10.27.2014

"Do you ever want your own?"


A question I get fairly often from people who know our kids were both adopted is: "Do you ever want your own kids?" or some variation of that thought. 

Frankly, this question puzzles me. First my disclaimer-- I know that there are different perspectives about adoption out there, and this is mine (and Shaun's). But we feel extremely strongly about this.

When Shaun and I were married, we became a family. We became a unit. Shaun is mine, and I am his. 

From the time we were married we always knew our plan was to adopt children someday, even before the fertility issues, we knew. And it never crossed our minds that a child who was adopted into our family would be less ours than a child who was born into our family.  I know that this is not how everyone thinks. I imagine that experiences Shaun and I had helped form these ideas and opinions. However, when I hear this question ("Don't you want your own kids?") I truly, honestly feel sorry that the perspective we have is not easier to explain or understand for some people. 

I remember a conversation we had with friends who were going through fertility issues. One friend said, "I don't know if I could love a child that wasn't mine." Shaun and I puzzled over this for quite a while. Our conversations with each other went something like this: 

"We aren't related. You'd have to go back in history many, many centuries to possibly find common ancestors between us. But we love each other. I love you more than anyone in the world, and I know you feel the same toward me. So we know that our love is not dependent on shared genetics. So why on earth would love for a baby or a child be dependent on shared DNA?" 

"I know. I don't understand either. Bean is ours."

And we'd rehash that a few times, still not comprehending this logic that loving "your own child" is the equivalent of loving your own DNA. 

Finally we agreed that people love differently. Who am I to say that someone else will be able to love a child who was adopted as much as their biological child? This may not be realistic for everyone, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. All I know is what is true for me and my husband; I only wish I could help the world understand that it is entirely possible to love someone born to another as your very own child.

Shaun and I were married, and we became each others'. We were in the room when Bean's birth mother delivered her into the world. It was beautiful, and immediately she was our very own daughter, and the love rushed into our hearts. There was a connection that I can't explain, but we knew. We know that Heavenly Father sent her to Earth to join our family. When we met Lil'Man's birth family and held that precious tiny baby for the first time, our hearts opened with arms wide open and he has been ours ever since. The love that came was strong and immediate. And just like his big sister, we know that Heavenly Father sent him to our family. 

It would feel wrong to us to not accept these children in our family and into our hearts as 100% our own. Love is a choice. Loving someone and accepting them as your own is a choice. Shaun and I chose to accept each other as our own. Bean and Lil'Man joined our family and they are our kids. Completely our kids. Some may doubt that I can say this with confidence, not having bio kids to compare with, but I assure you that I am certain beyond a sliver of a doubt that our love for our kids couldn't be any greater if they were our biological kids. Their stories are different. The love is the same. 

I'll be honest--I wish we had a kid who was a mashup of me and Shaun. I wish we had a little one who we could look at and say "You have Great Grandpa Will's nose!" But I wouldn't change Bean or Lil'Man--they are perfection, they share traits and connections with special birth families who we adore and who will always be in our lives and part of them, and yet they are ours. Completely and 100%.

So do I ever want my own kids? I already have my own, thank you. And I feel blessed beyond measure. 

I may not share genes with the three greatest loves of my life, but the four of us are bound by something even stronger: Love. 

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