I went to church with a friend of mine this weekend. I’m not a huge fan of organized religion so I don’t personally go regularly but wanted to accompany my friend. My three year old daughter didn’t care for the sermon so I ended up having to take her out into the hallway for a while.
They had a number of brochures and fliers on different topics all over the place but of course my adoptee eye caught the ones with the word ORPHAN at the top. There were at least ten different brochures for various organizations who work specifically with overseas orphanages. All good I’m sure but there were a couple of things that really bugged me.
First off the photos of the children on these brochures were all of OLDER children who were hungry, dirty, crying etc… and as I am standing there I can’t help but think that THESE children don’t have a chance in hell (pun intended) of getting adopted. They will stay in that orphanage until they are barely old enough to fend for themselves.
So it’s a really great thing to make their environment as good as we can via our checkbooks. The problem I have is that we will write a 20, 50 or 100 dollar check to buy bibles (that’s a rant for another day) and gruel and medicine and maybe some paint so we can sleep better at night but we wouldn’t DREAM of donating tens of thousands of dollars to really make a difference. We would not fly to Uganda or China or Guatemala and donate our time and energy into creating a better environment for the children pictured on the brochures. A small number do and that I find amazing and beautiful but for most of us it wouldn’t even cross our minds.
Spend tens of thousands of dollars, mortgage our homes if necessary, fly halfway around the world? No way. Unless of course we are spending that money to bring home a healthy baby. The baby that they took to the back of the room during picture day. The baby that might not even BE in that orphanage if there weren’t a market for them. We can’t ignore this possibility anymore. Too many stories are coming to our attention about the slimy practices our baby hungry society has created. There are black markets and underhanded agencies EVERYWHERE now and unless those adopting DEMAND different they will continue to flourish. Sadly though many people go overseas to adopt because they want a clean slate baby and are willing to pay big bucks for that. Don’t believe me? Read some of the posts on adoption forums. It’s disgusting.
And what of families that are torn apart because of poverty? I know this ideal is riddled with impossibilities but just imagine the outcome if $40,000 were given to a poor family who felt they had no possible way of caring for their infant? How would that change their reality? The reality of that child? I know I’m dreaming big there but all great things in this world began as dreams.
So that’s what really bugged me about those brochures. It supports the idea that we can ease our consciences and make a huge difference in the life of a child via our checkbook-which we can. But I think its a bit hypocritical of us to financially assist an environment which we continually help to create.