Adoption. Get Off The List.

Intro by Gayle Fidanzo, Executive Director, Choice Adoptions


When a baby girl was being carried in utero by a woman with limited mental ability, not many of our waiting families wanted to be considered as her adoptive family. But the author of this article, Nikki, didn’t hesitate. Her daughter, J, is a wonder. We predict she will grow up to be a famous fashion designer.

The girl has style for miles. When a baby boy was lying in Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital, battered, broken, and bruised beyond recognition, I needed a family fast. I called Nikki and her husband, Tad. Their son, M, joined his five siblings in this loving and slightly crazy home and despite all predictions, he is a force -- healthy, witty, loving, and undeniably a handful!


Of course, a healthy child is never a guarantee, but when I cautioned Nikki about the possible health risks with each of these precious children, she said, “Doctors don’t know everything.”


Enjoy Nikki’s perspective. She’s a straight shooter, but her motivation comes from a true and sincere heart of justice. She doesn’t want children to end up in foster care. And she doesn’t want couples who want to be parents to wait for years to adopt a child. When your heart is wide open, the waiting time can decrease significantly. She is a life saver.


- Gayle

By Nikki Raichart, Guest Blogger

This is 100% a rant from an Enneagram 8. This is your fair warning. If you continue to read and then get offended, it’s on you.


Recently I learned about a sweet baby who was born with several medical conditions that his birth mom decided was too much for her to handle. She chose adoption.

Adoption. What every American Christian says and often demands that women choose over abortion. Adoption. Where Christian and non-Christian agencies are filled with lists of people just waiting and praying for a birth mom to choose them to adopt their baby.

Adoption. Where every family wants a perfect, healthy baby that will not bring any added stress, worry, work or least of all, pain; rather one they can show off and love and feel completed by.


Anyhow, this expectant mom chose adoption.


The call went out to every private adoption agency on the West Coast. I know for a fact that it went to the agency we chose to adopt through as well.

Are there any families available and willing to adopt this little baby? Anyone? Silence.

Silence from every single agency.


Well isn’t that interesting? All these parents pining for a baby…but turns out it was only a perfectly healthy baby they were interested in.


It turns out that people who had the opportunity to adopt one of the most vulnerable babies available were too fragile to say, “sign me up”, “choose me”, “I can love this child and take care of them”.


Turns out not one family on those many lists who were home-study-ready and seemingly willing to choose a baby, whose mother had chosen adoption (as they had prayed), could say yes to the unknown.


That would be too scary.


That might mean more pain and sorrow than they signed up for.


It’s true. Maybe they thought, “I truly can’t take care of a medically fragile baby”. You know what else is true? That statement is smoke and mirrors for, “I’m too afraid”.


“I’m afraid of what I don’t know”.

“I’m afraid of what could happen - death”.

“I’m afraid this isn’t what I signed up for”.


So guess what happened when they heard radio-silence? The adoption worker called my friend. My friend who has already adopted nine children from the foster care system. My friend who already has more than a few high needs children. My friend who can’t turn down the blessing that these little ones are. You know why? Because she knows the secret that all the other families don’t. She knows the joy and blessing these babies bring. She understands what it means to say yes to life; to all life, special needs or not. She understands that fear is just a feeling and not the truth.

Am I happy for her? Over the moon.

Do I think that baby will be smothered in love from it’s nine siblings? Abso-freaking-lutely. Am I sad that another family will miss out on that blessing because of fear? No, I’m mad.

I’m beyond irritated that couples eagerly sign up to adopt a baby all while wearing rose-colored glasses. I’m over the hypocrisy of people screaming to “CHOOSE LIFE” and picket abortion clinics, but refusing to say yes to anything that might inconvenience them.

Maybe right now you are reading this thinking, “Cool it ,Lady and stop the judgment”.

It’s a free country, so think what you want. But let me just explain that I too got that call 4 years ago and I wasn’t even on the adoption list.


Exactly.

We were 40. We were done adopting. We were tired from having close to 50 foster kids. We were sleeping, for God’s sake.


You know why we got called? Because the director of the agency knew that we were likely to say yes and she needed a family fast. We said yes with only THIRTY minutes to decide.


We said yes to a traumatic brain injury.

We said yes to bleeding on the brain.

We said yes to shaken baby syndrome.

We said yes to a lacerated liver (x3).

We said yes to broken bones.

We said yes to possible brain damage.

We said yes to the unknown.


I’m not telling you our story to get some kind of pity or for you to call us angels. I’m telling you that when you sign up to adopt a baby, you should assume this baby could come with drugs or alcohol in their system. You should assume this baby’s mama hasn’t had prenatal care. You should assume this baby could have some serious medical problems. You should assume that everything will be unknown. You should assume that perfect isn’t in the cards.


I’m telling you our story and the story of my friend so that if you happen to be on a list of adoptive parents willing to adopt a baby that you should ask yourself what exactly you’re looking for in a baby…and if it’s perfection, then maybe it’s time to ask some really hard questions. Maybe it’s time to look at the core motivations of why you are wanting to adopt a baby.


Is it for your personal desires or is it to actually be a loving forever home for a baby that has no place to go? Ask yourself how fair it is to have stipulations on the health, gender, birth parent status, etc. Ask yourself if you really truly understand what trauma-informed parenting looks like, because guess what? EVERY.SINGLE.ADOPTION. is a trauma regardless of how healthy they are.


Please I beg you to educate yourselves. I implore you to do a real deep dive into your intentions here because I can guarantee you that adoption is hard and messy and the farthest thing from perfect as you can get. It’s also the most painfully beautiful thing you can experience if you don’t have expectations that get in the way.


Yeah, I want mamas to choose life, too. Let’s share the love, people. Let’s kick fear’s ass to the side and say yes to the unknown, scary things in this life. Life is hard and we can do hard things.




If you enjoyed this guest blog you may also like to take a look at some of these great adoption resources:


Why Adoption May Not Be For You

Are Adoptions Still Going Ahead?

Why Does Adoption Cost So Much?


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Choice adoptions rethink adoption