I am often asked if I have adopted a child. In fact, I am often asked if my daughter Zoe is adopted! With her blond curls she does not look much like my son and I and if you have never met my fair husband then I guess it is a logical question.
I remember when I decided to start my own family. I poured over books on proper nutrition and even went for a genetic consultation to see what types of birth defects or special needs might occur for the children I would bear. I obsessed over taking my prenatal vitamins, eating organic food, getting proper rest and exercise. I worried that the prenatal sonograms might cause a birth defect.
When my children were born I practiced attachment parenting and carried them in a sling. I sang to them, read them books, and quit my job as an attorney because I could not bear the thought of someone else spending their waking hours with them. I regret not one second of that precious time.
Many of the children my clients adopt have never been held by loving arms. Orphanages are overcrowded places and the staff struggles to meet the children’s survival needs. Even the best caregivers do not have time to just hold a baby and look into their eyes as they are fed.
The children who are born with birth defects, to “undesirable parents” or special needs are often shuffled off to special wards where they get even less care. It is thought they do not feel pain, that they do not have emotions or a need for love. As young as age 3 some of these children are transferred to adult mental institutions. Few survive the first year.
The older children have limited time in care. When they turn 16 they are often escorted to the door with no resources, education or way to survive. In some countries they are picked trafficked to the sex trade, or become drug addicts, or commit suicide.
Have I ever been tempted to adopt one of the children who I am looking for a family for? Of course. Why do you think I work so hard to find them families? I have been tempted many times. I have been beyond tempted even more! What stops me ultimately is that I would have to quit my job. I could never give my adopted child LESS than I have given my biological children. And I could never adopt as many children as I can advocate into homes….so it just has never made sense to me to adopt personally when my role is to tell these children’s stories and to help their adoptive families bring them home.