Wednesday, August 3, 2011

in response

I was just thinking the other day, "Self, it's August. You should really do some blogging. There's lots to talk about." 

I agreed with myself. 

Then I read this post over at The Gang's blogging hangout. I am very pleased to count The Gang's Mama as a very dear friend. So when she hinted I should read, I took it as a hint that maybe I should read. Which I also took as a hint that maybe I should blog. I mean, since I was talking to myself about it anyway, it was a natural progression. 

Then I did some reading...and I got just a bit steamed. Then I got wordy...

Apparently, there are two camps in the international adoption community. I had no idea. None. That the question of fundraising or not was an issue until I read the Gang's post. I did what she suggested, I link hopped to get more information. I started with the original question, here. I could NOT believe the answer given. But I moved on -- to here where the question was open for comments. Then I followed up and Read Dawn's response to Dear Abby's question - Here.

I wanted to cheer for Dawn....but since I don't know her, I cheered from here.  Now, if you'll allow me - and you will because it's my blog -- here's what I think...I wrote it last night. It was too big to fit in The Gang's comment box. 

Opinions are like belly buttons -- here's mine.

Okay. I'm writing this in my e-mail program so I can write and read and edit. My thoughts on this topic are .... well.... categorized, actually. I was going to say they're rambling but really they're categorized. Welll...they''ll probably end up being categorized rambles...

The answer from Dear Abby is INSANELY uninformed. How wrong of her to suggest that fostering, where children come and go would fill empty arms. Dawn did a phenomenal job responding that bit of absurdity. The system is Broken!!!! and that answer is... well it's just... *snarl* ...

Then I read the comments on the Adoptiontalk blog. Where most people talked about 'fund raising' for adoption.
There were several EXCELLENT answers in the comments sections and what stuck out to me were the great mass of ... well... judgmental comments.

I could not imagine all the comments venting negativity toward fund raising for international adoptions. I was amazed at how many people laid down such VERY strong opinions on the matter. Never once did they seem to take into consideration that EACH and EVERY adoption is unique. Each and Every family is unique and therefore in unique situations.

I was struck by how many commentors offered such blatant comments, such as: "we didn't fund raise. We saved our money and didn't drive around in big fancy cars." 

Really??? That's what you're going with?? that's such a categorizing comment to make. Such a stupid biased thing to say. I'm sorry. It may seem fancy to you but maybe the family bought that big fancy car because they needed it to transport everyone at once???

It amazes me how many people can throw out those kind of extremes. Apparently, they've forgotten that there are the middle ground sort of instances.

--- The comments about "people who have to fund raise to adopt probably can't afford the children after they arrive in their home" 

*stunned silence*

Just come over here so I can slap you. I have four children. I can't afford my children now. Gosh. the little buggers are expensive!!! Clothes. Books. Toys. Clothes. Food. Food. Have you ever fed pre-teen boys??? oh my goodness!! BUT HOW DARE YOU MAKE SUCH AN IGNORANT statement as if you knew the life I was living.

That gets my sense of justice up. How dare you try to make someone else feel INFERIOR because of the choices they make???

Why not find a real problem and an appropriate soap box. Take your religious stereotypes and go away. 
(I see this kind of nonsense in homeschool circles, too. I refuse to use a certain, major curriculum because of the followers on that business's forum.) So go away... I don't want to play with you anymore.

Fund raising.

Funny thing that it creates SUCH a controversy.

How many of us buy a CD at a concert? That's fund raising and we don't mind it.

How about a t-shirt?  We wear the brand name - that serves as free advertising for the band/artist/whatever AND it's fund raising.
How about a book at an event?

How about .... donations at special events. Or Tithes. Offerings. Goodwill donations.
Donations to mission trip fundraisers?

To sit there and say that it's not as important as cancer healing or car accident aftermath shows just how strongly you quantify things. To judge someone for fundraising -- shows just how self-righteous you are. Both are limiting your perspective. Both are stunting your heart. 

You have issues? Don't donate.... but don't judge. And be sure to search your heart. How self-righteous were you in how you went about your business? Did you let everyone know how much you were sacrificing for your adoption? I ask because I know people who are like this.

I've given money to friends because God said so. ... That's Holy Spirit fundraising.

No one objects.

Here's the trick about fundraising --- it's a yes or no proposition.

If you don't want to give.... you're not being forced. It's not taxes.
And it's not your mother, there's no guilt trip involved.
Just -- don't sit there and tell my friends how to go about their business. They certainly don't tell you.

I'm having a difficult time believing that any child adopted and LOVED will ever have problems knowing that the family worked really, really hard to bring them into their lives. The trick is not to constantly put in front of the child by saying things like: "we went without sooo much to have you in our family..." The trick is to put before the child: We loved you so much we had to have you.

