Friday, January 28, 2005

Adoption Stories: Her Two Dads

I have a sick 16-month-old on my hands, who seems to think that Mommy is actually an armchair. She wants nothing more than to lounge on me during every moment of her waking hours. It has left me with a lot of time to read (finally finished "The Princes in the Tower") and watch tv.

Today, while flipping channels, I came upon a show called "Adoption Stories." The premise is pretty self-explanatory. I've never seen this program before, but I'm glad I watched today's episode.

It involved a gay couple trying to adopt via the foster care system in California. At first, they were given a baby, but after several months the courts returned the infant to her birth family. They were devastated, but refused to give up on their dream of having a child. Some time later, they were given the opportunity to take in a 9-year-old girl, Andrea.

This was no baby, and no simple case. Andrea had been in foster care since she was 4, and in that five-year span, she'd been in no less than ten different foster homes. She had issues of abandonment and trust (can you blame her?). And of course, the couple had to worry about how the child would take to life in a "non-traditional" household.

They had a rough start. Andrea was prone to tantrums. After one, she packed her bags, assuming the gay couple would send her away as the other families had done. They were appalled at the very idea, and let her know that she was there to stay.

And she is. Two years after coming to their home, Andrea was legally adopted.

What happened to Andrea is not, sadly, typical of foster-kids today. She was taken in by a loving couple with an extremely close-knit and supportive extended family and group of friends. Her new family did everything they could to help her adjust, to help fix the damage that years of bouncing from home to home had done to her education, and give her a true and stable, loving home. It doesn't hurt that the couple is obviously financially well-off; Andrea is unlikely to worry about how to pay for college now. The family house is beautiful, and they even own a few horses. And that little girl fit in like a missing jigsaw-puzzle piece. To look upon that family was to see the picture of love.

I thank God they found each other. And it saddens me to realize that there are those in this country who would rather Andrea continued to be shuffled from foster home to foster home, with "traditional" families who got rid of her at the first sign of trouble. They would, if they could, deny that little girl her family.

Shame on them for considering such a thing...and calling it "family values."


At 2:38 PM, Blogger Pixie LaRouge said...

Gorgeous post. Thanks for so thoughtfully and elegantly stating what should be the obvious :)


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