Incognito Press

truth. knowledge. freedom. passion. courage. Promoting free-thinking, activism & rogue writing.

The Red String, and how we are all connected

Posted by E on July 4, 2007


An ancient Chinese proverb talks of “an invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet. The thread may tangle or stretch but it will never break.”

I believe that everyone you meet, you meet for a reason, and every experience presented to you is a challenge to be learned from. This is not a religious belief but a personal, albeit somewhat spiritual opinion I hold.

I also believe that a parent is not one who carries a child for nine months, but someone who carries a child in their heart for a lifetime. Someone who is there for the smiles and the tears, the temper tantrums, the loss of baby teeth, the first day of school.

Adoptive children and their parents are brought together because they were meant to be together. Because they are on a spiritual level, if not genetically, parent and child. They are connected, not through blood, but through love.

Lately I’ve received some venomous mail from birth mothers who were using the same boring rhetoric about how adoptive parents  are acting “entitled” and “arrogant” about taking “other people’s children” and separating them from their birth families. (Basically suggesting that adoptive parents are legally kidnapping babies from their mothers via a subterranean, demonic ring of evil adoption lawyers).

I was astonished at their accusations. I wanted to say back to them: “Nobody held a gun to your head. You signed the papers. You may have been a teenager, felt pressured, etc, but YOU GAVE UP this child. (Maybe due to social stigma, poverty, depression, or simply not being ready to have a kid). BUT when you did that, the child became SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD.”

I don’t understand how anybody can deny being responsible for giving a child away.  So you didn’t feel that you could be a parent to the baby. Fine. So you went and gave up all rights to him/her. I understand that there were tremenduous emotions involved in that decision, but WHERE ON EARTH do these people come from, to act as if these kids were kidnapped from them at gunpoint???

I wish there was some degree of respect for the people who actually TOOK that parentless child and raised him/her. They didn’t rob a mother of her child. That child didn’t HAVE a mother! Birth parenthood ended when the papers were signed. 

Dismissing a child’s adoptive mother and father (their REAL parents legally, and the only family they have known) as nothing more than arrogant, “entitled” jerks who want nothing better to do than satisfy their sadistic urges to kidnap and mentally torture a child by forcing them to “conform”, is insulting not only to them, but to that child.

Do these birth mothers REALLY think that they are helping their relationships with those adopted children (if and when they’d happen to meet again) or their psychological well-being by expressing such open-faced hostility toward their mom and dad?

Regret, jealousy and rage for having missed the most important milestones in the life of the person you gave birth to ought not to negate or deny the love that this child received from someone else: his or her parents. I would be thankful that someone loved them.

I’m certain that not all birth mothers feel like this – in fact, perhaps only a small fraction have such strong feelings. So before everyone in the adoptee camp freaks out, please remember that this post is about that small margin.

The relationship of parent and child goes so far beyond the nine gestational months spent in a womb. It’s about love, magic, and a connection that is much more than blood type. A red string ties each mother with her baby, even if the child is born thousands of miles away.

19 Responses to “The Red String, and how we are all connected”

  1. jackiejdajda said

    You wrote.
    “I wish there was some degree of respect for the people who actually TOOK that parentless child and raised him/her. They didn’t rob a mother of her child. That child didn’t HAVE a mother! Birth parenthood ended when the papers were signed.”

    Now you’ve done it.

    Now you are going to get the “I was tied to the bed!” routine.

    I signed the papers when I gave my son up for adoption.. I have a great deal of respect for man and woman that adopted my bson.
    I have met my bson and he is a wonderful man. And he is very much into his family. This is something that gives me great peace of mind.


  2. Elisa said

    I’m very happy that you had such a great reunion with your b-son. It must be a great thing to know that he turned out wonderful. I wish everyone had such a positive experience.

  3. m said

    Oh, I’ve even been told that I took my daughter from her mother. Nevermind the fact that she was in an orphanage for a year after having been abandoned.

