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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Living a mystery

          By Trace L Hentz (blog editor)

Grief grows when someone’s missing. My “someone” was Helen, the woman who grew me in her womb. Helen decided to sign me away to be raised by total strangers.
            What type of blind faith was that? What was required for her to decide to make me an orphan? How could she know I’d be safe? Someone must have told her.
            Maybe the Catholics convinced her. The Catholics arranged everything for her and for me.
             Why doesn’t America know being orphaned hurts the baby in a profound way? Prisons and psychiatric wards are filled with orphans and adoptees, some of the scariest and most violent offenders. Why haven’t we heard about this? 
            Losing Helen did hurt me in a profound way, but not enough to kill someone.
            Adoption was an experiment. Remember this. No one really knew how closed adoption would turn out. Our mothers never imagined how this could hurt us as much as it hurt them. Mothers were assured giving us up would be ok, and we'd be better off. 
             CUB Mothers are rewriting history and fighting to get us back and fighting adoption secrecy. (CUB means concerned united birthparents). An important essential book on America's unregulated adoption industry is Stork Market (there is a link on this blog). Riben's book will open your eyes in ways you cannot imagine.
            Then I find out our government forgets to count adoptees.  As a journalist, I was disappointed but not surprised to find out their U.S. figures are not recent, reliable or computed systematically. We’re not that important, I guess.
            Writing One Small Sacrifice, I was confronted with one reality then another. I woke up. I lived in a mystery novel. I can say now with certainty, it was an adventure solving the mystery.
             With obvious fear, I opened my adoption, even if it got me banished from my adoptive family or arrested for criminally trespassing in my own family tree!
            What lawmakers decide about unsealing adoption records in 2010, if they were not adopted and if they know their names, they may not get it. Expecting an adoptee to be ok with living a mystery is crazy.
            When you think about this, it’s obvious. The tree roots of trauma takes its hold in children. Orphans roots are scarred. My roots are scarred.
            I don’t think it should be so hard to find the woman who grew you in her womb. I don’t think an adoptee should be denied their name and their family tree and their relatives.
            I think about a lot of things but I pray that moms and dads across the planet can raise their own children and those children become strong and healthy moms and dads. 

** An adoptee wrote on Facebook: My sister and I have so many issues that a shrink wouldn't know where to start… Another wrote: I shut down my emotions at a very early age. Because I agreed with them, I wrote Ghost Shell and posted it on this blog on July 1.

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Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

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