My mom was a foster child in 1960. Her mother passed away when she was 9. Eventually she and her siblings would end up in the children’s home in downtown Akron. My grandfather loved his children deeply, but between overwhelming grief from losing his wife and illness he was unable to care for them.
Eventually my mom would be placed with a couple in foster care. This for me is my first example of the triad doing it right. Their goal with my grandfather was the same: to make sure my mom was cared for and loved.
They never cut my grandfather out of the equation, and out of respect never fully went through the adoption process since he was still actively involved. When my mother married my father on her wedding day my grandfather had my mom’s foster father walk her down the aisle as his way of showing him respect for all he had done when he was unable. She even has wedding photos with both men standing next to her.
Adoption is messy, hard and overwhelming. It has heartache, joy and tears of happiness and sadness. But friends, I believe that no matter if we’re open adoption, closed, foster or even just a blended family, we can do this right when no one is left out or forgotten. That value is shown to the roles we hold.
My daughter has been entrusted to me by her birth mother. The way her adoption came about I believe God’s hand was in every detail from start to finish. My job is to parent her, to love her with every fiber of my being, to shepherd her heart and to raise her confidently knowing her worth and value.
Which leads me to explain where the phrase “Adoption Means Wanted” came from.
Details of our adoption and our birth family are private. Best advice I ever received was to be her gatekeeper. This goes for your birth family as well. We love them and and we need to respect their privacy. The details are private and not mine to tell. Will I share moments of our process absolutely, but the details are not mine, they are hers. I encourage you to evaluate what you share and how much. I’m learning and pulling it in even with close friend’s and family. You Never want someone else to interpret the details of your child’s adoption journey.
I will share this however because it’s where this company was inspired from.
Society has a really bad way of taking the word adoption and putting it into a negative light. It’s often assumed that adoptees are unwanted by there birth parents, which is a lie.
It’s often looked at like they’re trying to discard a responsibility. Adoptive parents, I hope when you hear anyone reference this you take deep offense out of love for your birth parents and your child. Speak up and help those who believe this to understand not only the harm in this assumption but the depth of love that adoption stems from.
I also want to state that as the adoptive parents, I’m not a savior, and us stepping into this role does not make us extra special humans. This is the role we have simply been called into, chosen for and feel immensely blessed, nothing else. I think when this role gets somewhat twisted to the top, it becomes a sense of deep hurt and starts to defile and lessen the roles that we all hold in this triad.
The choice that birth parents make is not one that is done lightly. They are putting the very meaning of parenthood into action when they are making this decision that is gut-wrenchingly hard. It’s making the most unselfish choice done in the deepest form of love.
There’s also my favorite line that makes me go from 0 to 90 very quickly. When someone asks “So you don’t want kids of your own”?
I’m very aware that I’m not her birth momma, but here’s the thing I once again come back to this firmly, I have been entrusted by her birth mom to love her as my own. This is what she has asked of us and I don’t take that job lightly and I feel so honored and blessed to be in this role parenting this precious sweet soul.
We have tried to gently ease Beatrix into the the meaning of adoption a little more each year as she grows. My goal and my husband’s has always been the same. Help her to understand she is loved beyond measure, that she has value and to help guide her as she blossoms into the unique and special human she was created to be.
After interrogating every member and grandparent for pictures of her in my tummy due to a friends pregnancy, we knew it was time to explain a little deeper into the word adoption. I sat at the end of her bed one evening and gently explained in as much detail as a four year old can process, all she needed at that moment was to understand that she came to us, that she was loved and adoption is not a bad word. Once I was done I asked her do you know what adoption means now? I figured she would respond with a no… she came back confidently and emphatically with “ummm yeah it means I’m wanted”.
As I tucked her in with tears in my eyes, I realized the words uttered by my child were more profound then I grasped at that moment. Not only did she understand she has always been wanted but that she is loved beyond measure.
But there was one other thing…the triad.
When it comes to the triad I believe that all have value, a voice and need to know they are wanted and not forgotten about.
No matter how involved or uninvolved they are.
Adoption means wanted.
For birth mothers, I pray you know you are wanted and loved. That your feelings of grief and heartache are acknowledged because they are real and they are valid! You hold a role that no one else does.
Adoptive parents, you are needed, you have been chosen and entrusted with sacred honor of loving these precious souls, both child and birth parents.
To the adoptee, and to my daughter, I pray you walk confidently knowing that you are loved and that you are precious, that you were never unwanted or discarded, not for a second. You were never anyone’s afterthought. You were in the forefront of Jesus’ mind when he created you and loved by everyone that has had a role in your journey, before and after you were born. I pray you truly know how special and wanted you are. By those who are in your life and those that will come into it.
Foster parents, your job for however long your season is with these kiddos, know that what you are pouring into them is priceless. The exhaustion and the weight of the chaos is seen even when you feel alone. Your presence and the stability you are providing is so important.
Our heart is for those outside of the triad to better understand it. Family doesn’t have to look or be created in what society pegs as “normal”. These are our stories and our journeys, and we have a right to stand confidently in them.
Adoption is love and adoption means wanted.