My Family

My Family

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Adoption Matters

I have been talking a lot about adoption recently.  It is National Adoption Month and once a year I have a chance to speak about not only my children's adoption and the process but my own personal adoption journey.

I get lots of questions ranging from "How are your personal experiences and perceptions shaped by adoption?" to "Do you think you were left by aliens from a planet outside of earth?"  (Of course I was asked that by an 8 year old boy when I was a kid).   The questions are humorous at times, but mostly thoughtful. They make me reflect on thought and feelings.
Adoption matters.  It is not a perfect process, but it creates something wonderful.  It throws together people that would probably never cross paths in everyday life and draws them together to form a new unit.

I look on my life as an amazing journey.  Because of one persons selfless act they started a chain of events that changed other's lives as well.  I always viewed my adoption as matter of fact.  My biological family couldn't raise me and wanted a good home that could.  That happened.

But what also came out of it was my desire to adopt as well.  I wanted to continue the chain. And I did.
In 2008 we brought home our son.  He was born addicted to meth and had Shaken Baby Syndrome.  He also suffers from PTSD, RAD, and learning disabilities. But he is also an amazing testament to the power of love.

We had thought we were done.  But then Marvin looked at us with those big blue eyes and asked for a "sissor"
So in 2012 Cary Lynn came to live with us.  She was considered a legal risk adoption because her parental rights hadn't been terminated, but we took a chance.  Born very premature and with a list of problems twelve miles long and 8 million specialists Cary continued to defy odds and showed us that strength does not come in size, but in the beat of a tiny heart.

I would like to say that it was easy, magical, and that I dance with unicorns in fields of violets daily.  It wasn't.  We had to take parenting classes.  Three times.  I had to deal with incompetent social workers, dead ends, and dashed hopes and dreams.

But I built new dreams.  And when doors started to close I just stuck my foot and face right in them.  I took leaps of faith and jumped through flaming hoops.  I shouted, cried, whispered and prayed.  It took three years to get Marvin and two years for Cary Lynn.  But it was worth it.

Adoption is not for the weak.  If you can't stand waiting, having your life gone over with a fine tooth comb, and multiple random people in your life get a hamster.

But if you are one of the amazing people who stay the course you have a chance.  A chance to provide a child roots to grow and wings to fly.  A chance to break abusive and harmful cycles. To set them free from bad patterns and start new patterns.  The chain you start has a chance to impact many other lives.

This month we celebrate adoption, but in my home it is celebrated every day.  In the laughter, tears, and hopes and dreams.  The chain that started almost 39 years ago is going strong and changing the world.  Adoption matters.

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