    I suppose they’d say the same thing about the little boy we are adopting now. He’s been in an orphanage for three years. His birth family may exist, but they haven’t seen him since they abandoned him at a bus station THREE YEARS AGO.

  4. Elisa said

    God. How awful.
    Perhaps it’s a good thing you’ve adopted from overseas – in the US some people (I won’t call them “birth” parents) might come back and demand “their” kid back!
    I saw a mention of something like that on Sandra Hanks Benoiton’s blog, where she writes about the so-called b-parents of a baby whose ribs were broken now trying to get him back!
    People can be so sick.

  5. thirdmom said

    This is my first visit to your blog, but I hope it’s OK to leave a comment in spite of the fact that I don’t know you well.
    I wanted to add a thought regarding this statement: “Adoptive children and their parents are brought together because they were meant to be together.”
    I’m an adoptive parent; my children are Korean, and are now 18 and 16. We are by any description or measure a perfectly ordinary family, one that’s close and gets along, but not without occasional conflicts. My children are secure in their ethnic identities, and openly discuss their feelings on adoption. My husband and I encourage them to search for their families, and sincerely hope they are able to meet and have relationships with them.
    That said, I respectfully disagree that adoptive children and parents were meant to be together. Because our children come to us through loss and even tragedy, I can’t accept that we were meant to be. I do believe that, in spite of tragedy and loss, it’s possible for people who are genetically unconnected to become strong families.
    I also believe that a strong family supports its children as individuals. My children are individuals with Korean mothers, fathers, perhaps sisters and brothers, and many other relatives. My love for them would be flawed if I couldn’t acknowledge and support that reality.

  6. Elisa said

    I understand how you feel, I do, since I don’t often take the stance of “it was meant to be” for every terrible and tragic thing that takes place in this world. However, I do believe that sometimes (such as in adoptions), perhaps we were meant to unite with those other souls and individuals who become our family.

    I believe this because of that fact that some of the more negative events in my life actually led to a lot of positive events and meetings of people who became very significant for me. In that sense, it’s sort of like saying that you can’t understand darkness until you see light, and can differentiate.
    I don’t know if this makes sense, but I know that at least for me, the losses that I encountered in childhood, as painful as they were, led to me being who I am today, and I would not change that for anything.
    In my case, I really do think that there were people I was “supposed” to meet and new connections I was supposed to make – whether there was a “red string” present or not.

  7. jen said

    I think you may underestimate how deeply many bioparents “carry a child in their hearts for a lifetime”

    There is not always, but sometimes IS a love bond that can last through that seperation. Just as eternally and deeply as any aparent can claim to love that child.

  8. Elisa said

    I don’t dispute that, Jen.
    What I have been arguing all along is that adoptive parents are also capable of love as eternal and deep as that of a bio-parent.

    There is this pervasive belief in society that a mother always loves her child. It’s as old as humanity itself – that mothers nurture, that is what they do.
    But not all mothers – some birth mothers are incapable of love, and some do abuse their children (I did a year of volunteer work in a prison as part of my crim/psychology degree, and I have seen mothers there for beating their children – even sexually abusing them).

    But when it comes to a-parents, there is often a stereotype and attitude that they “couldn’t possibly” deeply love someone who is not of their flesh, blood or race. At least not as much as “their own flesh and blood.” Such attitudes are often accompanied by internalized racism anyway, especially toward a-parents to adopted kids who were of a different race.

    What I am arguing in this blog is that a-parents should also be perceived as being the child’s “real” parents. A-parents love as deeply as anyone who has ever given birth. In some cases, far more. That to me makes them as “real” a parent as any. And just as “meant” to be that child’s soul parent.

  9. paragraphein said

    Just one comment here:
    Please read our stories before you judge us so harshly. Thank you.

  10. Elisa said

    I have read the stories. There is a mix of positive as well as negative experiences.

