Orphan Crisis – Not!

What if everything you thought about adoption was wrong? What if there is no international orphan crisis of millions of children needing homes? What if adoptions are not always about finding a child a forever home, but too often involve coercion, misrepresentation or the removal of a child from a family that loves and wants to keep her? The Evangelical Christian adoption movement: The orphan crisis that wasn’t. Figures suggest that of the supposed 153 million ‘orphans’ in the world today, 90% are not!! That’s a figure only rivalled by something Big Banking might come up with!
If you haven’t seen this blog post it raises some interesting points – http://www.martyduren.com/2013/05/01/evangelical-trafficking-a-guest-post-by-caleb-david
Some of them (true orphans) have come from such traumatic situations that the argument that a child must remain connected to their culture is made nil. The family’s desire is to keep them connected but many of them barely lived through many negative cultural abuses and atrocities, that it’s truly not what is best for them at this phase in their adjustment and attachment.
Most of you will know of this book on the supposed orphan crisis, maybe even read it by now. How very refreshing to see another author spelling it out, telling the facts and not the fantasy. Am I being too hopeful in thinking we are reaching a new place in adoptionland? A place where the truth is being told at last and better still is being heard. A place where change might happen, children’s rights respected and honoured, better practices evolve, families kept together and every effort made to stop child trafficking, corruption, Big Adoption, profiteering from the misery and trauma of children and the development of children from the time in utero understood and treasured. Change happens slowly, usually. It is most often a gradual process, gathering supporters as it progresses, altering the opinion of people, changing ideas, touching hearts and firing minds, particularly when it involves injustice and the vulnerable. Perhaps we’ll even see some common ground being formed from level-headed discussion and a shifting of viewpoints. At best we might see people previously on opposite sides of the great divide coming together to act against the immorality of the selling of children in adoption, the tragedy of transnational adoption and the lack of ethics in those who carry out these acts of violence, racism and exploitation.
Here at Poddler’s Creek all is well. The Autumn weather is magnificent, the colours of Autumn glowing and the light mellow and golden. The geese are happy, their dam has enough water for swimming and they frequently come down for tipbits with still wet feathers and smiles on their faces. Yes! Geese have expressions. A range of them. They smile, laugh, show annoyance and most heart-rending of all to observe is grief and sadness in loss or rejection. Fortunately that tilting of the head in tragedy or sadness has not happened since last nesting season when goslings were lost and the mournful cries were heart breaking. Currently all is peaceful. Nesting season is approaching when the ganders will get hissy with each other, but at the moment peace reigns, no-one needs to assert themselves or throw their weight around to try to be top gander. Mr Smudge knows his place and isn’t having to fight for it so he’s as docile as a kitten. Ella the Matriarch is content too, leading the flock into mischief every now and again by taking them through the neighbour’s fence and down onto the road, across and into another neighbour’s vineyard. Like dogs they respond to the command ‘Home you go!’ and are off at a fast waddle, heading for home and safety. Until we have more rain and the grass grows lush they are being fed tipbits a few times a day and enjoy them immensely, waiting eagerly for whatever surprise comes next – celery tops, apples, stale cat food, vegetable peelings, dry cheese, old bread, anything is worth a try. In the morning they have a good breakfast of mixed grains and a night, wheat, known as ‘screenings’ – the second grade wheat that escapes being top grade and fit for human consumption and export. Fresh bedding straw is their delight, it means nests and fun and they often don’t wait for the bales to be put in their shed. They pull off the baler twine while it is being stored and can undo enough bales to cover the floor knee deep if not discovered in time. The shed needs a door, urgently! Life is never dull with geese around.
This morning I was remembering with some nostalgia the Summer evenings of a few years ago. Time spent on the verandah looking at the sea as the sun dropped into it at the end of the day. Some nights you almost expected it to make a noise as it hit the surface, or appeared to, a sort of clanging noise perhaps or the sound of a gong. Glass of Moscato in hand and the recommended Goat’s cheese to go with it made a delicious and refreshing interval at the end of the day. Many of the Wineries tried making Moscato as it gained in popularity and sometimes the most expensive where the least pleasant and the cheapest the best tasting. Trying them all was fun and it was great to be able to drink a glass after many years of abstinence.
Those days are gone and the current medication prevents the imbibing of alcohol. Sad, but life goes in cycles, change happens. It is easy to mourn the loss of times gone by, people no longer seen, activities no longer available and abilities lost. Much harder to look at what has been gained, what has been learned and what new opportunities are opening for the future. I have discovered through this time of two operations, serious illness, disease and an undiagnoseable condition which may be rare and therefore hard to track down, that whatever is lost, no longer possible, available or immediate, is replaced by new opportunities, learning and possibilities. I have had to spend a great deal of my life in bed and have it placed so I can see the front door and speak to anyone there. I have met the most amazing people, had the most surprising conversations and done some pleasing and satisfying work without leaving my comfort zone. I am always surprised at how easy it is to adapt when necessary, to give up what doesn’t serve well and to move on to what does.
When disability hits, it can be so easy to use that to define ourselves, to make it who we are and to forget that it is only part of what we live with and adapt to. I have been fascinated to find that I now sometimes dream as a disabled person, sometimes not, but it is a theme, just as the loses of adoption are. My old ‘favourite’ adoption dream is of finding myself in a city with no name, in a country unknown, without a passport or money and sometimes without a name or knowledge of where I make my home. These days or rather these nights, I’m easy with it, not frightened, terrified or in a panic. I take it calmly, keep cool and face the challenge, sometimes with amusement. Experience has taught me that I always wake up and it is always alright. As I have dealt with my adoption and its effects, the dreams I called my ‘Holocaust Dreams’ have disappeared. They came in many ‘episodes’ like scenes from an earlier life in which I was chased, captured, herded onto a train and reached the concentration camp. They were vivid, menacing but tinged with the innocence of a child. They were so real and so accurate, I became convinced for a while that they were scenes from a past life, windows into a previous existence which were trying to teach me something. They taught me amongst other things that life goes on in some form or another, that hope need not be lost and that in the face of evil good eventually prevails. Karma may not always get you instantly as John sang, but it will get you!

Shine On!! Have a great weekend!


One thought on “Orphan Crisis – Not!

  1. Pingback: “Stuck” and Slavery, living #adoption | lara (author-blogger)

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