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I was reading through Heartmama's thread on tentative questions she wanted to ask, and it inspired me to ask my own. I didn't want to take over her thread, so here I am.<br><br>
When I got pregnant with DD, it was like this whole part of me chnaged, and I went from being totally self-involved to wanting as many kids as I could possibly have. I decided that in addition to 5 biological kids, I also wanted to foster or adopt at least two more.<br><br>
Having read that thread, I'm wondering if my motivation is the right motivation. Several responses indicated that adoption should not be about charity, it should be about finding your child. I completely agree with that, and wonder if my motivation is for charity, since I also intend to have biological children.<br><br>
I decided I wanted to foster or adopt kids after reading news story after news story about kids being beaten, raped, and otherwise abused by their parents - the very people who were supposed to protect, nurture and cherish these kids were the ones harming them. That broke my heart, and I decided that I have the ability to offer a warm, loving home...we don't have the most money in the world, probably never will - but we can at least offer our kids the chance to grow up into themselves.<br><br>
Is that the right motivation for wanting to adopt? Or is that wanting to adopt out of a sense of charity?
 

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IMO, if you want more kids and you are willing to educate yourself about the unique aspects of parenting adopted kids and adoption appeals to you because, as EFMom stated in the other thread, it's a win-win situation (you get more kids, kids get a home), then you have the right motivation to adopt.<br><br>
I was really honked off by a book I read, it might have been the Lois Melina book that is the bible of adopting but whose title I forget, that stated that wanting to have children is the sole and only valid reason for adopting. That completely leaves out families who are not facing infertility. I think that wanting more kids is the primary reason, but it's not the only reason. According to that line of thinking, if you're fertile and you want (more) kids, you have no reason to adopt.<br><br>
Namaste!
 

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I’ve thought about this concept too, back when we began our adoption process (which was definitely motivated by our selfish desire to have a baby, not a humanitarian impulse). This is just IMHO, so please take it as just that.<br><br>
I think you can look at the “charitable” motivation for adoption in two ways. Wanting to adopt because a person loves children, loves being with children and wants to nurture and cherish children who are in desperate need as you describe is a wonderful thing and it does help children who need it. If it’s truly motivated by love and the children and valued and respected as unique individuals, I think that’s a perfectly fine charitable motivation to adopt.<br><br>
But I’ve heard other people who adopt as if they are strictly doing the children a favor and never fail to remind their kids and others around them what great people they are for making such a sacrifice. Kids should NEVER hear things like “you should be glad we saved you from ____” etc. It’s amazing that people actually do say things like that!<br><br>
I’m not a parent yet, but I also think that if someone is motivated purely from doing one’s duty or trying to save the world, etc. the enthusiasm is going to fade quickly in the midst of attachment issues, diaper changes, late feedings etc. and then all you are left with is - do you love being with the child or not? Do you truly want to be a parent or not?<br><br>
Ok, that’s just my $.02! I’m interested to read others’ responses on this topic…<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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In my opinion, every child deserves to have a home in which they are wanted for being themselves. I don't agree that a child who was adopted was "chosen" - I know many people who feel this way. I believe that any child in your home deserves to be "your child," and not a charity case. We adopted because we wanted a child; we wanted to be parents. Not because ds had been "put up for adoption."<br><br>
I struggle with the fact that many older children are often left in foster care because they are "too old" or "damaged goods." If you bring children into your home, do it permanently and do it with your whole heart. Bring that child in as a full member of your family. Don't label a child as being your "adopted son/daughter." Don't treat them any different than your other children. Cultivate life-long relationships among your children and other family members.<br><br>
That's just my opinion!
 

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It is great that you are exploring these questions. I agree with what dharmamama, njsummer01, and luckymamato2 have shared. I have thought about why-in-the-world my mother adopted four of us, plus foster children who came and went over the years, yet she never touched us, held us, told us she loved us, or showed discernable warmth or acceptance; the only reason I can arrive at for her choosing mothering was her sense of religious duty.<br><br>
Another thought -- I wish that people might, in ways of the heart -- forget -- that they adopted their child, and just think of their child as their child (not the "adopted" child). Not to forget that the child has another heritage outside of one's immediate family circle, but to remember every day that this IS one's family, here, now, and always.<br><br>
I admire thoughtful reflection, consideration, and charity (kindness and love). Perhaps it would continue to be meaningful for you to really explore your definition of "charity" and see what other aspects of this concept have you questioning yourself.<br><br>
Wishing you the personal clarity you seek.
 

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We adopted DS in part due to 'charity.' We have bio kids, could've had more. But we saw there were children in need of families and figured that giving a child a home would be a humane thing to do. Of course, we also wanted another child.<br><br>
Now that DS is with us, I certainly don't view him as a 'charity case.' He's a unique child with his own set of needs and preferences, and we try to be the best parents we can be for him. He's just our kid.
 

