Our adopted daughter has been home for more than a year now, and I’m still learning new things about adoption all the time. I learned different things from her perspective as well as how things affected each member of our family. I have learned when to mention that she is adopted and when to keep quiet in order to fulfill her desire to be part of the family without any other strings attached.
When you adopt, many people will tell you different things. You’ll hear all about the failures as well as what people’s opinions. You’ll be told you are special for your desire to adopt, and they could never love an adopted child like their own. You’ll smile slightly and nod when you are told the same thing, which you disagree with, over and over again.
One underlying saying really gets underneath my skin: “I’ll just adopt” or “You should just adopt.”
I hear this and my lips purse in an attempt to keep myself from going into a rampage. It makes me feel like adoption is viewed as something that you can simply sign up for and a kid shows up on your doorstep the next day. This phrase ignores that the process of adoption is straight up hard. Those who say it don’t understand all the work and effort it takes to bring a child home, not to mention all the work and effort it takes to adjust to that child being home. Adoption is not an easy choice you can make flippantly.
Adoption is a process. It is a calling. It will change your life to the core, for better or worse. It is a crazy, messy and incredibly difficult choice that will stretch you to the edges of yourself. Adoption is bringing a child into your family and forgetting it was not born from your womb.
Adopting needs to be something that you feel you have to do. Adoption is not right for everyone. There are so many factors involved that many would not choose to adopt if they truly understood the grueling and daily struggle of parenting a child new to the family.
I understand those struggling to conceive can go through years of heartache. I get that. I know adoption can be part of their plan to grow their family, often as the last chance if other options have failed. However, this phrase is said with a fleeting sense of importance and totally negates those families who have walked through the process of adoption.
Adoption isn’t something that you “just” do.
Contact Kristina Phelan through her website, www.mamabearmoxie. com.
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