On the front page of today’s newspaper (The News & Observer) is a sweet photograph of my two children snuggling together, as they do so often. The article is entitled, “The Road To Foreign Adoption Grows Longer and Bumpier”. The piece is reported by Kristin Collins, a writer for the News & Observer with whom I spoke and met with throughout the course of her writing this piece.
My not-so-subtle goal was to encourage her to show the other side of adoption story – the fact that yes, international adoption can be an arduous process. It can also be relatively seamless. Our adoption of Caleb from Ethiopia a few years ago was a 5-month process from end to end. Our second adoption (for our third child) has been taking longer.
There are so many factors to consider when adopting a child, whether domestically or internationally. I guess I would always hope that people think about the actual children who are waiting, as opposed to the admittedly frustrating bureaucratic red tape that can hamper a lot of these experiences.
We’ve had several stories written about our experience with adoption, and I find it fascinating to follow the trends in media when covering the topic. I guess what I came away from this interview experience was this:
Sometimes you just have to balance out the sad and ugly parts of reality with the unembellished truth – and if you ever get a chance to mix in the optimism and the hope of what has occured in your own experience, what may not be recognized as occuring now and what can absolutely be again … maybe that is at least one step closer to more comprehensive reporting on any major issue such as this.
Some frames of the article…
And here are just a handful of the sweet photographs I took in and around Ethiopia when we stayed at the orphanage in Addis Ababa, an experience that we will always hold dear to our hearts. Most of these children were waiting for homes and a family:
My sweet husband and son bonded nearly immediately. I credit our ability to connect with our son so quickly to the enormous affection showered upon the children by the nannies and staff of the orphanage.
They don’t have a lot to offer these orphans in terms of material goods or even basic necessities, at times – but the genuine emotion they feel for these children sets them up for an enormous capacity to love and connect with their new families.
At the airport, documented & ready to go – and me holding Caleb, leaving the airport at midnight on New Year’s Eve (we celebrated the stroke of midnight several times as we flew over several times zones ;) I remember this moment – I was exhausted, hungry, in need of a shower, very in need of seeing my daughter … and immensely relieved to be bringing our baby home.
I didn’t even know at that moment how much I would grow to love my son. So that’s what’s hard to describe – the enormous gap between children needing a home and parents who couldn’t even fathom the power of how much love they could feel for this “foreign” child, often halfway around the world. But that’s logistics.
Sure, logistics can get complicated. But they’re certainly far from impossible.
And isn’t that what we teach our kids anyway … that love is always possible???