Global Issues Start With Me (A Repost)

January 4, 2008 at 8:48 pm 4 comments

The following is a post I wrote nearly a year ago.  In response to my last post regarding Daniel Drennan’s article, I remembered this post and feel that it’s worth putting out there again because it directly speaks to the moral and ethical questions of international adoption. 

I read blogs lately a lot, most of them written by someone in the adoption triad. I’m reminded by these writings several important things when it comes to adoption and has solidified many of my own stances and beliefs regarding adoption. The main things I’m reminded of are that adoption is borne of imperfection and loss. I mean, let’s stop, as a society, putting a pretty bow on it and calling it a gift. The abandonment of girls in China, the extreme poverty of peoples across the world, and in our own country, there is a great deal of pressure put on young women who are in a certain socio-economic situation to relinquish their babies. I have experienced my own great feelings of sadness, confusion and persistent emptiness all stemming from adoption. It’s real, and it goes on and on. If that weren’t so, my reunion would have been a piece of cake and I’d have this terrific relationship with my first mother, which I do not. Also, the losses surrounding adoption are chronic and everlasting. Becoming an adoptive parent has not only left me unchanged in my belief that there needs to be sweeping ethics reform and acknowledgment of those losses within the adoption community and outside of it as well. So now what? What do I do now? As a girl who was once very active in the adoption reform movement in my 20’s, part of me wants to say, “Shhhh…don’t tell anyone I’m adopting.” And if someone does find out, particularly all you lovely adoption bloggers out there, I feel like saying, “I’ll be good! I promise! I’ll do all the right things and take her back to her country every year and speak her language and cook her country’s cuisine and we’ll learn to make beautiful felt rugs”… and anything else I can think of. Just don’t hate me ’cause I’m adopting. See, that’s the adoptee in me. Don’t reject me! I’m ok! Really I am!

But I am. I’m adopting. And you know what? I’m SO SO SO SO SO SO glad I am. There it is. I’ve said it. Hmmm. No thunderbolt yet.

So, the thing is, how do I, and therefore we as a society and global community reconcile adoption? On a microcosm, how do I reconcile being adoptee and adoptive mother? How do I navigate myself so that I “reflect the change I want to see in the world”? By standing up and lending a small but distinct voice in the adoption world. I can stand up for myself by declaring that closed adoption was a tough road for all involved. My adoption didn’t at all serve my first parents. They were promised that they would be able to go on and ‘pretend like it didn’t happen and lead normal lives.’ It left them hurt and confused and with wounds and they both live lives that reflect those wounds. I can stand up in particular for my first mother who, in response to her experiences during her pregnancy and relinquishment of me, forged her own armor which she feels she must wear for the rest of her life. She is aware that it protects her from hurt, but that also it is bondage and barrier.

Most of all, the change I want and must reflect is in my parenting my daughter whom I have yet to meet. So, yes. I will cook her country’s cuisine, learn to craft felt like they do in her country of origin and buy beautiful things on our trips there. By honoring her place of birth, I honor her and her first mother and family. And while I’m doing so, it’s still not enough. Because orphanages aren’t simply filled with children whose parents have died and need homes. No, there are children around the world who are in orphanages because of poverty, hunger, politics and other countless reasons. THAT is the change that I must be a part of, and ultimately must be a part of adoption reform. Yes, it’s that global. So, simultaneously I am adopting and ultimately working toward eradicating the need for people across the world to feel as though they must relinquish their babies and children. There is so much work to do. Our foster care system is broken. The western world has too much to eat and so much of the rest of the world is starving. Where do we begin? It begins with me. In my own adoption stuff and in adopting my daughter – it starts with me. And while I can’t solve much in the way of the world’s problems, I can do what I know to be true and right. Love is a great beginning, but my daughter is going to need so much more than that and I’m so OK with that. That’s my job. That’s what every adopted child needs. She will reflect the kind of parenting that I very much needed. These are the things I can do. That’s the thing. Yeah. That’s what I wanted to say.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: adoptees, adopting, Adoption, Adoption Blog, Adoption Ethics, adoptive, birth mothers, Children, Daughters, Family, first mothers, International Adoption, Kyrgyzstan, Motherhood, Parenting.

Up For Consideration One Hot Mama!

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sandra Hanks Benoiton  |  January 4, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    It seems especially appropriate to re-post this at the beginning of this election year in the US, Tina. There is so much at stake, and in the “it begins with me” spirit, voting seems a good step to take in efforts to address the state of the world that abandons so many to terrible fates.

    Between now and November, voters have power and can work to be part of setting the agenda, and everyone who cares enough to care should be exerting as much of that power as they can over the next months.

    Candidates know that every vote counts and they are never more willing to listen than they are now.

    Reply
  • 2. imtina  |  January 4, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    It’s true and I hadn’t thought of the political arena in terms of adoption, poverty or even with Kyrgyzstan. We are in such huge, global MESS politically speaking over the war and the middle east in general, that I dare say that these issues will take a distant priority for any new administration. But, one can hope…one can hope. Personally, I’m hoping that brains, experience and estrogen are what can begin to drag us out of this fine mess.

    Reply
  • 3. Josh & Jessica  |  January 13, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    You have an extremely valuable viewpoint. Thank you so much for blogging your feelings and experiences.

    -Jess

    Reply
  • 4. Amyadoptee  |  March 23, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    I copied this quote here in the comments. It says it all. Yep it says it all.

    It left them hurt and confused and with wounds and they both live lives that reflect those wounds. I can stand up in particular for my first mother who, in response to her experiences during her pregnancy and relinquishment of me, forged her own armor which she feels she must wear for the rest of her life. She is aware that it protects her from hurt, but that also it is bondage and barrier.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


I Heart Snarky Librarians

Click this star to find out how you can support Judy/JustEnjoyHim in her fight against breast cancer:
judy
girls are strong
Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Blog Stats

  • 96,351 hits
January 2008
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Mar »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Categories

Feeds

adoption international adoption reform identity first mothers motherhood daughters


    %d bloggers like this: