I often hear people refer to adoption as a “had to” – as in we tried all the traditional routes, they didn’t work, so we “had to” adopt. I will fully admit that hearing those words makes me cringe and get a little riled up.
Parenting is a Gift
A child is not something we are “owed”. It’s a priviledge and an honor to parent a child, regardless of how that child joined our family. Frankly, when someone says we “had to adopt” or they “had to adopt”, it’s not only offensive to me as a mom, but it’s offensive to my children.
Every child is a gift from God. Regardless of the family situation he or she experienced upon birth, that life is a gift. Adoption is not a consolation prize, as a friend so aptly put it recently.
My family is my family plain and simple. Do we have unique challenges as an adoptive, multi-cultural family? Yes, of course, but I would assume that every family has unique challenges. Does it mean we are any less real or cohesive? Not by a long shot.
I don’t look at biological families and wish that for myself. Ever. Really, not ever.
I love and value the uniqueness of our family. I appreciate the plan that God had in store for us. Even though it’s not always easy and my children sometimes struggle for answers that we can’t provide, this is the fabric of our family and we will, with God’s Grace, persevere.
Choosing Adoption Language Carefully
Words matter, so please don’t say the following:
1. We had to adopt
2. Nothing else worked so we ended up adopting
3. We always thought if we adopted we would get pregnant
Please don’t say those words to your friends, family and acquaintances, and most certainly not in front of your children.
Adoption for us has never been and never will be a last
resort. Our children were longed for, prayed for and wanted.