Welcome to the craziness that is my life!

This is my story in pieces. The good ones, the bad ones, and everything in between. It is messy and flawed...just like it's author. I am not a selfliss person...I am not an angel...I am a loud, opinionated, most of the time crazy, Mom. I write here the things I cannot discuss in my "day to day life". These views are my own, from my own journey. Adoption has changed my life forever, some for good, some not so good. If you don't agree with me, that's fine. It's not your story...it's mine. Consider it a manual on "How Not To Act/What Not To Do When You Are Pregnant and Considering Adoption". If you learn nothing else, learn to educate yourself to the long term affects on yourself, your family, and the child you chose to place.

Oh...and please, don't call me "bitter". I prefer the term "enlightened".


***DISCLAIMER-I don't speak for anyone but me...in this story or in life. It is here as an educational tool if anyone chooses to learn something. I appreciate comments always.***

P.S. Just because I don't actively blog doesn't mean I still don't LOVE comments. Yes, I still check them. I guess I would just rather hear YOUR thoughts, than share mine.

If you missed the story, start reading the "Posts of Some Significance" located directly underneath and to the right of this. That's the story in a nutshell.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Entitlement......



en·ti·tle·ment (ĕn-tītˈl-mənt)

noun
1.The act or process of entitling.
2.The state of being entitled.
3.A government program that guarantees and provides benefits to a particular group:


So I've been thinking a lot lately, about life, adoption, work, and all the craziness that is floating around in the world lately. (Can you all smell the smoke?) As I read a lot of stories, I find myself thinking over and over again...."When did we get so entitled as a society?" At what point did we transform our thinking from "I owe something to the world!" to "The world owes me!" So I started researching it a little, as a general subject, and found some pretty interesting information regarding Entitlement. Check it out...

From Suite 101
People are very aware of their entitlements, some real, some imagined. Whenever a dispute of any sort arises, people are quick to insist on their entitlements, but you seldom hear about the obligations that entitlements carry with them.

Too many people claim real and imagined entitlement to all sorts of things without giving a thought to corresponding obligations.

Every entitlement carries an obligation; even if it is only the obligation to NOT exercise the entitlement when it harms others. If obligations are ignored, entitlement soon deteriorates to just what you can get away with.

From seattlepi.com
Entitlement signals a rejection of the very DNA of America. Our national genetic code, at least at one time, was patterned on respect for the common man and woman. It was sequenced by a belief in the dignity of human life that's not the consequence of having, but of being.

In the end, it's the entitled who, however rich, are truly poor. Instead of knowing life as a gift, life turns into something that's taken for granted -- or worse, begrudged. That's real poverty, and no sense of entitlement can alleviate it.



In my opinion, that's a lot to think about. It made me stop and think, that's for sure. Then, for giggles and grins, I googled "Entitlement in Adoption" since that's the area this blog covers (and the area in life I see it most) and can I just say WOW! There are tons of things to read, but one common thread rang over and over throughout the articles I came across.

Many "Adoption Professionals" (a term I use so very lightly) insist that entitlement in Adoptive Parents is necessary and essential in developing relationships with their adopted children. That worrying about what the child will later encounter in life regarding sense of self actually DETERS the required sense of entitlement. That by empathizing or being overly concerned for the Birthmother's loss will INHIBIT the sense of bonding with the child that Adoptive parents must learn to feel entitled to.

And you know what's even more interesting? I put the dictionary definition of "Entitlement" at the top of this post for everyone to review. But when you use the word in a sentence that includes adoption, the meaning changes. Read on, to see more of what the "professionals" have to say.

Apparently, in adoption circles, the definition of Entitlement goes through a fantastic metamorphosis. Birthmother's are not allowed to feel entitlement. Adoptee's (who in my opinion are the ones who should feel this the most since they are the ones who had the most taken from them) are not allowed to feel entitlement either...ESPECIALLY in regards to things  such as original birth certificates, and family origin, as well as answers regarding their stories straight from the mouth of the mothers who started them. In these instances, Entitlement is a bad word and should never be used. 

