Friday, August 17, 2007

New York Magazine Article

There's a great article on transracial adoption in New York magazine that you can check out here:

And here is what I sent to their comments section.

While I appreciate the positive article on blended families in New York, I would have liked the author to address the more serious concerns of transracial adoption, especially acknowledging that the stereotypical family played up by the media as "the couple gone to Africa to pick up a new accessory" doesn't actually exist. There are many lower-middle class families who save for years in order to give a child a chance of a better life. And perhaps more importantly, I would have liked for there to have been a correlation drawn between this article and the article on the longevity of New Yorkers. It is not a coincidence that the number of deaths by AIDS in 2005 dropped 80% from 1994, the same year, in fact, which the atrocious patent laws on life saving antiretroviral drugs expired. The UN estimates that, currently, there are 14 million AIDS orphans and that by 2010 there will be 25 million. The point is, if these patent laws had not been enacted, perhaps there would never have been a need for a decrease in the New York statistic, much less in the rest of the world who are still trying to find ways to afford them.


Anna and Benjamin Thomas
Brooklyn, NY

Friday, August 10, 2007

transracial adoption

we recently picked up a copy of the book "outsiders within" which is a collection of essays written by transracial adoptees and from the introduction are very angry that they were adopted by white families. it came very highly recommended by readers on amazon, etc. and the reviews on the back cover as well by 'adoption experts' ( i use the quotes because i don't know what this means anymore) - but there is a lot of inflamatory language they use. for instance they talk about americans as 'consumers' of children as if kids are toasters or something. Here is the first paragraph of the introduction:

"For the Chinese girls we see with their "forever families" on urban sidewalks; for the Korean kids growing up on farms in rural america; for the African American kids single handedly integrating small town schools in British Columbia; for the children who have been bought with the bribes of American dollars; for our sister's who have been kidnapped and sold; for the children who are deemed "unadoptable" - we must witness."

Their whole thesis seems to be that american white people can't afford to adopt american white babies and that it takes too long, and so that's why people adopt internationally. and that we have no business doing so. and also that the america hasn't really changed in 30 years.

we got the book because we want to know as much as we can about transracial adoption and who better to learn from than people who have experienced it. but they seem to be setting out from the very beginning to demonize everyone who wants to adopt or has adopted. this makes me just as uncomfortable as people who want to deify the parents of adopted children (ie: those kids are just so lucky to have you - yuck!).

people who annoy me are:
1) those who refer to international adoption as "forced migration"
2) those who refer to international adoption as "the new globalization"

in reality, international adoption by westerners started with picking up the atrocious slack of an unjust war in vietnam. certain americans felt compelled to adopt children whose parents the american government had killed so that they wouldn't grow up alone. in my opinion, people in the west who are willing to raise children, (in a globally responsible way), who have been abandoned by their own countries and forced to orphanhood by parents who were shunned by that same force or by the force of poverty or disease, not only have the right to do so but somehow find within themselves an utterly compassionate and real desire to allow these children to fulfill the right they were born with - which is life.

i agree with their whole point that colorblind love doesn't exist or work. we personally believe that differences should be a source of pride and celebrated. i just wanted the authors to acknowledge that there are many families out there who are aware of the difficulties of transracial adoption, and are prepared to take them on if they arise, who acknowledge and fight racism every chance they get, and who truly and genuinely want to have a family.

i haven't finished the book so hopefuly it will get better - more balanced perhaps? i do also agree with their ideas of global poverty being the real problem - however i am still waiting to hear a viable option for the children who are in orphanages
currently. i will be sure to let you know if my thoughts change or if i do end up garnering insight as to the problems/tribuations they experienced and how we might combat them.

Monday, August 6, 2007

the waiting game

in 2 hours and 13 minutes we'll have been waiting exactly 4 months for our referral - waiting sucks. the courts closed today- i've heard that they'll re-open on Oct. 8 but I don't know if this is a real date or if there even is such a thing in Ethiopia where frequent power outages and even the rainy season can throw things off -- we'll see. did i mention i'm tired of waiting? i feel like i've been 6 months pregnant for 6 months except instead of everyone touching my belly everyone just asks, any news??!?!?! i can't wait to have a new answer!