Sunday, November 9, 2008

Presumptuousness

Hilary recently bought me a new book Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul. We've read other Chicken Soup books and have enjoyed them, even though a lot of the stories are steeped in Christian beliefs which we don't share. I always enjoy reading stories of adoption, in fact, I spend way too much time reading blogs and participating in forums on that very topic. After all, I've been an adoptee for 38 years and an adoptive parent for 6, so it's a topic very near and dear to me.

So far I've enjoyed the stories I've read. I've cried a few times, laughed out loud and connected with some of the story tellers. Unfortunately, like most anything to do with adoption, there is no where near enough representation of First Mothers and Fathers. The general public wants to hear the warm and fuzzy side of adoption, not the heart break and agony side. Which really does a disservice to all. One third of every adoption story is missing if the first parents side isn't included.

I almost didn't start reading the book. I was stuck on the very first paragraph of the introduction. The presumptuousness of the person who wrote the intro nearly pushed me over the edge! How dare s/he (the introduction isn't credited to someone specific) make a blanket statement about "the universal belief of every adoptive parent."

I've heard this "universal belief" spouted by other adoptive parents. Generally from ones who see adoption as a means to form their family with little or no regard for the other people affected by the adoption. Like their own child. People who forget that this cute little baby they are cuddling will one day grow up and ask the difficult questions.

So what was this opening paragraph you ask?

Every time, I declare, "I don't know why he was conceived in another womb or
born in another land, but I know with all my heart that God created him to be
ours." Reading the 3,000+ stories submitted for Chicken Soup for the Adopted
Soul
taught me that this is not just my conviction, but the universal belief of every adoptive parent.

To believe that the God you worship would purposefully chose to allow a woman to get pregnant JUST so that she can relinquish her child and endure lifetime of pain all in order for some other person to adopt the child is not a something that I can remotely understand. If your God is all powerful and in charge, why not just place the kid with the adoptive family in the first place? Why allow infertility and unplanned pregnancy?

And if you do believe this, please don't declare it as the "universal belief" of every adoptive parent. I certainly don't believe it. Most adoptive parents I know don't believe it - even the Christian ones.
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