Why I Want to Foster/Adopt

I've mentioned before that hubs & I are currently in the process to become foster parents. Our hope is to do "foster-to-adopt." This means that we are opening our home to children in the foster care system, with no guarantee how long they will be with us, but with the hope of becoming a "forever family" for a child/children who cannot stay with their birth families.

This post is my attempt to explain my viewpoint. PLEASE NOTE- I'll say "I" and "personally" a lot in this post, because I'm talking about the way I feel and think. I realize other people have different views and while I scoff at some of those in this post...that's my perspective. I'm allowed to disagree and people are allowed to disagree with me- I'm just trying to show people my perspective. This is my blog, this is my safe place, and I don't need to be told I'm being rude...I know my viewpoint is the minority and that's exactly why I'm sharing it.

I've wanted to adopt since around middle school/junior high. It's truly something that has always seemed pretty basic to me. But at least 90% of the people I talk to do not share this "NBD" feeling...at all. In fact, most of them blatantly say "Oh I couldn't/wouldn't do that" or "But...why?"

To be honest, I really feel like that is an ignorant question. I know, I know, that's not fair. Our culture does not value adoption, and has a very small definition of family.

I don't share that small definition, so maybe that's why it seems like a fairly easy decision for me. I know first hand that blood does not mean someone will be there for you- my biological father has proven, for over a decade now, that shared blood doesn't even promise a phone call. If shared DNA was all that was required, adoption wouldn't exist in the first place.

But really what I hear the most is "Well I could just never love a child the way I love my child."


via GIPHY


In my opinion, if what makes your child special and lovable is the blood that you gave them- then you do not love your child. You love having an extension of yourself. I personally believe this is a really problematic view of being a parent.

Yes, it's part of being a parent...but I personally feel that it's incredibly important to view each individual as an individual. Yes, maybe you carried that child for nine months- and that's a bond.

But I argue that it's is the unique shared experience of pregnancy rather than the pregnancy itself that helps form a parental bond.

Again, obviously, if pregnancy and birth was all it took 1) adoption wouldn't be necessary; 2) postpartum depression and other issues also wouldn't exist). Yes, you changed diapers and had sleepless nights...but again, that's a shared experience. I don't see how you could have similar experiences with any child, biological or not, and not end up loving that child. I just...don't. Will it be different? Possibly- maybe even probably. But every child is different, every family is different, and love does not have to be exactly the same to be equally meaningful. In my opinion.

But the other thing I hear is almost the opposite which is "It would just be too heartbreaking to have a child come into my home, get attached, and then have them leave." Again...ugh.

Yes, that is going to be heartbreaking. And it's almost a guarantee when fostering. 

But when I think of my heartbreak over a child sitting somewhere alone and feeling unloved...I can't put my heartbreak, as an adult with knowledge and resources and a support system, over the heartbreak of a child without a family. That's not the person I want to be. And I recognize that I am in a privileged position to even consider that. Some people probably truly could not handle it (and there are multiple situations we have put into writing that our family cannot take on)...but it feels worth the risk to me.

I want to be the kind of person who takes that risk.

My Christianity also comes into play here, in a huge way. Taking care of orphans is one of those things that most people would say is a moral thing to do, but almost no one actually does anything about it. Christians are specifically commanded multiple times in the Bible to care for this community- and for the most part we fail, over and over, every day just like our non-Christian neighbors.

This post by Tricia Goyer, The Sad News About Adoption in Our World, says a lot of this better than I ever could.

There are a ton of bad things in our world. The last two years have routinely been called a dumpster fire. I can't change the world...but love a child? Oh yes. I can do that.

No comments