Friday, September 12, 2008

Says Who?

The National Catholic Register ran this article, which was brought to my attention on the Catholic International Adoptive Parents Yahoo group.

While (must I repeat this again?) no adoptive parent believes that adoption is a panacea, many--if not all--believe that adoption at least gives a child a fighting chance at a life with a mom and a dad who love them, whether biologically connected or not. If it is not possible to love another person who is not your genetic cohort, then we have an awful lot of explaining to do in our marriages--all of whom (we don't have single-branch family trees now, do we folks?) bear no resemblance to our chromosomal pool. And yet in a sacramental marriage, in spite of our different gene pools, we manage to love one another and sanctify one another, pointing one another toward Christ step by step and day by day.

If the article's author is correct, then blended families, extended families, foster families and adoptive families are unable to offer "the love of a parent for a child to encourage us to acknowledge and work on our sins — and to make us grateful for the gifts that we have been given." In fact, she believes " biological parents, both mother and father — are the best people to raise their own children" leaving all others as a poor substitute in their wake.

To read the full article, click here. Or, if you're feeling saucy, you can email the editor of the National Catholic Register at editor at ncregister dot com.

Here is the letter I sent them:

To the editor,

Regarding Ms. Selmys article, "It Is in Love That We Are Made", I wonder how extensive the author's experiences are when she speaks of this "pattern that I have seen repeated throughout my encounters with adopted children."

I wonder if she has ever met an adoptive child who is well-adjusted. I can't imagine that ALL of the people at the homeless shelter were adopted. Perhaps it is just possible, that there were people there without parents...or maybe, just maybe, raised by their biological parents and still struggling to make their way?

I wonder if she has ever seen the other options that an adopted child might face, had adoption not been part of their life?

But most of all, I wonder, has she ever looked into the eyes of a child, who so little resembles her, and been showered by God's grace by what she sees?

I know I have.

Jane M.
Mom to seven incredible blessings--three of whom were designed not by my hand or gene pool, but all by the hand of God


Barb, sfo said...

That is the craziest thing I have ever seen.
And the alternative, in the case of a biological parent who cannot or will not care for their child, would be....?
Not to mention children who are truly orphans?
I don't get it. And I get even less why this would be published in a Catholic newspaper.

Michelle said...

Unbelievable ignorance! Thanks for making me aware. I submitted my letter to the editor.

Laura said...

Beautiful letter.

Julie Cooper said...

Great letter to the editor, Jane. Luckily, Ms. Selmys' article is so BORING that it's probably unlikely many people will be able to stay awake to read the end where she writes so ignorantly about adoption.

It's people like Ms. Selmys who don't do the pro-life cause any good. What an elitist attitude she holds.

Julie Cooper said...

OK, Jane. Your letter was much more diplomatic than the one I just sent the editor. I need to learn how to be more like you!

I put my nasty pants on to write this letter to the editor:

Dear National Catholic Register Editor,

RE: Ms. Selmys' article "It is in Love That We Are Made"

I am shocked to see such ignorance and elitism published on a respected Catholic website.

My husband and I are devout Roman Catholics who have been married for 14 years. After realizing that we were not going to be able to conceive the "normal" way, we rejected a doctor's recommendation for IVF and other treatments and followed God's plan for us to adopt children. We now have four sons, all of whom are adopted.

I cannot argue with Ms. Selmys' point that much of who we are is determined by genetics. But one problem I have with her article is her elitist attitude that she knows some deep dark secret about adopted children... that they would be better off being raised by their biological parents!

She writes: "This is why parents — biological parents, both mother and father — are the best people to raise their own children. There is a foundation of similarity."

Does Ms. Selmys really think that her Catholic readers are so stupid to believe her distorted view? I would be interested to know if Ms. Selmys believes that babies who are born to drug addicts (something of which I am familiar) are better off being raised by them? Or is Ms. Selmys basing her article on her pretend, non-existent, fantasy world? Or perhaps this is just sloppy writing and editing.

But the biggest problem with her article is this: Ms. Selmys claims to be pro-life. I would ask, "Is she really?" We pro-lifers should promote adoption, not write articles that would scare people away from adopting children. What a hopeless attitude on a child's potential Ms. Selmys holds!

Shame on Ms. Selmys for writing such an irresponsible article and for the National Catholic Register for publishing such garbage.


Julie Cooper

patjrsmom said...

Diplomatic, schmiplomatic! This is an excellent response and says much of what I jumped up and down yelling on the phone to the Captain when I told him about the article.

I hope that the editor decides to print something (perhaps one of the slew of letters s/he is receiving)... ;-)

Hope you are all well!

God Bless,

Rich said...

I cannot imagine that it is possible for anyone to love anyone more than I love my adopted daughter. And although my view is tainted, I firmly believe that she is better off that she would have been with her biological father or with her mother alone. I would love to go on, but I must limit my comments to the secular based on my location. Thank you for an insiteful blog.

patjrsmom said...

Hi Rich,
You are welcome! I can't believe any one would write such offensive drivel, particularly in a vehemently pro-life newspaper...

God speed,

Becky said...

Wow...I'm stunned. Your letter gave me go girl!

Heidi Hess Saxton said...

Good work! I added my own two cents:



Kelly said...

Hi Jane,
I'm Dawns friend Kelly in Calif. I wandered over to your blog, which I do read from time to time but haven't had a chance to catch in awhile, because I saw in your email mention of a new family member, Lily Rose, and I had to find out the scoop. So I'm flipping through your blog and stumbled on this particular post and it got my hackles all up. I am horrified that such an ignorant opinion exists, and moreover that it has an outlet! Bravo to you for your letter, and your friends letters too. But more importantly, bravo to you for doing God's great work with those beautiful children of yours. Not only are you giving your adopted children a wonderful life, but your biological children are being given the richest experiences in love that they could ever ask. It is inspiring to me the mark you are leaving on the world through your children. God Bless! Where would children be without fighters like you and your family? rock on!