Had a bit of a rant on the weekend. One of my Buddha-zilla moments where I rant about the hypocrosies of life. The utter unfairness of it all.
The abandoned baby girl left to die in a freezing stairwell of a mall in Ontario. The children who froze to death because their dad passed out drunk while carrying them outside in a blizzard.
I saw the Oprah show regarding young adults whose biological fathers were sperm donors. Some were content to just find out who they were and a couple were adamant about having the right to know who their fathers were and ideally wanted to have a relationship with them or any other siblings. They felt "incompete" as to their own identity.
These young adults knew their biological fathers were just sperm donors whose motivation was not to father but to make easy money and yet they still felt compelled look for them. What had their lives been like growing up? Did they not have non-biological fathers who raised them? I wanted to hear from the mothers of these kids. How did they feel? What did the fathers who raised them from the minute they came into the world feel? Would they make the same choices again?
Then I read an article in the paper about a woman convicted of murdering her husband(her child's father) who will be permitted to keep her child while she is incarcerated. It mentioned in the paper that she had had a very difficult life, being abused and abandoned as a child, raped as a teen, her substance abuse, and that she has 3 other children that had been removed from her custody. During her sentence, she will be living in a separate unit with its own kitchen and a park nearby, all the while being surrounded by a fence and prison guards.
A baby being raised in prison? Okay, it's not something I would have thought of as being a "good" thing for a child, but what do I know? Is it the ultimate act of compassion for a federal institution to permit this? Will this inspire the mother to become a better mother and person? With any luck, she won't be in jail for more than 4 years. What kind of playpen do you have for your child? Oh.... FEDERAL....
I saw a 20/20 show about a young Chinese couple whose daughter had been "coerced" from them under shady circumstances and how the American couple who attained custody of the child fought to get them deported out the country and away from the child. Eventually, the biological parents prevailed and they were awarded full custody of their 8 year old child. Then ironically, the American couple were allowed to keep in contact with the child and now they want the Chinese couple to be alowed to stay in America. There were several things that bothered me about the people involved, notwithstanding their breathtaking hyprocisy, but never mind. Don't get me started.
Then there is the issue of adoption, with the attachment issues, "primal wounds" and all that. My point is this: the issue of biology is extremely compelling. When people say, oh, why can't you just give up the dream (hello, Oprah), if you really want children you can always just adopt, or whatever, I know they don't really know what the fuck they're talking about. They don't really know what it's like to really want to have your own children and pursue all sorts of options, specifically repeated IVF procedures. Not to mention the grief suffered from infant loss, repeated miscarriages or destroyed marriages. There are no "oops" factors, no forgot to use birth control that one time, no hey, why don't we just have a kid sounds like a great idea at the time kind of thing. And then there's the whole mental and emotional shift to either the wild world of adoption or a child-free life.
The biological connection of child and parent. It's why we consider open adoption to be the best circumstance for a child, so they you have acess to medical and/or genetic information as well as an emotional connection. For the sake of the child. But there are always strings attached, sacrifices made. It comes at a cost that people are willing to pay for apparently. To love and raise a child in this world. Will their care and nurturing be sufficient for that child or will they find their completion in the biological connection? Will my child ever look me straight in the eyes and say, "No, I want to know my real mother and father?" I guess what I'm saying is that will I have the wisdom to know what that means or will I feel that my parenting was just a substitution for the real thing?