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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!

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Adoption: not for the feint of heart

Dear Christian who wishes to “save” an orphan, did you not realize it would be difficult? Did you not realize it would be painful? Why did you expect your child to be grateful? Is any child truly appreciative of what we give them of ourselves, of our time, of our resources, of so much? How often did you really thank your parents before you were an adult? If then?

You may be called by God, but when is God’s calling easy? Doesn’t God refine us with fire? Isn’t He the potter that molds and kneads and fires the clay? Children are wonderful at revealing our weaknesses, the areas where we need growth. Our weaknesses that we can hide from the world and even ourselves, children will reveal and test and exacerbate. Now that is a gift of God!

Was it easy for Jesus? Was he understood and accepted? Didn’t the very people he came to show God’s love, the people he came to save, reject him, ridicule him, torture him…? It is hard. Those who need love the most are often the most difficult to love.

(And now I get really edgy) why would you assume that adoption would fit easily into your life and your family? How dare you tell God who you will love. Yes, in many ways, adopting a baby would be easier on you, but is God’s call ever easy? Does God have big plans for you or not? The fact is that there is not a need for families to adopt healthy infants. (I won’t even start on demanding health when we all have diagnoses, take medications, etc.) The children waiting, hurting, lonely, desperate for a family are older, have needs that only a family can meet, may have siblings, and they are hurt. They have emotional wounds. They need you. They need love. And parenting will not be easy. It never is, but the call to love the orphan is going to overwhelm you, break you, and eventually grow you.

It is not easy, but anything worth having has a cost. It will cost you time, energy, money, patience, everything you are. And it will transform you.

Open International Adoption

Open International AdoptionSo we are doing it – for real. Open international adoption. While I had done some searching I had thought that it would be other, periphery relatives that I would find; instead it looks like I will be meeting Mijo’s biological mother. While I refuse to share much about my child’s story even on an anonymous blog, I will state that there are very good reasons why his biological mother is incapable of parenting him now or ever. There are so many hard truths in adoption, in any adoption, but one hard truth that I do not have to deal with is that there was no possibility for my child to be with his biological mother. I have kept up with the debate, and I truly believe open international adoption is the right way to go. But when it became clear that I could meet with the biological mother my stomach dropped. I am ashamed to admit it, but my stomach dropped and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. It took only a couple of minutes though for me to remember that it is the right thing, the best thing for Mijo. Being a parent means that we do what is best for our kids, not necessarily what is easiest for us.

Because I have read AmFam’s blog, I decided that rather than initiate contact over the Internet, it might be best to meet face-to-face. Face-to-face meeting is a bit more intimidating and perhaps emotionally charged, but AmFam made me realize that online interactions open up a more constant communication and looser boundaries. Perhaps it truly is for selfish reasons that I am planning an international trip to start this relationship, but I am also not sure yet just how positive this will be for Mijo.

So why am I opening up an international adoption? The short answer is for my kid. While he hasn’t had many questions yet, someday he will. This may be the only way that he can get the answers that he wants and needs. She is the only one who can tell me about his birth and infancy and about biological medical history. When he wants to send her a card, he can. I am always cautious where my child’s emotional health is concerned.

I don’t have a long-term plan. I am just realizing that we will meet, hopefully in the next six months. I don’t know if we will regularly exchange mail. I don’t know if we will move to an online relationship. I don’t even know how much contact is really right for Mijo.

So as I am thinking about this first meeting and trying to prepare for the absolute unknowable… What are questions that you would ask? What are questions that I really must ask? What are the things that I should say? What is it that she needs to hear from me that will provide comfort? And as long as I’m asking for advice, what do you think you would do as the next step in this open it international adoption relationship? What are the boundaries that you would draw? What you think will be most important to my son?

So, yea, Help!?!

Lincoln, Lily, Martin & Me

curse bubbleHave you seen Lincoln yet? I won’t get into all the gritty of my emotional reactions while watching this film, but it did make undeniably clear how the types of arguments used against ending slavery through the 13th amendment and the eventual legal equality of the races are the exact same kinds or arguments being used against gay marriage. For some that may make it easier for you to forgive those who voted against the 13th amendment, fearing the slippery slope or loss of morality in the United States, but it makes me sad that we seem not to be learning from history or even listening to ourselves.

