Kids of My Own

Adoption comes in a variety of packages. In my own family I’ve seen older siblings adopted by a step-parent, a newborn adopted by his aunt and uncle, a 2-year-old adopted by strangers from another country, and my own kids who were each adopted at birth.

The events leading up to each of these placements were unique unto themselves. There are very few details that are shared among each story; except one: each child, regardless of how they found their parent(s), was loved immediately and accepted as part of that family in one quick instant.

Once these adoptions took place the titles that each person previously held were now inaccurate. The step-parent, aunt, uncle, and strangers now all fell in the same category: parents. For many people it is the ultimate goal to be called a parent. People who adopt are no different in regards to this honor and more importantly, the children who were adopted are no different either. They are loved just as if they had been born unto those parents and shared a biological connection.

When my daughter was just a few months old I was experiencing some trouble with my back. I went to my chiropractor and proudly showed off my beautiful little angel, around whom my world now centered. I {not so secretly} relished in all the oohs and aahs and was beaming with pride as each person stopped and gushed over what an extraordinarily adorable baby she was (she really was extra cute!).

After walking through the front office a young girl in navy blue scrubs came and escorted me to the adjustment room. As she was getting me set up she was also talking about how cute little Miss K was but then she said something that this new mom hadn’t yet heard and really caught me off guard. This sweet but naïve girl said to me, “She is a really cute baby and all but are you ever going to have kids of your own?”

I was shocked! I was speechless! I thought certainly I had misheard her because there’s no way she really said what I thought she had said. I asked her to repeat herself. Again, she asked the same question. Confused (and admittedly a little hurt on behalf of my precious daughter),  I picked up the carseat in which Miss K was sleeping like a little angel and said, “She IS my OWN child. She is not pretend. I am not babysitting her temporarily nor is she a consolation prize until my real kids come along. I’m assuming what you mean is will we ever have biological kids and I honestly don’t know. But please don’t imply that this perfect little child is not my own just because she didn’t come from me.”

By nature, I am not a confrontational person and don’t tend to speak so forcefully to people but something happened to me in that moment. Almost without realizing it the mama bear inside of me came out of hibernation and I couldn’t stand for someone questioning the validity of my relationship with my child. Emotionally speaking she became mine the second I laid eyes on her. The bond was so immediate and so fierce that it never occurred to me that others might doubt it.

Since that day almost eight years ago my husband and I have been asked that same misguided question multiple times (along with a slew of other ignorant remarks, but that is for another time). I know now people are simply uneducated about adoption and rarely is any malice intended so I don’t tend to take offense anymore. I do however, take every opportunity to inform and educate people that my kids are my OWN kids. They may not be connected to me biologically but neither is my husband and I still manage to love him unconditionally. DNA is not a pre-requisite for bonding and loving someone completely and thank goodness for that, because my life is full of incredible people who don’t share my last name or fit on my family tree. And yet, life is better than I ever imagined possible.