[This is a guest post by Nina, one of CMomA’s 2012 grant recipients. Her adopted child is coming from Congo. Nina’s blog entries chronicle her journey.]
I am only three months into living publicly with my adoption. This question, however, has been asked of me dozens of times. Sometimes it is followed by, “There are so many American children who need homes.” Others ask, “Wouldn’t it be less expensive to adopt domestically?” I spent a year asking myself the same questions. My answer varies, but the gist of it remains the same.
The way our children enter our lives is part of their stories. A big part. I made choices about building a family that make sense to me. My daughter is coming to me through a process that I perceive as beautiful. In twelve years, when she wants to know specific information about our family’s creation, I can relay the story with love and pride. I can speak with some knowledge, and lots of love, about where she was born. I can describe, with understanding and compassion, the sociopolitical circumstances of her birth nation at the time of her adoption. I can tell animated stories about all of the extraordinary people who are making our family possible, the love for her expressed long before her arrival. This is a story I can tell with pride and love.
Throughout this process I have given a lot of thought to the different ways people work to create families. What I have come to believe is that we must parent children in a way that is comfortable for us. We look for the path of least resistance. However, these paths vary depending on who we are, our beliefs, and our circumstances. For some families that means only biological children. For others, it means children of shared ethnicity. And some families embrace the idea of an ethnically varied home. There are families that intentionally absorb the sick child. There are other families that do all they can to avoid the sick child. Financial security is something that plays different roles in different families. Timing also impacts family building. What is perceived as unmanageable or overwhelming is different for each of us. The stakes are high when building a family. We all make the best decisions we can. The range of choices makes ours a more beautiful world.
I am adopting internationally because it makes sense for us.