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Adopt a new perspective
by Nathan Orme
Jul 03, 2011 | 500 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The concept of being adopted has always been part of my life. Not because I am adopted, but my mother is. It was never any kind of familial scar or mystery — it was simply a matter of fact and I believe the same holds true for my mother. In her eyes, she only ever had one set of parents and it was the man and woman who raised her.

I can understand that attitude since my mom’s path in life was charted while she was still in the womb back in 1954. We don’t know the biological mother’s story, but the fact that it all was prearranged tells us the pregnancy was not a planned or welcome event for the people involved.

As I approach my 35th birthday, I now have a good perspective on how the circumstances come about to give up a child for adoption. A person really needs to be prepared for it, and for those who aren’t ready nature has granted human beings nine months to get used to the idea. There are, of course, ways to terminate the issue: One of them is to give the child and give it up for adoption and the other way is a topic for another day.

This tidbit of my family history is a backdrop for my recent participation in classes through Washoe County Social Services to become licensed as a foster parent. I heard from the instructors and current foster parents that giving temporary homes to children often leads to a melting of the heart and eventual adoption of one or more of the children.

My girlfriend and I finished the classes about six months ago and have been getting some personal affairs in order before finishing the licensing process. A week or so ago I decided we should proceed since it will still take a while to pass the necessary inspections. In the course of our discussions, my girlfriend was perusing information about adopting children from foreign countries. This is an option pursued by many Americans who, like my grandparents almost 60 years ago, are seeking to adopt a child from birth. My girlfriend was telling me that some countries, such as China, have a long waiting list to adopt healthy babies while other countries, such as Ethiopia, have shorter wait times. The costs and complexities of international laws also come into play.

A major component of selling foreign adoptions has been the notion that Americans would be “rescuing” the children from deplorable living conditions in their native countries. But if you believe the fear mongering being kicked around right now about the United States, will there come a day when people from other countries will be “rescuing” American children by adopting them?

Think about it: Families losing their incomes and homes, schools making draconian cuts that threaten children’s abilities to fend for themselves when they grow up, governments slashing services and infrastructure. And with countries such as China and India thriving, it’s not unreasonable to think that there are young couples overseas that want to bring an American child over to give them a real chance at life.

Whether it is from this country or another, the biggest need is homes for older children whose parents did not or could not care for them properly. Is it so unreasonable to imagine that little Johnny or Suzie might one day come home from school one day and say their classmate was just adopted by a family in Helsinki or Moscow?

If nothing else, maybe Nevada can hire Sally Struthers to do a series of commercials relating the plights of children whose school programs have been cut or construction workers who have lost their jobs. Images of their sad faces will elicit sympathy and she can tell people that for just five cents a day they can help a Nevadan whose future is bleak and whose hope is lost. That Nevadan will even write letters to the donor showing their progress and how the donations have helped them survive in their native land.

It could happen.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to call my mother.

Nathan Orme is the editor of the Sparks Tribune. He can be reached at
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