Why International Adoption?

NOTE:  These responses are dated...they were originally written in Sept 2011 when we began our Ethiopian adoption. Sadly, after 4 years in the process, we were never able to bring a child home from Ethiopia. However, since then, we WERE able to successfully adopt from China & domestically.  :) 

Uhhh...Why not?  Just kidding!  Watch this space for a he said/she said view of our adoption motivations.

She said...

     So, why adopt? And why international??  Well, here's my long-winded, rambling explanation:  
     I want a large family. I grew up with one & I love the excitement & drama. There are soooooooo many children here, alive, on this Earth that need families. Five million in Ethiopia alone! Can you even comprehend that number?  I can't!!  Obie & I want more kids & they need parents, so it seemed like the perfect fit.  Matching DNA & looks aren't what makes a family a family...LOVE IS.
    Now, why international? Well, we discussed domestic adoption & for some reason I always envisioned domestic was for childless couples that have struggled with infertility. I don't know why, that's just how it is in my brain. Plus, is there a need domestically?  [Edit: YES! There is a need domestically!] 
    Finally, the country. There are other countries out there, why pick Ethiopia? This goes waaaaaay back for me.  When I was younger I learned of the horrors that occur in Africa. It upset me so much that I pretended it just didn't exist.  I mean, how could I sleep at night, knowing what awful things were taking place in that country?  This has gotten a little spotlight from the "Kony 2012" videos on youtube & facebook.  But it's been going on for decades.  So, I thought some day, I wish I could adopt from there. I know it won't solve the whole problem, but it will make a difference for one person. But it was a dream. I didn't think it would ever happen. It's just too expensive. My husband & I were both teachers; we'd never have enough money to do it.  Then something changed... 
     My husband left teaching & began a new career. With this change came a new salary & I thought, maybe we CAN do this?  I discussed it with my husband & (amazingly) he was on board!  I am very blessed to have such an awesome husband & family that are supportive of this! And our 3 kids can't wait!! (well, okay, P is clueless...)  They talk about their little brother or sister often, & we even fantasize about twins or siblings...    
     It will be a long journey, but one that will definitely be worth it!!

He Said...

     First of all, it's important to clear up the fact that no one is "fantasizing" about twins or siblings except Becky.  In her dreams, we somehow receive a referral for quintuplet babies.  Beck had a BIG family (as outlined above), but I had one sister.  Smaller families were what I knew and I had grown to enjoy personal space and quiet.  But the more children we had, the more I grew to appreciate a large crew.  Now that we've got that out of the way, I'll try to illuminate how this whole thing went down.
     When Becky and I were both teachers, adoption never really crossed my mind.  We were happy to afford the kids we had (at that point, B and A).  Once I changed careers, however, this dormant desire for adoption in my wife came bubbling to the surface.  She had already managed to convince me to go for child #3 (our remarkable little P) and my initial hesitance for having a large family was crumbling.  For the record, I barely registered that international adoption existed in the beginning.  Beck, however, was secretly compiling information.
     You know how, when your spouse is talking about something that doesn't really apply to you, it's easy to tune out?  Here's how the first month or so went...

Becky:  I was looking up international adoptions and...(lots of information I've forgotten)
Me:  Really?  That's interesting.

Then...

Becky:  I emailed some adoption agencies, you know, just to get information.
Me:  Really?  That's interesting.

Then...

Becky:  I'm researching different agencies and countries.  I just want to know which is the best and what country we fit the requirements for.
Me:  Really?  That's interesting.

Then...

Becky:  I'm filling out a pre-application, just to see if we qualify.
Me:  Let me see the fee list.

     At this point, Beck had, unbeknownst to me, put together a fairly complete case for international adoption, from the financials to the timing.  The kicker was the videos from Ethiopia, illustrating the need of the children from that country.  So, I was onboard and we were "all systems..go!"  

     Beck actually had the right point of view all along.  I realize that we are blessed.  We have three great kids and the resources (both financial and emotional) to care for more.  Most importantly, I know that our family, from the two of us down to the Big Man (P), will embrace our new child and, for better or for worse, make them "one of us".  I'm excited to add to our family (we bought a house with an extra bedroom in anticipation) and, while I dread the plane ride overseas, I'd go tomorrow if I could.

1 comment:

  1. It's great that you go for international adoption! But regardless if you go local or international, the most important thing is your intentions to give love and care for children who are not as fortunate like many of us when we were born.

    Ferdinand Draper

    ReplyDelete