But when you get over into the land of Adoptive parents, the word changes. In AP circles, Entitlement's definition changes. It then means, "Developing a sense that a child "belongs" in the family, even though she wasn't born into it." or "Entitlement, to parents, means that we feel whole in our parenting." or my personal favorite..."Developing a sense of entitlement is an ongoing process of growth rather than a single task identifiably completable, and the success of an adoption is related to the degree to which this sense of entitlement has been acquired by each adoptive family member rather than to its being seen as achieved or not achieved."

I think it's fantastic that adoption is a magic wand that can change the meaning of a word. It's almost as cool as how an amended birth certificate can completely change who a person is. (And that my friends is sarcasm.)

There are lots of great tools to use to build sense of entitlement too, in fact these articles were full of great one liners...here's a few gems:

"I am only doing what I feel is in the best interest of my child"

"I wanted it to be easier than this, so I am going to stop worrying about your pain and focus on our family. That's what you said you wanted."

and my personal "favorite", I found buried deep, deep in the Internet,

"If the court says that it is "as if this child were born to me" then his birthmother is going to have to accept that. The law is the law."


Anyways, just some food for thought. We (me included)  all suffer from the disease of entitlement. Here's to hoping we find a cure...


9 comments:

  1. So interesting that you posted this. I am dealing with selfishness right now myself.

    We are such flawed people. All of us. I wish for everyone that it was our first nature to consider others before ourselves.

    Instead we have to deliberatelty supress our desires for self satisfaction and make concious decisions to do what is best for others. Even when it means sacrifice for ourselves. And that is not a sacrifice most people are willing to make.

    I believe that you can tell a Godly person by how they consider the well-being of others. I want to be known for that. I want people to say of me, "she put others first". Because I believe in return, we RECEIVE much more than we had to sacrifice.

    And as a birthmother in a similar situation to yours, I hope the same will someday be said for my child's adoptive parents.

    But for now, I can only work on my heart. And just pray for them.

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  2. This is a great post.I particularly enjoyed knowing that entitlement is a necessary part of adoption!!Since you have a FB button up there, I've posted, it's too good to be missed.
    Good wishes to you, hope you're traveliing ok.

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  3. I agree with PP that this is a great post...it really got me thinking.

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  4. ...."When did we get so entitled as a society?" let me tell you my theory as to the exact moment this country went bat shit about entitlement. It involved a cup of coffee, a woman who put said coffee between her legs and when she burned her special flower, she sued McDonalds for millions and won. After that, everything changed. Think about it, people back before the 80's would have NEVER thought about suing a school, or fast food joint, or anyone for anything but accidents that were LIGITIMATE. And the smack talk that you see all around, no respect, everyone wanting everything but not willing to put back in as one should do. Some call it lazy. You asked the question, I am just telling you my thoughts....

    Now about the rest of this post, BRAVO once again love! Not only did you think this thought, but you researched it. That is what I loved about it. Entitlement is a funny word in it's own, but you are right. If you add adoption to it, it alllllll changes. I know I have been very careful throughout my adult life to respect all involved with my adoptions, not overstep my boundries and would never feel entitled to my children at all. That all ended when I signed the papers.

    BUT, if entitlement hinders the act of answering an adoptees questions about their roots then I do see where it all gets in the way. I think that it is so important to keep a line of communication open between the families so that issues can be dealt with head on. Why? Because they can be asked of the birth families if need be. It is a little disturbing to read some of what you have posted above. It is a shame that people need to possess that quality about them.

    Great read M

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  5. Bullshit! Is what i thought when I read "That worrying about what the child will later encounter in life regarding sense of self actually DETERS the required sense of entitlement. That by empathizing or being overly concerned for the Birthmother's loss will INHIBIT the sense of bonding with the child that Adoptive parents must learn to feel entitled to."
    People need to get their heads out of their asses and realize that they can still bond, love and be a mommy and daddy all the while having the birth parents and the child love each other. I don't feel my love or empathy for my son's other mother has affected my bonding AT ALL! If we want to be good parents, stop feeling entitled and do what's best for your children. A mother can love more than one child, why can't a child love more than one mother?

