I have known a number of people over the years who have gone over seas to places like Russia and China to adopt children.  Part of the reason that they have chosen to go overseas to adopt is because it’s easier.  As for the other reasons, I don’t know.  Now I know someone in the virtual world who is working on adopting a child from China that has medical needs.  I am not sure what kind of medical needs they are looking for, and I haven’t asked.  There is part of me that doesn’t want to know.

Adoption is such a selfless thing to do, and I really don’t know if I am the sort of person that would adopt a child.

There is a part of me that feels that picking out a child to adopt is much like adopting a pet.  People go through files about the children.  I am not sure what all is in those files but I do know that medical needs are listed.  The children without medical issues or disabilities will naturally find homes first because no one wants a less than perfect child.  It’s one of the reasons ultrasounds and prenatal testing are so popular.  People want to know that there is going to be nothing wrong with their child when he or she is born.  There are those that opt for abortion if the baby is less than perfect.

I understand that there are some things that a person feels they can’t handle and there are things that they just can’t handle.  I used to have a neighbor who was really too high strung.  I remember when her son was learning to ride a bike and he fell off scraping his knee she freaked out like it was the end of the world because she just couldn’t handle seeing her children injured, even if it was a splinter.  When my kids were much younger my MIL used to freak out about the bar stools she had in the kitchen.  She was always worried that one of the kids would fall off them.  It drove her so mental she ended up getting rid of them.  I asked my husband how she managed to raise six kids and keep her sanity if something like a child climbing on a bar stool was enough to send her over the deep end.

I understand someone feeling like it wouldn’t be fair to the child and that they would be doing him or her a disservice by adopting them and they had a medical condition they couldn’t handle.  I know someone who was looking at adopting a child and the child they picked out was living with them prior to the adoption and because the child had anger issues they decided to send him back never considering that the kid had probably bounced around from foster care home to foster care home without anyone giving a rats ass about him.  I would have anger issues too.  The “I don’t like this one, let’s send him back” attitude really upsets me.

No one intentionally decides to make their life harder.  Everyone wants whatever their idea of perfect is.  When I was pregnant the first time it never crossed my mind that something could be wrong with my baby.  It just wasn’t something that I thought about.  When people asked me what I was having I would tell them “a baby”, or if I was sick of the question I would answer “a puppy”.  Strangers would get really mad at me.  I started doing this because I noticed that no matter what I said random strangers would act like I should have the opposite and they were horribly disappointed.  I remember someone saying something like “I know, you don’t care as long as it’s healthy, right?”  She didn’t say it to be mean, it’s just something cliche that a lot of people say and she had probably gotten used to hearing that.  I looked at her because I just thought that was a very weird thing for anyone to say.  I was having a baby and while the idea of having a disabled child scared the hell out of me, I was having a baby and how ever she turned out was how she was supposed to be.  Yes, I realize it’s contradictory to be scared of having a disabled child (hell, I was scared to have my first child in general…I didn’t even know how to change a diaper when she was born – I had NEVER been around babies) but at the same time not really caring either way.

Seven children later with various disabilities and health issues (some weeks I spend as much time at the doctors office as I do at home) I think may have made me jaded.  Did I ask for disabilities?  No.  I don’t remember asking for anything than my babies not to die.  If I could take away their disabilities, would I?  I don’t know.  Yes, it would make life a lot easier but at the same time I don’t know my children any other way.  It is part of who they are.  I don’t know life without autism, learning disabilities, food allergies, sleep apnea and everything else life has thrown me with my children over the years.

I keep asking myself, “Is it fair to accept and adapt to our biological children if they are disabled in some way but choose not to accept and adapt to a child we would adopt?”  I see both sides to this and it does nothing but confuse me.  I suppose in some way, when it comes to adoption, it falls under picking and choosing your battles, and at is a big part of parenting.

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