21
Sep
09

Joy and Sadness–The Irony of Adoption

I’ve been struggling lately. Our son is just a couple of months away from turning 4 and as of last week has been home for three years. He’s a joy (most of the time). But parenting has been harder than I ever imagined. (And I wasn’t one of those people who idealized parenthood by any means.)

The preschool years are filled with lots of behavior issues. Children at these ages are testing their limits, experiencing new-found freedom as they’ve learned to walk/run, and voicing their opinions. All children do these things at these ages. But as an adoptive parent who’s educated about the effects of adoption, I’m always left wondering if some behavior issues or struggles are adoption related. And sadly, I figure I’ll be wondering this for the rest of my son’s growing up years.

Sometimes I wish I were an adoptive parent who had remained blissfully ignorant of adoptions issues. One who could still only see the joy in this child joining our family. Who refused to believe that my child is struggling or will struggle. One who feels it’s God’s will for this child to be part of our family; that he was meant just for us.

But I’m not that AP. I don’t feel guilt over adopting my son. I know his story and believe that given the circumstances his first mom made the decision she thought was best for him. But I do feel sadness. Sadness over what he has lost. Saddness over the ways that those early losses continue to affect him.

My son constantly asks if I’m protecting him, like when he’s in one room and I’m in another. And he’s still unable to sleep by himself through the night. I’m sure some bio kids have these issues too. But I feel without a doubt that these are results of my son’s early losses.

And given my feelings about adoption, I at times feel very alone. After two years, I finally found an online community of similar-minded APs. They have been a support and encouragement. But those parents who live near me, those who could be lean-on in hard times friends, don’t share my feelings of ambiguity about adoption. Some do share some of my feelings; others remain completely joyful about the process of adoption.

I recently saw one AP wearing a shirt that said “Adoption Rocks.” I cringed. I know too much these days about corruption, supply and demand, coercion, and societal pressures to believe that adoption always rocks. It’s the irony I live with daily–the joy of raising my son and the saddness about what being adopted really means for him.


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My Korean Culture Blog

Just a reminder that if you want to learn more about Korean culture (both traditional and pop culture), language resources, and cooking, check out my other blog: thekoreanway.wordpress.com It's filled with resources for adoptive families or anyone interested in Korean culture.

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