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8451: Financially challenged CAN adopt -Bushey (fwd)

From: LauriB <LAURIB@maf.org>

     I'm commenting on Senou's message #8423 about Adoption:
     I am a single American woman living in Haiti. I make an itsy, bitsy, 
     teeny, tiny salary. I adopted a beautiful Haitian boy 3 years ago. My 
     son has a rich life since coming to live with me even though I am very 
     I want to argue that having high financial income is NOT a necessary 
     prerequisite for adoption. I disagree with Senou's comments about that 
     and wish that Senou could meet my gorgeous son and let me prove that 
     making $45,000 year (or wait, maybe that was in gourdes? tee-hee!)is 
     NOT a requirement for becoming an excellent parent, either by natural 
     childbirth or adoption.
     My kid has unlimited access to all the love, encouragement and 
     discipline you could imagine. If you met my son you would see a very 
     happy, well adjusted 4 year old who loves life, his mom and is 
     constantly cheerful. He eats great, wears cute clothes and has tons of 
     toys. How many rich kids in the States can say they speak 3 languages 
     like him? As far as material possessions, he may not have all the 
     'stuff' that a more wealthy parent could provide, but so far he 
     doesn't miss a thing. He loved watching TV and VCR but when our home 
     was broken into this week and those items along with my vehicle were 
     stolen, he has kept a great attitude and just reads his books more. I 
     pray constantly that my child won't hunger for material stuff to 
     satisfy him but he'll acquire inner peace from sharing, laughter, love 
     and knowing God.
     I am able to afford his basic medical needs. I have come up with a 
     creative solution for providing him top notch education. My son has 
     obtained his US citizenship. I don't know the history of my son's 
     birth family but he now experiences the rich heritage of his extended 
     family in the States. My son has an incredible relationship with his 
     grandparents that I would beg to argue may compete with the richest of 
     I can't say that I don't worry sometimes about how I'll pay for his 
     needs down the road. It was a bit complicated when I was processing 
     his legal adoption and US immigrate visa to convince them that I can 
     afford a child. But just as I found a solution for a surgery he needed 
     last year, I'm sure I can do the same for the piano or ice hockey 
     skates that he may beg for in a few years. Maybe he'll even get full 
     ride academic scholarships for University. For now, we take it day at 
     a time, and I am pretty certain that the day won't come when he'll be 
     hungry, without clothes or shelter even though I don't make anything 
     close to the numbers Senou suggested for single parent incomes.
     Another point that Senou kept making in the message was that a child 
     not become a "helper" in the home. I promise you that my son will 
     never be treated harshly or demanded to work beyond his capabilities. 
     But you know what, I am going to try to teach him good work ethics and 
     responsibility for himself as well as caring for our home. Even though 
     we employee house help, I am pledging to try to 'force' my kid to do 
     all the same chores around that house that he'll need to someday be on 
     his own. It's not easy with a maid to re-make his bed after he does it 
     himself nor am I anxious for those teen years when he'll probably 
     argue to leave his room a mess. BUT please do come to our Valentines 
     party in 10 years to sample the cookies he'll be making!
     Even though we don't have much, my son and I are committed to sharing. 
     This fall we started opening up our then tiny apt. to other children 
     who needed help. My son was very much in agreement with that even 
     though it meant less for him. I shutter to think of what would happen 
     to this world and especially Haiti, if people waited to help until 
     they felt they were financially secure themselves first. Ugh. I agree 
     with child sponsorship programs but they are not a replacement for 
     adoption. Every child needs someone to call Mommy. To know there is 
     just one person just for them. A parent is the person who is on your 
     side, who knows the good points about you that no one else does, who 
     protects you from scarey things at nite and who never leaves you. I 
     disagree so strongly with Senou's comments that I almost feel the 
     other extreme. I think everyone should adopt a child unless they have 
     specific reasons they are unable. I often cry as I think of orphans 
     going to sleep at nite without being able to feel the soft brush of a 
     mommy's goodnite kiss. 
     The quote I am oft heard saying is..."I may be poor but I am providing 
     for my son so much more than he would have had growing up in an 
     Senou, I imagine you don't have kids yet. I never thought I would, 
     partly because I couldn't afford it. But, now I see that sharing my 
     love, home, extended family and yes even my limited finances has made 
     me a richer person. I can't imagine life without my son nor can I 
     imagine him without me. Ask anyone (especially my kid), I'm a great 
     mom even though I am very poor.
     Lauri Bushey
     Port-au-Prince, Haiti