“Oh, your kids are adopted? From where?” people always ask. I know they’re expecting to hear the name of some exotic place, some war-torn country that we have rescued these little waifs from. I hate to disappoint them, but invariably my answer of “Burnaby” always does. There’s a second when the information sinks in and their brains recalculate what they know about adoption. For a second.
Until they say, “That’s so great! How old are your babies?” Apparently they’re also not expecting to hear that they are 9 and 13 years old. See, when most people think about adoption, they think international adoption, they think babies – and those are great ways of creating a family! But my wife and I chose to go through the Ministry of Children and Family Development right here in BC, and to adopt waiting children who needed a family.
Morgan Brayton has a guest post on the always-wonderful yoyomama.ca as part of the site’s celebration of Adoption Month, highlighting the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development’s Waiting Child program — and how she and her wife Michele came to be the mothers of two truly wonderful kids.
She tells it well, and I hope it inspires more people to look into the program. But even if you’re not considering adoption, I’ll urge you to read Morgan’s blog And Then We Will Be Very Happy. It’s a reminder to me to strive to be as loving and fiercely devoted a parent to my own kids as Morgan and Michele are to theirs… and a reminder, too, that every child deserves a parent like that.
Actually, “deserves” isn’t quite strong enough.
It seems like a staggering failure of our community that we devote so few resources and even less public attention to supporting families of all kinds, to fostering a culture of positive parenthood, and to coming to the aid of kids in need (whether that need is economic, social or emotional).
But even if we aren’t prepared to give up a tax break or two, could we at least tear down the stupidest barrier to adoption?
During the second U.S. Presidential debate this year, when Mitt Romney (in maybe the most cynical answer of the whole debate cycle) pivoted from talking about gun control to suggesting that single parenthood contributes to gun violence, Alex tweeted one of the wiser responses:
Hey Mitt, you know where you could get a whole new supply of 2-parent families? Legalize gay marriage. #debate
— AlexandraSamuel.com (@awsamuel) October 17, 2012