Hopefully the third time's a charm
So now on to the main point. I've collected my thoughts, and hopefully I can make sense of what I was talking about here and here. Yes, this subject is important to me, but I realize it may not be to others. If you do read this, thanks for humoring me.
To understand what's been bugging me, you have to understand my my starting point with the role of religion in adoption - which is that there should be no role at all. Although I am Catholic, I don't view adoption as a way to make more Catholics. Although my children have been raised in the Catholic faith because it's the only one I know, they have my full support to seek and find their own paths. And as Buddhism is the faith they are likely to have known had they stayed in Korea, it holds a special place in my heart and our home.
I don't see adoption as an act of charity. I believe in the separation of church and adoption just as I believe in the separation of church and state and school. In my opinion, faith is, and should remain, a private matter.
To me, this is all very straightforward, and very easy. I'm therefore disturbed by how many view adoption through the lens of religion and charity. Like the devout agency director I know who at an agency event thanked adoptive parents for their love for the "poor, unfortunate children" - with the children there. Or the new adoptive mother of a little Korean boy I read recently who, with disdain, described the statues of Buddha she saw on her trip to Korea as "idols of worship." Or the religious and lay who view surrendering children as the road to redemption for unmarried mothers.
I also get why those who have been hurt by religious institutions would have no respect for them. Heck, there are many times I feel the same way about my own church. Plus, I think we change institutions for the better by watching them and speaking out when they go beyond their charters. I don't believe blindly, and I don't want others to do that either. My search, my road has taken me through questioning to rejection and back again to embracing the theology of my faith - but never will I embrace the actions of my church without question.
Sometimes, though, criticism crosses the line to ridicule, which falls into a different category for me - that of religious intolerance. Although what set me off this week may have only been intended to be a bit of humor, I received it differently. And it has made me think.
It's made me think about whether or not someone of my faith is really welcome in the adoption reform community. It also made me wonder if bringing religion into discussions of adoption reform furthers the cause or helps change the offending institutions. I don't know, but these are questions I'll be thinking about a little more in the future. Nothing about my point of view of adoption reform changes, though, so please don't go away thinking that I feel any differently about what has to change. I need to find a way to reconcile my reaction to the anger against my Church with my beliefs.
I could be hypersensitive at the moment, I do get that way from time to time, forgive me for that. I also may be viewing this through my "religion should be a respected, private matter" eyes. I want everyone to do as I do - respect others' religious views, refrain from proselytizing, and keep religion out of public policy.
OK, does any of this make sense? I'm not sure, but I feel better just for getting it out and onto paper. Thanks for letting me ramble!