Race is an issue. In my experience it is less of an issue than it was five years ago when it was less of an issue than it had been five years before that. We are getting better, America – thank you – but it is an issue. Some would like to believe there is a “there” we will eventually get to where race will no longer be an issue, but I’m not sure that “there” can exist – certainly not in my lifetime. As a multi racial family, perhaps we are more exposed making it more difficult to hope we will ever get “there”.

It is interesting to me that people will brazenly ask questions when a parent and child don’t “match”, but few people even blink when adults of different races are holding hands (or otherwise obviously more than just friends). I am a secure adult; talk to me about the men I choose to date. My child is developing his identity within an adopted family; why would you bring up racial identity in front of him like he is an exhibit at a museum? Why does it even matter if he is adopted or where he was born? If you aren’t curious how I met the man I am dating who is a different race than I am, then I don’t understand your curiosity about how I met my son? (Your kid came OUT of you? That must be weird and complicate your relationship.)

When people ask less than appropriate questions or when I was trying to keep myself calm while watching Lincoln, sometimes I sing Lily Allen’s F*ck You to myself. While there are many times I would like to say “F*ck You” there are many reasons I cannot. As a women and as light-skinned as I am, I could potentially get away with it, but my son is male and darker, so anger, even out of hurt, is likely to exacerbate any potential problems for him. Mijo has to learn from me that ignorance, well-intentioned or not, cannot be met with anger. Ignorance ideally needs to be answered with patient education. Unfortunately, I’m kind of a loud mouth who occasionally wants to respond with shocking things like “now I understand what they meant by once you go black you never go back *wink*“, but my son’s presence keeps me from being such a hooligan.

The thing I like most best about Lily Allen’s song is that while she is saying what she is thinking, she does so in a sing-songy way. Ignorance is ignorance. While there are people who truly do hate and see people as unequal, most people are not malicious. Let me not be the crazy Latina; let me not be the uppity white woman. If I want people be accepting and loving to my multi-racial family, I need to be lovable. That is my job, not Mijo’s job. He is a kid who gets to be a kid and act out if he needs to (to a degree). He has been through enough already. He did not choose this multi-racial family. While I think he is adorable, he does not need to be the cute face of adoption advocacy. It is my responsibility to protect my child, model appropriate responses, and reveal the best of my character to encourage people to judge families like mine not by our skin colors but by our love. But I still may be singing Lily Allen in my head….

Rescuing Pets and Adopting Children

Since I told you I was going to let go of any pressure to blog and only blog when I had something to say (you know like two days ago), I have had three blog ideas come into my head. One is about how much I appreciate my friends which I will likely get to eventually. Tonight though, I want to work from a thought that I tweeted not too long ago…

Can we all agree to “rescue” pets and to “adopt” children? This tweet was spurred by overhearing a conversation in a coffee shop in a city that was new to me. What I heard was two people talking about “adopting out” and how quickly they could move “Joe” from house to house. While I was contemplating asking total strangers not to use the term “adopt out” as I walked out with my coffee to go, I was able to figure out that they were likely talking about a dog. The introvert in me was relieved that I didn’t have to talk to strangers. While I might be hesitant to correct those I know sometimes, the spread of inappropriate adoption language is something that I feel a responsibility as an adoptive parent to try to stop.

My dog is certainly a part of my family. He is practically one of my children in how I am aware of his feelings, make sure he gets to do fun things, etc. I went through the pet home study process with a rescue group before he moved in, just like I did before adopting Mijo. There isn’t an animal lover that can fault me for how much we love and provide for our dog, except maybe in that we don’t let him get on the furniture (just his own bed). There isn’t a reason for animal advocates to hate on my blog. I won’t even say that I think children are more important than animals, although I’m pretty sure that is what I believe.

But without question, children are more sensitive to the nuances of languages than animals. I get why animal advocates would want to utilize language that suggests making a pet a member of the family as a part of their advertising to people. I get it, but as someone who is so very conscious of how children feel about adoption and how people in general talk about adoption, I just can’t be ok with it. Because animals are not as sensitive to the nuances of languages, phrases like “adopt out” and “adoptable” and even “given away” are used without much thought.

