Adoption Fashion Faux Pas

A great reminder that the story of adoption should be not focused entirely on the parents. That circumstances and the whys of adoption is something that the child gets to decide to share. Adoption already has too many stigmas attached to it – why add more?

Please Reconsider That T-Shirt sums it up nicely. A brief excerpt:

Then add the presence of one of the t-shirts, pushing him into the spotlight further and without his consent, and it screams, “THIS KID WAS AN ORPHAN!” It makes the child, even if unintentionally, the poster child for international adoption or for orphan care. Yes, the child instantly becomes an advertisement for adoption.

Beyond the issue of elevating the child as an ambassador for international adoption, these t-shirts connote far more than the actual words and graphics. Strangers and others start seeing the child as a service project. Or view the first grader as a charity case rather than a boy who likes Legos like his friends. Or perhaps others will believe the child is continually in need of saving or rescuing, given that the a-parents wear these t-shirts again and again and again. Some will fail to see the child as any other child but rather first as an orphan in need of pity.


Sudden Setback

Still rocking this cold, the result of winter having its last laugh. D has it now, too. We’re both attempting to telework while medicating ourselves silly. The worst of it seems to be the morning hours, after waking with the dry throat. Then we get to transition into the evening which is coughing fits.

Just as well that our home study tour has been pushed back by a few days. That is right – pushed back, again. This is probably the only time I will be a little grateful for it. I really do not want to be parading our social worker around my house with a mask on and trying to answer questions about our training and knowledge of adoption issues while trying not to hack up a lung. Still, even thinking the word “delay” is making me super mopey about all the obstacles this first phase has undertaken.

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Spring Fever

The spring season is upon us.

I am so eager for the rain, warmer weather, and fresh buds poking through the soil. Not so happy about the cold I caught while we were visiting family for a cultural new year celebration back in the Midwest. It kept me under the weather these last few days, but D and I still got to enjoy the pleasure of little kiddos running about with all the joy of presents and people to pay attention to them. Watching D observe the littles as they ran in circles through my mother’s house and attempted to kiss the New Year goldfish warmed my heart. His eyes just lit up. Granted, these kids are amazingly awesome children, very polite, happy, and listen pretty well to their parents. But it is still fun to imagine the heavy pitter-patter of small feet in our own home some day soon for the Persian holiday. My only regret is that I forgot to request a session of family photos for our dossier to South Africa.

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Interview or Interrogation?

Our second home study visit was over this past weekend. D and I tidied up the main floor a bit and talked over our views on adoption again as sort of a preparation to meeting with our new social worker. We were both nervous – I do not think I have wanted someone to like me this badly since I met D’s parents for the first time. I made up for my  jitters by being extra smiley and bubbly like I do, but really, in the end, I am decently sure we made a good impression. She was certainly enthusiastic and we were happy to hear that she would be our social worker for the whole duration of our adoption (that means even after placement as we send back reports to South Africa on how our family is doing).

Was it anywhere as terrifying as I thought it would be? No way. It did not feel like an interrogation to me, and the things she asked where not really that much of a surprise for me; D did mention later a couple of questions caught him off guard but they were not too hard to answer. But it was almost fun for me – talker that I am – to share myself and my hopes for a family and why I thought we were a good fit for adoption.

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The Hague Adoption Convention

As we get closer to moving into the second half of our adoption process, I want to inform people why we were so set on adopting from a Hague Convention country. Too often when you hear about international adoption, you hear the tragic stories of families being coerced to give up (not place for adoption) their children – either with promises that they’ll be able to get into contact or lies that their children are only going abroad for the education, not being formally adopted to another country.

This is not all cases of adoption, but it should not be any. I make no claims that the Hague Adoption Convention process is guaranteed to eliminate these sorts of tragedies, but it is important that more checks and balances and a stricter background check is in place to ensure that as new families are being created, other families are not being destroyed. The Convention begins with,

Intercountry adoptions shall be made in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights and to prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children and each State should take, as a matter of priority, appropriate measures to enable the child to remain in the care of his or her family of origin.

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