I have been spending a lot of time doing research for a new project on trans-racial adoption, so my head was already swirling with conflicting and troubling “adoption thoughts” last night when I came across this *story about the Nazi practice of kidnapping children to offer to German citizens for adoption during Hitler’s heinously insane quest for “racial purity”.
At the tender age of five, Alodia Witaszek and her younger sister were kidnapped by the Nazis and sent to a children’s concentration camp where they were beaten and tortured with the purpose of erasing all vestiges of their former identities so that they might become suitable candidates for adoption by German families. The goal? To further the cause of racial purity. Blond haired and blue eyed Alodia and her younger sister were perfect candidates.
After Alodia was properly “Germanized” she was given to a family who were well meaning and completely unaware of the circumstances behind their adoption. They adored her and treated her well.
But she became their daughter through horrific circumstances.
I don’t know how many children in the United States of America come to their families each year unethically. I think, considering the world we live in that it is safe to say it most certainly happens from time to time. There are good agencies and bad agencies. Honest and upright attorneys and those who bend, stretch and break the law for their own gain.
There are also true orphans in the world who face terrible circumstance and possibly even death for whom adoption changes everything. Even for those children, who are adopted through agencies with the highest moral standards and given the best possible care, joining their new families is not all happiness and delight because every single adoption begins with….loss. For those who are adopted trans-racially, the journey can be even more harrowing.
So, as I have been reading blogs from each side of the divide, I cannot for a moment shrug off the angst and grief some adoptees and birth mothers are expressing. I can’t even though I am an adoptive mother, because if the past 38 years has taught me anything, it has taught me this: I don’t know it all. As a matter of fact, experience has taught me that sometimes when I am the most adamant about my opinions, that is the very moment I am completely ignorant of the other side of the issue.
Which causes me to ask the question, what is it that adoptees and birth moms need from the rest of us? I think I have some ideas, not the least of which is validation, but you know what? I want to know. I want to listen with an open mind and an open heart. I want it to always matter to me.
Why? I mean, my girls are home. I know the circumstances of their journey to me. I know the means to bring them home were ethical. More importantly, I know God brought us together. He created this family. So, why do I care?
First of all, because I love my daughters and I want to mother them well and to do that, I need to understand. That is reason enough, but for me there is an even greater motivator….
The law of love.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34
The law of love requires us to care, to listen. I can only imagine the difference it would make for everyone involved, most importantly the children, if we simply obeyed Christ’s admonition to love one another……
*Associated Press Correspondent Monika Scislowska contributed to this report from Poznan, Poland.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.