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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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12 Responses to 982

  1. Tiggy Sagar says:

    At least now they’ve lifted the stupid race ruling, there will actually be some children to adopt and all those mixed race children won’t be stuck in care all their lives. If anyone had known that I was half Yemeni, I’d never have got adopted. When a high proportion of adoptees and a great many would be adopters are mixed race, it becomes absurd.

    It’s not as straightforward as people think though. I know this sounds horrible, but you never know what you’re getting. Parenting has to be extra understanding to deal with kids who might well already be heavily traumatised or from families with a genetic inheritance of mental health problems. My birth family is full of mental health problems of different kinds – severe autism, Aspergers, Schizophrenia, chronic insomnia, various nervous disorders. Me and my half sister were the lucky ones; my half brother developed schizophrenia while in a children’s home. I was in eight different foster homes before being adopted and already a traumatised baby. Unfortunately my adoptive parents were NOT understanding. They hadn’t even planned to adopt, but there was nowhere for me to go and I had chronic bronchitus. With older children there is a lot to deal with in terms of their previous feelings of rejection and anger. They are likely to ‘act out’ a lot and test your feelings for them more than most kids would. When they become teenagers, they are likely to search for an alternative family as a means of finding their identity or to try to find their birth parents.

  2. Ardell says:

    As someone who adopted a biracial child, I’m a glad to report that the conversation depicted above does NOT always happen. Both my family and my wife’s family as well as all of our friends readily embraced our son into their lives. We have also had the privilege of keeping in touch with his biological mother, who is a wonderful gal whom I respect to no end.

    I pray that more people will consider adoption as there are a lot of children out there looking for a home. Blessings.

  3. jonbirch says:

    thank you, ardell. i too know many for whom adoption has been a very positive thing. as tiggy says above, i have no doubt that there can be many difficulties too. but i have seen love change lives, in the moment and for the long term… and i wonder for the older people in the cartoon what issues are raised for them. perhaps prejudice, perhaps fear of the unknown, perhaps disappointment that their own flesh and blood might choose adoption over having their own ‘biological’ child. as for me, i cannot think of a greater gift than offering a home to someone who needs one, whether things turn out as you would wish or not. the idea that children don’t have a loving home is heartbreaking and i really hate the idea that anyone gets written off, whatever their complexities. your home sounds like a real place of love and respect. thank you for commenting. :-)

  4. Botticelliwoman says:

    Both my brother and I were adopted. At the time my grandmother was dead against it; she said (to quote Tiggy) “You don’t know what you’re getting”
    As it turned out, in his late thirties my brother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and on tracing his birth mother and family, discovered that mental illness was rife. In the males especially paranoid schizophrenia is prevalent. Its possible that my parents would have gone ahead with the adoption anyway, had they known, but less likely that my brother would have started a family. Added to all his other burdens is the future health of his daughter and any children she might have.
    I never bothered to trace my birth mother and as such have no idea what hereditary diseases might lurk in my closet but having said that, I wouldn’t exchange the parents I had, a more loving and caring couple I couldn’t have wished for.
    I would always vote for adoption above IVF or surrogacy.

  5. Kayte says:

    Well, as someone who has recently discovered that adoption is the only way my husband and i will have a family, i’m encouraged to hear good stories from adoptees. Our families are positive about us being potentially adoptive parents, but weirdly i can relate to the ‘you don’t know what you are getting.’ Not because I wouldn’t adopt a mixed race child, but because somehow the responsibility of taking on someone else’s child seems SO big, and there are definitely days where i wonder if it will be the right thing because I don’t know if I’M up to the challenge! It’s early days, we’re still raw from the failed treatment, and there is a whole ream of interviews and paperwork with social services ahead….

  6. heather joy says:

    I’m adopted. My brother’s adopted. I plan to adopt at least one child on down the road… a little girl from China, to be exact (well, that’s what I hope anyways). I’d also like to adopt a little boy from Africa.
    I’m not sure whether the Lord will open the doors to make this possible or not yet, but I’m trusting Him with the desires of my heart.

  7. Ardell says:

    Go for it Kayte!! As someone who has been through all the interviews and paperwork, I can tell you that it is worth every second! Don’t let the case workers or the statistic scare you – just trust the Lord and give that child all the love and care you can. =)

  8. Alison says:

    This cartoon made me grimace as that was exactly the response my Mum had to me when I told her I wanted to adopt rather than have children biologically. “But they won’t be my grandchildren because they won’t have my blood and they won’t be related to me”.

  9. Tiggy Sagar says:

    I didn’t mean it to sound as though I was against adoption. I would probably adopt myself if I were able, but I wouldn’t be allowed to as have depression in my medical records. One thing to warn potential adoptees about is that if you say you didn’t get on with your own parents, that seems to count against you. My friend was rejected for adopting because having a small kitchen she didn’t have a proper oven in it, just a microwave and hob, even though she had told them she was getting an oven once she’d got the kitchen redone.

    Of course you don’t know what you’re getting with any child you have – it’s just important that people realise that they might be taking on pre-existing problems. At the time I was adopted, adoption services in England were in a mess. Also my parents were not the sort of people who would be allowed to adopt now and I was very different to the rest of them, though not so different from my brother in law and a couple of my nephews who are more intuitive types.

    I don’t know how difficult it is to adopt childrenn from other countries – it seems to be a bit easier from the USA, though still hard and takes years. I know some people in America who adopted a child from an orphanage in China, but that may have been through a Catholic connection. Sri Lanka was a possibility, but I’m not sure anymore as lots of countries have tightened up. There can also be quite a narrow window for adopting in terms of the ages of the adopters. I think the costs are at least equivalent to IVF if you can’t get that free.

  10. subo says:

    interesting to read your thoughts, I’m very much of the opinion that much mental health distress is a result of abandonment, psychological harm (like bullying) and trauma

    so in adoption it’s tricky to work out the contributing factors – as if a child can recognise the voices of the pre-birth adults, like their father, then there’s always going to be some sense of loss – could this be harder to overcome than our genetic inheritance?

    i once read an article that looked at the failure of science to pin point any brain difference occurring in mental health, despite many decades of searching, to maintain the myth of the genetic factor in mental distress. Although the impact of addiction / stress / adrenaline are very clear. They did, as I understand it, find a gene for alcoholism – only to find only six percent of alcoholics had this particular gene.

    I believe our culture has a vested interest in assigning mental distress to our gene’s – then we shine less of a spot light on the impact of social inequality and other harmful elements in our culture. we can continue to deny our addictions and idols’, and the pharmaceutical company’s can continue to exploit us financially for little benefit

    as i said, just some thoughts, respect

  11. BumpkinByBike says:

    Just a wee thought on ‘you don’t know what you’re getting’. It’s true, you don’t, but that’s the same with a biological child. There’s no predicting life – children of couples who were planning the ‘perfect’ child are born with challenging disablities, have accidents, can get bullied outside the home and/or develop physical and mental problems through sheer bad luck. To be a parent to anyone you have to be willing to love another human absolutely and unconditionally and accept this as a wonderful gift, and an incredible responsibility. Having met a few parents struggling admirably with this with their biological kids I just thought it was worth throwing into the mix. Good luck to all those offering any child a home and parenting.

  12. jonbirch says:

    bumpkinbybike… agreed entirely. :-)

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