When my beautiful and perfect baby boy was just a few months old, I was at the grocery store picking up a prescription. The pharmacist said it would be about 15 minutes until the prescription was ready, so I decided to pick up a couple of other things we needed.

As I was pushing our cart down the aisle, a woman I vaguely knew (she had worked at a store I used to shop at with my grandma) stopped me to admire my son. After gushing over how handsome and sweet he was, she excitedly told me she remembered when I was pregnant with him.

There was one problem. I have never been pregnant. My son is adopted.

When I quickly corrected her and told her I became a mom through adoption, she told me one day I could be “blessed for real” because she had a friend who had adopted and later become pregnant.

RELATED: 3 Lessons I Learned After Adopting

Tears started streaming down my face as I abruptly ended our conversation. It took me a lot longer than 15 minutes to get back to the pharmacy as I pushed my son in the cart around the store, trying to pull myself together.

I wasn’t crying because I have never been pregnant.

I was crying because this woman switched from admiring my son to brushing off adoption as an inferior way to become a mom. I would only be “blessed for real” in her eyes if I were to experience a pregnancy.

I wish I could say this is the first and last time I’ve encountered this attitude, but sadly, it is not.

I heard it even before I became an adoptive parent, oddly enough in a fertility charting class. The instructors told us that so many couples they knew became pregnant after adopting, because the stress of trying to conceive was over, solving the infertility problem.

I heard it the week I found out my son was coming home, from a friend who said that surely this would be the month I became pregnant since I was adopting. 

I heard it at the first block party our street had after my son came home from a neighbor who told me there was “still hope” that I could become pregnant.

The thing is, I am not grieving the fact I never became pregnant. I am so happy I got to adopt my son. And I would do another adoption all over again.

RELATED: Adoption is Love

Adoption was never a second best option for me. When I prayed for a child, I prayed for either adoption or pregnancy. It didn’t matter.

When I wasn’t getting pregnant, I did see doctors for infertility, but we also started the process of working with an adoption agency.

After I had laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis, the week I was recovering from surgery I was also actively working on our adoption home study. We were in the middle of the home study process and I had one of my required meetings with our social worker at the adoption agency, and also had a fire inspector out to our house to complete another requirement for it. I didn’t wait to pursue every possible infertility treatment before starting the adoption process. I didn’t need to, because I was happy to become a mom either way God would bless me with a child.

If an adoptive parent is grieving not experiencing a pregnancy, that is OK. I also know of families who have biological children who dreamed about adopting a child, but it never happened. And it’s OK if they grieve the missed experience of adoption.

RELATED: God is in the Details: An Adoption Story

But it’s never OK to assume an adoptive parent is grieving not becoming pregnant— because some, like me, are not. I would be happy if I were to get pregnant. But I won’t be unhappy if I never get pregnant.  

I may never have had the chance to surprise my husband with the news we were pregnant.

I did however get to shock him with the news we were matched with a baby born over the weekend, and our child could be coming home very soon.

I may never have done a cute gender reveal where people bit into cookies or cupcakes to find out if pink or blue filling was inside.

I do know what it’s like to be so excited at finding out I’m going to be a mom that after getting off the phone with the adoption agency I realize I think they said the baby was a boy—but I was not 100 percent and needed to call back to be sure. Luckily the social worker laughed when I called back, and it probably wasn’t the first time she dealt with an overly excited mom who forgot an important detail.

I don’t know what it’s like to post a creative announcement on Facebook about a baby coming months from now.

I do know what it’s like to surprise people with an adorable new family picture that shows a baby who is already here.

RELATED: Considering Adoption? Lean In.

I don’t know what it’s like to run into people who are excited to see that I’m pregnant and ask when I am due.

I do know what it’s like to be pushing a baby stroller through the neighborhood and have neighbors rush over and shriek with excitement that there’s a new neighbor on the street.

The experiences I had leading up to my son coming home were not the same as they would have been if I had been pregnant.  

But they were no less special.

And the love I feel for my son, and all the experiences we have shared together, have made me “blessed for real.” 

Kimberly Keys

I'm Kimberly, a stay-at-home Mom to our long-awaited precious son who joined our family through the miracle of adoption. I love watching our toddler discover new things, family get-togethers, spending time outdoors, and chocolate.