Thursday, August 16, 2007

Adoptees and international adoption

Adoptees and adoptive parents all have their own views and biases regarding international adoption--some people think it's an all-around great thing, some liken it to abduction and are against it completely, many are somewhere in the middle.

We went into this adoption compelled by the African orphan crisis and saddened by the tragic circumstances that so many children face every day. We've always felt that international adoption is a two-sided coin--on the one hand it is a beautiful and wonderful thing for God to knit families together in this way. On the other hand I am saddened beyond measure by the fact that these kids have lost their families and now must leave their countries.

I've found that some people only want to sing the praises of adoption. I think adoptive parents are sometimes afraid to admit that their child has lost something, or that they can't be everything to their child, that their child might come to have a void that they can't fill. People not involved in adoption oftentimes, in promoting adoption, only talk about how great it is (Christians especially), and while that is true in a sense, I know that my own kids' story also includes a lot of sadness. Seems like the difference between coming at it from a child's point of view vs. our adult point of view.

Kevin and I like to say that international adoption is part of the solution to the African orphan crisis for right now--it is not THE solution, and hopefully will eventually not even be necessary. I would love for Ethiopia to one day have a government that promotes the welfare of its people, where ARV's are readily available and birth mothers who love their children and desire to raise them can do so, and where orphaned children can find homes once again with extended family and with Ethiopian adoptive families. We strongly believe in giving financially to Ethiopia, to work towards this end.

One of the best ways to gain perspective is to listen to what adult adoptees have to say. Occasionally it can be hard to hear (especially the real negative stuff), but it's priceless. In addition to reading articles here and there by adult adoptees, I've had the opportunity to have a couple of conversations with a woman at church adopted from Guatemala, and most recently with my sweet friend Joy (from Korea), who has posted about this on her blog.

I can't know or predict what my own kids will come to think or feel about their adoption. My prayer is that God will fill their voids, and that He will show us how to love them in ways that make them feel secure. Here are some excellent writings by adoptees:

My Sister's Adoption Essay
Late Night Thoughts (Joy's blog, part 1)
Identity Crisis and Other Stuff (Joy's blog, part 2)

4 comments:

Kristen Borland said...

Thanks, brianna. these are very good points. how true it is that the best people to teach us about this are adult adoptees!

Joy said...

i have always felt that you and kevin have amazing insight regarding adoption and i appreciate that you have kept such an open mind, keeping yourself open to the possibility of pain and wondering from your children. i think one of the best ways to help adoptees cope (for lack of a better word) is to dialogue about adoption and all that goes with it. And, who knows? Your kids might no deal with such issues--it is so individual and God is so gracious always.
PS--this sounds kind of dumb, but thanks for mentioning me in your blog--it felt like a positive book review or something like that. :)

Joy said...

Brianna, that essay was amazing--what a great link. That's the whole blog that got me started on my blogs related to adoption. How funny. Thanks for sharing!

Brianna Heldt said...

joy i know! i'd read that essay a few weeks ago, and knew i wanted to post about it. then i talked to you and saw it was from the same site as the one you linked to! so funny!

 

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