Thursday, September 17, 2009

The voices that matter

Steadily, we're closing in on the milestone of completing our paperwork for the home study (3 letters remain plus 10 hours of online adoptive parenting classes). There's a massive purple binder sitting on my desk containing the paperwork to hand off to M as well as copies for ourselves so that we'll have a "holy crap, look at what we went through to get you" scrapbook to show Plus One sometime in the future.

Clearly, the hoops we go through now seem, at least from my perspective, to be so much more involved than if we'd had the option to go the natural route at some point in the past. But one man's complicated and involved is another person's laughably simple.

I just finished Doree Shafrir's article on The Daily Beast called "10 Ways to Have a Baby" and after reading what some couples have gone through, our efforts to adopt don't seem to be quite so onerous. Of course, the author also picked out the most sensational ones that she can find, whether due to the sci-fi aspect, the legal aspects, the social issues, etc., but still, a straightforward domestic adoption looks like a piece of cake compared to these (an expensive piece of cake, mind you, but still relatively far).

I also found myself scrolling through the comments at the end and was amazed as the spectrum of comments and, quite frankly, how horribly cruel, vicious, and unfeeling some of them were.

"There is absolute no reason to reproduce beyond the selfish notion of continuing the family seed. And the world only suffers from increasing the number of people on it, no matter how fabulous or special one's spawn could be."

"Some people are not meant to reproduce. Sorry, but that's biology."

"I do not believe in buying children."

Would the people who write these things also say them in public to people who ache for a child or are they simply willing to make declarations like this because they are shielded by their anonymous nicknames?

I guess comments like this shouldn't come as a surprise anymore. Jenn has spent far more time than I reading blogs by adoptive parents, birth parents, adopted children, etc. (Perhaps, like our life insurance agent observed, it's a guy thing to not necessarily have that level of curiosity in this situation.) What are distressing are the sites she's found with comments, especially from birth mothers, that paint us -- prospective adoptive parents -- as evil, misguided, selfish, manipulating pawns of an exploitative adoption industry who should simply pass on the idea of adoption and get on with our childless lives.

While those words hurt and are no doubt heartfelt by people whose situations I don't know, I'm not going to feel guilty. They can have their opinions but I don't have to agree with them. As a matter of fact, I don't. I'm not going to give up, and I'm not going to pass on this opportunity. And neither is Jenn.

We are blessed to have supportive families and friends who know us, who know what we would offer as parents, and who are cheering us on.

These are the people who know us best.

These are the comments that I pay attention to.

These are the opinions that matter to me.

And of course, these are the folks we'll be calling at 2AM when we can't get Plus One to stop crying. I hope they know how much we appreciate their support!

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