At the end of this week, I will be leaving my current position and organization and stepping in a new (and welcomed) direction. This switch has officially been in the makings for the past few months. After a number of interviews and weeks of waiting, I was offered a newly created position at an organization in the city. (Where I did my MSW internship… yay!) I am both so excited and a bit nervous for this new endeavor. My official title will be: Homeless Services Coordinator. I will have to elaborate on what I will be doing, once I start doing it…
As my final week as an Adoption Social Worker is coming to an end, I have found myself reflecting on what I have done this past year and a half. Even though adoption work is not for me, as I have learned, it is a beautiful thing when a successful family is united, created. I definitely have grown a lot from the experience. Some of it has been good, some bad. All life experiences are learning opportunities, and I think I’ve learned a lot about myself, the adoption world, global poverty, parenting, and in general, people.
I’ve noticed in this past year and a half that when people have asked what my occupation is, I get “awwws” and “oooos” when I say adoption work. I’m not gonna lie, it kind of irritates me. I didn’t go into social work for a cutesy, cushy, tiny toes, squeezable, bright and sunny kind of job. I’ve learned that although ultimately I am bringing a child into a family, I’m working mainly with families…who have the means, education, and status to adopt. And that’s all good stuff, just not exactly what I want to do in my life.
I guess in the end, my main beef with adoption is the fact that children are being adopted internationally everyday… when they may not necessarily need to be adopted. I can’t bare to think about the amount of children (who are not orphans) that have been removed from the only life, country, environment they know because 1. their families don’t have enough money to provide for them, 2. their families think America will be a “better” place for them, 3. baby buying/kidnapping issues, and 4. supply and demand. I realize these are the gritty issues about adoption, maybe you’ve never thought of it, maybe you don’t want to think about it… but, I can’t help BUT think about it. Am I saying that all international adoptions are bad? NOT AT ALL. I just think that as human beings from a country that has so much, (that throws away food all the time, that lets groceries rot in our fridge because we forget about it, that complains about not having anything to eat,) we should perhaps be assisting parents in other countries keep their families united, instead of fighting to “get” one of their kids.
I don’t know what this all means for me (and Sean), especially since we are extremely interested in adopting in the future. How do we go about it morally, responsibly, and compassionately? How do we make sure that the child we are adopting has no other viable options of growing up in their country of origin? How can we be assured that the child we adopt is truly an orphan?