Monday, August 01, 2011

Dear Adoptive Community

Can't we all just get along?

I was on the phone with a friend last spring when she mentioned that they were jumping back into the adopting game again after a two year hiatus. I asked her plans. Her first child was from China, but as China has been more difficult in the last five years, would she try something else? Innocent question.

Oh, the apology that floated across the line on her voice. Or maybe I shouldn't call it apology as much as the detailed preface she gave to her answer. You could tell it wasn't the first time she'd heard the question. Nor were the askers asking as much as opinionating. It seems she'd been getting quite a lot of flack from another adoptive camp that thought her plan wasn't particularly holy.

Some, NOT ALL, people feel very strongly that if a person is going to adopt, that person should do (thus). And I leave the blank unfilled, because there are militant proponents in every area.

I wholeheartedly disagree. With ALL of them that claim any one area is more important than another. God calls each of us to care for the widows and orphans in their distress. He doesn't specify the manner in which we should do it. And He called us each differently. 

When we adopted Eldest, we heard from more than one source that we shouldn't "pay for babies."
--first, we were paying for lawyers, not babies. Even people who don't "pay" for babies, but adopt, are "paying" for lawyers. Maybe not out of pocket, but someone's taxes are paying that lawyer. Make no mistake. And yes, we also "paid" his mother. We bought her food during his ninth month of pregnancy so that he and his big sister could grow and develop as his mother was unable to pay for it and his father was incapacitated. She was an educated, working woman who was in a rough patch. It was less money than we spend on food in a month, the way I remember it. I don't see how this doesn't fulfill the "widows and orphans" portion of the command.

We were also told, that "the babies born here will be taken care of, those in (third world country) aren't."
--who, may I ask, is taking care of those babies? Is it not people just like me? Or am I mistaken?

When we started telling people we were going to Ethiopia this round we were asked, by more than one source, "Aren't there any kids here for you to adopt?
--frankly, no. I mean, probably, yes. But, as I've mentioned, we didn't go into this process blind. It started with a particular child and will end with a particular child. I've watched photolistings for several years (more than 12, in fact). Domestic photolisting and international photolistings. The only other child who has called to both my husband and me this strongly was named Rejoyce and we couldn't get her particular case worker to call us back. She must be 14 by now. I still ache for her.

There are/were more comments I could address, but I think I've made my point.

Here's the deal: we're turning our guns on the wrong people. Why all the fighting, troops? Aren't we all on the same side?

You know why those healthy pink babies born here are taken care of? People are lining up to adopt them. Is this not a GOOD THING?

And I'll tell you another thing: some races of babies are being exported at a pretty substantial rate to Canada because people here in the States aren't lining up for them. People here who are adopting those babies, of all races, are doing a GOOD THING.

Do you know why children in the foster care system have a place to go that is better than a shanty built at the edge of a dump in another country? Because people are willing to be foster parents. That is a GOOD THING.

Do you know why people can choose NOT to "pay for babies?" Because other people are. That is GOOD THING.

Do you know why people have the luxury to worry about children in other countries? Because people are taking care of kids here. That is GOOD THING.

Do you know why people here have the luxury to not worry about the children in developing countries? Because other people will. That is a GOOD THING.

I am sick to death of the holiness quotient the people assign to their adoptive process of choice. Some people are called to adopt infants that look just like them.
God bless them.

Some people are called to Foster Care.
God bless them.

Some people are called to Foster Adopt.
God bless them.

Some people are called to international adoption.
God bless them.

Some people are called to adopt trans-racially.
God bless them.

Some people are called to adopt special needs.
God bless them.

Some people are called to adopt older children.
God bless them.

Some people are called to adopt sibling groups.
God bless them.

And, let me add, some people are called to sponsor children in countries were adoption isn't an option. God bless them, too.

Instead of all this infighting (in a socially acceptable tone of voice, I might add), couldn't we spend a little more time encouraging others to adopt in whatever way, shape or form that may look like? We need each other. Stop apologizing and, for the love of God and His mercy, stop making other adoptive parents apologize.

Without all of us doing our part, the worlds 147 million orphans won't be cared for. It seems like we could spend a little less time touting the area of adoption that God has called us to as The Best One and synergize.

Jamie--selfish and unapologetic adoptive mother of one baby I "paid" for, one that I'm flying to another continent to get, and four sweet children scattered throughout the world that I hope to see on the flip side.


MotherT said...

You go, girl! You've expressed it so much better than anyone else I've ever heard. Just one thing I would add: Those who can't be physically or monetarily involved in adoption, adopt by prayer!

Sarah said...

I like it. Thanks for sharing. Amen to us all minding our own business and adopting as it works for our families. EvI can't help think the 147 number is highly overused in adoption world and I wonder why we still use it when it clearly includes children who do not need and will never need intervention or adoption. 147 million should not be thrown around the way it is I think. But this point may be seen as more "infighting." sorry. I still like your point, even if I am a stickler for truth about that pesky "orphan" statistic.