Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Adoption-Our Plan A

I once had a fellow adoptive parent make an off hand comment to me that went something along these lines: "We all know that adoption wasn't our first choice."  Ouch.

I thank God quite frequently that Mike and I are in the minority of adoptive parents who have not experienced the loss of infertility.  In fact, I have yet to meet another family who was able to dodge this painful experience.  That's right folks, we never tried to get pregnant.  GASP!

This decision began before we even were married.  Ever since I was 12, when I found out that my 2 aunts (technically my 2nd cousins) were adopted back in the 60s, I remember thinking how interesting that was.  Of course at the age of 12, I was unable to understand the many layers of emotion involved with all parties of adoption, I just thought it was "cool".  So before we were married I told Mike that I had a strong interest in adopting at some point.  We figured that maybe we would have a biological child as well as adopt, however I NEVER felt the desire to ever be pregnant. Like never.  I don't know if it was because of all of my previous health issues, or because I knew the health risk to myself and a baby if I were to be pregnant, but God took any natural desire to procreate right out of me!  I felt like such a weirdo though because I knew in my heart that God's purpose for me on Earth was to be a mom and yet I had no desire to birth one!

In 2009, Mike's dad was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease.  We were told that Mike had a 50% chance of carrying the gene and therefore if we did have biological children, there would be a 50% chance of passing it on to them.  Along with this, Mike's mom and I both have Crohn's Disease.  Since that is on both sides there was also a 30% chance that we would pass that onto our child as well.  This was enough of a sign from God that He did not have biological kids in our plan and we were more than fine with that.  I was honestly relieved.  Now we could begin the journey of growing our family!

I have so many friends whose lives have taken different routes to get to their adoptions, there isn't one cookie cutter story.  Adoptive families all form so very differently.  Yes, some do deal with infertility, some have a mix of bio kids and adopted kids, some do a kinship adoption along with so many other examples.  Please keep this in mind and do me a favor:

DO NOT say to an adoptive mom "Oh, now you will probably get pregnant!".  I had so many well meaning people say this to me and my response was, "Ha!  I sure hope not!"  Yes, this happens to some couples, yes this may be the hopes of some womens' hearts, but do not assume that is the case!

DO NOT assume that adoption was a family's "second choice" or "Plan B".  For some couples this may be the case, but even if it is, that is none of your business.  Please just share in their joy and love on them.

DO NOT get the impression that any adoptive parent is adopting in order to "rescue" or "save" a child.  None of us are trying to save anyone.  We simply want children and this happens to be the path God has chosen for us.  We aren't any better than anyone else, nor do we ever feel like we are.  We are just barely hanging on, just like every other parent!

Don't make assumptions, it's a good general rule of thumb in life really!  It is always safe to say to ANY family, "Wow, God has really blessed you!".  Period.


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