Guest Post: Adoption, Baptism, and Rainbows
Guest post by Desiree, cross-posted at Feminist Mormon Housewives
I am from Massachusetts. I strive for intersectional feminism because societies often don’t treat all humans as though they are actually human.
“A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship…”
When I first realized gay people existed, I was around the age of accountability (eightish).
I visited a distant cousin. He lived with a man. They had many adorable cats and a few Disney movies. That was my overall impression of them. They were average people with boring movies and funny cats. (I believe the cats were Persians.)
At some point after we left their home, I overheard my mother and sister wonder about the nature of the relationship between this cousin and his “roommate.”
I didn’t quite grasp the complexities and I couldn’t ask questions later (selective mutism and all that), but as I understood it, those two men seemed to love each other and two men who love each other are unable to make babies together.
I was ecstatic!
I thought God was very wise. I immediately concluded that such adults would be far more likely to adopt. If those men ever wanted to be parents, though, they’d have to get better kids’ movies.
Now, I read stories of gay couples adopting and I feel joy. Families built on love and with empathy are the best.
Reading these new LDS policies, I feel immense grief.
Even if a same-sex couple’s adopted children are raised without ever hearing the word Mormon, what happens if those children grow up and become investigators?
Maybe these adult children take the lessons, are ready to be baptized, and then what? They are asked to disavow their parents’ loving relationship AND must not live with their parents.
At three years old, my entire family, my entire life, was ripped from me. I remember vividly what it is to be a three-year-old with absolutely nothing. The people who foster-adopt with love, compassion, and empathy? They make a difference.
A grown child whose biological mother and father abused and abandoned them now has to disavow the love that gave them a safe family?
People creating loving homes for orphans are apostates?
A child who has disabilities, or other circumstances, requiring them to live with their parents into adulthood can no longer live with those caring and care-giving parents if they want to be worthy of saving ordinances?
You’re going to try to tell me that Christ, suffer-the-children-to-come-unto-Me Christ, is behind abandoning children who are already so forgotten by the majority of society, simply because the people who opened their arms, their hearts to these children have the same type of genitals?
I was adopted at age six. I remember being given my “baby” blessing. I went from having no one to a whole church wanting me to join their family. You’re telling me that if my adoptive mother were in a relationship with a woman, you would not accept my six-year-old self’s name? You would not bless me? You would not widely declare welcome into your ward family?
Two years later, at eight, I was baptized, stepping into the water right after another little girl. I was like the other kids in my Primary class. I belonged. No one asked me about my parents. No one said, “Your natural mother had sexual relations with other women. With you. You are not allowed into these waters, little girl.”
My biological mother sexually abused me. I lived in a “same-gender cohabitation relationship,” sexual acts and all…when I was a toddler. Is my child eligible for baptism at eight?
I hope you find that question horrifically absurd.
I hope you’re at least saying, “Desiree, she abused you. Abuse is different from a consenting adult relationship.” Because according to these policy changes, the fact that my biological mother molested me would only MAYBE require a disciplinary council if she were LDS.
Consensual relationships between adults? If she put a ring on it, MANDATORY disciplinary council.
But back to the baptism.
When my family stepped outside the church building, my hair still wet from the baptismal waters, my mom pointed to the sky. “Look, Des. Two rainbows, just for you.” She said one was from Grandpa Miller, who had recently passed, and the other was from God.
I knew she was wrong. She was forgetting the other little girl who had been baptized. Both rainbows were from God, one for me and one for my friend, because God does not forget any child. My mom forgot the other girl because she was not her daughter.
Love thy neighbor as thyself. Thinking it is acceptable for your neighbor’s child, who is also your neighbor, to be denied saving ordinances your child has free access to is NOT loving thy neighbor as thyself. Because your neighbor’s child is not your own, you are forgetting we are all God’s children.
You believe baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost are essential, and yet you tell me denying these to children is protecting them? Isn’t the Holy Ghost supposed to protect, guide, comfort? Wouldn’t the gift of the Holy Ghost be even more important to a child of “grievously sinning” parents?
I follow the spirit. I testify of Christ’s love, which worketh no ill to his neighbor.
These policies are working so much ill. So, so much ill.
However, a few hours before they were leaked, I saw a double rainbow. One for me. And one for you. No fallible man can tear your God-given rainbow from the sky, no matter how hard they try.