Friday, April 04, 2008

Sides

I can't get this taking sides stuff out of my head. There really is pressure to take sides in our society...Barack or Hillary, pull troops out or keep them there, working mother vs. stay at home mother, soda or pop. Everyone wants there to be a right and a wrong. Good and evil. Black and white. But really, when we commit to honesty there isn't is there? Despite the comfort in cuddling up with one side or another and having your opinion all rolled up in a warm fuzzy blanket and the other guy being completely wrong...it is merely an illusion. Life is complicated, humans are flawed and amazing at the same time, we have been given free will to do good and to do no-good.

Recently, I have read some pieces by people who have weighed in on some arguments both for and against adoption. Personally, I usually find that when complicated issues are boiled down to a simply pro or con...it usually does the issue no justice at all and you end up with something like a sitcom sound bite.

My children, though I know very little about the specifics of their early months in this life did not have it easy. Through no fault of their own they lost birth families, birth culture and endured institutional care. Then they were placed in the arms of some giddy would be parents who traveled across the world to "take them home." Did white privilege play a role in the transaction? Yes, I have to answer I believe it did. Had I been born a poor black woman in the American projects without education or opportunity would I be able to fly across the world and adopt an internationally born child? I cannot say absolutely not, (because I have had the opportunity to know some pretty amazing minority people who have obtained middle class status and high education despite lack of easy opportunity) but statistics would tell me the chances would be slim at best.

Will I apologize or self denigrate to society and my children for my place and my actions that lead me to want to have children in my life? No, I will not. Even though I sought out and actively pursued both of my children for selfish reasons, I believe in my heart that they are better off being raised by loving parents who are wholly committed to seeing they they are raised with warmth and kindness rather than without parents and family at all. Does it mean that they will not or have not grieved for what they have lost? Absolutely not. Sometimes that which does not kill us does indeed make us stronger, kinder and more able to love. It is a choice, to see life in shades of gray trying not to judge others for their misgivings and mistakes. It is a choice to take life and say thank you for small positive things each day. Do not misinterpret this to mean that that which pains us should be forgotten, or suppressed or swept under a proverbial carpet for the sake of a smiling facade. But, when you feel deeply loss and pain, remain with it and then come through it with gratitude you have overcome. You become free to be a being of love.

I would say that on the outside I have probably been a champion, dare I say poster child, for adoption. I have counseled people when they have come to me asking about adoption, I am careful to add it cannot under any circumstance be to physically or spiritually "save" one child, for that will end badly. But it is human nature to want for others what has filled your life with love and hope and I am guilty of perhaps some over zealous conversations in the throws of excited adoptive talk. I'm thinking about these sides people are talking about and perhaps it will make more a tad more careful in my choice of words and more reflective about the realities of what can and does happen in adoption. It cannot be disputed that it would ultimately be better for children if parents were counseled more on the 100's of what ifs..and to get down and dirty...it ain't all ladybugs and red threads and bouncing baby girls in lace headbands at the end of the day.

Ultimately, as my children grow I will continue to defend my choices if need be. I have no
regrets about their adoptions. Do I feel deeply for those who lost when I gained? Yes, I do. I did my best with what information I had at the time. In the same breath I will add I consider it my responsibility to listen to their feelings and wishes as they grow. It is my duty to be open about their situations with them in the home. It is my duty to find professional help, should they at any time need or want it. It is for me to love them but remember that they are not mine, nor would any children who had come through me had that been the case. Their decisions and opinions and actions are their own. They have all the power they need.

I am not naive when it comes to the the gross realities of corrupt individuals on all sides of all oceans. Nor am I naive to the decisions that governments think they need make to protect masses. I advocate discussion that leads to action where children do not lose birth parents due to poverty or lack of education or by the hands of those without parents and children's best interest at heart. But then the day is done, and choices by adults lead to children without homes I think I will always believe that a child will fare best with the love of a permanent family.

5 comments:

Ruby Cate said...

Wonderful post... read it twice & loved it even more the second time. I just recently finished reading both "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle and "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne. Both books were amazing reads, the first more so than the second, but your thoughts on the world needing a 'right & wrong', a 'black & white' and being unable or unwilling to see the various shades of Grey just made me immediately think of both these books. After reading the first, I was inspired to read the second. After the second, even though bits of the Secret contradicted some of Tolle's book, I really felt like a new person after having read both of them & taking all the best each had to offer. I wake up every day thankful before I take so much as my first step out of bed and even when the world around me seems angry and/or pessimistic, I am smiling & enjoy every second of every minute simply because I now understand something so phenomenal and am just blessed to live it every day. I am not sure how much of a reader you are, but perhaps you'd enjoy them too? Just wanted to share.

-Amy & Ruby Cate

Beverly said...

Very well said. I think with all this arguing the child is still being left out. Children need homes and yes parents need to be educated and some just choose to not believe the bad or the possibilities but children should not spend their lives in foster care or orphanages without permanent parents.

Beverly

Johnny said...

Ya, many good points.

Juliette said...

Very good post. I felt you were in my head (and heart) a bunch of time but express my views so much better than I could.
Have a great weekend with your lovely girls!

lisa said...

It's nice to balance in any really tough discussion, thank you.