But those same phrases can make children feel expendable, like commodities, or lacking in value. As an adoptive mom, my ears immediately heard the one conversation about adoption in a large coffee shop in an unfamiliar city, so I guess I’m saying that such phrases hurt my heart as well. I would prefer we gave children more respect than animals and saved the terms of adoption for children.

I also want to reserve the “rescue” terms only for animals. When we are talking about the Humane Society or animal control, rescue can be pretty accurate. You could literally save an animal from death. Even if that might be true for a child, it’s not the most respectful thing to say. When you talk about saving a child from his or her previous life, you are judging how awful his or her previous life was, which includes all of the people in his or her previous life.

Children love and often idealize their biological families. Children need to believe that the people and the country that created them has value. While I am thrilled to have the privilege to love and parent Mijo, I wish he never had to leave his biological family or his country. I like to think I’m giving a good life, perhaps even more opportunity, but that will never make up for losing his biological family, his country, and his culture. I do my best, but I will always be second best no matter how awesome I am.

I don’t really want to be the mom who approaches strangers in coffee shops to ask them not to use offensive terms that they had no idea could be hurtful. I don’t want to embarrass people. I’m not all that big on talking to strangers anyway. But it’s my job as an adoptive mom. So can ya’ll help me? Can we rescue pets and adopt children? Can you help me by educating those you overhear, especially your family and friends?

I Said No

I have been avoiding this blog for awhile. It’s one of the reasons the content has been, well, not about adoption. I didn’t really want to share this with anyone, but something in me thinks it needs to be blogged. I actually wrote half of it before (in the afterglow of moving my blog back to WordPress and gaining lovely new followers – hi, you). Look, I’m already distracting… This isn’t easy to admit.

I turned down a referral. For those of you not in the adoption world, a referral is a child whose basic info is given to you as a potential child to adopt. I said no to a child. It’s still hard to believe that statement could be true. When I started the adoption process, I thought I was open to so many special needs. Abuse? I have some experience with abused kids. HIV? Sure, I can dispense meds and find an awesome medical team. I hate the thought of any child being left without a family. I abhor the thought of a child being passed over for someone younger or cuter. I thought there was a child that needed me. I didn’t think I would even consider saying no.

After just a few weeks of waiting on a referral, the director of my adoption program called me to tell me about a young girl. I didn’t immediately say yes, and I wasn’t sure why. What was known about her story was enough to scare others away; wasn’t that the kind of child I had wanted? What we knew of her story I could manage. I actually had some related experience. It wasn’t that I’d gotten cold feet, but it took me about twelve hours to figure it out.

Although I hadn’t immediately said yes, I hadn’t said no either. I hadn’t said anything. The director of my adoption program told me to think about it, so I hadn’t had to say anything yet. I thought about the little girl. I thought, “she needs me; this girl should not be alone.” I thought about how her name was a variation of one of the names on my list. Wasn’t that a sign? I thought, “I can’t say no.” Then I thought about me, and realized I wasn’t really what she needed. Of the little I knew about this little girl, it struck me that she needed a lot of stability. It struck me that she needed a two parent household. Brother 2 was living with me though, so I could provide a father figure. We had determined we would figure out this beyond normal co-parenting arrangement. Something about the little I knew about her made me think that an uncle might actually be frightening. I rolled it around over and over. I felt good about saying no and felt bad that I felt good about saying no. It has never taken me so long to type out just a few words as I composed the email.

I said no because I didn’t think I was good enough for this child. I didn’t know enough (nor would we be able to) to determine if my home might actually exasperate her grief or fear. I am sure there are some who will think that it’s a convenient excuse or even rationalization to say no. It could be, but I feel solid enough in my intuition to open myself up to the trolls of the Internet. I’ve been guilty myself of thinking someone was just baby-shopping when they turned down a referral. I get that you may be judging me.

It was my first experience as a parent of not being enough. No matter how many books I read or classes I attended or professionals I consulted with, I could not prepare a home that could be all I thought that she deserved, that she needed. I could not give her a stable father. I wasn’t enough, and I could not prepare myself enough. The mom guilt would have been constant, but worse, my gut told me that she would thrive better in another home. I was afraid she would never fully feel safe here. The director of my adoption program did eventually tell me that another family – a two parent family – said yes to her almost immediately. I’m hoping I get to meet them at one of my agency’s events. I hope I get to see her thriving in the love of a two-parent family. While I will never be her mom or probably even an adult she knows well, I still think about her often and want for her to have all she could need and more than she could want. I want her to feel safe and loved and confident and happy and capable and important and so much more. I would have given her those things if I could have, but I don’t think I could have been enough on my own.

