A few years ago, a famous American actress named Claire Danes flew to The Philippines to film parts of the movie "Brokedown Palace". . . does anyone remember this movie? I never saw it but I did read a LOT about the backlash after Ms. Danes described The Philippines as "a dump". I recall hearing that Filipinos burned her DVDs and videos publicly and denounced her in the media. They would not patronize her movies and many theaters refused to even offer her movies. I honestly don't blame them one bit. I would have done the same.
I'm sure the employees at the hotel where she stayed were extremely gracious to her. I have no doubt, because of what I know of the culture, that she was treated with deference and respect on her trip and how did she "thank" the people of the country? By being critical and ungrateful.
To a lesser degree, I see this same attitude SOMETIMES in adoptive parents. They often blog and speak about the conditions of the orphanage their child came from. They share publicly how much dental work or "deworming" their new child required upon return home. They lament the outgrown clothing and lack of shoes among the children and express great pity for the lack of toys, resources, etc. that their child in orphanage care received.
I would caution parents that even if all of these observations are true, sharing them publicly whether on a blog, facebook, or even while speaking to a group at church is something that has to be weighed and taken seriously.
First, discussing those issues online is never a "private" affair. In this age of technology, a comment can go from Canada to Katmandu in mere seconds. Do you really want to risk the people who loved your child, took him in at their own expense, prayed for and protected him, seeing you tell the world how deficient his care was?
Second, often these types of discussions belie our feelings that we have "rescued a poor, pitiful orphan" rather than the truth of the matter which is that adoptive parents have been entrusted with a priceless gift.
Third, often (but not always) caregivers are doing the best they can with the resources at their disposal. Sometimes those resources are meager at best. In some countries, the governments do not spend any money at all caring for orphans. In still other countries, cultural biases against orphans is rampant. It is well known in the adoption community that Eastern Europe has a bad reputation for providing care to their orphans. What benefit is it for a family adopting from there to come home and cry out about the deplorable conditions of the orphanage? Will that effect cultural and governmental change or more likely, close the orphanage or country down to adoptive parents and trap babies there needlessly? I can't say for sure but I wouldn't want to take the risk. Our American mentality tells us that we NEED to blow the whistle every chance we get. We are the justice makers in the world and kicking up enough dust will make someone take notice. That may work in some situations but, again, discernment trumps noise making any day!
Finally, I'd like to remind my fellow adoptive parents about the "toothpaste analogy" . . . words can not be taken back just like toothpaste squeezed from a tube can not be put back in. Out of respect for your child, who will not be a "baby" forever, consider keeping their "lice, boils, chronic diarrhea, worms,warts and birth histories" a private matter. They'll need to make friends in your community. They may go to school, church and parks with families who will remember the "contagious lip scum" story you told last year!
Does this post imply we should never utter a word about the conditions from which our child hailed? Absolutely not! What I would encourage is that we, as adoptive parents, investigate WHY we feel the need to share these things, with WHOM they should be shared and what benefit will arise from sharing them.
If I have ever shared anything private about my children simply to shock another person, elicit pity or make myself look more spiritual, I confess it now as sin and vow to never do it again! When my kids are older, able and ready, they'll share what they want to share with those whom they trust. Until then, Lord keep my lips (and fingers) from inflicting harm and help me to be a good steward of these marvelous gifts!