Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Gift of Adoption

The February Ensign has a great article this month about adoption. I was so embarrassed today when someone mentioned it in church. I hadn't even opened my Ensign yet. The LDS church did a wonderful job of putting it together and they made sure to tell about the miracle of adoption from the different parties involved. Click HERE to read the full article.

It starts with the story of a wonderful birth mom who became pregnant at age 16. Her journey toward her choice to place her child was amazing, but as always the case it is also heartbreaking. Here is a little part of her story.
"To say that I cried would be to put it mildly. My heart was full and broken at the same time. How could I feel such peace in a decision that brought so much pain? I later realized that I had brought much heartache and pain into my life and the lives of those intertwined with mine because I had let selfish desires override my long-term goals. But here, I had been given an opportunity to put aside what I wanted most—to keep this child—and to give her something better."
"Giving birth to a beautiful little girl was miraculous. I loved holding her and rocking her. She was so beautiful, and I cried many times her first night on earth. I knew that the next day would bring heartache when it was time to say good-bye.

What made that pain bearable was knowing that placing her for adoption was right. It was the hardest—but most right—thing I have ever done. I signed the papers through sheets of tears and then leaned on family and friends for support. My tears weren’t the only ones shed that day or in the days to come."

They then have a birth father tell his story. You don't hear as much about them, but they are just as incredible as the birth mothers. What an incredible man to realize that this responsibility doesn't always mean having to marry the girl simply out of obligation. It is better for a child to be raised in a family with both a mom and dad that love each other as much as they love their children. In some cases, it is best for the parents to marry. That is their decision to make. But if they realize that they would only be making things worse and instead choose to place their child in a family that it can become a part of eternally, that is true unconditional love. Here is the part of his story that just had me in tears.
"We felt strongly that our child was to go to these parents, a decision we felt confirmed in prayer and again later when Andrea and I met the family.
The day Jenna was born was more incredible and miraculous than we could ever have imagined. We kept her with us the first few days, and when the day came to take Jenna to her new family, we felt we couldn’t do it. Three hours after we were supposed to have been at the LDS Family Services office, we still hadn’t left my parents’ house. I asked my father to give each of us a priesthood blessing. Among the things he blessed us with was the ability to do the right thing.

We finally left for LDS Family Services. Again, we felt a strong Spirit confirming that this was the right thing, yet when Andrea and I stepped out of the office to return home, I felt the saddest I have ever felt. Neither of us said a word as we drove away. We just cried. That was the most difficult day of my life.

The next week—and the next month—were also hard. But Andrea and I kept moving forward as much as we could. Attending group sessions was helpful because parents who had been through what we were going through were there to talk about their experience, to encourage us, and to remind us not to give up hope in the future—for Jenna or for ourselves."

There is more people that are affected by adoption; the grandparents of the child. I can imagine that as a parent this would be heart wrenching. As parents we want to fix everything for our kids, but that's not always possible, especially when they become parents themselves.
"The day our grandson was born was a bittersweet one. What a beautiful baby! It would have been easy to change our minds—after all, children are raised by single mothers and grandparents all of the time. Surely we could do it too. But we knew the Lord’s will, and we knew that it was in this child’s best interest for the adoption to proceed. After spending two days with our daughter and grandson in the hospital, my wife and I watched with tears streaming down our faces as Katie handed her son to the caseworker. She exclaimed, “I can’t believe I just did that!” and ran back to her hospital room to cry. My wife later commented that she had never seen greater love than she did as she watched Katie that day. Adoption, she said, truly is about love."

The last story they tell, is to me, the most important one; the adopted child.
"One of my earliest memories is looking up at my mother after she had tucked me in and asking her if she would tell me a different bedtime story. After all, she had been telling me the same story every night for as long I could remember.
It always started with these words: “Once upon a time, there was a mommy and daddy who wanted very much to have a baby of their own.” It wasn’t a fable or a fairy tale but the story of our family and how I came to be a part of it. Because I had heard the story repeated so often, adoption was never a mysterious or uncomfortable topic. I learned from the beginning that I was meant to be with my family—I had just come a different way."

Now, I must take a moment here to get on my soap box. The story from the adopted child goes on to say that his parents were blessed with another miracle and they were able to produce children of their own after adopting her. I may have become mad at this point and put (threw) the article down. That really only happens to about 3% of infertile couples. I get so tired of hearing so-and-so adopted and then they had children of their own. First off, just having a child through pregnancy does not make them more your own verses adopting them. But the important part to remember is that adopting does not result in pregnancy. Yes, for those FEW that is happens to that is wonderful, but it really doesn't happen as often as the world thinks. That is why I never want to be pregnant. I don't want to be THAT person that is always mentioned to other infertile couples struggling to have children. Adoption is not a choice that is reached easily for most couples, and it usually isn't a QUICK FIX to parenthood. Adoption is the most spiritual thing a person can ever do with their life and should not be taken lightly. We know that we were chosen before coming to earth to adopt and only the most special couples get such a wonderful privilege.
With all that said, I should probably climb back down off the soap box, but if anyone ever suggests that our adopting will help us get pregnant, I may have to punch you. Consider yourself warned.
Oh, and please go read this article, The Gift of Adoption.



Jodi said...

I really enjoy reading your blog...I just have to say though, that I am one of those people that concieved after adopting. And yes, to say the least...we were embarassed about it. But however God chooses to give you children is a miracle. I wouldn't trade my adopted daughter or my two bio daughters for anything! And it is truly wonderful to have experienced and walked both roads. We'll be praying for your journey.

So Barren said...

I read that article too! Thank you so much for your post on the side bar stuff, I learned a lot. You have no idea how much I needed to read your post today. It was just one of those days at church and reading your post made me feel so much better. I too HATE it when people think that adoption leads to pregnancy. It seems like everyone thinks that, it kind of reminds me of the "oh just don't stress and you'll get pregnant" thing everyone thinks. Anyway I just loved what you wrote about adoption and it really made my day a lot better. Thank you!

Elizabeth and Brian said...

I agree with you about the having a baby after adoption. I think it might happen more in the LDS world because young couples freak when theyhave been married 6 months and haven't had a baby yet. They just haven't given it enough time yet or they have subfertility and not infertility. I wish LDSFS still had the rule of infertility for adoption. It would help those with full infertility be able to adopt. It would probably drop the waiting couples list in half at least. I am so sick of having people come up to me and tell me they know JUST how I feel when they have 5, 6, 7 kids. I want to slap them. Oh, well, my vent. If you can get pregnant after one or two rounds of clomid you don't have infertility. They bug me a lot.

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