That works for any child.

I'm rather wondering how many comments out there on this topic are actually knee jerk reactions. I'll be more than happy to admit that I've had more than my fair share. The trick is waiting and watching. Get informed. You form an opinion and a judgement on your knee's jerk, before you know all the facts and you've pretty much made yourself useless.

You see, I come from the opinion that NO child comes at an opportune moment. Mine certainly didn't.

I see no harm in a family going to their circle of friends, family, acquaintances and saying, "Here's what we're doing - if you'd like to sow into this we would be blessed and honored to have your support."

Giving would be an act of love.

Supporting would be an act of support.
There's nothing wrong with that.
We all need love.
We all need support.

You don't think we do?

Let's have a chat.


The Gang's Momma! said...

Sigh. I love that you thought this through and even-handedly applied the Truth of your faith to this in the same way that you have applied your faith to the many other deep and important conversations I have had with you these past four years.

Thank you for living your life in a way that IS the Church. Without all the church-ese in the way.

I've linked my Friday post to this. And I hope it generates some discussion in your corner of the blogosphere. I'd be interested to hear what other non-adoptive folks have to say about the issue....

Leatta Workman said...

My FAVORITE line, "I've given money to friends because God said so. ... That's Holy Spirit fundraising. No one objects." AMEN!! AND if God says fundraise for an adoption, then that is that families path to adoption. Its not everyones; God builds families & finances them too....BUT each is unique, how dare people judge "His ways". You tell 'um!

Here's my thoughts on domestic vs international adoption from my blog last November...

jugglingpaynes said...

I'm still chuckling about feeding preteen boys. Wait till you have a full blown teen boy to feed! Yikes!

My thoughts: There are several types of people who say no to giving.

One type is self righteous. They did what you are doing without help, so they don't want you to have help. Jealous. I was upset about my cousin having a bridal shower for her second marriage. I didn't even want to go, let alone give her a gift. After all, I only had one bridal shower and I didn't even ask for a list of expensive stuff! I was jealous and whiny. (I'm glad she remarried. She's very happy now.)

Another type doesn't really want to say no, but they also like money for their own stuff or they may be genuinely cash-strapped. They see the pictures and feel guilty. Guilt becomes anger. They accuse the fundraiser of emotional blackmail to justify saying no. "How dare you make me feel like a cold-hearted tightwad!"

Then there are the fixers. They won't give you anything, but they are happy to tell you a better way of doing it. :o)

I'm sure there are more, but I'm tired and this is long.

Peace and Laughter!

Aus said...

GM sent me - and I just had to chime in - I thought this was about something SERIOUS!! Fundraising - and people have an opinion? and it's negative? Please - just explain to these negative types that they need to get a life - or go save whales - or hug trees - or go green or whatever - but don't tell folks how to live their lives!!

Like you said - just learn to love and let live - why would folks even have an opinion about this? Perhaps it's because they feel guilty about not walking the talk?

hugs - keep on laughing and loving!

aus and co.

Dell said...

Beautifully said. I've always supported others who fundraiser-to adopt, to go on a mission trip, etc... I've always felt funny (and I think it's mostly PRIDEFUL) about doing it myself.

Right now, I'm being humbled. We are pursuing an international adoption. My eldest two girls begged and yearned to contribute in some way. We said they didn't need to. We'd sell a rental, work overtime or find some way. It's our job as parents... they protested, "We are family. Families work TOGETHER" they said.

Although at 9 & 11 years old they aren't yet at "professional" level as musicians, they are getting pretty good on their harp and hammered dulcimer and wanted to make a CD to sell to help bring our baby home. Telling them "no" would have been pure pride on my part. In this case, my agreeing to a fund raiser is a humbling act of love--to the child we are bringing home and to the children we have here who want to help in the one way they know--with their music.

It's been a lot of work getting their fund raiser off the ground, and producing their CD (not done yet) has been a learning adventure in so many ways.

A family works together to help one another. Sometimes it may look like a dad working overtime--sometimes it may be in sending out letters, or hosting a multi-level-marketing jewelry party or having a garage sale or adding a paypal button to a blog.

We can well provide for more children. The initial cost of bringing them home, buying a bigger van, and other "start up" expenses all hit at once though, and can be hefty.

Interesting, most adoptions are not done by the wealthy, but by lower-middle class.

Well, this should have been in my own blog, likely, as I've written a full blog post in the comments. *blush*.

As you say, each family and each adoption is unique. As Aus said, these people attacking need to go save whales or hug trees or do something else with their activism.