Monday, November 23, 2009

Hello Saskatchewan and Manitoba

When we took the girls back to meet Shel's parents during the summer, we attended the Forget Music Festival which is hosted on their property. While we were there we were a rather conspicuous family among the mostly white rural community members, and I remember mentioning that I was worried about how our reception would be, considering our last really awful experience with racism had happened in small town Saskatchewan.

Certainly we were noticed, and part of that being noticed was being approached by a young reporter wanting to do a story on adoption. ***** Inserting disclaimer here: She approached me the morning we arrived. We had just driven through the night, two nights in a row with six kids (two of whom were BABIES) and I was surviving on very, very little sleep. ******

She was keen and naive and very, very interested in adopting from foster care because "kids need families" and she wanted another baby. As an experienced adoptive parent, you might know the "type" of whom I speak. The beauty of a "needy child" and the novelty of a multiracial family overshadows the reality of parenting a child who has experienced foster care. The reporter was thrilled to tell me that she and her husband had completed the home study process and were waiting for their life to settle down before they accepted a referral. Her children scampered around her as we did our interview. A baby, a 2 year old, a 4 year old and a 6 year old.

Yeah. That's what I thought too. Interestingly the article leads off with the fact that they were declined approval, for now.

So, admittedly, my attitude might have been a bit on the harsh side due to the lack of sleep and the very real "REALITY" of parenting that I had gone through over the last couple of travel days and usually I might have taken a bit of a softer approach to explain the needs of kids being adopted from the foster care system. But, alas, I didn't and I wasn't and the result is actually a pretty good article. There are a few parts I wish I could explain more, but overall it is an honest assessment of the attachment needs of kids coming into a family from a disrupted family.

There are some gross errors, the most glaring is that she described Miss Curious as being "quiet and well behaved". This has caused great laughter in our house because our dear Miss Curious is rather well known for being, well, CURIOUS. And a curious 18 month old? Definitely not the definition of quiet or obedience. But overall, I think you might enjoy the article. If not, I am sure you will let me know.

If you found the blog because of the article sandwiched between the advertisements for combines and oil rig workers on page 13, welcome. If you have any questions, ask. If I offended you, I am pleading sleep deprivation.

Oh and I my sister mentioned that I should probably provide this welcome to distract all the new readers who come to the blog and see that picture of my son with duct tape across his mouth. Some wonderful adoptive parent I am!


Heather said...

I thought you did great! You didn't sound harsh at all, just realistic.

Carin said...

That's exactly what so many people need to hear! We've had our son for just 3.5 months and man has it been a bumpy road. Had we gone into with these romantic thoughts of life just being perfect, we would have been severly disappointed! He's our greatest joy but at times, we represent everything he's lost.

Kate said...

Good article. Although I must say, I was really distracted by the ad for a non-restricted semi-automatic weapon wedged between the Bethelem Live-cute-kids-sitting-with-a-real-live-donkey story and the article on adoption. What kind of deer are you hunting if you need a semi-automatic gun - are they firing back? Anyway, I did find my way to the article and I think your honesty was important.

Unknown said...

Kate -- you had my husband laughing hysterically at your comment :)

Too funny. Glad you weren't distracted by the gun ads!

Anonymous said...

I feel like I could have written this exact same post. I'm reluctant to ever get into these kinds of conversations with people b/c I don't want to come across as negative, rude, or judgemental about adoption... but also don't want to people to see it as charity work.

Patty said...

I am already having a challenge deciding what to say to people too. I try to discern what their interest/motives are first, which isn't easy.

Can you elaborate more on your comment that your best day is their worst? I still have lots to learn & I'd like to hear more of your thoughts behind that part.


PS. I found out about your blog from Rayanne, my cousin.