Thank Goodness Times Have Changed
As always, I’d like to start out by saying hello to my friend John Daltrey in Tuscon. I think of you everyday John and wish nothing but the best for you.
When I write a blog, I like to write about subjects that most people can relate to but today is going to be different. I saw the movie Philomena on Wednesday and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. It’s the true story of an un-wed Irish Catholic young woman in 1952 and the journey she goes through to find her son. If you’ve read any of my books, you know that I too was an un-wed mother at age 19 and placed my son for adoption so the story was very near and dear to my heart except that I didn’t go through all the bullshit that the Catholic church inflicted on these young un-wed mothers. I’ve felt enraged ever since seeing that movie because of way they treated these “fallen women”.
I did a little digging and found out that this movie is up for 4 nominations and that there is a project called The Philomena Project where you can sign a petition to ask the Irish Government and the Church to make it easier for the children adopted in Ireland to find their parents. Here’s the link if you’re interested: Philomena Lee Project
I know the shame that goes along with this kind of pregnancy or at least the shame attached to it back then. The judgments, the secrecy and shame you bring to your family and the horrible pain of relinquishing your child for adoption. I used to think it was the worst pain in the world giving up your own child. It was and it wasn’t. My son grew up in a wonderful family and he’s a fantastic young man who I love dearly, but my heart still goes out to all those women who placed their children willingly or unwillingly and have not been able to put closure on that pain. That hole you feel inside because you don’t know how their story turned out. Are they okay? Are they happy? Did they have a good life? Do they have abandonment issues? Do they understood that their mothers loved them very much and felt that adoption was the best solution for them? There’s always so many questions for the birth parents and the babies they placed.
If it was possible to sue the Catholic church for the way they treated these young women, I would. Her story says the Church will not take responsibility for their part in the 60,000 babies they sold to American families and this certainly wasn’t just the Irish Catholics that did this. My dad’s birth mother was German Catholic and she went through hell also.
Times have changed and even though we have open adoptions and more and more young women raising their babies, there is still a stigma attached to it. It’s a tough row to hoe, raising a baby on your own at an early age but that’s a whole other story.
My focus today is on the children and mothers who have been through this and are still feeling the pain of that loss and separation. The hole in my heart went away when I found my son and today I understand why both of us needed to go through the separation and eventual reunion. If you are someone who has gone through this and you are still suffering from it, please do something about it. Hire an agency to find your mom or your child. Do what you can to heal that break in your heart. Don’t wait until it might be too late. Go see Philomena and sign that petition asking the Catholic Church to step up to the plate and help these mothers find their children. The cruelty needs to end so that the healing can begin.
More blogging soon. I feel better getting that off of my chest. Thanks for visiting today. Off to do a meditation.
That was very thoughtfully written. The bond between Mother and Child can never be broken. Thank you for shedding light on another one of the Catholic Churches abuses.
Thank you, Echo, for sharing your experience. As an adopted child, I was placed in a good, Catholic family. I was raised well, but always felt separate. There was a guilt and shame I held, the source, I could never identify. I could not relate to being loved by God, only the sin and judgement. There was no one to talk to or even consider my position. I used drugs and alcohol to find relief. At age 47, I went to treatment and heard someone’s experience, strength and hope about adoption. Why wouldn’t the unborn child of an unwed mother be influenced by the shame, guilt and pain of admitting her sin and banishment? During an exercise with a counselor, I was asked to go back to a time that I was happy and free, a time before the world scarred me….I had to go back to the time where I existed in my mother’s belly, but she didn’t know it yet. As soon as she suspected I was there, I became a problem. Imagine the baby being delivered in a Catholic hospital, where it is “better for the mother” if she has no contact. The babies are born with a stigma and are cared for by staff. Did my people pleasing begin at that time? Did being quiet and compliant, assure my safe care? Although I was adopted at 12 days old, I know the circumstances of my birth contributed to my fear and insecurity. I know the greatest gift a child can receive is to be welcomed into this world with love. I hope that healing can come to all who are affected by this kind of adoption.
Peggy, your post was very enlightening. I read it the other day and thought about it throughout the day. By the end of the day, I received clarity about this from the soul’s perspective. Your soul came into this lifetime to heal the shame it was already carrying and being born through your birth mother set the stage for these wounds to surface in this lifetime. I hate those words “admitting her sin and banishment.” I wonder who decided this was a sin in the first place. I don’t believe that God sees this as a sin. That’s a man made term. We go through tough experiences to make our soul stronger, wiser and more compassionate. Also to heal old wounds that haven’t healed in our soul. You sound like you’ve done a beautiful job of healing and I thank you very much for your post. It widened my understanding of choices that the soul makes, in order to heal. God Bless.
Although I made another choice, I thank you for this and I signed the petition, and Thank you for all the books you have written. They have truly been gifts from God our Creator for me. Peace and love, Rev. Brenda H. Tapia
You are so welcome Rev. Tapia. Thanks for your post.
Thank you Echo. I’m a Vietnamese adoptee. I wish to find my family to let them know I’m ok and that I have a good life. Money and time have been my enemy. But I’ve been looking for signs. You are one.
I also saw the movie, and was so touched I watched it twice more. This, after receiving and posting a similar story by a close friend and colleague.