After Chris Snow, an adult adoptee, heard about the backlash I received because of my post about National Adoption Month, he wrote this fabulous response. I will let his eloquent words speak for themselves. If you’re an adoptive parent, I hope his words encourage you. If you’re hoping to adopt, I hope his words inspire you. Enjoy.
Putting the “A” in Adoption
by Chris Snow
I don’t understand the negative feedback towards adoption. I can’t wrap my mind around it. We live in a society that celebrates the right to kill an unborn child but harbors resentment towards families accepting children that aren’t biologically theirs. It’s easy for me to add a Christian perspective into the entire affair, but even to those that don’t follow the God of the Bible, adoption is clearly a beautiful thing. I say all this not only as a Christian myself, but as a child put up for adoption and raised in a family of three adopted children.
I didn’t know my biological family growing up. I was given into adoption as a newborn. The fact is that my biological parents had no way to support me. I learned at age twenty-one that my biological father didn’t even sign the birth certificate as the father (all adoption documentation showed the paternity as “unknown”). I also learned that I was a product of a broken relationship that had already produced three abortions before me. I could have easily been abortion number four, but apparently my mother, at eighteen, couldn’t go through with that again. So I was born straight into a foster provider, and at three-weeks-old I was adopted by my loving parents.
I was child number three for them. My older sisters were both adopted, as well. My wonderful mother (may she rest in peace) always joked with me that the adoption agency called her because my sister’s adoption file was still open. She was born eight months before I was, so my parents were still in the final stages of the process. Anyway, they told her that a cute baby boy had just been given to them. My mother called my dad at work ecstatic and told him about me. She always said he was hesitant but gave in because she wanted me so bad. Really I think he was excited to get a son with my two sisters and mom already in the house. So they drove into Sacramento to meet me and got me home as soon as they could.
I’m fortunate that my adoption was never kept a secret from me. How could it be, really, with two white parents and my sisters and me all having darker skin. The biracial part of me was always a struggle (with the teasing, name calling, and bullying that kids and teenagers are so apt to do), and it never would have made sense for my parents to tell me I was biologically theirs. They weren’t able to conceive children naturally, I never really knew why. Something about a lot of medical procedures my dad had when he was young. Same with my mom. There was never any sort of bitterness there, though.
I’ve read so much about how some parents may perceive their adopted children as “inferior” to their biological children. Perhaps that’s where so much negativity towards adoption comes from. I’m proud to say how much my parents cherished me and my sisters as if we were theirs. There was never any question or double standard there. We were their kids; they were our parents. We all got spanked evenly (maybe me more so because I was a little boy in a house of three girls, so naturally I got into plenty of mischief) and we all went through the trials and tribulations that parents and kids go through.
Reflection on all of this gives me perspective in my life. At twenty-six-years-old, I’m the first person in my entire family to graduate college. I’m single and childless, but I feel like a pretty well-adjusted person. I was active in my church and gave my time for programs like AWANA (a children’s program). If there’s any doubt that adoption is traumatizing or polarizing for children or parents, I’d like to think I’m a success story. Going from being the potential fourth abortion for a young, unmarried couple to a college graduate, gainfully employed (Executive Manager for a Fortune 50 company) brand new uncle, and socially adjusted citizen isn’t something I really think about much, but in reflection, it’s a part of me that I’m proud of.
Really, I’d like to be a reason that we all take another look at adoption. Yes, I’m certainly pro-life with my convictions, but for the life of me I can’t understand why anyone would be against adoption.
For people to take children that aren’t their own flesh and blood into their family and raise them as their own is just a beautiful, wondrous thing. No, adoption is not really that bad.
Love and family run a lot deeper than blood, and these are the kinds of bonds we should be fostering. That goes for everyone, not just Christians.
Further, I think it goes without saying that there shouldn’t be any double standard between biological kids and their adopted brethren. No adoptive parent can let that kind of bitterness take root in their kids’ hearts. There’s no, “Well your sister comes from another family, so that’s why she is the way she is.” Parents’ kids are their kids. Adopted siblings are siblings.
Finally, let’s be compassionate to those couples that can’t conceive. We’re always thinking of the single people who can get depressed when they see pictures of new babies all over Facebook, which is fine, but don’t forget to show compassion to the married couples that may harbor a bit of insecurity because they can’t get pregnant. I’ve had many friends that have shared this kind of heartache, which is in a category all by itself. Adoption stands as an option that not only gives these people the opportunity to raise children, but it gives orphans a chance to have loving parents they may not have otherwise.
It really breaks my heart to see so many maladjusted children growing up into maladjusted adults that we judge with “What did their parents do to them?” Maybe a lot of bad things, maybe nothing bad, maybe they didn’t have any parents. How many babies are going to sleep around the world, and even here at home in the United States, that haven’t even been held today? Haven’t had any human connection beyond maybe being handed a bottle? Yet the adoption detractors stand on the sidelines and bash the best solution for it all.
Adoption gets a grade of “A” from me. I’m where I am today because two people decided to take on the emotional and financial burden of a child that they didn’t conceive but wanted to raise as their own. Around me I see so many loving parents raising their adopted children, and I see far too many children growing up without any parents to speak of.
Let’s be part of the solution and stop bashing it. Let’s support parents for kids. Let’s support adoption.
These positive stories need to be shared and I thank Chris Snow for opening up his life and his perspective on adoption to us.
*Be sure to check out the CONTENTS page for dozens of posts on adoption, foster care, and autism.
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