One of the requirements for my Ethiopian dossier is to write a statement explaining why I want to adopt, why I want to adopt from Ethiopia, how you plan to keep the child's culture and heritage alive, and what you feel your strengths are as a parent. Pish-Posh. That's nothing, right? Here's what I am submitting... a synopsis of my parenting philosophy, I guess:)
To Whom It May Concern:
Ever since I was a child, I have loved the idea of adoption. It seemed the most natural way to grow a family- to love a child who had no home. What could be more beautiful or right? For quite some time I have been considering adoption, but recently have decided that it is the right time to add a child to my family: another child for me to love and share my life with, and a little sister for my daughter.
From the time I began exploring international adoption, I felt drawn to Ethiopia. As I learned more about the country, Ethiopia’s history, and the present conditions, I knew this country was calling my name. I know my child is in Ethiopia. The current state of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, and specifically the way it is ravishing Ethiopia, drew my nurse’s heart to the children who where orphaned by this horrible disease, and the families that have been broken apart by something from which we in America rarely suffer.
I look forward to being able to share in the deep history and culture of Ethiopia. Already, my daughter and I enjoy reading stories about Ethiopia and exploring the world map to find Ethiopia and her neighbors. We have started connecting to the local Ethiopian community, trying new foods, listening to new music. We learn about the country, the current conditions, the beauty of the history, and love to share what we learn with others. I look forward to serving the Ethiopian people using my nursing skills.
There is an old saying “give a man a fish and he will eat for a day- teach a man to fish and he will never be hungry.” I feel that my greatest strength as a parent lies in my ability to teach. I don’t just tie my daughter’s shoe laces- I teach her how to tie them. I don’t just read bedtime stories to her- I teach her how to read. I don’t just dictate morals and ethics- I teach her how to think about life and people, how to consider others and make choices. As the leaders of tomorrow, it is important that the children of today learn to value the human life, and I feel privileged to be teaching this to my daughter, even at her young age. Even more, I delight in the way she teaches me. Children are wonderful teachers, and my second greatest strength as a parent is my ability to learn from my daughter. For the rest of my life, I hope I will always be able to humble myself and discover what wonderful creations that can spring from the minds of children.
I know that I am not perfect. I realize that I have limits and boundaries in what I can do for my child- what I can give my child. But what I have learned so far in parenthood is this: there is no such thing as a perfect parent; there are only parents who do their best. I hope that I am able to teach this to my children- to do their best, always. To know that their best is enough. Above all, I hope that I am able to love them deeply enough that they never question their intrinsic worth.