In this brave new social media world, sometimes you see comments your friends have made on news articles or blogposts that surprise you, or maybe even make you mad or hurt your feelings. This is a post about that.
A few weeks ago (during those halcyon days when Barack Obama was still our president. Remember that? Sigh. That was so awesome.), a social media friend posted a comment on some news feed in response to a question about international adoption that surprised me, made me mad and sort of hurt my feelings. They said that the reason Americans adopt internationally rather than adopt American kids in need is because they want pretty Asian or white babies.
This is a person I like, so I'm not resting in anger or hurt feelings. Shoot, I'm as prone as the next liberal to playing more progressive-than-thou myself and might well have cast the same aspersions had I not found myself in a position where I wanted a kid but was unable to grow one in my body.
Besides, Ive heard it a million times. When you do an international adoption, you should be prepared to learn that the reason you did this is because you were too selfish to adopt an American kid. (Side note: if you're reading this blog and have not yet become a parent but think that one day you will, you're not really a parent until someone on the internet tells you some parenting decision you've made is selfish. It's a super cool rite of passage in this modern world.)
And I may even have written about it before, but I'm gonna again. My Laney is as if my heart has been walking around outside my body for the past 11 years. I am crazy about my husband, but it wasn't until Laney that I really fully grokked that whole loving someone to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach. Having that complex and profound relationship diminished into superficial selfishness, well, you guys, it kinda gets on my tits.
The reasons I had for choosing Russian adoption were not because I wanted a pretty white girl (although I got one She's living in this nearly two-year ban on picture taking so you're gonna have to take my word on it). My motivations for international adoption came down to the following two factors:
(1) I had friends who did it and they'd had the gold standard adoption story. Nine months, start to finish. No crazy courts. No problems. Beautiful baby girl. And they were willing to mentor us through it. Adoption is hard. It's really helpful to have someone who can walk you through it.
(2) The Baby Richard story freaked me the fuck out. Over 20 years later, I'm still freaked out by it. I had Laney for years before I stopped being afraid someone would come and take her away. That's a lie. I still wake up in a cold sweat over it from time to time. That video messed me up, you guys. Messed. Me. Up.
I probably shouldn't care that people will cast our decision for Russian adoption as a narcissistic exercise in self-indulgence. Like I said above, there's no such thing as parenting without someone telling you you're doing it wrong. But, when my girl, and our complex, brilliant, beautiful imperfect relationship is reduced to nothing more than White Privilege ... like I said, it really gets on my tits.
So, you know, don't do that. :)