In Search of a Stronger Circle

I read a lot of adoption blogs. Some I read because they make my heart swell. Some I read because they keep me up to date. Some I’m not sure why I read. Several I have quit reading. In fact I need to update the blog roll on this blog…. I am fairly opinionated about adoption blogs, but most of you do not know me in real life so you aren’t subjected to those opinions.

The Circle of Moms Top 25 Adoption Blogs by Moms contest has always confounded me. It seems to be quite the popularity contest with letting people vote multiple times. In the past, I’ve noticed that those near the top are the “popular” blogs, but not necessarily those with content I most respect. When I see a link on a blog I enjoy, I click over from Google Reader and vote for the ones I like. But I don’t vote often as they would prefer.

AdoptionTalk is a blog I read often, so that is how I found out about the Broken Circle. Apparently one of the blogs in the top 5 has been disqualified for not being “positive” enough – I’m really not sure how to interpret the statement. I’ve not read Adoption Truth before this, but I’ve added her to my Google Reader.

I think there are several under-appreciated blogs on the list.. and several over-appreciated blogs on the list as well. But I aim to be positive, so these are the ones that I suggest you look into and maybe even vote for if you are so inclined. From the bottom up (based on current standings), so those most under-appreciated are mentioned first…

  • One Fine Tree I love reading her blog. Teresa is honest and open, and her boys are adorable! They are young, so she doesn’t have a lot of adoption issues to examine just yet, but I am sure that will come.
  • If It Takes A Whole Life I fell in love with her European travel with two kids first, but I have since fallen in love with her as a mom – and more cute kids.
  • Mama C and the Boys If race plays in your family at all… or you’re a single mom… read Mama C.
  • They’re All My Own I’m newer to this blog, but I like what she has to say. I think she probably has experience and insight to share.
  • The Eyes of My Eyes are Opened More cute kids, but mostly she is able to dig into the sadness and trauma involved in adoption.
  • My Fascinating Life I hope “Claudia” knows how insightful and helpful she is.
  • American Family I’m a big fan of snark, but I’m also a big fan of thoughtfulness. AmFam is blazing a trail of open international adoption and planning for her forever home at the same time.
  • Our Little Tongginator I truly want to meet TongguMama in real life some day. She is such an insightful mom, in-tune to her kids’ needs.
  • AdoptionTalk If you care about what is going on the world of adoption, AdoptionTalk could be one of your primary sources. She may push your buttons sometimes, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t buttons that could stand a little pushing.
  • The Declassified Adoptee I am not sure I’ve actually followed this blog, but I’ve followed Amanda at Lost Daughters.

As adoptive parents, we do not serve our children well to hide from blogs by those that have been adopted or those that chose adoption for their children. Our children need us to read those things. They need us to learn from them. It isn’t always fun, but it helps us grow. It helps us wrestle with issues. I want to read more blogs by those that wrestle with issues. If I sound like a know it all, please know that I do not. I fear that is a weak point for me as I mostly use this (anonymous) blog to talk about my frustrations. Isn’t that how we create a stronger circle – by learning from each other and by challenging each other, growing together?

I’m in search of a stronger circle. What other blogs should I be reading? I may have purposefully left a few off this list (that I don’t particularly enjoy), but there are several on their list I have not ever read. I suggest you also check out Lost Daughters and The r house for adoption blogs. How are they not included in this contest?

Edited to add that “Claudia” may have the best view on the whole situation. Although now it looks like the entire contest has imploded. My question remains though… are there other blogs I should be reading to build a stronger circle?

Raising Boys in a Dangerous World

I was feeling badly about not blogging frequently. Now I am feeling badly that I feel like I need to blog about something. I wish I didn’t know the name Trayvon Martin because I would not know his name if he was still living. And yet, I wish I had heard his name earlier. I don’t watch the news often and often read international news sources more than American news sources, so it could be my fault that I only learned Trayvon’s story this week, nearly a month after his death. But when I googled for blogs about Trayvon not much came up. Is there a reason we aren’t talking about this? I know that I am tearing up just already writing this. Is it just too much to talk about, too emotional for us as mothers?

