Friday, April 27, 2012

I Went Off.... In a Nice Way

The other morning, I was reading a story about another celebrity adoption. Now, say what you will about celebrity adoptions and the coverage that they receive... Cuz there's lots to say about it and those within the adoption community always seem to be split on the issues. This time around, I have nothing notable to say about any of that. Rather, my post today is motivated by the rude and judgmental things said by a couple of folks who were commenting on the article.  You'd think I'd be used to it by now and able to just "letitgo" to a certain degree. And normally, I probably am. Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe I just have a wild hair up my nose. Maybe it's all the emotionally-charged stress going on here in The Gang's house as of late. But I couldn't let it pass.... I couldn't.

The comments were mainly along the lines of "why can't people like this adopt from this country?" and "sure, another rich celebrity throwin' their weight around and going somewhere else for 'the perfect baby' while older kids sit here in foster care," and "people go to other countries to avoid birthmoms" and other such nonsense.

After several edits and re-writes, here's what I said.
As a mom of an internationally adopted child, and in the middle of our second adoption from the same nation, I can tell you with certainty that it is NOT easier to adopt from another nation. It's not a choice we made to AVOID birthmothers either. And there really, really are lots of problems, the likes of which NEVER EVER happen here in the States.
Most folks who choose international adoption do so for very personal, private reasons that are about their individual families and their individual desires to build their family. For example, one of the many, many reasons we chose our daughter's birth nation is because it has a proven, stable track record of resulting in a child at the end of the long, arduous process. We already had four kids in the home and we needed to choose some program that would limit the heartache of a failed system or a failed referral or a failed adoption. Too many other programs (here AND across the world) at that time were struggling to consistently take families from application to actual adoption with minimal surprise and interruption along the way.  Additionally, we have always, always been drawn to the Asian nations when feeling the pull to further build our family.
The bottom line is that EVERY child, in EVERY nation, deserves a permanent, healthy and loving home. And every system, in every nation, has its pro's and con's that families must consider carefully for their own circumstances. Rather than make assumptions or judge families or systems, I would urge you to consider finding a foster family or adoptive family in your community and find ways to support and encourage them, if you yourselves do not feel the unction to adopt or foster. Because really, it's about the children and finding them a forever family they can call "HOME."
And I must say, I said it all way nicer than I had originally planned to. Way gentler than the first two or three "editions" I wrote before I self-edited.... And far vaguer than I'd planned also. But I'm learning along the way that our story is just that: our story. And while I am happy to go off on the occasional rant (and really, who isn't? Occasionally and anonymously? I'm just sayin'...), I don't feel the need to bolster that rant's validity by over-sharing our experience. Cuz folks like those commenters? They usually don't really want to know the "why." At least that's how their "drop and run" harshly worded comments come across.... If they did really want to know, I tend to think they'd say it differently. Or they'd speak up as someone who is doing about the broken systems they are griping about. Something more tangible to speak up or even act on behalf of THE CHILDREN. And that's really what adoption is supposed to be about, right? THE. CHILDREN.


Aus said...

Well said GM - in particular I have to comment when I see the "charity begins at home" crack in response to international adoption. It's not "charity" - it's my child! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

end rant mode!

hugs - have a great weekend -

aus and co.

the three wise menn said...

my experience, is that the majority of people who say 'why not (older, here, another country....), about adoption, have only biological children. and since they were never faced with the decision of where or how they might go about becoming parents, it sort of invalidates their opinion in big ways.

p.s. i am learning to never read the comments on......well, anything. it's gauranteed some idiot has written something horrible, through the veil of anonymity. plus, it makes my blood pressure rise.....

Christie said...

Well darlin...I think that response is just about as good as it possibly gets...well done!

Chris said...

Well said, my friend!!