So I’m a researcher. I read a lot. Before making a major life choice/step I like to learn as much as I possibly can about the subject matter.
I knew (almost) everything about conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and newborns/infants that one could learn BEFORE we even started TTC. I know more about the subject (except, obviously, for personal experience) than far too many moms I know, and/or have spoken to about the subject.
By the time we’d gotten to our appointment with our RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist), I was basically prepared for any inevitability of what our diagnosis would be, and how we could handle it. By the time we decided to stop ART and pursue adoption, I was already pretty darned prepared.
This habit tends to shock people a little bit. My brain is so over-filled with random information and trivia that it gets a little daunting. Part of this process is, for me, therapeutic. Knowledge is power, right? And after too long of feeling so out of control, there’s something calming and relaxing about feeling like I’m in control of at least one thing – my knowledge about something.
Anyhow, point being – I’ve been reading a lot of blogs recently. First it started with basic information blogs, like adoption.com, the AFABC’s website, Canada Adopts!, etc. And don’t even gets me started on the MCFD’s website… I’ve practically memorized the entire thing. I quickly moved on from there, and now I’m reading a lot more personal blogs. It started with Carrie Goldman’s Portrait of an Adoption blog, from the Chicago Now website, and from there my obsession has blossomed. <sigh>
The thing that’s shocked me most, however, have been some of the adoptee/adoptee rights and birth/first/original parent blogs I’ve read. I guess I wasn’t prepared for such waves of bitterness.
Bitterness of those who felt forced into surrendering babies. Anger from those who feel that more should be done to preserve family units by addressing poverty and social disparity issues, rather than ‘solving’ the problem through placing children with adoptive families who may have more financial/social means. Adoptees who feel like the system is broken and like they are victims of an unjust process. Discomfort of those who are in awkward open adoption arrangements.
Now I’m feeling a little panicked. Like there’s no option for success here. Many of the adoptees who express their discontent seem to say that they (concurrently) love, respect, and appreciate their adoptive families; and are bitter, frustrated, angry, etc., about the fact that they were disconnected with their birth/first/original families. Seriously – this sounds like a lose-lose situation for the adoptive parents.
I’m also reading some blog posts about embracing openness when it’s difficult, like this one. The part of the post that freaks me out is this quote: “I understand that some would use any of the ample excuses at my disposal as a reason to close an adoption. Run-ins with the police, active addiction, inappropriate gifts, uncomfortable situations, angry family members, criminal activities are all reasons we hear for closing up relationships. My kids first parents live complicated, confusing, difficult lives. That I do not deny. And I love them.”
Seriously?!? Honestly, if my kids’ bio/first/birth family were constantly being arrested, actively addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, etc., there is NO WAY that (at this point could imagine that) I could feel comfortable continuing in openness – for the sake of my kids’ safety!
I understand, and respect, the importance of understanding one’s origins; getting a clear and open picture of the circumstances that led to one’s adoption, maintaining connections with safe and caring family members, etc. BUT, I honestly don’t understand the value of placing a child in that sort of environment – intentionally.
Then again, I also have to remember my “privilege.”
- I grew up in a loving, stable, healthy nuclear family unit.
- My parents are each other’s best friends – they love and LIKE each other.
- I’ve never been hungry, never experienced poverty, or racism, etc.
- I’ve always lived in (nothing fancy, but) comfortable suburban homes, in safe neighbourhoods.
- I’ve never been abused; physically, emotionally, verbally, or sexually.
- I’ve always had a loving extended family – both through relationship, and through my extended church ‘family’
The list could go on… I’m certain that some of my shock at the idea of exposing children to abusive/dangerous situations comes from the fact that these sorts of things are ones I avoid. They’re ones I would never want for my children.
We live a pretty sheltered (naïve?) life here in suburbia.
Maybe I’m being selfish for hoping that we can give our children a good, happy, non-bitter, non-jaded life here. Maybe such a thing as a truly successful adoptive process doesn’t exist. Maybe it does and I should stop reading the angry blogs. Am I being greedy for hoping to have a family? Greedy to hope that my children won’t resent me for having adopted them in the first place? Maybe I haven’t researched this enough, and I’m not getting the full picture. Maybe I’m thinking this through and researching too much – working myself into a tizzy for nothing… I don’t know anymore.