There’s a lot of crap about adoption out there. Everyone has their horror stories.
You may have heard the story about the 7-year-old boy adopted from Russia who was put on a plane by himself and shipped back to Moscow with a note. His adoptive parents said they were lied to about his issues and his violent behavior wasn’t what they signed up for. So after six months and apparently no attempts to get help they sent the kid back to Russia.
I don’t want to judge, but these are the stupidest people ever.
Sorry. This story makes me kind of angry. OK, kind of very angry. You don’t get to send your biological kid back. Why do adopted kids have a return policy? I realize that disruptions (that’s what they call it when an adoption doesn’t work out) happen, but in my mind there is no return policy. There is nothing my children can do that would make me cease to be their parent, cease loving them, cease fighting for them. I may need a ton of help, I may need a radical shift in my expectation of what life is going to be like, but I’m not sending a kid back. That goes for the adopted kids as well as the biological kids.
This is why I love Children’s Home Society, the agency we used to adopt Milo. They have an incredible post-placement program to help adoptive families deal with whatever issues come up. The adopted family that sent their kid back to Russia never asked their agency for help. I haven’t heard why yet, but that’s what you do in this situation. You get help.
They claim they were lied to about the child’s care and behavior. So what? Those are the unknowns that come with adoption. It sucks, but you can be decieved. Your agency can be deceived. The caregivers in Russia can be deceived. That doesn’t entitle you to a refund. Guess what? Biological kids come with the same unknowns. Biological kids can come with all kinds of issues, some that don’t present themselves for years. Biological parents don’t get a refund.
Welcome to parenthood. Suck it up. There’s no need to spark an international incident.
So I was going somewhere with this. Oh yeah, crap about adoption. There are horror stories. Bad things happen. Sometimes people suck and do bad things and people get hurt (welcome to life). It happens in biological families and it happens in adoptive families. But don’t drag adoption down with sucky people. Instead, let’s emphasize the good adoption stories. Let’s dwell on the people who get it right.
One of my favorite adoption stories of late is Carlos Whittaker and his family. There’s nothing special about his story (OK, there’s plenty special about every story, but nothing specific I want to focus on in this case). What I love is the normalcy (if you can call Carlos normal) on display in this viral video (2.6 million views in two weeks). It’s the best parenting video I’ve seen and it happens to star an adopted kid:
When you think adoption, let’s think about Losiah the single lady and his poor dad who was just trying to make a joke (that’s a mark of a good dad—the complete inability to get a laugh from a joke). That’s how it’s supposed to be.
Speaking of good adoption stories, I heard there’s some new book out that has a pretty good story—some dork turned his tweets into a book.
If you’d like to do more, the Joint Council on International Children’s Services is encouraging people to speak the truth about adoption in light of this current news story. Check ’em out.