The River in the South Hills

I believe my relationship with my adoptive father changed in my eyes when he threw me across a river in the ‘south hills.’

We lived in Twin Falls, Idaho at the time, and I’ve tried to recall exactly how old I was… I suspect I was 11, I believe this was in the summer of 1985.

Our church had coordinated a forest retreat, held in the area colloquially known as the south hills. In any other part of the country, these would be called mountains. Idahoans pride themselves on being of a sturdier stock than the rest of the country (except, perhaps, Alaskans) and the attitude toward these smaller mountains was that they were ‘no Sawtooths.’ When I make these references, I want to stress that these are attitudes I absorbs unknowningly, that the quotes could have been said by any of the adult men in my life at that time, and that I was a compulsive eavesdropper. I use quotes to distinguish the phrasing, which I do recall quite clearly, even if those who uttered these statements are otherwise forgotten.

I am at times relctant to move forward with explaining to people what happened – Continue reading →

Why does it matter?

It, in this case, being the impact of adoption on an infant, a child. Why should the impact of adoption not be weighed against the alternative, whatever that may be? I am conditioned to picture the alternative being a series of horrors, a spectrum from the neglectful to that of murderous parents, slavery, a life of poverty and crime from the moment of birth. We all are, in some sense – and the rising anti-abortion laws further the narrative of adoption-first approaches throughout certain regions within the United States. That central myth is a preservative narrative shielding a poorly regulated confederacy of institutions and private interests that facilitate an enormous industry that trades in human life.

An industry ruled by special interests, worth billions, and incentivized by religious pressure to provide children to homes for conversion. Read “The Child Catchers” by Kathryn Joyce to get caught up on how we got to this point. Continue reading →