The other day, the ever eagle-eyed Claud D’Arcy found a website, U Are a Gift, that is truly beyond words. If I didn’t now better, I’d think that U Are a Gift, with its bizarre pictures of gift wrapped pregos, is a parody page. After one gets over the trauma of puerile aesthetics (Ad Busters take note!), one can only wonder who would take this site seriously. The average 12-year old, with no prompting from any of us, should figure out quickly that U Are a Gift is somebody’s fantasy in pink.
U Are a Gift is operated by a MILF named Carol (no last name) who wears jeans and suffers from grammar, punctuation, and capitalization impairment. We think she thinks she’s cool–a word she uses to describe open adoption (the film Juno is a great model for living-a-happily-ever-after life) ). Carol tells us that before God, or rather, “Jesus, CEO of the Universe,” whispered in her pretty ear to set up her page (or mission, or business or whatever it is) she was:
….in the executive search business for 20 years. In my business I have always created opportunities for people and not allowed them to miss out on them because of fear.
U Are a Gift and its paravenu keeper are clearly about abortion and arguments to forgo it. Adoption isn’t mandatory, but it’s the “unselfish” and “responsible” choice elevating you from emotional trainwreck and poverty to gift and gift giver. If Steve Jobs hadn’t been adopted, YOU wouldn’t have an iPod or an iPad. Do you have the right to deny the world cool communication gizmos?
The site contains sketchy information about abortion and links to the anti-abortion “information”site,” abortionfacts.com operated by Heritage House, a Christian fundamentalist promotional merchandiser that sells “teaching tools” such as the ever-popular pocket pal–life-size fetal models, in white or brown/Spanish, to use as awesome conversation starters in places like airplanes or supermarket lines where anti-abortion zealots can captivate a captive audience. Heritage House, of course, links to all sorts of “resource pages” owned by its small circle of friends, in this case Catholic anti-abortion enthusiasts.
U Are a Gift through abortionfacts.com, for instance links to the largely unknown -to-the -public but influential “family-values” Elliot Institute (or afterabortion.org or abortion: the unchoice), which advertises itself as “supporting the natural family..” Don’t get excited! It’s not what you think. “Natural family,” to the Elliot is the hetero married couple/bio or adopted-childed paradigm that needs legal protection from queers, sluts, their irresponsible paramours, and abortionists. Born again bastards (that is, those re-imaged by adoption), are welcome.naturally as long as we’re not too dodgy and don’t demand the return of our stolen identities and birth certificates (aka destroy adoption, the Constitution, Christianity, and The Family.).
abortionfacts.com links to dubious adoption resources, including the wit and wisdom of Ohio fundamentalist Catholic crackpot and sealed records king of coolness, Dr. John Wlike (and his wife) who tell us, among other “facts” that Roe v Wade has made it the “in thing” for unmarried women to keep their babies.
Hmm, OK, Jack!
It’s also the “in thing” (though Willke doesn’t use that term since bastards should never be “in” anything but a happy yard surrounded by a high white picket fence) for adoptees to let themselves be brainwashed into thinking they want their OBCs. The truth according, to the Willkes, is that ‘we’re just the pathetic dupes of abortion industry agitprop that’s manipulating our ungrateful dysfunctions and spoiled feelings of entitlement, as a cat’s paw to murder millions of baybees for fun an profit. Here’s what Willke and the Mrs, who for decades have headed the opposition to adoptee rights in Ohio, have to say about OBC access and those who advocate it (my emphasis)
U Are a Gift’s front page carries a pink header– “The Big Bang”– we hope it grows a URL someday — that refers profanus, to the moment of conception. This artful metaphor relates nicely to Dr. Willke’s description, delivered before an Ohio House Health Committee hearing in 2006, which I covered for the Columbus Free Press, of conception as “an ant piercing a basketball.”
U Are a Gift promotes the Option Line crisis pregnancy hotline, operated jointly by Heartbeat International and CareNet, two of the largest CPC (crisis pregnancy centers) franchises in the world. Care Net’s former CEO, Rev. Curtis J Young, is the author of the notorious adoption marketing instructional, The Missing Piece: Adoption Counseling in Pregnancy Resource Centers, published by the Family Research Council.. When Bill Pierce was alive the book was promoted by the National Council for Adoption, which seems now to have quietly and rightly retired it. The book, appears to inspire Carol’s entrepreneurial spirit, (or whatever she is up to), and is available in hard copy for $3.00 on the FRC site and can be downloaded for free from Heartbeat International.
Since the Option Line phone number is listed on hundreds of CPC sites, it’s doubtful that there is any direct connection between Option Line and U Are a Gift. To be honest, if we were Option Line we’d be embarrassed by Gift and demand Carol remove our phone number. Or wonder if Carol were a stealth pro-abort seeking to undermine our anti-abortion mission through satire..We can imagine how the puritanical Dr .Willke would respond to the salacious photo shopped imagine of a gift-wrapped baby bump (or rather basketball) posted on the U Are a Gift front page.
We still don’t understand the purpose of the U Are a Gift page. There are hundreds of similar pages that don’t insult (exactly), and graphically exploit their target audience– (lower age) teen women, the unsophisticated, and uninformed,–the kind who used to show up regularly on Maury Povich. The site is clearly intended to persuade frightened young women that they are God’s chosen vessel, but “adoption,” “resources” and “movement.” (whatever that is) tabs are under construction, and so far devoid of information.. This brings up the question of why U Are a Gift is live when mostly unfinished. We hope Carol runs her head hunter company better than this.
