Just One More Reason Why Adoption Education Has To Be Included!

The last week has been an extremely emotional week for us, in many ways. I’ve been struggling lately to find a way to confirm my conviction to educate the public about adoption and why it has to be an option. As an adoption professional, I read everyday posts and blogs and articles from all sides about the aspects of adoption. I defend my reasons for working in this field to both those who want to adopt and those who feel they have been exploited by adoption professionals. Sometimes I feel beat down by the time I reach the bed, but even beat down – I still feel I am in the right place. This week , yesterday confirms this for me and I have been given strength by a little boy born a week ago that was never given a name. A week ago Saturday we received a call from an attorney we work with regularly (yes on a Saturday, because our doors never really close to those who need us) she had gotten a call from the Social Worker at the hospital. There was a baby born and he needed a family. The baby was one pound and delivered early at 26 weeks to a 19 year old mom who had hid her pregnancy. She came in stating she was dizzy. They confirmed the pregnancy, she denied knowing. This 19 yr old had a 2 yr old at home. This was of course an extreme denial. The father of this baby and her 2 yr old is a senior in high school. It was this young woman’s decision to choose an adoption plan for her child. We spent several days trying to find a family. A family who would take risks, this little guy was so new and so many things could happen. Many of the emails and calls we received wanted to adopt this baby, but felt the professional fees should be reduced because he was a high risk baby. This is the only thing I will say about that: We have a fee for professional services – we don’t put a price tag on the human beings we help to find homes for. It is my opinion that we have all been created equal. From all of these calls and emails we need to decide which best fits what this child’s needs will be, of course because of this we often spend the next week reading negative posts about us because a family wasn’t picked or we thought it was a situation that wouldn’t work for them, which for us just confirms that we made a good decision on the baby’s behalf, home study ready or not. Attorneys and agencies come to us because we spend time in the screening process and they don’t have too. We did find a family. They were in love with him before ever meeting him, that is what we look for.
This mom delivered and her baby went straight to the NICU, She didn’t ask to go see him while in the hospital, when her family came in they were upset about her decision to do the adoption plan saying ” we don’t do this kind of thing”. The consultant from the attorneys office was in the room and provided comfort to the grandmother. The family left without going to the NICU to see the baby. Mom was discharged from the hospital and no one went to see the baby.
Yesterday – quickly an infection set in and this sweet little baby boy died in the arms of the attorney’s consultant. The woman who went to visit him everyday..the woman that so many felt should have discounted her fee because he was a high risk baby, the woman who if this child had lived would be accused of coercion instead of offering parenting resources. I am grateful that he had her, I am grateful that there was a family who wanted to adopt him and never once asked why the fees were so high even though he was a preemie. I am grateful I was touched by his life to remind me the reasons I do this work.
This didn’t have to happen this way. If adoption education became part of the curriculum young women received, if it were provided in clinics as part of the initial intakes, then people wouldn’t be afraid of it. As much as society would like to believe situations like this don’t happen, they do. As much as society would like to believe that if we only offered more resources we wouldn’t need adoption, we can’t. There are resources- so many that sometimes it’s difficult to decide which ones to use. No there is not an endless stream of money or housing but even if there were, I promise that would not be enough. If more education were provided about adoption, it wouldn’t be so shameful and women could make the decision to do adoption plans more frequently than not and children would not grow up shamed or feeling abandoned, rather they would have abetter understanding that they weren’t given away. I already know there are going to be adoptees that totally disagree with me and birth moms who are going to totally disagree with me and it’s ok., If I have to be the Big Bad Wolf I’m ok with that, I’m the one who worked in Child Services for too many years, I’m the one who is on the front lines with this 19 year old who couldn’t tell anyone she was pregnant, I’m the one who assists these woman who come to me because they have no other family to go to – the one that does provide services and the one who passes no judgement on them when they just want a better life for their child. I’ve watched too often family and friends saying they would help out – and after the baby is born and needs support everyone disappears. I’m the one who understands that the 16 yr old that is crying in the hospital after giving birth is not crying because she has changed her mind about the adoption plan but because she loves her baby and everyone in the hospital keeps asking her why she is doing this?
I am grateful for this baby’s short life, I am grateful for my life and the work I do, and my promise to this little guy is that I won’t let what other people think get in my way of sharing his story, and providing information about the importance of adoption education. Rest in Peace Sweet Baby.

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2 thoughts on “Just One More Reason Why Adoption Education Has To Be Included!

  1. So happy you found someone to comfort this child when he most needed it. He is at peace, and you facilitated that as well. Hugs to you and Dean both, for all the help you offer to so many.

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