Sunday, October 29, 2006

All my happiness

Posted by Picasa This is what all the fuss is about! This little face and thousands more like it. Maybe the face is a little browner or a little whiter, maybe the hair is curlier or blonder or maybe older and maybe it comes with a few matching faces - maybe the child is a boy. Adoption has been in the news alot lately thanks to "The MAterial One. " I don't think that the root of what she and her DH did are actually evil - I guess I just feel that there are questions that need to be answered in terms of flouting a number of regulations and laws. Is it always OK to use money or position to get one's heart's desire? What if it comes at the expense of another human? Do I get how ironic that is - given that my own heart's desire came at the expense of a birth mother cruelly forced to abandon her child - MY CHILD. EFP is ONLY my child because she was unable to be someone else's child. Would I wish the other alternative on my precious child - that of a lifetime of institutionalization and little if any real love? No, I do not and will not concede that she (or any child) would be better off living that way. The particular child in question (not mine, the Material One) would most certainly have faced a life of abject poverty and some amount of institutionalized care with (maybe) periodic visits from his bio relatives. Is the child better off... maybe. I would not want to be the one who has to explain all this to him in some years when he is old enough to read. When the child is old enough to understand part of his story and not the subtlety of what happened - when he finds out all the particulars of his birth, abandonment and eventual adoption. I can even imagine the day where some kids in a schoolyard torment him with the idea of his being taken from his birth country and transplanted to wherever it is he lands finally. Reading about his poor illiterate father and impoverished birth circumstances.

I think about that all the time about my own family. I mean I know all the ugly circumstances there are to know about how I was born, what this is to know of my family's uglier moments and I accept them - I worry about what EFP will say when she realizes all there is to realize about her life, how a birth mother left her at the gate of the children's welfare institute. That it was her gender and nothing more that made the decision for her parent(s) to part with this beautiful, smart, healthy absolutely amazing baby. What will she think of the circumstances of our adopting her? Will she see it as robbing her of her birthright - the land and culture with 10,000 years of history stacked against her. Where less than 100 years ago feet were still bound to make virtual prisoners of her fore mothers. Will she think of her adoption as I think of it - that I wanted to be a mother and she had none - so I brought her home to love and care for? That I really do think that being in a family is better... and that I thank whatever powers there are in the universe for bringing me THIS child? How could I not?

I don't know what the eventual outcome of all this will be. There are many voices against international adoption - many that say countries should work harder to identify and support families within countries to adopt those children that can not be cared for by birth families and that only rarely and under exceptional circumstances should children be adopted out of the county and culture. Frankly - I see an end to the racism and hegemony that permeates this planet with international adoption that is probably the best reason to continue the programs - indeed to enforce the Hague Convention and send all kids who can not be cared for by birth families into other countries... how can you possibly hate the people who made your child? When you know that it is possible that the family of your child is still there... don't you think that there would have to be some measure of peace if some part of the world's children were being loved and raised in other parts of the world - or is that the Utopian in me showing?

See the hard part is looking into that face - thinking that someday she may regret MY choice when no matter what I will never regret mine. It's tough - people tell me how lucky SHE is to have us - and I say no, WE, her parents, are the lucky ones. The world is lucky to have this amazing child growing up in it.


windycitymamma said...

What a beautiful post. You should send this in to a newspaper for an editorial. So many people are almost afraid to mention what you bring up - and it will come back to haunt them! As I am in the application stages these issues press on my mind. Thank you for sharing your journey - your daughter is beautiful!

windycitymamma said...

As's the easiest polenta recipe I know (goes great with bolognese sauce or grilled mushrooms!
Amy S.

Easy Baked Polenta
· 4 cups water
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1 cup yellow cornmeal
· 1/2 cup butter
· 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Stir together 1 cup cold water, salt and cornmeal. Using the top of a double boiler, bring 3 cups of water to a boil over direct heat. Stir in the cornmeal mixture gradually. Cook for five minutes.
Place over boiling water and cook for 4 minutes, stirring often. Pour into a greased loaf pan and chill until firm.
Remove from loaf pan and slice with a sharp knife. Place slices overlapping on a greased shallow baking dish. Melt butter and pour over polenta. Sprinkle on grated Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered at 350° for 20 minutes.
Serves 4.

babs said...

Thanks for such a thoughtful and well-worded response to all the media blitz that has gone on since 'the material one' decided to adopt from Africa. It's nice to see an alternative comment coming from someone who's obviously thought long and hard about all of these very complex and complicated issues. As a future 'mama' (we are in waiting for our referral from China) many of these issues surrounding international adoption enter into my daily dreaming of what life will be like post 'gotcha day'. I imagine that being a mum will bring me the greatest joy but I also am aware that there will be particular challenges to deal with simply because we choose to parent a daughter whose birthplace differs from our own. It is extremely helpful and reassuring to know that there are other's who are experiencing a similar situation to our own.

Elizabeth Maura said...

Hi Missy!

It's been a whirlwind getting settled here in Philly, but I'm doing well. Your daughter is so beautiful, and I love reading about your journey to motherhood. It's one I hope to take myself one day, in some form. I haven't found anything here that's comparable the S&B. I miss you guys!


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