He’s My Own.

This post has been brewing in my mind for awhile now, but I was unsure whether or not to put it out there.  I don’t know if it’s just the sheer exhaustion that has broken my will power or what, but here it is….When we first began our adoption journey and I scoured blogs, I read a lot of…well…blatantly offensive things that people would say to adoptive families.  I thought, “Surely these must be exaggerations.”

But….I don’t think that anymore.  I think that some people harbor thoughts that I don’t understand–maybe out of a generational difference or just a difference in backgrounds or beliefs–and have no problem telling you what they those thoughts are.  And I think that maybe some people don’t mean to be offensive or don’t really think that what they are saying might be offensive.

Maybe some of the things I find offensive are because of our personal journey to adoption (so please don’t say, “Now you’ll get pregnant!”).  And maybe some of the things I find offensive are because they’re actually pretty blatantly offensive (“You’re adopting from Africa?  Aren’t you afraid you’ll get a black baby?”).

But there are comments that definitely make my heart hurt as much as they make my blood boil.  They are the comments that make the implication that Baby Boy is not my own, but that my biological daughter is.

So let me be clear: Baby Boy is my own.  He is every bit my child that my biological daughter is.  When someone says to me, “We’d like to adopt one day, but first we want to have kids of our own,” I find this offensive.  When someone says to me, “You’re adopting?  Why don’t you just have one of your own?” I find this ridiculous.

Maybe I’m being overly-sensitive.  Yes, Baby Boy had a first family before we came into the picture–a first family that he lost and whose loss we grieve deeply and will continue to grieve deeply.  And I am not trying to downplay their importance in his life/existence.  What I am trying to say is that I don’t view my children differently, even though they came to me in different ways. I would never call my bio daughter “my own child” in comparison to Baby Boy.  And I don’t like it when other people phrase it that way either.

I just finished this awesome book that has a lot to say about this very issue:

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The author points out that we are all adopted children of God.  I am adopted in Christ and now God calls me HIS child.  And I can call him my Father.  God calls me–his adopted, sinful child–“His own.”Even though there is a child across the world who looks nothing like me–not even the tiniest bit of resemblance to me–he is my son. When making small talk with another parent at the library or the mall and I am asked, “Is she [my three year old] your only one?” I tell them that I also have a four month old son. When writing a note to someone, I sign his name. He is part of our family–even if he’s not here with us yet.

He is my own.

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