Friday, October 3, 2008

I found this on a blog off of a blog . . . you know how you get sucked in. I've read this woman's blog before and she is just lovely. The feelings below are shared by all parents who have adopted. I'm sure.

Here's Mary's story.
Like most folks, John and I didn’t set out to become adoptive parents. We fell in love, got married, and started having babies. Four of them: two boys and two girls. Then we were done. Or so we thought.
Until our baby turned three and I found myself awash in angst over being done with babies. It was 1997 and news stories were all over about the many baby girls in China who needed families. We started talking. Eventually my idea of a baby girl from China became, in 1998, a little boy from Korea. And another little boy from Korea in 2000. By then we were so in love with adoption that between 2004 and 2007 we also adopted four daughters from Ethiopia, two as babies, and two as older girls. Yes, we have ten kids. Yes, it is crazy. But it is also an incredible awe-inspiring blessing.
One of the things adoptive moms wish people understood is that our adopted kids are just our kids. Period. It’s a slap in the face to constantly have people qualify our relationship to each other, to hedge the description with the word ‘adopted’ in every context.
When reporters talk about Angelina Jolie’s children they seem incapable of saying the name Zahara without also saying she was adopted. The same thing happened at the funerals of Bob Hope and Jane Wyman, when mentioning children who themselves were senior citizens and whose adoptions had probably been finalized fifty or more years earlier.
Along those same lines, I feel awkward when people ask me how many of the kids are ‘mine.’ I know darned well that people are asking whether I genetically contributed to their creation. But shouldn’t family just be acknowledged as family, whether blood is involved or not? After all, a family begins from the union of two unrelated people. My husband is ‘mine’. Period. So are my children, adopted and not.
Don’t get me wrong-- the contribution my children’s biological parents made is priceless, essential, and should not be swept under the carpet as if it does not exist. And especially when adopting older children, it takes time for hearts to grow together, for the relationship to be full and strong.
However, my heart does not differentiate between my children born to me and the ones who came after the completion of mountains of paperwork. My interest is just as passionate. My pride is just as fierce. My hopes are just as big. My prayers are just as fervent. My love is just as deep. They’re my kids. Period.
Parenthood is amazing however your children arrive. Adoptive parenthood is neither better now worse than parenting children born to you. Some things are different, yes, but the majority of it is exactly the same. I am humbled to be blessed by the presence of each of my children in my life.
The next time you make introductions involving a friend with adopted children, do everyone the honor of skipping the word ‘adopted’. If your friend and her child don’t look like each other, she fields questions every day, and that will likely be the first question out of the other person’s mouth. But I promise, your friend will appreciate that you chose to honor her very real relationship with her child without making any qualifiers. Family is family, however we come together, and we all would do better to remember that.

4 comments:

Kristi said...

I like her website, too! She's great at articulating my feelings (and yours and others, I'm sure)!!! Sometimes I wish certain people in my life would take some of her advice... ;) Maybe I'll have to anonomously plant this post in their mailboxes! hahaha!

Amy said...

I loved this!

Anonymous said...

I once saw Marie Osmond on tv doing a talk show. Marie has a number of children as well, I think 10. Some are adopted and some she gave birth to. The host asked her how many or which ones were adopted, Marie very nicely said "I forgot?".

Aunt Dawn

Peter and Nancy said...

I just read this over the weekend, and Cindy (a 2-time Dillon mom) posted a link to it too. :o) Looks like great minds think alike!
-- Nancy