|Beanie with her Birth Mom!|
I've been meaning to write this post all month, and since it's the last day of November, I just had to get it done. November is Adoption Awareness month! And, obviously, we LOVE adoption. We are so grateful for the miracle that is adoption, and for our sweet little daughter who joined our forever family because of the immense love her birth family has for her. Adoption really is about love.
Sometimes when we talk about adoption with those who don't have much experience with it (or with it in more recent years) we run into some misconceptions that worry us. A few things I wish were more understood: Birth families are amazing. Every birth mom I've met has so much love in her heart. These women are strong and brave. They do not place their babies in adoptive families because they don't want to parent the precious little ones they created. They do it because they want to give their babies the best life they can. They do it because of love. These women are selfless and good angels. Please remember that, and don't judge them, or think they don't love their babies enough to keep them. They are carrying a child for nine months to give them life. They are giving them the best life they can. They love their babies SO MUCH. The love of a birth mother is the ultimate kind of love, because it is truly unselfish and pure. We are so thankful for Iris's birth family. What amazing people! Really, we feel so blessed to have them in our lives, and they have become extended family to us. We are so grateful for them, and are happy that Iris will always know how much they love her, and has such great role models in her birth family. We love you guys!
Another misconception is that adopted children are so unfortunate because they were adopted. Since I personally was not adopted, my thoughts on this are just that--my own thoughts. But I think that Iris will grow up being so grateful that she was adopted. She has a huge network of people who love her, who are biologically connected to her and who are connected to her through other ties, like temple sealing, adoption, and so many good friends--and all of these ties are made with lots of love. I hope my daughter always knows how very loved she is. She is so special, and has so many people rooting for her. I hope she never feels like a victim because she was adopted. I hope she always knows that joining our family through adoption was God's plan for her, and that she is special.
Something that I always feel like I'm doing is trying to casually correct disrespectful adoption terminology. It's just part of being in the world of adoption, but it does get frustrating sometimes. Like why can't my doctor just say "How is Iris's birth mom," instead of asking about Iris's real mom? How do you think that makes me feel? And how do you think birth moms feel when they are told they "gave up" their child? And how do you think a kid feels when everyone tells them they "are adopted," like it's a trait about them that is always going to define them, instead of the way they came to their forever family? I wish everyone would read the positive terminology found here and use it! Iris's birth parents placed her in an adoptive family. They are her birth family, her biological family. We are her parents (you can save us all the headache of always tacking on "adoptive" before- we're parents, okay?). Iris was adopted. We love her. Her birth family loves her. Adoption is so cool.
The media really shapes perceptions and opinions. It's kind of scary how powerful tv, movies, books, and music can be in shaping and changing what we believe. Adoption is rarely portrayed very fairly by the media. I can't think of many examples where the media shows an adoption story without villainizing the birth family or the adoptee or the adoptive parents. That can make it hard, because so often adoption is so beautiful, and works out so well. There are sad stories out there. The news makes sure to really emphasize those, and sadly, the focus is rarely (ahem-NEVER!) on the children, but usually on the parents. But there are so many more happy stories. I wish we could focus on the good more. For every terrible story you read in the news about custody battles over kids who were adopted and now biological parent wants custody, there are seriously hundreds--thousands!--of stories sans all the drama.
As we are waiting to find our next baby, sometimes it gets hard. Some days it's so hard. Other days it's not. As the months go by, we wonder if there's something wrong with us that is preventing a birth mom from choosing us. But we know that the right birth mom, the woman carrying the baby meant to join our forever family, will find us when the time is right. And we just have to have faith in that. We haven't been waiting very long, really. There are many families who are absolutely amazing who wait for years.
In my scramble to post all of my drafts on the old blog so we could get to this new one, a lot of you probably missed this post. We have a lot of friends who are also hoping to adopt, and posted about them so if you or someone you know is considering adoption, you can check them out. They are all amazing people! Some of them have been waiting for a few months, others for many years. Our prayers are with all of them, because waiting for a miracle is hard. But we are so grateful for adoption and for the miracle it is.