What Being an Adoptive Parent Means to Me

“A child born to another woman calls me mom. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me.”

Being an adoptive parent means:

I realize that you cannot parent all children the same. Due to trauma and other circumstances beyond my child’s control he cannot handle privileges and responsibilities at the same age as his peers, and I am okay with that.

I love a child who is not flesh of my flesh more than life itself.

I realize I am not enough. I  will never be able to eradicate the hurts my child has experienced. I can give him opportunities and show him the way, but the rest is out of my control.

I have more than a rudimentary knowledge of all things attachment related.

I know love is not enough to heal all ails.

Between my three children, I have sat in on more therapy sessions than most people do in a lifetime.

I have had people look from me to my child who looks nothing like me and then ask, “Does she look like her dad?” And I smile and say, “Yes,” because she does resemble her bio dad.

I have learned that people who, when they realize we have adopted, feel the need to share about their distant cousin’s adoptive experience and offer advice that I did not ask for.

I have had to change my priorities. Rather than stressing over teaching my child to write her name, I rejoice when she holds her pencil correctly.

I have the privilege of having friends from various walks of life. Adoption pulled me out of my “small world” and broadened my horizons.

I have learned to love and cherish the customs of other nationalities. Our children’s birth parents have taught us their customs which we have embraced and turned into family traditions.

I have come to respect and admire my children’s birth parents. They have had to make choices that ultimately caused them heartbreak but gave their children a better future than what they could provide. That is love!