    I am not judging you harshly at all. I don’t know why you would say that.
    In your own blog, you state that birth parents are “nothing more than carriers of potential product”.
    To follow that line of thinking, you believe that adoptive parents are nothing more than product-purchasers.

    Isn’t that harsh?

    I’ve also just read another blogger’s definitive statement that “adoption is an unregulated industry.” WTF?
    Do you know how many hoops an adoptive parent has to jump through, from months of intense home studies to background checks, basically through the 7 rings of hell. How arrogant do you have to be to say something like that, then turn around and call me arrogant? LOL. Jesus Christ.
    Get real, people.

  11. misty said

    I don’t understand how anybody can deny being responsible for giving a child away. So you didn’t feel that you could be a parent to the baby. Fine. So you went and gave up all rights to him/her. I understand that there were tremenduous emotions involved in that decision, but WHERE ON EARTH do these people come from, to act as if these kids were kidnapped from them at gunpoint???

    Hi, Elisa,

    I wanted to email you about this comment of yours, but I wasn’t able to for some reason. I have a story to share about my being told to give my teenager back to the birthmother. I’ve been called a kidnapper and worse.

  12. petunia said

    Just came across your site and haven’t gotten to read much yet but I have to agree with you on one point. My daughter, my husband and I were meant to be together. There are too many things that have happened and we have loved her for years before she came into our lives. I have a picture that was drawn of her 10 years before she even existed, an angel was given to me with dark hair and laying the way my daughter does now in her crib, and many other “signs” (if you will) that she was going to find us. Her biomom placed her in our arms…she was not ripped away. With love on both sides she and her biodad asked us to be her parents and love her the rest of our lives. It was a wonderful moment that one day I’ll be able to share with MY daughter.

    I have been blasted for my stand on adoption. I am a happy adoptee, my parents are awesome and I have met my bioparents and they are decent people. We did NOT have any bond or feel a “kinship”…they are strangers to me really. I don’t feel I have missed anything or have been “cheated” in any way and other adoptees and birthmothers cannot accept that. I honestly believe my story is the norm among adoptees. Most people have no need to blog about their good lives…I happen to be on only because we were adopting and wanted to record our journey…it became more about me and trying to say there are happy adoptees – no one cares, they can say over and over how unhappy they are but if I say that I have a good life more than once I have people asking why I keep repeating myself….

  13. etta said

    The best was on one adoptee website where I saw an adoptee arguing that the “decent” thinkg for “adoptive parents” to do would be to take the child until the mother got on her feet and then hand the child back! It never occurs to them that stepping in and taking on that role is NOT our responsibility. We pay taxes and that pays for the welfare for poor parents to take care of their kids. It never occurs to them that such upheaval, after the child has come to know and trust aparents, would NOT be in the child’s best interests.

    I read those sights and I’m amazed that they aren’t embarrassed and ashamed to come out with such stuff.

  14. misty said

    “Severe depression, severe complicated grief, PTSD, serious contemplations of suicide because of the pain—it is not anything that a mother can handle with ease as seeing her child again only re-traumatizes her. She has to relive that separation all over again when she next sees her child and yet then separation causes extreme grief and loss, so she is stuck. So if you did not expect these types of emotions in the first mother, why did you agree to take her child? She cannot just ‘get over it’ as none of us do.”

    This is what I was told by a birthmother once. WHY, if this is the truth, would you subject a child to these vagaries of emotion? And why would you want to do something that ‘re-traumatizes’ the birthmother all over again?

  15. misty said

    Same poster told me this: “Frankly, I think you should all admit that adoption is an artificial situation and give that child back to the natural mother, re-integrate her with her natural family. Like you said, she is almost 17. Does she even know that her birthmother has tried to contact her at all over the past 2 or so years?”

    How do you answer someone who is so far out in left field that they would want to tear a child from the family that has raised her since she was two days old, tear her from her siblings, her parents, her cousins, her aunts and uncles, her grandparents, even her puppy? to say nothing of her boyfriend and friends!! I was told I needed to do this because it was my turn to ‘sear.’

