Why are we adopting girls from Ethiopia?
During our home study, Susan, the representative from Adoption Advocates International, showed us a video about trans-racially adopted children who are now adults. In the video, these adults recounted their experiences of being adopted by parents of different races. It was an astonishingly eye-opening video, and it shows that taking on such a task will not be all lullabys and kisses. These adults had some issues!
Afterwards, Deb and I talked about the video with Susan and she said that this was a great time for us to consider the question: Why are we doing this? Why do we want to adopt children, specifically from Ethiopia?
If we told the adults in the video that we were doing this to "save" two unfortunate Ethiopian girls, they would certainly call us out for our well-meaning racism. And they would be right. Not only that, but I don't think the answer would be true. And honestly, I think we're doing this for a better, purer reason.
The reason we're adopting girls from Ethiopia is that we want daughters, and we want them to be beautiful and wonderful and increase the wonderfulness of our family. At least at this early stage in the process, we're feeling pretty certain that adopting from Ethiopia will give us the greatest chance of success in that area. Does this mean it will be easy? Heck no. It will probably be very hard, mostly in the same way it's hard to have biological children. But on top of that, we'll have to deal with issues of confused identity and racism and loss, just to mention the obvious ones.
Deb and I thought about what our future daughters would want to hear, when they asked us why we brought them into our lives. The answer would have to be honest, as the girls would have their whole lives to analyze it for authenticity. So no phoniness allowed. If I were them, I would want to hear the truth, and if the truth was that we did this because we wanted them in our lives, because we valued them enough to take on all the hassles and expense and scariness and risk, then that, it seems to me would feel pretty good.
So my daughters, just to be clear, and just in case you ever read this, here's why we adopted you: Because you seemed wonderful to us. Because our lives would be so much better with you than without you. Because you were so beautiful. Because you had so much to give to us. Were we trying to save you? Not so much. We wanted you. Maybe, in the end, you'd be the ones to save us.