Severance – The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoption

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Severance – The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoption

Postby athensrunner » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:06 pm

Today, I went to see this art exhibition in London...I wanted to go and see some really raw emotions though art...ok on that point I was disappointed...great exhibition but not as raw emotions on display as I expecting. I got to chat to one of the organisers from http://www/theopennest.co.uk..and to tell you the truth I have never thought off adoption from her perspective...she is a amum who adopted an older child out of the system and has fought to have an open adoption with her child's birth family..and is fairly successful in this...The Open Nest is an organisation who is supporting adoptees and allows adoptees connect with other adoptees...what I hadn't realised was that they are adoptees from the foster care system...since I normally see adoption from my birth mother's perceptive and from the infant adoption side of adoption...I had never really thought of the affect adoption has on young people removed from abusive homes and put into the system. If you are in London the exhibition is at the Severance at The Gallery, 25 Hanbury Street, off Brick Lane...11am to 7pm and worth a quick look see.

Since getting more involved in the adoption community I have always admired supported adoption out of the foster care system and often stand on my soapbox supporting adoption from the system...without realising that these adoptees are the most damaged and need the most support.

I keep saying to my "real" life friends that I would love to be able to counsel people in adoption related issues and then realising that I only know my side of the story...so I have promised myself that 2014 will be the year I fully embraced adoption and have been pointed in the direction of a few organisation that I will share when I have checked them out
Birth mother in an international adoption

Feel free to read my ramblings as a birth mother
http://www.athensrunner.blogspot.com
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Re: Severance – The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoptio

Postby ladyarcher » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:03 pm

Interesting AthensR ....... I look forward to reading your thoughts on other areas around adoption ...

... coincidentally today on Radio 4 there was a young girl talking about her experience in being fostered, and highlighting the need for young people coming out of fostering to still have a 'grown up' who is there for them in the same way as a parent should have been......she said that many foster carers do fulfill this role, and stay in touch with 'their' children......however many do not continue contact........for a number of reasons, sometimes it it because the child has been 'moved on' too many times ...

....also, in Weekend Womans' Hour, which I rarely hear, there was a short bit devoted to adoption........specifically it was stressing that there were no age limits on adopters......not sure how accurate that is....... nor did people have to be married, they could be accepted as adopters if they were single......I think that single sex marriage wasn't mentioned, but I did miss a minute or two of the broadcast.......the a. parents who were interviewed were considerably older.......one man and his wife in their fifties .......whose own children were grown up.....having taken on a family of three siblings of various ages.....at least those siblings are not separated........so some things have been learned over the years.........

LA
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Re: Severance – The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoptio

Postby sylvie » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:50 pm

Athensrunner, thanks for the tip about the exhibition.

I think one thing many people don't see about our situation is that the loss of our children through adoption had nothing whatsoever to do with abuse or neglect.
It was to do with us being pregnant while unmarried.

The absurdity of that being a reason to find us unfit or a liability when it came to mothering our children is so clear now. But it was a completely accepted view just a few decades ago, and all professional circles - from medical staff to social workers - promoted adoption heavily while concealing sources of help, help we were entitled to.

In conversations about adoption, those of us who were mothers while unmarried during those particularly judgemental decades around the mid-to-late twentieth century (and thus found virtually all avenues closed except adoption unless we were fairly well off) are talked about and considered within the same sentence as those mothers whose children have been adopted out as a result of cruelty or neglect.
It's so important to see the difference between the two.
But it's also difficult as it's so hard to imagine now a time when single mothers were treated so harshly that their children were considered lucky to be given to strangers rather than stay with their natural parent.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
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Re: Severance – The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoptio

Postby ladyarcher » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:45 pm

One wonders at the definition of 'lucky' ....... some would consider us 'lucky' to have been given so much in material things, things that our b.mothers would have found it very difficult to give us.....perhaps a private education, one's own piano, a bike, one's own room, one's own pony, cultural holidays...eventual university perhaps, possibly even help towards a house after a big white wedding....etc ....however in a lot of adoptions this sort of priviledge came with a 'cost', and many of us went on 'paying' for our 'good' upbringing, in many little pinpricks of ways, such as gratitude and guilt, for a very long time......and had our b.mothers just been given a little bit of help and support from their family, a little less judgement, and also the information about financial help available.......then we need never have been parted ....... because material things will never replace true 'mother' love........and those of us who had 'good' adoptions from the outsider's viewpoint, struggle to make understood an emptiness ....... happily, not all have an 'emptiness' in their adoptions, but some of us did.........