  16. misty said

    I was also told this by another poster: “If it was me you had done this to you would have to look over your shoulder and sleep lightly at night. You are lucky that you have hurt a saint and not a mere mortal.”

    and this: “You are a cruel and heartless wrench [sic]. Go look in the mirror and stand by yourself with your own petty convictions because NO ONE HERE CAREs! ,,, Now go fry in hell!”

    and this: “See, this is the trouble with dealing with somebody who will pull anything out of their substantial ass to look good to strangers. They leave out key bits of information, some of which I feel is far to personal (regarding the children) to discuss publicly.” (This, from someone who read my daughter’s myspace and reported on its contents on more than one blog. This, from someone who wrote to my daughter’s school and lied to them that I was taking non-prescription psychotropic drugs. This, from someone who obtained copies of my divorce papers).

    I will most like regret posting this, but, I have no forum in which to defend myself. Every once in awhile, I have to let off a little steam, to get this stuff off my chest and out of ‘my substantial ass.’

    Elisa, please excuse the crude language of the people I quoted.

  17. Elisa said

    de nada, Misty. Feel free to vent 🙂

    I can’t even begin to go over what they’re saying about me. Most of it it’s about me being “uneducated”, “arrogant”, in my “own little world”, “unpublished hack” and just plain “stupid”. I won’t bother going over my credentials again; I mean, why bother? If they took a minute they would find my book listed in bookstores, and I thought I already went over my educational background in crim and psych, but what do they care. Uneducated I remain. ha! I wonder how many of them have degrees in psychology, criminology, and work experience with social services and the criminal justice system.

    Funny that they would accuse me of that and rant about apparently just how stupid my blogs are, over many different blogs of their very own. If my arguments were just so terrible, WHY on earth would people take the time and go to such efforts to discredit me??

    Could it be…oh, I don’t know…because they see this blog as a (drum roll) THREAT??
    The more vicious, the more hateful the comments, the more you realize how much you bother them.

    But this is all good, in the end.
    Not only do these people discredit themselves by sitting back and just hurling insults, they firm up my argument that they are incredibly biased, and just a small pool of undermedicated sad people who will accept nothing but the old “adoption is terrible” bullshit. I ought to thank them, actually. It’s helped me build a thicker skin, which I needed.

    Over the past week, I’ve gone from being bothered to being amused about being called names like whore by a mysoginist moron who has a groupie pool of half-a-dozen mindless drones who chirp and clap at his every drooling word. It seems he has it hard for me – perhaps too hard?…

    You gotta wonder about men who are so eager to attack women, and call them sexist names (which none of his female groupies bat an eyelash at). This “bastard” (yep, that’s his handle!) constantly talks about me being a lesbian. Constantly. I think there are some sexual issues there…he especially keeps talking about me “making out” with my girlfriend…lol. Mentioned it a couple of times already. The image must really turn him on.
    If you’re reading this, ibastard, NO, you can’t watch! Sorry to dissapoint 🙂

    of course, some of the more creative names I’ve been called range from the silly (lame, unpublished shock-jock) to the just plain…weird, i.e. “unwashed misinformed miscreant”. I mean, what kind of insult is that? I wash every day. lmao

    So…yeah, don’t let it get to you. Like water off a duck’s back

  18. misty said

    I haven’t succeeded in developing that thick skin, lol. I don’t get all the references to being gay, either. In fact, I wasn’t sure whether you were gay or not–your blog doesn’t scream out about sexuality. Whatever, who you love is your business, I always say. And if my 78 year old mother can encourage and support her god-daughter in her relationship with her girlfriend, I don’t know why people raised in this generation have to be so rabid about who loves who!!!

    No matter what you write, the focus will be on calling you names. Seems you’ve figured that out fast! More power to you!!

  19. Elisa said

    Thanks for your support Misty! I took the liberty to move your comment to my newest blog entry, which basically is sum-up of my last comment. Hope you like the duck picture!

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