3 things that have surprised me about adoption (so far)

{The above picture is of our family’s hands, minus Caleb because he was having a toddler moment and didn’t want to participate in the mushy gushy. Oh well.}

November is National Adoption Month. It’s also Banana Pudding Lovers Month, No Shave November, Aviation History Month, and a whole host of other notable observations.

And while I do enjoy bananas, beards, and the miracle of flight, none of those things come anywhere close to the deep well of love that I have in my heart for adoption.

So in the spirit of November and adoption, I thought I’d share a few things that have surprised me (so far) about this beautiful, emotional, holy way to build a family.

1 . I Love You All The Same
Many adoptive parents wonder if they’ll be able to love their adopted child with the same love as a biological child. We wondered what it would be like for us once we met our little babe. Would there be an immediate connection? Or would it be a process? But since the beginning, it’s always felt…normal. We can testify that the love of a parent doesn’t distinguish based on DNA. A parent’s love is non-discriminatory, all-inclusive, forever and ever, amen. (Only good ol’ country music fans will catch that last reference.) We’ve even had a couple of family members share, with great vulnerability, that they were nervous about loving our adopted child with the same love as our biological children. But through smiles and tears, they confessed that there has never been a difference. Not even for a moment.

2 . My Love For Birth Mom
Let me grab a tissue real quick. Because it’s hard for me to talk about our child’s birth mom without getting emotional. I knew I would be grateful to her. But I never expected such a deep, deep love for her. In many ways, she is a part of our family. To put it too simply, if it weren’t for her, we wouldn’t have our third child.

From the moment we heard about her, met her, and said goodbye to her, there was within my heart a new space that opened up. Her life has not been easy. But even in the midst of the hard stuff, she chose to put her baby’s needs above her own, giving the child of her womb the opportunity for a life that she felt she couldn’t provide right now. The courage, the sacrificial love, the selflessness, the strength that it takes to make a decision like that is beyond commendable. We pray for her. We speak of her with dignity and honor at all times. We love her so much.

3 . The Most Popular Question and Comment
I was as prepared as I could be for a whole host of questions. Generally, they come from a place of loving curiosity from friends and family and even strangers. The various questions can be a wonderful opportunity to share about the beauty of adoption and to educate people on the process, to some degree. Many of the questions we’ve received have been fairly predictable and easy to answer. Others have left me dumbfounded, shocked, floundering to give an answer wrapped in grace and truth, being honest while also not feeling obligated to share personal information. But mostly, I’ve been surprised at the most popular question and comment that people have had for our family…

Most popular question: How old is your baby’s mom?
My answer: I’m 31.

Most popular comment: You look great for just having a baby!
My answer: Thank you!

Has your family adopted? What are some of the things that have surprised you?

8 thoughts on “3 things that have surprised me about adoption (so far)

  1. Again…..beautifully and well-said, sweet 31-year-old-mommy. And you have looked great every single time I have seen you since the very first day we met. 🙂

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  2. I answered those very questions the same way. ( Well….26 and 33 years old respectively, but same) Lol
    I love adoption because it is the very Heart of God. I love adoption because it is an integral part of Gods plan for mankind. I love adoption because adoption made me the desire of my heart since I had been a little girl….a Mama, My children were not born of my flesh but of my heart. The process of adoption isn’t without emotional upheavals however, on both sides of the spectrum. We had at least 15 incomplete adoptions over a period of 15 years ( those are just the ones we know of. We know we were chose several additional times through an agency earlier in the process). In the ones we knew about, we were invested spiritually and emotionally and had dreams of a future with that child ( in 3 cases more than one child) only to find that one parent had chosen to raise their child, or as in the majority of the cases, a relative wanted to.in each incidence we were heartbroken. But God knew. On one occasion we were actually on our way to pick up the baby and received the call that they had changed their minds.. We literally felt as if we had miscarried this child, but had no physical pain….or proof, just the loss of an already envisioned future with this child. People didn’t get it, and we didn’t feel it was our “right” to grieve…..so we did it in siolitary. But God knew. He knew that 14 days later a baby boy would be born very premature and with a very unknown life expectancy and health future. He knew that we were already chosen by the parents to raise this child ( which wouldn’t have happened had we actually had received the baby 14 days earlier.) God knew. He knew this child would be a perfect fit in our family which consisted of a big sister who had been praying for him her entire life that she remembered. Her adoption story every bit as miraculous as his. God knew. Our story….is His story…because He knew. I have learned that “nature” and “nurture” are woven together to create the person that God designed them to be, for His glory. I have learned that they ARE our “REAL ” children, we ARE their parents. I have learned that people don’t always “get it” and say silly and sometimes hurtful things. I have learned to forgive and forget, because they just don’t ” know better”. But God knew. I have learned that we have been given the amazing privilege of doing our best to raise and disciple our children into passionate followers of Christ. I have learned to fight for the rights of the unborn…..because my children’s birth parents might not have chosen life. I have learned to not take my children for granted because they were so hard to come by, and all children are gifts from the very throne of a God. I have learned to trust God in all things, because He shows Himself faithful even when I ” feel” that He has deserted me. I have learned that Joy does come in the morning, and in His presence there is fullness of joy and I have learned that from the beginning of time…God knew….and that is good.

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  3. We have not adopted…yet. Only God knows if we will. But we have fostered several children. We are thankful for this journey. If we had not gone through infertility for so long, I don’t think we’d be in this place. When we had Jordyn, I told God 2 things: 1) I’d thank Him for her every day. I have failed to do this, but I often say to her, “And thank you for our Jordyn,” when I’m praying with her. I do pray for her and thank God a lot. Not often enough. Every day would not be often enough. 2) I would be thankful for one child and never be sad that I only had one. That is true. But I think He gave us one, so that we would still yearn to have more…through His path. We started to foster with the idea of adopting. God has had other plans, and that’s ok. He has brought us two young children that kept me on my toes (and driven me to exhaustion!), and now he’s brought us a teenager. This has been wonderful for Jordyn, our newest family member and us. God continues to teach us that when I say things like, “We will only take children younger than Jordyn,” He says, “Um…no, I make the rules!” I never seem to see what’s coming, but when I look back, I see His wonderful design. Thank you, God, for my Jordyn. And for all of the children you have brought and will continue to bring into our home!

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