MY COUSIN ALSO DRANK THE KOOL-AID
By Lisa Marie
I had to write you after reading your blog. I too had a family member who drank the Kool-Aid and believed the fairy tale promoted by those supporting adoption reforms.
My cousin, an adoptee, lived an ideal life just like Little Bill. Her parents wanted her more than anything. Just like Little Bill she was coddled, not just by her loving parents, but by aunts, uncles and cousins who were 10-15 years older than her. She was the baby in our family that everyone loved. She always had her original birth certificate. It was a private adoption; the biological source sent the original copy to the lawyer who gave it to her parents. My cousin was never interested. No need, she had her family. She married and had children. It is a family story how much her oldest looks like and acts like his grandma despite no common DNA.
Several years after my cousin's parents died, she became aware of the adoption reform movement and fell for the fairy tale they promote. Her mother's sisters (who were very close) kept telling her, we are her family. Most cousins told her the same thing. Her elderly aunts warned her about the can of worms she was opening. My cousin didn't want to hear it. She believed the fairy tale. Exactly as you said, she was looking to fill the vast emptiness she was told she was supposed to feel.
My cousin was very excited to find out that her biological source had married and had children. My cousin now had siblings! After spending most of her inheritance traveling back and forth to another state, buying a trailer to be near her biological source for the purposes of convenient visits, while helping the biological stranger out financially, my cousin discovered that there was no warm and fuzzy connection. Though it took her a while to realize it.
Sadly, my cousin would not listen to reason from her family who opposed her choices. She did everything she could to try and fit in with the biological strangers. It cost my cousin in the end. The elderly aunts were deeply hurt and their once-close relationship suffered.
One aunt helped raise my cousin for her first 5 years while her mom worked. They were extremely close. My aunt felt that it was her job to look out for her niece when her parents died and she knew she failed. My cousin had a new family now. Those were the people she decided to listen to. She ignored her real family—the ones who truly loved and cared about her.
Eventually, my cousin lost the house her parents worked so hard for and most of the money they saved so she could have a good life after they died. Ultimately my cousin came back to her real family. It seemed she realized that talking about the stranger grandpa didn't have any meaning, not like reminiscing about her beloved grandpa who used to rock her on his knee and taught her how to drive.
Hearing about the stranger grandma wasn't the same as remembering her beloved grandma making Easter cookies from the recipe she brought over from
My cousin learned that no matter how blonde haired and blue eyed she is or how much Irish blood runs in her veins, she will always be Italian with all the mannerisms, sayings, and customs of her beloved Italian family. She learned what family really means. As far as relationships go, genes are unimportant. People have many blood relations they don't know, don't need to know, or want to know, or will never know.
Families are the people who love you, who have been there for you your entire life, for both the good and the bad. At best, biological strangers are just acquaintances. It was an expensive lesson for my cousin, drinking that Kool-Aid and wanting the fairy tale.
Many people are drinking the Kool-Aid and believe the fairy tale that is being promoted by those in adoption reform, especially those in the legislature. Only 11% of adoptees obtained a birth certificate in
, 2.5% in Oregon , and less than 800 in RI obtained their birth certificates. Illinois
We seldom see those numbers, though the public always hears about "the happy reunions" in the media. You would think that the legislature would do a little research before voting on a bill to change adoption. Instead they drink the Kool-Aid being served by those with the loudest voices, those who think they are entitled—the same voices, the same people that go around the country to promote adoption reform.
I recently wrote to a journalist asking why he only told one side of the "adoption story" which included an Adam Pertman (a militant adoptee) interview, of course. I gave your website out and a couple of other places where he can get the other side of the story along with the National Council for Adoption, which supports mutual consent.
I told him that it is articles like his that promote the fairy tale. He did not respond.
Meanwhile people like my cousin and your uncle are destroying their families based on the lies they are told—the lies they believe. It's a sad story.