Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Could I Love an Adopted Child Like My Own?

It's been a while since I've posted and the reason is life is busy. If I don't make writing a priority, it doesn't get done. Since the last post, we found out that my sister is pregnant and today we found out she is having a GIRL!!!!

This is beyond exciting for me. I didn't hope it was a girl, I NEEDED it to be a girl. I cried when I got the text, "I guess you can buy that tutu now :)" I had geared myself up for a boy, but secretly didn't think God would be so cruel as to withhold a girl from me AGAIN.

What this means to me: those tea parties, doll strollers, and frilly dresses ARE in my future. Everything I have given up to raise my beautiful, healthy, adorable boys, I can have in the form of my niece. I went shopping right away, for the tutu, and while I was out, also bought two bracelets, a head band, and a matching purple sweater and pants set.

Although I have and have had other nieces, this is the baby of my only sister. It is also my only blood-related niece at this time. But this is not why I will love her.

Which brings me to the point. With my only sister having a baby, and it being such an important event in my life, it has me thinking about an issue a lot of people are faced with: Could I love an adopted child as much as my own?

Yes. It's easy for me to say. And maybe I'm not qualified to answer because I don't have any children of my "own." But let me put it this way. Let's take my littlest one. He was three months when I first held him in my arms, when he first laid his sleepy head on my chest and drifted off to sleep. He cried in the middle of the night for food from one of his sleepy parents. Now he plays balls, balloons, blocks and bubbles with the only father he remembers. He calls, "Daddy? Daddy?" and the occasional "Mommy?" in the morning until one of us goes to get him. We are the only parents he knows. Do you think he loves us less than he would his "own" parents?

The body is a vessel. It's a wonderful thing to carry your own baby and be able to experience all the joy and pain and discomfort and excitement that comes with it, but it's just a vessel-albeit a very important one. Once the baby is out, do you think that you will love that child more than I loved my sweet little Sam when I first picked him up, and told him he was coming home with us? Do you think it is THAT different to say those same words to a baby you just pushed out of you? Maybe. You may have waited a few years for various reasons, and now you're waiting nine months, which is something that most adoptive parents haven't done. But we have been waiting years. But you knew he/she was coming those nine months, and that there was very little risk as far as that baby being yours forever. What a gift.

Here's another way to look at it. After your first child did you wonder if you could ever love another child as much as your first born? I did, with my Rose and Sam. I didn't think it would be possible to love another child as much. But I didn't know how much love my heart could hold, and you didn't either. And you love all of your children equally, but also differently for their individuality.

Maybe your whole life you thought of what your babies would look like. What traits they would share with you and the love of your life. You would love them because they were part of you and they were part of someone you loved enough to bring a life into the world with. Maybe things worked out that way, maybe not. That was something I always hoped for. My children do not share a single blood line with me. You have to go back to Adam and Eve (creationists) or Africa (evolutionists) to find a gene we share. They don't look like me. But Henry gets the hiccups like me (all the time). Sam has an easy going temperament, but is given to being strong-willed at times. They have the same accents as me and their father, and the words coming out of their mouths are all us ("Go for it." "Here comes trouble." "Do you love it?") Random things that when we hear coming out of their mouths, we know is something we say a lot. They are part of me because I am their mother. And I love them for that and because Hank is the only man I want to raise my children with, and they are part of him because he is their father.

I love my nieces and nephews dearly, and they are too numerous to name. My best friend's kids, my ex-sister-in-law's kids, my brothers children, Roxy and Royce, and I will love my other brother's step-children. I love them all and in different ways, and not a single one of them is related by blood to me. But Karen is my sister, so I will hold a special place in my heart for her little girl. But it's not because she is my blood niece, or because she might look a little like me, or because I'll see features of our family in her. It's because she will be amazing. Just like her mother.


  1. Aww, very sweet! I was excited for you when I heard it was a girl, too. Makes me want to run down to an OBGYN and start figuring things out for real.

  2. I am crying.
    I am so proud of you.
    As one who has birthed children and raised children born to others, I can say, it matters not at all... I love them and am proud of them all.