There is so much pain surrounding adoption. The more we throw ourselves into the world of adoptive parents, adoptee’s, birth parents, adoption agencies, trans-racial adoptions, international adoptions, etc…the more we realize that everything about adoption is both incredibly beautiful and incredibly sad.
And I am beginning to realize why I question it all of the time.
Why I fear we are doing the wrong thing. Fear that we are only contributing to the corruption of agencies and governments and orphanages. Fear that our child(ren) will one day resent us for taking them away from their birth country, their culture. Fear that Emara will resent us. Fear that our child will one day decide to pursue their own life independent from us.
I question it because adoption is so unnatural. It just is.
I got pregnant with Emara while in a loving relationship with her daddy. We spent months laughing over her hiccups in my womb, her quick kicks and her tiny body bopping around on the ultrasound screen. We cried when she came screaming into the world and we have had more joy and happiness and smiles in our lives every day since she has been on this earth.
That is natural.
Adoption is not natural, because it wasn’t the first plan. It wasn’t the way it should have been. Every child should be born to loving parents, not pedophiles. A mother who loves them, not sells them for drug money. A father who teaches them how to write, not refuses to write his name on their birth certificate.
Adoption is the plan B.
I have grown up with a desire to adopt, so it is not my plan B. But, my parents did not give me up, let me go, reject me. What matters here is what the child thinks and feels.
And adoption is a never plan A for a child.
Babies are not born hoping their mother will leave. They are born connected to the very scent of their mother. Connected to their voice, the smell of their breath. Their skin literally craves the skin of their mother.
Adoption is not the natural route to take for a baby, child, teenager.
When I think about the issues that our future children will face when they think on why they were adopted, I get so angry. I get so sad. No child should have to deal with rejection, abandonment. And my child will. Some of my children will struggle with their identity in ways that I never had to. They will wonder about their past, their culture, their birth home, birth mom. And the rest of the family who also had to say “no, we cannot take care of you” that brought them to a place where they had nobody.
You see, adoption is not a way to complete an infertile family. It is not a way to fulfill a “nurture craving” of a woman. It is not the optimal way to grow a family.
Because, it is not about the mother, the father. The infertility. The growth of a family tree. And if you think that adoption is for your sake, then you are just not ready to adopt.
It is about the child. And this child, had they had their way, would grow up surrounded by the people who birthed them. In a loving, strong and healthy environment.
But, does this happen in every instance? Sadly, no.
Is America a great country? Yes. Do men physically, mentally and sexually abuse their own children. yes. Do women abandon their babies on the side of a road in the winter? Yes. Is there a foster care system filled with children who have been neglected, abused and tossed aside? Yes.
Ethiopia is a beautiful country and the more I learn about it, the more I fall in love with its culture and idea of community. But, are there orphanages? Yes. Are there children who have no parents? Yes. Children who die from poverty, poor medical care? Yes. Are there parents who give up their child to be raised by someone else? Yes.
So, what do we do with that? In a perfect world, adoption wouldn’t take place. Because families would be whole and even in the death of a parent, the families would step in and raise the orphaned children.
But, it is not a perfect world.
And, so, I believe that I was created to take a child who was put into a second-rate situation and lavish them with first-rate love. I believe that I have been forced to stare rejection and pain and neglect square in the face so that I can not sweep my child’s feelings (as uncomfortable as they could be for me) under a rug and live in a fairy-tale land that “we rescued them…we did a good deed…so all should be well”.
I believe in adoption. Because I believe that with all of the horrific and disgusting evil that takes place in our world, that there can be redemption for a tiny heart…for an abused heart…for a rejected heart.
And the part I play in their story will be to show them that they are loved, they are wanted, they are a part of my heart, a part of our family.
That God not only remembers them, but absolutely adores them.
And that this is their story. Their journey. And Scott and I are just that lucky to be able to be a part of it.
I have never ugly cried more in my life than when I think about what my future child(ren) will have to face at some point in their life.
And for my future child, I promise you this…
I will tirelessly fight to guard your heart, mind and soul. Before you were mine, you were someone else’s. BUT, before you were their’s, you were God’s.
And HE. Never. Lets. Go.
So neither will I.