I’ve been wondering lately… In many cases adoptive parents will spend tens of thousands of dollars to adopt a child from a foreign country. Now don’t get me wrong I believe that every single child deserves a home where they can be loved and cared for. What I don’t get is why people will go to such effort to (basically) purchase their child from a foreign government.
If you are a regular reader of this blog then you know that our family is in the final throes of completing the adoption of “our” five year old son and seven year old daughter. They are biological brother and sister. I won’t go into the sordid story as too how this all happened. If you don’t know and want to know you can look back through previous posts.
Here’s one thing I learned while attending our Parenting Class at the local Department of Social Services. Most people want to adopt an infant child who is perfect in every way (not even the hint of a single defect). No physical, psychological or emotional problems. Well guess what, not even birth parents are guaranteed that! So why is it that some perspective adoptive parents have this fantasy of a “perfect” infant child? I know, I know, it’s only human nature to want only the best for your child and family. Our family are no different in that regard. With the pregnancy of each of our birth children we dreamt and prayed for a healthy baby. We have been blessed that the Creator’s plan for us was to honor our prayers.
Perhaps in a later Blog post I will address why it is that the vast majority of people view the perfect infant child as one who has no physical defects and by all scientific terms falls into the proper percentile of the various fields of measurement.
But to get back on topic; We know first hand how difficult it can be to adopt a child from The State. God knows it can be exasperating, pre=””>aggrevating, annoying and will just plain ol tick you off at times. However, it is important to keep the end goal in mind. We are not doing this for our benefit! I think that is where the biggest difference lyes. Some perspective adoptive parents plan to adopt a child for what the child can do for them. I think that attitude or expectation perverts the relationship from the git-go. Instead of wanting to provide a nurturing, loving environment for a child in need they want a child for what the child can fulfill for them!! That is a pretty heavy load to place on a child who, for all intense and purposes, has already had too much trauma in their little life.
One of the exercises we (as a group) had to do during our Parenting Class was; each couple or individual was given a card. On this card was the name of a child or siblings, which included their first name and a brief (true) history of the environment they came from. Also listed were any “issues” the child/children had demonstrated (playing with matches, acting out sexually, aggressive behavior, et .). Then we went around the table and stated why or why not we would adopt this particular child. How would we handle the various “issues” each child had. I was saddened and shocked to find that about 90 percent of the people said they would not adopt a child who had “issues”. Now keep in mind that each of these people had previously said they wanted to adopt because they love children and want to give them a loving and nurturing home. LIARS! I mean, excuse me!? You mean you want a perfect little child who can fulfill some void you have and one who can fulfill your fantasy of your perfect family with the white picket fence and all. You disgust me.
So those can be some of the horrors of Adopting Local. Now for International Adoptions. We have not done this but have close friends who have. They adopted three children from Russia. All three children were under the age of eight at the time of adoption. They ended up with a “buy two and get the third free” package. They spent over forty thousand dollars (cash money). Then of course they had to bring with them anything the child would need. They get the child (basically) naked. This particular International Adoption story began as a wonderful story book tale. However, two of the three children eventually ended up in trouble with the law while the third still struggles to keep it all together.
I have had some people tell me that God placed on their heart to adopt internationally. Really? Didn’t God know that there are hundreds or perhaps thousands of needy children right in your own local community? I wonder why God didn’t place you in that foreign country near those children. Is it at least possible that YOU saw the need for foreign orphans THEN PRAYED FOR GOD TO BLESS WHAT YOU WANT?! Of course, I can not see into any person’s heart.
Here are the statistics from the INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION – Office of Children’s Issues, United States Department of State.
2000 – 18,477
2001 – 19,224
2002 – 21,378
2003 – 21,516
2004 – 22,884
2005 – 22,739
2006 – 20,679
2007 – 19,613
2008 – 17,488
Total 191,988 INTERNATIONALLY ADOPTED CHILDREN
I also found that “cash out of pocket” International Adoption can range from $11,325.00 – $20,679.00. So using my mad math skills if I average those two sums and then multiply that by the number of adoptions for the years 2000 through 2008 I come up with THREE BILLION, SEVENTY-TWO MILLION, THREE HUNDRED FIFTY-ONE THOUSAND, NINE HUNDRED NINETY-SIX DOLLARS ($3,072,351,996)! Wow that’s one heck-of-a-lot of money spent to help only 191,998 children.
Can you imagine (with me) what the International Community would look like if more than three billion dollars had been spent on improving the lives of ALL the children in those countries? How life altering would that be if orphaned children in foreign countries were the benefactors of US dollars? Instead of seeing US as people who are taking a child here and there, US could be seen as building entire communities where orphaned children could (possibly) receive the best care imaginable. What would the future of ALL of those children look like?
Now continue to dream with me. What would our own local communities look like of those parents who adopted Internationally had adopted the unwanted, unloved, abused and neglected children out of their very own “back yards?” I dare say the world would look at US in a very different light. I further dare to say that the Creator of those little lives would look on (not only US) but each of us in a very different light.
Once again, I can not see into the human heart to determine it’s intent. Whether the intent is to fulfill a personal (aka prideful) dream or to sacrifice their life for that of one who can not defend or provide for themself. Adoption should be a selfless, sacrificial life style. If you are not willing to sacrifice YOUR LIFE at least send a check to an orphanage in your local area.
There’s got to be more I can do for these children.