TITLE: Be Careful, What We Think Is Good...May Not Be Good
By gene hudgens
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Many of us have a desire at one time or another to adopt a child. Most of us understand that this is a tremendously important decision. It can be a very important decision for us, but it can be THE VERY MOST IMPORTANT DECISION for the child.
This must be a well thought-out decision, which will require professional advice (not just advice from friends). Naturally we will need professional legal advice, but a wise person must consider obtaining professional advice from a trusted church official, a child psychologist, and a person trained in cultural differences.
We can have the very best intentions in the world and sincerely want only the best for a baby or child we will adopt, but we must try to understand that a child from another country and a different culture will look different than the children they will grow-up with.
We can have the very best intentions, but this child will be forced to associate with other children and adults that may not have good intentions.
Unfortunately too many people in every society are unwise, ignorant, prejudiced, hypocritical, and mean.
We would have to be blind not to see this when a child grows up in a home with both blood parents, but one is black and the other is white or one is from Tennessee and the other from Mexico or Brazil. Many adults even hurt children when the child’s parents are of a different religion. Unfortunately life isn’t easy for a child under the best circumstances.
We have all observed situations where everything goes well and smoothly for the adopted child, but it’s likely we’ve observed more bad situations than good ones.
I remember one situation where a neighbor wanted another baby, but the wife could not have more children. They also wanted to do something to help a child who was without a parent. They had only the best intentions in their minds.
Money was not a big issue for them, so they traveled to Korea after reading about the sad conditions many babies and children that are up for adoption have under the best Korean conditions. They felt that they were doing more good for a Korean baby than would be achieved if adopting a baby in America.
They were surprised to learn that the expenses of adopting a baby in Korea were great; perhaps more expensive than adoption in America, but they felt they were doing the right thing for this baby. They could offer the baby the very best life style and education opportunities.
The baby was very intelligent and cute. She grew up to be a very lovely, perhaps beautiful young lady. Perhaps this baby had an advantage. Both parents were very well educated and there was ample love in their house. The parents were wise enough to begin explaining the adoption at a very early age. The child grew up understanding that her adopted parents were her loving parents, but not her biological parents.
When she was a teen she naturally began asking more and more questions. She knew she was born in Korea, comes from the Korean culture, and has Korean blood and inherited Korean traits. She never asked her adopted parents to take her to Korea, but her adopted parents wanted her to meet and know her parents.
The Korean culture and adoption procedures are so different than in America that the adoption agency honestly did not know who the parents were. She, like so many babies, had been left on the agency’s door step with out even a note.
School learning had always been easy for this child and thanks to her adopted parents she is very self-confident. She educated herself about the Korean culture, even though she never really wanted to move to or visit Korea.
This child was more fortunate than many. Her adopted parents had sufficient money to hire a detective and run many ads in the news papers. After a two year search the agency sent word that the child’s 80 year old parents had been found.
After several months the trip was planned. The news media learned of this family trip and received permission from the adopted parents and the agency to film the initial meeting. It was very beautiful and sad. The old mother spoke no English and the father refused to participate in the meeting. The old mother did not recognize her child by looks, but they both recognized traits (finger movements, facial and eye movements) that convinced all concerned that yes, mother and child had met.
Like many similar situations, the parents were extremely poor, poorly educated, and just could not feed their baby.
This short story is presented as a pre-text to the next incident.
Back in her American home town she and her parents are sitting in a restaurant one evening when she hears a man near their table make a terrible remark. This stranger is somewhat of a typical unwise, ignorant, prejudiced, hypocritical, and mean individual. He states to his family, “The Asian girl is probably another child from a loose woman that dated American service members in her home country.” This poor ignorant individual can’t recognize that this girl is 100% Oriental.
The dummy then tells his wife that he will prove his point. He clears his throat and quiet loudly says, “Excuse me Miss, but are you Japanese?”
“No, I’m American.” She quietly replies with a smile. “When I was born I was left on the door step of a local adoption agency. My Korean parents were so poor they could not feet me. My sincere advice to you, Sir, is to spend time loving your children and try not to ever hurt others. The family that I am sitting with is my family, my mother and my father and my brother. I am “all American” with Korean blood. So please excuse me Sir.”
There are so many children of all ages that suffer this kind of bad experience from prejudiced and ignorant people. Unfortunately, many do not have adoptive parents that teach them to be strong and capable of handling situations such as this with out being terribly hurt. Many children do not have a college education that adds to their maturity and control.
Many, perhaps most adopted children that look differently suffer more than the children that look just like their adopted parents.
No one can tell another person what to do. All I want to address here in this short article is that life is too short not to be happy. All parents, including adoptive parents, must always think before making decisions. Will their decision aid in seeing a child grow up happy and feeling good about life or will it harm the child in the long run.
Having served twenty eight years in the military I have likely observed a higher ratio of mixed marriages and adoptions than many people have. Strongly consider adopting a child from your own culture. It’s absolutely beautiful when a couple wants to adopt from another culture and I feel certain they have only the best in mind for their new child. Just be sure your actions don’t cause the child unnecessary hardships and heartaches which might out weigh any good you want to accomplish.
Adoption is the answer to many problems for many people in many situations. I feel certain that God smiles when any one adopts a child with the thoughts and intentions of making the child healthy and happy.
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