Monday, November 1, 2010

Another Year on the Fine Line

An ad in my email inbox from (they have sleepwear on sale) reminds me that November is National Adoption Awareness month.  With companies all over the country advertising support for adoption support this month, I feel compelled to write. Again.
There is something weird to me about all this drive to support adoptive families.  Because in the end, I don't really think we're the ones that need support.  Not that I'm going to turn down free money, but I've been vetted and interviewed to bring children into my family. Part of the process of adopting children is proving one has the resources (financially, emotionally and community-wise) to meet their basic needs.  
There's something whacked about a whole nation of marketing focusing on supporting the families caring for children in a second family rather than on meeting the basic needs of the family that brought the child into the world.  How about National Pregnant Mama Month raising funding and awareness about the vulnerability of being a pregnant woman in this country.  Or Parenting Skills Month where companies could bring in funds to create services and support for parents struggling to do differently for their kids than was done to them. Heck, even Foster Families Month where people all over the nation could support children in transition, their first parents who are working to create a home for them, and the foster families that create a safe space for the children during that time. Oh, I have a radical one - National Adoption Eradication Month where the whole country works together to eliminate the poverty, manipulation and privilege that create the need for children to be separated from their families.
Of course, we the adoptive parents are the ones of privilege, getting our "issues" known and helping create national marketing campaigns. Perhaps we could begin to use our powers for the good of our whole community and not just the children we have removed to our homes.
This is where I walk the fine line.  Longing for the placement of a baby in our home NOW and holding the knowledge that my blessing is the result of suffering and oppression of others.

Welcome to National Adoption Awareness Month.  I hope you will share a deeper awareness of the real issues of adoption with those you know this month.  


The Bug said...

I agree with you that the wrong group is getting recognized. But what's needed isn't going to be an easy fix - education, resources, an end to apathy... So until we fix the system there will still be children who need a loving, safe home.

Sara said...

You are right, and that is what keeps me in the baby queue. What wouldn't I give for some magic pixie dust to make it all better.

I often feel discouraged at the lack of progress I see in the "normal" world's understanding of adoption, even among people that know our family pretty well. Change is going to be slow to come, my hope is that speaking up and speaking out will adjust the pace from glacial to something closer to a snail's pace.

Erin said...

What a great column. So to the point. I have 2 adopted kids -- one was a foster child and one is internationally adopted. Awareness and fixing the first families is something that SO needs to be addressed. Thank you.