Thursday, March 20, 2003

Adoption in the news

Well, look here: "Medical issues in adoption" made the KidsHealth News this morning. It's always nice to see an adoption-related topic pop up among my Yahoo! Headlines, and although this particular article doesn't contain anything blazingly new or revelatory, if it keeps any prospective adoptive parents from believing that everything will be rosy just because they wish it so, it will be worth its pixels. I'll admit to wincing a bit, though, at the advice that parents adopting internationally should make an extra trip just to check the kid out before committing -- I know seeing the child before making a commitment is becoming something like conventional wisdom, but all I can think about is how very different our daughter was when we first met her at the Russian orphanage from the way she's been in our family, and how very differently things might have turned out if we hadn't traveled there 100% determined to bring her home with us.

I think the idea that you can make an informed choice on whether or not to adopt when meeting a child under such stressful and artificial circumstances is an illusion -- both because positive traits sometimes don't show up, and because negative ones sometimes don't either. I'm a believer in making a leap of faith and resolving to deal with whatever comes. But then, I'm a Mama Bear to two kids with special needs and get my back up when people talk about trying to rule out things like FAS/E before adopting, so I'm probably not one to judge by. At any rate, I was happy to see that the article starts out with "Being an adoptive parent can be extremely rewarding," rather than the sort of "Being an adoptive parent opens you up to a world of heartache" lead that so many adoption-related news stories have. Finding rewards in situations in which others might see only heartache is the real trick.

No comments: