"Always wanted to adopt"
This past Labor Day weekend, I attended a party and sat with a woman who told me, "Ever since I was a child, I always wanted to adopt."
Really? Why? [At this point I did NOT tell her my "adoption experience".]
She didn't really have an answer, so instead, she told me adoption wasn't an option any more because her husband didn't want a child with so much baggage. Interesting. I believe that was why my Aparents wanted to adopt a baby from Canada -- I was white, I was still considered a baby, and I had less baggage. [Back in the late 1960's Nova Scotia and Newfoundland were adoption hot-spots for the wealthy and infertile. For a glimpse, see: Butterbox Babies and The Ideal Maternity Home.] My American AP's wanted a baby-girl to complete their family, so they went to a place
that sold placed white babies, through adoption. It was the perfect solution to their personal problem.
I never wanted to adopt. I never really wanted children, for that matter. I liked to hold babies, and smell fresh diapers and look at the little clothes. I liked to hold the bottle as a baby fed, but I never wanted a baby to have as my own -- it was just too much work... too much responsibility. I liked to spend time with a baby, but then I also liked returning that baby to its mother, especially when that baby was no longer happy with me. People had always assumed because I was female, and very "girly" I wanted to be a mother. First question asked after I got married: "When are you going to have a baby?"
I always wanted a sister. I always wanted a new puppy. I never wanted to adopt. Why would I want to do what was done to me? Once I got pregnant, the last thing I want to do was give birth. ["You want WHAT to come out WHERE?!?!?"]
I read today yet another celebrity has made an international adoption announcement.
Katherine Heigl has revealed that she always wanted to adopt a child.
The Grey's Anatomy star - who is adopting a baby girl from Korea with husband Josh Kelley - talked to chat show host Ellen DeGeneres about her decision, saying: "We started talking about adoption even before we were engaged because it's really important to me, it's been a big part of my life and my family - my sister is Korean and my parents adopted her back in the 70s and so I just always knew that this is something I wanted to do." [From: Heigl 'always wanted to adopt', September, 11, 2009, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5gBMoNgFqar_iVbufO8EN8fwvD4_g ]
I can understand this is a woman who saw adoption as a positive experience. She has an adopted sister; she wants to follow her parents foot-steps... all that jazz makes sense when I look at it from a "keeping tradition" perspective. However, I don't understand country loyalty, when it comes to child placement practices. I don't understand why someone who always wanted to adopt does not keep that interest "local". I don't understand why so many Americans think the best thing you can do to a child is remove that child from his/her own country...like Korea or China or Russia... when there are so many suffering children "at home", in the United States!
I don't understand why so many people want to "save" orphans from another country, but don't want to help those parents and children who need help in their own backyards.
I don't understand why adoption from a foreign land is so cool... so glamorous... so praised, when mentoring and assisting others on a local level can be so much more beneficial. Is it because adoption makes headlines and mentoring programs do not?
Why do so many say "I always wanted to adopt", and so few say "I always wanted to mentor and teach?"