After I wrote this log I looked a little deeper into Carol. I learned that her full name is Carol Brymm and that she lives in Dallas, At least the Gift phone number is in the Dallas area. She says she currently lives in Austin. . For what it’s worth, I’m leaving off some personal information for privacy’s sake.
According to Brymm’s public Linked-in profile, which includes the same picture of her that appears on U Are a Gift, she operates CB Legal Search, LCC. (no viable webpage, but lots of aggregates) in Houston. She describes herself as an “expert at locating unique hard to-find individuals that are at the top of their field for unique positions.” According to Texas news outlets, in March 2011 Brymm walked away with (or at least was awarded) a cool $350,000 and legal fees when a Los Angeles law firm rejected 10 lawyers she recruited for it, then turned around and hired them behind her back without signing her recruiting contract.
Brymm posts her phone number headed with the awkwardly worded: “If you need to contact you are a gift about stories…” The main purpose of U Are a Gift is probably to decrease abortion, but Byrmm’s self-described skills posted on Linked-in as “an expert in locating unique hard-to-find individuals” for placement sounds perfect for another kind of headhunting and placement.. If you can recruit lawyers and law firms, you can recruit young women and “desperate” paps. Unless things have changed recently, Texas law prohibits adoption facilitation, but oddly, it is not illegal to use an adoption facilitator. I’ll leave that one up to the legislature to suss out.
Writing this blog has been much ado about nothing, and I can’t believe I spent as much time as I did on it.
And as I said at the top, I can’t imagine anyone over the age of 12 taking U Are a Gift seriously. The page is silly, and insulting, but also disturbing. I can’t remember any adoption related homepage that so commodifies women and girls and preps them for the commercial market. . The woman holding the be-ribboned baby bump, has no head. You = the female body = pregnancy = child = value = gift = You.. A false ourborhetorical conceit. Gift exploits unplanned pregnancy, framing it as an altruistic, self-fulfilling, if not “fun” experience. The Gladney Girls hanging out at the pool look downright dour next to Gift’s Gift girls.
And where are the dads in all this?.
Just who or what is the gift? The pregnant woman is told she’s a gift, but clearly, she’s a transient gift of value only in that she is the conduit for the child she will deliver. If she surrenders, she is the gift giver and the gift, the sacrificer and the sacrifice, just as the child is in going to its God-intended parents. U Are a Gift, disconnects the pregnant woman seeking help and support, from her body, her intellect, her emotions–and in the case of adoption, her baby.. It pumps her up with false esteem and gratitude of service. And this is very dangerous for her and her child, whether kept or adopted.
Finally, U Are a Gift is a small, and probably unimportant illustration of the incestuous world of abortion and adoption–formal and informal– perpetuating the myth that adoption is a reproductive right, when, in fact, it is social policy by statute.
You know it gets better don’t you??
On Sunday night, I happened across this Facebook page: Unplanned Pregnancy? Want the truth about adoption? and couldn’t HELP but to post some links to some actual truthful posts. I’m pretty sure the page is only managed during “work days” so there was a bit of truth telling on FB that nigh. Needless to say, by Monday AM, all the posts were down and guess who is banned form the page? Yeah, everyone who had something truthful to say that wasn’t adoption Kool-aide spew. ( hint.. I don’t think they can deleat FB “recommendations!)
Anyway, Unplanned Pregnancy Truth is nothing but the trolling for pregnant women on FB net and is linked to and therefore a marketing arm of A Chosen Child in Texas..and on their website, they boast about “you are a Gift” And I quote.. or paste:
“We want to take this opportunity to introduce you to one of our brave birth mothers, Nadia. She placed her baby for adoption in July 2011, and now she is using her experience as a testimony to help others who are in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy. We are so proud of her!
She has been working diligently with the creator of the website “You Are a Gift,” Carol Brimm. This site is dedicated to those who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and are scared, are confused, or just need more education on their options. Nadia has a heart for helping others going through what she went through, and she has become a proactive advocate for open adoption.
Visit http://www.uareagift.com to see her story along with testimonies from other selfless birth mothers. This is a great resource for anyone in a crisis or unplanned pregnancy situation!”
So there we go. It’s all just marketing once again for another agency trolling for babies!
PS; I don’t think I get first credit for finding it.. it’s the adoption hive mind!!
Thanks, Claud. I looked the the page. Very creepy. I have a comment to make there, but I’ll wait for the weekend so it ight stay for awhile.
I’ve hung out with people like this for years. Interestingly, the hardcore men I know (and by that I’m not talking about RTL people, but seriously hardcore christo-fascist wingnuts, are uaually more realistic about this stuff than their female counterparts, all of whom are very hung up on “maternity.”
I subscribe to Heartbeat International’s mailing list and received a message today that HBI and CareNet have dissolved their joint ownership of OptionLine, which changes this blog a little bit. HBI will use 1-800-712-HELP (4357) and Carenet will have its own line 1-800-395-HELP (4357). It will be interesting to see which U Are a Gift goes with, not that it matters.