Adoption—are you teetering on the edge of the abyss?

Adoption Detective | Judith Land | Adoption Story

I have climbed and skied on high mountains, hiked up box canyons, crossed rock arches in the desert, skied in the Alps, piloted a boat, and discovered archeological treasures. I have written a book about an adoption reunion, made public presentations, traveled to foreign lands, solved mysteries, and successfully reunited with lost relatives. Each time I found myself in a perilous or challenging situation, the same emotions were evoked and thought process followed, whether I was facing real physical danger on the side of a mountain, or engaged in deeply challenging psychological situations involving public speaking, sharing with peers, or counseling others—what are the alternatives and the future consequences of each choice?

Are you uncertain about the perils of what lies ahead—uncertain of what the future may hold? Do you feel like you are standing on the edge of a precipice—a dangerous bottomless chasm and no way to retrace your steps? Are you facing monumental life-altering choices with irreversible consequences? Are you an unmarried teen, a parent, or a child seeking virtuous answers to age-old questions about the value of human relationships?

We are all faced with uncertainties and difficult choices in life. The most complex and wearisome situations occur when we sense that we are on the edge of a cliff. We are uncertain how to react when we are teetering on the brink of the abyss in a situation that is likely to end in a complete wipeout. Many of us have been in a situation, a street, a corridor, or a blind alley that has no exit; occupied a position with no hope of progress; held a dead-end job offering no possibility of advancement; or lived in a bad neighborhood. We all agree that it is terribly frustrating to be in a situation with no exit and no way out.

Some individuals profess that ‘ignorance is bliss’ but they are cursed with restless souls. Uncertain of the facts or history, they shun responsibility and prolong decisions because they know not how or when to act. Facing an infernal hell with a wide and profound discrepancy between the different people in their lives, they feel hopelessly lost. They sense they are missing something, but they seek answers to difficult questions in all the wrong places. The orphaned, fostered and adopted child who grieves for a life that could have been perceives their life’s trajectory as severely and inexplicably altered through no fault of their own. The pregnant, unmarried teen without money or legal authority may be overcome by a sense of hopelessness. Adoptive parents feel threatened and hurt when they perceive their adopted child as thankless because they express a desire to reconnect with their biological kith and kin, culture, and heritage.

The most important lesson I have learned in life is that happiness is derived from making good decisions ‘before’ we are required to act. To live a good, honest, and fruitful life, we must learn to anticipate what comes next, know what it is we are seeking, and understand the differences between satisfying our basic survival needs, our souls and our flesh. We must discern the facts and choose wisely; use emotional intelligence to anticipate the unexpected and understand the sublime; and do our best to prepare ourselves for worst-case scenarios. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The wise person acts with empathy when weighing the alternatives and evaluating the consequences and makes timely choices based on what is fair and beneficial to all concerned.

Judith Land



Adoption Detective

örökbefogadás | تبني | adopción | adoptare | принятие | การนำมาใช้ | اتخاذ

About Judith Land

Judith Land lives in Colorado and Arizona with husband and coauthor Martin Land. Judith is a former nurse, retail shop owner, college instructor and avid outdoor person. Her book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" is a true story detailing the journey of Judith Romano, foster child and adoptee, as she discovers fragments of her background, and then sets out to solve the mystery as an adult. She has reached readers in 192 countries. "Mothers and fathers everywhere in the world need to understand that children are forever and always." --Judith Land
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7 Responses to Adoption—are you teetering on the edge of the abyss?

  1. Kathy Bonner says:

    Loved the article. Have to say, the term “unwed mother” could maybe be “mother of loss” or maybe just “mother?”

