“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” - Anaïs Nin, a French-born author
As unique individuals, we all have different perspectives, and the perspective we each have largely depends on the experiences, environment, and teachings we have been exposed to.
In Nina’s life, we see how her environment of love and openness positively affected her perspective on adoption. She goes to the extent of being willing to share her time and effort to fight misinformation and misconceptions about adoption.
Nina recalls her parents’ story of how they had difficulty having kids despite being married for 10 long years, which led them to explore adoption. After adopting Nina’s older brother first, Nina subsequently got adopted by her parents as her older brother wished for a little sister.
Within 5 years from Nina’s adoption, her mom miraculously got pregnant and gave birth. Nina shared how all the siblings were treated equally and given a wonderful childhood and a good life.
It was through that childhood that Nina experienced the openness of how her parents did not hide the fact that she and her older brother are adopted. Her parents loved them and raised them as their own.
She was exposed to a community of adoptive families that established for her that adoption is normal, and that loving adopted children like your biological family is not unusual. She also got to share stories with other adopted children and relate with them on a different level.
As Nina grew to be an adult, however, she realized that the community that she had been exposed to is not the norm of our society. On the contrary, misleading information abounds regarding adoption in the Philippines, and accessibility to permanent homes for adoptive kids is a very real issue. With this, she felt compelled to confront the misconceptions and issues against adoption.
It is fair to say that many Filipinos’ views on fostering and adoption have been somewhat negative. An “ampon” is often seen as an unwanted and pitiful child, while those who want to adopt may be asked, “Why not just have kids of your own?”
But if kids as young as Nina and her older brother can understand and appreciate how beautiful adoption is, it gives me hope that Filipinos will someday, through the efforts of our advocates and adoptive families, share the same perspective of how beautiful adoption truly is.
Markin Lim is a volunteer at Generations—Home (formerly ROHEI Foundation). He works as a legal head in PLGIC, a local insurance company, and is a member of Favor Church. He believes in the mission of Generations—Home, and its programs.