The easiest thing for me has been to wrap my children in 1000% of me. They eat the foods I prepare, wear the clothes I buy them, and follow the way of life that I’ve laid out for them. We laugh and learn together, and love each other unconditionally. My children embody so much of my personality that most people think they are biological. For the split second that it takes to blink an eye, I too sometimes forget that they didn’t come from my womb.
Well, forget may be slightly misleading. I remove the thought of them having biological parents out there somewhere from my immediate thoughts. Until, I am abruptly faced with a situation that calls for me to remember. These are the emotional lows in adoption that you don’t often hear about.
There are always back stories, deep rooted histories in families with adopted children. Some forever families may not be aware of the full story. In our case, we know it all. Knowing the back story of my children’s biological families has given me an armor of protectiveness over them that is almost impenetrable. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying here. I love the bio parents of my children. If it weren’t for them being the vessel that my children came through, I wouldn’t be their mother. I’m grateful for them, each one of them. I just want to give my children the best life possible and to protect them from as many of this world’s demons and negative experiences as I can.
What I’m getting at here is the level of comfort that we as adoptive parents can grow to. The comfort that makes you smile everyday and makes you push the journey of how you came to be an adoptive parent to the far corners of your mind. My journey was painful, physically and emotionally. Adoption wasn’t my plan, but it was The Creator’s plan for me. So while I have accepted that, I still have very vivid memories of my struggle, my pain, and my losses as I tried to become a mother.
If I’m being 100% real with myself, the emotional lows that I experience don’t come from the bio parents wanting to have contact with their seeds, but from my own feelings of inadequacy. I know I am awesome. I work super hard to be as awesome as The Creator will allow. But those moments of biological connection reminds me of where I fell short along my journey to motherhood. And those memories are hurtful. I store them away as deep as I can, but ever so often they resurface.
I speak about adoption often. It is the center of my life. I truly believe that if it weren’t for the blessings that came through my children I would be broken, a shell of a woman. Adoption saved me, I believe that wholeheartedly. Sometimes I just struggle. I struggle with the nature vs. nurture that is apart of my everyday life as an adoptive mom. I can give my children every ounce of who I am and still they will always have a part of them that doesn’t belong to me, that isn’t of me.
Even through the trials and emotional rollercoaster that affects me greatly at times, I would encourage anyone who asks me about adoption to do it. Don’t hesitate, do it. Children will always respond to love and structure. It may take some longer than others, and in being fully transparent is may take you as the adoptive parent a while to develop a bond with your new child. Know that it’s ok. That bond will come and it will be fabulous, strong, and beautiful.
What matters is that you are open with yourself about your own expectations. That you can be real with yourself about what you can handle and what is far reaching for you. Once you’ve come to terms with those things, everything else falls into place. So when you are in the midst of the adoptive parent storm, just remember your commitment to yourself and your child. Once you do, the storm passes you by and those hugs from little arms reveal sunshine and rainbows.