The mama post that most got me is MamaCandtheBoys’ Wearing a hoodie and sweatpants or… I am so glad she chose to share the photo of her adorable, precious, vulnerable son. It seems to be such a brave choice right now.

I don’t fully understand the law in Florida. I don’t know what justice can or will be served. Can and will are very, very separate in this case. I do know that nearly 1,500,000 people have signed a petition asking that George Zimmerman is prosecuted.

I don’t know what happened or who said what, even after listening to all of the 911 calls. (I had to post this link because it was difficult for me to find them because it seems people have been using it for SEO.)

I think that Michael Skolnik may have stepped on a few toes with his article White People, You Will Never Look Suspicious Like Trayvon Martin, but I don’t think he is wrong.

I know that yesterday, there was a “Million Hoodies” march in New York City to draw attention to Trayvon’s death, so maybe I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t heard about it.

I have heard (but not found confirmation) that Trayvon was on the phone with his girlfriend when he noticed George Zimmerman watching him. I have heard that she told him to run, but he said he did not want to. I will assume that Trayvon’s parents had The Talk with him, and he knew that running for safety could exacerbate the situation. I’m afraid that knowing that George Zimmerman ignored the 911 dispatcher’s instructions, nothing could have truly entirely kept him from harm.

As a mama, that is what scares me the most. As parents of brown children or black children, especially as parents of sons, we must prepare them for the assumption of trouble. While I prefer to assume the best of people, I know that the worst will be assumed of our sons. How can we ever prepare them enough even to manage the most sane of those who are prejudiced to expect the worst?

Corey Dade gave us a few thoughts from what his parents taught him. A dear friend who has a son on the verge of leaving adolescence, told me that she has talked to him about never wearing his hood up because it can increase negative perceptions… and he is an attractive, intelligent, well-spoken white boy. The worse has been assumed of him simply because he is a male teenager, and he is white. Our brown sons and black sons will be pulled over simple for driving. They will be followed in stores. They will not be allowed to date certain girls because their families do not approve.

I hadn’t yet thought about not wearing hoods up, but we will definitely have that conversation. Beyond hoodies, we will talk about perceptions of sagging and other fashion choices. I will explain to my boys that being well spoken is not bougie, but a way to encourage others to expect positive things from them. We have to talk about how perceptions can be changed by posture and gait and mannerisms. I am more likely to ensure that my boys drive cars that are clean and well cared for.

The pressure of self-preservation that requires such maturity and awareness of our boys before they are truly capable of such things crushes my heart for every one of these boys. It is overwhelming and perhaps why we don’t want to talk about Trayvon. But we cannot ignore it. We cannot pretend it isn’t reality. We cannot fool ourselves that there are not people out there who cannot see past the color of one’s skin. We cannot believe that the world is safe.

What we can do is support each other as mothers. Regardless of the color of our skin, regardless of whether our children are adopted or biological, no matter if our children are black or brown, we are all still mothers raising children in this dangerous, prejudiced world. We can support each other when the world is cruel to our children. We can learn from each other. I will support you. Will you help me? What will you teach your sons to keep them safe? What should I be teaching my boys?

Edit: I need to add this link to How to Talk to Young Black Boys About Trayvon Martin. I am sure there are more things we need to teach our sons, but this is a good place to start.

3 Blogs in 1

I started to write a couple of blogs, but never finished them. I’m not sure I have any actual point here. Maybe it is just a sign that I am thinking a lot. I’ve always been ok with not knowing the answer and not knowing what comes next. I suppose this could merely be a symptom. I am still trying to find my blogging groove, but I have seen some people post “random” updates with a bulleted list.

1. I miss my brother. I miss my quiet, thoughtful, passionate brother. Sure, I miss his cooking, but we’re all surviving on my attempts at domestication. He’s been on my mind a lot recently. Being on opposite ends of the world makes it difficult to catch up. Sure social media makes it easier, but we are both introverts. It’s actually sad how little we connect. When we do it is sweet but short.


Brother 2 has been in Asia for several months. His career ambitions have taken him around the world for several “short” stints – Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East. I’m so thankful that we get much quality time in between when he is actually in the States, but I’m afraid those will get less frequent as he’s climbing the career ladder. My brothers are some of the smartest men I know, so I have much faith in what he can achieve.

