As many of you already know, my husband and I are partway through the adoption process. Once complete, we'll be adding 1 or 2 children to our family, as we are open to adopting siblings. I get a lot of questions about the adoption, what the process is like, and how we came to the decision that this was the right fit for our family.
Well, the process involves a lot of paperwork, including a 20-page questionnaire that we each had to complete about ourselves, our family histories, and our motivations to adopt. I've combed through these questionnaires again, almost a year since we originally completed them, and pulled out some of the best answers to share and to express, in our own words, why Falcon and I feel so moved to adopt.
I hope this helps shed a bit more light on our unusual path to completing our family. We feel so incredibly blessed to be able to take these steps and to provide a loving home for a child or children who need one desperately.
I’ve been considering adoption most of my life, actually. I always had a feeling pregnancy wouldn’t work for me and thought it would be so wonderful to give a child a home. Lo and behold, my pregnancy almost killed me—and it’s definitely not something I’d want to attempt again and risk not seeing my little girl grow up. I first raised the issue of adoption in early 2015. My husband wasn’t sure at the time. He still thought we’d be able to have another natural child. For me, I was deciding between either adopting or stopping at one. After lots of research and soul searching, I knew I wanted a sibling for my little girl and that adoption would be the way to make that happen. My husband mulled it over for several months, and then in summer 2015, felt moved to adopt as well. Our next step was to decide between international and domestic. We attended a domestic adoption orientation and ultimately ruled that out. In researching international adoptions, we fell in love with the prospect of adopting a Romani child from Bulgaria—especially given the shared roots between both Native American people (my husband is half) and the Jewish people (our religion).
We’re ready to grow our family, to complete it. Our first two-plus years as parents have been wonderful. I personally never knew I would enjoy being a mom as much as I do, but I honestly wouldn’t trade it for the world. We’re out of the infant phase with our daughter and ready to give her a sibling, ready to raise another child up alongside her, and watch as the two hopefully become lifelong friends and supporters of one another.
I think the main way to help our adopted child feel good is to treat her exactly the same and with the same amount of affection and encouragement as our biological daughter. As we learn about our adopted daughter’s birth culture, we’ll make it a family affair. We’ll make sure she always knows how wanted she is and how much she belongs here as part of the family we all share.
Being adopted myself (by my stepfather) and never really knowing my bio dad definitely gave me a complex growing up. I wondered if that was why I was so different than the rest of my family, if I was like this man I never knew because I shared his DNA. I felt betrayed and sad that he chose not to know me and felt like an important piece of myself was missing. Knowing this, it’s very important to me that we be upfront with our adopted child about how she came to be part of our family and how we chose her. We’d also like to do everything we can to encourage a cultural connection to Bulgaria and the Romani people and to visit the country several times as she is growing up.
The most important aspect of parenting is love. Love is unconditional and something that every child should experience from their parents. Love isn’t just giving them whatever they think they want though. It’s about guiding them to the best possible future for themselves. One where they are happy, healthy, and prosperous. It’s about teaching them the important lessons in life that can’t be learned from a book or TV or school. Love is about helping them discover their talents and passions and helping them persue that. It’s about setting an example that will be with them all the days of their lives. My love is what will be there for my children when I can no longer be there.
My father is not my biological father, but he has raised me as if I was his flesh and blood. He did the same for my step-sisters. While I don’t think there was any formal adoption process there, to me he’s always been the paragon of fatherhood for his capacity to love. His sister, my Aunt Anne was adopted by my grandparents before my father was born. And when I spoke with him about our adoption, he was thrilled. He mentioned how great adoption is.
Obviously, the curiosity of knowing where they come from is one issue I’ve mentally prepared myself for. We also chose Bulgaria because of the physical similarities to me. This way the child won’t feel like they look different from everyone else.
I really can’t begin to put myself in the shoes of a birth parent that had to give their child up for adoption. It would break me. I find myself tearing up just thinking about not being able to keep my daughter and I’m sad just thinking about it. Obviously, I know that eventually an adopted child would like to know about their birth family. As such I think if the birth parent would be amicable to it, we would like to keep in touch with them to give them updates about the child and at the appropriate age, allow the child to contact the birth parents. If the birth parent doesn’t want that kind of constant reminder, I would just want the pertinent information for the child to have when they start asking questions.
My wife and I are both authors and feel like the adoption story is one that is very important to how our family became complete. As such, it’s going to be told many times and always in a loving manner. We want to be very open and honest with our children so they never feel like they have to hide anything from us. As such, it’s important to maintain a sense of transparency in our dealings with them.
How did you form YOUR family? Would you ever consider adopting? Do you know anyone whose family has been fulfilled through adoption, like ours will soon be?