Because we have just moved, we are encountering a lot of adoption questions from many new friends. I have a love hate relationship with adoption questions. One of my passions is telling everyone and anyone about the blessings of adoption. Ask the folks who I met today at the park, grocery store and my new next door neighbor…..I am sure they will tell you I talk a bit too much about adoption!
On the other hand – I struggle in knowing how to answer adoption questions well and to convey everything that is in my heart without betraying the children I love so much. Betray might seem like a strong word. But, I can answer a question at the park of “where is her real mom?” in a way that honors my children or betray their stories and trust. It is hard to know where to draw the line in the sand. Most of the time these questions feel like people are wanting us to defend our relationship and to a five year old she wonders why so many people question her place in our family.
I think the questions don’t really come out the way people intend. They are curious – wonder about a mom who can love children who don’t look like her. They want to understand our relationship and want to know about adoption. (At least in my less cynical moments I choose to believe this!)
“Are you her real mom?”
How I usually respond: “I am her mom.”
The speech I want to give:
I am the one who knew deep in my heart that I had more love to give. I needed her and she needed me. I am the real mom who struggled for three years to figure out how we could afford an adoption and be approved to become adoptive parents. I am the one who exposed all of my personal information about my marriage, finances, personal history, parenting and even turned over the record on how I care for my dog in order to be eligible to be her real mom. I am the one who waited, worried, wondered until the moment she joined our family. I clean our her scraped knees and marvel over how she is learning to read. I discipline her, forgive her and extend her grace. When she hurts – I hurt. When she rejoices – I am her number #1 cheerleader. I will love her forever and always. My love for her is not fake. Does that all make me a real mom?
The true answer:
God bound our hearts together. Nothing is more real then that.
Being an adoptive parent takes a lot of wisdom that I don’t always have. Praying that God helps me to share the miracle of adoption with others in a way that is filled with grace. He extended grace to me and adopted me into His family the least I can do is share that miracle with others and live my life (including how I parent and answer questions at the park) in a manor worthy of the Gospel. I am striving toward that goal.
Tomorrow’s blog post – How I answered the kid starring at Little Man’s missing leg and then asked…. “Does he only have one leg?” (Sneak peek……how Hubbie would answer – “What?! He only has one? We must have dropped the other one. Help me look?!”)
Hubbie requested an edit. He would not reply as I stated above. His new reply is – “Yes he has one leg. Shark attack. You gotta watch out at the beach. You never know…..” 🙂