Another photo that has nothing to do with this post. I mean, sort of it does, but not technically.
Of the many reasons I decided to start blogging for Babble, perhaps the one that is most important to me, is that I can talk about adoption with a wider audience. Or to a wider audience, depending on whether my posts have comments or not. Today I'd like to talk about something with you. Of all the things I've written about, this post on Babble is the one post I hope a lot of people read, both adoptive and non-adoptive parents, or even non-parents. I posted about how I don't believe that our daughters' adoptions were meant to be, and why I don't think so, and even more importantly, why it's important that I make sure that's not the message they are getting from Jarod and me. I don't feel like that's a message that is being heard by most people, that they get the warm, snuggly version of adoption or the "rescuing an orphan" version of adoption, but they are not privy to the hard truths, to how complex the situation can become. I don't want to magnify the struggles of my family or my children, because we certainly have our fair share of peace and joy, but at the same time, I want to tell the truth. About our family, and the real reason it came to be. About the lack of justice in our world. About just how much hurt is involved when a child cannot remain with his or her family, even if both parents and child desire that.
I know that there are stories of children who were mistreated by their families, and should not have stayed with them as long as they did or at all. I think that when we tell the story of "meant to be," the problem is that it doesn't address why the children had to go through all that pain and heartbreak to make it into a loving family. I also think there are gaps in the theory of "meant to be" even if I were to say that I believe that once a child is in need of adoption, they are guided into the family they are meant to be in as a second choice. I am fine with this if the child feels that way personally about their story, but I think that if we say it in general, it fails to answer the question of why, then, some children are adopted into homes that are abusive, sometimes even to the point of death. It doesn't answer why some parents choose to disrupt their adoptions.
So what I'd like to know is how you feel about adoption, and the idea of destiny or even God's will if you are a person of faith. If you are an adoptive parent and do believe that your child was meant to be in your home from the beginning, how do you reconcile yourself to the stories that don't turn out so well? How do you dialog with your children about this so that if they someday feel conflicted about their adoption story, they know that you support them regardless of whether they come to believe the same thing you do?
I don't often introduce topics that could be cause for disagreement, so here's a reminder to keep it respectful and remember that each of us is a unique snowflake of an individual who is entitled to his or her feelings.
Now tell me what you think, please.