People know I listen to all sides, I listen to understand where someone is coming from, even if I don’t agree. Like everything in life there are good and bad points on any side, especially in complicated subjects such as adoption. I’ve written before about the Evangelical Adoption Movement. I’ve read blog posts on T4A, that to me just didn’t make sense, perhaps in an effort at brevity they excluded what would make it understandable. Having said all that – I’ve not been a fan of this movement for one specific reason.
My reason? I don’t think they took time to learn about adoption, neither the present, nor the past, and certainly not about the ugly parts, perhaps they only heard the happy version. To me, it appeared they jumped right in full speed ahead.
There’s a parable in the Bible about the need to build a solid foundation instead of one made out of sand…
If they had taken a step back and listened to all voices, they would have learned about the very real problems that exist, and existed in countries that became the next “go-to” country for quick adoptions, and how people in those countries were used, and the harm done to many, including the families doing the adopting. If they only listened to stories of adoptees and families that adapted well, and overcame any challenges they had, then they should have listened to the hard stories of families on both sides torn apart, the children now almost grown who were the heart of that experiment, the stories of corruption and loss that never ends. Perhaps they did listen, but just didn’t hear.
Whether it was Kathryn Joyce’s book “The Child Catchers” that caused such an uproar within the movement that had leaders furiously lashing back just a short time ago, the dogged determination of Professor Smolin and others like Keren and Mark Riley pushing back, or just the disillusionment of their own members. Whatever triggered it – I’m seeing a change and a whisper of hope. Hope that they now see that adoption as we know it, is not what the Bible says is the primary solution. That family preservation should be actively worked toward and helped along the way to succeed, when possible. There is hope that families that could be reunified won’t be torn apart forever, because tearing apart causes deep trauma, and when it wasn’t needed, it cuts all that much deeper. That instead, families should be brought back together to survive, and then thrive, if possible, before anyone even mentions adoption.
It’s taken far too long to get to this point…
The cynical side of me worries that this new awareness and understanding of working for family preservation first, won’t be embraced wholeheartedly by their members. I hope I’m wrong, but it seems to me that part of the allure of this movement for people is being that adoptive family, and just raising funds for a ministry somewhere else to help other families and children won’t be celebrated, and worked toward as feverishly to the depth it is now, when there is something in it for themselves.
I want to be proven wrong…
This link is to the page of some of the Audio clips of speakers at T4A, and do read the pdf of Speaker Notes to see why I think a new awareness is happening. You can also follow the link on that page to all the speaker audio’s. You can find Fleas Biting (Professor Smolin) and Riley’s in Uganda links on the Blogs page as well as others who have spoken out.