A friend who adopted a Russian girl about five years ago posts a quotation from Glenn Styffe:  ‎"I used to wonder if I was ready to be an adoptive (or foster) parent, until I realized that children are never ready to be orphans."

Having no children of my own, I often thought of adopting, but we never felt it was the right thing.  I'll always wonder.  I suppose I was influenced by my stepmother's experience:  a childless woman not bonding well with her motherless daughters.  Perhaps it wasn't in the cards for me to be a mother, and it's best that I adopted animals instead.  Is it true that some people shouldn't raise children, or does everyone think that until they do it?

It struck me to the heart a couple of years ago, reading that my friend's adopted daughter's favorite verse from Scripture was John 14:18:  "I will not leave you as orphans.   I will come to you."  Her blog is amazing and worth a read, by the way.  She has been an inspiration to me since junior high.


Grim said...

That's a good point about orphans. There are always too many children waiting on families to decide they are ready.

My wife has sometimes talked about adoption. I never took it seriously as an idea, because I was raised to believe in the importance of blood kinship. But maybe I should rethink that position.

E Hines said...

Is it true that some people shouldn't raise children...?

I think it most assuredly is true that some people shouldn't raise children; we have only to look at the abused child victims. Trouble is, that's hindsight; recognizing who shouldn't in "frontsight" isn't necessarily straightforward.

Does blood kinship necessarily require a genetic relationship? Strong--unbreakable--ties often are formed through baptism, through going through a citizenship process, through marriage. I think, also, through proper parenting.

In many ways, voluntary relationships are stronger than those from accidents of birth.

Eric Hines

Donna B. said...

With hindsight, it's easy to say that some people should never have been parents, but I don't know that there's a way to predict who is "good" parental material.

I fall on the side of nature over nurture more often than not. I've seen some children thrive under the worst of parental efforts and others who failed under seemingly wonderful parents. Sometimes this happened within the same family. My family, for example.

My track record as a parent of three is: totally failed one, half failed another, and failed to harm the third. This record corresponds with my parents record with their three children.

AND... the children are not free of responsibility. That's the nature side of the equation. I spawned a "this is the way things should be" child, a "things are never the way I want them to be" child, and a "this is the way things are and I'm going to make the best of it" child.

Bottom line: Unless you are stupid or evil, you are probably going to be a good parent.

No, no... even if you are stupid, you are probably going to be good enough parent in that you won't purposely damage your children, and your children will most likely thank you for that some day.

Miss Ladybug said...

I have always wanted to be a mother. However, since I never wanted to put the cart before the horse, I will be 43 by the time I even begin to attempt to get pregnant. Being an intelligent woman, I know I will likely have increased difficulty in (1) getting pregnant and (2) [if (1) is achieved] having a successful pregnancy with a healthy child. My fiance and I have already discussed the "what if" of not being able to have a child of our own... We will look into adoption in that case, even as we would be older parents. I just think about the tremendous costs I hear are associated with adopting and how long it takes to get cleared. With so many children "in the system", you would think they would make it less of an ordeal to place orphaned children into homes with parents who want them...

douglas said...

I'd suspect that most who are cognizant of their own failings or weaknesses to consider such a question are probably good enough and smart enough to be reasonably good parents. I'm almost certain that had we not had children of our own, or if we won the lottery or something, we'd adopt- although the fear that in today's legal environment you can't be sure your adoption is good for quite a while (google 'baby richard').