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.



Filed under Truthful Musings

6 responses to “Hypocracy

  1. Thanks for writing this. I share many of the same sentiments.

  2. suz

    But I think its a bit hypocritical of us to financially assist an environment which we continually help to create.
    Last sentence says it all, no? Great writing as always.

  3. Can I get an amen, brothers and sisters?!

  4. just me

    I have. I have worked overseas in orphanages. Trying to provide education to children, feed, clothe and protect children who are living in on street corners, and working with families to help them feed themselves and advance economically. It’s very difficult work. Very difficult. Maybe you can’t give ten years of your life (as I did) but if you can send $20, I’ll take it.

    However, I have to disagree with your point regarding a market and children who live in orphanages. There are thousands of children who live in orphanages that do not have international adoption programs. They still live there because their families abandoned them. There are a multitude of reasons why, but at the end of the day, that’s what happened. In Romania there are about 10,000 children a year who are abondoned. There are orphanages in Honduras, Costa Rica, Chile, and just about every country in Africa. None have international adoption programs, and yet children continue to be raised in orphanages even though there is no market.

    In China (I know they have adoption) only 2% of the children are adopted into homes. In Russia (again, I know) the average life expenctency of a child aging out an orphanage is 26. 26!

    The world isn’t perfect, and I know the issues of adoption are complicated, as are the politics. But as someone who has worked with children living in sewer pipes and whose families have left them and never returned, I have a hard time sympathizing with someone who criticizes others who want to provide these children with something I never could: A Family.

  5. mia

    Just Me I appreciate what you are saying. If I had seen what you did this post would have probably angered me too. I do think my point was somewhat lost for you and that’s OK. Again, if I had seen what you did I would probably have a far narrower scope of vision. I don’t mean that at all as an insult. What I am saying is that my mind would be directly focused on the individual circumstance of each and every child I interacted with instead of on the bigger picture. It’s easy for me, not so easy for you. I get that.

    Just so you know though I in no way shape or form wish for ANY child to spend their lives without a family. THAT was certainly NOT my point. I am also not so naive to think that we are the sole reason behind orphanages filled to capacity in countries around the world. It is in our ever growing insatiable demand for healthy infants that I believe we oil the wheels of the adoption machine in a dangerous way. I fully realize not everyone who adopts internationally (I have many friends who have) fit into this picture but a frightening number do.

    Thank you for all that you do and for your comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s