Monday, November 28, 2011

Reflections on National Adoption Month from an Adoptive Dad - Part 2

This is an open letter sent from the heart of an adoptive dad, Kevin, to his local newspaper for National Adoption Month. Kevin and his wife, Julie, adopted two precious sons from Family Life Services, Ethan and Tyler.  If you missed Part 1 - go back and read it from last week.

 About a year after bringing Ethan home, we started the journey to bring another child into our home. Our first adoption experience didn’t make the wait for the second child any easier. In fact, we faced some extremely trying circumstances with a disrupted adoption before receiving word from Laura that she was pregnant once more and wished to place her second child with us. With incredible joy, we received Tyler into our family in August of 2007. We feel so blessed to be the adoptive parents of two healthy, rambunctious, loving boys who also happen to be biologically related. We don’t view ourselves as parents of adopted children, but rather as parents of children who just happen to be adopted. Although adoption is an important part of our family story, it doesn’t define who we are as a family.

I know that many don’t understand adoption or the open relationship we share with our sons’ birthmother, a young lady we love and consider to be a part of our family. I remember running into some friends shortly after we brought Ethan home and hearing the comment that adoption “must be the next best thing to having a child of your own.” These were good, well-meaning folks who were simply uneducated about adoption, much as we had once been. We were stunned into silence, but if the same comment were made today, I’d have a ready answer: “Adopting a child is second to none and my children are my own, regardless of how they happened to join the family.” We’ve also heard various statements about how we took the “easy route” by choosing adoption. We can only chuckle at this one – we were subjected to physical examinations, background checks, and home inspections; we filled out reams of paperwork; we shelled out tens of thousands of dollars; and we waited nearly 30 months before Ethan joined the family. Then we did it all again for Tyler. We have no regrets, and adoption has brought incredible joy and laughter and life to our family. Is it for everyone? No, but it was perfect for us.

So this brings me back to where I started –celebrating November as National Adoption Month. I don’t need parades or parties, or noisemakers in order to celebrate. If I simply remember our family story and how Ethan and Tyler came to us, then every moment we spend together as a family becomes a part of our ongoing celebration of adoption.

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