We designed this site in order to keep in touch with friends and family who are far away and in order to communicate with other adoptive families from around the world.

When we first started researching this wonderful way to become a family we read everything we could get our hands on. Even though there are a lot of great books out there, nothing was as informative or touching as the blogs we found by adoptees, biological parents, and adoptive families. So we are writing this blog now in hopes of returning the favor. We hope that if you are dear to us you will enjoy keeping up with our adventures. If you are someone out there involved in a part of the adoption triad we hope you will find information and comfort here and provide us with some of your own!

If you would like to get in touch with us we can be reached at:
Feel free to stop by anytime. We're happy to share our family story.

Take care,
Brian and Rosemary

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Response...

Most AP's in our generation are much more informed about adoption and it's repercussions than our parents or grandparents were. Of course, some AP's out there are just blindly stepping into the abyss and I really have no further comment on them. But many of us are working hard to change the landscape of adoption for the better. Devoting time, effort and resources to fight unethical adoption practices. Most of us are deeply concerned about creating a family through ethical means and are only content to work with agencies that reflect that commitment. Brian and I did research for more than 6 months before we chose an agency. We had a laundry list of requirements for the ethical comportment of our adoption workers. Yet, there is a strong anti-adoption movement and these people have a lot of thought provoking things to say. For me, their blogs, zines and chat rooms have been a valuable place to learn about what is and has been morally indefensible and dysfunctional in adoption. I value what I learn there.

However, that being said, we still chose to adopt. At this point in time, some people are really wondering why? But some people won't even do us the courtesy of asking. They will simply assume that we feel entitled to another couple's biological child because we are white, middle class, Americans. I don't feel entitled to any child, biological or adoptive, period. I feel that all children are a gift (not a requirement) for any family blessed to do the hard work of raising them. We fully understand that people suffering from desperate poverty, in conditions that seem to Westerners to be untenable, raise happy healthy families every day! In fact, in many cultures, these families are run by single moms who are not ostracized or endangered by their communities. We fully understand that bringing a child to America from the country of their birth does not necessarily provide them with a better life. "A better life" is a broad and subjective statement that can not be measured.

We chose not to entangle ourselves in a domestic adoption because we wanted to make sure that we weren't involved in pressuring or coercing a woman to place her child for adoption. Although, I want to be perfectly clear in saying that we fully understand that not all domestic adoptions are like that! Instead, we decided to complete an international adoption of a child already in care. We don't yet know who our child is or why his parents felt they needed to relinquish him. However, I do know that it's important we not make assumptions about their motivations, lives or circumstances. I respect my ignorance of their situation by keeping my mouth shut.

Some people will also assume that we chose to adopt internationally because we wanted to make sure we wouldn't have any contact with our child's original family. Nothing could be further from the truth! We are hopeful about having as much contact with our child's other mother as she will allow. We believe that our children have an inalienable right to a full and functioning understanding of their genetic identity and that is not something Brian and I can give them. That is something only our kid's first family can offer. But we intend to give them our full love and active support in strengthening those relationships, if possible, their whole lives through.

Finally, there are always people who say, "Adoption simply shouldn't be happening. We should be doing more to support those families who are suffering from extreme poverty, teenage pregnancy, social injustice, war, famine, and hatred. We should be fixing those problems so that people don't have to make adoption plans for their children!" My response to that is: YES!! That is exactly what we should be doing. We can call it "The Extreme Poverty, Teenage Pregnancy, Social Injustice, War, Famine and Hatred Relief Society. For short though, we'll just print "The E.P.T.P.S.I.W.F.H. Relief Society" on our business cards.

All cynicism aside though, I understand the point behind that statement and I agree with all the passion in my tender heart. I am working, both as a volunteer and in my professional life, to rid the world of as much injustice as possible. However, the boat has sprung a leak and I don't think we can bail water fast enough. So while another generation of kids grow up in extreme, third world poverty, under institutional care, we decided to adopt, create a family, love unconditionally, and allow our child to flourish as whatever amazing person they want to be. To parent, would be our great honor and joy, and we hope we can bless our child's life because they will bless us forever by simply being.

Do we think this system is perfect? Certainly not! Do we think that love will fix all the issues inherent in adoption? Nope, not a chance. Do we think that we are qualitatively better parents than their first family because we are white, American, Christian, or financially solvent? The very question is reprehensible to us and the answer is a resounding: NO, NEVER, NOT A CHANCE!

So what do we think?
I think that the old Leonard Cohen song sums it up -
"Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

- Rosemary


blackbelt said...

I totally agree with you. Great post.
And really, you'll be amazed how easy it is to do the tshirt fold. That is what is great about it!

a Tonggu Momma said...

Great post, Rosemary. And I have heard great things about Thailand's international adoption program. Thanks for delurking. And shoot me an e-mail if you ever share your e-mail address. tonggumomma(at)gmail(dot)com

Mireille said...

Well said Rosemary! Thanks for posting.