Today I am participating in the Bloggers Unite event for National Adoption Day. Did you know there was such a day? When we adopted Aaron we were invited to finalize the adoption in court on National Adoption Day. We even got some press. The thing that sticks out clearly in my mind is when four-year old Aaron went around the bench and had the judge tie his shoe. No one else but the judge could do it that day.
I thought about writing about adoption from the position as someone who is adopted. I was adopted as an infant. Almost six years ago I found my birthday family. I am the eighth child. My birth parents are dead. I really wish I could have met my mom, who sounds like an incredible woman. At least my seven siblings seem to adore her.
I also thought about writing about adoption from the position of an adoptive mother. My three sons are adopted. I can’t imagine not being their mother. I think that I was destined to be their mother and I take my job seriously. I love them–absolutely and positively–as if they were my very own. I think, if I thought long and hard, that I could even remember them knowing them long before actually meeting them.
What I want to do is touch on all the people affected by adoption.
The birth moms who give up their children for a million different reasons. Contrary to popular opinion, it isn’t a quick and easy solution to a problem. It is a heartfelt, agonizing decision. Birth moms don’t walk away and feel relief. They are affected every day of their lives by their decision. They question themselves endlessly. Eventually, they fall into an uneasy acceptance. They hope and pray that the baby they carried for nine months is loved and well cared for.
Adoptees question where they came from. It doesn’t matter how loving a home they have. They still wonder. Why did my mother give me up? What does she look like? Where was my father? What does he look like? What is the rest of my family like? These questions might not be constant, but they surface. There’s an unending feeling of being different in some way. Sometimes it’s more visible that others. They fantasize a lot about the family that gave them up. Sometimes those fantasies are happy ones, with a famous parent; maybe a princess or heiress. Other times the fantasies are darker.
Adoptive parents are so grateful to have been blessed with a child. It’s amazing the love you can feel for someone so totally and so completely almost immediately. They realize it’s a great responsibility they’ve been given. Most take this very seriously. They speak kindly of the birth mother, assuring the child that they were loved but their mother wasn’t able to care for them. They regularly thank God for their children and for the birth mother who made such a terrific sacrifice that ended in such joy for them. They worry that they won’t be 100 per cent suppostive when their child needs to find their birth family. They want to be, but they know they face losing them anyway. Still, they will encourage it and support the child, trusting that all will work out in the end.
It’s called the adoption triad, and I’ve experienced it from all sides.