An adoptive parent checklist to read and ponder
Maybe because I haven't found a place to write more personal thoughts, I love blogs that write from the heart. Raina’s beautiful Faiths and Illusions is a blog like that. I found Raina through Yoli, another blogger of peace and dignity whose blogs focus on the best human qualities. I’m glad I met these ladies online.
A week or so ago, in the heat of the Russian adoption nightmare, Raina posted something that was, in my opinion, so spot on, but delivered with such grace, that I have to call it out in its own post: Preventive maintenance checklist for prospective adoptive parents . What I really like about this post is that it's totally direct, but delivers its message kindly.
In it, Raina speaks to the questions below, providing insights as an adopted person and a mother. You need to read this post and take Raina’s advice to heart:
- Why are you adopting?
- What have you done to support the preservation of families, in their own country or culture?
- How do you feel about your child’s birthmother?
- How do you expect your adopted child to feel about you?
- Can you completely surrender yourself to pure empathy for your child’s adoption experience (without bias toward your role in it)?
- What race will your child be after you adopt him/her?
- Are you a racist?
- Will you commit to your child, no matter what?
Every one of these items gets my attention, but the notion of surrendering myself in pure empathy to my child’s experience really grabbed me. Perhaps that’s because I’m at a place in which my role in my children’s lives is changing as they grow into adulthood. I think sometimes we APs think that if we do a, b and c, everything will be squared away and we can put adoption on the back burner. Not so! Our kids change, they grow up and encounter experiences themselves that change their feelings about adoption, themselves and their families. It’s our job as adoptive parents to understand where our kids are at any given time and provide support, even if we can’t understand why they’re there.
Raina, thank you for this post. I needed it, and I know many other APs do, too. And while I’m at it, let me pass on another article Raina wrote recently on the issue of identity: Neither, Nor (or how I learned to hate my face but lived to find some beauty in it)