Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What Would Who Think?

I'm been thinking about one of my posts from March pretty much since I hit the "publish post" button.

Here's the part that has been bugging me:
And, I find I'm a little afraid to talk about our choice, especially on-line.  Really, honestly, in my mind I believe that in a functional world, all babies belong with their first mamas.  Yet here we live in this way less than perfect world and I'm about to reap this amazing relationship because of someone else's huge loss.  What are people who really know and understand adoption going to think/say?  
Worrying or even wondering what other people are going to think about me and my decisions isn't really something I do. 

So writing and publishing it has sat wrong with me.  After long periods of thinking it over, I've decided I'm not really worried about what some of my adoption world heros think of my choices, I'm worried about what I think.  Does this choice resonate with my personal integrity?

Here are the questions that really gnaw at me, and I don't know how to answer.
- How do I ever justify being part of a system that takes a baby away from its mama?
- What am I doing to change this truly messed up world?
- What about all those lovely children in foster care who need homes?  Do I have responsibility for them in some form as a member of this broken system? Am I a wuss for choosing not to take on the challenges the foster system (not the kids, the system) presents me?
- When I adopt an infant, am I preempting the cycle of neglected child to foster care to eventual adoption?  Or am I essentially stealing someone's baby?
- Now that I know so much more about the challenges of transracial adoption, how do I justify bringing another black child into our very white home?  Am I deliberately robbing another black child of its culture? Or is our home a reasonable choice in this crazy world?
- Would the world be better off if I just produced more white kids and stayed out of the TRA world?

I'd love to hear what you think.

ps.  Let's all pause before moving on to laugh about how self-absorbed it is for me to spend over 2 months thinking about my own blog post. Whew!


7 comments:

Joshie's Mama said...

Sara- from someone who has faced her own mortality, I have to say it's about love. You are opening your heart to take in a soul and you will love that baby with everything you've got. That's what we all need, and you are pledging to do that with a little one who is not a combination of your own DNA, but someone else's. Some people have a hard time wrapping their brain around this idea, but not you. You open your heart and that baby becomes a part of you. I believe that little soul was meant to find you, no matter how s/he gets here. You open your arms to the universe and tell it, "it's time." And sometimes, the universe agrees... (I know you are caught up in the details right now, but to me the big picture shines through. It's all about love.) Just my two cents...
-Erica

Sara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara said...

Ahhhh! Thanks. I'm glad you can see how much my heart is in this. I feel all weepy just thinking about how much I love my 2 kiddos and want to meet their needs. And how much I'm going to love this new one in our lives.

Carrie said...

I know zilch about adoption, much less TRA, but my first inclination on reading your post (and the one prior) was that aren't you part of the solution? Surely stealing a baby is world's away from giving a loving home to a baby that has already been given away. Some mamas lose their babies and some babies lose their mamas and sometimes there are other mamas ready to take their place. The system may be broken but it seems to me something and someone has to be there because this problem will never go away. Historically, at any rate. At least that's my take on it :)

Tera said...

I'm with Carrie. I don't see adoption as stealing a baby. You maybe just think that because you have received so much benefit in the process of adoption. And it's easy to see how you can imagine how much Rosie's birth mother would have loved to see what an amazing girl she is - and to enjoy her like you do. But when mamas make decisions to release a baby for adoption, it's not without the full weight of what they are doing. And anyone who can be part of that process on any side is taking part in a gift - Adoptive parents can give the gift of peace of mind or a more solid future or whatever the birth mother seeks to provide herself or baby...and birth mothers give the precious gift of a child to a family anxious and ready to love one. No doubt there are a million problems with the systems in place. And a million more problems with the culture that puts so many children into "systems" at all. But in the whole scheme of things, welcoming a baby into your family is a gift that you, too, provide to the child and the birth parents.

I wish I were wiser and could say more about TRA or how your choices affect the whole world order, but the fact is that we imperfect people can only do the best with what we have. As one who agonizes over my own decisions, I can only say that I can relate to your agonizing, and wish I could give you something soothing to cut yourself a break. The fact that you agonize only shows that you care. If only we were all so lucky as to land in a family like yours.

Elizabeth said...

I so understand your dilemmas! As the parent of a trans-racially, internationally adopted child, I struggle with the same questions. What right do we, in the Western world, have to take these children out of Africa/Asia/Latin America? No parent should ever have to make the choices these parents make, to give up their most precious children in the hopes that they will live to grow up - not on the streets, not hungry, educated, loved... I find my child's milestones bittersweet because I know there is/was another mother that would have delighted in them.

What to do? Talk, share, create community. It helps to pick an ethical agency. It helps to contribute to the lives of children remaining in their families in their country of birth. I love Adoption Advocates' (our agency) tag line: Families for children. Not the other way around. I also love the director's signature line on her emails: One adoption won't change the world, but it will change the world for that child

I try to remember, with both my birth child and my adopted child, that this child is not "mine". He is his own person, he has been entrusted to me to love and raise to be the best person he can be. Easier said than done....

Best of luck,
Elizabeth

Elizabeth said...

I so understand your dilemmas! As the parent of a trans-racially, internationally adopted child, I struggle with the same questions. What right do we, in the Western world, have to take these children out of Africa/Asia/Latin America? No parent should ever have to make the choices these parents make, to give up their most precious children in the hopes that they will live to grow up - not on the streets, not hungry, educated, loved... I find my child's milestones bittersweet because I know there is/was another mother that would have delighted in them.

What to do? Talk, share, create community. It helps to pick an ethical agency. It helps to contribute to the lives of children remaining in their families in their country of birth. I love Adoption Advocates' (our agency) tag line: Families for children. Not the other way around. I also love the director's signature line on her emails: One adoption won't change the world, but it will change the world for that child

I try to remember, with both my birth child and my adopted child, that this child is not "mine". He is his own person, he has been entrusted to me to love and raise to be the best person he can be. Easier said than done....

Best of luck,
Elizabeth