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Long before being diagnosed as being an infertile couple dh and I had talked about adoption. We wanted a child of our own, but we also wanted to adopt. We chose foster/adopt for several reasons. One being financial-- we couldn't afford to adopt from an agency. Foster/adopt was more in the range we could afford. I figured there was no sense in adopting a baby that we couldn't support if we spent every dime we had on the adoption. Two-- there are so many children out there abused and neglected. We figured that we could show these children a little bit of hope and that there are people who do love them and care for them. Some of the children I see living in the conditions they are just breaks my heart. Some I can help, and some I cannot. Age doesn't matter, nor does race or religion. It is a child longing for attention and love. If you feel that you are the one to provide that for that child then I say Go for it and good for you! There needs to be more caring foster parents in the world. Too many times we get a bad rap for doing it just for the money. Like any of us could retire off what we receive. LOL<br><br>
Dd is now 5. She is our daughter. Not adopted or foster/adopt. Just our daughter. We enrolled her in kindergarten as our daughter. No one needs to know she is adopted. She doesn't quite grasp it all yet herself. It is up to her to tell her friends if she chooses. We don't dwell on the adopted part. However she does know that we are looking to adopt again and then she will (hopefully) have a sister or brother. I did tell her she was "chosen" by us. We could have taken any numerous children that we were called on, yet none felt right until we got the phone call about her. It just felt right. Only you know what it best for you and your family. Call it charity if you want I think once that child steps into your home and into your world charity goes right out the window and love comes flooding in.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>annethcz</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We adopted DS in part due to 'charity.' We have bio kids, could've had more. But we saw there were children in need of families and figured that giving a child a home would be a humane thing to do. Of course, we also wanted another child.<br></div>
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This is pretty close to our situation as well. World population was another factor for us. We felt it was unnecessary to add to the population any futher when there are already so many children in need of families. The desire for another child came 1st, the decision to adopt came later for numerous reasons. There was definitely a humanitarian aspect to it, but certainly not the only factor in our decision.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>trinasmom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No one needs to know she is adopted.</div>
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I'm sure that this was merely an innocent comment, but I would like to point out that it is somewhat offensive. Those of us who have adopted transracially can never live as though our children aren't adopted: people know it every day when they look at our family. There is nothing wrong with being adopted and it's not a secret that needs to be hidden.<br><br>
Namaste!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>trinasmom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No one needs to know she is adopted.</div>
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This also caught my eye. Although I wasn't offended by the comment, I did chuckle when I read it. DS is adopted from Ethiopia, and the rest of us are caucasian. Hhhhmmm... which one of my kids is adopted??? Not's not much of a mystery, <a href="http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d164/annethcz/sig%20pics/305998275_2_330_984371483.jpg" target="_blank">is it?</a>
 

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"charity" is a tricky word, sometimes, because it often implies some sort of pity, as if you're on one level and you're condescending to help someone on another level.<br><br>
To me, that isn't what your motivation sounds like. I mean, if what drew you to adoption was a deep desire to change the world for a child, a child you want for your own, then that's GREAT!<br><br>
We have bio kids, and we'll be adopting. Feels good to me! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Same here as the 2 pp. 5 caucasian people w/varying degrees of similarities and 1 very dark-skinned, black haired Chinese girl. Her adoption story is a very important part of our family's story.<br><br>
Beautiful kids, annethcz and dharmamama. Maybe someday I'll learn how to post a picture.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Didn't mean to offend anyone. Just stating my feelings. We are a caucasion family so is our dd. We don't homeschool and I don't want her labeled all through school or treated any differently because she is adopted. When it comes time to do the family tree chart she will have to do at school she will do our tree. Not her bio tree. We don't hide the fact she is adopted our church family knows, friends and family and we held a huge party when it was final. We just don't feel as though we need to tell everyone we pass<br>
on the street. So sorry you took it wrong dharmamama had no idea an innocent comment would cause you so much upset....................
 

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Hi think it's fine to have a do-gooder attitude toward adoption if you also (1) want kids and (2) are adequately educated and prepared for the special responsibilities, challenges, and gifts that adoption can bring, esp. transracial/transcultural.<br><br>
I think there are those in the adoption community who see red flags waving when they hear prospective adopters wax poetic about "saving" a child. Might be fine, might not be. I think adoptive parents and their adopted kids get into trouble when the adoption is motivated by parents' needs to feel good about themselves, be seen as "heroes" by others, or be seen positively within a religious circle. Now, in all fairness, some folks start out looking into it because of a charitable impulse and, after much education and reflection, their perspective deepens. I mean, how many of us here went in with somewhat rose-colored glasses, and -- along the way -- lost a few illusions while gaining some wisdom? I know I did. I mean, I didn't start out looking to be a hero -- I just wanted another kid, and since pregnancy was hard for us, why not adopt? But in all the planning, I gained a much deeper appreciation of the special challenges we faced, and it was a humbling experience.<br><br>
It does really bug me when folks imply we did this out of a sense of charity or pity or to be heros. When we were in the homestudy phase, an acquaintance of mine (who spent 8 years and tens of thousands of dollars on infertility treatments) just shook her head and said in a heavy tone, "Well, I admire you for what you're doing." Huh? WTF? Did I say that to her when the IVF with donor eggs finally worked? It just completely misunderstood our motivation, which was to become parents, not to become martyrs. And I find that attitude entirely disrespectful to all adoptees. Yuck, yuck, yuck!!!! It's part of that whole adoptive-families-are-inferior complex some people have.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">So sorry you took it wrong dharmamama had no idea an innocent comment would cause you so much upset....................</div>
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Well you didn't cause me any upset, I was just pointing out that families who can't hide that their kids are adopted don't have it worse than families who can. Implying that kids who can hide the fact of their adoption by looking like their adoptive families have it better because they won't be labled or treated differently is just another one of those "bio families are better" ideas. NOT that you think that, because obviously, as an adoptive parent, you don't. But other people do, and I think your comment reflects that societal stereotype. Not trying to start a debate here, just pointing it out.<br><br>
Namaste!
 