    • Judith Land says:

      Hi Kathy, Some words catch our attention and hold meaning, while others are simply swept away by the wind. We see the value of using the correct words in a song, in lyrics and a poem. Thanks for calling my attention to this. Adoption creates a unique set of psychological and emotional issues that sets some persons hopelessly adrift. Our perspectives and understanding of our life and circumstances evolves and is significantly different when we are in our teen’s, young adulthood, mid-life and beyond. The decisions we make can lead to the best of times or worst of times; the age of wisdom or foolishness; an epoch of belief or incredulity; the season of Light or Darkness; the spring of hope or the winter of despair. Individuals who are unmindful of sound decision-making practices are more prone to worries, apprehension and buyer’s remorse—a lingering sense of having made the wrong choice or a suspicion of having been overtly influenced by others—something they may later regret. Mothers and fathers weighing the alternative of waiving their parental rights and adoptive parents hoping to provide a better world for someone else’s child must first analyze the alternatives and evaluate changes to their family mission, values, lifestyle, finances and long-term goals. Those lacking maturity, experience, moral support, education, and financial resources, may have difficulty weighing the alternatives and uncertainty about how to proceed. Empathy is a gift and a skill that requires the means, talent and ability to interpret and comprehend the soul of another human, that is at the core of emotional well-being, feelings and thought. Ultimately, being skilled at making sound decisions is the key to making the world a better and safer place for children, ourselves and nations.

  2. Your use of the term “unwed” mother is archaic and offensive. It harkens to a day of shame, blame and secrecy around unplanned pregnancies. It is a term that was used during this nation’s the baby scoop era when the stigma of “out-of-wedlock” and “illegitimate” births meant confinement in maternity homes.

    Later in the piece you say: “The pregnant, unmarried teen” to refer to mothers who lose children to adoption. Unmarried is one step above unwed, but still you stereotype and pigeon hole all relinquishing mothers into this small category as if all are teens, which is quite untrue, especially today. Many college students, career women and married couples lose children to adoption, primarily due to finances.

    Fathers also also children to adoption!

    Your language is – albeit unintentionally – hurtful and demeaning and shows a lack of comprehension of the issues and the populations whose lives have been irrevocably touched by adoption loss and separation. It leaves me wondering about the overall message of your piece. What wisdom do you fault the “teens” you envision not having?

    What “good decisions” are you eluding to that people facing unplanned, unexpected pregnancy should make or should have made? Do you any awareness that adoption is not a “choice” for most parents faced with the loss of their child(ren)? Are you aware that many are coerced, pressured even forced both into pregnancy and certainly into relinquishment? Do you know that forced adoptions were not limited to Ireland as in the movie Philomena and still occur today?

    You know your own experience with regards to adoption and have apparently chronicled it in a memoir. But before you go writing about the entire adoption experience from all points of view, i urge you do more research. For some tips on adoption sensitive language check out the websites of Origins-USA, The American Adoption Congress, and Concerned United Birthparents. To learn about real life birthmoms follow some blogs such as FirstMother Forum.

    Mirah Riben, author, THE STORK MARKET: America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry.

    • Judith Land says:

      Thanks for the feedback and reference suggestions.

      References: I knew Jean Paton, founder of Orphan Voyage and initiator of American Adoption Congress. She was very helpful to me during my adoption search. We gave a couple of speeches together. I think about her often. The stork market is a good reference that provides interesting information.

      Lexicon: I agree that words and terminology evolve over time, sometimes to the point of becoming old world, archaic conventions representing bygone eras, but the basic concepts of family and relationships are universal and enduring regardless of the words used to communicate our thoughts. Teens and foreigners often lack vision and worldly experience and when they are also lacking financial resources and legal authority they are particularly vulnerable to the influences of others.

      Decisions: I gave considerable thought to the decision-making processes before arriving at the conclusion that the “best decisions” we make are the ones we voluntarily select before we are “required to act.” Human performance is a continuous decision-making process of choosing between alternatives and the greatest of all human aptitudes is the faculty for making intelligent choices. Attached is a link to a blog I wrote about the decision-making process. This article should help expose my thesis.

      • The voices of mothers who relinquish are too often silenced and ignored, in great part as a result of the negative stereotyping and marginalizing of that population.

        As I said, perhaps a conversation can now take place. Thank you.

        On Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 3:20 PM, Adoption Detective | A Novel By Judith

      • Judith Land says:

        Although doubt will always remain about the ultimate cause for something as widely diffuse as the evolution of social customs, our collective goal should always be to encourage relationships and arrangements that lead to increased opportunities for affluence, education, and happiness for all of the world’s children.

  3. CORRECTION: Fathers also LOSE children to adoption.

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