Thursday, September 2, 2010

Adoption: Calling or Just a Choice?

Today I was involved in an on-line discussion of sorts regarding the things that people say to adoptive parents that indicate they just don't get it....the person that started the conversation had posted the following quote to FB:

""Natural Child: Any child who is not artificial. ...Real Parent: Any parent who is not imaginary. Your Own Child: Any child who is not someone else's child. Adopted Child: A natural child, with a real parent, who is all my own.--- Rita Laws, PhD"

A person that read the quote left her a response that they admire adoptive parents for taking in someone else's kid!

Various people chimed in, but the following comments led to my blog-post title above:

Person 1:

"At this point in the process, what I find annoying (well-intended, I realize, but still annoying) are comments like, "Charlie is so lucky" or "It's so nice of you guys to do this." Things like that. He is not lucky; WE are. He is the one losing something, not us. We are NOT adopting to be NICE!! We are adopting because we WANT a child. Ugh."

Person 2

"I absolutely agree. However, and unfortunately, I think a lot of adoptive parents propagate this type of thought when they themselves cite their reasons for adoption as religious obligations to orphans: adoption because of charity. Yes, they WANT this child badly, but they also use additional reasons to describe their adoption choices, and unfortunately, I believe that puts a negative spin on adoptees, like they were some charity project. Put yourself in the child's shoes. I don't want my kids thinking that it would have to take an act of charity to adopt them, as if they were unworthy of love otherwise. Obviously adoptive parents don't believe that, but many of them spread around the very ideas that later offend them and demean their children. When my child asks me one day why we adopted her, I'm going to tell her it's because we wanted her so badly and loved her so much. Not because it was my Christian obligation. Not because God told me to. Not because it was charitable. Not because she was needy. Because I loved her. The same reason I tell others, and nothing more. Any other motive demeans her, in my opinion."

Person 3:

"Thank you for adding this. I am a Christian but I am not that Christian who adopted because God told me to or to bring another child to the Great Commission. Please don't get your knickers in a twist if the reason you adopted is for the reasons I didn't though. "

I added some of my personal viewpoints, which led to the below response:

Person 2:

"People rarely have to justify themselves when they become pregnant. Nobody asks "What made you decide to become pregnant?" The answer is obvious - they wanted kids. But people ask all the time "What made you decide to adopt?" because it's outside of the norm. When the answer is "Because God called me to adopt," you open the door for people to view the motive to adopt as something very separate than the motive to become pregnant. My bio kids will not grow up hearing what a wonderful person I am for raising them. My adopted kids, on the other hand, will hear this often, and they will internalize how this casts them as a burden in my life rather than a joy. I don't want them thinking that, and while I will tell them constantly that I love them, the world will tell them that I love them differently. What a sad thing. I turned to adoption for the same reason I turned to pregnancy. I wanted children. Did I have God's stamp of approval on both? Yes. Now, why would I advertise our motives for adopting as anything different than our motives for pregnancy? Or should I create a blog all about our "call to become pregnant" and ask for donations? I don't read many blogs like that. I wonder how many people would chip in...

I maintain that a portion of the adoption community digs their own holes when it comes to what annoying things people say to them. If you find it annoying when people say, "You're such a good person for adopting and your child is SO lucky," then never advertise your child as a charity case. You'd be a hypocrite to do so. (Or you can advertise that you're doing this great thing for an orphan, and then gloat when people pat you on the back for it. There's no hypocrisy in that. It's just a little disgusting.) People don't advertise pregnancy as a cause for charity, and nobody treats bio kids that way...."
So what do you think...
Is adoption a calling or just a choice?
Does creating a blog about adoption negatively impact an adopted child?
What is your view on fund-raising for adoption?
I am very interested to hear what your thoughts are on this topic, so please chime in..

1 comment:

  1. I followed the discussion & I think the most important factors are the hearts of a child's parents (in adoption or not). If you are having a child through adoption & your heart is in the right place, then whatever you do to make it happen is the best for your family.

    There's nothing wrong with blogs & fundraisers. The blog is a keepsake for Annalee, it's a way to let your friends & family know what's going on, and can be down-right cathartic! Nothing wrong with that :)

    Fundraisers are a good idea to cover expenses (You don't have to pay up front & in such big chunks with natural childbirth). I admire your family for raising the money for your adoption. To me, it's much wiser than putting a family in debt.

    Don't let the opinions of a few effect your "Mission for Annalee" or get you upset!
    I'm glad to are lead to this child. I know God has a hand in it! You will make all the difference for this one little child!