So, I have heard/read a lot of discussion about this topic lately and decided that I would write a post about it fairly early in my blog to set the record straight about how we feel about it...
When we were making a decision to start our family, adoption was a very natural place for us to begin. I don't know why having biological children wasn't our starting point - it just wasn't. Right now, our heart isn't there. Instead, our hearts are with the children around the world who are already here and in need of families. We started out thinking we would pursue adopting through the US foster system, but in the end decided that wasn't the place for us either. Then, we began exploring our options for international adoption in Africa. I have always felt a pull toward Africa. Maybe its because that's where human life began....maybe its because I traveled there briefly and felt the entire time that I was there that I was at "home". Maybe its because I know the need in Africa is so great....Regardless of the reasoning - that is where we feel our kids are.
I know that people who have not adopted or at least considered adoption will likely not understand this, but I already feel like I have kids there and it is just a matter of us finding them. I don't know who they are, but I love them. I don't know what they look like, but I know I will recognize them when I see them. I don't know their birthdays, I don't know their favorite foods, I don't know if they have nightmares at night, I don't know if their biological mom sang to them to calm them, I don't know if they feel loved right now....But they are. They are loved fiercely by me. And I will find them...when the time is right. It is weird to feel this way. Even I think its weird. But, the closer we get to starting this journey and the closer we get to making final decisions, the stronger I feel it. I can't imagine how it will feel when we are actually in process and getting close to actually bringing them home!
Now, for the "saving a child" discussion....In many ways, Z and I are going through this process for selfish reasons. We want to have a family...We want two little kids....WE want, WE want, WE want. In the end, these kids will be our kids. We will love them as though we were the ones who brought them into the world. There will be unknowns...of course (there are tons of unknowns in a pregnancy, too). We won't know our children when we bring them home (but people who have biological children don't know them when they bring them home either). We'll be taking it all in faith. Knowing that whatever children we bring into our home were meant to be there.
We are not "saving a child". Our reasoning for adopting from Ethiopia is not to save a child from an orphanage. We want children...there are children in Ethiopia who need what we can provide - its a good match. We NEVER want our children to feel as though we adopted them in order to save them from whatever life they would have had in Ethiopia. A child should never have to feel grateful to have a home and a family. All children deserve to have a home and a family. I never want my kids to feel indebted to me. I want them to know their parents love them and want the best for them. All I know is that our kids will not be the lucky ones - we will be the lucky ones.