a word about adoption

Ever since I started posting about our upcoming adoption, I’ve been made aware of an entire community out there in blog land of people who feel that adoption is wrong and that the birth-mothers are being manipulated and abused by a system that is designed to rip their babies from their arms and convince them that they are not cut out to take care of a child.

There is a huge community that seems, at first glance, to be built on resentment and they seem to feel that their mission in life is to convince as many natural mothers as possible to keep their babies away from the well meaning (but inherently evil) community of parasites (ie, women who can’t have babies naturally) who are waiting like vultures to swoop in and steal babies from their rightful, loving homes.

Now I’m not going to deny that there have been, and still continue to be young mothers who have been talked into giving up their children.

this. should. not. happen. EVER. No question. It is tragic and sad and horrifying beyond my ability to comprehend.

But, to revile, attack and verbally pummel women who are wanting to shelter and love and raise a child who would otherwise go UN-WANTED, is also wrong.

My husband and I have already been matched with a mother who wants to give us her child to raise. They are a married couple who approached the agency themselves, after mature and careful deliberation. THEY chose US. No one coerced them. No one convinced them that this was best for them or the baby.

And there’s more. Since the time that we committed to this couple, we have received two calls from other agencies. In each instance a pregnant mother walked into a hospital, and AS SHE WAS GOING INTO LABOR AND DELIVERY told the hospital staff “hey, by the way, you guys need to find a couple to take this baby, cause when I leave here, I ain’t taking it with me”

That just blows my mind.

So this is my message to the anti-adoption community:

Please, all the anti-adoption people out there. Please understand, I know that you do have a real beef. I know that there are folks out there who have been fast-talked into giving up their children when they shouldn’t have. they should have been given counseling that encompassed ALL their actual, legal options (even the ones I personally disagree with) But please don’t assume that just because I’m adopting that I condone the coercion of young mothers. Because I don’t.

That doesn’t change the fact that I am glad that my husband I were the ones in line when this particular couple decided to come looking for a family for their child. I believe that God made sure we were in the right place at the right time so that we could be there for this baby. Because God knew they were going to give him/her up. I don’t believe that God hurt them to make them give up a baby for my sake, but I do believe he put us in a position to be available to help this family and love this baby.

I know there are people who will disagree with me. and as long as we all disagree politely and rationally, I’d love to talk about it. If I’ve said something here that you don’t agree with, or you feel is just plain wrong, go ahead and ask me about it. let’s discuss it. I love discussion.

****addendum****

even though this match did not end up working out, I STILL believe that God had us in their lives for a season for a reason.  Perhaps it was just to be loving and kind to them and to be a good witness.  Perhaps we planted a seed that will eventually grow in their hearts.  Who knows.  But the failure of the match to result in a “gain” for us does not mean that it was a failure in God’s eyes.

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10 thoughts on “a word about adoption

  1. Thank you for writing this. I am an adoptive mother. I started blogging with the hope of meeting other women like me. I’ve searched wordpress for other adoptive moms and like you have found mostly blogs such as you have mentioned here. So I’ve kept to myself, as my feelings about adoption and my husband and my experience is NOTHING like what others are writing about. God Bless you, your family and your new addition!!!

    thanks for stopping by. Everybody is absolutely entitled to their opinion and I hope I have written with respect, even when I have disagreed with people.

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  2. I know what you are saying…though, there is a big difference between the truly anti adoption folks who think it should be outlawed, and adoption reformers, many of whom are adoptive parents themselves and/or adoptees.

    I have learned a lot through our adoption journey. Honestly, a lot of what I have learned has put a big guilt trip on me, which is not productive.

    It kills me to think that my child’s birth mom could have regrets about placing her child with us. I haven’t outright asked her, but I know that it is an ongoing sadness with her. That is definitely not something the agencies will tell you!

    All we can do as potential adoptive parents is to seek to work with an ethical agency, and to keep our word to our child’s birth family about the level of contact that we agreed upon.

    I know that you and your husband are honest people, and will treat this potential birth family with all the love and respect they deserve as they are going through this emotional time.

    In fairness, I have to say that the hateful emails I have gotten HAVE made me think about issues that i wouldn’t have otherwise even been aware of. I just wish they had been kinder in their phrasing.

    Oh and actually our agency did mention the regrets and how emotional the whole process is for ALL involved.

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  3. Yes, it totally depends on the delivery of the message, doesn’t it?? I don’t know why some of these folks make so many assumptions about adoptive parents. We’re just humans, too.
    A little kindness/better phrasing certainly goes a long, long way in ‘educating’ us!!! :-0

    I can certainly see how they could respond in anger though. I DO seem to fit the profile for “clueless white bread barren women, aching over infertility and Christian to boot.” so I’m sure it’s very easy to assume that I haven’t even considered the pain of separation and the wellbeing of the actual child. I’m not blaming them for the reaction. It’s natural. I just wish we would all be a little kinder to each other out in blog-land.

