My Children Are Not Lucky to Have Me
Updated: Mar 11, 2021
Some topics are hard to write about, as they truly are born out of the best intentions. Yet, as we learn more, we become better. As believers, we should be tenaciously teachable. As an adoptive parent, I strive to be slow to speak and quick to listen to adoptee voices. I don’t share that same experience, so I cannot speak from it. As my children are too young to say this for themselves, I must advocate on their behalf. Please stop telling them they are lucky to have us.
For far too long, we have lived in a society that has sensationalized adoption. Slowly, as adoptee voices are rising, we are getting a much better understanding. I pray that someday, their voices will drown out others speaking on adoption, even my own. Every person who is adopted has their own unique experience and way they process their history as an individual. If we know one adoptee, we know one story. No two are the same, so we cannot project one person’s on another.
As Christians, we have a beautiful understanding of adoption as we ourselves are reconciled to God. There can be no more extraordinary relationship experienced on this side of heaven. But let us never forget that our adoption had a cost. Jesus paid that price. Adoption is messy and filled with trauma. There are always questions that I cannot answer that will no doubt carry an immeasurable weight that my children must bear. Broken attachments have a cost, and it is devastating that adoptees and birth families pay that price. We have to put an end to the fairytale portrayal of adoption. It isn’t always happily ever after.
Another wake-up call for me when adoption became an option in our foster care journey was realizing that one family is legally separated forever for this process to be made complete. Part of the way my family was created was born out of brokenness. We wouldn’t tell a child they are fortunate to have lost the mother that carried them for nine months. So we can’t say that they are lucky to be in our family forever now.
I am sharing all this gently with a heart of grace. Grace for myself in all the ways I fail in this journey. Grace for others as we grow and learn more about how complex the adoption process is. It will take hard conversations for us as a society. We must recognize that we have accepted myths we have believed to be accurate and instead pursue truth.
I love all my children with every fiber of my being. They all have unique capabilities, and all have been created in the image of God. They bring me joy every day, and laughter is a constant sound that resonates within our home. Each has a story we transparently share with them. We are simply a safe place that offers love and acceptance with no strings attached. At times there is beauty, but it coexists with the brokenness. Life is messy, and adoption is no different. We treat all of them equally and pray they never feel singled out by others. No one ever told my firstborn that he was lucky to have ended up with our family, so this distinction should not be made for any of my children.