Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Issues # 1 Followup-- Chadian Children

I was hoping for a comment or two before I posted my thoughts, but maybe this will promote a few. :)

This is a difficult issue for many; I've read different reactions from different blogs over the last week or so. A lot of comments come around to the idea of international adoption. In and of itself, I think the situation with Zoe's Ark was completely unacceptable. I see the point that these children are in danger-- just this week, I read They Poured Fire on us From the Sky, a moving account by three of the Sudanese "Lost Boys" who survived genocide similar to that in Darfur right now. The stark reality of the situation portrayed in the book is beyond horrifying. No child, no human being, should have to endure such things-- indeed, I marveled at how many were able to. It made me realize more than ever that action must be taken, especially in regions like Darfur, Uganda, and the Congo where war is tearing lives apart. This action, however, must involve the people it affects. An army of UN soldiers can go in and help, sure. But things will not change unless the people themselves are given the opportunity and the power to change their own world.

For this reason, I cannot condone the actions of Zoe's Ark. To go in and effectually kidnap children-- many of them Chadian children with families-- to send them to a "better place" is not going to change anything. Of course, here my heart tears as I think of the children who are killed, and scarred, and maimed, and I can see how these French volunteers might have come by this idea. But snatching children from their families and shipping them in droves to a foreign country, language, and culture is never right! True change for the children and adults who remain will never take place with this approach.

That being said, let it be known that I am not opposed to legal, ethical adoption. I understand the qualms some people have about removing children from their home land; I lived in the homeland of some of these children, and came to love it. I hope most of the children there can grow to be functional, happy adults who can contribute to the betterment of their own society. They truly are the future of their land. However, I have a firm belief that children should be in a family if at all possible. Even in a place where extended family ties are strong, the enormity of the orphan crisis is overpowering many. If a few of these children can be given families, even outside their own nation, I believe it is a worthy cause.

So, there's a few thoughts for you. For even more thoughts, check out my buddy-by-blog's recent entries one and two. Anita's family was built by international adoption, and she has some interesting thoughts. If you care to add your two cents, please do-- but keep it kind, please!

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