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  4. Never in a million years would I think that you had some wrong or ulterior motive behind wanting to adopt. I truly believe that God has handpicked you and handpicked this baby to come together and be family; it is hard for me to fathom why that is so hard for some to understand.

    There is so much mis-understanding in this world. I’m just trying to help a small tiny corner of it understand each other just a little bit better. And the first step towards that, in my mind at least, is to speak respectfully of each other and each other’s opinions.

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  5. Having been adopted myself, I’m sort of shocked that there is such a big community of people out there who are violently opposed to adoption. Naive, I’m sure, and I haven’t gone looking for that sort of thing, but really … wow, that’s weird.

    My own adoption “experience” hasn’t been perfect – but whose relationship with their parents has been?

    It would be unfair of me to attempt to explain the motives or positions of the anti-adoption community. I can tell you that they exist though. Some of them are kind, and some of them have been very cruel to me on-line. BUT that is true of any people group with any strongly held opinion. There is a wide range.
    If you are interested in learning more I would suggest looking through other blogs.

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  6. Are you serious? There is an “anti-adoption” crowd out there? I’m really sorry to hear it.
    I know women who have given up their babies, and families who have adopted. I understand there is pain and heart-ache in the giving up of a baby, but I also know God can heal and bring wholeness. We often don’t understand His ways – but we can trust Him. And I am so glad you’re trusting Him to make your family!

    Thanks for your comment on my blog today. I wondered about sharing, but you’re right – I believe someone needs to hear it, so I shared.

    Yes there is an anti-adoption community. And a reform community, and lots of groups and everyone seems to feel that they and they alone have THE ANSWER and that all others are misguided. My biggest thing is that we are all so different, let’s try to respect each other’s opinions and understand that we all want as little hurt as possible here.

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  7. I’m an adoptive mom, and entered the whole adoption thing with a naivete and ignorance that I am not really proud of. I’m thankful to first moms and to adult adoptees and others touched by adoption for sharing their stories with me. I think it makes me a better parent to my transracially adopted child. I will say that the adoption reform movement is quite different than an anti-adoption movement and I think many people lump the two of them together. Adoption is a paradox, it really is. My greatest joy is the result of someone else’s great pain and I need to learn to navigate that for the best interests of my child. I also feel a little disheartened when I hear people dismiss those hurt by adoption as ‘angry’ or ‘bitter’. It’s just a way to discount the voices of people that had no choice or no agency in decisions made about their lives. And that makes me sad. And I also feel very disheartened that many adoptive parents really have no clue about the complexities of adoption. Of course, the internet can be the great equalizer and I must say, that I for one, have learned so much about a side of adoption that no one talks about or wants to acknowledge. Knowledge is power. Good luck to you on your journey to building your family.
    Mara

    You are right Mara, it is a paradox. and yes, everyone should have a voice. That is one of the beautiful aspects of this country: we all get to speak, even when we don’t agree. That’s also a little understood aspect of true Christian Love: loving and listening to each other with respect and gentleness even when we disagree.

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  8. The anti adoption community is pretty small. On the other hand the adoption reform community is very large. i have a feeling you are running into the reformers more than anything. There is a ton more than just talking women into “giving up” their babies going on. Sadly some times adoptive parents are directly involved in what goes on. Sometimes they are as much a victim as the first family and child.

    I can’t even imagine trying to convince someone to give up a baby. It’s just so horrible.
    What I’m trying to gently speak out against is the people who visit a blog-site like mine, where a waiting couple is understandably excited about the possibility of bringing a baby home, and then they attack me for my joy, or assume that I have not thought of the needs and the pain of the birth mother.

    Someone else said it pretty succinctly: it is a paradox. Great joy and great pain

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  9. Couldn’t have put that any better myself Aislin!

    Tina
    (reformer…not anti…)

    Hi Tina,
    Just so you know, you were not the “attacker” I was referring to. You I had a spirited discussion with. 😉
    Thanks for stopping by.
    Deirdre

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  10. I truly think this is one of those minorities that seem much larger just due to the Internet.

    I believe that the majority of adoptive families in this country never get online, don’t blog, don’t send hateful emails, don’t do anything but get their babies and go live normally ever after.

    I would wager that the majority of birthmothers get on with their lives as best as they can, always feeling a sadness about the choices that they had to make, but for the most part live fulfilled lives where there is much joy.

    But that is real boring blog material. So you don’t hear about them.

    You know my theory on this, and I will probably be opening myself up to the haters for saying it. But we ALL of us have a Christ-shaped hole in our hearts, that can only be filled by the One who created us. Yet, if we are members of the adoption triad, it is very, very easy and natural to claim that adoption is the source of the hole.

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