Yes, this is a particular hopeful adoptive parent, not all hopeful adoptive parents in general. This is the message I wrote to the woman whose blog I referenced in my post the other day. After finding out that she did not write the pros and cons list she put on her blog, I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. But then a dear friend sent me the link to a post Beth had written on her Facebook adoption page:
Crossed another bridge this month. I sent [the expectant mom] an email describing how I would make sure this baby would always know her and how much she loved him (visits, cards/letters, photos etc…) but that she needed to understand how emotionally invested I am in this process – I am so afraid every day that she will un-match and decide to parent. We had a very frank discussion, and I think this was very good, very healthy for us!
Oh – and she got a job! Yea!
Just a few more months… the waiting is killer!
After reading this, I decided to send Beth a private message, which I will now make public in an effort to describe some of the travesty that I saw. According to a post on her Facebook page, she’s decided to privatize her blog, but her Facebook page is still accessible. If she doesn’t listen to me, perhaps someone else that reads this blog might be inspired to also send her a private message that she might actually hear. I think sending this particular woman private messages is more effective than posting on her wall as she’ll just immediately delete the wall posts and no one else will have a chance to read them. She said in her most recent blog post (that I had the chance to read) that she may not know everything but she’s trying to learn. To me, she’s not showing that she wants to learn. Her actions speak as if she’s closed off to thinking there might be another way to think besides her own current fallacies. Nick said when I told him that she’s privatized her blog that she’s gone from being proud of her actions and opinions to wanting an echo chamber. I agree with him. By privatizing her blog, it’s clear she has no real strength of thought and opinion, and wants only people who will support her behavior to read her blog. At least by privatizing, the pictures that she had up on her blog of the expectant mom will not be accessible to anyone and everyone who might stumble upon it.
Without further ado, my message to Beth:
After commenting on a couple of your blog posts, I have been hearing more about you. So I scanned your adoption page, and I have to admit, I’m more than a little repulsed by what I’ve read. I beg and plead with you to please take any mention of [the expectant mom] off your page. Your page should be about your journey and not hers. I doubt that she is giving you permission to post about her [private life, not having to do with adoption], especially on a public page. This is not your story to tell. This is [the expectant mom]‘s story. I know you feel your stories are entwined because you care about her and want her baby. But I would urge you to be vague if you must post. Say things like…”Thinking about [the expectant mom] today. Please pray/wish her luck.” And then leave it at that.
Also, you telling [the expectant mom] that you’re invested in her baby and that you’re afraid that she’ll decide to parent her baby is coercion. I know that should she actually relinquish and give up her parental rights to you, that if her baby actually asks you some day that you’ll twist what you’ve done to your benefit. That you’ll never talk about how you gave his biological mom such a guilt trip that she felt forced to choose you to be his mom. I know you don’t view it this way. I also know (as a birth mom myself) that [the expectant mom] would feel guilty about the decision if she decides parenting or placing her child with another person is the choice that she wants to make…even if you never said anything. I doubt that she is a person that doesn’t feel what another person might feel even if that other person never says a word. An expectant mom considering adoption knows without a doubt that the parent(s) she selects will become instantly emotionally invested in her keeping a promise that she’s never actually made and relinquishing her child to them because an expectant mom can instantly put herself on the other side of the equation. No matter what [the expectant mom] said in the “discussion” that the two of you had, your telling her what you did only cemented further the emotional turmoil with which she’s already struggling.
[The expectant mom] would incredibly benefit from you trying to put yourself in her shoes and realizing that no matter how invested you are in her making the decision you hope she makes, her turmoil is at least as much as your own. She is making a decision to give her child a life that she feels she cannot give him by CUTTING HERSELF OUT OF THE PICTURE. That goes against every mothering instinct I know she has already (as you’ve shared her story and I know she has two children that she’s raising).
