Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why adopt?

Why not?

Back in my cca. third year of college one of my friends always had the following to say about her plans for a family: "One boy, one girl, one black, one with Down Syndrome." Now as neither she nor her then (or now) boyfriend was black this immediately implied adoption. While others always rewarded it with a strange look, I always agreed with her. I knew that I wanted to adopt. I also knew that I didn't want to adopt newborns.

The thing is I want to be a mother, however, it doesn't mean I can't imagine becoming a mother without getting pregnant. Actually, I could never picture myself pregnant or mothering a newborn or an infant. I really have no idea what to do with a baby! When I pictured myself with my future children, it was always young kids from the age of 3 up.

In my country many of the children who are wards of the state from an early age spend their first 3 years in an infants home. If they have older siblings they will be transferred to the small group home or the childern's home earlier. Since the beginning of the decade the children's homes have undergone a major transformation: they have no more than 40 children in a unit, many times those children are split into family groups, living in separate apartments, houses, or, in different sections of the same building. Most of them are loved and well cared for, and luckily not moved from place to place much. Many of these children go home every weekend and during school breaks to be with their birth families, and they, of course, are not adoptable. There are, however, many children, who are available for adoption. Some, though not all of them have some special needs. Depending on the kind of disability they have, the location where they were taken into care and whether they have siblings in state care without special neds, some of them live in children's homes adjacent to their special education school, some of them live in integrated children's homes. They stay in the system till they are at least 18, at which point they have the option to leave, but many young adults participate in the after care/independent living skills programs till they are in their early to mid 20's. Many of these children are asoptable, as I said, and are in need of homes.

However, after turning 3, there is a slim chance of being adopted. My country is not popular with internationally adopting families--the month-long in-country parenting requirement turns them away, even if the full process many times takes a lot less time in country than some other countries. Locally most people want babies or toddlers, or decide on long term foster care as that comes with financial benefits for the children. Once a child is adopted, no more financial assistance is available for the families who raise them.

Long term fostering, however, doesn't mean permanency. And that is one thing I'd like to give to my future child or children, in addition to my name and full legal rights to any future, yet unexpected inheritance.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Why Judaism?

My parents are faithful atheists, who believed in exposing us to the mysterious world of religions. From and early age the myths of the Ancient Greeks and Romans were my favorite reading, and I did enjoy reading the whole Kalevala in 5th grade. Vejnemöjnen is the name of m MP3 player. I read about Hinduism, Buddhism, I knew about Shinto, and my parents made sure I became familiar with the other cornerstone of Western civilisation as well: the Bible. So they bought my sister and I Biblical tales and the great Larousse Bible "graphic novel". Somehow they always just ended up buying the Old Testament portions.

At age 13-ish, chatting with a friend while walking fomr from school, religion came up. I told her, if I could choose a religion for myself, it would be Judaism.

As a teen I became LDS. Yes, Mormon. I was active, teaching Sunday School, being Young Women's president, and eventually serving a mission in the United States. I married in the Temple, and then something happened. And that something was the Internet. As I was reading more and more about the Bible and the LDS scriptures it all started to fall apart for me.

Strangely, the first thing for me wasn't the Book of Abraham. It wasn't even the Book of Mormon. It was the New Testament. Seeing as how today's Christianity is based a lot more on what Paul taught rather than what Jesus himself said, it started to make less and less sense for me.

Over the years I discovered a Jewish born great-grandmother on my family tree and I was introduced to the richness of Judaism and the very idea that converting to it is actually possible.

I'm not near the point of actually talking to a rabbi yet. I think I will not be ready for that till I actually have the divorce decree in my hand.

Friday, December 04, 2009

The First Post

I'm a 30-something woman somewhere in the European Union. I have a background in education and a future in IT and languages, hopefully. I'm a real European, as my ancestors spoke at least 8 different languages within the last 5 or so generations. They came from several different religions as well. My forefathers on my mother's side were stubborn Calvinists, and I inherited this trait from them, thus the name of the blog.

For about the past five years I have knowns that I wanted to do two things: convert to Judaism and adopt. However, neither were going to ever happen, because my husband would not hear of either. And because I loved and respected my husband, I didn't pursue either dream.

Several years ago (more than 5, less than 10) I married a great guy. He is still great, but now we are separated and planning on getting a divorce. There has been something missing for a while, and it was about time we let each other go and follow some very different paths.