Monday, February 04, 2008

Mixed feelings on international adoption part #1: "But I thought it was a GOOD thing"

I honestly wish that international adoptions weren't necessary.

No, I haven't lost my mind, and yes I'm very aware that I have two amazing children adopted from another country! I am blessed beyond measure. I can't wait to adopt again.

But deep down I wish that communities were better equipped, and birth families more able to provide for these kids. That children didn't have to leave behind their homes, siblings, parents, and grandparents.

Adoptive parents, adoptees, and child advocates fall all along the spectrum on what they think about international adoption. I recently read this article that was good food for thought.

So long as international adoption is necessary, I'm committed to adopting children who need families. I'm also committed to continually investing financially in my sons' birth country in hopes that more families can avoid poverty, disease, and the eventual relinquishment of their children.

While I want to be an advocate for children waiting for families, I also don't ever want to "talk up" adoption so much that reality becomes obscured. I never want to fall into trying too hard to put a pretty, inspirational face on something that starts out as rather tragic.

Anyway, that's some of what I thought about when I read the article. (I'll share the rest of my thoughts on it later.) International adoption is part of the solution to the orphan crisis, and one that I hope anyone reading this will consider being a part of. It will change your life. But there's more to it than Steven Curtis Chapman songs and analogies about God adopting us. It's life, and pain, and loss, and yes, by God's grace, even a little beauty.

But you, O God, do see trouble and grief;
you consider it to take it in hand.
The victim commits himself to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless...
You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them,
and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
in order that man,
who is of the earth,
may terrify no more.
Psalm 10:14-18


Joy said...

that was an intriguing article. you make a good point that adoption does have so much loss and pain involved--especially in cases where families have had to give children up due to lack of resources. my own adoption was always painted so positively, that it wasn't until very recently that i began to see the flip side--that every happy adoptive ending started with a sad story. i always enjoy hearing your thoughts about adoption and the international crisis regarding this important issue. thanks for sharing.

The Hausams said...

I share your thoughts. I wish adoption wasn't necessary, but because it is I'm deeply committed to it. And, since Elianna Ray is from Ethiopia, I'm now very invested in Africa, African aid, causes that benefit Africa, African missions, and on and on. It's in my blood now, too. Also, now that my son is old enough to be asking the tougher questions, it's more complicated, but I'm reminded that ALL of us Christians were adopted into the family of God.

Kristen Borland said...

this is such a tough issue. as excited as i am to bring out little girl home, i grieve for the pain and loss and fear this will cause her. she will lose a lot. and she has already lost so much.

this is one reason we like to chose a waiting child, because they aren't as easily chosen by their birth country or by PAPs. what they need is a home, and we want to offer that.

on the flip side, sometimes that ignores the bigger problem of families/countries too poor to take care of their children.

and then there is a country like brazil. i don't know a lot about it, but from the program description at our agency, we learned that there is very, very little chance or an orphan in brazil to be adopted domestically or to be in a foster home. that kills me! and i'm pretty sure brazilian orphans aren't available for international adoption until age 4. so what kind of life are they living in institutions for the first four years of their life? in some countries there is so much poverty and health issues. in some countries there is outright deceit and coercing parents into giving up their children. and in some countries there doesn't seem to be enough value place on all life.

we can easily see all these problems with other countries, but the u.s.a has it's share of issues too. just look at all the foster children in our country.

and by the way, don't forget to vote today, everyone.

jena said...

H Brianna-
This post is a very good example of why I gave you an Excellence Award over at my blog.

I am a long time lurker here!


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