When is it okay to adopt someone?
I ran into my friend Amie at the park today. (Hi Amy *wave*). Seeing Amie always releases a kind of waterfall effect in me. All my pent up adoption questions and turmoils come boiling to the surface and spilling out in incoherent questions. Right now she's a friends who, even if she doesn't agree with me, will really listen to my questions and help me mull them over. I appreciate that so much. We didn't get to talk much. I was with another friend, and Amie's kiddos were sick/recovering and confined to the stroller. So, I'll have to try to work out here what was rattling around in my brain when I had the possibility of a good, juicy adoption discussion waved under my nose!
So we want to adopt again in the next two years or so. We want another child (we want to have a big family), and basically, I'd like to mother a child who is in need of mothering. Doesn't that seem very simple? If only it were! I am divided between envying families that don't exhibit any evidence of an ethical dilemma when pursuing an adoption, and hating on them because they don't. Just being honest here. It seems so nice to say "this child needs a home, I'll be the mommy, do the adoption paperwork, begin happily-ever-after." Simple. Done.
I'm trying to find a situation where it really is that simple. Where the child's need for a family can justify my desire to adopt a child. That is, without adopting a child with special needs. Again, just being honest.
So the move to Australia is looming closer and I begin to think about, "if it would be possible, would I want to pursue a domestic Australian adoption?" I know that Aboriginal children are disproportionately represented in Australia's child welfare system, just like children of color in ours. I think about the absolutely messed up history of Euro-Australian oppression and injustice perpetrated on the Aboriginal people and I conclude - no, I couldn't get involved in that. Just like I don't think I could really feel confident in pursuing the adoption of a child with First Nations heritage.
But is there any situation that doesn't involve the baggage and injustice that are the after-effects of colonialism and Europeans and Americans messing things up on a global scale?
Someone asked me, in real life, if there is something going on with Small Sun that has contributed to my recent bout of questions. My first response was "no, he's fine."
After they asked, I began to think some more. Before we adopted Small Sun, I didn't know that there were adult adoptees that wished they had never been adopted. I knew "some people" were against adoption, but I didn't know who, or why. Now that those details are getting filled in, I am scared sometimes. Scared that Small Sun will grow up to say "I don't belong here, you're not my people" or worst of all "I wish you'd never adopted me." I never had that fear before. I'm struggling with it right now.
Before I thought Small Sun's adoption narrative was leak-proof. Now, I see room for all sorts of questions to spurt out. I feel pressure, both from my existing adoption, and from my potential adoption, to find the solution. The answer. The JUSTICE. The HEALING.
The other day I had that thought, those of you who have adopted will know it well, "The child we're going to adopt could be out there already! They could be conceived! They could already be born!" The first time around I thought that with anticipation and excitement. This time it was mixed with sadness and pain. What are the circumstances that will drive my child's mother to conclude that they cannot stay together? How is she doing? Is my child grieving?
I know those questions are more common for a family adopting a child internationally, rather than a newborn in America. I just can't seem to separate the difference between relinquishment (a loss) and adoption (a gain), as Nicole described it. Right now I am only seeing the loss, and it is so painful.
I'm sorry for the big jumble of thoughts and topics and emotions. I'm glad I have a place to tumble them out and sort through the pile.