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Archive for April, 2008

The Dam Breaks

Boomerific began as a way to work through issues related to our first adoption attempt which, as you know, resulted in lots of reading, personal angst and redefinition, soul-searching, an outlay of money, and ultimately three failed attempts at bringing a child home (in two of those cases, though, children stayed with their mothers, so it’s a mixed story for sure).

Then along came the Snapper through old-fashioned means, then exams and a dissertation, then law school.  Attic Man and I came to the conclusion that we had to cease adoption talk in the practical sense, as we have a tendency to act too soon once an idea takes hold.  Seeing as we aren’t exactly in the ideal position to adopt, it was a smart choice.

But lately I’ve been feeling the stirrings of family fever and I’m no longer content to sit around and wait for life to straighten itself out enough for me to start thinking through adoption for our family again.  With Attic Man’s agreement we are going to start really, really tentatively and with all sorts of clauses and exceptions, talking about how to proceed.  The idea is to have some kind of a highly flexible plan in place so that the minute we’re ready we’ll have worked all kinds of things out and can go forward with an adoption process.

(Dear Attic Man and my friend A.: I have finished revising that conference paper!  Really I have!  A., it’s in your inbox.)

Preliminary thoughts: I’ve still been reading all the adoption blogs I did before and even some new ones, so I’m hip to the issues of open records, birth certificates, enforceable open adoption agreements, etc.  My thinking about domestic infant adoption has also developed considerably compared to when we started this whole thang years ago.  While many private and agency adoptions in this country are ethical (from a procedural standpoint), many are not; many first mothers and fathers speak of buying the rhetoric of ‘moving on’ only to later realize they could have parented and will never recover from losing their children; and really, there is not the need for domestic adoption to the extent that I once thought.  There will always be some need for domestic adoption as an option for mothers who absolutely cannot care for their children–but there are already more than enough people lined up to parent those children.

Since I’ve parented a newborn I no longer feel the same kind of baby fever I once did (maybe it didn’t help that said newborn was not exactly the easiest baby…) and so along with my uneasiness about domestic adoptions (not outright rejection) I am more focused on need–who are the children that are in most need of homes right now?  We’ve talked over adopting from foster care but at this point that is not the right option for us (I may elaborate on this later, if I can work it out in a coherent and sensitive way), so that leads us, maybe, to international adoption of a young child who, despite all other attempts, is not able to stay with his or her family in their country of origin.  Of course this is uncharted territory for me (not for Attic Man) and there are layers of loss we haven’t fully thought through.  I’m reading Third Mom all the time, especially because we might be interested in Korean adoption…

I’m just blathering here so that I can clear this out of my mind for the moment and get back to academic work–anyway, we’re back.  I hope a few of you are still reading because I have the feeling we’re going to need some help navigating it all…

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To those of you who still believe racism is a thing of the past, on both an institutional and individual basis, read this, making especially sure to read the comments. I understand that the comments are skewed toward trollage, but I have personally heard more than one Cedar Rapidian refer to those “people from Chicago” (aka, poor black people mucking up our perfect, safe white city).

I know many, many CR people who do not discriminate and work hard to fight their inner racist.  But clearly we have a long, long way to go.

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