(You may need to watch an ad to see that for free).
I've been hanging out on a few adoption message boards recently, including the one at Adoption UK. I have to say, it doesn't present an unremittingly positive view of adoption, or adoptive children. One thing that strikes me is that parents of adoptive children have many problems with their children (obviously) and that there seems to be a tendency to put all of these down to either the fact of adoption (disrupted care, attachment problems) or to the abuse or neglect that most of their children have suffered. While obviously this is to some extent true, it's not very encouraging, and given that one can only change the present, not the past, makes the whole enterprise seem rather hopeless. I have even read from parents of non-abused adopted children (e.g. overseas children who were clearly abandoned, but had very little disruption in care and no abuse that they could possibly remember), of problems which have been put down purely to the fact of adoption, and not to other factors such as the child's personality or temperament, which can easily clash with that of a parent, or natural childhood "stages" which all children go through.
I have to say it made me feel strangely reassured to read a book I just bought by Anne Lamott - Plan B - in which she describes her son - not adopted - who displays so many of the characteristics of the adopted children people are describing. She has published some of these columns at Salon.com (see link above). He is a typical teen - but he has always had some problems, not entirely explicable by his father not being around. He is delightful and charming with other adults, and a complete pill (as my grandmother used to say) with his own mother. He is also, I would imagine, not quite the child his mother could have wished for. She is a writer, read complicated books as a child and loves to have educated discussions. He had problems learning to read, prefers to work with his hands, and could not be described as academic.
You don't always get the child you order - however you get them. Here's just hoping we get one, somehow.