Thursday, March 27, 2014

Adoption is Controversial

When Hubs and I decided to adopt  internationally I had no idea how controversial it was.  Honestly, I didn't know it was controversial at all!  The further I dove in the more I learned.

There are people who feel that adopting internationally is supporting child trafficking.  Yes, it does happen. Families are sometimes told their child will get an education and have a better life if they put them up for adoption.  Because of their culture they don't understand that their children will never come back to them and that their children are basically being sold to another family on the other side of the world.

Some people argue that taking a child from their culture will harm them or scar them emotionally, that the culture will deteriorate and maybe eventually get lost.  They feel that children should have a home in the place of their birth.

As I have discovered these issues I have had to decide where I stand on them.  If I agree with them that could mean ending my adoption pursuits or sticking to domestic.  If I don't agree with them I might come across as selfish, stubborn, or naive and uneducated about the issues.  I don't want to be any of these things.  I don't want to be the bad guy. What I want to be is hope.

Hope to the child abandoned at three years old or a month old.
Hope to the child left in a pit latrine
Hope to the child who was able to go back home after her mother was too poor to care for her and left her at the orphanage, only to go back to the orphanage shortly before her mother passed away.
Hope to the mother, dying after childbirth, that someone somewhere would love her precious baby.
Those are stories about kids from ONE orphanage.  ONE.

So here is where I stand:  Every child deserves to feel loved and be safe and secure.  If they have family or extended family, help the family be able to provide for that child.  If that's not possible, find someone who can.  I am a someone who can.  I believe love and belonging outside of your culture is preferable to being institutionalized in your culture.  I believe ethical adoption is possible.  I believe that Heavenly Father wants me and my family to do this, and so we will.  And I can't wait.

Here is an article that helped me decide where I stood.  It is such a good read, and encouraging when so much of the world is telling me "don't." (Not to mention pictures and stories of those adorable kids on that government lisenced NGO orphanage website:))

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Adventure time!

It's so exciting to be on this adventure.  We are only barely starting our journey and already we have come so far and had so many ups and downs.  We are learning how difficult it really is to have an ethical adoption from Africa.  It's frustrating to know that there is so much need but so much dishonesty and corruption that it's hard to ensure you are actually helping an actual orphan.  I talked to a lady this week who found out after the fact that the little girl she had adopted was trafficked.  I think many people are attracted to adoption because they know there are needy children.  But on the other end there are people who just want to make money.  Some of these children have families and homes!  Who has the right to decided that they will have a happier life in a wealthier nation away from their family and country?  Who has the right to coerce poor parents into giving up their children?  In so many cases adoption isn't building families, it's breaking them. Many of these parents believe that their children will come home when they are grown and help the family; they don't understand what adoption means.  Obviously this is NOT what we hope to do.  We would never seek to tear apart someone else's family for our own happiness.

But we truly feel that our Heavenly Father wants us to adopt.  We know that there ARE children who need families.  So our plan has changed a little bit again.  Instead of focusing on a specific country we are watching Waiting Children lists to find a boy who will truly fit our family.  Once we finish our homestudy we can start asking more questions about them and we will go to whatever country our child is in.  Of course the system is never going to be perfect so we will do everything WE can do, and leave the rest up to our Heavenly Father.  He knows each of these children and which of them needs us.  I pray every day that he will guide our steps and help us have a good experience, grow our family, and help a child in  need.

We making good progress on our home study and have most of our paperwork collected.  I still think of little guy every day and can't wait to finally bring him home.  If you are reading this, please help it happen!  Jump on over to our fundraising site and donate!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It's real!!

We handed in our first chunk of money! WHOOHOO!  All of this still doesn't quite feel real.  I can't believe we're on our way, but there's no going back now!

Monday, March 3, 2014

This is the flyer we've made to spread around. I am giving a copy to every person at my Dad's office, my ward, my parents' ward, the neighborhood I grew up in, Robert's work, various +spots around our hometowns.  I'll put them on windows, telephone poles, windshields, mail boxes, dogs, small children.  You get the idea.  Don't be surprised if YOU get one too!

Now for an adorable story.

The other night my parents took me and Muffin out to eat since Papi is out of town for work.  There was a gumball machine in the foyer, and muffin was so excited.  Grandma said he could have one after if he ate so nice.

Well, he ate his dinner all by himself: sour cream first, then beans, then the taco shell, then the meat.  While we were gathering up to go Grandma pulled a quarter out of her purse and held it out to Muffin.  "A PENNY!!" He was so excited! My mom asked him what it was for and without hesitation he said "My piggy bank! So we can save it for finding my lost brother!!!"  Well, what are you supposed to say to that?  I guess he knows we're saving and it makes my heart happy to see how excited he is to find his brother.

Oh, and he did get a gumball after all.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dear Little Boy,

We know you are waiting for us to find you.  I think of you every hour, every day.  You have been part of our family since Heavenly Father told us to start looking for you.  Even before that I knew I wanted a little black boy to be part of our family.

We finally think we know which corner of this wide world to find you in.  I wish I could tell you " I love you.  We're coming!"  I wish I could tell your birth-mother "Thank you" for bringing you into the world for us.  I want to hug her and tell her that I will take good care of her precious boy.  I hope I find out what happened to her, why you are in an orphanage, why she had to go.

I wish I could ask her all about you too.  Where were you born? Do you look like her?  What is something important to her that I can teach you?  What were you like as a baby?  Were you a good sleeper? A snuggler?

Papi and Muffin are excited to find you too.  Muffin reminds us that we are saving money to find his "lost brother," and that's what he wants to save his pennies for too.

I try to remember that when I finally find you, you might be nervous of me.  I am a stranger, and I will be taking you away to a strange new place without all your friends and caregivers.  Even familiar sounds and smells will be left behind.  So, little boy, I will try not to be sad when you don't jump into my arms and snuggle into my neck right away.

I hope you can feel that someone is looking for you, that you will have a family again.  We're coming!!

Momma and Papi