Adoption is complicated, heartbreaking, life-changing, beautiful, tragic, and amazing. Three years after we adopted our youngest, I still feel all of these emotions every day.
Adoption is Complicated
The truth: I struggle with the concept of National Adoption Month. It is beautiful to uplift the concept of adoption, but our daughter’s celebration of joining our family is also reversed by the loss of losing her birth family. The weight of that has not changed in three years, and frankly, I don’t imagine it ever will. In fact, as she ages, I believe those emotions will become stronger yet because she and I will both feel it as she ages and understands more.
On the other hand, celebrating adoption and bringing the concept more to the forefront in our society is a way to honor our daughter’s birth mom, honor her loss, honor her choice, and honor the daughter she asked me to raise as my own.
The truth: my daughter has two moms. Neither of us is her “real mom.” One birthed her, and one is raising her. I talk to my daughter about her birth mom often, although I don’t call her “birth mom.” I call her “the mommy whose tummy you came out of.” Keep in mind she is only 3. Her story since birth is harder and more heartbreaking than most can ever dream of. As her mom, it is my job to protect her and care for her giving her pieces of her story as she grows. I want her story to be her “normal.” I hate that word, but in this instance, it encapsulates what I want for her because I believe she needs to embrace her story to embrace herself.
The truth: I would never say our daughter is lucky to be with us. I feel like that is so insulting to her and to her birth mom. Yes, her everyday life is drastically different. But you have to equate the separation from her roots to the environment she is now in. Yes, her chances of reaching what our society defines as success are much greater. But, her road to what she identifies as success will be affected every single day by her adoption story.
The truth: Her mom asked me to be her mom through adoption. She trusts me, a person she only knew on the surface to care for and raise her child. Can you imagine giving one of your babies to someone else to adopt? No matter her other choices, my baby’s mom gave me the gift of being a parent again, the gift of a sibling for my biological child, the gift of raising this amazing soul.
The truth: Always will my daughter’s adoption story be tragic. I will always be there to listen to her, to support her, to guide her and to lift her up. But I am determined to not let that break her, that instead, she can use it as a part of who she is that makes her so strong and beautiful and downright amazing.
The truth: I am so thankful every single day to my daughter’s birth mom. I wish you all could meet the amazing soul that is my youngest. She came into this world through such challenging circumstances, yet arrived at almost 10 lbs! She is a force of nature with a spirit that cannot be surpassed. You can tell by my words that I am completely in love with my child. And yes, she will always be my child, just like she will always be her birth moms as well. Adoption may be complicated, but it brought our incredible daughter into our lives.
Thinking about adoption or foster care, check out the following links.