Every once in a while, I will pepper Adam will questions that I know will be on our adoption application or that I anticipate a social worker will ask during a home visit. Sometimes it feels a little like we're prepping for the SATs at our house. But I really want to be prepared and feel like we're on the same page with this whole adoption thing.
One day, I asked him, "Why are we adopting?"
And he said, "Because it's the right thing to do."
And I said, "Okay, but why is it right for us?"
And he said, "Because it's right for everyone."
And I wholeheartedly disagree with him. While I think every child deserves to be adopted into a loving family, I do not believe that every adult is fit to adopt a child. Just like I don't believe that every adult deserves the privilege to bring a biological child into the world.
I get so frustrated because people want to make this huge distinction between adopted kids and biological kids. We convince ourselves that, somehow, if we just have biological kids, everything will be perfect. That everyone will be safe and healthy. It's just like when I would tell people that Adam was getting deployed. They would automatically assume that he was going to die. How can we lull ourselves into this false sense of safety that if we just DO THIS then it will all be okay? How stupid are we to think that we have any control in this at all???
Insert Pat Roberston.
It's so funny, because I feel like I have the Momma Bear instinct, even though I'm not a Momma yet. And I wanted to claw this man's eyes out.
I just wanna look at what the Bible says about adoption. I mean, okay, maybe we can overlook the big picture that, as believers, we are adopted as children of God. And maybe we can even overlook that Moses and Esther were adopted. But you cannot deny what the Bible says specifically about adopting human children into your family.
James 1:27: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Hmmm....notice it doesn't say, "Go spewing your ignorant hate out into the world." It says, "Take care of widows and orphans." And, I'm sorry, Pat Roberston, but I'm not so sure that sending money to an organization to "care for orphans" is cutting the mustard.
When I think about "care for orphans," I think about tucking them into bed at night and giving them a birthday party and knowing that they will always have shoes to wear and be able to go to the dentist. That they will always have food to eat. That they will have a Mom and a Dad who love them more than anything. That we made huge sacrifices and worked our tails off to be able to bring them home. Because they belong in our family.
Mr. Roberston goes on to talk about how kids from orphanages are almost assured to have been sexually abused and brain damaged. That they might grow up to be "weird."
My good friend Nina pointed out that "We all know biological, American, Christian, white children never grow up to be 'weird."
Did you know that, statistically, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 5 boys have been sexually abused? I'd be willing to bet that those statistics are actually higher and that these are just the instances that have been reported. This is not a problem that is isolated to orphanages. None of the kids at Penn State were in an orphanage.
Having biological kids in the United States is not a guarantee that your child will not have brain damage. Did you know that 1 in 88 kids in the United States will be diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum? A feature of ASD is "atypical brain development." Wait, Mr. Roberston, are these kids "brain damaged?" Hmm...so I guess that isn't isolated to orphanages either.
As for the whole "weird" thing, I think I've resigned myself to the fact that Adam and I's kids (biological or adopted) are gonna be a little weird. I think I would rather them be a little weird but be good, loving human beings than to fit into the mold that our world has set for people.
And, pleasepleaseplease do not base your opinions on adoption about one "friend" that you knew or a news story that you saw or a rumor that you heard. Open your mind to consider that every family is different and what works for our family certainly might not work for your family.
'Cause, you know, our family is a little weird.