November is Adoption Month, and today Cheryl is sharing her personal stories of how adoption has touched her life and family. We know that there are many different ways to build a family and we know adopted families all have many different stories; this is Cheryl’s own personal story of how love and adoption go hand in hand.
Adoption makes families. Families mean love. November is Adoption Month, and I’m so excited to share with you how adoption has been a beautiful experience for my family! There are many reasons why adoption makes sense for some families. Really, though, the beauty is — it doesn’t matter! There are so many ways to make a family, and adoption just one. At the root of adoption, often birth parents and adoptive parents have so much in common. They are brave, strong, hopeful, and most of all filled with love. Birth and adoptive parents want the same thing for their child: to be part of a family where they are well cared for, loved, and healthy.
I have three special stories about children I love that came into my life through adoption. *Disclaimer: I have more than 3 children I love, so some pieces of the story are from 2 different children, which will also help protect their anonymity.
My first child love arrived through international adoption from China. He was adopted at 11 months old. There is a great tradition of celebrating “gotcha day,” which is the day of adoption. His family now makes a big deal about celebrating his “gotcha day,” Chinese New Year, and, of course, his birthday. For our family, the more to celebrate, the better!
My second child love, was born into the world with her birth and adoptive parents surrounding her in the delivery room. The adoptive parents had a special room in the hospital those first few days and were able to bond with her, even though they weren’t hospital patients themselves. This was particularly special because all four of her parents experienced the excitement of going into labor on an unknown birthday.
My third child love was adopted domestically from a teenage birth mom, and the adoptive parents literally got the call the night before they picked him up with NOTHING — no diapers, cribs, or clothing. The adoptive parents believed they would jinx their adoption if they had a nursery ready and waiting, plus they weren’t even sure whether they’d be welcoming a baby or an older child. The coolest thing about my third love is he was able to attend his own baby shower, and boy, does that make your heart explode when you have a room full of loving people oohing and ahhhing over your precious addition.
Just like your family, adoptive families have different traditions and special days to celebrate. Just like no two children are alike, no adoption is story is ever the same, and all have different experiences, both celebratory and difficult. However, adoption has been, overall, a wonderful part of our family!
If you are unfamiliar with adoption, one thing to remember most is to be respectful. Some children, especially if they are adopted when they are older, struggle to learn a new language or struggle to trust their new family completely. Let the child tell you their adoption story when they’re ready.
If you’re interested in fostering or adopting, I encourage you to join an online support group, seek legal counsel, and do plenty of research. Go out and talk to others who are ready to share their stories and ask your questions!
However your family came to be, I wish you nothing but love.
Additional Adoption Resources for Illinois families:
Suggested Reading for Potential Adoptive Parents:
Editor’s Note: Hyacynth, Homesteading with Hyacynth columnist, and her husband John are pursuing an international adoption of two sisters. Little Lake County will be hosting a fundraiser in January to help her family offset their considerable adoption expenses. We hope you will join us in bringing these girls home to their forever family. Please mark your calendars:
Love Rising: A Gluten-Free Bakewalk
Adoption Fundraiser for The Worth Family
Sunday, January 25, 2015, from 2-4 p.m.
Daltons Cakes at The Shops of Station Square in Prairie Crossing, Grayslake
Featuring Gluten-Free Baked Goods and Prepared Items from Local Purveyors and more!
Tickets and more info will be available in January.