Sunday, June 24, 2007

Adoption: Same Destination, Different Trip

I have two friends who have gone through the adoption process, one is a single mother, the other a working couple. Having followed their stories to happy conclusions I am compelled to write a few words.

First of all, for anyone that thinks parenting through natural birth and parenting through adoption are similar, you are mistaken. They are two worlds far apart. I am not an expert in the process, but I can say this: When my wife and I decided to have our daughter, all we had to do was agree, and try. No one asked us to fill out an application, fly half way around the world, or prove that we had the means or qualifications to be parents. This is the great absurdity of parenting where a man and a woman, qualified or not, can produce offspring. Fall outside this mold, be it same sex couples, single moms, and adopting parents, and you now have to prove to experts or the community that you are up to the task. Unfortunately for adoption, I'm not sure there is a better process.

The stress, uncertainty, and emotional roller coaster I witnessed these parents go through was inspiring to say the least. The process took many months and both parents had to fly overseas twice for interviews and to meet the child they might adopt.

Think about this for a moment.

How would our own parenting experience be if we got to see our 'potential' children as they would be at 9 or 12 months of age and then make a choice based on some logical criteria like looks, health, history, etcetera? It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?. Parenting is a leap of faith, and our love for our children is instinctive and complete from the moment we meet them. So too it was with these parents, for once they met the child they were emotionally invested. That is, from an emotional standpoint the child they just met was "their child".

Come to think of it, maybe parenting by birth or adoption are not worlds apart: The trip is different, but the destination is the same.

So I commend them for staying the course, and I have no doubt that both they and their children will know all the happiness, frustrations, uncertainty, and fulfillment that being a family brings.

Frank

1 comment:

Rodrigo said...
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