In my last post I shared that intercountry adoption can be a wonderful way for a couple or individual to build a family, as well as provide a loving and stable home and family for a vulnerable child. Intercountry adoptees face a variety of challenges--some very difficult--in adapting to a new culture. However, they also experience the joys and fulfillment they otherwise would likely not experience had they not been adopted. A few years ago, I interviewed nearly 30 teen and young adult intercountry adoptees regarding what they appreciated about their adoption. Here are some of their responses:
*Katarena, adopted at age 10 from Russia: “You get to be part of a family that loves you, and is there for you. You get to be away from harsh living conditions where you were feeling like you’re alone or fending for yourself.”
*Nimet, adopted at age 6 from India: “A family to call my own. I’ve had the opportunity to attend school and pursue a higher education. I now have my Master’s degree. As an older child who was waiting to be adopted in a society that looks (mainly) to adopt little infants, I think if I wasn’t adopted, by the time I reached 18 I would have been given what resources the orphanage could give me and sent on my way to live somewhere else. I would have ended up in some menial work and sadly might even had a fear of becoming a trafficked woman. . .I feel I have exceeded what I ever imagined my life to be.
*Olivia, adopted at age 14 from Romania: “I am loved unconditionally and accepted with all my baggage that I brought with me from the Romanian orphanage. I got an education and pursued my dreams.”
*Andrew, adopted at age 10 from Russia: “I was adopted with a biological brother. For me, a positive aspect of being adopted was creating a future not only for myself but for my biological brother. I went from being nothing to no one to being a college graduate and working in my field of interest, and being able to take care of myself financially and physically.”
Yes friends, there are two sides to parenting a child from another country and culture. As I mentioned previously, there are many challenges and sometimes heartaches. However, as my young friends shared above, being adopted can provide a child with a new lease on life and a brighter future than they could have ever imagined. If you would like more information about becoming an intercountry adoptive parent, feel free to contact me--I would love to share my story with you.
*Names of adoptees have been changed to protect confidentiality
*Image on Unsplash