Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hurtful Opinions, Advice and a bit of Positivity

So I know that I need to toughen up and get used to hurtful opinions in life. It is true of everyone. No matter what choices you make or what path you choose, someone is there to criticize and knock you down. The worst part of it is, it is usually the ones that love us and just want to "help". I have been known to do it. I am sad to say that and will try hard not to do that in the future. Sometimes I think people can't see truth and don't want to hear it, but these aren't the times I am talking about. I am talking about unwanted and unsolicited advice on things that should be happy and positive, that people would like to see the negative in.

Growing up as an adopted child, I have heard a lot of hurtful things said about it. How could you be loved as much as someone's biological children? You are not really their child. Fortunately I grew up in a situation where I always felt loved by my parents and never felt inferior in their eyes to my siblings. (Not because I was adopted anyway. Maybe because I liked to get into trouble. ha ha ha) But I do know some adopted children did feel this way. I have met them. I have talked to them. I feel for them. What an awful way to live. I wouldn't wish that feeling on anyone. As I have said before, being adopted left me with a feeling of rejection. Not by my parents, but that there is someone out there that didn't want me. I know in my head that it was a good decision and that it was the decision that my biological mother had to make at the time, but it leaves you with a feeling of abandonment none the less. I can't imagine, on top of that, feeling like your adoptive family didn't want you either or that you weren't good enough.

These kind of comments were never said to me directly, but have been said in general around me. By people that have no idea I am adopted (I tend to not wear a sign) and by those that do know. And while I would like to say it is ignorance, I also think some people do not have the capacity to bring a child into their home that isn't related by blood and raise them. I think that for some people, it seems like an impossibility. I am happy to say that my family is not one of those people and that I am so thankful that there are so many people in the world that this does not apply to. There are so many people out there that can love a child no matter what and can give them all the love they need and deserve.

That being said, as we started on our adoption journey, we have already had our fair share of "advice" and "words of truth." And some people have just been plain mean. And I know once we do bring our child home, we will meet this kind of advice and hurtful comments over and over again. Some people do not understand adoption and do not understand adopting outside of one's race. I have been told that people don't understand what we are doing. I have been told that people cannot believe we are going to adopt a black child. And why wouldn't we adopt a child in the US? Why not help kids here?

I guess I have this to say. What we are doing, is not a negative thing to me in any way, shape or form. Rob and I are so excited to open our house to another child and make them our own and we do not care where they came from, who they are or the color of their skin. Growing a family through adoption is such a great and positive thing to me. We are so excited and truly cannot wait.

Now with that being said, I know we are going to travel a tough road. I know we need to get tougher skin and that my children will unfortunately have to as well. I know that with adoption comes great loss and grief for the adopted child. No matter the situation they are in, no matter how dire or sad, it is the life they know and the only life they have probably ever known. They have already had loss in their life and we will be taking them out of their home, causing them another loss. I know that their grief will be considerable. I know they may be angry, sad, frustrated, or scared. I know that I will work my tail off every day to make them feel like they are a part of our family and that we will never abandon them and they will never have those worries again. I know it will be hard. I know it will be tough. I know the road will be long.

And while I don't understand it, I know that some people truly don't "get" what we are doing. Why are we adopting? Why outside the US? Why not just have another child on our own? Well, it is simple really. We want to grow our family. Adoption is a great way and the way for us to do that. It isn't a decision everyone makes, but it is our decision. It is what we want to do. It has been a good thing for both me and Rob's family, and we would like to give another child that same love and hope. An opportunity to grow up with opportunity. To have a chance. To live in an environment where he can makes his own choices. Good positive choices for his life. We are not saviors. We have our own selfish reasons for adopting too. We want another child to love and to give Adriana a brother/sister. And simply we want to do that through adoption.

I know that adopting a black child will open us up to comments, opinions, and negativity from people. I know that, while our house is color blind and we will raise our children to be, that the world isn't. I know it will be hard on our adopted child as well as Ade. I know things will be said and our kids will have to deal with some things that they normally wouldn't. I know there will be challenges.

But for every challenge, we will be there, supporting them, loving them, hugging them. We will be truthful with them. We will protect them and hopefully give them the tools to protect themselves when we are not there. We will try not to lay the burdens of our imperfect world so heavily on their shoulders. We will do everything in my power to ease the pain and make things okay.

We will take on these big challenges and day to day challenges. We will take care of them and love them. And when that isn't enough, we will love them more. And to those who say, if you know it will be so difficult, why do it? Well, because life isn't easy. And no child should suffer for your ignorance.

So thank you for your advice, comments and insults. But we are better off without them.

And on the other side of this, the positive side from the beginning, are the people that have loved and supported us unconditionally. They have been excited for us, nervous with us and happy for us. To those family members and friends, we love you and could not do this without you. For your love and support is exactly what we, and our children, need. And we all so lucky to have you. Thank you.


So things have changed slightly and while we are excited, we are cautious about that excitement.

We got an email from the adoption agency last week that our Dossier has been translated and they are now waiting on us to match with our child so they can get it legalized and sent to Haiti. So our paperwork is moving rather quickly, but now at a halt until we finish the selection process and match with our child.

We also received a letter from Immigration for the US stating that our I600 application was approved and the government deems us fit to parent an orphan. This is exciting news as sometimes we are not sure we are fit to parent our own 3 year old but if the government tells us so, I believe it. :)

So in reaction to this, we received a list about a week ago of all the children available at one of the orphanages. All the list had was a picture, name and birthdate. Typically we would receive full bios on each child but since our paperwork is done and the orphanages are still saying that it will be a couple months for them to complete that information, they decided to send us the list so we could request information on a couple of children and maybe it would come through faster.

It was very exciting. And very sad. The list had children of all ages, from 4 months to 8 years. Many of the children fit our criteria. Which just means we don't care what gender our child will be and are asking for a child between the ages of 0 to 12 months at time of match. This was our original thoughts. Thinking that once we match it will still take a couple years to bring that child home. So we wanted to start as early as possible into their lives.

But as we looked, both Rob and I were drawn to kids of all different ages. I always dreaded this point in the process. Seeing those children. All the ones that are awaiting a family. But both Rob and I were drawn to some of the children immediately and that actually helped quite a bit. And maybe how it is supposed to be.

We have narrowed it down to 2 little boys. We are now awaiting on medical information and such so we can make a decision. I am hoping that we get it all soon but am trying not to put too high of expectations on this.

Hopefully we will have an update soon with a picture and more information and a banner reading, The Child we Have Been Waiting For! :)