Wednesday, November 19, 2008

National Adoption Month--Soap Box Please

I had never heard of National Adoption Month until we began the adoption process. Naturally, as an adoptive parent, I wish that I could do some big, wondrous thing for National Adoption Month, but the best thing I can come up with is to show others how happy adoption has made us.

I do want to reiterate that not being able to conceive a child biologically is not the only reason that people adopt. That is not the reason we adopted. No matter how many times we tell people that, it still seems to be what people think. I can't tell you how many times we have heard how funny it would be if we got pregnant as soon as we adopted. (No hard feelings if you were one of those people!) Well, it wouldn't be funny. Not because God would be pulling one over on us, but because children, no matter how you get them, are a blessing from the Lord. We wanted our child and we knew God was telling us that our first child was in China. So we tried NOT to get pregnant. We wanted an adopted child, so we tried not to get pregnant. Having an adopted child was not our second choice. It was not our only option. It was the option we CHOSE, because we felt that's what God wanted for our family, therefore, the option we wanted for our family. Will should never feel that he's here because we couldn't have a biological child, that we would rather have someone else, but we settled for him. He was our FIRST choice.

We also plan to do it again. Biological children are a "maybe" for us. But we DEFINITELY want to adopt again.

Another thing I would like to educate people about is the phrase "a child of your own." I understand that most people use this phrase out of ignorance, meaning no harm. I've even had this conversation with my own family. The truth is, asking if someone plans to have a child "of their own" or asking if they couldn't have a child "of their own" insinuates that the adopted child is not their own. The politically correct term is "biological child." The truth of the matter is, even when said by a well meaning party, the phrase "of your own" hurts.

Will is "my own." I've prayed for Will every day since before he was conceived. I've shed many a
tear for him and spent many a penny to ensure his well being. When he's bleeding, I clean him up. When he's crying, I kiss away his tears. I dress him, bathe him, eat after him (and I'm a germ freak!) and play with him. I'm with him 24/7 most weeks. I take pictures and scrapbook all his important moments. I mourn for the time I didn't get to spend with him during his first few months on this earth. I sing to him and read to him and love him more than I love myself. He has my love of peanut butter and dancing, my optimism, my wild hair that sticks up all over his head when he first wakes up, my love of kisses. He has his father's natural inclination for guitar and all other instruments, love of books and bread, ability to take things apart and put them back together, and heart for sharing. He has his aunts love for talking. He has his grandmother's love of quilts. He has his grandfather's knack for cleanliness sense of humor. He has his uncle and his grandfather's name. He is definitely "our own."

Everyone isn't called to adopt. But God does ask everyone to care for the orphans. And adoption is VERY expensive to a common person. Yes, there are grants and fundraisers, etc, etc. But we only got one. And yes, we applied for many. So if your heart is moved by National Adoption Month and you aren't planning on adopting, consider making a donation towards someone's adoption( or giving to a charity that helps orphans who need surgery. If it weren't for such a charity, our Will may not have had the VSD surgery he needed when he was a baby.

Thank you for allowing me to indulge. Adoption is a wonderful thing. Will is a wonderful child. We are very blessed. We hope that, in some way, you are blessed by adoption as well.


  1. well-put tara. thanks for sharing your heart and for inspiring sensitivity not just to the adoption process but to god's desires for us...see you friday :)

  2. Tara and John-Congratulations on bringing home your son! I know it was a long road that lead you to him, and we are thrilled that you have him in your arms now.
    You beautifully stated what a tremendous blessing adoption is to families, as we know that our sweet, spunky niece was always intended for our us. Isn't it wonderful how God puts families together?
    Enjoy Adoption Month!
    Raegan and Mike

  3. A great big "Very well said" right back atcha. Loving this post.

  4. Hi Tara--

    Loved your post. You zinged me a bit, but in a good way and I deserved it. I don't care either way, and I don't know you well enough to consider it any of my business, but I am ashamed that I must admit that I am guilty of assuming that first time adoptive parents are those that struggle with fertility issues. I knew better, but still, I'm guilty. We, too, chose adoption not of necessity, but as a first choice. However, we already had 2 "of our own" (LOL). Still, I was amazed by how many people don't get that adoption isn't necessarily a "second choice". Many didn't, and still don't, get it. When we shared our desire to adopt in response to Christ's call to care for orphans, many "good Christians" were sypathetic toward us!!! Thanks for speaking out for Adoption Month and being so transparent. Cool story-- Will is a special little guy!


  5. Amazing post Tara. Thanks for tackling this issue with passion and sincerity. My little brother Daniel (who's almost 18, yikes) is adopted and I can't imagine life without him!

  6. Great post, Tara! I know most people will assume I adopted Mallory simply because I was single and wanted a child; people (including family) can't believe I don't want bio children once married. God calls some of us to care for those who are already born and need a family. Here's to bucking society's "norms" and creating a new normal - a family with different shades of skin and eye color, but who are very much family in the deepest parts of their inner being. (I know Mallory sleeps as wildly as I did as a child, has begun to love books like her mommy, and - unfortunately - has chubby, non-boot-friendly legs like me, too. ;) She also has the same "goofy face" as my nephew did when he was little.)

  7. Hi Tara, I'm Raegan's sister and the mom to Maddie Rae who is also from China. I loved this post and can relate on so many levels. It was and still is amazing to me how God instilled personality and funny quirks in her that were already so much a part of our biological family. There is no doubt that she was meant to be "ours". Adoption is an amazing thing, isn't it? (BTW, your little guy is adorable!)

  8. way to go tara! you said what so many of us feel. maybe i'll get on my soapbox on the blog later... : ) maybe we will see you in china again!!! did you have any luck with "fundraising" with will's adoption? we are looking for ideas!

    and he is SOOOOOOOOOOOO cute.

  9. AMEN.

    We never tried to conceive, either. We felt a call and answered it.