Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Mitzvah in Poor Taste

So here I am. It's been eons since I've posted and this one is going to be a rant. I was listening to NPR today in the car and there was a panel of mothers discussing the New York Magazine article "All Joy and No Fun". The subject was parenting and this quote from the article sums it up pretty well: "The effect of children on the life satisfaction of married individuals is small, often negative, and never statistically significant." It was an interesting article and I agree that parenting is not for wimps and it does indeed take away some personal freedoms but I also wouldn't change it for the world.

That's not the point of my rant, though. The panelists on the NPR program were asked if they would have children all over again, knowing what they know now. They all said yes (not surprisingly) and one even said she still fantasizes about having another one. This same woman went on to express her desire to adopt because then she'd be doing a mitvah in the world. Grrr.

Parenting is in many ways an act of unselfishness, but if someone is thinking of adopting a child to save them, or do good in the world or to get closer to God or something along those lines, I say don't do it. Every child has the right to come into a family who wants a child simply because they want a child not because they want to do a mitzvah (or whatever term someone may use for an act of kindness). Every time someone tells me "your daughter is a lucky girl", I cringe. I'm polite and try not to confront strangers, so I usually answer "we're actually the lucky ones". See, here's the thing, I believe most people who adopt just want to parent, watch a child grow and love a child. They're not expecting a big "thank you" from that child for "saving them".

So, yes my ire is up about this and it will most likely stay that way. Our 5th family day is coming up soon, which is the day we first met Z and became a family of three. I wish people would come to understand and accept that there are many ways to be a family. Families are made with love and yes, there are acts of kindness you express to your relatives and loved ones. However, becoming a family should not go on your good deed list.



At July 13, 2010 at 5:07 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

beautifully said my friend.

You and I have discussed how much we love (NOT) the 'lucky girl' comments. Ick. Sits in my throat like a hairball.

At July 13, 2010 at 6:00 PM, Blogger Moppott said...

This posting just confirms that I think you should write an adoption column for a newspaper or Internet link. Soooo many people need to be enlightened as to what is and isn't appropriate in the framework of adoption. I'm the lucky one to have a thoughtful daughter, caring sons and a fantastic granddaughter in my life.

At July 13, 2010 at 8:44 PM, Anonymous Diane D. said...

I couldn't agree more. We have two blessings that joined our lives, and 7 years of adoption days to celebrate. Adopting them was the most selfish thing we've done. We're the lucky ones!


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