the juno myth
November 6, 2013 § 13 Comments
I have a lot of ideas floating around about what to write, too many actually. There’s so many things pertaining to my son, stuff I want to tell him and that I wish I could share with him. I hope I get around to writing some of that down. I also need to write someday about my sick obsession with baby stuff, and with having future little ones. Oh, and how people in the online childfree community are militant assholes. On second thought, that is probably all the space I should waste writing about those people.
Even though I have a blog and I write about adoption, a part of me dislikes the whole adoption blog thing. I keep considering deleting it all and never coming back. The other part of me, of course, is grateful for the communities, the good friends, the information and knowledge, and knowing I’m not crazy or alone. But I fear that the proliferation of adoption-related forums, blogs, and websites, including communities like Open Adoption Bloggers and Birthmom Buds, all serve to normalize the experience of giving a child up for adoption. To show off how much better it is now, and how open, and how different from the past. I happen to disagree.
I signed up for that OAB interview project and then withdrew from it because there are so many adoptive parents, waiting adoptive parents, and first parent apologists whose blogs I find way too triggering. I don’t need a reason to read any more of those. Most of the folks on there wouldn’t care for what I write as well.
Around the same time, I trimmed up my blog reading list–I don’t always mind reading adoptive parent blogs and points of view that I disagree with, but there are days when it’s too much and I can’t take someone else’s polemics. I often cannot tell if it’s one of those days or not until I’m actually reading, and then feel furious for several days straight. So, fewer blogs for me to read.
This November, I will be preserving additional sanity, and food in my stomach, by staying far away from mainstream media stories about adoption. A lot of bloggers I respect have written about why the adoption focus is misplaced. I also concur with this blogger that true adoption awareness would not be centered on promoting adoption, but on highlighting the numerous tragedies and the need for reforms. Furthermore I agree with Daniel that to achieve better awareness, the adoption discussion should not linger on the personal: anecdotes, emotions, opinions.
However, emotional discussions of adoption are not without merit.
The myth of Juno is relentless. By which I mean that we all want to believe giving up a baby is easy or even pleasant, that first mothers “move on,” and that knowing you made a “good” “decision” will make all the loss worth it. There is no malice on people’s faces when I tell them how I feel, sometimes exasperation and inconvenience, but mostly shock and utter bewilderment that giving up my baby was the least bit hard for me. I never knew it was hard, either. Where do we all pick up the same twisted beliefs? It never does occur to anyone that losing one’s child to adoption will result in suffering beyond imagination, and not for a few weeks, for months upon years, for a lifetime. Less than a week after my son was born, while I was still icing milk-engorged breasts, my no longer best friend said to me, “I never thought you’d be sad about it.” I have many more examples of thoughtless comments, but that one says it all.
So this month, as we all cast our adoption awareness wishes into a lifeless pond, my wish is to destroy the Juno Myth. We need to listen to our common sense, which tells us that, with few exceptions, mothers love their babies fiercely and want to raise them. I’m no different than anyone else. I wish people understood that–only so that my son will never grow up thinking that I don’t care, that I don’t love him more than life itself, that I didn’t want to keep him, that he is not a part of my family and my heart, because he always will be, no matter what happens, forever.