Readers React: “Can We Change Our Mind on Adoption?”

Wow, I received a lot of flack from you readers on my former posts about feeling like the cost of international adoption is so deflating, and yet my family far prefers this option to a more open, domestic adoption. We even thought about trying to adopt a dog first to see if that will take the place of another being, another warm heart pumping, into our household. Well, the dog is working out great but the missing second child — on addition to my bio son Sam — is nowhere to be seen.

And adopting a second dog also made us realize again how much more work two is than one. Having one perfect beautiful bio child is pretty easy and amazing. But waiting for this missing daughter from India (who will be over four when we ever meet her) is losing its luster. My 6-year-old doesn’t even want to share his toys anymore.

Reader Renee said “I was adopted as an infant, but I already had an identity of my own. I was someone’s daughter BEFORE I was adopted. Any infant not born to you with be someone else’s son or daughter. It will have the genes, traits, abilities, talents, physical characteristics, etc., of its biological family, just as you have the genes, traits, abilities, talents, physical characteristics of yours and your husband has the genes, traits, abilities, talents, physical characteristics, etc., of his.

What your husband wants is a Cabbage Patch Kid. They sell them at Target; please go buy him one instead of helping him to destroy a human being with his mind-boggling narcissism.”

Thanks, I think, Renee. Adoption is hard enough without all the critiques and bad advice though.

“Let’s just stick with the dog,” I told my husband after reading a dozen nasty comments. And then, finally, one reader who happens to be a social worker responded, and helped me understand:

Lori said, “It sounds like you are exploring many options for building your family. It’s great that you reach out to people who can fill in what you haven’t yet experienced. It’s difficult, when you’re merely talking about a theoretical baby or child, to  ‘get deep down,’ that eventually you will be raising an actual child-tween-teen-adult who comes to you with her own blueprint, DNA, memories, traits, temperament, etc — things that are, in many ways, set. And removed from the influences of you and your husband.

“It can be a tough pill for a pre-adoptive parent to swallow, but it’s also a beautiful thing for a parent to watch a daughter who is yours (as in being claimed by, not as in ownership) blossom in surprising and unexpected ways.”

Thanks for all the pros and cons, tell me more in the comments below!

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff
  1. by Lori Lavender Luz

    On October 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Hi, Nicole. I’m the Lori you quoted above. I’m not a social worker — just a mom making open adoption work for my children, trying to address and resolve MY issues so my kids are free to deal with only theirs.

    I took on this job-of-a-lifetime, this labor of love, by listening to and learning from not only other adoptive parents but also birth parents and especially adult adoptees. The result is a book that helps clarify the questions you and others may have about the role of openness in adoption, about the affect of adoptedness on an adoptee (and what a parent can do to smooth the road).

    Openness isn’t just about contact, it’s a way of parenting mindfully, heartfully, and consciously, and of working through your own issues so that your child is not saddled with them.

    The book will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in March, 2013. It’s called “The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole” More info:

    Best wishes to you :-)