LA
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Re: Severance – The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoptio

Postby sylvie » Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:14 pm

If I could give you a hug, LadyArcher, I would.
You write so clearly and so poigniantly about the subtle pains, the pinpricks, as well as the more overt ones, of being adopted.
You have opened my eyes to so much in your writing, and I really do appreciate your contributions here.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
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Re: Severance – The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoptio

Postby ladyarcher » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:11 am

Thanks Sylvie.....I will consider myself 'hugged' ...

...seriously, I do hope that continuing to write, and say, these things, may be helpful to people who have the horrible thought that 'they are the 'only ones'. that these things have happened to....... when I meet someone new, I always try to 'drop' adoption into the conversation, and it is amazing how often it turns out that the new acquaintance will have a 'connection'......either being adopted themselves, or knowing someone, or having someone in their family, and even, on occasion, having lost a baby to adoption .....

...chatting to a visiting lady at WI a few months ago, it turned out that she too was adopted, and she too had spent years looking for her sister ....

.... a lady I was doing 'nights' with, many years ago had been made to give up her baby, by her parents....father was a Vicar! ...... she had just been accepted for nursing training and her parents were determined that she should take it up.........she had later married the father of her baby, and they had a son........she dreaded the 'knock on the door' that might one day come, and there would be her daughter wanting answers.....particularly because they had eventually married, ......and how would the girl feel when she found she had a full brother who had been 'kept'.......what made it even worse was that her husband would never talk about it......it was a 'no go' area in their marriage.......I don't know if it ever happened, because we moved away from the area about twenty years ago.......I know she still lives there, and often wonder whether to contact her......but probably best not.......

LA
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Re: Severance – The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoptio

Postby sylvie » Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:20 pm

Yes, the same situation viewed from different perspectives just looks so different, doesn't it?

It's so difficult to stay open enough to try and understand another whilst one is hurting so deeply, but I believe that is the way to make a relationship after adoption has separated individuals. Assumptions and fears can get in the way, but really trying to hear what went on, how someone feels, what they need etc seems so important. And having wider view, a sense of context, is vital, otherwise everything seems to be on a personal level. That's where the effect is, but not where the reasons are, I don't think.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
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Re: Severance – The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoptio

Postby ladyarcher » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:17 am

.
.......I think one of the difficulties is that the person listening i.e. the adopted person, ........ is listening to the person they perceive as talking 'now'........but in fact the person talking now,is actually talking as the frightened sixteen year old that they were......... many things that would be said as an explanation, would be heard as an excuse ......

.....so, as you say, Sylvie, it is the same situation viewed from a totally different perspective.......and the only way to get a 'meeting' of minds,..... for understanding to take place, is for all the people to listen with different ears.........i.e., you cannot, as an adoptee, listen with your own experiences........because you have not had the experiences of your b.mother ........ you have to put yourself in a different place ....... and also, as a birth mother you must understand that the adopted child initially, can only understand that they have not been kept.........they can't understand why..........and of course there is another person in the shadows of this scene whom we often forget....... there is the a.mother ....... who herself cannot understand why she is 'not enough' for her adopted child........

LA
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Re: Severance – The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoptio

Postby sylvie » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:30 pm

Yes, LA, I agree with you on how important it is to try and really see things through another person's eyes.

Through listening to adopted people here and on other sites, I've slowly been able to get closer to comprehending what that must feel like. I had no idea, absolutely no idea, before my son and I found each other again, that his experience of adoption would be so complex, deep, painful and longlasting. I have been educated by the adopted people who shared their experiences with me, which enabled me to understand his experiences better.

