Thursday, May 13, 2010

Reality of Adoption

There have been some pretty crazy things floating around the adoption world lately. Some of it really really hard to swallow.

Some things have been revealed in my own home that makes those things even more real to me this week.

Recently there was the story about the mom that put her son on a plane and sent him back to Russia. It caused such a stir…the subsequent fall out was traumatic.

There were a few stories in our local paper about adoptions that followed this one that also shed a less than favorable light on adoption.

You know what? We live in a world that sucks. Sorry to be so blunt, but we do. There is A LOT of bad here. Every where, even in our own back yard.

But you know what else? There is a TON of good.

Adoption is hard. Parenting is HARD. Life is HARD.

Our adopted kids come from a hard place. Children adopted from foreign countries are generally at least a couple of months old, up to the age of 14 yrs. They no longer have a parent to care for them for one reason or another. That’s hard for ALL involved. These children have lived in an orphanage or foster care from the time the parental tie is broken until a parent comes to get them. That’s HARD. As much as we would like to think that they are loved and cared for and cherished…the reality is that they are not. Not in the way that we would do it. And many times they are abused, left to lie in cribs for hours at a time, never touched except for basic needs, and some never see the light of day. There are a bunch of really great orphanages as well… but even the best orphanage isn’t a home.

Life for adopted children often comes with some significant baggage.

The truth is though that most of these kids come into homes where they are loved and cared for and cherished and they flourish. They thrive and grow and learn what it means to be loved and be special.

It’s hard work on both parts. As parents there are days when we wonder what in the world has happened to our lives. I didn’t sign up for this! This isn’t what I expected. What in the world am I doing?

I am certain our children say the same. What in the world has happened to my life? I didn’t sign up for this! This isn’t what I expected. What in the world am I doing?

Life with our boys hasn’t been easy. There have been rough spots. There are still days that I am confused, lost and tired. There are moments that I wish for calm and quiet and sanity. Then God reminds me of the gift I have been given in all my children. Like on Mother’s day when my littlest were SO excites to share the gifts they had made me. Or when all of them were gathered at the lunch table and it was anything but calm and quiet and sane…and it was wonderful.

There are children that have been damaged beyond what we as parents can fix. That’s what I think scares so many people about adoption. The fear that they will get one of ‘those’ kids. I get that.

What I pray is that more people would see that the stories they read are only a small piece of what is truly happening in adoption. You don’t hear about the good stories as often because they aren’t ‘good news’. Nobody really cares about the fact that there is good news in adoption. I was speaking to a reporter a few weeks ago about our mission trip and mentioned our good story and my sadness with the bad ones, she asked a couple of questions but really didn’t much care about our good story.

The reality is that adoption is hard. But as I have always said parenting is hard. There aren’t easy answers to a lot of what happens to our kids. Bad things happen to our bio kids too. Hard times come with bio kids too. Hard things happen that we cannot control.

My heart hurts for the families that have had had to deal with things that are bigger than they are. I hurt for the parents and the children as well.

My heart hurts for the children that have lived through more than many of us can ever imagine.

My heart hurts for those that consider adoption yet are scared by the stories and can’t step forward.

My heart hurts for those children left to wonder what happened…and why they have been left behind.

My heart soars though for all those children I see that HAVE been found, that do have homes and love and families and are cherished.

I know that there are still many more years of childhood and teen-hood (yikes) to get through. I also know that with God’s help we will weather all the storms…and the sunny, joyful perfect days as well.

Adoption is a gift wrapped in paper with God’s hands printed all over it. If you choose to open it you will never be the same.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:18


Andrea said...

We have 5 kids...2 of them adopted. You are right about issues of adopted children, but biological children have issues sometimes, too. We live in a less than perfect world and last time I checked...only JESUS CHRIST was perfect. Why is it we think we or our kids have to be perfect? I know we are to "strive" toward perfection, but we are also suppose to LOVE no matter what! Okay, I am off my soap box, now.

Andrea said...

Thanks for getting up here with me :o)

Andrea Hill said...

The Reality of adoption is tough to swallow at times and hard for sure but I couldn't imagine life without it so we just keep going and going no matter what is put ahead of us. In the end it is so rewarding like nothing else.

George said...

I enjoyed this post...and if you don't mind much, I posted a link to it on my blog so my readers can enjoy it too.

Leah said...

Such a beautiful post. And there are SO many positive things going on with adoption. Thank you for bringing light to it. :)

Ms. J said...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Our elder daughter (now 3) was adopted from China at 15 months of age. SHe grieved so mightily that our guide in China said it was the worst case of grief anf anxiety she had seen in 8 yrs of employment with our agency.

Through a tremendous amount of hard work, she is doing great. That is to her credit, her foster family giving her such a wonderful start (she was with them a year), and our consistent adherence to the attachment techniques. And a lot of faith.

Can I say thank you again? THANK YOU.

Suzanne said...

That was a great post..My family went into adoption thinking that we would get a perfect child, knowing that there is a possibility that the child could be broken. But that wouldn't really happen to us.

Our daughter was as broken as they come, but she is also sooo perfect. Here needs are more than most can handle, but I wouldn't have changed a thing.

I always advise those who are thinking about adopting to not go into it lightly. There are always issues, no matter how large or small.

Thank you again for your post.