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  6. Hello! I recently found your blog on birthmothers4adoption and am so happy that I did. I am sorry that your adoption experience has been less than positive and I truly hope that your daughter's adoptive parents will start to open up to you. My husband and I are hopeful adoptive parents (www.facebook.com/growing.our.family) and have found it so helpful to read your blog and the blogs of other birth moms. Education and information are so powerful and we find your efforts admirable. We feel strongly about open adoption and find comfort in finding others that truly support honest open adoption. I wish you all the best and look forward to reading/learning more from you. Take Care, Dana

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  7. I think it all unfortunately boils down (in the end) to what each individual adoption situation looks like. Not everyone or their situation is a alike. For some an open adoption is the best scenario. For others a completely closed. For others a semi open.

    I think our country is never able to find a middle ground. We either swing widely to one side or another.

    Adoptive parents have a right to view the children they adopted as THEIRS. That doesn't mean they cannot show compassion towards helping their child's birth mother (or father) but in the end they have to think about their family unit. Sometimes a birth parent cannot get all the access they want. Sometimes an adoptive mom cannot handle hearing someone call her up and say, "How is MY daughter doing? I'd like to see her next week and bring her grand parents." Sometimes she needs to be acknowledged as the mom. I'm not a foster mom. I'm not a daycare. I'm a mom. I'm getting up at night, I'm providing physical, emotional and educational care (not to mention tons of love) to this child. My role has to be respected as well.

    Adoption is final and forever. Some other family raises your child. Your child has a new family.

    Later some adoptive children want to meet their birth mothers. Not all want to go on to call them Mom or spend holidays with them, but some do. At that time adoptive parents need to be supportive. Recognize their child is now old enough to make their own decisions in life and darn it their birth mom gave them life! NOT a small thing!

    But some adopted children want a lot from their birth parents who want NOTHING to do with them. I pray that my daughter doesn't want something from her birth parents that they aren't prepared to give her.

    Its so slippery.

    I don't think I feel entitled,but sometimes I feel beat up.

    I'm emotionally beat up by the system. From worrying about our daughter's birth mom who dropped off the face of the earth after seeing our daughter at a visit that I encouraged her to have. I drank the adoption Kool-aid and thought seeing our daughter would make her happy. It had the opposite effect.

    On the other hand I'm dealing with her birth father. He treats me like I'm a foster parent or a glorified babysitter. He says things like, "Maybe X will have a baby brother some day" when I want to scream---she has brothers and sisters remember?! He has a criminal record and his father pulled a gun on the social worker the night he signed the papers. I'm literally afraid for my life and for the lives of my other 4 children.

    No, entitled does not describe my situation at all. Exhausted does.

    I'm emotionally exhausted. I wish I felt entitled.

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  8. Karin, thankfully your wish comes true!! You are very entitled, congratulations!!!

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  9. Okay, so I've read this several times, and have taken time to process my thoughts. I think this post specifically shows how there are so many dynamics, so many 'sides' of adoption. It is MY opinion that a birth mother is ENTITLED to do what she feels is best for her and her child(ren). She owns those feelings, and I don't think anyone can or should try take that right away. However, when she does choose adoption, and she places her child into the arms and lives of another family, I strongly believe that said family is entitled to their feelings and beliefs as well. I can say, without question, we have gotten to a point in our adoption where we are struggling with what degree of 'open' we'll have. We will never cut off ties with our son's birth mother, even though she initially wanted a closed adoption. We will always share information and photos of our son with her. But then comes the statement "I am only doing what I feel is in the best interest of my child". Again, without question, I feel this is what we are doing. WE (our son's parents) are doing what we are entitled to do- parent in the way we feel is best. His birth mom isn't necessarily entitled to see him, or have contact with him. We simply want her to part of his life. If a day comes where she does not want contact, we will respect that. IF (and I don't agree with this) ENTITLEMENT is with only one side of an adoption, I believe it belongs with whomever is raising the child as their own.

    Reading through all the comments, I have to agree with Karin. It's all so complex, and every situation is different.

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