Long time no see, Dear Rinsers. Today, I’ve decided to write a post that I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to find on the web myself, namely about adoption as someone’s first choice.
Being a thirty year old woman in a committed relationship makes it difficult for you not to think about babies A LOT. This doesn’t have so much to do with your own cravings but rather with what people think that you should do. Whenever someone gets pregnant, organises a baby shower or you’re simply at an event full of children (all of which happen a lot to you when you turn 30), people ask you what about you (, guys)? Sometimes they’re just being mean because you’re single and obviously you won’t impregnate yourself or have a child with your friends with benefits and they want you to feel bad about yourself. Other times, they’re upset that you still have time to do things they don’t have time to do themselves. Because, seriously, why do you care and how is it any of your business when or if people will have children? And if there’s no other questions you can ask a woman in her 30’s perhaps it’s up to you to work on your worldliness and small talk skills?
Genes and Co
It’s difficult for me to reply also because I don’t want to have biological children and I don’t feel like discussing that with everyone. I always felt that way, hunted by the thought of children in orphanages who’ll never have a family. I also don’t know what’s so amazing about my genes to necessarily feel like they need to be passed to another generation and why are they allegedly better than what children in orphanages have on offer. I don’t understand why other people don’t see it that way either.
They naysayer will tell you that children in orphanages have alcoholism in their families. So do I and! In fact, my tendencies to unhealthy drinking are so strong that I quit it altogether over a year ago. They’ll tell you that the children can have mental illnesses but I myself have lived my life dealing with crippling depression, anxiety and OCD. Of course, I have some perks in my genes too and I could want to pass these on but I just don’t see why I should. Everyone has some perks in their gene, after all.
I don’t understand the idea of wanting to reproduce on the organic level that people don’t understand my attitude. The need for me to adopt was always as strong as the need of other people to have biological children is. I don’t know why it’s so but it just is.
It’s Not About the Childbirth
The painful part about wanting to adopt as your first choice when you’re a woman is that people judge you as a coward. Oh women, we can be so terrible to one another! Childbirth should never have become a pain resistance competition. And because it is there may only be one reason for you to want to avoid it – fear and weakness. You just don’t want to go through a childbirth, they say, how selfish and weak of you.
I don’t deny it either – I don’t want to go through a childbirth similarly like most people would not like to go through body altering, painful experience if they don’t see a good reason for it. And I don’t. There’s enough babies in the world and we have overpopulation.
If I felt like that was something I wanted and I felt was important for me I would do it, in the same way I went through the pain of moving to a country I knew no one in, serial dating and extensive work on myself to find the right partner or a year of waking up early on weekends and working late during the week to write a novel. I’m not avoiding pain all-together and it’s judgmental to assume that I do. Just like any reasonably being what I’m doing is striving to avoid pain that I don’t find justifiable.
Life is Suffering
Another thing is that I’ve spent a lot of my life wishing I was never born. That’s something that most people with mental problems who often wish just not to be themselves can relate to. But even without these issues, however lucky you are in life, you’re going to suffer greatly.
Your child didn’t ask to be brought to this world and it’s going to suffer because of your doing. If you had never had it, it wouldn’t have suffered. You can, of course, decide to take this responsibility on because to you there’s more beauty than pain in life. You can also decide that this is not a place you’d like to bring another being to. The choice is as much yours to make when you decide to have biological children as it’s mine to make not to.
Giving Back to Community
I’m no saint I’d like to bring up a healthy baby but there’s something very strong in me that wants to make better a life of a child in seemingly unfavourable circumstances.
Such a baby just wants to be loved and cared for and yet, society approves of it only if it’s taken to a family as a second choice. “Agh, shame” I imagine people smirking at the sight of a white couple with their adoptive child of a different race, because their choice couldn’t have possibly be their first one. It must be, because they couldn’t conceive and here’s another reason for “ag shamers” to feel superior (and what a reason is that!).
I don’t see why such a child must be necessarily a second choice because kin or not kin we’re all human and I feel as much for such a child as I do for my sister or my mother or anyone else. Why to bring a new life to this world when you can enrich your life by bringing up someone who unless you give them a chance may never have a family? And why should they feel they’re your second choice if someone who gave birth to them already rejected them and marked them with trauma they’ll struggle with all their life?
I’m not saying adoption is for everyone. I’m not saying that it is or should be everyone’s first choice either. However, if someone tells you that it is, perhaps you should stop making stupid, judgmental comments because this isn’t something you personally want but ask them what’s the reason instead? Paraphrasing Mae West, if you’re shocked a lot, it just means you should be shocked more often. Also, why are you bulling people into having children? Aren’t there enough of them in the world, which is why there are children suffering in orphanages all around the world in the first place?
Live and let others live.
Give me you thoughts, Rinsers!