Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mixed feelings part 2: "Why it IS good"

Yesterday I talked about this Newsweek article and shared some of my perspective. Now here's the rest of what I think.

Much as I wish that so many countries weren't losing so many of their children, the fact remains that these kids need families. Unfortunately, because of widespread poverty, government policies, and disease, these countries are burdened with more orphans than they can adequately provide for.

I think so long as adoptive parents are contributing towards their child's birth-country becoming self-sustaining, international adoption is an integral part of the overall solution. Yet I'm aware that some "experts" and some Ethiopians disapprove. I wonder though what Yosef and Biniam were supposed to do, at only one and a half months old and with no extended family or neighbors to care for them. God created children to be raised in families. I am of the opinion that a loving family across the world is better than no family at all.

In our day-to-day life, issues like these don't come into play. But eventually they will, at least to some degree. I want my boys to see how much I delight in them and in the fact that they're my sons, yet also see that I realize there is loss--both for them, and for Ethiopia. My heart's desire is to foster honest, open communication in our home where they feel free to ask questions or to be angry or sad--or to just plain not care. I hope to take them back someday and show them where they came from, and I hope they fall in love with it like I did, and I hope they mourn for it, like I did.

So many things in life come down to "good, better, and best". Certainly it would be "better" if orphaned children could remain in their country of birth--with extended family or in a loving foster or adoptive home. (Of course, best-case scenario, parents could raise their own children.) But right now, that's just not always possible.

And so international adoption is "good." And until experts who claim otherwise can show me a valid alternative where orphaned children are being fed, clothed, and loved, I will believe this--both for my sons, and for myself.


Joy said...

i love your point that so many things in life come down to good, better and best. given the circumstances, international adoption is the best that can be done at times. i think when adoptive parents are aware of the loss (of family, culture, etc) that is probably liberating for the adopted child and gives them permission to grieve (or not) this loss. it seems that the way international adoption is handled is changing--maybe partially because of all those angry adult korean adoptees? and i love when harry met sally, too. it's a classic. and jeannett totally needs to see it. if for no other reason than she's got to know about baby fish mouth sweeping the nation!

Kristen Borland said...

i love the concept of our adoptive children growing up and loving their birth countries (and grieving for them), and instilling the desire in them to want to make changes.


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