*If you have not watched “The Longest Ride” or read the book, but would like to, then I suggest you do not read this blog post.
If you are still reading and the above is true for you, then it is your own fault I am about to ruin a part of the movie/book for you.
There is a part in the movie where two people fall in love. They desperately want a large family, but the man had to go to war and while he was there he was shot, and somehow lost his ability to have children. When he returned from the war, his soon-to-be wife thought it over and decided she loved him too much to not have a future with him, even if it meant they couldn’t have biological children. She becomes a teacher and she starts tutoring and taking care of a child in her class who has a less than glamorous home life, so she decides she wants to adopt him. She gets her husband to talk to the court and see if this is an option, and it isn’t, because he is already living with his next of kin. They don’t seem to care for him as much as an ideal family should, so she thinks that it shouldn’t matter that they are next of kin, she still wants to adopt him. Her husband talks with her about how this isn’t an option. She decides soon after that she is angry at him for not trying harder, and she can’t deal with not having children, so she leaves him. So let me break this down, the way I see it:
- They can’t have children biologically, she thought about this and decided to marry him anyway.
- She wants to adopt, but the boy she wants to adopt lives with a family. His life isn’t ideal, perhaps by anyone’s standards, but he has family who wants to keep him and she gets mad about this- with the family, with the court, and with her husband.
- She decides she can’t deal with not having kids, so she leaves her loving and doting husband.
There is an incredible amount wrong with this picture. It sucks that they can’t have their own biological children, that part is undeniable, and I won’t refute how badly that must hurt this family. However, that notwithstanding, there are options. Taking a child from a family that you love who is in your classroom because you think you are a better family for him is not one of those options. Sure, you can think you are a better family, you may be treating the child better and you may love him, but he STILL HAS A FAMILY WHO WANTS HIM. That is not your decision. You tried to see if you could gain custody through the court, and that is valiant, but it didn’t work. At this point, you don’t just get angry and decide you are going to leave your husband because he can’t give you a child and because you can’t just take a child out of their family that you want. You look at the actual options that you have presented before you. Obviously, this family understood that they could adopt, since that is what she suggested to gain custody of this boy, so why did the family not just, I don’t know, ADOPT? You know, legally? Because that was always an option, and yet somehow, they seemed to completely miss this in the movie. Also, sorry that his family didn’t necessarily care for this kid the way “they would” but there are a lot of other children in the world who are in a hell of a lot worst of a situation that are actually AVAILABLE for adoption, and yet, this movie didn’t even seem to acknowledge that fact. Which draws me to the point that actually pisses me off about this situation, which is real life.
Real life people can adopt, legally, if they would like a child. If you are attached to a child who is not available for adoption, you cannot just take that child, if you are lucky, you can maintain a relationship with that child and their family and continue to be a healthy part of that child’s life, sure, but you cannot adopt that child. But you can foster or adopt another child who is actually IN THE SYSTEM and needs that family support. But if you do decide this is something for you, then really think about it. Because children are what we call humans, and humans are alive and they have minds and hearts and emotions. They are not objects, but they can still be broken- but unlike an object, just because they are broken does not mean that you can just throw them away. Or pick “another one” because this one “isn’t working.” A child is a human. A child is not a lamp. A child is not a plate or a chair or a television or a car. A child is a human, just like you. So while adoption and fostering is an option, and while you really want to have a child, and while it would just be so peachy keen to be able to just pick a child in your class who you think you can “parent better” but has a family…just remember that what you are desiring is a person. So yes, for the love of all things holy, if you want to adopt or foster PLEASE DO, just keep in mind the facts before you begin the process.
And if you want to get political about it and you understand that a “fetus is a child too” so you don’t support abortion and you will picket to have that child be born- understand also that it is a child (to reiterate, human) that will indeed be born, and that child may need a family outside of the person who physically gave birth to them. That being said, you can also fight for anti-abortion (which I too support) but just remember that those children whom you are fighting for to be born may just need a family outside the one they are born into, and that needs to be taken into consideration.