope you find the love and support you receive in return outweigh the nastiness of the few. Thank you again for sharing this window into your life.
With love,
Lechelle
(future adoptive mother)
p.s. Jake looks like a cutie

Carlotta said...

Wow, So much going on here. Life is definitely not guaranteed. It's all about taking each new road that we find ourselves on and making the most effective choices out of an undesirable experience whether it was brought upon by ourselves, anothers choice; each experience can be for our gain if we allow it to be. We all have agency in this life which is a powerful gift and can be used to benefit those around us. It is wonderful that we are all entitled to our own opinions, how grateful I am for that. It is sad that our opinions do create such conflict. If we check out the facts, gather information, and see what is being shared as just that, that persons experience; I believe that a lot of us would get a lot less offended and would be able to accept others opinions without getting defensive and downplaying each other. There is "good and bad" with all things. I can say that I like the background on my computer to be orange and others may not like it but that's ok. Just cause my screen is orange doesn't mean that I am forcing everyone to have theirs orange or believe that it is the ONLY way to have your screen look. Its simply "my" opinion. It's what makes the world go around is that we all see things through different lenses. So that we can all learn from each other and appreciate the different perspectives around us. We can disagree with how one is doing something, but I would have to say that a majority of us don't like to be told what to do so why do we tell each other what to do? Andee chose to place her daughter for adoption because it is what she felt was best in her circumstance. I did the same thing; when I here of another girl that is not married and pregnant, of course I would love to share my story with the hope that maybe she can see that she isn't "stuck" and that she has other options; however I am not going to tell her that she has to do what I did, nor am I going to tell her that her choice is "wrong". I'm not going to tell my daughter that she shouldn't eat shrimp cause it is disgusting while she is eating it or before she ever tries it, this doesn't allow her to form her own idea or opinion about it. Andee has this blog to share her story and just that. She is not here to say that this is how it is for "all" birth moms or this is how "all" unplanned pregnancy need to turn out, just simply sharing her journey and I have the thought that she is sharing it with the hopes to comfort others that find themselves in these shoes. We can never truly understand each other as our emotions are a unique and individual part of us. We can say that we understand or it makes sense but to say we "know exactly how one feels" is impossible. I agree that it would be "ideal" for all children to be raised by those that biologically created them; however life is making the most effective choices out of the most undesirable circumstances. It's about taking each circumstance and looking at the pros and cons of each direction. There are detours. If we try to live life by going one way, I believe we are going to have a hard time. It would be like saying there is only 1 way to get from Utah to California.

Carlotta said...

Ideally I would have raised my second daughter. I had already been a singlemom as a result of a first marriage failing and knew the hardships that I had encountered. I didn't want to spread myself any thinner and have my girls lack the attention they deserved or have a mother that resented them or have my older daughter turn into the mother of her younger sister at the age of almost 7. I didn't want to have to deal with 2 separate dads. I didn't want to have to have my girls deal with two separate visitation schedules. My parents have already raised 5 children, they are almost 60 and they are at a point were they deserve to spoil love and appreciate their grandchildren, not raise them. I made the choice to place my second daughter not based on religion but based on the fact that I didn't want to be a statistic, I didn't want to try to beat the odds. I didn't want to have to rely on the financial support groups out there to make it. I agree that the government provides assistance but I believe that it is to be used to help you get back on your feet. Not as a permanent way of living.
I have a difficult time knowing that I am a single mother working 40-50 hrs a week and that my taxes are paying bills for those that are not doing anything. I am also in the middle of a custody evaluation for my oldest daughter. I raised her for 8 yrs and now her dad after being absent for 5 has decided he is going after sole custody and doing so by trying to prove me "unstable". This experience has all the more solidified my choice to place my second daughter for adoption. I believe adoption is a way to prevent a child from going through future struggles that are unnecessary as life is already going to hand enough of them out. I admire those that placed years ago. I can't even begin to imagine the heartache these birth mothers feel as they watch the progression of adoption and not having the answers that you long for. Now I know that there are some out there they may read this or there are those out there that hear my story and conjure up their own judgments. That's ok; however, just remember until you have ALL the facts about ones story or have walked in their shoes, it is simply your perspective, your judgment and your opinion.

Sheyann said...

Andee,

I came across this post on Stephanie Despain's blog today. I specifically followed the link JUST TO TELL YOU how INCREDIBLE you are! Way to stand up for your views of adoption and your religion. I wish you could know my gratitude for your voice, your strength, and your courage!! :) And tell your Mom that she is incredibly wise, classy, and wonderful with her responses!