Thursday, September 5, 2013



By Kathleen Hoy Foley

Some months ago I was interviewed by Inside Edition.  TV reporter, Les, rode into town on his high horse which, by the way, doesn’t mean much out here since we have our own celebrity who actually earned her prominence.  Robin, a local teen entrepreneur, established Hot Diggidy Dog over twenty years ago looking to earn money for college tuition.  In the years since, her little hot dog cart has become the destination for Jersey shore-goers trekking to the beach, and anyone else happening by the middle of nowhere on a sweltering summer day in need of refreshment.  Around here, Robin is an authentic celebrity.  Les with his upmarket, urban attitude and television cockiness?  Phony as they come.

As gentlemen go, Les wasn’t one.  No surprise there.  Five words: tabloid television, bottom feeder reporters.  Still, as a woman silenced by sexual abuse, my mission is to give voice to the truth and to make that truth available to as many people as possible.  Inside Edition showed up and created an opportunity. 

From his first words it was obvious that Les’s objective was to humiliate me into submitting to the standard adoption fairytales—the pitiful loss and longing fantasies that I’m so bored with I could spit—and to trivialize the trauma I’d experienced from both the rapist and the stalker adoptee.  Seems Les wanted rape and stalking to look like ordinary activities that most folks engage in from time to time.  Since I’m not a viewer of Inside Edition, I never intended to—and didn’t—watch the interview.  Good thing.  Les pulled more than a few malicious, bottom-feeder-reporter-tricks.   But Les’s conduct is not the point.  Les did what bottom feeders do.  He’s no different from any other abuser.  They are all in the business of violence.

Abusers like Les—a manicured, well-dressed, good looking guy—conceal their hostility and aggression in their restraint, in their swagger, in their arrogance, all too easily mistaken for self-confidence.  Abusers can always be identified by the misery they spread, by the harm they inflict, by their sly rhetoric and veiled prejudices, and by how they support their bigotry while justifying and encouraging the abuse of others.  Les-type abusers don’t flaunt their cruelty.  They dress it up as innocent and wholesome.  Who could see much less hear the whisper of truth beneath Les’s style and finesse?  So, withheld from viewers of Inside Edition—buried under Les’s attempt to degrade me with condemnation and shame—was the highest, unwavering truth that adoption is the divine connection of a real person to his/her real family.

* * *

The real family awaits, calling out to its ‘beloved’.  When the call is answered, the real family steps into the human crisis and brings its ‘beloved’ home.  The joy of that union, the elation of the newest family member coming home at last, transcends the path of anguish that ushered their ‘beloved’ safely into their arms, into their protection, and away from the menace of emotional and physical chaos.  The real family encircles their ‘beloved’, uniting him with his kin in the deeply personal love story of family. 

Long before the ‘beloved’ finally arrived, the real family already knew their ‘beloved’ as one of them.  The real family remained nearby, always ready, always waiting, always looking forward to the homecoming of their ‘beloved’.  And in a manifestation of the Divine, at long last the ‘beloved’ did come home.

* * *

To comprehend the reality, the power of such love and to even begin to grasp the profound concept and genuineness of real family, the ‘beloveds’ whose path to their destined families was circuitous, need to reject the typical, cultural lies and misteachings about adoption.  The ‘beloveds’ must refuse to abuse themselves with violent and soul-destroying terms like abandoned, thrown away, given away, bastard, unloved.  They have to pull upon their courage and conquer the seductive lie of ‘entitlement’ before it contaminates their lives and destroys all that retains profound and authentic value—the unconditional love that defines their real families.

Unfortunately bottom feeders like Les, who remain mired in self-hatred and trapped in the storm of their own anger, deny and ridicule the truth of real families.  Pile on opportunists looking to make a buck by feeding off pain and exploiting fear—adoption and all its related sub-categories are a gigantic money-making industry—and the truth disappears.  And ruthlessness rides free on the waves of rage.  Before you know it, victims of catastrophic pregnancies are being exposed like criminals; DNA samples are being demanded of private citizens; and hypothetical entitlements become law. 

When the ‘beloved’ is blind to the hidden agendas of bottom feeders and cannot see that self-created misery, misdirected anger, and emotional fear—not noble intentions—are what motivates bottom feeders, the ‘beloveds’ start trusting the abusers and the bonds of real family start breaking. 

To fully appreciate the unconditional love offered by his/her real family, the ‘beloved’ has to challenge the lies and fantasies promoted by bottom feeders, and recognize them as the abusers they are, responsible for eliciting and provoking false agony.  In order to experience profound love, the ‘beloved’ has to accept that the pinnacle of all there is, of all he is searching for is already present.  The ‘beloveds’ need to understand that the emotional wholeness they seek resides within them and is supported and enhanced by their real families.  Love does not exist in the excavation of the dark gutters of pain and violence—the playgrounds of abusers like Les who disguise lies and endorse the destruction of real human connections.    

Fantasy families are perfect.  Real families are not.  A misled ‘beloved’ needs to recognize what is authentic and cherish the reality of his real family and the divine connection that called him to his real home.  Every family is flawed.  All families harbor secrets and abuses.  Addictions and failures.  But the real family tries.  It is bound together with shared love and history, sorrows and joys.  And within its traditions and memories the real family holds every member in its forever heart.  That is transcendent.

Robin is real.  The oasis she created out here is real.  Gulping down an ice cold diet soda at Hot Diggidy Dog after a long walk on a blistering summer day is true bliss.  Les?  He rode out of town on the same high horse he rode in on.  And honestly?  He looked fine up there—like a strapping hero on horseback.  Too bad he was anything but.