Monday, November 8, 2010

National adoption month

I guess November is National Adoption Month. That's what some of the other bloggers are saying.

So let's take a moment to think of AwesomeCloud's original family. Nobody knows who they might be or why they made the decision to allow their stunningly beautiful boy, healthy in all ways but one, to enter the social welfare system. But I can take an educated guess. And no matter if my guess is right or wrong, no matter what the true story was - no matter if his parents were teenagers or migrant workers or members of the up-and-coming Chinese middle class - it's a story of heartbreak and tragedy.

I wish they'd had more access to health care. I wish they'd had more support. Yes, i'm saying what you think I'm saying - I wish my son's original parents had been able to keep him and raise him themselves. I don't think anything would have been wrong with his life if they had. With a little bit of medical treatment, he would have been strong and healthy, just like he is now. He would have been smart and joyful, just like he is now. He would have loved Chinese food and happily said, "Xie xie," and "Hen hao," just like he does now.

The only catch is that he first had to enter the records of CCAA and then be sent to America in order to do that.

It's heartbreaking and tragic that China can provide a child with lifesaving surgery once the child is in the government's possession and earmarked for international adoption. But it can't provide the child's parents with the means for that lifesaving surgery so that the parents may keep the child.

Don't think it's just China, though. The US has its own dirty little adoption industry habits too. Like those church-run charities who promise troubled mothers-to-be all sorts of resources, and then push the adoption option and scare them away from all other options. These organizations provide a service to prospective adoptive families, and everything else is just business.

It's hard navigating the adoption industry and finding an option that is morally clean and honest. Additionally, some of the most upfront options can seem overwhelming just on account of their requirements and regulations. We found that pretty much every system needs reform.

China, at least, is in the midst of a massive nationwide reform. What China does badly, it's attempting to do better. I can't fix the way they handle health care access. I can't criticize them for not providing for AwesomeCloud better. There's only one thing we can do: Once AwesomeCloud had slipped through the cracks of China's flawed but improving system, we were here to catch him. Now that he's here, in safe loving hands, the three of us will all do our best to move forward and be each other's family. Whether he's ours more than theirs or theirs more than ours, I don't worry about. AwesomeCloud is his own person. His life story goes how it goes. The rest of us - parents, more parents, orphanage caregivers, adoption agents, and everyone else - are just supporting characters in the AwesomeCloud Saga.

To my fellow supporting characters, the original parents, I just wish to say this: I know you're there, somewhere. Cloud does too, in a way, and if he doesn't know now, he will someday. I'm sure you're wondering how the AwesomeCloud Saga is going. (It's going well.) I'm sure you hope his Saga is long, meandering, and ultimately happy. We do too. So far, so good.

I'd also like to tell you: your son helped me sew today! With a real needle and thread! I was repairing a tear in his daddy's pocket, and I'd insert the needle and then let him pull it through. He was very good at it and had a blast.

He also does yardwork. He shovels little clods of dirt with his little trowel and sends them flying through the air. Then he laughs. It's very cute.

I wish you could meet him. He's awesome.

I'd promise to find you and introduce you to him someday, but... well... I don't think that would be possible. Thanks to all those government regulations and shortcomings, you know.

We have government regulations and shortcomings over here too. It's not just you.

Anyway, I hope you're doing well.

Happy Adoption Month.


  1. Well written! Here's to reform and finding the best ways to do things. Happy Adoption Month, from someone whose surname is hers because of adoption (DH's father was adopted by his mother's husband.)

  2. Lovely, lovely, lovely post. Honest, sincere, forthright. Your son has an awesome mom.