26 January 2014

Faith in Adoption

I am not faithless. I just need to split my faith on the two things that have made me the person I am today.

These two things while different are often paired. They have common goals of love and compassion. They are both based on trust.

Yet, they are used to destroy single mothers, single fathers, children and families.

In the beginning, I was innocent and comfortable. I sang the songs and recited the rules. I told the gleeful stories I was told to tell. My trust was blind.

As time went on and I grew up, I began to learn the truths behind these institutions of faith. I questioned the stories. I questioned the bureaucracy. I questioned myself.

I have learned to trust only those people I have taken the time to know. There are many in these institutions who represent the love and compassion that brought me to them. Then again, there are those who abuse the faith by using it to their own benefit … parsing words to confuse.

My faiths run parallel, but the institutions force them to intersect.

My first faith … faith in God and Jesus Christ.
While I grew up in a Christian home, my adoption did not come out of that faith. My parents did not adopt to add to the Christ counter. I am comfortable and confident in this faith, but oftentimes, you wouldn’t know this about me.

For example, an Atheist friend contacted me to see if I would be willing to participate in an ad campaign for Atheism. (They were looking to show a more racially diverse population.) I politely declined and let her know that I was a Christian. This came as a surprise to her. Rightly so, I do not post Christian posts, Bible verses or Christian memes.

There are many Christians who have failed my faith in keeping children and their biological parents apart, like the story of Philomena Lee. While American readers may think that Philomena’s story is only an overseas Catholic story, they are incorrect.

My fellow Lost Daughters sister had a similar instance with Catholic Charities in Connecticut. While she and her original father tried desperately to find one another, Catholic Charities continued to withhold information from her. Her father went to Catholic Charities and granted permission so that if his daughter came to find him, they could give her his contact information, but when she approached them to ask, they revealed nothing. She and her father later found one another through International Soundex Reunion Registry (ISRR).

This of course, leads me to my second faith.

My second faith … faith in adoption.
This faith is far more complicated for me. My childhood was wonderful, and I was well-loved by my adoptive family. If you have read my blog from the beginning, you know that in terms of my personal adoption narrative with my family, I feel blessed. My life from the time I was 13 months of age has given me experiences that I will treasure until I expire.

This faith has also given me a third family of adoptees, in which I have found joy and sorrow. They have opened my eyes to the many injustices around the world that continue to use children as pawns in the game of religious chess. In the minds of proselytizing Christians, these pawns represent the “irresponsible, sinful mothers,” the “lives that abortion would otherwise snuff,” and the “poverty that no child should suffer.” If the pawns make it across the board to the other side, they will become a revived “queen.”

But the queen is left wandering an empty board, wondering what her purpose is and who she was before. Is she the example of how a lost soul was saved by the promise of a better life? This is the tale told by the churches in Korea as they continue to build more baby boxes. Again, the people of the faith are tarnishing adoption.

These children with no record of their past will soon grow up and recognize the feeling. I liken it to the moment when Giselle in the movie Enchanted realizes her anger for the first time. That feeling of being alive without blinders.

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