Adoption: The issue is not black and white.
Our formal application reads: Please check the box of desired race:
Other Mixed Race [check]
We did not check yes to all the boxes above for selfish reasons (statistically it will result in a baby sooner). We are open to all races because God is. Who are we to say this baby is meant for us but not that one? Only God knows and we trust he will send the right one to us.
I've been doing a lot of reading on trans-racial families and the information I've found is heartbreaking! Our agency currently has 55 families waiting for Caucasian babies, 30 families for bi-racial babies, and only about 18 for African-American. The government actually comes in to help subsidize the cost, making African-American adoptions considerably less than Caucasian adoptions. There are simply not enough adoptive families out their "willing" [exact words of the agency] to adopt black babies. How sad is that?
This week, I began looking for other adoption related blogs so that I could further my studies and I came across some birth mom sites. As naive as it might sound, I never really had given the birth mom very much thought--as far as what emotions she would be dealing with. As I snooped through some blogs I was even more heart-broken to read the pain behind many of the words. When I sit back and think about what it would be like to give up a baby that I carried for 9 months...it's inconceivable! I cannot even imagine the separation agony they must endure. So, all week I've had this battle raging inside of me. I know that providing a home for a baby that needs one is an incredible gift...but if given the opportunity would the real mother accept the same gift?
In Weaving a Family, Barbara Rothman says, "There may be an absolute neccesity to sometimes place black babies and children with white families in order that they have families at all. There is an absolute necessity to step in and help the families...White people raising black children in America, whether they've given birth to them or adopted them, need some help, support, assistance from the black community. But if you place that child, if you help the family...are you you then implicitly supporting the formation of such families? Are you acting in such a way as to encourage the removal of black children from the black community? The adoptive family and particularly the child need support, but all of what got that child into that situation needs to be stopped. Trans-racial adoption is a band-aid solution where far more radical solutions are immediately needed."
After reading those words you might be surprised to hear that the author is an adopted mom to an African-American child. I understand and agree with her argument. The number one reason African-American children are given up is due to poverty. There are not free services available to offer young moms protection or abortion; they simply have their babies because there is no other option. I can't help but think if they WERE given an option, what they would choose? What if all the money spent on the adoption was given to bring education and future to a mother so that she could start a new life and raise her baby? What then would she choose? Would she still give her baby up or would her heart be revived with hope? I know it wouldn't help my situation...but what if? I'm struck again today over the complexity of adoption. My dream of a future could be taking away from someone else's.
I have already begun to pray for our baby...and our mother...that the Lord would supernaturally give us wisdom. And that all lives involved will experience the hand of God in a raw untamable way.