I am sure that every single person who has ever even considered an international adoption has heard this one:
Q. I don't understand why you'd go across the world to adopt a baby when there are kids here in the United States who need parents.
A. Yes there are kids here in the United States who need parents. There are lots of them actually. There are kids all over the world who need parents, whether they live in China, India, Russia, the US or Africa. I don't think that a lot of people know how hard it is to adopt domestically. It takes a lot of time and a lot of courage to fight the US legal system for parental rights. I seriously applaud the people who are called to adopt domestically. Families are made in lots of different ways. But I also know that in the US there is a system in place to deal with children who need families. Is the system perfect? NO! Could the system be better? YOU BET! But there is a system. Children are dying in third world countries for lack of food, clean water and health care. In many cases it is literally life or death. That is why we decided to go international. I don't in any way think that one is better than the other (domestic vs. international) Both are necessary and both make a major difference in the life of a child. It is just simply a personal preference for each family and we are doing what feels right for us.
Q. How do you get a baby? Is is like the dog pound (these were the words used, and we've heard this question a LOT!) where you go and look at all the kids and choose one that you think is cute?
A. Thank God, NO! I am not sure how it works in all countries but our agency matched us with a baby. I am glad that it works this way, because in no way would I ever be able to choose. I think that no matter how I chose, I would feel guilt, so I am glad that it was done for us.
Q. Will you go get the baby or will they be escorted to the US?
A. We will go to Africa to bring Baby Miles home. The process of this usually takes around 10 days. We probably won't both be able to go, because of finances and logistics of having 2 awesome kids at home that will need someone to care for them. It is a SERIOUS
Q. How did you choose Africa?
A. This is where we feel God led us. If you are new to our story, you can visit our inaugural post HERE for more details
Q. In showing Miles' picture to someone they asked, "Did you know he was going to be black?"
A. Ummm, yeah?
Q. What do Sadie and Noah think of this. More specifically, how do the feel about having a black brother.
A. They are totally excited about it! We can all take a lesson from them about this- when they look at Miles' picture, they see his soulful big brown eyes, pouty lips and pink tennis shoes. They don't see the color of his skin as anything but beautiful. Just the way we do!
Q. How much does it cost to adopt a baby?
A. Every country is different. I'd rather not talk about our personal finances here (I know- you're shocked, since I seem to share everything else!) but if you are interested in adopting and want to talk about this, feel free to contact me privately and I would be HAPPY to spell it out for you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a replay of a conversation I have had. It has taken a few different forms with a few different people, but you get the gist:
Person: What happens if the child comes home and you don't adjust well?
Me: Well, when we had Noah we did not adjust well for a LONG time and we just loved him anyway. (see HERE for a post about Noah)
Person: Yes, but he was your child.
Me: THIS child will be MY child.
About 98% of the comments we've heard have been have been super positive and really supportive. A few have not been but first here's a funny one:
Once we had a picture of Miles, someone said, "Wow! He's not just black, he is really black! Like shiny black! You can tell he hasn't been watered down at all!" Still cracks me up just writing it.
And a few crappy comments :-(
I totally get that some people out there don't agree with what we are doing. However, my mama told me if you don't have anything nice to say
Heard: I just don't think what you are doing is right. You've got no business raising a black kid.
This one was so hurtful and racist that it didn't even deserve a rebuttal.
Heard: If you all can have more kids, don't you think you shoud save the orphans for the people who can't have kids. (Obviously, this person has no idea how many needy kids there are in the world!)
Heard: I "broke the news" to so-and-so racist person that you all were adopting.
Me: How about be excited about this and use this as a way to turn the tide!!!
Heard more times than I can count: What are you going to do about black hair!?!? You're going to have to learn to braid! Me: I think black hair is awesome and I will figure it out as we go! Don't get me wrong- I do have fear that I will totally screw this up because I know that it is really different from caucasion hair. And to add to this- people, be prepared that at some point in time, my son will have the coolest dreadlocks ever, because I LOVE dreads. And Afros too, the bigger and free-er the better! But for now, we'll probably stick with a buzz cut, until I learn what I am doing.
Heard: People will stare at you a lot when you have 2 white kids and 1 black kid.
I say- Bring it!
Heard: What you are doing is not going to change what is happening in Africa.
Me: I know that. Oh boy, do I know that. I don't think that adoption is the answer to solving the problems in Africa. I think that adoption is the last resort for these children. How awesome would it be if these kids could live in a country where their parents didn't die of preventable diseases? How awesome would it be if parents in Africa could afford to feed their families? How awesome would it be if we could end the conflict of competing rogue armies for natural resources? I know that by us adopting that we aren't going to change the plight of Africans, but I do know that we will make a difference for one child. One precious child of God. And I am okay with that. And in the mean time I will lend my voice to raise awareness about the continent of my sweet boy's birth every chance I get.