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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I'm blogging...it's about adoption

I've been trying to convince myself to start a blog lately, but it's been hard. I'm busy, I type all the time for work, I need to make dinner, the dog needs a walk, I want to plant flowers, I need to call someone, I need to go to the post office, I need...a million excuses not to ever get started. It's just long overdue. But I just couldn't sit down and make it happen.

The catalyst for me to get started today was a recent viewing of an international adoption documentary. It's called Stuck and it's a documentary about children and families stuck in the broken international adoption system. Just a couple of minutes into it, when I started to feel bad about eating my second Twizzler, thinking about the fact that I now have two Twizzlers in my already full-from-dinner belly, I knew that I was sunk. It's one of those documentaries that you watch because you know you should, but you have that sinking feeling that the subject matter is going to certainly get harder before it gets better. And Stuck is no exception.  

From beginning to end, 122 minutes of stories that I can relate to, watching interviews with clients that could have very easily been one of my clients, and most devastating perhaps was the raw video footage of these kids in these orphanages.  Not these old photos we've all seen in turn of the 20th century orphanages. Oh no friends, very modern photos, all from 2011 and later. It's really all there, for us to see, this is how these babies are being cared for and this is how these older children are growing up. And then when they turn that magic/tragic age of 14, 15, 16, or 17, whatever the age is, and those gates open, the child is leaving into an even scarier world. It is outrageous.

To those who tell me that we've got plenty of kids here to adopt, and then ask why people have to leave the country in order to complete an adoption (first off I snarkily ask you how many children you've adopted from the US foster care system, and then I put my nice girl hat back on) and then I will tell you to watch this movie and you will get it.  It’s nice that we have choices in life and adoption is no exception.  The Lord calls us to adopt from all different places and I’m glad we can submit. 

Texting with another girlfriend/adoption momma after the movie, she told me that she and her husband would love to adopt internationally again, but now, after seeing that she's now more frightened than ever. Obviously it's easy to see that side of it and quite honestly, anyone with two bits of sense in them should run quickly the other way. But is that the right thing to do? Is that what these babies (they are all babies in my eyes) need you to do? 

Has the Lord placed adoption on your heart and now you are feeling that's what He has called you to do? If so, knock sense square off its block, go watch that documentary tonight and plan to start researching agencies tomorrow (and let me know if you need any help!) 

* If you adopted once and you have been dragging your feet about going again because your oldest needs braces and you haven't been socking away enough in your retirement and you really wanted to take the family to Disney this year because you've been promising that to the kids for years...trust me, their hearts will benefit a lot more from a new sister than a stock photo of Mickey. 
*And if you have never adopted before but you say to yourself that your kids are too old and you have everything on the perfect trajectory that you planned back when you were 22 years old and dreaming of your future family with your four children, all stair-stepped, two years apart (boy girl boy girl), now two in college and two in high school, and so a four-year-old with all his problems and complications would just throw your world off too much...keep thinking about it. 

And trust me, in the end, when your kids reflect back on their lives, they won't be shaped and affected by Mickey or braces or private college or a bigger home nearly as much as they will be from their sister who came from a family, to the streets, to an orphanage in Haiti, to your home, and into your hearts.

Plus, I never went to Disney and I'm fine.

26 comments:

  1. Love that you started a blog! Love your words and heart here!

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  2. So totally you. Love this post.

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  3. Happy you're doing this, Nikki!

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  4. Nikki, the way you candidly write, you were MADE for blogging. Your notes always leave me stitches! I would also make the recommendation for anyone considering adoption (or not) to go see STUCK, it paints a very real picture of international adoption today.

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    1. Thank you! I agree with you. The documentary is a great depiction of the current journey.

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  5. We've adopted 3 times, making a total of 5 kids. This last time, we adopted a teenager...yes, on purpose! Adoption is the most gut-wrenching, exhausting, mentally and sometimes physically challenging way to build your family, but when God points your way down a certain path, one must follow. OUr bio son summed it up just two days ago........"Mom, I can't imagine our family any other way"........

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    1. Oh, I SO love this! I'm so glad to hear he said that. Very cool! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Love this! You are a Rock Star to my family, so glad you are sharing your heart (and your wit!). Who better to blog about adoption than someone so pivotal in many adoption journeys?!!

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    1. I mean, it was just a matter of time. After Emme wrote a paper about being "an adoption person", I had nowhere else to go but up.

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  7. So happy you are blogging. I will follow your insightful words and inspiring thoughts. My girls are Junior and Freshman in High School now. Can you believe it? I have not seen STUCK yet. Would love to see it and I will soon. Love ya and miss you kiddo. Pam

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    1. No way! I can't believe they are in High school! Ahhhh! How time flies. Thanks for the update and for following along!

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  8. Been meaning to watch Stuck- we couldn't the day it came to KC and keep forgetting to get it online. Will now be on our weekend plans! Thanks for the reminder!

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  9. Bravo Nikki! I found the movie online now I just need to get my butt to watch it this weekend. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  10. Beautifully said... And yes "stuck" is a captivating film relating close to home for many of us!

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  11. So excited to follow your blog! I know you have a passion for adoption and I am happy you are sharing those stories with us. While I know adoption can be a good thing, having come to know many adult international adoptees over the years since adopting our two boys, I have come to focus more on all the messy negative parts of it. We are very conflicted about adopting another child for these reasons. Although adoption has been very rewarding to me as a parent I am now hung up on how many issues and struggles it may cause for my children as they become adults. I would like to have seen Stuck give a bit more attention to the birth families and how we can promote families staying together or reuniting rather than only promoting adoption as the only option for a way out of poverty. I am saddened that we (mostly white Americans) feel that poverty is reason enough for some one to relinquish their child. I am haunted by the possible corruption that may have been a part of my son's adoption story. I am haunted by what more I could be doing to find and help his birth family from the poverty they may be living in.

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    1. Thank you, Summer, for posting this unbelievably important post. I read the blog you referenced on your facebook a week or so ago and it was so good to see the other side of it. What a well-written post. It is important for us to focus on international family preservation, as that is the goal. It's tragic when it's not possible but I'm glad we have another option for these babies. You are such an advocate for ethical adoptions! Thank you!

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    2. Thanks for being so open. Sometimes it is difficult to see past what we know. Thanks for considering the other side of it. Sometimes social workers, adoption advocates, etc become very defensive when anyone talks about the negative side of adoption and I appreciate your advocacy with an open heart and mind to all that is good and bad with adoption.

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  12. One of my very favorite people blogging about one of my very favorite things. *sigh* the stars have alligned!! Welcome to blogging, friend. Can't wait to read more...

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  13. Well said, Nikki! Can't wait to share your wisdom and perspective with the world!

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  14. Love this. Can't wait to see what you have in store for all of us. :)

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  15. Thank you, everyone! What encouragement this is. I'm so excited to get started and encouraged that you are being so supportive!

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  16. Hi Nikki... so glad you did this. After the adoption is over it just seems that adoption extended family disappears. Nicholas is 8... sorry 8 1/2 as he so regulary reminds me. Can't believe it. He asks us regularly for another brother. Tell us how great a big brother he would be - and he would. Just seems so overwhelming to even try to think of doing this again.

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  17. Great writing Nikki!! So excited that you are blogging ...we love you and love your heart!

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  18. Hi Nikki - went to an adoption dinner Friday night and some of the gals told me you started a blog and you and Brian are waiting for your little girl in China - saw her pic on your blog - how beautiful and always knew you would adopt. So very happy for you Nikki and just wanted to reach out to you to tell you so! All the best to you!

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