Photo by Shanna Hullender Photography

"Adopting one child won't change the world; but for that child, the world will change."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Part I - The Ugly

I drove myself nuts while we were waiting to be placed. I really was an anxious wreck although I probably wouldn't have admitted it at the time. I'm so impatient. So to pass the time, I combed the Internet every night looking for anything and everything I could find about older kid adoptions and foster adoptions.

I worked hard to prepare myself for the day that a child/children joined our family. For the most part, I did a great job on that! If there was ever a surprise in this whole journey I would not hesitate one moment to say that it was NOT with the kids themselves or even with Department of Family and Children's Services (DFCS). I was most surprised by people around me whether they were family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances and sometimes complete strangers. While I read that adoption can evoke strong emotions that will sever friendships and familial ties,I never dreamt that it would be to this magnitude. Nothing I read could have prepared me for this shock of bitter reality.

There were people that I had reservation about telling our intentions to adopt from foster care because I just knew the response would be so negative. I would break the news and they would sincerely be thrilled for us. Then I would tell someone that I figured would be all for it to get a very negative reaction from them. I simply could not speculate on a person's reaction to our news. I'm pretty sharp tongued but sometimes reactions were so negative that I was speechless.

I always loved the uninformed people that really tried their hardest to be persuasive on a subject they know absolutely nothing about. When I told people the ages that we were approved for, I was asked if I was crazy, why could I not just get a baby, etc. I was told by several that they knew of person that knew of a person that adopted a child from country XYZ. You know, I really should check into getting a baby from there. You get the drift? This is when I really start to come to the conclusion that some people feel like they are getting a better "product" per se by going international. I'm not against international adoptions at all. Had it not been for international adoptions, I may never arrived to where I am now. I still have a place in my heart for international adoptions. However, I do know that a person's adoption program of choice is a very personal decision. People were so down on foster care and that fueled my desire to adopt from foster care even more. How could a person be so negative about adopting a fellow American?

My in-laws were poker faced and never said a word or asked a question when we told them of our intent to adopt from foster care. Even throughout our training and home study process, we would mention it to solicit dialog from them about the matter but they acted as though they hardly heard what we were saying.

I had one family member question why we would want to adopt. Then very loudly and ignorantly, she told me that she would never adopt if she couldn't bear a baby. She would rather not have kids at all than have to adopt. She has one grown 30 something son. Looks like her superior genetics produced her a deadbeat that doesn't work, has been involved in drugs and has done time in the BIG house.

One of our closet friends dropped us like a hot potato pretty much the moment we got "the call." She was always going to do something grand for us and the kids...of course, contingent on the adoption finalizing. Really? Contingent on finalization? So what if we didn't finalize? Seriously, what if? Would it have been so terrible to give otherwise poverty bound children a little token gift or party? No big deal because it never happened. Empty promises. Did I mention they are also neighbors and go to our church? I'm cordial but that is it. No hard feelings and I wish them the best in life. However, I do not consider ourselves "friends" anymore...I guess we really never were.

To be continued.

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