Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Begining the Journey

The following was submitted to us by a volunteer. She is someone who is considering adoption and is volunteering with us as one way to get to know more about adoption. This is a very honest post and these are her reflections on what she has observed and experienced so far on her journey.

Over the past couple of years, I have started to think seriously about adoption.  I'm 34 years old, married and have no children.  When I was younger, my thoughts on adoption were quite limited and I naively believed that three types of people adopted: those that couldn't have biological children, Christian missionaries and celebrities, like Mia Farrow.  I didn't give much thought to the reasons people adopted, and now that I've started to think about adoption, I find the reasons people adopt as unique and interesting as the people themselves.

I know a stay-at-home mom who had one child but wanted more.  Her doctor told her it was a miracle she was able to have the one, and a second child was just not possible.  She told me she considered going back to work, but that she lacked the passion for any specific job or field.  She was the most fulfilled raising her son (and being a mom) and she wanted to be able to continue her dream job of raising children and positively effecting their lives.  Within a few years, she had adopted four children (all siblings) and later adopted a fifth child who was also related but had been living at another orphanage!  The last time we spoke, she told me that she was living her dream.  

I also know a single woman who was tired and scared of being alone and decided to adopt.  She is rarely home due to her demanding job, and her daughter is largely being raised by a nanny, family and close friends.  Recently, her child has developed behavioral issues and a child psychologist has told her that some children "act out" for attention.  I have no doubt this woman loves her daughter, but her primary reason for adoption was to fill a void in her life.    

Similar to these two women, my interest in adoption is largely shaped by my life experiences.  I was fortunate to have a loving mom and dad who made their two children their top priority; both encouraging and disciplining us so that we could one day, as adults, make more right choices than wrong ones.  And as I entered by 30's and was confronted with difficult choices of my own -involving my marriage, my finances, my career -- it became more and more clear how many choices we all make that will deeply affect our lives.  

However, children waiting to be adopted did not have a choice in the matter.  For various reasons, they need families that will love them and nurture their potential.  I realize how fortunate I am that I did not have this obstacle in front of me when I was a child and eliminating this obstacle is something that draws me to adoption.     

One day, my husband and I would like to have children, whether they are biological or adopted. And although I did not choose my family, my hope is that if I choose to adopt, that choice will enable a child to be raised in a loving family and have all the opportunities I had growing up.

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