Thursday, November 8, 2012

Adoption Mini-Rants

I've been thinking about three issues lately:

1:  "I don't care if the baby is a boy or a girl as long as it's healthy."    This line is said on TV shows and in real life.   But what if your baby isn't "healthy"?   Then what?    It makes me think of something my daughter's teacher says when she gives each child a single Skittle as a reward in class.   The kids sometimes get upset about the color of Skittle they get, but the teacher reminds them, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit."

Adoption---there are NO guarantees.    

I'm not saying that having a child with special needs isn't a BIG deal.   It is.  Many of my friends are parenting children with physical and mental disabilities, attachment issues, and so on.   

My rant is on the initial attitude of adoptive parents.   I can't wait to adopt....but only if the baby is White.   I can't wait to adopt....but only if the baby is light-brown, not dark-brown.  I can't wait to adopt a GIRL.    I can't wait to adopt a healthy baby.

Boo.    I hate those checklists agencies make us fill out regarding what we will and will not accept in an adoption situation.  They set us up for demanding a certain "type" of child.

2:  Adoption-themed shows and films.   I watch almost all of them:  Teen Mom, Teen Mom 2, I'm Having Their Baby.   I love Juno and October Baby despite their many faults.

I've been asked what I think of those shows.  

I'm glad adoption is being talked about more.  I'm glad adoption isn't the big secret it used to be.  I'm glad these shows demonstrate how HARD adoption is on members of the adoption triad.

I guess with reality TV, you're gonna get drama.  It's going to be sensationalized and exaggerated.  


3:    "You grew in my heart, not in my tummy."   Ok, I know this isn't going to be popular.  But I hate that adoption poem-of-sorts.      It's super cheesy, it's overused, and it's frankly a little to hearts-and-butterflies for me.   

My friend, an adoptive mother, shared this with me:

Someone said to her:  "God made your child for you."

She said:  "If God made my child for me, He would have put her in my belly.   He didn't.  She was made for her biological parents.  They chose not to parent her."

That's HARD to hear as an adoptive parent, but I agree with her!   God knew my children would come to be mine, but that doesn't mean He's not deeply saddened by the fact that my children are separated from their biological parents AND the loss that creates. 

What bothers you most about adoption? Or what is grating your nerves at this moment? What do you do to combat them?


  1. They top of my current pet peeve is "they are so lucky." Nope, losing everything you love isn't lucky. I'm working on a blog post about this topic, but haven't posted because I'm afraid I'll offend too many people. Need to tone it down in the rewrite process.

  2. It dislike hearing people talk about adoption in a non-permanent way. Like openness will make a birthmom want the baby back. Like an adoptive family should be in a constant state of panic that their family would be disrupted. Even if she does want the baby back, in the large majority of domestic adoption cases that legally can't happen, especially post finalization.

    I'm a reunited adult adoptee and after giving the 5 second intro to that situation, a guy said, "Oh, so once you get to be a certain age, they give you back to your real parents?" As if I would have no sense of permanence in or attachment to my adoptive family of 20+ years. Or that I, as an adult, am just willingly handed around to all these different families at someone else's whim.

  3. How is this helpful? So what, let's all complain about the things that irritate us? From a reader's perspective, you come across as very whiny. Fortunately, it's your blog and you're free to write about whatever you feel like. Just a thought, but "rants" are all too common around here. You are far too good a writer and have too many good things to share.

  4. People say things trying to be optimistic and happy. Many don't want to touch on the real emotions, which is why they say things like "God made your child for you." You have to accept it and move on, because rhymes and sayings aren't what adoption is all about, and every adoptive parent is aware of that.

    With that being said, I feel that God did intend for me to parent my son through adoption, when his parents weren't able to due to their situation. There's no doubt in mind that he was intended to come into our home, perhaps maybe it was AFTER the bad decisions were made....I don't know.

    Agencies have those criteria lists, because children have been given back for not meeting expectations. Not every person can love unconditionally, especially when they have previous biological children. As much as we would like "you get what you get," that can't happen with children. It's almost naive, or maybe I'm just cynical from working as an emergency room nurse and had CPS adoptive parents leave a child 1 week from their consummation date? or because we're adopting through CPS and see children left behind? or it's just a different perspective?

    I hope things work out for you, Rachel. We're looking forward to your book.

    1. I agree. Even with pregnancy/bio children, there are annoying sayings/comments. I've heard "my, your hands are full" when I'm out with my 3 kids, "wow, you're so big, when are you due" along with many personal questions that are not really for public knowledge. I've also asked questions that are deemed "irritating" in the adoption community. AND my older sister was adopted at 6 months at which time my parents were unknowingly pregnant after trying for years. Apparently that comment about "Now you'll get pregnant" is unacceptable as well (but true for my family). So I see where you are coming from but at the same time people usually mean well and are trying to be nice. Just as with pregnancy/bio children, people have these little sayings that we all roll our eyes with and move on. Of course rude comments are in a different category!

      As far as the healthy child comment, I don't think anyone prays FOR an unhealthy child. Of course we want our children to be as successful and happy as possible and that's no different with adoption. You can't fault adoptive parents for sometimes feeling the same way. There are other things that go into that choice. Are you financially able to care for a child with medical issues? Do you have other children an feel tht you couldn't fairly give love and attention to all? Again sometimes in bio/adopted children, medical or other issues arise and we parent to the best of our abilities. I just think we can't box everyone up into the same standards. Some parents are able to parent an older child with attachment issues, others may have a heart to adopt a child with medical issues, some may not be the best fit for certain situations.

      I enjoy your blog and maybe this just hit a note because I've seen these adoption question rants on several adoption blogs. I consider myself a socially sensitive, well meaning person and to think that my conversations are being hyper-analyzed is disheartening.

  5. THANK-YOU for posting the "God made this child for you" comment. I struggle greatly with this issue as the mama to an (almost!) adopted 3 year old foster son and have blogged about a similar comment myself:

    It was a breath of fresh air to hear an adoptive mom disagree with that comment as it is entirely too commonplace and rarely disagreed with.

  6. I feel there is nothing wrong if you want a child of your same race and I see no problem with adoption agencies that ask you to give criteria.

    As the reader above commented not every one can care for a child with medical disabilities or want to have to tell every stranger they meet that there child is adopted because they are of a different race.

    Some people can have the emotions and heart to adopt children with medical disabilities or adopt a child of a different race and deal with all the questions that come with it but some of us can not. Why adopt in these situations if your heart and emotions are not there. I feel an adoptive parent needs to give 100% to the child and if you cannot they should not adopt in these situations.

    Please do not put down people that do not think like you. I really enjoy your blog so please do not feel offended, but I feel adoptive parents that want a healthy child that is of the same race should not be looked down upon as I hope people do not look down on you for only adopting brown babies.


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