April 17, 2009

Embracing Adoption

I've had the luxury of a half day off of work due to snow today. As a good procrastinator with a messy house and a hamper full of laundry, I've decided to search the blogosphere for other souls blogging about adoption.

I just read a blog about a couple's decision to adopt. I was so excited to read about their epiphany moment and what a great decision they had reached to welcome a child into their lives. Instead, I read that adoption was a "last resort option" for them. Now, I don't want to be a hypocrite. We did reach the end of one road and had to switch paths to another; however, I don't feel like this option is "second best". I feel like it's a little more challenging and takes a lot more work and patience but is not an inferior road to parenthood.

I think adoption opens you up to the possibilities of a life outside of your own and the freedom of raising a child without inherent expectations. I’ve thought a lot about biological parenting and adoptive parenting and I really feel like had we had a biological child we might have projected expectations and talents on that child based on our own experiences and talents. I feel that the adoptive experience allows our child to tell us who s/he is and what their interests and talents might be outside of our expectations. I think this is absolutely true of biological parenting as well but I think that it’s a lot harder to remove yourself, your expectations and your genetics from the equation.

Of course there is always the grieving of infertility of not seeing you husband’s smile or your sister’s eyes reflected in your child’s face. You loose the genetic bond that you have to past generations and to past members of your families. These things are all true. However, I feel like the life and values you provide your child are far more important and provide a far greater connection to your legacy than any DNA could ever provide.

This leads me to my final thought on this snowy day. I very frequently hear from people when I share that we are in the process of adoption that I'm going to get pregnant right after we adopt. Of course, they have a plethora of stories of a friend of a friend to back up this assertion. This statistically happens 10% of the time- a very small and remote number. This also most likely happened exclusively in an era before extensive diagnostics for infertility. I found a very funny term for this on the blog “Tales from the Stirrups” this afternoon: “pregenated”.

I'm not sure what people intend when they “pregenate” me but it’s wearing on me for the exclusive reason that I feel like it devalues our decision to adopt and the relationship that we will have with our child when people make this comment. It reinforces the idea of second best or "last resort". It also perpetuates the idea that we are not happy with this decision and we are settling.

I feel so blessed to have the ability to adopt. To have a mother select myself and my husband and entrust us to help raise her child is the greatest honor and experience I can imagine – definitely not an experience that is second best.


  1. Welcome to ColoBloggers, Jennifer.. it's so nice to meet you!!! I look foward to following your journey!!

  2. You are so right. It's important to fully grieve the loss of a biological child so that you can parent whole-heartedly. No child should be expected to fill a hole.

    (I wrote about this more here: http://weebleswobblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/in-adoption-last-means-best.html)

    I hadn't heard of "pregenated" -- great term!

  3. I completely agree with everything in this pist and have experienced it all myself!! I wanted to make sure it was clear to everyone that adopting is not second best to giving birth; it is a way God builds families just like He does in marriage.

    Keep preaching it, girl! You will find blogging is very theraputic!!

  4. Just found your blog from a comment on anothers.
    My mom was one of the worst with the you'll get pregnant comment. My husband finally told her that's not what we wanted and to please stop. You summed it up that it makes you feel as though they see adoption as second best when they make those comments.

    Hope your wait comes to an end soon. We are about to celebrate one year with our daughter adopted domestically.