Children of my own.
Every time someone separates children who were adopted and children who are biologically related to the parents using the above phrase, it makes me cringe a little.
“She has 1 of her own and 2 adopted kids.”
“Are you going to try to have children of your own?”
“They decided to adopt after they couldn’t have children of their own.”
I understand that people don’t always know the correct terminology or know what positive adoption language is. That’s why blogs like mine exist. It’s why support groups exist on a local and national level.
Education is powerful and it can be done lovingly.
Let’s take, for example, when someone says that they want to adopt but first they want to have children “of their own.”
I feel a sadness for the child that this person may adopt and that he may feel from his adoptive parents he wasn’t “their own.” Why? Because words are powerful.
“Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” <—-Lies.
While I feel strongly that children are not possessions or trophies to be collected but rather on loan during their mortal journey from a loving Father in Heaven …I can’t help but think that every child deserves to feel like they belong to and with someone. Connected.
As I’ve read accounts of and talked with individuals who were adopted, many express the feeling of not fitting in or belonging. Even Superman felt this way! Their stories have had a profound influence on my parenting. (Behold the power of telling your story, friends!)
Their stories are part of the reason that we feel so passionately about open adoption and why I want my children to have a relationship with their biological families that does not go through me. It’s part of the reason my kids know their stories already–even the harder parts of their stories. It’s part of the reason my husband and I continue to study and learn and be involved in the adoption community.
We seek for ways to help these kids feel like they belong while giving them the freedom to feel how they need to feel and validating that. (If that even makes sense. My husband is especially good at this. I think it’s one of the perks of being a therapist.)
They belong to their Father in Heaven.
They belong to their first families.
They belong to their biological cultures.
They belong to our family.
They belong to their adoptive family’s heritage.
They belong to the adoption community.
They belong to the multiracial community.
They belong to our neighborhood and church communities.
They belong to their schools, to their sports teams, to their friends.
They belong to their choices, their faith, their passions, their talents.
They belong in their own skin.
They are important. They are loved. They are heard and seen.
I love to tell my children the sacred experiences I had when their birth mothers asked us to be their mom and dad. I let them know the joy and intense emotion that filled their birth mother’s heart and soul when she looked into their little face. They were always wanted.
I tell them about when I held them for the first time. I tell them how my spirit recognized their spirit and my body welled up with peace and warmth. I tell them how I still feel it. I tell them how honored I feel to be their mama.
My whole world is wrapped up in my husband and my children. They are the loves of my life. I just cannot imagine how a biological child could feel more “my own” then these boys do and are. They are my people.
“I belong with you. You belong with me. You’re my sweetheart.”
I guess for me “belonging” is more of a feeling than a biological thing.