I know you feel entitled to this baby she’s carrying. I can see it in your words. You’ve invested a lot of money and emotions in this deep desire for her child. But please, please, please….I beg of you….try to see it from her side too. Try to see that she doesn’t need you adding to guilt that she already has from feeling like she cannot parent her child. Try to see that this baby is not yours, nor is [the expectant mom] yours to manipulate into giving you her baby. She is a human being, not a personal baby factory for you to get the child you want.
As far as the status that I’m talking about goes: I showed this to my boyfriend (who also happens to be my daughter’s birth father), and he said that you make it sound like her parenting her own child is a bad thing. How is parenting your own child a bad thing?
Keep in mind that adoption is a decision a mother often makes twice. If she makes the decision during pregnancy, then she has to make it again once the baby is born.
Anyone who goes to Beth’s adoption page will be able to see the expectant mom’s name all over her page. But I will not further publicize her name despite the fact that I’m linking to Beth’s adoption page. It is not my business to “out” the expectant mom further than she is already. However, I could not stomach the idea of not making this public knowledge. Maybe someone who knows the expectant mom will stumble upon this blog post, click on the link and forward the information to the expectant mom. She may already know the woman she’s selected to parent her child is doing this. But I also believe that more knowledge is power.
I’m now fervently hoping and praying that the expectant mom will either change her mind and decide upon someone else to parent her child, or that she will decide to parent her own child. Am I against adoption? You should know by now that I am not. I’m just against this particular woman adopting a child.
Edit as of February 23, 2013: One of the people that originally read this blog post (thank you, Amanda!) popped on Beth’s adoption page earlier this week and then contacted me today asking if I’d ever heard back from Beth. I responded that I hadn’t and also hadn’t expected to hear anything back either. Apparently Beth has now decided to deactivate her Facebook page, according to the following message (copied directly from Facebook),
“In 24 hrs I will be DE-activating this page. If you haven’t signed up for my blog yet – please private message me (or check your junk email for your invite).
If you would like to still “friend” me – please “friend” my regular Facebook page. I’d love to still “chat” with those that support my journey!
If you are interested in why I am DE-activating this page – please private message me – and I will tell you (please PM me on my regular Facebook page to make sure I get the message!)
Thanks again for everyone’s support over the last several months! It means a lot to me… and I am sorry to have to take this down. Again, please sign up for my blog or follow my regular Facebook page in the future!”
I have not bothered to message her privately to find out the reasons she is deactivating her Facebook page. I can only hope as a result of both my messages and perhaps because of some of the messages I’m fairly certain she received from others in the greater adoption community that she has decided her actions are not appropriate anymore. Of course I have no guarantee that she won’t continue to post about the expectant mom on her personal Facebook page and I have a feeling that she will.
I did comment directly to her post on Facebook. I’m fairly certain that she will delete the message immediately and then proceed with deactivating her page so I decided to paste what I said here as well so that those who read my blog have full access to the story as I’ve seen it unfold. One of my friends who follows my blog here sent an email to her agency (I believe I remember hearing that it’s Independent Adoption Center of California), and though they denied any knowledge of who she is, it’s possible that they were just covering for themselves and then turned around and confronted her about her behavior.
Here is what I posted as a comment on her Facebook page:
It’s interesting that you’re asking for only people that support you to follow your blog and “friend” you on your personal Facebook page. It appears you do want an echo chamber and nothing else. I have NO problem whatsoever supporting a person that’s hoping to adopt a child. What I have a problem with is supporting someone like you that obviously has no concept that her actions are negatively affecting other people, or chooses to ignore that fact. As I’ve now said to several people, I FERVENTLY hope and pray that not only does the expectant mom un-match and choose other people to parent her child if she continues to think that adoption is the best path for her, but that you will never ever be able to adopt. Your self-absorbed behavior is not something that should be exhibited in ANY hopeful parent, whether that person is becoming a parent biologically or through adoption.
You and your actions have made me and a lot of other people very sad. You have changed adoption positively. As I’ve made your story and actions known to other hopeful adoptive parents, you’ve caused them to see how NOT to behave. I thank you for that.