Sometimes people think of international adoption as a last resort if you are unable to have biological children or haven’t been successful adopting locally. Many people who choose to adopt from overseas and share this news with family, friends and acquaintances are not met with a warm response.
We have had all sorts of responses to our adoption plan announcement, such as; silence with a forced- “That’s great. Why, do you want to do that?” to,” I could never do that.” to, “I would never even consider doing something like that.” to, “How could you really love somebody else's kid?” to, “Why don’t you just adopt a baby from the United States?” to “You are young…you need to just have your own kids.” to, “You know, those orphan kids have a lot of problems. You should be careful.” to, “Adopted kids just can’t fit into a family. If the genetic tie isn’t there, than the child will always seem foreign.” etc.
I have a hard time not getting angry at these types of comments. I have to hold my tongue many times in order to resist a defensive argument. People need to understand that international adoption is not a last resort. It is a choice that gives hope to a child. It gives children a place to belong, a place where they matter. It gives love and attention to a starving soul. It brings added personality, joy and love in to our homes. We give to them, but they give even more to us. Yet, we find ourselves increasingly trying to defend our choice in the face of ongoing criticism.
This is the sad state of affairs lately in the face of those that are ignorant of the process or those who have gotten false information from the media or other sources. However, the truth is that if international adoption ended because bad press closed down country programs, or because of a growing indifference, fear, lack of interest or understanding among people, it would sentence millions of kids to grow up languishing in under-funded orphanages or life on the streets, with future prospects of drug dependency, prostitution, crime and prison. Growing up in an orphanage is harmful to children’s physical, intellectual and emotional development. Even the nicest, well-funded institutions for orphans do not offer the attention, care, nourishment and development that a forever family does.
I wonder why there are just handfuls of us who are grateful and passionate about investing our lives and time into these kids and recognize how valuable and important this is in the world. We need to get the word out. I think that it is important that we all share our personal adoption stories with anyone who will listen. Through posting our positive stories on the internet and letting our friends, family and acquaintances know of our wonderful experience with our children, we can make a difference. The more people hear about our joy in this choice, the more others might change their views. As more positive stories spread there might be more people who choose to adopt and more people to support programs that help these children.
Labels: Russian Adoption