Just for Fun: Adoption Meme

htmu3 (1)This is a meme I made the other night just for fun.  Although it is meant to be funny, I have been asked this question many times about my children.  I also know other adoptive families who have been asked to same.  Thought I would share it for a little bit of adoption humor!

Our children are real siblings!  

Thread of Adoption

photo (26)Our kids really do not know much of life before each other.  Our son was just over 2-years-old when a nice lady knocked on the front door and delivered a brown-haired beauty in a car seat.  He just knew he had a sister on the way.  He even proclaimed it during a car ride to preschool one morning.

Adoption brings together strangers.  Strangers, born from other wombs, connected through the predestined establishment of sisterhood and brotherhood.  It binds hearts to each other.  It creates brothers and sisters.

Adoption weaves together lives with an unseen thread.

IMG_0151

IMG_0456My children’s relationship is not any different from other sibling relationships.  They are each other’s first friend, first playmate, first person to blame for wrongdoings, and first person to lean on when needing to convince mom and dad of something.

Adoption weaves together lives with an unseen thread.

Sometimes, they hurt each other. He gets just a little rough.  She gets just a little dramatic.  He seems to always be in a hurry. She seems to take her own sweet time. Sometimes though, they hold hands and run together.

They are each other’s sounding boards about what Santa might bring, or if the Easter Bunny is actually real.  Sometimes, they even try to convince each other to ask Santa for the same presents so that his elves have to “make” two of everything.  (Or, at least, big brother has to ask Santa….)

Adoption weaves together lives with an unseen thread.

IMG_0050They explore worlds, both real and imaginary.  They seek out new adventures, create whimsical and wonderful characters, and fight the bad guys as a united team.

They get dirty, cause messes, and  create life-long memories of the fleeting days of childhood.

IMG_0646Through adoption, their childhoods have been given refuge from the hardships that this world can bring.

Their little lives move along with the changing of the seasons.

In this home, and in this family, they find warmth, opportunity, and the occasional chance every winter to throw snow on IMG_0660mommy.

(Sometimes, mommy throws it back on them.)

Two children.  Two reminders that love exists, and life is worth it. Two children who, without adoption, would have never known each other.

Two children, born of other birth mothers, forever sealed in love through adoption.

Adoption weaves together lives with an unseen thread.

They know their stories are a little different from their friends.  They have asked why they don’t have the same birth mothers.  They have even announced that they have birth mothers to total strangers at the grocery store, which makes strangers a little uncomfortable.  And…makes my heart smile.

They question why some of their friends only have one mother.  IMG_1059Often, they ask about their birth mothers.  They want to know their names.  They want to know if they are dead or alive, or if they have a home.  They want to know where they are.  My husband and I answer every question to the best of our ability, and with loving honesty.  We answer them because we know that our comfort with their histories will only help them as they grow up.

To be honest, I love my children so much that it saddens me to know that they were not able to grow up in their families of origins.  Sounds strange, huh?  I know.  Yet, I know that in the great and mysterious workings of the Lord, we found each other.  We found them, and, they found each other.  Brother and sister.

Adoption weaves together lives with an unseen thread.

I am thankful for my children.  Adoption has made me a mother.  I am also thankful that they have each other.  They have something that my husband and I do not. They have the shared experience of adoption.  I have been asked over and over if they are “real” siblings.  Yes.  YesThey are very real siblings.  They were brought together from the tragedies of lives lived in chaos, and from the belief that every child deserves a safe, and stable place to set roots, sprout wings, and fly.

375917_341839525907009_1617492878_nSometimes, just sometimes, I catch moments like this one above.  Moments of tenderness. Moments of affection.  Moments of a relationship formed through the great miracle that is adoption.  

photo (27)Soon, very soon, adoption will offer them just one more “forever” sibling to discover worlds with, to blame for wrongdoings, to make messes, to throw snow on mommy, to talk about birth mothers with, and to love.  Brothers and sister.  Forever.

 Adoption weaves together lives with an unseen thread – a thread of beauty, patience, and prayer.

For this, I am truly thankful. 

Any questions?

After my son’s adoption in 2008, a neighbor asked me, “Are you concerned that you didn’t connect with him since you did not carry him?”  I was only briefly stunned by her question.  I knew that I needed to think quick and give her an answer.  After all, she asked me in front of a group of neighbors during our block party and I did not want to be standing in the middle of an awkward moment of silence.  I replied, “No, not at all.  Loving him is very natural…as if I gave birth to him.”  All she responded with was “Oh”.

When I told my husband about the conversation, he said, “She didn’t carry or birth her husband.  Does that mean she is not bonded or connected to him?”  (Good point honey, good point)  He has always had a great way of simplifying things.

Her question has stuck in my mind through the years.  I really cannot blame her for her lack of knowledge about adoption.  After all, she had only given birth to children.  She had never experienced the incredible richness of becoming a mom through adoption.  I am still not sure what she meant by the word connect.  Perhaps she meant to say “Are you worried that you have not bonded with him because you did not give birth to him?”.

Looking back on our short conversation, I wished I would have said to her the things that have been revealed since becoming a mother through adoption.  I have realized that my expecting was not in months, but years.  My labor was not in hours, but years as well.  I did not carry my children in my body.  I carried them in my imagination, my prayers, my hopes, and my dreams.

I carried them in that quiet space where it is just myself and the Lord.

Foster and adoptive families usually get asked all kinds of random and often insensitive questions.  When we were going through the licensing process to become foster parents, someone said to me, “You are not going to take one of those meth babies, are you?”  Was that a question or a directive?  I was not quite sure.  The truth is that many newborns who come into protective services in the state I live in have been exposed to prenatal drug and/or alcohol usage.  To call them “meth babies” though felt very cold and calloused to me.

Here are some more questions that I have been asked:

  • Are your kids “real” siblings?
  • Are you scared that their “real” parents are going to take them back?
  • Are you sure it is okay to tell them that they are adopted?
  • Do you plan on having your “own” child in the future?
  • Do you know their “real” parents?

I answered the first two questions with a “no” and a “yes”.  No, I am not scared their “real” parents are going to take them back….that would be considered kidnapping.  Taking them back is not an option.  Adoption is legally binding and permanent.

Yes, I am absolutely sure it is okay to tell them they are adopted.  It is a travesty for children to not know their history and to be lied to.  It damages every ounce of trust and relationship built through the years.  It also gives glimpses of the thought that adoption is something that should be kept secret, as if it is shameful.

As far as the kids are concerned, they are real siblings.  Trust me, if you spend any amount of time in our home, you will notice that they fight like cats and dogs, yet are inseparable.  There is nothing fake about their relationship as a brother and a sister.

The last two questions can be answered by this fabulous quote I found.

“Natural Child: Any child who is not artificial.  Real Parent: Any parent who is not imaginary.  Your Own Child: Any child who is not someone else’s child.  Adopted Child: A natural child, with a real parent, who is all your own.”  -Rita Laws, PhD

 Any questions?