Monday, October 16, 2006


Jennifer, a new friend wrote me with some interesting thoughts- Apparently there is some public/political backlash about wealthy Americans/Europeans adopting black children from poor countries. It's really something to think about. We decided to do this before it was 'in vogue' and I don't want people to look at us like we're jumping on some silly celebrity bandwagon with Angelina and Madonna. Most people are really happy for us, but it really puzzles me when people question our motives. I met a nun in PAP who told me she didn't approve of our decision since I have no possible way of knowing what it means to be black and therefore have no business trying to raise a black child. (This coming from a woman who's never had any children) I smiled as sweetly as I could and told her "Gosh, I guess it's a good thing I don't need your approval then."

I am just curious to get other thoughts, from both adoptive and non-adoptive parents. I am anxious to learn more about the perceptions people have about adoption.

I just read this blog where people were stating their opinons about adoption and large families. One lady said, "People who adopt are trying to make themselves look good and just want to pat themselves on the back." And "Anyone with more than four kids has emotional problems."

I might just write this person off as a crack, but I think that there is a substantial amount of negativity surrounding adoption. Even the way people react to adoption news is different then the way they react to the "We're pregnant" news. It is like it is a second rate announcement. When we announced we were adopting Isaac and Hope, one person close to us said, "Oh, no!"

The people *I* know who have adopted did not do it for any recognition. Some of them did it at some sort of personal sacrifice, but they would not tell you that because they are not seeking thanks or praise. Most of them did it because they felt called to do it, they love children, they wanted to grow their family. I cannot think of anyone who did it for a pat on the back. That's silliness. A pat on the back is hardly going to last long enough to raise a kid, that motive does not even compute.

I am surprised by the negativity. The only thing I can come up with is that our perceptions are formed by our experiences, and absent of personal experience people turn to the television as their ultimate source of information. If you go by 60 Minutes and Dateline stories you might get a bad idea about adoption. They want to sell advertising, they need to do the worst-case stories.

There are many that say you should not remove a child from its own culture. I can get with some of their reasoning, but not most of it. You'll never convince me that a child would be better off in an institution/orphanage in their "homeland" then in a loving family in a different country.

I agree that it is important for adoptive parents to learn about their childs culture (if that applies) and to be sure and have a full understanding of all the hurts and challenges that may present themselves as the child reaches an age of coming to grips with it all. I don't think adoption agencies/programs/orphanages that don't discuss Attachment Disorder as a real possibility, are doing anyone any favors.

The thing is, God made us all different. He loves us all. He has unique purposes for all who seek Him. For some people that is going to mean remaining childless, for others it means 13 kids. For some it is adoption, for others not. We are all called to do different things, using the talents God gave us for His glory.

I don't understand how deeply personal issues between God and His children came to be up for public discussion. It is an odd thing.

But then again, I am an emotionally disturbed mother of more than four, so what would I know. ;-)

I am opening this up for discussion. We will leave out the large family part of it, that is a different topic --- I just want to know:

  • Why did you decide to adopt? or
  • Is there anything that troubles you about adoption?
  • Do you experience more negative or positive reactions to your adoption news?
  • How do you feel about celebrity adoptions and the attention it brings?
  • Any other comments related to adoption (from anyone) are welcome.

I will post all comments as long as you don't make it a personal attack or put anyone down. State your opinion and/or your story.