We are, thanks everyone, going ahead with adoption plans. Like a good academe, I am researching my way through the whole thing. Maybe I’ll get a PhD out of it. HA.
R and I are set on Ethiopia or Colombia (since R is a native Colombiano). Why Ethiopia? Good question. It has a lot to do with HIV/AIDS in sub-saharan Africa, a little to do with the movie Hotel Rwanda, and nothing at all to do with the recent horror flick, Orphan.
Can I have more biological babies? Yes. My history has proven that I am emphatically fertile. But adoption is something that has been on our hearts and minds for some time, and we’ve both felt that strong, swift hand guiding us Ethiopia-wards.
Yes, we’d be raising a black baby. Or babies. More on that later.
Colombia is a way to be less obvious, of course. A Colombian baby would look like R’s. People would assume by default that he/she was mine, as well. We may go ahead with it, but the process is a lengthy average of 4 years. And since when have we been ruled by what others think of us? Life is too short. The only real concern for me is: can I be a good parent to a minority child? And, how is this done- well?
And so we read.
Melissa Fay Greene’s “There is No Me Without You” is a must-read, even if you’ve never thought about adoption. She’s brutal and moving and heartbreaking, and she’ll open your eyes to the reality of the AIDS crisis in Africa, all while keeping you riveted (dinner burning, kids running wild).
Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? A parent’s guide to raising multiracial children, by Donna Jackson Nakazawa is a treatise on biracial and multiracial children and the (sometimes bewildered and unprepared) parents who attempt to equip them to live in a highly race-conscious country. Not as entertaining as Greene, but highly useful and accessible.
Black Baby, White Hands: A View from the crib by Jaiya John is lyrical, like jazz or a great 20-minute Grateful Dead jam. Thoughful and honest, difficult and uncomfortable, he chronicles his adoption into a white family in a largely-white small town in Texas in the 70s.
Another helpful resource I finished this week was I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-conscious world by Marguerite A. Wright. Taking as her starting point that young children, in making what seem like racial statements, intend them in not at all the same manner as the history-bearing, race-conscious way that adults do, she gives parents a way to deal with common challenges when raising children in a race-infused society.
And the last, and one of my favorites so far, is Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches by Russell D. Moore. Moore, a pastor and adoptive father, makes a convincing (and convicting) case that Christian families, by virtue of their own adoption into the family of Christ, should be frontrunners in the journey to find families for children who need them. The story of his own two sons, adopted from Russia, is heartbreaking, and he balances good theology with good practical help (one chapter is entitled “Paperwork, Finances, and other Threats to Personal Sanctification”, which had me chuckling.
So yes. On our way. I’ll post soon about some of the issues that have been raised as we’ve entered the process, though I don’t want this to become an “adoption blog”. Don’t worry. I’ll still snark about Obama, as frequently as he is snarkable. 😉