International Adoption – It’s Not All Bad News
I didn’t comment when Reuters started talking about re-homing. Like everyone else I am appalled at the idea of giving a child to anyone without background checks, interviews, references, etc. I think it is awful for these children to have yet another disruption, yet another placement, yet another disappointment… I cannot imagine how their emotional wounds will ever heal when scabs are ripped off repetitively. But adoptive parenting is hard, people!
Parenting is hard enough, but we have all these extra layers to consider often without having all of the information to be able to make the best choices that we could. I know that not all agencies require education to help prepare parents for the unique complexities of adoptive parenting. I also know that even those who do settle for the ever popular online “Adoption Learning” option that barely qualifies as mediocre in my opinion. I know with international adoption often you cannot know what you are getting into, although I don’t see that as being any different from birthing a child – even if you have raised a child since birth trauma can occur; we are not with our children 24 hours a day. I know there are reasons why one family may not be the best fit for a child. I know how hard it is. I have no judgement for an adoption disruption, but I do think it absolutely must be done through an agency protecting the child legally and emotionally.
I do have a bit of judgement for (I know, I am working on it…) this idea that someone else should take care of our kids. I have a friend whose child was born with Downs Syndrome. She has medical appointments and specialists, but she transports him and she pays for everything that insurance does not cover. I have a cousin who has a child with anxiety. We noticed it as early as toddlerhood; my cousin not only talks him through his anxieties but has paid for the counseling that insurance would not. Would you think these mother’s have any less responsibility to provide the care their kids need if the children had been adopted?
Whether you adopt a kid or birth a kid, you don’t know what their immediate or long-term health will be. You don’t know if they will be athletically inclined or academically capable. Your genetics are not the guarantee that you would like to believe that they are. My real concern here is what is the message we are sending to our children when we accept state subsidies after they have been adopted. ‘Johnny, you are not really my kid – the state still pays me to take care of you’ or ‘Johnny, you are more messed up than your brother, so the state gives me money to get you counseling…because really we expect you to end up in the system/prison otherwise’ If you are adopting this child, claiming him or her as yours to care for… if you are the parent, you take care of whatever needs they have no matter how much it costs.
I am so tired of Reuters particularly and the popular media in general preying on these families who do need support so they can highlight all of the sad stories. Mijo is just fine. Sure there are complications of grief and having two families and wondering if this mom will get taken from him – but he is awesome. He is intelligent, caring, athletic, funny, and eager to please. Reuters interviewed two dozen families who told them horror stories, but did they interview the thousands of us who are more than satisfied with our adoption – even if it is hard work?
The problems the Alexanders faced trying to find “assistance” for their child is the same any parent would face – this is not a discrimination for international adoption. You are the parent, you pay for your child’s care. I think it is wonderful that this family were willing to move to a new state to get the care their child needed. Come on, Reuters, quit trying to create controversy. I’m over it!