A woman, who had recently learned that I adopted all of my children, told me that she admired my ability to love children born to another as my own and wondered how I could even do it – that it must be an extremely difficult thing to do.
For me, it really isn’t.
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be mom. At a fairly young age, I learned biological kids wouldn’t be a good option for me but that knowledge did not bother me. I just wanted to be mom and didn’t care which means I used to get there. Luckily, my husband was totally on board with adoption so when we decided we wanted to grow our family we went straight to the adoption agency to discuss our options.
We eventually became parents to three beautiful children via domestic infant adoption. I love them fiercely and would do anything for them. Just as you would do for your kids. Our oldest was born on a Thursday. We found out about him on Saturday and got to bring him home on Monday evening when he was just 4 days old. As soon as I learned of his existence, I loved him. I started imagining what life would be like with him in it. When he was placed in my arms, my love instantly grew. In my mind, I knew he wasn’t our son. Yet. That he might never be our son. But my heart didn’t care and my heart won because in the end, babies need love. Thankfully, he did become ours to love as our own.
Several years later, after we had a son and a daughter, we were just starting the adoption process for a third time. We were hoping to make our family complete. We learned about another baby who needed a family. A baby girl. As soon as I heard about her, I loved her. We went to the hospital the next day and when I saw her laying in her isolette my heart was ready to burst with love for her. Then I held her in my arms and I didn’t want to ever let go. In the end, she did not become our daughter. But for those couple days before her now family knew about her, I was glad to be loving her. She needed love and I was so blessed I got to give some to her. Shortly after that, we did meet our youngest daughter. Like our other children, there was a real possibility that she would not be ours but once again, we put our hearts on the line and gave her all the love in the world.
I don’t have biological children so I have no idea what that’s like. I’m guessing it’s full of love, pride, wonder and awe. Much like adoption is. My love is genuine. Yet it might be a little different. But different isn’t always bad. One might look at their biological children and see themselves staring back. There’s probably some wonder and awe that they are here because of you and your love for your partner. You created that miracle. I can’t say the same for my kids. I look at them with wonder and awe and am amazed by the amount of love their first mom had and has for them. These women risked so much and gave up even more. They did it because of the love they had for their children. Sadly, love isn’t always enough and they knew that and wanted more for their babies then what they could give. Clearly, my babies were and are so loved by many. That’s a beautiful thing.
There are definitely things throughout each adoption story that are extremely difficult. But to me love isn’t one of them. If someone is difficult to love- they probably need it the most, so keep on loving no matter how easy or difficult it is. There can never be too much love. My babies didn’t necessarily feel like mine the moment they were placed in my arms. Honestly, in those moments, they weren’t mine. I was just someone to love them and care for them. Bonding might take time but love can happen immediately.
The next time someone asks how I can so easily love my kids as my own, my response will be “How can I not?” It doesn’t matter who brought them into this world or who loved them first. When they are hurting, I love them and wish their pain would disappear. When they are struggling, I love them and wish life was easier for them. When they are sleeping, I love them and wish their dreams were full of all the things sweet dreams are made of. When they are fighting, I love them and wish they would find peace. When I see them reading to one other, playing together or simply laughing, I think it’s impossible to not love them.