I am wife to the best husband in the world and the mother of five amazing children. Two of those kiddos I grew in my womb – all by myself (OK, my husband helped, but I did all the work). The other three were born on the other side of the world. Thanks to God, my family, my friends, and a couple of great agencies, we were able to bring them home. They were 4, 6 and 11 years old when they joined our family.
I am also the Ethiopia Program Director of an agency. Yup. I am one of those people that are criticized, glared at and judged quite severely from the adoption world…and often those outside the adoption world as well. I help unite children and their forever families. Best. Job. Ever.
So. Here is a list of things we adoption professionals would want our adoptive families, their friends, and those who give us the stink eye, to know. We hate corruption and child trafficking. Hate it. We hate it even more than you do. We want nothing to do with it. It makes us sick. We wish neither of these things existed. We care for the birth families of our children. The greatest day will be the day I am out of a job because there are no more orphans. I pray for that day. We are not in this for the money. Do you want to see my tax return from last year? Trust me, it won’t blow your mind.
You know those days when we call or email you with bad news? Yeah. We hate that. Almost as much as you do. You know THE CALL?? The one you have been waiting for? Yeah. LOVE those days. It may be your best day ever – but I am floating on clouds right along with you.
You know that phone call, where you are angry and frustrated because of delays? When things are just not going the way you think they should. That call where you yell at us, and accuse us of not doing our jobs, and vent your frustration until you have no more words? Yeah. It’s OK. We understand. This job is more than a job. We are working with your heart. Sometimes it gets broken. And it hurts. It’s OK. We forgive you. And we will keep on working until you have your child in your arms. (We may still break into cold sweats the next couple times your number shows up on our caller ID. Just being real, here.)
If you want to know the truth. I was afraid (terrified) to write this post. I was afraid I might say something wrong. It seems like even Christians (sometimes ESPECIALLY we Christians) can get mean and ugly where adoption is concerned. There is an “Us verses Them” mentality. Well, I am both us and them. I am an adoptive mom. I work for an agency.
How do we resolve this conflict? We need to see each other as friends. As teammates. As family. We are working toward the same goal.