Guest Author - Mindy Graham
Adoption as a whole seems a more acceptable and realistic choice for more and more families, but what exactly is adoption to you? I see it as a very personal, intimate, process your own precise choices and desires likely never matching that of another. I am going to take this time to introduce you to my own view of adoption, though it will likely not match yours, and hope in the future to share more with you about each of these options.
• There is of course what the first choice is for many infertile couples, open adoption. There are waiting lists that amaze me in all sorts of ways. I have no doubt these children need home and the reality is that there is a vast quantities of ready and willing parents. While I do see the good done, I must also say that this is not what adoption is for me personally. I commend those who already have and soon will welcome these children into their homes
• Domestic adoption of “older children” is yet another choice that is available with little travel. There are countless area’s of red tape to cross over but there are more children than you can imagine in need of loving and permanent homes. This shares a small longing in corner of my heart, and on occasion, while endlessly browsing photo listings, a certain little smile can awaken it with ease. You can expect many struggles and don’t doubt that these young ones will test you but the moment they realize they are truly “yours” is worth it.
• International adoption of any child of any race. This is of course absurdly broad but again I don’t have enough paper to list the options. While many nations do have “western style” care, others do not, and many children will suffer because of it. The monetary cost can be intimidating but the reality of changing a life completely is worth the price. I am in awe at the families who have looked beyond boarders and beyond skin tint to complete their families.
• Special needs adoption is perhaps the least desired but also where you can have the greatest impact. Though there are special needs children available in the United States my own personal desires for adoption lead me abroad. I believe it is because their future is much bleaker. In countries around the world children will end up in institutions where they will be tied to beds and left with no stimulation sending them into a deep regression. These children may be mentally delayed, blind, have down syndrome, a limb deformity, cerebral palsy, be deaf, or any number of other physical or cognitive differences. Some of these children are mentally capable of achieving normal or above normal intellect but because of various diseases they will never reach this potential. This reality here defines my idea of adoption.
There is no “right” kind of adoption for everyone only what is “right” for you and your family. These options, and others, are all some of the most amazing acts of kindness and outright love I have ever witnessed. I am excited to begin this journey of sharing my own quest to explore adoption and its gifts and hope to learn about some of your personal stories as well. Defining your own idea of adoption is the very first step towards adopting!