Children of my own.

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.

You belong. | therhouse.com

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.

 

 

Comments

  1. Jessi says

    I used to read a blog of a woman with 4 biological kids and 9 adopted and it always bothered me, that she would take pics of herself and the ‘bios’/’homegrown’ (as she calls them) when they were all together. Without a doubt it would hurt my feelings if I was one if the adopted ones.
    I used to date a boy who was adopted into an lds family. Him and his twin brother and their dad would also say things that bothered me. When asked how many sons he had he often said ‘one’ even though he has three. I know he is an old man and life with the twins might not always have been easy, but I know that it hurt feelings when he said that.

    I really hope to adopt one day. I know with all my heart that there would never be a difference in my feelings toward a child that didn’t grow in my womb but in my heart. I just don’t know if my partner can love like I do. I dot want our children to ever question our love and who they belong to. I don’t think it’s as natural for him to love another child than it is for me. I would love a post on that subject. We have a 20 month old son and I would love to have our family to grow through adoption.

    Greetings from Germany!!

  2. Liz says

    I have to disagree a little with this post. I have one adopted child and I have had the opportunity of having two biological children. I think we spend way too much time picking apart words. We are too aware of being politically correct all the time. Why are the words, “he’s adopted” any less sacred than “children of my own” ? You are assuming an adopted child should feel inferior, when they are described as being adopted, rather than feel special. When I explain that my oldest son is adopted he knows how special that is and doesn’t feel slighted when it is later explained that his brothers weren’t adopted.

    • Lindsey says

      I probably wasn’t clear enough. My beef is with the words, “Children of my own.” All children in a family are “their own” whether they are adopted or not.

      Our job is to do what we can to try to make sure ALL our children feel this way.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. says

    LIndsey,

    I think I love this post more than any other of my previous “favorite” posts. You have a way of expressing my exact thoughts and feelings in a way that I am unable to do! You rock! And you really should post more often, lol…. I know….you are beyond busy! :)

  4. Emily says

    I like this post too! I have four children: three biological and one adopted. That is usually how I say it if the situation feels right to even bring up the difference. I LOVE talking about adoption and love to talk to people if they are sincere in their desire to learn. I also hate it when people comment that E isn’t one of my own. They’re all my own, and I am their mama. For me, the bond comes slower with an adopted infant, probably because of the lack of hormones ;), but I do care for her just as much as my other children. She has always belonged with us—even her birthmother has assured me of that multiple times. <3

  5. says

    Love the dialogue this creates! I have two adopted children and three from my own womb and I think about this subject a lot. Not because of the language we use in our family, but the absurd and sometimes down right offensive language others use when approaching our family. I understand the lack of positive education language in these situations BUT I hate when this talk is used in front of my kids. For example, when people ask about “real moms” or if my adopted two “are brother and sister” with my kids standing right there. I try to answer with reassurance first for my kids that they are my children, they are siblings and that no matter how their stories differ, they are all loved the same.

  6. Kira says

    Amen sister! Lol! I hear this more now than ever since having one biologically after adopting two. “that’s so great you were able to have one of your own.” I don’t want my kids to hear this is my biggest thing, so I always answer politely that they are all my own. I’m maybe too sensitive, but I have a hard time when people call my youngest our “miracle baby”. All 3 are miracles equally. It’s equally miraculous that my tiny uterus carried Jossy as it is that two teenagers were mature enough to make such a selfless decision for their babies and that of all the couples in the world, they chose me and my husband.
    Oh, and I love where you wrote about your spirit recognizing their spirits. I’ve used that same phrase so often, because it is so true! I don’t know how else to describe meeting my kids than saying that my spirit recognized their spirits. It’s like MAGIC!

    • Emily says

      I feel EXACTLY the same way! Having adopted one and then having a surprise pregnancy, well, it seems leaves people with all kinds of things to say, doesn’t it? (And all kinds of opinions they inappropriately think I want to hear!) I completely agree with the whole “miracle” comment. BOTH of my children are a miracle, our FAMILY is a miracle.

      Thanks, Lindsay, for this post!

  7. Lisa says

    I really loved this post! I had a conversation with my mom recently that bugged me. My mom has four grandchildren who are adopted (my three kids and one of my brother’s kids). She has also had step-grandchildren and is soon to have more step-grandchildren. I have always been impressed with my mom’s ability to love each child for who they are. She has never shown any kind of difference between the grandkids who were adopted and those who came biologically.

    So I was shocked a few weeks ago when she mentioned that her last living cousin had passed away. We were talking about it, and then a moment later she made the comment, “Oh, there are some adopted cousins that are still alive, but you know, my last actual blood cousin has passed on.” I’m sure she could tell I was ticked. I just said, “Well then, mom, you DO have COUSINS who who are still alive.”

  8. Laura Schwartz says

    As an adult adoptee, I applaud your dedication to open adoption. It’s the secrets and lies in traditional adoption that has created much of the inherent unhappiness that adopted people feel. Rarely is it an adopted person’s unhappiness with their parents (yes, the adopted ones). For far too long, adoptees have been the forgotten element in the tug of war between who’s really family. We’re all family.

  9. says

    Well said, my dear! Well said. Love this… “on loan during their mortal journey from a loving Father in Heaven.” <3

  10. says

    Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” I don’t ever want to let corrupting talk come out of my mouth, especially when that talk is directed at kids. Thanks for sharing your heart and your story (like you said, stories are powerful!) so that people like me can learn how to better build up and give grace and love.

  11. Hanna says

    I loved this post. We have bio and adopted children and I truly believe that all 4 our miracles. Thanks for the reminder to talk about our journey with our kiddos. That’s something I need to do more often with my babies, giving them roots and wings!

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