is my story. I became pregnant at 16. I was sent out of town, to a
home for unwed mothers, until the problem was taken care of. I never
went home again. I was deprived of my family, my friends, my cat,
my clothes, my bed, my music, and my books. In the home we were expected
to attend mass every morning and 'counseling' every day. If we didn't
show up they came and found us and 'counseled' us right where they
counseling consisted of making a list of what we could and could not
give our child. The one and only thing we could give our child that
no one else had, was our love. That however was negated when they
told us we were too immature to love as evidenced by the fact we were
pregnant. We were told we didn't know anything about child rearing
(a skill that can be learned and mentored). We were told we only wanted
a doll to dress up and play with (we had out grown dolls and were
baby-sitting brothers or sisters, cousins, and neighbor's kids). We
were told we were selfish (people who want what you have and you won't
give it up call you selfish.) We were told we would deprive the baby
of a decent home (back yard, picket fence, dog, two cars in the garage,
the American dream) and a two parent family (normal people susceptible
to disruption, job loss, divorce, bankruptcy, alcohol and drug abuse,
anger, violence, poor judgement).
consisted of telling us we had nothing to offer our child and all
that we would do to harm our child and every thing we would lose if
we kept our child. We were told we would ruin our lives and our child's
life. We were told we couldn't attend school with a baby (there are
now child-care centers on campuses). We were told no one would hire
a single mom (single moms work all the time, everywhere their skills
and talents allow them). And we were told no decent man would be interested
in a ready-made family or would want to raise another man's child
(decent stepfathers and happy, healthy stepchildren are everywhere).
was ever said of the basic human survival instinctual needs an infant
has for her mother. An infant is hard wired to find her favorite smell,
sound, taste, feeling, and her favorite thing; her mother. When her
needs are not met, when she does not connect to the rest of herself,
her complete self, she becomes afraid, frustrated, and angry. She
screams and cannot be consoled. Her very survival is jeopardized.
An infant fresh from her universe and thrust into the world does not
understand separation from herself; her complete self; her mother.
She is seeking to return to the bliss of her mother, her smells, sounds,
touch and taste. Bliss and euphoria are denied, safety and security
are denied, and a vital connection is not made when she is denied
her mother. A wounding has happened. A wound that remains open and
raw until that connection is made. She is anticipating the one and
only connection that can heal her wound. She searches for the one
and only connection that can complete her, make the connection, the
connection to the rest of herself. The connection with her mother.
first five years of a child's life are when the child's personality
is formed and when life skills are learned. In her first five years
the child is the center of her own universe, the sun revolves around
her. People exist only in her presence; they don't exist outside her
world. Everything happens because of her. This is when she learns
how to define the loss of her mother. The child's development forms
her concept of what happened. Once you, her mother, are gone your
child takes care of herself. She defines her world in the only way
the developmental process allows her. She was abandoned because she
is unlovable, she is defective and the fault lies within her. As she
then passes into the next phase of development she tries to find her
place in relation to the world. She is now able to verbalize her thoughts
and feelings. Are those my 'real' cousins? Where is my 'real' mom?
I don't look like you, who do I look like, laugh like? Through all
of this the people who adopt, who claim your child as their own, believe
they have a blank slate. They do not acknowledge the earliest experiences
of your child. They do not know how to deal with the trauma of separation
and the loss of mother and bliss and connection. They try to replace
what was lost and cannot because they are not what was lost. Your
child will search for what she has lost. When the search becomes too
painful to bear, a coping mechanism will protect your child by placing
her needs and her search in a dark corner, unseen and yet still there.
16 and 17 I was as naive and as mature as any teenager can be. I trusted
and believed adults and authority figures. I believed these people
were only interested in my health and well being and the health and
well being of my child. Yet these people I looked to, to take care
of me, failed to teach me and prevented me from learning about child
birth, child care, job skills, and government assistance. I went through
my pregnancy not knowing what was happening or what to expect. I went
through labor and delivery without any one with me other than a nurse
that called me derogatory names and was rough and disrespectful. My
water was broken, I was sedated, no anesthetic given for a large epesiotomy,
and forceps were used on my daughter to pull her out. Labor and delivery
was forced and fast. I was denied access to my daughter after her
birth. I was frightened for my daughter and myself. When the papers
were brought in to release my daughter into the care of the agency
I refused. My decision was to raise my own child, where was she, bring
her to me. I was told I had made my bed I was to now lie in it. It
made absolutely no difference what I wanted and needed and what my
daughter wanted and needed. The medical community worked with the
Church, the government and an agency to deprive me of my child. I
did not give my 'permission'. I signed a paper that told me it was
Phil advises women not to deprive their children of their mother.
