I’ve never liked The Jerk. There are some great moments, and I’d pretty much watch Steve Martin paint a closet, but on the whole it’s not a fave.
Great moment, though, when he is told that he’s not a black kid.
The first step in deciding to adopt is figuring out what “flavor” of child you feel qualified to parent. Many people choose international adoption in order to help a child who would otherwise have grown up surrounded by poverty, disease, and the effects of war. You may feel led to a particular country because of a tie to that place (maybe you visited and were impacted by the place, maybe you have experience with the people of that nation).
So the first step is the country. R and I have felt led to Ethiopia, for any number of reasons. We saw a movie called Les Choristes, about a man who goes to a reform school to teach music. Great movie, if you like all things French. That was the beginning. “We could adopt, maybe…”
Then we were treated (courtesy of Netflix) to Hotel Rwanda and God Grew Tired of Us, about the Lost Boys of Sudan. We had a visit from a good family friend who has worked in South Africa for many years, in programs to educate kids about sex and AIDS.
And don’t even get me started on Angelina Jolie in Beyond Borders.
Ethiopia also boasts one of the most open, welcoming adoption programs in Africa.
But is adoption the preferable solution for Africa’s crisis? NO. Absolutely not. Preferable would be foreign aid in terms successful enough to supply every sick man, woman, and child with antiretroviral drugs. Preferable would be economic and educational opportunities to allow families to keep their children. Preferable would be ponies and rainbow sparkles and world peace.
So what “flavor” of child do I feel qualified to parent? Does skin color determine my ability to raise a healthy, well-adjusted child? Am I unrealistic to think that skin color, national origin, or gender should make no difference? Am I right to raise a minority child in a highly race-conscious country, knowing what I do about people’s cruelty and bias?