I am not one to buy in to this name-a-month-after-a-cause campaigns that the government likes to buy into. I choose which causes to support not because they’re the featured one, but because I believe in them. Still, as an adoptive mom, I feel compelled to speak out, albeit late, on behalf of National Adoption month which was last month. I wish it could be renamed “Build A Family” month, because that’s what adoption is: another way to build a family.
For my husband and I, the short answer is that we wanted another child (we already had a wonderful little boy) and adoption was the method we chose to grow the family. Three years after signing the initial paperwork, my husband traveled across the world and brought home our miraculous daughter. Those three years were some of the hardest I’ve ever known. When you’re pregnant, you know the kid is going to appear somewhere in the 9-month period. With international adoption, the process is much, much longer and depends on when other people (as opposed to your own body) get things done. We had mountains of forms to fill out, have notarized, and sent to the Chinese consulate for various blessings and translations. We were investigated, fingerprinted, interviewed, visited numerous times by a social worker, and answered the maddening question “when is she coming” with the answer “we don’t know” over and over again. I’m not rendering an opinion on the process, which I understand is necessary for the protection of the child. I’m just saying that during that time I experienced an incredible range of emotions including being excited, joyous, impatient, angry, and sad. I just wanted to hold my daughter!
Was it all worth is? ABSOLUTELY! Is she my “real” daughter? ABSOLUTELY! As the mom of a biological son and adopted daughter, I can honestly say that there is no difference in how I feel about my kids. She, just like my son, takes my breath. I’m not sure how my husband and I wound up with the perfect daughter for us, but we did. Yes, adoption is also a miracle.
Building a family is always a crap shoot at best. No matter how you choose to grow it, you never know what you’re going to get. You live in uncertainty as to what health issues will pop up, what types of personalities you’re throwing into the family mix. But I do know that adoption allowed us to build our family and made it complete.
So to all who have been touched by this amazing, difficult, worthwhile process: Happy (Belated) National Adoption Month!!!
Here are a few websites for those interested in adoption:
– www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/nam/about.cfm – the official website for National Adoption Month with tons of resources about domestic and international adoption
– www.comeunity.com/adoption/adopt/beauty.html – an informative/supportive website for all families
– http://new-jersey.adoption.com – information for those of us in New Jersey who want to know more about adoption
– www.chinesechildren.org – the website for our agency, Chinese Children Adoption International, who held our hand every step of the way