What Adoption ISN’T

November is National Adoption Month (thanks to Presidents Reagan and Clinton) and I thought this would be a key opportunity to take a closer look at adoption. Maybe you’ve found yourself perplexed, intrigued, or confused by adoption. Maybe you are skeptical, or maybe you are a passionate proponent of adoption. Regardless of where you stand. Here are a few truths to consider.

Adoption is NOT:

A secondary way to build a family

While many people do come to adoption by way of infertility struggles or other significant loss, this does not mean adoption is an inferior option for building a family. Unexpected or surprise gifts are no less valuable than gifts that are requested or planned for, and the same is true with regard to children. Some people start their families with adoption and others adopt to add to their already growing families. Some people plan for adoption and others find themselves receiving the gift unexpectedly. Regardless of the road that brings a family to consider it, adoption is a crucial component of many modern family units and is an overwhelming need both domestically and internationally. Open your heart to the needs of waiting children around the world.

A secret to hide –

Great care should be taken to honor and respect the biological families and children who are adoptees, but this does not mean that adoption is something to hide. Adoption can be a beautiful picture of love from both biological and adoptive parents. Sometimes adoption is the final chapter of a story filled with tragedy and trauma, but even in these circumstances, redemption can be seen. Adoption should be celebrated and cherished as an integral part of a child’s story. Tell them their story with honesty and love, as it lays the foundation for who they will become.

A form of rejection –

Adoptees often wrestle with questions and a plethora of emotions from one extreme to the other. The question most often asked by adoptees and the general population is some form of Why? The reasons and explanations are as varied and unique as the people impacted by adoption.  Often times, people assume that an adoptee was “not wanted” by his or her biological parents. This is a sad and inaccurate assumption, as the vast majority of parents who choose adoption do so sacrificially and with the utmost love for their child. Children who come to adoption through the foster care system are also “wanted” by their biological families even if those families end up being unable to meet the child’s needs. There is no way to know the back-story of countless orphans awaiting adoption internationally, but it is safe to say that many parents find themselves forced to give up their children because of poverty, politics, or other reasons we can only imagine. Regardless of the feelings or beliefs of the biological parents, and no matter the reason a child is placed for adoption, adoptees are chosen, sought out, and embraced by their adoptive/forever parents. Some synonyms for adoption are acceptance, embracing, approval, and agreement. Let the language of adoption reflect truth: adoptees are loved and wanted beyond measure.

Knowing what adoption is NOT helps us more clearly understand what adoption IS. In celebration of National Adoption month, share this post with everyone you know and watch for the next one: What Adoption IS

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