Well the response to Julie’s note was overwhelming wasn’t it? I expected some reaction, that’s why I posted it. I did not expect that level of reaction. Any time we find ourselves actually talking about the issues it’s a good thing. What has me so down these past few days is realizing what an uphill battle we face when it comes to adoption reform. How do we go about convincing those who don’t even see a problem that one DOES exist? I have been doing this adoption reform stuff in my own small way for years now and since I am a glass half full kind of person I sustain my momentum by seeing how things could be. Even though the number of commentors who “got it” far outweighed those who did not I still found myself fairly depressed by reflecting on the level of denial that still remains in this world when it comes to adoption.
I always think that some day someone (maybe even me) will say something so profound that society as a whole couldn’t help but get it. Now THAT is optimistic thinking and pretty naive if I do say so myself. In this country in particular we have a level of entitlement that far exceeded the concept of the American Dream years ago. Whenever you combine feelings of entitlement with strong emotional desire it is a recipe for disaster. Such is the case with adoption. There seems to be an epidemic of entitlement when it comes to having babies. I would love to believe that the majority of prospective adoptive parents FIRST objective in the goal to adopt is to PROVIDE A STABLE AND LOVING HOME TO A CHILD IN NEED. Please think about that statement before blowing up. I said your FIRST objective.
Of course you WANT a baby. I won’t even pretend I get how devastating it must be to desperately desire a family of one’s own and not be able to produce that dream. I have four children. I couldn’t possibly understand. I am empathetic though, as empathetic as I can be. I can hear it in your voices. I can see the sense of loss in your eyes and it breaks my heart. Here is the problem: somewhere along the line we shifted from desiring that dream to feeling entitled to it. The result was a horrifying and extremely damaging case of SUPPLY AND DEMAND. There just aren’t enough babies to supply the demand. Whenever you have a case of supply and demand you have those willing to set aside moral integrity to profit off of the backs of those emotionally fragile people that find themselves without. Anyone feeling vulnerable emotionally due to their “lack of” will be easily manipulated into ignoring the signs that something just isn’t quite right. They can be easily convinced that their actions are honorable if the end result fills their emotional needs.
There are babies that need loving homes. I would venture to say there are tons of babies that need loving homes. There just doesn’t happen to be as many BABIES needing homes as there are infertile couples wanting babies. So we create the supply by any means necessary, trying to meet the demand. This is why adoption has ceased being about providing loving homes for children in need and moved dangerously into the concept of filling the need of infertility which appears to be an ever expanding market.
Adoptees, how often do we see adoptive parents visit our blogs and leave nasty comments who have adopted children in need? Never. Foster parents who spend a lifetime opening their homes to children in need? Never. We have a friend who is the foster parent for a beautiful little girl, who also happens to be a crack baby. Although she was a newborn there wasn’t a huge rush of childless couples wanting to offer HER a stable and loving home. WHY NOT? Why not indeed. Anyone who would refute my theory of supply and demand only need answer this question for me to sway my thinking.
So what does this post have to do with my reply to the comments about Julie’s note? Well I’ll tell you. The idea of whether or not a newborn can or cannot have these feelings would probably never be agreed upon. After hearing Julies reply I happen to completely understand the concept. But that isn’t really the point here. The POINT is the world is lucky enough to have a vast number of adult adoptees screaming from the top of their lungs, TELLING the world how that newborn feels but it is falling on deaf ears. How can we prove it? We don’t need to because we ARE your newborns.
Adoption has for so long been sold to us as the concept of providing homes for children in need that we never noticed the transition from a very real need to big business-supply and demand. As an adoptee I am completely dismayed that society has the luxury of us, the REAL adoption professionals, trying to guide them straight to the answers but few are listening. Adoptees jump up and down when someone bothers to do scientific studies because we know that we are not taken seriously, but since our goal is not a pat on the back we don’t care HOW you are convinced. We know that you are far more likely to listen to a schooled professional, so we cheer the studies on. But how sad for the world. What an utter waste of time, resources and money. How often do parents say “gee, I wish I could understand what my baby was saying so I could be a good parent and provide them with what they need”! Society does in fact have the ability to understand. You’re just not listening. You’re not listening because it’s not the message you want to hear.
I almost hit delete on my blog this weekend. That is until one adoptive mother (Christine) came and said this:
I truly view blogs like this as a gift – a way for me to see into a world that I otherwise have no access to.
Certainly some of the messages are difficult for me to read, but if I don’t try, with an open heart and mind, to understand what adoptees (and birth mothers for that matter) think and feel, I’m doing a huge injustice to my son.
When we adopted, I did not expect parenting to be easy, but I was also not conscious of what adoptees and birth mothers experience. We needs blogs like this. I need blogs like this to be the best possible parent to my child – and he deserves no less.
So the blog stays and I keep going because our children deserve nothing less. They are worth the effort and any frustration I may experience when it feels like my voice is falling on deaf and entitled ears.