Monday, January 11, 2010

Can I be really honest here?

I don't want to start another huge debate or for this to feel like an attack, because that isn't my reason for this post.
In a recent post I wrote, "I do not think that I should have to "support" you. You are the one choosing to keep your child and if you really don't have the means to do so, maybe this isn't the best choice. I do believe in charity, but if adoption was abolished I think "the system" would be OVERFLOWING with those needing support."

* I believe that there are legitimate people with legitimate problems that need help.
* I believe that there are a lot of people who could work, who don't and live off the system.
* I believe if you choose the behavior, you choose the consequences (not talking about rape).
* I believe that if you are choosing to have a child, you need to put them first, not you.
* If you don't have a way to support children, a way to put a roof over their heads and food in their mouths, then you need to take precautions and not have any until you can.

This post was from Tracy's blog from when she was talking about anti adoption stuff. I don't normally copy someone's blog and I hope you don't mind Tracy. I do feel that you felt under attack and fired back. But Can I be really honest here. This post made me feel bad and feel bad for the Mother's who bank account isn't overflowing with cash.

First off, I believe that if I sat around and waited until I had a fat bank account, I don't think I would have been ever able to have any of my kids. I am willing to admit that my Dad did help me with a place to live with my boys, because both times, we just couldn't live on my husband's paycheck alone and that was with him working two jobs. I am doing well today. I am married. I work as a caregiver and I own my own home. I still don't have a fat back account, but we are not starving or do we lack what we need. I even have a computer as I type.

I do know that there are people who milk the system and try not to work and get support from the system. I don't agree with anyone doing that. However, just because someone is getting assistance from the government doesn't mean they don't work. We all can't be lawyers and doctor's and in high paying jobs. Someone has to work at the grocery store so you can buy food and their are plenty other examples of lowing paying jobs that have to be done.

I got very upset over the I don't have to "support you" comment. Maybe you(not meaning just Tracey) are one of the lucky ones who has never worried about not making the bills met and maybe you never counted your money trying to make it last until the next payday. I have been there. I still have to watch what I spend and make sure that I can provide our needs over our wants. But that doesn't make me a bad parent. It doesn't mean that I shouldn't enjoy being a Mom, because I can't send them off to a private school or buy all the cool games they like to play. However, I can provide their basic needs and then some. I am there for them when they need me. That is what being a parent is about. and if people have to rely on a little help in the beginning, middle or end of their children's life then that's why the programs are there for.
So, you don't want to support other people for having children too soon. So, you think adoption is the answer. What really gets under my skin is how after adoptive parents adopt.. they get the credit for adoption on their taxes. Where do you think that money comes from? Oh and their is the earned income credit for people with kids to get a break on their taxes for those that qualify. I suppose adoptive parents aren't getting that. Every year, I get a refund back on my taxes and yes it's nice. I use it for whatever I see fit. Would I be unable to make it if I didn't get it. I will be honest. Sometimes, it really does save us. I will even admit, maybe I use it as a crutch, because I know I can count on some money in the winter. These programs are there to help people and I don't feel any Mom should made to feel bad, because she needs help with food, WIC, or housing. They shouldn't made to feel second best to their own kids, because they don't have a fat bank account. I don't believe for a second that my son's suffered for our bad timing for having kids. I look at it this way. Maybe some people can't have kids, because they waited for the perfect moment and it escaped them.
Also, I think some people really need to think about others. Yes. Maybe you didn't or never used the programs I have mentioned. But would you? If your children were hungry? Or would you choose a family that had the money to feed them? If you lost your house? Would you try to find help with housing or would you choose adoption? I hope you don't have to face that kind of choice. Because can You really do what is best for your child? Can you choose adoption? Can you do what I did?
I do see how Tracey felt like she was attacked when she tried to talk about people who are anti adoption. I am not anti adoption. In all honestly though, I don't think women facing an unexpected pregnancy should get her counseling from an adoption agency. I feel better now.


Jessica said...

You make really wonderful points. Especially when you said if adoptive parents had to choose between feeding their family "on the system" or choosing adoption, would they?

In my situation, adoption wasn't about money. We don't have a lot of money, we struggle paycheck to paycheck especially after adoption costs. Would I do it again? You bet. I will spend my life wondering about(and being thankful for) my son's birthmom and her decision that I could never make.

The thing I've always admired most about you is that you're going through this process being very open-minded. Understanding not every situation is the same. Wishing things were different for you, but not hating adoptive parents as a whole. And, in turn, you continue to educate me on what birthmothers will always go through.

I wish we could all find that utual respect and learning from all sides of the adoption experience.

sisterheping said...

"You are the one choosing to keep your child and if you really don't have the means to do so, maybe this isn't the best choice."

I think this quote mainly applies to unplanned pregnancies - where people will say things like "Well, if she'd just kept her legs closed" or "can't she control her pregnancies!?" and then things get really, really nasty.

Accidents happen. Yes, someone will inevitably read this and think "Well then she should have been prepared for that!"

Well, isn't that the point of it? People can prepare as *best* they can FOR an accident - for the unplanned (note: NOT unwanted) pregnancy, but that doesn't mean they will be able to rise up from the situation without any support.

People shouldn't be kicking others when they're already down, and I think this issue comes from a place rooted deep in subconscious insecurity about "motherhood status" and being able to get pregnant at all.

If a biological mother wishes to raise her child, people normally congratulate her and encourage her to do so.

Enter adoption, and suddenly all this support disappears. She doesn't deserve her child. She opened her legs. She wants to raise the baby, but doesn't have the resources, so let's give the baby to someone who DOES have the resources. Oh god, the horror of a mother wanting to keep her child. No no, it's her fault she got pregnant and someone else deserves the child more. And so on.

It's not so much that anyone should feel obligated to fork over thousands of dollars for a woman to keep her child.

It's also human nature for women to want to be mothers. It's like a cultural milestone in some ways, internalized as such from society, the media, and other forms of unspoken contexts.

But what I've noticed from many, many adoption forums and blogs, is that as soon as adoption is mentioned, a woman is made to feel like an unearthly beast for wanting to raise and love the life that she birthed.

It's crazy.

April said...

You said,"...I don't think women facing an unexpected pregnancy should get her counseling from an adoption agency."

I think you are right there. Women need to know all their options and available resources from an unbiased perspective. A crisis pregnancy center would be a better place for counseling in such a situation.