Monday, April 22, 2013

A Paradigm Shift

While there are some very practical, logical and pragmatic issues related to adoption.  I also can't help but wonder about the more emotional, intangible, and philosophical issues related to starting a family through adoption.  (This is Adrienne by the way, can you tell?)  I have asked myself all sorts of questions and continue to seek out new opinions on what it means to be a family.  I have been comforted by quotes and ideas about adoption that fall outside of my initial and "traditional" view of family. 
When all this began -and as this moves along - I have had many, many questions.  They go something like this:

Am I ready to be a parent?  Why can't I get pregnant?  Should I try harder to have a biological child?  Is adoption giving up on having a biological child?  Are we being impatient, or making a premature decision?  Should we tell people?  Should we ask for help?  Are we ready for all of the uncertainty of the adoption process? Should we spend the money on fertility vs. adoption?  Can we afford this?  Will an adoptive child love me and think of him/herself as "mine"?  Will I be able to love and bond with a child I did not carry and does not have my DNA?  Am I ready to parent a child with a family and medical history that I can not be sure of?  How will my family feel about this decision?  Open adoption?  How do I explain adoption to my child?  Do I have to allow my child to have an ongoing relationship with their birth parents?  How do I deal with the "loss" of having a child that does not look like me, like my parents, or feel a biological connection to my family tree?  And on, and on, and on...

I am gradually coming to the conclusion that it is a universal human characteristic to love, to want to belong, to share, to nurture.  It is not reserved only for those who are biologically related.   Will and I want to be parents, we want to share our knowledge and ideas and insights with another person.  Not just another person, but a child who we can nurture and guide from infancy to be a positive, compassionate, driven, creative, responsible member of our family and society. 

There is a paradigm shift occurring in me that I did not expect which is really broadening my view of family, parenting, relationships, and what it means to guide another person through this thing called life.   I am realizing that a lot of the questions or hesitations I have are not specific to adoptive families, but to all families, or interpersonal relationships.  My biological child could just as easily have a physical or emotional impairment.  There are many difficult topics I will have to breach with my child, and adoption is just another one of them, such as: sharing, rules, bullying, death, sex, college, career, heartbreak, love etc.  I could come across financial hardship in any number of other ways.  I think I will always wonder what a child who is half me and half Will would look or inherently act like, but I have to believe that nurture is at least as strong as nature in most regards.  I have to believe that our influence as parents will be received and that Will and I will see ourselves reflected back to us in the life and character of our child rather than the color of their hair or shape of their nose.  I suppose only time will tell, but I know we are going into this with the right mindset.  

Below are some images and quotes that have helped expand my view of Adoption, Family, and Parenthood.




  1. This is beautiful. My friend Renee Loux, Will can find her as a friend on my fb page. She has 2 children of her own but has adopted 11 children many with special needs. I'm sure she could give you a ton of info. I'll see what i can find in what I've found in this she's sent me in the past as she's a personal friend.

  2. Ok i found the main adoption help link. Now to me honest i knew they help a lot with adoptions but i don't know if there are any kinds of specifications. Heres the link. if that doesn't work I'll try to reach someone. Renee the owner is in the hospital with one of her adoptions hes having a surgery.
    She and her husband Derek started this after moving from Indy to kanses city. Sadly Derek died in car accident a couple years ago I'm the middle of their 10th adoption. She still adopted the little boy. And just recently a baby boy. They also have a blog about their lives.

    There are very faithful to God. More do than myself but she is an amazing person and inspiring. She may be of help. They have many people that have helped others adopt.

  3. Thank you for the resource. We will check it out!

  4. Just as a something to think about. My mother and her 3 siblings were adopted, and then my grandparents raised me as well. The 5 of us look different, are of different races, some tall, some short, one even has a mysterious east coast accent after one too many drinks. All that considered if you spend time with us as a group you can tell we were all raised by the same two people and share the same traits as our parents. My grandma used to say things like "you get that from your father's side of the family".. we would all pause, it would dawn on us how impossible that was being that we don't share the same genes, and then all have a good laugh. My uncles never searched for their biological parents, and my mom hasn't found hers. My aunt however is in touch with her biological parents and very close to her biological dad who has become part of the family. My grandparents always had the "it just means you are so blessed that there are twice as many people in the world that love you" approach to adoption. Because of that attitude I grew up with such an appreciation for adoption and a great sense of what it truly means to be family. Its normal to have these questions I'm sure. Just know adoption is all about sharing love with the world, and you can't ever go wrong there :)

  5. Thanks Aliy, Its nice to hear these kinds of stories. I had no idea you had so much experience ith living in a family created through adoption. Thanks for sharing. I definitely think that families are created in many amazing ways. ~ Adrienne

  6. Adrienne,
    Like you said, lots of those thoughts are regarding the large life decision it takes to bring a child into your family, whether or not it's from adoption.

    There's no "giving up" on a biological child. You're still doing what nature requires, you're just starting a family before nature makes its decision.

    And the other things that are adoption specific, you'll work out over time. Either through talking to others that have gone through it or when you actually go through it yourself.

    We've talked about adoption as long as we've been together (we've been married about the same length as you and Will), but we had a million questions too. So I know where you're coming from. And trust me, we are not that much further in the process than you guys. Let me know if there's anything I can do!