I have to say that I’m not too thrilled with the current trend of getting offended over every single little thing. Have we forgotten the fact that we are not born as all-knowing beings? We learn and grow through experience and through asking questions. If you’re going to be offended by every little thing, then you are part of the problem. Seek to educate – not alienate. Take for instance our daughter. She’s adopted. I’ve had people say things to us and ask us questions that, if I were another person, I could easily have been offended. However, I instead understand that people say things out of curiosity and a want to know and understand. They say things out of a place of unknowing. And that’s OK! Take those opportunities to educate them and to help them grow.
Here are some questions people have asked me in relation to our adoption. I’ll post them here, along with the answers and, in some cases, a more appropriate way to phrase something or a different term to use so as not to be hurtful. Hopefully you can take this knowledge and learn and grow from it!
- Why didn’t her parents want her? Well, her birthparents did want her. They love her more than you can imagine. Her birthmother carried her for 9 months. She went to her doctor and had prenatal care. She went through labor and delivery. And then she did something that most people could never, ever do. She and our daughter’s birthfather chose adoption for their daughter. I say most people could never do it because it takes an unimaginable amount of selflessness, love and insight to create an adoption plan. They love her just as much as you love your own children. They knew they wanted her to have a wonderful life, and they found a way to give that to her through adoption.
- Why did they give her up? They didn’t “give her up”, the proper terminology is they created an adoption plan. They carefully considered all of their options, they poured over letters from couples who desperately wanted a child, and then they chose us. They decided how much contact they wanted to have with us. They did anything BUT give her up.
- Where are her real parents now? Well, we are her real parents. We are the ones making plans for her future, changing her little diapers and getting up twice a night to feed her. We are raising her, and that makes us her parents. The appropriate term is birthparents, and we are in contact with them and hope to always have a relationship with them. They are wonderful people who we care for very much.
- Do you love her the same way you love your other kids? We do! It’s exactly the same love. She is our daughter just as the boys are our sons. The love is the same. I always say I grew my sons in my belly and my daughter in my heart. They are all a part of me.
- Open Adoption seems weird. Aren’t you scared that her birthparents will try to take her? Isn’t it confusing for the child? These were our same thoughts when we first heard about open adoption too! But here is the reality. We are not scared of her birthparents because we know them. They chose adoption and they chose us! We didn’t take her from them. And open adoption has proven to be much healthier for everyone involved. It’s healthier for the birthparents because they get to see her grow up. They get to see her healthy and happy. They don’t have to worry about whether or not she’s OK. It’s better for our daughter. She gets to grow up knowing that she has two sets of parents who love her more than anything. And it’s good for us too, because they aren’t some strangers we are scared will show up one day trying to get her back (“life is not a Lifetime movie” our social worker said). And we don’t have to worry that she’ll grow up and set off to go find them. She’ll already know who they are. They won’t be exotic strangers to her and her life won’t be one of wondering and questions. We will raise her having the answers to all of her questions – with their help.
- Oh, she’s adopted! How nice of you! I can see why you would say that. We are constantly having pro-life agendas shoved in our faces and told that we should all be fostering children and adopting children. In the Bible, God tells us to adopt. I get it. But here’s the thing. We didn’t adopt out of a need or want to do society a favor. We wanted another child. We knew that when I was pregnant with our youngest son. My husband asked me if we should have one more and I thought that sounded perfect. We knew it would have to be quick because I was 36 when I had Max and 38 when I had Bennett. We needed fertility assistance to have them both. Nothing extreme like IVF or anything, but we needed help. But then my doctors told me that I was lucky to come away from those pregnancies healthy because my heart didn’t handle them well, and I was advised not to carry another baby. I thought, OK, that’s it then. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that we weren’t done. That our family wasn’t complete. That something – someone – was missing. We chose adoption to complete our family. To have the daughter I always wanted (I say I because my husband would have taken another boy, I don’t think he really cared either way. Though he did say, well if we can choose, then let’s choose a girl!) We chose adoption because – and I believe this with my entire being – our daughter was out there somewhere, and we needed to bring her home.
So there you go! Some answers to some questions. And I’m always happy to answer questions and have discussions because it’s important for growth that we share and learn! So if you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comment section and I’ll be happy to answer them! Here is a picture of us the day we got to bring our daughter home. It is truly one of the happiest moments of my life. Her birthparents could have chosen anyone, but they chose us. And for that I have a special love for them and a place in my heart for them that I never knew could exist. It’s a beautiful thing, and I am so, incredibly, grateful.