The anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti will probably find me gnawing again on the central moral dilemma of our adoption of a Haitian child, which is to some extent the dilemma in almost every international adoption: that terrible misfortune for some can bring extraordinary joy to others.I'm the first to admit there's a learning curve about adoption issues for adoptive parents. But Seabrook is climbing the hill awfully slowly.
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Had the Léogâne fault, having rested quietly for many centuries, slipped eight months earlier, we wouldn’t have been matched with a child yet, and we would have had to start the process over. Had it never slipped, we would have waited years to get our daughter; perhaps her mother would have changed her mind and taken her back.
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The truth is, I don’t want to associate the earthquake with Rose. And in some ways her arrival seems divorced from the earthquake or even from Haiti. She is our child now, not a refugee or a victim, not an orphan any longer. The small everyday responsibilities of being a parent . . . this is the stuff that’s real, and next to it the cosmic coincidence of her getting here seems like an grim abstraction.
He talks about the dilemma of loss-joy in adoption, but he can't really come to grips with the real loss, his daughter's loss of her birth mother. He sees the earthquake as the great loss, when there was no causal link at all between the earthquake and his daughter's initial loss. In fact, he seems appreciative of the "cosmic coincidence" of the earthquake -- it prevented something even more horrible, "perhaps her mother would have changed her mind and taken her back."
And what about the loss of culture? of Haiti? That's easy to ignore: "her arrival seems divorced from the earthquake or even from Haiti." After all, "she is our child now." Divorce. Wow, isn't that some choice of words. Divorce. Separate. Sever. Cut off. Cut away. It's that "blank slate" thinking -- that nothing happened in the child's life before she arrived in her adoptive home thinking.
If the Transracial Korean Adoptee Nexus decides to school Seabrook again, I'll add a link here!