Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My adoption quirk

The other day on Facebook, I listed several things that I have somewhat quirky or unusual views on, one of them being adoption. That piqued curiousity, so I will do my best to explain and hopefully by the time I'm done this will make some kind of sense.

 Let me preface this explanation by saying that my first and entirely honest reaction to hearing that just about anyone has adopted or is trying to adopt, is "Awesome!" I know way too many kids who grew up without a real family, or bouncing from house to house or foster home to foster home, or (in the case of a couple of amazing people I knew in Hawaii) in an overcrowded orphanage and it thrills me whenever I hear that a kid is going to get a good home. Furthemore, I have several loved ones who have chosen very selflessly and wisely to trust someone else with the most precious thing they have by giving up a baby for adoption, and so I have some idea what it means to know that someone good and trustworthy and loving will be raising that child. So, my point it, what I am about to say applies to me, my husband, to our little family, so please, no one interpret it as judgment or criticism of any decisions you may have made or plan to make in the future.

 Unless specifically prompted to by the Spirit, we will likely never adopt. If I felt like that was what we were supposed to do, I would do so unhesistatingly and would have no trouble loving an adopted child just as readily and personally as I do my natural-born children. The hang up is that I have received the impression many times (usually while thinking about foster care, which I've considered many times--its something I grew up with and keeps me mindful of how many kids need a stable home) that even though there are many, many children on earth who need a loving home, there are even more on waiting on the other side of the veil who need a body AND a good home. I can provide them with both.

 I know so many women who are unable to have children, or have as many children as they would like, due to health or fertility problems, and I always enthusiastically cheer their victories along the path to finding those kids who need them. But I don't have those challenges--quite the opposite. I've been blessed with good genetics and good health: its easy for me to get pregnant, I'm physically healthy and mentally and emotionally sound (the effets of pregnancy on me in that respect are pretty insignificant), I have problem-free, low-risk labors and births, and sturdy babies that turn into healthy kids (the last few weeks super-bug infestation notwithstanding). Those are all wonderful gifts that I've felt impressed a loving Father wants me to make use of to serve his children who haven't received the blessing of a body yet. As large families become less "desirable" in the western world and more and more women have fewer and fewer kids, I feel that I have a moral obligation, as my husband and I decide how many kids we can reasonably provide for, to bear those children myself--to be willing to make the sacrifices that pregnancy and childbirth demand because I've been blessed with the capacity and the time--I was married at 19 and had my first baby just before I turned 20. I'm going to be 28 this summer. A lot of people don't have their first baby til after 25 or 30. And, as important as any factor, I have a wonderful marriage to a man who is a fantastic father. Every time I see him teaching Dylan all about what he's doing in the woodshop, or snuggling with Kyile Bear, laughing and teasing with Keilana, or pushing Keira in a swing, I love him a little more for how much he loves them. He dotes on his kids, plays with them, but he also sets standards and teaches them. Ultimately, the more kids who come into the world where they'll be well loved and taught by parents who love them and each other, the better off we'll all be in the long run.


Mel McDonald said...

I liked it. I've felt the same way about adoption for our family, but unfortunately with my c-cections I no longer feel the same way about baring children myself. I think about foster care a lot but mostly I know that's a long way away still. I don't think I'll know if it's for us until our family is stable to take on that challenge, if that's what the Lord wants of us.

Christa said...

i don't find it terribly odd or quirky. i understand where you're coming from, but then, i haven't talked a lot about adoption to other people so if it is terribly quirky, i probably wouldn't know anyway.

i'm too young to be making any set plans about the growth of our family, though i'd love to know what i should be preparing for mentally. i don't know what's going to happen for us, but i've always felt it will be along the same lines as mom, i.e. picking up children along the way that need us, though in a more permanent manner. i guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Rebecca Susan said...

I don't think its quirky or unusual to or among Mormons--generally if they haven't consciously thought anot it, it certainly makes sense when they hear it. But to a lot of non Mormons, wel. . . .LOL. It certainly isn't their first thought!