Aug 21, 201208:25 PMChina Mom
What is the deal with Pat Robertson?
Those of us in the adoption community are probably aware of the Rev. Pat Robertson’s convoluted views of international adoption, which he shared recently on the 700 Club. They’re right up there with his cockamamie views on Alzheimer’s disease, which he made several months ago. You may recall that he told an elderly man whose wife was suffering from Alzheimer’s to divorce her, because “it was better than adultery.”
Those remarks infuriated me then and they still do. Both my parents died from Alzheimer’s – first my father and then my mother two years later. One of the most heartbreaking times of my life was watching my mother wait for her husband of nearly 60 years to come back to her.
She was so lost and confused and I could never explain to her that he wasn’t ever coming back. For fleeting moments she would understand that he was gone – that he had died – and her sadness was so profound. I could see it in her eyes…she knew for a moment. But then it would melt away and the confusion would return.
Never in my life would I instruct the spouse of an Alzheimer’s patient to divorce them. It’s the height of selfishness and cruelty. Marriage is about love. But I’ve come to think Pat Robertson doesn’t know what love is. If he did, he wouldn’t have said what he did about international adoption earlier this week.
He received a letter from a woman expressing frustration about her dating difficulties, which she believed are due to her three young girls from different countries.
Robertson sympathized, saying, “A man doesn’t want to take on the United Nations.” He added that “you never know” about internationally adopted children – their history might have led to brain damage causing them to “grow up weird.”
That’s right, Pat. You never know what you are getting when you adopt a child from another country – not because they are adopted. Not because they are from another country. Because they are a child.
And you never know “what you’re going to get” with a biological child either. They might just grow up “weird” too. Because all those issues orphans have that you listed? Sexual abuse, cruelty, food deprivation? Children all over the world endure that at the hands of their biological parents as well.
Obviously, Robertson’s comments have my blood boiling. He’s insulted my parents and my child with the most ludicrous comments I can imagine. I could insult the man right back and call him an idiot. I could, like the dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Russell Moore, call Rev. Robertson “of the devil.” Heck, I could call for a boycott of his television show and all its advertisers.
But I’m not going to do any of those things. Instead, I’d rather address the men and women whose spouses are suffering from Alzheimer’s and remind them that this is marriage. This is “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.” This is the time for love.
And for anyone considering marrying a man or woman with adopted children – this is also the time for love. Love isn’t always perfect, but neither is life. These children need you. There have been enough Pat Robertson’s in their lives telling them they’re worthless and “weird.” Tell them they matter – by your words and your actions. Make a difference in their lives and you will be amazed at the difference they will make in yours.