This is the month my social media accounts are flooded with #wecouldhavemissedthis posts because November is National Adoption Month. Kelley, an awesome adoptive mom, started the sweetly accurate hashtag…
It doesn’t imply adoption is rainbows and unicorns. It doesn’t imply it’s without struggles. It doesn’t imply it went as perfectly as families hoped. But it does imply we are grateful for our babes and we would not have wanted to have missed out on the blessings they are.
Adopting twice, we realize adoption can look very different each time, with each child, with each family. The community of adoptive and foster moms around me showcase more ways it can look and feel different. I will be the first to tell you, it’s hard. It requires almost no expectations in the beginning. It requires selfless, exhausting love. It requires being understanding of trauma and how it impacts the brain, the body and the rest of a child’s life. It requires a lot of grace.
But it also full of hope, redemption, and invaluable lessons on love.
Oliver asked me tonight “What would you do if you never had me?” I said, “I’d always be a little bit sad.” His witty response was “But you wouldn’t know to miss me so you couldn’t be sad about it.” I smiled, “Then I wouldn’t be as happy because you add so much joy to my heart.” My mind immediately took me to adoption. What if I did miss out on my girls? What if Mei’s lower limb difference scared us off? What if I never saw Lottie’s face on the advocacy boards? What if we decided adoption wasn’t a good fit for us?
But we did, thankfully.
The joy they add to my heart is overwhelming. #wecouldhavemissedthis
I walked through the hall and saw Lottie sitting on the couch. She looked up at me and said “Mom. I don’t want a new house. I can stay with your forever?” My heart broke a little and then I smiled because my response was easy and would be assuring, “Forever and ever!!”
Children don’t want to live without parents. Without homes. Without enough food. They need us to see them, even when they aren’t visible. They need us to hear them, even when their voices are silenced. They need us to say yes for them, even when we are scared. When we are brave, they are valued. When we stand up, they gain life.
All four kiddos of mine have been great teachers in my life, but without adoption, I would have missed it. Missed the ability to see outside my own bubble. Missed the generosity and empathy it has taught me. Missed the story of redemption. Missed the family we are today.
If you are considering adoption and have questions, I’ll be glad to chat with you. I know in the beginning I didn’t reach out as much as I wanted because I was scared of what and how to say things and didn’t want to be offensive. Don’t be like me. I’ll be glad to talk through things without offense, without rose colored glasses. Adoption may or may not be right for your family, but either way, I’ll be glad to talk through any questions and concerns.