Monday, April 8, 2013

Adoption: The Danger of Impatience

I may have said this before, but I think in a perfect world adoption wouldn't exist. It's kind of a broken answer to a broken world.

It's supposed to be a solution that is child-centric: what's best for the child? What do they need to survive and thrive?

A family. The fundamental unit of society. A support system. Safety. Structure. Opportunities. Love.

One problem with adoption that I've been thinking a lot about lately is the entitlement adoptive parents can feel about adopting. For example, I've done this, this, and this... so I deserve a child. And someone should give me a child. And I don't want to jump through any more hoops or have to wait any longer to get a child.

That is not child-centric at all.

I think ethically, if you want to adopt a child... you have to also accept that you may not adopt, or it probably won't be on your timeline. Being open and willing to adopt and going through the steps is fine. I'm sure God blesses all those who have opened their hearts to adoption, whether they adopt or not. But when things don't happen immediately or exactly how you planned, demanding the Universe that you get a child is refocusing the attention back on yourself, not the child. And I think that's when you miss the point.

What if theoretically there were no children to adopt? But those who wanted to adopt demanded that they get a child? It's simple economics - supply and demand. If the demand is there, somehow babies will appear. Somebody will supply them. There are so many cases of kidnapping to supply children to orphanages in third world countries. Prostitution rings that produce children to sell to "adoptive parents" in America and elsewhere. And even more subtle and close to home, there is coercion for young, unwed mothers to place their babies for adoption with bribery and misinformation about what "rights" they will have in an "open adoption." Because infertile couples get impatient and they want what they feel is rightfully theirs.

As I wait to adopt, I remind myself that it's not about me. Yes, we did this, that, and the other thing to be approved to adopt and now we're available and waiting, but that does not mean we have the right now to demand the Universe to provide us with a child.

There is danger in getting impatient. The moment impatience sets in is the moment I've turned from focusing on what I might be able to do for a child to focusing on what a child could do for me. That's when it becomes selfish.

I remind myself that I'm actually waiting for someone else's life to fall apart in order for my family to come together. That's heartbreaking, devastating. I've seen it with my own eyes. I wish life wasn't so hard and decisions like whether or not to place your baby for adoption didn't need to exist. My desire for a child does not trump the suffering of another person.

That is worth a little patience.

Enjoying the here and now.

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