Thursday, September 30, 2010

Adoption Musings...why?

I was having a conversation with a dear friend the other night and afterwards I was a little disturbed...not with her...cause I love her, but because I know that there are still so many misconceptions out there.

We were on the subject of loving kids from hard places. I want to love some kids that are from a hard place, but it's not to happen. And while I totally understand the reasoning in my head...I just don't in my heart.

In our conversation she shared with me some examples of people that she knows who chose to parent children from hard places and ended up having a terrible time of it.

It's not uncommon. It happens. Unfortunately more often than truly anyone wishes to know about I think....however what about those kids from hard places that overcome?

I would say that all children that are older than a few months come from a hard place... even newborns can have a difficult start. But there is a huge upheaval in any child's life when they are taken from their birth parent' matter the cause.

It's just not natural.

MOST of these kids move into their new families with minimal issue...some have more bumps than others...but they become family.

I find it interesting that people don't sit around and talk about the mom's that give birth to children with various health issues and say "I could never give birth to a child because you just don't know what is going to happen!" Things happen inutero, during birth, genetics happen...terrible accidents happen...divorce...loss of income...illness.

It comes with parenting.

There are probably as many parenting nightmare's of kids that never experience adoption as there are adoptive parents with nightmare issues. But there seems to be this double standard of being able to classify 'those kids' the ones being adopted as being harder.

I know parents that have adopted several children and things are awesome, I know parents that have adopted one and can't seem to find the light of day because of issues. I don't speak that in judgment, just to make a point.

Sometimes kids from hard places can’t get past it. Sometimes the excruciating things that happened to them just cannot be gotten over. Does that make them less worthy of love? Does that make them less capable of healing? Certainly harder to heal, but not incapable.

I have had some pretty traumatic things happen to me…and I think I am relatively normal. (that’s another post)

I guess… what I am trying to say is… there aren’t guarantees. Ever. In. Life. If you can be prepared …if you know what you are up against… you can God can make lemonade outta lemons…even if it doesn’t turn out all sunshine and roses in the end…there is a kid out there that just needs to know that someone cared enough to fight for them…and loved them enough to do so.

Adoption does take the extra effort of loving a child that you didn’t get the privilege of birthing…there are factors that you cannot control. There are things that just can’t be fixed…there are things that leave wounds that we cannot often see.

It seems as though I am talking in circles… the short answer is that you don’t know what can happen… in birth or adoption. You cannot predict the future. You cannot say for sure how your life will unfold.

It comes down to faith. Faith in knowing that whatever happens…if God brings you to it, He can and will bring you Through it… perhaps a bit messier and mussed at the end but so much richer!


James 1:27 Family said...

This reminds me of someone's writing that said, "When I get to Heaven, I want to slide in, skinned up, covered in bruises and scars, clothing ripped and torn, car crashed, no energy left, no money in the bank, with nothing left. I want to use it all for the Lord." If we want to follow Jesus, we can't spend our time here on Earth seeking comfort and a pain-free life. It's not what He promised. Blessings come from suffering.

Love your heart, Andrea!

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

AMEN!!! Jason & I were just talking about this the other day! SOOO TRUE - our only guarantee in life is Jesus!

Our journey following Christ said...

Too many people are too interested in their comfort as they walk through this life, avoiding any potential difficulties like the plague. I'm not a fan of difficulties...not fun. (I definitely have some experience in this field!) But when encountering difficulties that come your way because you are obeying the Lord...ah, now you will see your character and faith grow like it can't any other way.

Love you sister!

Bonnie said...

The thing is adoption especially of kiddos from hard places brings you to the end of yourself very quickly (or maybe that is just me??) and requires you to be totally dependant on God - which for some folks isn't a comfortable place to be...

Mirah Riben said...

You raise excellent points!!

Adoption is shrouded in many myths. oe myth is that there are all these kids out there that need to be rescued by (American) adopters.

Worldwide, 90% of the children in orphanages are not orphans! They have at least one living parent and.or extended parents who visit and brings food and use orphanages for temporary care; for medical care and to educate their children. This was the case with both children madonna adopted.

The remaining children in orphages - just like those in US foster care - are older or disabled and are not being adopted. When Americans spend $20-40,000 for a child it causes a demand for children that is filled in MANT (most?) cases by baby brokers and child traffickers who are stealing children in places like Guatemala. nepal, Vietnam, India, and China to meet the demand!

Good Christian altruistic, loving caring families have unintentionally wound up adopting kidnapped children! this is nothing anyone wants to be a part of but there is no way to know once you enter this netherworld in which papers are forged and stolen babies are reported as being abandoned.

In countries where International adoption has been halted, the number of abandoned children has gone down. When resumed, the numbers went back up again! Demand is creating supply and an underground in child trafficking that is more lucrative than drug trafficking, and with less fear of prosecution.

You are so right when you say:

"...there is a huge upheaval in any child's life when they are taken from their birth parent' matter the cause.

"It's just not natural."

THUS...what good, caring pwople need to think about is not TAKING a child a need, but helping that child AND his family!

Support Christian Children's Fund, or SOS for Children, or Save the Children. These NGOs save the child AND his family!

When you take a child from his family the issues that have caused his separation are not resolved, the family remains in poverty and may well bring more children into the same situation. Not a solution.

We need to do what Australia has done and put Family Preservation programs into effect to help families in crisis PREVENT unnecessary family separations.

Mirah Riben, author, The Stork market: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry

Mirah Riben said...

would be remiss if I did not mention that there are approx. 129,000 children (of a total half a million) in US foster care would COULD be adopted - virtually for free!

We ignore them and spend tens of thousands of dollars to adopt from overseas because of fear that these children are "damaged," when as you say they ALL are! Any child who has been institutionalized is damaged. Many children from Eastern Europe have fetal alcohol syndrome, which is why we see such high number of Russian adoptees abused, given back...and very sadly more than 15 MURDERED by their American adoptive families who promised to care for them forever!

If you feel a calling to accept one of God's children - consider allowing your charity to begin at home! If you are at all unsure of your ability to take on such a huge commitment, become a foster parent!! It is very difficult and much needed!

Meliski said...

Mirah, I believe that much of the info you write about is correct. But, you also miss the children who are very much in need of homes and families. One way to know you are adopting a child who is truly in need of a family is to know your agency. Second is to ask, ask, ask question after question once you get a referral. If the agency is on the up and up and the child is really legally an orphan, the answers should come easily and the info should make sense.

I feel like most of the reason you left this comment is to plug your book. Which makes your comment feel like you have a (not so hidden) agenda.

You "plugged" domestic adoption of foster kids even though many of them also have living relatives. So, to argue that a child in one country (with relatives) is any more or less an orphan than a child in another country (with relatives) kind of makes your point moot.

Besides, I think you will find most families who support international adoption also support domestic adoption. I don't think it's your place to make suggestions to grown adults regarding where their next family member comes from. It's dangerously close to someone telling you whether or not you should get pregnant again.

FYI: I am a regular reader of this blog, but do not know the author personally. I am only commenting here because I was bothered by the tone of your comment.

Andrea Hill said...

And if I may add to it!!! Before throwing stones about international adoptions and what is needed here in the US, there are many capable families who would love to adopt from the US system but cannot because of some dumb buracracy not being allowed. Also US adoption is not as easy as it sounds even though it is free, 3/4 of the children that are foster/adopt never end up being adoptable. Lastly, give the people some credit that adopt internationally because we don't get a dime. All of the foster/adopt parents here in the US still kick in a good 300 to 400a month, plus free counseling and on and on.