Families who are considering adoption have so many questions about the adoption process. Most of the logistics–while complex in action–are relatively simple to communicate.
One of the more nuanced questions that families face is what does it feel like to adopt a child? It doesn’t seem to matter if the family has biological children or no children at all; the act of adoption is inherently different, though no less powerful. As an adoption agency, we can prepare parents looking to adopt a child in Kansas or Missouri for many of the challenges and joys of adoption, but many people prefer to hear from other families with direct experience.
Here are some adoptive parents’ thoughts on what it was like to adopt a child.
The first time it became actually real to me that I was adopting a child was at the car rental agency in the Austin TX airport, when I requested an infant seat for our Malibu. The lady at the counter looked at my wife and me kind of funny, since we did not have a baby with us, but she handed over the form for a seat rental.
Right there at the top of the form was the field “relationship to child”.
I wrote “Father” for the first time in reference to myself.
An emotion rushed through me, a combination of joy and recognition-of-the-power-of-something-bigger-than-myself for which we have an inadequate vocabulary. The rest of the form seemed to fill itself out while I re-configured my identity from “married, no kids” to “Dad”.
– Geordie Keitt
There are times you’re reminded, like if the doctor wants to know about family history that you don’t have, that part stinks. For my daughters I just call their birthmother but we don’t have that luxury for my son which is sad. Those are just tiny moments though, most of the time I’m just like any other mom.
– Jen Brown
To adopt a child literally liberates you from bindings of religion, race, color, age or creed. You love a child not because he / she is your own flesh or blood. You love her for who she is. You also learn not to compare the child with your own beliefs or expectations, as their is no physical resemblance. You learn to respect his abilities, weaknesses, beliefs etc. Of course there are some funny, anxious or clumsy moments – but who does not have them!
– Avinash Kumar
When you give birth (as a mother) your entire body knows and is getting ready for taking care and nurturing a baby. All that process starts at conception and keeps on running a bit after your child is born. From what i understand it is a cocktail of hormones that seriously influences how you feel and how you tend to act.
As an adoptive mother you do not have that cocktail, but neither does the other natural parent who did not gave birth (if there is a second parent).
So in this case love is without that first aid, but non the less it can still be love. Just like it is with father love, siblings or grandparents’ love.
I don’t think, from all these experiences I had, that you can say “natural parent” or “adoptive parent” love means anything. It is more of a “case by case” situation because love is about the dynamic of a relationship built by two individuals. The combinations possible are endless that is why each relationship is unique and therefore how you would define love is that unique dynamic.
– Antonia Onaca