Webster’s online dictionary defines the word “adopt” as “to take by choice into a relationship; especially: to take voluntarily (a child of other parents) as one’s own child.” That’s a nice definition, as far as it goes. However, it’s so much more!
Three months ago, I didn’t know. Oh, what I didn’t know! I’m a mom. I know the joy of giving birth, holding my baby for the first time, watching him learn to roll over, sit up, and all the other wonderful childhood milestones. I knew that adoptive parents would love their adopted child, but I didn’t get it.
I didn’t understand that they would be just as excited as I was the first time I held my son. He was premature and in intensive care right after he was born, so I couldn’t hold him for a few days. Adoptive parents can’t hold their child until after a waiting period either. It’s kind of the same, but I didn’t get it.
My son lost his first tooth and was afraid of the tooth fairy – a stranger – coming into our house at night. We wrote the tooth fairy a letter and asked her to leave the tooth in an envelope on the front door this time. I knew adoptive parents would experience their version of the tooth fairy, but I didn’t understand.
My son didn’t like the idea of Santa coming to leave presents at Christmas because, again, he was a stranger coming into our house at night. He was okay after I explained that I knew Santa, and that he wasn’t really a stranger. Again, I knew adoptive parents would have their Santa experience, but I didn’t understand. I didn’t get it.
I didn’t get it until I saw a family – parents with one adopted son – on their way to meet their second adopted son. They were glowing! The little boy was so excited about being a big brother. He was looking forward to teaching his new brother all about football (soccer for him), and teaching him how to ride a bike and throw a baseball and play nice with the puppy.
I’m the Administrator of Herring Mills & Kratt, the law firm that works with A Child’s Hope. I was also doing the bookkeeping for A Child’s Hope. That family opened my eyes, and I fell in love with the concept of adoption. Since then, all I’ve wanted to do was to help the Agency build families. I never dreamed I would be called in this way.
What is your adoption story? We’d love to hear it! Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.
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