1. You are so wonderful.
2. That is so wonderful.
Or some variation of the two. Maybe something like “Oh, God bless you. You are such an angel to adopt. He is a lucky boy!” What? I mean What?
I wrote a short blog about this last year and I have been thinking about expanding on it for some time now, as I see other adoptive parents encountering the same thing. Then I learned about the “Orphan Crisis” and that some church congregations or sects of people are actually patting themselves on the back for adopting. These people are fertile and have been blessed with biological children and adopt because they feel they need to save an orphan. So where are they finding these orphans? Sure some people, like Angelina Jolie spend time in other countries on movies or doing missionary work and learn about the problems that plague the area and fall in love with a sweet child they decide they’d like to adopt. This is not the case for most though. People are not plucking malnourished, homeless kids off the streets and bringing them home. They are adopting infants and going through agencies that people that just want children also go through.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that people with biological children can’t adopt. I have a biological son! So that surely isn’t what I am saying. I am also not saying that saying “God called me to adopt” is not a valid reason for expanding your family through adoption. What I am saying is, don’t talk about “saving your child” and bragging about how terrible his life was and how you are his savior. All “do you want a cookie?” or “pat yourself on the back” mentality stuff. We don’t adopt children to make ourselves feel like we did a good deed. We adopt them to make them part of our family. If you want to do a good deed, send money and food or volunteer. I am sure the child feels so great being made to feel like they owe their parents instead of just being loved by their parents. (sarcasm) Some kids really do come from bad situations and wanting to help them is not a bad thing. But, be honest with yourself and don’t make them feel like every step may lead them back to the original status.
The Orphan Crisis has nothing to do with domestic infant adoptions. Some articles I read stated how domestic infant adoptions are on the decline and they must figure out a way to change that. Seriously? Yes, I adopted a domestic infant, but do I wish to separate more children from their first mothers? Do I wish to use coercion tactics to get more women to make an adoption plan? No and NO!
Let me make this clear, To the first statement that people often say to me: I am not wonderful. I do not work with orphans, I am not a social worker or a missionary, I am not scooping up children without homes. I adopted because I wanted a child. My son wasn’t saved by me. He would have been just fine had his birth mother chosen to parent. He would have been adopted by someone else if I wasn’t there to adopt him.
Secondly, it is not wonderful to adopt. It is stressful, expensive, heart wrenching, confusing and time consuming. Then add in how my son will cope with his identity and emotions and he navigates life. Or how about the the loss he and his birth parents feel every day?
What part of any of it other than ME getting to be this boys mommy is wonderful?
What have you experienced and how do you handle it?