Earlier this week I met a really nice woman at the park. (Where were all these nice park-goers when I first got to this town?) She may have intentionally planted herself near us as we are a fairly conspicuous adoptive family, or maybe her darling son was drawn to my kids. If she did plant herself, I have to say she was stealth, (although later she confessed to being a lawyer, so she could be just that good.) There were no questions about my kids, just lots of small talk until I commented about adopting Little Dude. She told me her son was also adopted.
We chatted for quite a while. I loved her parenting style and her son. Whether he is pretending to be a car (Toyota Prius to be exact) or a puppy, he is quite the kind and gentle character. As we talked about our adoption journeys she told me her son was adopted just before Kyrgyzstan closed to international adoptions. She said prior to that they were in the Vietnam program when it shut down. And they were also in the Guatemala program when it shut down. I made a joke asking her to please let me know which program they were going to try next so I could be sure not to apply there. Then she told me they had a referral in Guatemala before it closed. GULP. Her story has been haunting me since we talked.
First, the kind of loss that must be experienced when you have an adoption match and then a program is shut down… well I doubt that loss can be compared to anything else. It is the equivalent of having a miscarriage and your innocent child incarcerated for life all rolled into one. And I am sure almost no one comprehends the emotional toll of it. I know I can’t. She told me that people actually say to her that they don’t understand how she could be attached to a child she never met. Ugggg.
As I was walking away I was thinking, I wonder why she has continued to build her family this way? What a silly, silly thought. How many people have multiple miscarriages and just keep trying? How many people undergo numerous rounds of fertility treatment? Why would adoption be different? And maybe this is the only strategy available to them.
Aside from her personal tragedy, I am also left thinking about what her story says about international adoption; corruption, corruption, corruption. And what does that say about human-nature? Is it truly universal that immoral adults have no problem viewing children as a commodity?
Yes, it is 3 pm in the afternoon. And yes I am on day 19 of Goal #6, but when I think about this too much I really want a beer or six.