Friday, October 5, 2007

I am truly insane

You may have noticed that there has been some changes in the profile on this blog. Keith and I have decided to start preparing for another international adoption. We are truly insane....yes we are...I know it.

How in the world did I come to Liberia...seriously. When I was in Kyrgyzstan getting Z and even visiting Z for the first trip - I became completely dedicated to Kyrgyzstan. In my mind, I thought of when I would adopt from the bishkek baby house again or possible from the older child orphanage in B.

Then 2 weeks ago I started thinking about a blog I had read many months ago. I don't remember what blog it was or why I was reading it. The title of the post was something like "Asian - the other white meat". It discussed how the white parents of asian adoptees sometimes fooled themselves into not pondering transracial issues and that it was easy for white adoptive parents to choose asian countries because they could justify not tackling those issues. I wish I could find that post again and reread it. I think i started thinking about it because my daughter made a comment about how Zeb was white and her step-brother was red. (as an aside - that is right I do in fact have a red-headed step child).

When I was first starting to research adoption, i briefly looked at Ethiopia and dismissed it quickly. Why you might ask was I so quick to dismiss a program that was running smoothly, relatively inexpensive and a country that had so many children orphaned by AIDS. I am embarassed to say that it is because I was afraid of caring for a little girl's hair. There it is - the real life un-abstract reality. There is an observable, palpable marker of racial differences.
So - I started researching everything I could find on white parents and african american hair care. I was surprised to see that this is actually a very important topic and was so happy to find so much information on it. I also started googling books and websites about transracial families - mostly those written by adoptees.

I will be honest, with my adoption of Zeb - I never googled transracial adoption, I never investigated or read about race issues....I did just like website said - I learned about Kyrgyzstan, but I never once thought about race.

As african hair care became demystified, I found myself googling minority domestic adoption. Keith and I talked about domestic adoption for days - we may someday adopt domestically, but my heart belongs to international adoption. We settled on Ethiopia for about 2 days until I found the website for Acres of Hope.

That was it - the story of children in Liberia, the pictures of the orphanages and the strangely persistent introspection on racism that had been playing in my head for weeks. I just started to have the familiar gut feeling about Liberia. In the midst of my researching the adoptive parenting forum ran the topic "adopting again - second adoptions".

We are starting our homestudy in December and I look forward to sharing my experiences on this blog. I feel a little bit like a traitor to Kyrygzstan - although i still adamantly recommend Kyrgyzstan and Adoption Alliance (they rule!!!!). It just doesn't feel right for us to adopt there right now.

For a doctor - i sure do rely on gut feelings a lot!

7 comments:

Cliff & Chandra said...

Good luck on your new adoption. I hope things go very smoothly for you.

The Write Life said...

Hey, Michelle...is this the link you're referring to?

http://juliasworld.wordpress.com/2006/07/

Scroll down to "On Asian Adoption"...

I've not done an international adoption, but per your last post, I can relate on your feelings. I'm waiting to see our first international adoption come together, but I feel that same restlessness, the obsessive boards patrolling and research, and the deep desire to do several adoptions.

I'm excited to see that you're going for another adoption! Best wishes and I can't wait to follow your process.

We first focused on Guatemala, but since it's shutting down, we're trying to figure out our next step. I wanted China, but it's slowed WAY down. I lol at your Ethiopian/little girl hair comments. I felt the same way, but am now realizing it's not a big deal.

Here's neat site, too:

http://everydaymiracle.wordpress.com/page/3/

Check out her post on Sept. 10, and also she posts a lot of pics of hair (even as recently as this week!) but you can scroll backwards and find some neat posts on this) that really gave me peace.

She adopted from Haiti.

I can't remember how I found your blog, but I love it.

Paige

Michelle said...

Paige - thank you soooo much for your comment! This was not the post but it is great! The original blog I read was written by an adoptive parent. I am ashamed to say that throughout my entire process with zeb - I almost exclusively read adoptive parent blogs and never adoptee blogs.

It is funny that I felt like I was so informed with Z's adoption and I completely ignored race issues as well as any feedback or experiences of international or tranracial adoptees. I guess funny isn't the right word - but you know what I mean!

Let me know how your journey to adoption goes!

Michelle

Kara said...

I am so excited about your next adoption and plan to live vicariously through you on this ... Liberia - cool! We had talked about becoming a multi MULTI racial family at one point, but I'm going the opposite direction now... she may be an only child! After the initial weeks of being completely overwhelmed, I'm starting to settle in and enjoy our routine. I feel completely satisfied, as a parent, with her, with our family as it is. I am surprising myself with this too because while we were in process, I was thinking ahead to what country would be next. Anyway, I really look forward to learning more about multi racial family issues and the new country's process as you go.

Michelle said...

Hi Kara,
so good to hear from you! Although i haven't started Z's lifebook - I did print the pictures finally and your little girl is going in it - I hope you don't mind. I have shown his pictures to a couple of people and everyone always oohs and ahs over how gorgeous your little girl is....you are going to have your hands full in 13 years!!!!
I think one of the reasons I am ready so quickly is the fact that I am not a first time mom so I am used to mommyhood. Maybe when your little girl is 3 1/2 you will say to yourself - I can totally handle another one.

I was sitting in starbucks with my daughter when she was 3 and she was behaving so well and I had that thought - you may not be done!!!!

Michelle

TheHappyNeills said...

Hi! Stumbled onto your blog somehow in looking up Kg. adoption stuff. Congrats on all your exciting family going-ons!

Anonymous said...

If I had enough time to post to all americans adopting in liberia i would but many may not want to hear what i have to say - please think and study well - i am an american living in liberia for many years - adoptions are often faked - children taken from the bush - others have parents who are convinced to give their children to very corrupt orphanges - even by liberian standards...so many kids leaving the country which has a small population...it breaks my heart....i wonder if the white people adopting liberian kids are even friends with african=americans in the US...please think long and hard - if you want to help there are many ways....please adopt in the US where our children need you!

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power