While I have filled my home with various relatives from time to time and three kids of my own I have never adopted........but I am adopted and that experience gives me a strong point of view. In my case, my parents (mostly my Mom) saw someone else's bad situation of drugs and poverty and stepped in so a new baby wouldn't be added to that mix. Lower middle class themselves, a new mouth to feed wasn't in the plans......they were more Florida and James than Claire and Cliff but they made it work for a short time. Then, MOM, made it work by herself for the rest of the time. No questionnaires and home visits......just a ride home from the hospital. And in that moment, I was saved from what was sure to be a death sentence. It wasn't all flowery and perfect but I was loved and most importantly.....I was RAISED!
When I see my friends of other races and some in same sex marriages adopting black children I think to myself.......these kids hit the lottery! Oh, it's not what you think. Fancy dresses and Jonathan Adler furniture are great perks for sure but I mean the LOVE lottery. There is nothing like being wanted and cared for......to have a schedule and a routine....to be safe.
Recently, I read a post from a white, gay, male friend of mine about getting a Bald Fade at his local barber because that is where his black sons have their hair cut......I could have wept. The kind of love that allows you to seek understanding of something that was very foreign to you but now is PART of you......I'm telling ya that is the LOVE lottery. I see so many examples, big and small, of the love lottery when chatting with friends who have chosen adoption. I am so grateful this option is available to them. It is life changing....for parent and child.
So it infuriates me when judgement is placed on any family trying to make it through each day, doing their best for each other, no matter what the composition or origination is of that family. Any judgement or second guessing should come when thinking about how and why so many kids are without a stable structured family environment and what can be done to slow the spigot of unwanted children.
As an adult I have met my biological siblings whom I love dearly, learned a bit of my history, and argued more times than I care to mention on who my REAL mother is....even being corrected by that ever persistent and well meaning friend. On this point, for me, there is no room for interpretation. The woman who watched from the sidelines and waited for me, named me, and brought me home from the hospital is my only mother. Every bit of joy and dysfunction, every failure and success is somehow connected back to her......because she chose to love me.
So the next person that raises an eyebrow or makes a snide remark about what someone else is doing, I would like to ask them, "ummmm, how many children have you adopted?" And while you are worried about them, try checking on your own self. And that is real talk!!
There are over 500,000 children in the foster care system in the US.
About 126,000 children are adopted annually.