Tuesday, December 02, 2014

16 Things You Learn As An Adoptive Family

Click here to read this article in its entirety.

  1. You will stress out. As you wait for "the call" you will stress out. And until the adoption is final, you will stress out. Just accept it.
  2. You will never forget "the call". The moment we were asked to be Isaac's parents, the moment JB told me he was on the way, and the moment Bri called me and said, "You have a son!" will forever be etched into my memory.
  3. You will know what a "real mom" or a "real dad" is. I am a real mom to Isaac. I am not a biological mom but as Oprah says, "Biology is the least of what makes a person a mother."
  4. You will feel a unique kinship to other adoptive families. It is hard for me to "hold back" when I see a child who is obviously adopted. I just feel so united even though our adoption "blends" more.
  5. When you adopt transracially, you do not become the parents of a minority child. You become an interracial family.
  6. You will become a conspicuous family. 
  7. You will field all kinds of stupid questions. I try to be polite and recognize that people don't mean to say dumb things. 
  8. You will be a regular family. Totally normal stuff going on in our home.
  9. You can save a child once. After that, it's called parenting. So true. I don't ever feel like I saved Isaac actually. I feel like he saved me.
  10. You will be appointed weird hero narratives. This happened a lot when I was in Turkey. Adoption is rare there. I kept having people tell me what an angel I was. People say it to me in America some too. I am uncomfortable with this. I am not a hero. Isaac's birth mother is the hero.
  11. You will be the poster child for adoption education. True story.
  12. You will value the experiences of adult adoptees. I am trying to do this more. Part of me is afraid of the negative responses that some adults have. I want everyone to think adoption is as wonderful as I do. But I know it is important that I understand adoption is not without issue and feelings of loss.
  13. You will think about adoption always and never. I am mostly thinking about my child as a person. How are they handling the move? How is their relationship with their brothers and sisters? However, in the deepness of my mind, how Isaac is handling his adoption is always present.
  14. You will be open to talking with your child about hard things. We already have conversations much bigger than five-year-olds. These talks don't scare us.
  15. You will understand that personality is determined by DNA, but character is determined by nurture. So many people say that "you don't know what you are going to get" when you adopt, but how many people know what they are going to get from their own DNA? People often attribute a child's problems to their adoption. But you don't often hear someone say, "Wow. That child wasn't adopted and look at how screwed up they are."
  16. You will strength your conviction that every child deserves the love of a family. I feel this every day. I wish I could adopt every child in the world. Why can't I? How many could I adopt and not be considered crazy?

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