Friday, October 06, 2006

Aren't They All God's Children?

When we first decided to adopt we thought our best bet would be international adoption for a few reasons. The laws in the US are too lax for my taste. There have been cases of birth parents changing their minds and wanting to take the kids back or cases where the birth parents wish to have a relationship with the children they earlier gave up, known as “open adoption.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all for the child finding his birthparents when the time is right. But open adoption is not something I think I could deal with.

My cousin and his wife are currently adopting through Lucas County’s ‘Foster to Adopt’ program. They take in foster kids who may potentially be adopted later in the process. The kids often have a relationship with their birth parents that includes weekly, or at the very least, monthly visitation. It is a very taxing process and really takes a toll on everyone involved – the kids, the birth parents, and the foster parents. My cousin tells stories of the kids coming back from a weekend visit with their birth parents and needing “de-programmed.” The kids come home wondering why they can’t be with their birth parents and form resentment towards the foster parents for keeping them from their “real mom and dad.” They do not realize that the foster parents are the ones who are taking care of them and doing nothing more than showing them the love they deserve. I am so glad this works for some people, but I do not think it is something I could do.

The whole adoption process is very scary. We want to find a child who is as healthy as possible. This is not to say that if our child were sick or became sick we would love them any less. It is just every parent’s wish to have healthy children.

Most parents in the US who are giving up their children for adoption aren’t doing it because their kids are healthy. Instead, the kids are often given up because they have some type of disease, genetic disorder, or were born addicted to alcohol or drugs. On the contrary, in many foreign countries children are given up for adoption because the parents have no means to provide for or take care of them. In China, for example, families are held to a strict one-child policy. Each family having more than one child must make a choice over which “one” they will keep and the other(s) go up for adoption. These are cases where perfectly healthy, beautiful children are abandoned on a daily basis for no other reason than the government said it is the law.

I never thought our decision to adopt internationally would become an issue. I never thought anyone would dare question why two loving people would take in a child and love it as their own. My own grandma questioned me on this the other day and it really through me for a loop.

We want to be parents. We want to have kids and a family and live the sort of life we have always dreamed about. I don’t want to have to worry that the birth parents are going to hunt me down and try and take their kids back. We want children who will call us mom and dad and we will be the only mom and dad they know. I don’t want to be mom and dad during the week and then have the kids go to visit the “other” mom and dad on the weekends.

I have dealt with infertility issues for the past three and a half years. My body has been through hell with nearly 20 cycles of fertility treatments including shots, pills, in-vitro, and insemination. The results of which were 18 cycles of disappointment, 2 pregnancies, 2 miscarriages, 2 surgeries and 1 lost fallopian tube. For those who question our reasons for wanting to adopt internationally (especially those who HAVE healthy, biological children) I say this….we have earned the right to make the best decision for ourselves.


Wynn said...

Go for it sister. Although I would point out that it is possible here in the states to foster to adopt new borns (that way you get to take them home from the hospital), although I personally don't think I'm up to bonding with an infant and then giving them up in three months (or 6 months or a year) because thats how long the parents are given to get their lives straight... Take a look at All Gods Children International... these are people who have set up orphanages and homes for expecting moms who want to give up their babies. They emotionally and socially stimulate these little ones and have them in a home like setting so they are better able to adjust to REAL life... Good luck

A Pawn In This Game Called Life said...

Thanks so much! I'll be sure to check it out.