I have 17 minutes to write, and the topic I’m going to try to cover is a lot bigger than that.

So I am getting more and more ballsy about commenting on people’s blogs, which I think is a Good Thing because then I am less like a stalker and more like a normal Internet geek, and I think the Internet geek label, while TOTALLY nerdy, is a healthier option. As long as I can maintain NORMAL social interactions (ha!) I figure it’s okay, right?

Right.

Anyway.

Today I commented on a blog post on a blog that I recently found – or, actually, someone “found” for me and suggested it – through a comment on a blog owned by a friend of the friend who “found” the new blog for me? Confusing? Yeah. So anyway, the post on the blog that my friend found was a fascinating, yeah, YOU! post about how Christians don’t have to vote for Republicans, and needless to say, I was giddy with excitement and, after clicking through her blog on some other topics, immediately linked that blog to my Reader. Which means that, voila, I became a total stalker. It’s that freakin’ easy.

(It is my new resolution to not stalk. If I have nothing to say, take the person off of Google Reader. I am telling all of you this so that you can ask me about it later, k? This morning I got the nerve up to comment on someone’s blog and I realized it became INVITED PEOPLE ONLY and because I haven’t commented, she has no clue who I am, but I WANT TO KNOW HOW SHE IS DOING! So moron me, huh? Note to self: COMMENT!)

Back to my point. If you are following me on this one, congratulations. Please keep going because it’s something I’ve been wondering about.

So this person also has adopted several children (I cannot figure out how many – several) through potentially international adoption and definitely foster-to-adopt, and some of her kids have RAD, which terrifies me to no end, but alas, knowing several people who are getting through it means that it is less scary to me, except that when I am not thinking about it my mind immediately reverts back to the images in my head of my teenage sex offender clients who also had RAD. (Note to self, again: anecdotal experience makes for TERRIBLE RESEARCH.) Basically, what I’m saying is, this person is a blogger I can learn a lot from, which is really why we follow blogs anyway, right? (or because we’re voyeurs. I can admit it. There is something alluring to learning about other people’s lives, right…it’s INTERESTING! But I will say that my Reader is filled with blogs from people who have something in common with me, although maybe they don’t know it.)

Anywhoo. I am getting to the point.

She wrote a post about adoption. It was an interesting, well-written post (much unlike this one). (The blog is linked above, but I don’t want to link to the post because I don’t want it to track back and I don’t know how to turn that off! Can we say INCOMPETENT much?)

So let’s talk about what it said, and what I said.

It said, very eloquently, “Ask God seriously if He wants you to adopt. Be honest. There are lots of children in the world who need you to adopt.”

And about a year ago, I would have been, like, “Oh, yeah!”

And now, Jaded Me says, “Oh, NO.”

So I wrote a comment. It says, “well, I think we need parents to complete ETHICAL adoptions. But not simply adoptions.” And I gave the Brandeis website, because it is really eye-opening and although I know for a fact that one of the statements on the website for VN is totally false, it is still generally well-supported and therefore a good starting point for learning about the world of international adoption.

But here is my question, or my thought. It’s taken me a while to get here because I just don’t know how to say this.

As a wannabe PAP, who has not had the stomach to move into the world of adoption and feel comfortable with it yet (ethical considerations, not parenting/financial/space ones), am I allowed to have opinions about adoption, or the ethics of adoption? Recently I’ve begun to think that if we adopt from ANYwhere we are fueling a world economy for orphans that simply shouldn’t exist. If we adopt from an ethical program, we are still contributing to a rising demand for children. One of my biggest problems is balancing the sheer volume of money (breathtaking) to adopt with the notion that, if given to a family who is relinquishing a child for purely economic reasons, could keep that family together. That is heartwrenching to me.

I hesitate to write this because I don’t want to sound like I am judging. I’m really not. I am grappling with this, and I know it’s not a new topic at all.

(I also have issues with Christians who see adoption as an answer to the problem of orphans. (The above-mentioned blogger is not someone like that at ALL. But there are others out there.) It’s not, and it’s frankly insulting. I kind of see kids as an inherently selfish pursuit, at least at the outset (not exactly the parenting part, though. Then it becomes selfless). But I feel like we get into a danger zone when we start to say that we’re “saving” kids.)

The issue I’m having now is that we haven’t adopted and we don’t even have a dossier ready. Someone from one of the Vietnam lists I’m on once told me I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about because I’ve never been in an orphanage (I think I’ve posted to that list a total of 4 times; this was in response to ONE of those posts); I hotly replied that actually, yes, yes, yes, I have, and I’ve played with the kids and hung out with the kids and seen the meals prepared for the foreigners (orphanage volunteers) and the meals prepared for the kids (different meals. No kidding). I’ve seen an orphanage in Cambodia, which actually was quite nice (although there was a lot of drama surrounding that trip, so perhaps that was the super nice orphanage for us. I’m not sure). So I *get* it.

But do I?

The problem is that perhaps I/we don’t really get it, because we don’t have a child from there. Or that we DO get it, because we aren’t blinded by desire and are simply looking at the facts of the situation: I/we don’t have the money on the line (yet) and we aren’t standing, faced with an incredible decision about ethics vs. the insane desire to parent (which I am experiencing now and will NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS question. Holy hell, this urge to parent is insane). But I’m not really talking about the conditions in orphanages, or the conditions of the children once they depart, and proponents of not talking about ethics say that THAT is what I’m missing: it’s about the children, they say. Kids should never suffer.

But do the ends (getting kids out of orphanages) justify the means (overlooking greed, corruption, and a ramped-up market economy for humans)?

Our friends walked away from an adoption in Vietnam prior to the first shutdown, when faced with an unethical prospect. I hope and pray that we’d have the strength to do the same, if necessary.

At the same time, I totally believe that there CAN be ethical adoptions, and I know there are kids who need homes – but then I begin to wonder: does that simply drive the unethical ones, too?

And do I have any right to have an opinion on these things?

And do people without money on the line really have a voice?

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