You may be just starting to consider adoption, or you may be already in the process. Either way I hope you find this helpful.
I wanted to share with you a few things that you should think about in order to be ready to adopt.
I went on pinterest a little while back and searched “adoption announcements”. I found some really creative ideas and I also found some photos that made me really sad. I have attached these photos below. You may not think they are sad, but I do and I’ll tell you why.
Adoption does not replace a pregnancy.
It does not replace a biological child. It is a different thing. It is an amazing and wonderful and unbelievable thing. But it’s not the same. You are still their mom, yes. You are still a parent. You still have most of the same experiences raising a child. When I look at these pictures below, I feel that maybe these moms haven’t properly grieved their infertility. Or are trying to replace the biological parent experience with an adoption.
You may think these pictures are harmless and cute and I wish I could look at them the same way. But when I see a t-shirt that says “adoption is the new pregnant” I don’t think its cute or a way to celebrate adoption. Never ever will adoption replace pregnancy, it just doesn’t make sense, without pregnancy there would be no children, therefor no adoption. I think part of why infertility is so painful is that as women, we feel like we don’t measure up to other women. Our bodies won’t do what they are suppose to do, so we feel inferior. So by pretending our adoption is the same as a pregnancy, well then now we do measure up. That if we have a child to care for than we can forget there was ever a problem. I don’t think we can though. Infertility changes you, and it takes time to heal and grow from that. We need to do that before we adopt. holding a globe up to your belly and making a heart shape with our hands doesn’t fulfill our desire to grow a child in our whom. I believe these pictures are not appreciating adoption for what it is but comparing it to a pregnancy. Like as long as you have something that looks like a belly, your good. Or taking a photo holding your baby and in the shadow we see the silhouette of a pregnant woman alluding to the idea that this baby was in your belly is completely disrespectful to the woman who actually did carry this baby, and then entrust that precious baby to you
Why is this so upsetting to me? What’s the big deal? The big deal is that someone else was pregnant. And they gave you, or are going to give you their child! They have faced an enormous loss in the name of loving that child. They have chosen you to do what they cannot do for that child. The magnitude of this needs to be understood and fully appreciated by you. Even if you adopt a child from the system that has been apprehended from their parents, it is still a tragedy. A biological mother and child should be together. At all cost we should try to make this happen. But if they can’t, and adoption is the answer to the prayer, then it is a wonderful thing. Adoption is not the new pregnant. Adoption is opening your heart and your home and bringing in a child as your own, that for numerous reasons couldn’t stay where they were. Adoption will always be a two sided coin, on one side there is so much pain and loss and on the other side, so much joy and gain. When we were getting close to adopting our daughter, people would ask me excitedly how many more weeks? And I just started to feel sad, because as we got closer to her due date her birth parents got closer to letting her go. We did a hospital tour with them, and it got very real for everyone. They were getting ready to do the hardest thing in their life and the fact that I was on the receiving end of that was heavy and humbling.
Our adopted children are going to grow up and grieve that same biological loss at different points in their life and we as their adoptive parents need to understand that. Maybe we can even use our loss of biological children to help them through theirs.
I am not saying that you can’t adopt if you are still wanting biological children. You can always be praying for a miracle and still love and care for other children in the mean time. I encourage you to do that. I’m saying don’t pretend your adoption is a pregnancy. You may not have biological children and I hope and pray that one day you come to terms with that. Or maybe you have. Sometimes I think I have total peace about it and then it creeps back up. If you are going to adopt, please respect that its different, not better, or worse just different.
So are you ready to adopt?