The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Adoption in the Media

26 April 2010

In the course of my Facebooking today, I was directed to three articles. Two were directly about adoption and one included controversial statements by a celebrity regarding adoption. The first two are worth sharing because of their face value; the third because of the hackles it raises in me.

Just a nice little picture of me and my favorite adoptee!

First, from Christianity Today, an article about Christians' responsibility to orphans and some of the obstacles we face in trying to meet our responsibilities. It's quite short, but covers a lot of ground. I like that this article reveals ways we can be legitimately involved as individuals and as the local church body. I also like that it points out that adoption isn't always the best option for a specific child, but also that it "isn't in the best interest of abandoned children to grow up destitute and barely literate, regardless of the imagined cultural benefit of remaining in their home country." This happens to be one of the major battlegrounds in international adoption--the loss of culture, identify-factors, background, etc. that are inherent in international (and other types of transracial adoption) are real and need to be considered by all parties in the adoption triad. But, can these losses outweigh the loss of family, education, health, etc. if she were to stay in an institution (or on the street) in the country of her birth?

Second, an article from a Hope for Orpans newletter is, in part, about the reasons behind the recent abandonment of the Russian boy by his adoptive mother and the need to question our motivations when pursuing adoption. Sometimes our motives are more selfish than child-centered. The article points out that even a selfish desire to appear spiritual or generous or the hero "minimizes or dismisses the true needs of hurt children and doesn’t take the time to count the costs." And, that this sort of blind spot can lead to the sort of situation in which the Russian boy and his mother found themselves. But, the article goes on to reveal that many churches are stepping up to the plate to advocate for adoptions and orphans. Like the CT article above, this one shows how churches and individuals can and are making a difference for orphans, former orphans, and their families.

Finally, the article that got my blood rising concerns recent remarks by Jillian Michaels, The Biggest Loser trainer, in Women's Health magazine. She claims she will avoid pregnancy because "I can't handle doing that to my body." Obviously, that's a bad enough message to send out into the world. (The slight to women with body image issues--and who doesn't have those?--as well as women who would dearly love to get pregnant but can't is undeniably rude, not to mention painful.) But, she went on to say, "I'm going to adopt. ...when you rescue something, it's like rescuing a part of yourself." Yuck! Just yuck! No child is "something" to rescue. And, adoption is not a rescue. The Hope for Orphans article said it nicely--while this sounds altruistic, it's not. It's actually the opposite.

In my experience, it has been those who realize that the adoption journey is difficult for everyone involved (first family, adoptive family, and adopted child), those who understand that love is not enough and that while all of us gain something through adoption, all of us also face losses--some of them heavy--who are best able to meet the needs of the children they adopt and to become family with them. Which brings to mind one more article I read last week from the New York Times. The last line put my heart in my throat.


Anna said...

I read that she would choose adoption because of some physical limitations she has left over from childhood, not that it would "ruin" her body.

Rae said...

Thanks, Anna! That helps my understanding of Jillian's thought process. I s'pose I should have said in the blog proper that I figured things may have been taken out of context or otherwise misconstrued since I haven't read the original interview.

My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001


ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004


ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007


ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued