What is International Adoption?
"Adoption has the dimension of connection — not only to your own tribe, but beyond, widening the scope of what constitutes love, ties and family. It is a larger embrace. By adopting, we stretch past our immediate circles and, by reaching out, find an unexpected sense of belonging with others."-Isabella Rossellini
Let's start with the basics. What is international adoption?
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Webster's dictionary defines international as "involving two or more countries: occurring between countries." and adopt as "to take a child of other parents legally as your own". Now let's take it a step further by adding in love, "strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties" and brave, "having or showing courage". Now put that all together and international adoption can be defined as having the courage to become the legal parent and to build a strong connection with a child who is a national of a different country than your own.
Now that international adoption has been defined, let's discuss what international adoption means to those involved. It is human nature to connect, to be understood, to love, and to have a sense of belonging. For most people that happens within a family. That is where one learns about the world, and how to interact with that world. However, there are children, who at no fault of their own are born into situations where there isn't a family environment that fosters connections, love, acceptance, and belonging but these children desperately need that. On the other side, there are individuals, couples, and families that have the ability to provide this to children. When a forever family is created through international adoption it is beautiful and powerful. Life touches life, not only for a child, but for the parents and extended family. International adoption is a special way to create powerful human connections, and expand horizons.
When asked about motivation to adopt internationally one mother responded by saying, "We wanted to give our children a lot of love, security, and happiness so we knew that adoption was right for us. The bond that we have formed as a family is one that is truly special. It does not matter that they were adopted internationally; they are still our children!" Everyone has their own unique reason for choosing adoption and regardless of that reason, the result is a family. Family, a word that simply cannot be defined by Webster's dictionary, "the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children" because the feeling of being part of a family unit is too complex and magical to be put into words.
Now, this is just an overview, stay tuned as I post weekly blogs that dive into the world of international adoption!