Monday, November 09, 2009

International Adoption? I'm not sure. HUH????

I wrote the other day about how we were concerned about our family's reaction to an international adoption.  Let me tell you.  It was NOT easy.  It was painful in many ways.  The same people who kept telling us that we would be great parents?  Not so happy about an international adoption.

My brother is the person who brought up China.  His dear friend Kathy had adopted a beautiful little girl from China so when he heard that we had finally decided to start the process, he jumped right in with both feet & told us all about Kathy & Caitlin.  He pushed for us to meet them.  David fell in love.  Thanks Seth! We owe you big for that one!

My father & stepmother couldn't have been happier.  They were both so very supportive right from the start.  Believe me, they had their own learning curve, but were totally supportive.  My stepmother Nancy was brought up in the foster care system.  Her experiences have been an invaluable learning lesson for me in so many ways.  My dad had no problems at all with adoption - even knowing that our child would not resemble us.  He thought that the act of adopting a child was a miracle.   China adoption?  Not a problem.  I have Chinese cousins.  Thanks Daddy & Nancy!

My grandfather?  His only concern was would we raise our child to be Jewish.  Duh.  Of course Grandpa.  There was no question about that.  He was fine with it.  Unfortuantely, he became ill & with illness came forgetfulness.  He never got to know Erin although we have spoken with Erin about her Great Harry & his wife Great Harriet.

My in-laws were a tough package.  They were thrilled beyond belief about our adopting a child.  Their support?  At first it was hard for them.  Both of my in-laws are survivors of the Holocaust & had been in Auschwitz.  Theirs was a hard life, & we were about to make it harder.  My father-in-law phrased his concerns in a way that enabled David & I to understand where they were coming from.  His exact words were "We paid too high a price for not being white enough.  Do you really want to do that to a child?  When there's a choice?"  Yes Dad.  We do.  We gave him a book to read about China adoption.  This was the only time in David's life that he can remember his father reading any book.  Dad took the time to read the book & ask us questions. Once those were answered, they were full on board.  By the way, the sun rises & sets with HIS granddaughter Erin.

My sister-in-law Mindy & her family thought adoption was a wonderful idea.  They didn't care where the baby was from as long as we got to be parents. 

My sister-in-law Sandra & her family?  Let's just say that this is where the poop hit the fan.  David & I have always been really close with his oldest sister.  When I went told her we were adopting a child, Sandra was so happy.  Right up until the moment I mentioned our child would be from China.  That changed things.  Now she wasn't so sure.  Maybe we should continue just being a couple.  I left the office in tears.  After a very long talk between David & Sandra, the attitude changed.  David asked her what she would do when he placed his Chinese daughter in her lap & introduce her to Aunt Sandra.  He reminded her that this would be an innocent child with no idea of what was going on in the world.  She thought about it for a few seconds & told him "Oh.  I guess I would just fall in love with her."  And she did.  Erin loves her Aunt Sandra & Uncle Steven  dearly.  And they love her.

So.  Is International Adoption easy?  Not really.  Are there challenges?  Yes.  Many people have prejudices that they need to deal with.  Unfortunately, they don't always want to change.  I'm thankful that Erin's family changed & rose to the challenge.  My child?  She started off being abandoned when she was 3 days old.  We are blessed that she was well taken care of by the nannies in the orphanage. 

And we are blessed that G-d above saw fit to place her with us.


Vivian M said...

Great post!

Sandra said...

Very thoughtful post. Thanks for sharing!