Perhaps change is possible…

08 Nov


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.


Posted by on November 8, 2014 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , ,

7 responses to “Perhaps change is possible…

  1. iwishiwasadopted

    November 8, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    I can only hopt that the tide is turning. Change happens slowly sometimes, but if more children can remain with their famalies its all worth it. The internet has brought adult adoptees voices out in the open. Before there was no way to get anyone to listen. It’s still hard, but we have to keep trying. It’s too late for us, but we owe it to the ones who come after.


    • TAO

      November 8, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      Exactly. This post was really hard to write and make sense without going on and on. Thanks for reading and responding.


  2. momsomniac

    November 8, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    I think the change you hope for is coming. And oddly, I think what it took was more of these people adopting.

    (Figurative “you” in the next paragraph) Non-adoptive parents tend to dismiss talk of things like “adoptee tantrums” as inexperience talking about normal stuff, but when it’s YOU having to lay down on your usually cheerful, absolutely neurotypical kid to keep him from bashing his head in during one of these tantrums, it becomes impossible to do that anymore. And facing this kind of trauma – which even adoptees that had a loving start can show – it becomes impossible to think of starting out life with adoption as the “most loving” option anymore. It becomes impossible when you know, with all your heart, that your child’s early trauma was, in fact, “coming forever home” to you.

    I don’t know if I said that all well. It’s kind of raw for me, since sometimes that “you” is me – even though I never believed adoption was all sunshine and roses, since I was dealing with my adult adoptee spouse before adopting with Son 2, and well, I just knew better. But I didn’t really THINK about it, didn’t really FEEL it, until I was that parent. And while I think it’s sad that it took living it to learn it for these folks, it’s not surprising when it pushes against everything -absolutely everything – they originally believed about adoption.

    In other words, experience may lead to wisdom in this movement, and we are not utterly foolish if we hope these folks play out this aspect of their faith moving forward by giving a family only to those kids who desperately need one.


    • TAO

      November 8, 2014 at 11:55 pm

      You’re are probably right Mom…

      Adopting is hard – I watched mom and dad go through the trenches that no one in their right mind would chose. Of course *I* was perfect (rolling my eyes)…

      I’ve been wondering but because adoption statistics are seldom revealed but how many of the rehoming (legal or the internet version) have come from disruptions/dissolutions from these adoptions. I don’t know but it sure seems like a huge spike occurred in the recent past…who knows. What bothers me is that no one is holding the adoption agencies accountable for not doing their job…in matching the child to the right home for that child… sigh


  3. Wrking21

    November 12, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    I think she summed it up perfectly:

    “momsomniac – I think the change you hope for is coming. And oddly, I think what it took was more of these people adopting.”

    I think it did take us adopting to understand it fully and want to help make it different. When we adopted the 1st time through foster care I watched the horror unfold. As a “foster parent” first. I found it almost overwhelming, the emotions watching that happen, I cried for her at every court date.

    So when we were asked to adopt DD#2 (privately) we did actively try to keep that family intact. Unfortunately unless the parents to these expectant people support their sons and daughters in keeping their children, I’m not sure how much of an impact the ones supporting family unification would have. Seems like people are being more selfish nowadays. If I would have went to my mom at 17 pregnant, she would have been disappointed but I would have raised my child with her help. Sadly that doesn’t happen nearly enough. My DD#2’s grandparents didn’t want to raise another baby. They didn’t give their daughter the chance. I could never intentionally cause my child that kind of grief.

    I wont be thrilled if one of my girls becomes pregnant at a young age but you can guarantee this grandma will be on board!


    • TAO

      November 12, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks Wrking…



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