These qualities are what draws adoptive and foster parents. It makes sense, but it breaks my heart. It wrecks me to think that children aren’t worthy of love because they aren’t attractive, don’t smile like another child, or they’re hurting inside so they act out with behaviors that are objectionable.
Society, for the most part, wants perfection, or something close to it. People don’t usually settle for “less than” in any area of their lives, and this trickles over into adoption and foster care. I felt this bias strongly when our children came to us through foster care.
We have two beautiful children. No, I didn’t choose them. I didn’t look through photo listings and pick out the one with the longest eyelashes or the one with jet black hair, they landed on my doorstep after a phone call and the answer, “Yes, bring her/him.”
When friends met our daughter we felt the expectations of what’s acceptable were met. They were surprised such a beautiful child would be in foster care. Although we all know foster care knows no race, color, beauty, intelligence, or eye color, there seems to be a stigma that surrounds it.
One of our friends, when told we were going to adopt from China (because that was our first plan, you can read more about that here), was shocked, and said, “But you two would have such cute kids!” Well, really nice sentiment, BUT…we just don’t feel the need to populate the world with more gorgeous beings such as ourselves. 😉 And, gee, look what we ended up with (even though we didn’t reproduce ourselves), two really stunning children, if I must say so myself. Other than that, they aren’t quite perfect. Justin and I always say to each other, “It’s a good thing she’s cute, because…”
Love Without Boundaries interviewed children in a Chinese orphanage, and it’s clear they understand what it takes to be “adoptable”. As orphans are adopted out, the others who aren’t, notice who goes and who stays.
In this Love Without Boundaries video, children are asked about adoption. Some of their answers are, “If you’re obedient, you get to go away for a good purpose,” and “Because if they’re obedient, do well in school, get good grades, then they get adopted.” Notice the second answer isn’t in first person, he probably doesn’t feel what he said applies to himself – he is still in the orphanage. At about the 5:24 mark, the interviewer is brought to tears by one orphans sincerity in wanting to be adopted.
There are families all over the world who adopt hurting children who struggle in school, have developmental obstacles, or special needs. The world is changing, but these ideas that children need to be a certain way still exist. My hope is that all children would find forever families who accept them for who they are, not what society wants them to be.
You can receive each post made to Lovin’ Adoptin’ by subscribing in the upper right corner. If you’re on a mobile device, you can do this on the web version. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more helpful information and links.