Tuesday, June 13, 2006
To tell the truth
Thanks for all the cyberhugs via the comments and via email, folks; they are greatly appreciated here at the OmegaHomestead. The one good thing about having this Huge Deadline approaching swiftly is that work is quite intense right now, keeping OmegaMom from breaking into a weepy mess at the office (quite unprofessional, dontcha know). For those wondering if they had missed any explanation--no, you haven't. I've been mum on the issue, because it's not mine to talk about, it's Mr. OmegaMom's, and I don't feel right blabbing about it without his express permission. Suffice it to say that there was this Issue leading to an Event which happened a year and a half ago (medical-ish), which type of Issue and Event China is not looking too kindly on these days. More details may or may not be forthcoming, depending on the dude's approval. In any event (har), this Issue and Event are not something I can lie about on a homestudy, nor can we ask a medico to lie about under oath (which is what the notary would be notarizing, some blather about "true to the best of my knowledge" on the part of the medico). For another thing, it was excruciating to live through, on both sides, and working our way past it is very important to our current lives and our marriage and how we regard life in general. I know there are plenty of people out there who do lie on their homestudies. In general, while I try not to judge folks, this is something that I have a problem with. Yes, potential adoptive parents are being asked to relinquish control of their lives to other people. Yes, potential adoptive parents have to go through a lot of scrutiny that biological parents don't have to put up with. Yes, it's invasive. Yes, it's expensive. Yes, it's a big ol' pain in the ass. But maybe...just maybe...if homestudies are conducted honestly and openly, with potential adoptive parents who are willing to expose all their not-so-pretty backstories, and social workers who are willing to make the effort to deal with those backstories...just maybe we'd hear fewer stories like this and like this. The folks at the CCAA are trying their best to protect children that they are sending off to a totally different country, to be raised by people who are supposed to be (relatively) good parents. They're not saints, no, but they're trying to do their best by the children they have entrusted to their care. The same with (good) adoption agencies and government adoption ministries around the world. The majority of the people who work at these institutions are acting in loco parentis, and are simply trying to find a way to select decent people to take care of children who don't have parents of their own, or whose parents turned out to not be good at taking care of children. Think of it this way: if you had to decide on someone to take care of your children for the rest of their childhoods, just how much reassurance would you want that the people you are entrusting them to are Good People, who will do their best by the children, raise them with love and care and treat them right? I know that when Mr. OmegaMom and I had to think about who we would name as guardians for OmegaDotter--before we had any inkling of what she was like--we thought long and hard about it. We wanted a couple of a reasonable age--which ruled out our parents. We wanted a couple who had ideals and outlooks that were similar to ours--which ruled out many loved relatives who were the "right" age. The decision of guardians was, in fact, one of the most difficult parts of putting our dossier together. We took it as a duty, an obligation, a responsibility, to determine who we thought would raise our child the way we would want her to be raised. The long and the short of it is that, while I'm sad, while it hurts, while it even makes me angry that our own judgment of the circumstances is being passed over because of statistical outcomes...these people had to make a judgment, and we lost out. Period. We have other avenues to pursue, and we will, once we decide which way to go. We know that the local adoption authorities were willing to give us a whirl, so that's a possibility. And there are other countries out there that might be willing to take us on, warts and all. Y'see, we are not entitled to someone else's child. We have to demonstrate to a judge here where we live that we would make good parents. We have to have that judge's approval before we can pass a homestudy. Yeah, we might hit a social worker on a bad day. Or our homestudy judge might be suffering from a gout attack the day our homestudy comes before his/her desk. Or the #@%!& USCIS may decide we're not the cat's pajamas. And we could swear by all that's holy that we're Good Folks and would be Good Parents and, gee, we deserve to have a child! But in general, all these folks along the way have to have some set of standards by which to judge, and usually they do their best to follow those standards (rather than being affected by a bad day, or a gout attack, or just general USCIS contrariness). Fried eggs, three sperm, and "Gee, golly, we're nice folks!" just isn't enough to adopt.
posted by Kate @ 6/13/2006 10:28:00 PM