2. The other day we ran into some of S-man‘s friends from middle school, and we set a date to meet up for dinner next month. S-man still hangs out with friends from middle school! I have some dear friends from my college days, but we don’t catch up nearly as much as we should. Perhaps we have grown a part. I certainly don’t chat with friends from middle school or even high school. Recently, I have been making more “mommy friends” as well.

I spend my time with my new “mommy friends” and my girlfriends from my pre-mommy days; I catch up with my friends from school when I can. While there are a couple of exceptions, I mostly prefer my new friends to my old friends. I consider myself a loyal person. I have a family member that systematically eliminates people from her life, and I don’t consider myself anything like her. Yet, this concerns me a bit. What does it say about me that I prefer my new friends to my old friends?

3. I’m contemplating all the adoption bloggers I know or know of. Some are simply bloggers who happened to be touched by adoption. While they may mention adoption now and then, I am really thinking about those that talk about adoption regularly. Some of those who are in the midst of the process and mostly writing about the wait and their own experience rather than examining all the various issues involved long term. It is those that talk about all the issues involved, who try to be advocates, and who keep blogging after their kids are home that interest me right now.

It seems there are two kinds of adoption bloggers – those that are primarily about adoption and those that are primarily about blogging. While I’m not a fan of blogs in general that simply report on their activities, Mooshinindy can write about a note to the tooth fairy in a way that warms my heart. No matter what the subject matter, I most appreciate analytical, thoughtful bloggers.

I guess I’m feeling a bit bothered by those that are put forth as the best adoption bloggers, who seem to be more about blogging than adoption. I read many thoughtful adoption bloggers that read books on adoption and go to conferences and think about the impact of adoption on their kids’ daily lives. This is clearly an unfinished thought. I don’t have a point of which I am currently aware. Any insights for me?

Just needed to get this off my chest…

It’s been nearly two months since I posted here, and I seem to have written another soapbox post. Mostly I think that I am not writing often because I am so happy. I’m also being really structured about family time and staying organized. I promise to be a bit more light hearted some time soon. Do you want to hear about how I solved the “laundry crisis” I hear so many discuss?

It’s not a new post, but recently twitter popped up Don’t Adopt! by Russell Moore for me to read. I clicked through because I didn’t know the author, and I was pretty sure from the title that I would agree. I do agree with him this time (mostly). Not everyone can or should adopt. Adoption is a special need in itself. I don’t think that coming to parenthood, even through adoption, because you want to be a mommy or a daddy is a bad thing. The dangerous part is when you see yourself as a the parent to the child and not the parent for the child. Parenting is not about creating a person. Parenting is about helping a person grow into their potential. Parenting is mostly about love and sacrifice. If you get frustrated with your dog’s neediness, parenting may not be for you – yet…

Just as parenting is guiding the child to reach his or her potential, we all have the opportunity to grow. Some people may not be quite ready for parenthood when they start, but we all learn on our feet. There are pre-adoption classes, post-adoption support groups, therapists that specialize in working with adoptive families, books, blogs, and an adoption community. Personally, I think that the best parents are not the ones who go in with all the answers, but rather those who continue to learn and challenge themselves, regardless of the experience they may or may not have. I also think that because adoption is a special need in itself, you have to seek the guidance of professionals, not just mommy bloggers. I’m here offering opinions, hopefully challenging a few, but I don’t have all the answers – I am learning like everyone else.

In Adopted For Life, Russell Moore said some things that I find just as dangerous as the “wrong person” adopting, as he wrote in his blog. I realize that may not be a popular statement. It’s a book that seems very popular in the Christian adoption community. That in itself makes his statements more dangerous. Mostly Mr. Moore disagrees with me that you need the guidance of professionals. He practically preaches to ignore what the social workers specializing in adoption try to teach you about adopting an orphan. While there are other good things in his book, that statement is so dangerous that I would rather no other adoptive parent reads it. Dr. Moore has studied theology; I would be interested in his interpretation of Biblical passages concerning adoption. He has not studied psychology, neurology, or social work. He has parented adopted children, but that does not make him an expert. Every child is different. Every adoption is different. I will look to those who have studied and have experience with more than a few children.

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