He further advises them to take care of themselves so they can give
their children their mother. What do you need to do to provide your
child her mother? Some things that may be of concern to you; college,
employment, single parent hood, daycare, dead end jobs, state money,
child support, misery for your daughter and you. Don't take the victims
part of helpless, hopeless and misery. Instead use the strength of
the mother you will be for your daughter. Search out and use those
services that were designed to help you parent your child. Put your
pride aside so that your daughter might have the bliss she needs.
Services are designed to enable you to be self sufficient. Services
are temporary just as your situation is now temporary. What is permanent
is that you are the mother of your daughter. She wants and deserves
nothing less that her mother. Her world is you. To lose you will tear
her world apart. No amount of money or things can fill the void you
will leave. No father is necessary for her health and well being.
What is necessary is that she makes the connection with her mother
and maintain that life sustaining energy. Where can you be in five
years knowing that you are all that your daughter needs and wants?
Would you give your life for your child, will you better yet give
your life to your child.
the lawyer, agency, counselor and couple. They will encourage you
to not parent your child. They don't want you to parent your child.
Do you have information with which to make a fully informed decision
between parenting and not parenting your child? That is part of being
informed. When you tell them you have decided to not parent your child
they are wonderful and sweet and you believe they are putting your
feelings and desires first, they are warm and loving. In meeting the
couple two or three times you will see only part of them, the good
deserving part they want you to see. Ask them how they problem solve,
what they disagree or bicker or fight about? Have they grieved their
inability to have a child of their own? They will give a large amount
of money to the agency. And the counselor takes a salary from the
agency. Of course they aren't buying your child, that would be illegal.
To avoid the appearance of buying and to avoid a couple having to
give an agency or lawyer a large amount of money that could other
wise be used for a child, surrender your child to a county agency.
When you tell them you have decided to parent your own child what
will they do? They will be disappointed and mad at you. They will,
however, go on to another mother and her child. They will accept any
child. Their life will not end if they don't get your daughter. However
should they get your daughter her life, as she knows it, will end
and so will yours.
want to tell you the rest of my story. At 19 I again became pregnant.
Her father and I had lived together a year in a small very cute apt
with a cat, a lawn, friendly neighbors and lots of kids (no picket
fence). He went back to his wife several months after our daughter
was born. We have seen him on one occasion since then when she was
3. We were on welfare for a few years while I went to school. I accepted
books and tuition from EOP and a BEOG grant and food stamps and medical
help. I had an after school job with the recreation department with
my daughter at my side. And I had a summer job life guarding with
my daughter in the pool all summer and lots of kids for her to play
with. I met a decent, wonderful man who would meet my daughter at
the Head Start bus and walk her across campus where I would meet them
at the end of class. When she graduated from Head Start she then went
to a pre-school program at the elementary school across the street
from the college. I then attended a vocational school for eighteen
months and graduated with a nursing license. We were then off welfare.
We continued to get court ordered child support directly from his
paycheck until my daughter was 18. We received more money from child
support than welfare. When my daughter started high school I deposited
the check in her account for her own use. She spent a year in New
Zealand as a foreign exchange student. Using her own money she bought
her own car and paid for gas and insurance herself. She now owns her
own house. She drives a fire truck for a living following in the footsteps
of that decent wonderful man who has been in her life from the age
have a very large hole in my heart from the loss of my first daughter.
She is so angry with me for abandoning her she cannot have any form
of communication with me. I absolutely refused to let them have my
second daughter. These two young women are the absolute loves of my
life. One daughter is at the greatest depths of my pain and sorrow,
the other the center and greatest joy of my life.
you decide to raise your child and give your child her mother, things
will come to you to strengthen you. You and your daughter will have
bliss and great joy.
you all the best, I know there is a bright future out there and it
includes your daughter. It was there for us.