In turn, my son has gradually been able to understand more about my experience, and see how different it was to what he had believed. One huge thing that helped that was the Australian Apology for Forced Adoptions, which described the overt and insidious pressures that society used against vulnerable pregnant women and girls for the purpose of getting her to reliquish her child for adoption. It's absolutely unthinkable now that such practices went on, and so powerfully and pervasively, but they did, and in many countries. My son now knows about some of what I experienced as a result of that offical apology, and it really helps. It helps me, but it also helps him to know that it wasn't because of any fault in him that he was adopted, nor in me (unless vulnerability is a fault).

It takes time and a positive decision to make the effort to educate oneself and to remain empathetic.
Reunion involves such tender feelings and self-esteem issues for everyone that it needs care in order for trust to grow. Once it does, some very deep and unique feelings of connection can be felt.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
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Re: Severance – The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoptio

Postby sylvie » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:04 pm

Hey Athensrunner, you said you wanted to see an intense exhibition?
Have you seen this?

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/event ... me-truths/

I haven't, but it looks very interesting.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
sylvie
 
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Re: Severance – The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoptio

Postby athensrunner » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:03 pm

Thanks Sylvie...I didn't even know about this museum..it will be worth the entrance fee...just wish I had known about it last month...really want to see "A Girl Like Her"...I think I will need to buy it directly from the website. I finally have a well deserved day off on Thursday and might try to get up there and see "Home Truths" together with the exhibition.

I am glad to see that at least you and Lady Archer have started an interesting conversation on this tread...it is along the lines of what the lady from Open Nest and I talked about...the fact that the only way we can learn the true the effects of adoption on all parties...is to listen to each others and not judge...I have learnt so much from people on this forum and from my other adoption friends, I just hope others learns as much as I have so far...and I haven't even scratched the surface of the full impact of adoption.

I need to re-read the whole tread to see if there is anything I can add to what you two have so eloquently covered.
Birth mother in an international adoption

Feel free to read my ramblings as a birth mother
http://www.athensrunner.blogspot.com
athensrunner
 
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Re: Severance – The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoptio

Postby athensrunner » Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:47 pm

Went to see the Foundling Museum today and did see the screening of Home Truths...must say I was disappointed....OK, the photographs were stunning but what it had about loss to adoption I cannot phantom, I don't think any of the artists have any connection to adoption. The documentary Home Truths was interesting and something I would had watched if it had been shown on TV...again, it doesn't haven't anything to do with adoption...it is documenting Tierney Gearon (in 2001 naked photographs of her children shown at the Saatchi Gallery caused a bit of a stir) and her mentally ill mother. Gearon was supposed to be there for a Q & A, but had last minute cancelled.

The more interesting thing was my conversation with one of the guides , she was telling me that it was wonderful that Foundling Hospital no longer existed as such and how heart wrenching it must have had to be for the mothers forced to give up their children. I said that there are still women who find that they have no alternative but give up their children due to circumstances beyond their control...and explained that I was birth mother...then the conversation got interesting....we discussed her conception of adoption and the reality for someone who lives with adoption as part of their life (i.e. me and what I have learnt). Later in the evening I got chatting to a young lady who also had come to the exhibition thinking it was more to do with adoption. So, all in all it wasn't a waste of my time...and actually quite nice to be told by one lady that it was a privilege to meet me and given a warm hug by a total stranger for telling them adoption sucks.
Birth mother in an international adoption

Feel free to read my ramblings as a birth mother
http://www.athensrunner.blogspot.com
athensrunner
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:35 am
Location: London

Re: Severance – The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoptio

Postby athensrunner » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:04 pm

LA, as promised.

This was one of the exhibits at the adoption art exhibition I went to back in November, so simple but so true

1620493_742160439141535_1376673453_n.jpg
1620493_742160439141535_1376673453_n.jpg (54.57 KiB) Viewed 4131 times
Birth mother in an international adoption

Feel free to read my ramblings as a birth mother
http://www.athensrunner.blogspot.com
athensrunner
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:35 am
Location: London


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