Google has always been my worst enemy. I get obsessive when something’s going on in my life, and I spend any free time I have crawling around the internet on any relevant website my searche take me to. I did it when planning our wedding and re-modeling our kitchen. It happens when I’m planning a vacation or searching for a new job. In these situations its a harmless way to kill time. But when we were struggling with infertility the habit bordered on destructive, and yet I could not stop myself. Message boards gave me false hope when something was going wrong, inaccurate or incomplete articles confused my decisions, and the constant focus on a situation I couldn’t change hindered my emotional state. It didn’t help that I felt like the only person in my world dealing with such things. The internet called to me, making me feel less alone.
Starting on our adoption path I initially didn’t have much time for googling. Between info sessions and paperwork, classes and outreach, I was able to stick to using the web for the productive, healthy, information seeking purposes nature intended. But now that we’re waiting and I’ve got nothing but time,and all bets are off. It started slowly, but I’m now in full google-crazed mode. From how to furnish a small nursery to adoption advice, I’ve let myself go and race around that emotional minefield that is the world wide web.
I’ve found a lot of really interesting and useful information. I have a Pinterest board started for nursery ideas, an amazon wishlist of baby products, and a folder of bookmarks for helpful articles. I’ve found a laundry list of testimonials from adoptive parents telling their stories. Some of them have lifted my spirits, others scare me terribly. I new I would find that, I was prepared for it, and it hasn’t bothered me too much. I wasn’t, however, prepared for what I found tonight.
Deep in tonight’s google adventure I landed on a website entitled “”Birth”-mother’s Exploited by Adoption”. A quote at the top of the page referred to how adoption “destroys” the mother, and articles had titles such as “Disembabyment: How Our Babies Were Taken”, “Young and Pregnant, Keep Your Baby”, and “Open Adoption — Open Lies”. But what upset me the most is not the information contained in the articles. I read one entitled “Things I Wish I New When I Was Considering Adoption”, and I think it contained a lot of good advice. It’s the appearance of the site that has horrified me. Dark blue text on a black background, a dark red stripe, and, I kid you not, animated flames, all create a very menacing vibe to accent any article. It’s fear mongering in it’s rawest, most blatant form. Seeing it in a context so close to home took the wind out of me for a second.
I’ve commented a couple times thus far in the process that it’s a shame society attaches such a stigma to birthmothers. They’re often frowned upon as weak people who are “giving up” their child. Our experiences thus far have shown those we’ve encountered to be strong, loving, women who make a choice to place their child with the best parents they can find. It’s a touch decision that takes a lot of thought and reflection to arrive at. In a scared, fragile state, I imagine them turning to adoption as a warm and comforting option. Weather or not it’s what they eventually decide is right for them, I always assumed it was perceived from the birthmother’s side as a safe path. I know she may choose not to place her child for a myriad of very legitimate and good reasons. I even imagined that she could be shamed from the idea by a family member, friend, co-worker, neighbor, or any other real live person in her world. It just never occurred to me that she might be bullied into parenting her child by a website.