Monday, January 9, 2012

In Which We May Subvert the Dominant Paradigm

Thoughts in Number Form:
1) The world is going down the drain, and I can't do anything to stop it?
2) Is it responsible to have a child when so many other people are in need of loving, stable homes? (This answer is very clear with pets).
3) We will eventually require a new vehicle
4) Do I want to be a parent? (Yes. It's the how that's confusing). 

The picture below is from MorphThing, a site that gained most of its popularity years ago and has since tapered out. 

Neither one of us can tell what gender MorphBaby is, but it cute! Seriously, if we were to have kids this cute, I'd have one today just to pinch its cheeks. 

Okay, I wouldn't, but you get the idea. How cute would a kid like that be?

Too bad (or not), cuteness is the least of the considerations one undertakes when contemplating a child or children. Pregnancy, as amazing as it is, does quite ring true with me. I used to be scared of it (thus the sudden research splurge), but now I think it's pretty damn cool. Still feel like it may not be for me. While this may change in the future (see my husband, how amazing he is, and did you see MorphBaby up there?), the idea of adopting presents itself with lights, bells, and challenges  that appeal, even after doing tons of reality-based reading (the highlights of which have been linked here). Adoption seems a miserably hard route in which all your focus and energy goes towards creating a safe, loving, nurturing environment in order for a child or children to attain a normalcy undermined by their previous experiences-- with varying degrees of success (which also seems to be redefined along the way). 

Why on earth is that so damn appealing to me?

The older I get, the stronger my sense of social justice becomes. Social justice... for me the word encompasses more than equality and solidarity. Quite simply, if you have the ability to do good in the world, it is your responsibility to do that good-- to pursue your full potential and heal the world in every possible way you can. 

I'm going to use the dogs as a prime example. Prior to adopting our pups, we did a ton of research. The dogs who do not get adopted are 1) aggressive animals (we chose not to have an aggressive dog as we plan on having children in our lives and did not want to put them at risk; additionally, Gabe was in the process of developing his dog-whisper, and an aggressive dog would be an inappropriate fit for our pack), 2) special needs dogs (hello, Homey! We love you!), and 3) senior dogs (we're so glad you picked us, Belle!)

The Most Wanted Dogs in the World. Srsly.

Did I just compare dogs and people? Not really. Obviously we're talking about different commitments with few parallels, but I feel those parallels stand. If you have a chance and--more importantly--the ability to make a difference, and not just a difference but a difference few people choose, does that not become your responsibility? Responsibility, job, destiny, many words I can put in its place.

What better good could you do in the world than, if you are able, provide a home for a child or children who needs more than what the world has offered, who need a steadfast, loving parent, an advocate and guide? What could you do greater than be that constant support, providing the love, resources, and consistency required.What could you do better than that?

This is not a task everyone can do, or maybe most people *can* do it and choose not to pursue this path. But, seriously, if you don't do this, and you have the ability, who will?

And, to take it one step further, if it appeals to you, even after you've read everything you could possibly find on the realities of attachment disorders, the impact of abuse and neglect, the realities of parenting...and then parenting through adoption...well, that likely has become, by my definition, your responsibility.

If not you, then who?

Obviously, this requires frank and honest evaluation, open communication, extensive training, and incredible support systems, but there you have it.

Older sibling group.

Yes, I'm insane...but it is worth considering, no?

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