To parents who are considering adoption,
For some of you, this may be an easier decision than for others. As for me, I knew I wanted to adopt children since I was a little girl. My Godparents adopted their children. They showed me that blood is not what makes a family.
When my husband, Gregg, and I began the adoption process with our now-daughter, Leondra, we were simultaneously trying to get pregnant. We had some problems and started fertility treatments.
When Leondra came to us, she was only seven years old and already had been through a dozen or so different homes and endured many difficult situations. After just a few months of living with us, I got pregnant with twins. However, shortly after, I lost both babies.
A week or so after losing the babies, I remember resting and healing in bed when my daughter came into the room crying.
She said, “I feel really bad. I made a wish that you would not have the babies and then this happened!”
Immediately, I comforted her and told her it was not her fault.
After that moment, I decided to stop trying to get pregnant. I didn’t want my daughter to feel like if we lost another baby, it was her fault, or if we had biological children, we would love her any less.
Instead, we adopted two more children. My son, Gordon, came into our home at 11 months old and my younger daughter, Elizabeth, arrived when she was two days old.
Each of my children came to us with a strike against them in life, as they each had different challenges and circumstances they had to overcome.
Today, my children are 21, 11 and 7. I love watching each one of them achieve milestones that some didn’t believe they’d ever reach. All of my children are unique and so special. Leondra excels in cheerleading and lights up when she is on stage. Gordon is a gentle giant. He is the best hugger and is very thoughtful.
When he was younger, if he saw a toddler crying, he would go up to the child and say, “Hey there, friend, are you OK? Can I help you? “
Our youngest, Elizabeth, is so sweet. She will come up from behind you and give you a hug or kiss and say, “I really love you.”
Like most other families, we have many traditions. On Christmas Eve, we all open one gift from a family member. Throughout the year, we get a Yum-Yum box subscription, which sends us treats from all different countries. Each of us eats whatever it is and rates it. It’s almost like a game night for us. Also, in the fall, we carve out pumpkins and in the spring, we bring out a bunny statue for Easter.
In those moments, along with many others, I love watching my kids enjoy being kids. However, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened to each one had we not adopted them. Would they have opportunities to explore their interests? Would they have had the support to pursue their dreams? Would they be healthy? Would they be safe?
My oldest daughter told me she believes that if we never came into her life, she would be dead by now.
All three of my children know they are adopted, but I tell them that they are born from my heart. Like any other parent, we have an overwhelming amount of love for our children.
If you are on the fence about adopting, please know that there are so many kids who need loving homes. The adoption process is not easy and there likely will be some challenges you will face with your adopted children. However, I promise you, it’s worth it.
As I learned as a little girl from my Godparents, what makes a family is not the blood you share but rather the happiness, love, and beautiful moments you get to experience together.