So here is what happened after church. We went downstairs for coffee and donuts, as we do most Sundays when Lute is mostly well behaved during the service. (Yeah, we bribe our children, and sometimes it works.) The boys were running around, playing with their friends, dancing onstage, chasing each other, and stopping for brief moments to stuff their faces with maple bars. Eddie asked for water, so I lifted him to the water fountain, where he managed to ingest about three teaspoons from the 12 gallons that hit his face.
As I started to carry him back to where the action was, an older gentleman stopped me and asked, “Is he your foster child?”
“Oh no, we adopted him as a newborn, he’s mine,” I replied happily.
“It looks like he needs a lot of guidance, doesn’t he?”
Well, yeah dude, he’s TWO.
I was a little more diplomatic than that, but a bit of the mama bear started to well up within me.
Why is there such a stigma attached to adopted children? Here is my thought: they are kids. A kid is a kid. Now I am not saying that there aren’t real issues for children that stem from adoption. I’m sure there are. But I am just as sure that every child has some issue of some kind… because they are human. They are going through life. And life isn’t fair, and we all have to deal with that at some point in some way, and we usually feel pretty disillusioned and victimized.
Before we brought Eddie home, several people asked us if we knew if he was exposed to anything harmful (valid question) or if we were worried that he would have predispositions that we weren’t prepared for. I am not sure I am prepared for any of the things any of my children are predisposed to. You should see George when we cut off the cookies.
If anything, it’s been the opposite of the common misconceptions. If you were to spend a good amount of time with my three children (does anyone want to, by the way?), you might notice that Lute and George have a little bit of a woeful nature. Sometimes a lot of a woeful nature, actually. Eddie, on the other hand, is probably the most joyful kid I have ever encountered. He might get a little frustrated from time to time, but he is usually having a grand time doing whatever it is he is doing. And yes, he is a handful, but that is because he is a boy through and through. (I think they are calling that “spirited” these days, right? Wanna be PC.)
So here are a few statistics that I hope help eradicate some of the ideas floating around about adoption:
85% of adopted children are rated in “excellent” or “very good” health.
The national average for non-adopted kids is 82%.
over 90% of adopted children have positive feelings about being adopted.
88% of adoptive parents describe themselves as a “happy couple”.
Non-adoptive parents: 83%.
The New York Times did an interesting article awhile back that addressed this issue. I know I have a tendency toward the Pollyanna side of life, and I can gloss things over from time to time, but in my heart of hearts, I really believe that a change needs to come about in the attitude toward adoption.
In my experience as a parent with three little boys very close in age, no kid is easy, but every kid is a blessing.
We are a family of 5 3/4: 3 kids – 2 biological, 1 adopted, and waiting to bring a little girl home soon. Adoption has always been on our hearts, hopeful that it’d be part of our story. We’re so blessed to say that it is, and has changed us forever. We love our three boys more than we’d imagined possible and can’t wait to bring home our sweet little peach! We welcome you to join us on our journey at lovely little whimsy.
you seriously put me through the ringer today.
you made me question everything i thought i knew about parenting.
you are one determined boy, and i know that will serve you well later in life,
that you will accomplish great things because you do not give up.
like with the easter candy, for example.
by golly, you wanted that chocolate bunny, and that chocolate bunny you were gonna get.
you have this uncanny sense of hearing… you announce every passing motorcycle,
the arrival of every garbage and delivery truck, an airplane flying overhead.
none of it is by sight, all by sound.
and yet. i can tell you 412 times to come to me, to stop climbing or jumping or running
and it is as though i haven’t uttered a single syllable.
but in spite of all of your crazy antics,
you have an unfathomable capacity to love.
you want to snuggle every night before bed, and first thing every morning.
you nestle into “mama’s bed” (it’s daddy’s, too, just so you know), rest your head right next to mine and are quiet and still and content.
i look at you in wonder, my heart full and achy,
and very aware of this precious time.
i’m not ignorant to the fact that someday… maybe soon… you will understand you’re adopted.
there may be a day when you question if we’re as close as we’d be if i’d had you myself.
if i could, i would take all those questions away in a heartbeat.
i’d tell you that i can’t imagine loving anyone more than i love you,
that our lives would have a gaping hole without you in it,
that tears well and overflow at the thought of you ever experiencing any heartache
from the undeserved gift we’ve been given of calling you ours.
i look at you in those quiet moments and i drink it in.
your tender heart and your boundless love.
i pray almost every day that you will know in the depth of your being that you are more than we could’ve ever hoped for,
that you will be confident in our love for you, and even more,
in God’s love for you.
you are a most precious gift, my sweet, wild Eddie.
i hope you will know that in your heart every day, forever.
We are a family of 5 1/2: 3 kids – 2 biological, 1 adopted, and waiting to be chosen for our next adopted baby. Adoption has always been on our hearts, hopeful that it’d be part of our story. We’re so blessed to say that it is, and has changed us forever. We love our three boys more than we’d imagined possible and can’t wait to see what is in store for the future! We welcome you to join us on our journey at a punk, a pumpkin and a peanut.