International adoption and Reece’s Rainbow

I’ve been obsessed with adoption blogs lately. I have no desire to adopt a child. Our oldest is going to college next year, our youngest is 14 and I am looking forward to the next stage in our lives. When our first child was about 3 months old and I no longer had any feeling of having been recently pregnant, although I was still nursing, I remember looking at him and thinking, “this could be anyone’s child” and coming to the realization that adopted children are loved as much as biological children because the bonding doesn’t come from the birth process, it comes for the 24/7 caretaking of a child.

Having said that, I’m very intrigued by the stories I see out there on adoption blogs. My family on my mother’s side is Russian and so I’m particularly drawn to those featuring children from Ukraine or Russia. There are two really good ones I follow, and I’d like to recommend them:

Tiny Green Elephants This young couple seems very dedicated and open. Their children, a biological son, and two children adopted at the same time from Russia, a younger son and an older daughter, are very compelling to me. There is something in their faces that draws me in and I want to know more about them. Sometimes the blogger seems a tad too sweet but I love the look of her blog and how her family seems to be thriving.

Another I absolutely love is Wrong in All the Right Ways

This family has two biological children and four adopted children, three with special needs, two of whom were adopted from the Ukraine together within the past two years. I like this blogger because she talks about the ups and downs of her family and seems not to sugar-coat anything. The change in her youngest child, who suffers from arthrogryposis, from a starving, deprived, stiff infant to thriving mobile toddler is amazing.

What I really want to talk about is fairly controversial and I don’t want to include the two blogs listed above in this group. I originally started reading adoptions blogs after stumbling on Reese’s Rainbow, probably though some random blog link, and I was drawn in by the listings and photos of orphaned children with special needs looking for their “forever families.”
There is a link to children who have been placed with a little bio of each and sometimes a blog link chronicling the family’s adoption journey.

I devour these blogs, trying to understand the desire for adopting multiple children with special needs. Because it’s not something I’m drawn to, it is infinitely interesting to me that someone would feel called to this vocation. The same way it’s interesting to me that people want to swim with sharks. There is lots of talk of home schooling and extensive calendars with multiple visits to doctors, therapists, dieticians, etc. Then there are the groups of parents who utilize, not inappropriately, the services offered by their local school districts with lots of blogging about “advocating” for their children.

Now, I’m not against these adoptions, I just don’t understand them. Rather, I understand adopting 1, 2, or even 3 or 4 children, but some of these families have 5, 6, and more adopted children with multiple special needs children in the mix. There is also a great deal of posting about how smooth the transition is from institutionalized child to happy member of a large family. I keep thinking that these children in large families are not adopted into a family so much as they are exchanging one “groupa” for another. They are being taken from all they have ever known and placed halfway around the world into an institution of another kind, albeit one with consistent, loving caregivers who speak a foreign language, and better medical care. Not that this is a bad thing or that it shouldn’t happen.

I have also noticed that a lot of blogs just stop. And I wonder if it’s because the family got busy with life and are moving forward or if the children have run into adjustment issues and it’s too difficult to blog about something that’s not sunshine and rainbows. Then quite a few blogs actively ask for donations to offset the cost of their adoptions. I’m conflicted about this. People adopting domestically don’t seem to solicit for donations, but perhaps I just haven’t see them; although perhaps this isn’t any different from showers for prospective parents. Does the idea of “rescuing” these children make this type of adoption more amenable to fundraising?

Then I stumbled upon these blogs about problems with international adoption, found here and here and here.

Is it better to adopt and transfer these children or support them financially in their home country? Do any of you know of anyone who has adopted internationally? What are your thoughts or experiences?

This entry was posted in Faith, Fundamentalism, Infertility, International Adoption, Parenting, Reece's Rainbow, Special Needs Children. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to International adoption and Reece’s Rainbow

  1. Karen says:

    I know of three RR families who have disrupted.

    • That is so painful to hear about. Do you think it’s lack of adequate information on the side of the adoptive parents? I can totally understand parents with early childhood education backgrounds or psychiatrists or therapists adopting these damaged children. But it seems that in blog after blog the adoptive parents seem to fit into this stereotypical evangelical Christian model. Again, I’m very intrigued by how these work out. I don’t troll or comment on these blogs, of I guess I should say that when I do, I focus on positive comments. I think I would personally crack under this type of intense pressure.

  2. adoptionista says:

    We adopted two infants internationally from Africa, so obviously we’re fans of the whole fandango 🙂 In our babies’ case, the poverty was so desperate that there were babies (and toddlers, and children) overflowing the orphanages. Many die before they are able to be matched with an adoptive family. Birth families are non-existant in the majority of cases there…(death, abandonment). So, that was a very different view for us than other international adoptions where there are birth families that could have (and maybe would have) parented with financial support. Interesting topic. I think with all the hubbub about unethical adoptions/trafficking, more and more sponsorship programs are popping up, which is awesome. 🙂

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