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I'm not hiding the fact that dd is adopted, it is not anything we are ashamed of. I was so grateful just to become her mother.<br><br>
We are doing it to protect her. She came into foster care due to abuse/neglect/drugs etc. Very traumatic childhood. Won't go into specifics. But very ugly situation. Bio mom and family will try to take her away if they can find her, we have already been warned and experienced it twice. Therefore we keep a low profile. Since we don't know all of her family, we have to be careful who we tell that she is adopted, because we never know who we could be talking to. A family member, or friend of the family. Guess I should have stated this in my first post, however not really wanting to get into all that. We try hard not to think about it, already had one close call where she was tried to be lured away in a store by a bio family member, also in a restaurant.<br><br>
Just wanted to clarify why my I feel this way. We are in no way trying to hide her adoption like some terrible family secret. We are protecting our daughter from what she was removed from. No child should have to experience the things she did and if she were to be taken from us, illegally by bio family I would hate to think what she would go through until we could locate her. I know not every child adopted out of foster care has this to face, unfortunately we do.
 

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Its very interesting to read other's ideas and motivations....mine were pretty selfish - I wanted a daughter and only a daughter. Its possible I may only have one child so I wanted that one child to be a girl. Biologically, it wasn't feasible at the time to ensure a girl so I adopted knowing I could specifiy a girl.<br><br>
One comment I get that really bothers me is that "its so nice of you to take this child in that no one wanted" I always reply "If not me, than one of the other 20 waiting families behind me at my agency would have happily adopted her." I guess this is why I really dislike when people refer to saving a child or adopting as charity in shape or form.<br><br>
I also would not use the "choosen" child line because I didn't actually choose her per se, the agency did. Second, I think it can conotate a sense of responsiblity of the child to the parent.<br><br>
Maggie
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>trinasmom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Didn't mean to offend anyone. Just stating my feelings. We are a caucasion family so is our dd. We don't homeschool and I don't want her labeled all through school or treated any differently because she is adopted. When it comes time to do the family tree chart she will have to do at school she will do our tree. Not her bio tree. We don't hide the fact she is adopted our church family knows, friends and family and we held a huge party when it was final. We just don't feel as though we need to tell everyone we pass<br>
on the street. So sorry you took it wrong dharmamama had no idea an innocent comment would cause you so much upset....................</div>
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This us too, we are CC and so is our daughter (no one knows for sure)<br>
Her being adopted is her own personal business, we don't refer to her as adopted and never will, if she chooses to tell friends as she gets older she will. When your child is in school, and not standing next to parents of an obviously different race, no one knows where they came from or who birthed them. It's no ones business but the childs.<br>
We didn't really pick our Dd, she picked us (and the SW too) we were asked if we would like to adopt her, and jumped at the chance.<br>
We adopted 'cause we want more children, and may do it again. I didn't see it as a charitable act at all. I love being a mom and parenting, I love snuggling babies and fostering allows me to do that and enjoy them for the time I have them. People tell me all the time, "you are so generous" or "giving" for doing it. I see it as feeding my baby lust one baby at a time, and it never seems to go away. No feeling of being do gooder in me at all.
 

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MCR<br><br>
I couldn't have said it better myself.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MCR</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Her being adopted is her own personal business, we don't refer to her as adopted and never will, if she chooses to tell friends as she gets older she will. When your child is in school, and not standing next to parents of an obviously different race, no one knows where they came from or who birthed them. It's no ones business but the childs.</div>
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This is a little off topic but sort of fits so I'm asking here. What do you do when people make comments based on their assumption that your child is your biological child? Or biologicaly related to their sibling when they aren't? This is what I find most difficult. We have a 1 year old biological DD and the problematic difference between her and our older DD is that we adopted DD when she was three. So with our 1 year old we are experiencing several things that we missed with our older daughter. But people assume that our experiences with the two are comparable not knowing DD is adopted. People will say "Did DD start walking early too?" Or when I was pregnant "Did you have a c-section the first time?" That kind of stuff. It's always akward and I don't like the choices I have for answers being 1. A lie 2. Violating DD's privacy by saying "she was adopted at age 3 so I don't know". (I usually say it nicer with a little more explanation that that but you get what I'm saying.) Some times I just try to be really vague or I nod and laugh nervous and don't really answer. I hate it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
Sarah
 
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