Wednesday, November 29, 2006

As China Emerges So Too Will Alyzabeth An's Parents

I was hesitant to post this. Not that my thoughts are breaking any new ground. Nothing that spectacular. Still, I hesitated.

A couple of reason for this. One, because it's somewhat personal and just my opinion. Two, because I'm not crazy about collecting flames back from those who somehow get whacked by what I write. And three, because I worry it may come true. However, I did email these thoughts to a friend of ours who is presently adopting their second child from China. His is a very popular blog and rightly so. I couched my thoughts as a mental dumping and offered an apology upfront for using him as my landfill. He's very tolerant that way. As always he provided an insight ladened with morsels of thoughts and considerations that helped me shape a collective grasp of what may and may not come to be. It's nice to have someone that can offer their opinion and leave you feeling comfortable as you peel the layers of their words back one at a time releasing every splendor of reasoning. All without feeling as though you have to defend your original thought.

So, at this friends suggestion and against my better judgement (always questionable) I share...

Greetings J,

One of the major motivations for choosing China as our adoption country of choice was the more circulated belief that biological parents from China would not/could not/will not suddenly appear on your doorstep requesting or demanding "their" child back. If not back, then at the very least, demanding an "open and acknowledged recognition" as my child's bio parents.

Let's be clear about something here. We do not want an open adoption. Note I said we. We, as in Alyson & Ford, speaking not only for ourselves but also for Alyzabeth An as well. It's what We want. I make this most obvious of points only to clearly acknowledge our understanding that Alyzabeth An may choose an entirely different perspective once she comes of age.

It would have to come as a complete surprise only to one who has cut off all ties to the outside world to not have witness the near phenomenal emergence of China into the everyday facet of modern world affairs. This emergence of China as one of the world's center stage players is easily seen accelerating as time moves forward. China's course towards its future is one of continued immense growth. A growth that will not be measured solely in the economic gains of its commerce. Nor limited to military might. A growth not limited only to the powers of a ruling party.

As China emerges so too will Alyzabeth An's parents…

The awakening and orchestrated march of China onto the world scene is destined to sweep up and carry the populace with it. More importantly, as it relates to this discussion, the people of China are changing as China changes. I know how dumb that last sentence sounds. Why would they not? Could the rulers of China stop its own people from interacting in a more open and free world? Of course they could. Still, with each passing calendar (and fiscal) year it becomes harder and harder for the leaders of China to maintain the iron grip of control. Not impossible to do but in doing so the powers would risk breaking the cycle of growth and emergence. Enacting the controls of old would force the West to throw up token sanctions demanding recognition of human rights while treading softly around military confrontations and ushering in economic trade chaos at home. The West and East each lose in that scenario. It now appears that each side cares more than ever in finding ways to accommodate rather than alienate. Time will tell.

So how does any of this relate to our adoption? This is where I reveal my simple way of thinking. It is also where I once again thank you for allowing me to subject you to my ramblings.

For now the IAP's of Chinese children have the Chinese government working on their behalf to ensure confidentiality. Laws are in place to "discourage" Chinese parents from having large families (if more than one qualifies as large) and with that comes an increase in the abandonment of children. One's gain, the others loss. The sweet & sour of IA we talk about but don't really want to think about. Add to the mix that abandonment is illegal and the Chinese culture is somewhat less than enthusiastic about adoption makes it all the more plain why the bio parents are reluctant to openly place or seek children for domestic adoption. It helps to explain why they purposefully do not seek out information or attempt to reclaim "their" children housed in the orphanage system. For the BP's - it's a door slammed shut. For the IAP's it's a door left ajar. A door for folks like Alyson & Ford to squeeze through…

This could change. I believe it will change. Not soon, as in real soon. But it will change… And when it does the key to bio discovery is already available.


Already worldwide agencies exist in helping biological parents and adopted children "find" one another. Someday the closed door of DNA science will be available to the people of China and when it does the BP's will register and many of our adopted children will register and many of those closed doors will be opened. What many IA parents thought to be a virtual impossibility will in fact become more of a probability. I want to understand that and be prepared for it. As best one can.

As China emerges so too will Alyzabeth An's parents…

Thanks for listening J. I didn't write this to sound all gloom and doom. A sentiment I acknowledge not shared by all. I'll still be Alyzabeth's dad. More importantly, I want to be Alyzabeth's dad. IA is an answer to a prayer for us. Alyson and I may never face the family challenge I've outlined. I just want to make sure my eyes are open to better prepare my heart for a potentially very large bump along this wild and wacky but totally rewarding road known as international adoption.

Later, Ford

Post Script: At a later time I may post some of J's insights he emailed back to me - with his approval of course. Better yet, maybe he will write more on this subject on his blog.


Dawn, Brian & Guinness said...

Excellent post!! :) We had chosen International Adoption for many of the same reasons.


Don and Be said...

Well chosen words - I wish I could say it so eloquently. We too are doing the IA for the same reasons. Can't imagine parents in an Open Adoption hearing the words "I'm off crack 6 months now. I want my baby back."
Reason #2 is my age (probably sounds close to home) - the China program was the best choice for us.
Reason #3 - we had considered a special needs child, however (considering my age) it would probably not be fair for our child (nor myself, for that matter) with an emotional or psychological issue to find their father who will be 73 when she would be 16/17 unable to provide for their need. The China prograam provides for children with correctable impairments such as clef palate/lip or club foot/hand (a reasonable alternative to the special needs child). We have applied in that category.
Reanson #4 - Hidden medical conditions. We looked at Eastern Europe and discovered that the incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome is higher as the vodka flows freely in that region. Central America shows more drug use as well. Had we been younger when we initiated the adoption process, those children would have been a consideration as well (they deserve the chance).
So, you can see, with our individual circumstances, China is the best match for us and our daughter.
Your Thanksgiving looks like it was so fine! The family pic looks like a toothpaste ad! Not a bad looking one in the bunch!
We wish you, Aly & Alyzabeth An a Happy Christmas Season. God Bless Ya!


Donna & Joe said...

Very well said, Ford. I think about this quite a bit because I know that the tide is slowly changing and it will eventually be a possibility for bio China parents to locate their abandoned daughters.

I have to be honest and say that this does scare me right now. Although I don't know how I will really feel about this once we have Lauren home.

When Lauren is older, if she wants to try to locate her bio parents we will be open to that and not discourage her.

On the other hand, although I know it sounds selfish, one of the reasons we were drawn to China was because there was no connection to the bio parents. During this waiting period, I now have found that as times change, this will also change.

Bravo to you for sharing your feelings and risking being blasted by others who don't agree.

Johnny said...

Very good post. I think that many people feel (in their hearts) that they want that "absolute" cut-off between the birth parents and the adoptive parents but are shy about posting this because it goes counter to the romantic aspects of China adoption.

Truth is.....what it is for each individual family.

Joannah said...

Very interesting. I had not thought of that.

Wicked Witch said...

Very good thoughts. I think you are in my head!