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I highly suggest that you read My Family, A Symphony: A Memoir of Global Adoption, check out Aaron’s website and follow him on twitter. Not only did I enjoy reading his book, but I very much enjoyed interviewing author Aaron Eske. I hope that some day we are able to sit down together in the same city, and I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Read Part 1 and Part 2 of this interview.
BR: What do you see as the weak spots in international adoption today?
AE: Not all goodwill is good. And the unquestioning belief that you are doing what’s best for a child will usually end badly for everybody. It’s not coldhearted to be skeptical and cautious. Actually, it’s the most loving thing an adoptive parent can do.
BR: How important do you think it is that adoptive parents and adoption professionals understand the history of adoption?
AE: There’s something romantic about the 300 year old history of adoption as we know it that connects all of us in our divided heritage. But beyond the stories of an orphanage in London while England was fighting George Washington, and trains carrying hundreds of thousands of orphans from New York City to farms out West, and the love of an Oregon farm family bridging oceans and races, there are also lessons from history we all need to carry with us. Humanity has made some very dumb mistakes while trying to care for children. And we’ve also made some beautiful advances that have built upon the last great breakthrough. I believe that seeing where we’ve been will help us figure out how to get to the next and final evolution of adoption — creating a world where every child is able to be loved by a family in the countries in which they were born. I’m not superstitious but if the patterns of history are to be trusted, adoption will evolve once more in about 40 more years.
BR: How do you predict Hague will change international adoption?
AE: I know it’s frustrating to know there are millions or children who need loving families and know how much red tape stands in the way of those who would be star parents tomorrow if given the chance. But that red tape, put there by the Hague is there for a reason. Without the Hague, international adoption would cease entirely. Any corruption would pollute the whole system and international adoption would no longer be politically feasible. Thanks to the Hague, scandals have subsided and global faith in international adoption has been maintained.
BR: What are you goals and things you are working on now?
AE: You may think I’m kidding but I’m totally serious when I say sometimes I consider becoming a steward so I can fly standby to places in the world that I’ve never been. In this dream sequence, when I have the day off from working the usual Milwaukee to Denver shift, I would show up to the airport and see where there was an empty pair of seats and then fly there for the afternoon. Back in reality, I have a few writing projects in mind and have even opened a couple books to start researching. None of them are to be memoirs but my last one wasn’t either and you and I know how that turned out.
BR: What biography information would you like me to include?
AE: I once had a reviewer who was bored with my bio so she said I worked for the CIA. To give you a head start though, I’ve served as Communications Director of Global Action for Children and have Masters degrees from the London School of Economics (Global Politics and Development) and City University London (Creative Nonfiction Writing). My first job was at an Italian restaurant where I sang bad opera while people ate their pasta. And my weirdest job is a tie between handing out towels in a hotel men’s bathroom in LA and ironing rich people’s bedsheets in downtown London. Maybe my true calling is in linens.