(I began this post with plans to take it in a very different direction, but alas, I went with the flow. I will, someday soon, write about what I was originally planning to write about today - birth families.)
The whole idea of adoption is difficult to wrap my head around sometimes; and if its difficult for me, I know that its difficult for friends and family members watching us go through it to understand. Z and I do NOT think that the boys are "lucky" to be adopted and come live with us. If anything, it is quite the opposite. We are the ones who feel blessed to be chosen to raise these two precious boys. We have been granted the biggest gift anyone could ever bestow on us, the gift of not one, but two lives. And with this gift comes great responsibility; Z and I want to raise the boys in a way that will make our families proud, in a way that honors their birth family, and in a way that honors Ghana.
I will never think that our boys were "meant to be with us"; to do so would mean that I would have to believe that they were "meant" to lose their birth family, that they were "meant" to leave Ghana and everything they know. The world is a harsh place sometimes; it isn't fair and balanced. The best case scenario for our boys would be that they could continue to live in Ghana with birth family members who love them and can afford to take care of them. They would receive an education, they would receive proper medical care, they would grow up to become men who can offer something to their communities, and they would never know that we existed. But the truth is, our world does not operate on "best case scenario", or any of the next few "next to best case scenarios" on the list. Instead, due to circumstances outside their control and outside our control, our boys ended up in an orphanage in Accra. Even the very best orphanages in the world are no substitute for a family.
I wish we could change the world. I wish that we could find ways to put safety nets into place so that families falling through the cracks could be caught and kept together long before orphans are created. I wish orphanages weren't necessary. I wish that domestic adoption programs were in place all over the world and that children could be placed into loving families in their country of birth. But the truth is, the orphan crisis is simply too big for many countries. Families in many countries in Africa are already over-extended. They have already taken in all that they can; and there are still children becoming orphans every day. Somehow, the problem needs to be fixed at the source. International adoption at the end of the process is not a fix.
Ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic, ridding the world of malaria, building communities up to end poverty, and building diplomatic relationships around the world to end and avoid wars are fixes and that's where we NEED to make a difference.
Z and I are adopting two beautiful little boys. Someone please tell me there is hope for the other 999,998 orphans in Ghana. Someone please tell me what will happen to the MILLIONS of orphans all over our world who currently have no hope of finding a new family. Those of us who live comfortable lives in safe places need to understand that there are others who are suffering. And we should not be comfortable with that.