Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Have I mentioned I love adoption?

My life has not turned out the way I thought it would. I think I'm not alone in this. I'm pretty sure that a lot of the purpose of life is getting thrown curve balls and seeing how we react to them.

I started trying to have a baby at age 22. By the time my first baby was born, I was 28. And my second and third babies came when I was 29. I have no doubts that God wanted my family to be exactly how it is. I have no doubt that for whatever reason, He wanted our kids to be very, very close in age. And I have no doubt that if I had been given these children at age 22/23, I would not be the mother I am today. Without years of longing, and working, and trying and wishing for kids, I would not have been able to appreciate them on those days you feel so unappreciative.

I think that I am pretty much normal when it comes to mothering. I do my best, I love my kids with my entire being, and they can drive me crazier than I would have ever thought possible. This sounds pretty similar to most women I talk to. I know that having adopted has not changed in any way the relationship I have with my kids. I remember meeting the twin's birthfamily, and someone asked me if I ever felt like I was raising someone else's kid. I was able to tell her that I never feel like that because it wasn't true. Abigail is my daughter. It wouldn't be possible to love her more, or feel more like her mother. Jack and Aidan are my sons. They just are, and I know that it wouldn't be any different if they were born to me.

I am not just happy that after we couldn't conceive, we were able to adopt. I am actually glad that we weren't able to conceive, and that we adopted. I think this life, and this family, is better than what we would have if we hadn't adopted.

I love their birthfamilies. Without going into a lot of personal details, I am forever bonded to them. I was there when they decided that their baby- who they conceived, loved, grew, and sacrificed for, would need more than they could give. I am incredibly humbled to think that they would trust *me* to raise *their* baby, and give them all that they would need. I was there when they said goodbye, they placed that little precious life in my hands, and gave me the gift of being a mother. Those are moments that will stay sacred in my heart forever.

I love that my children have a great biological heritage, and a great adoptive heritage. They have a few extra people who get that proud glint in their eye that only a parent or grandparent can get.

This weekend is our annual adoption conference. It is for anyone who has adopted, or wants to adopt, but mostly what we see are couples who are beginning to move beyond infertility, and are starting the process to adopt, and need some help figuring it all out. Couples who have been waiting and wishing and longing for a baby. The couple that we were just 5 years ago. When I talk to them, and meet them, and share things with them, it takes me back to all those feelings I had. It takes me back to the longing and wishing and hoping. It makes me tear up to think about how grateful I am to be a mother. It makes me drive home a little faster than I usually would, and give three amazing kids huge hugs and kisses. It makes me a little more patient, a little more loving, and a little more appreciative of the fact that even with all the work, I wouldn't change a thing.

I am excited to go to this conference. To meet and talk with other adoptive couples, and share my stories and experience. To lend a shoulder to those who are feeling despair. To rejoice with those who are celebrating. To reconnect with friends who I don't see very often, but feel a great connection with.

It is a wonderful reminder, once a year, of how lucky I am to be Mommy to 3 kids.


Astarte said...

It *is* an overwhelming gift, isn't it? I am sometimes shocked that I am allowed to raise my own children, nevermind one that someone else gave birth to! I can only imagine how emotional that conference is for you. Have a wonderful time!

amy said...

Beautiful post and although LynnMarie is not in my arms yet this is the greatest gift and the process has been the biggest blessing..

You rock. Adoption rocks..!!!

Stephan & Mary said...

Hi, I stumbled upon your blog through a friend and read it pretty frequently. My husband & I are considering adoption (I think we'd really like to) even though we have had 2 by birth and might like more that way too (we might also be crazy). We're not in a position to start the process yet, but would love any tips for preparing ourselves - books, websites, ideas - if you have time. My email is

Mary Kate said...

I feel the same way you do....of course! The bond I feel towards my children's birthparents is indescribable!

I remember when I first started with FSA how HUNGRY I was for contact with anyone who felt the same way I did. I LOVED the conferences and felt so emotionally exhausted after each one! I loved it!

See you soon!!

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

This is so beautiful and actually gives me chills. I have a close friend who adopted recently and it was so amazing to watch that journey with her.

And my own Little One, if she choses to be a mother, will be an adoptive mom. Even though I know she will have some heartache to go through about having a biological child, reading this makes me look forward to that time and know that it is all just the way it is meant to be.

I love this post!