A Child of Our Own

Dawn Davenport

2

Child of Our Own

Whether it is through natural conception, adoption, or infertility treatment, a child is your child to love and support.

When it rains, it pours.  Maybe it is because I’ve been around relatives a lot lately or it could be the alignment of the stars, but I have recently been confronted, yet again, by another pervasive adoption myth.  One of my favorite relatives shared with me that her grandson might not be able to have children of his own since the woman he loves recently had a hysterectomy.  She hesitated after she started, I suspect because she realized too late that it might not be exactly PC to say this to a mother through adoption.

But life is too short to take offense when none was intended and I have learned, most of the time, to listen to the meaning of what is being said, and not focus on the words.  I think a lot of us adoptive parents take offense way too easily causing the rest of the world to talk on eggshells around us.  My aunt is a loving grandmother and mother and she is worried for her grandson and daughter.  She knows that a youthful protestation that “kids aren’t all that important” is probably just youth talking.  She’s watched this young man grow up and knows what a wonderful father he would be.  She’s also worried for her daughter who longs someday for a grandchild from her only child.  And she is grieving, perhaps just a little, but grieving nonetheless.  She’s thinking about the biological great-grandchild that may not be—that recreation of the beautiful, kind, fun-loving little boy that we all loved. (Never mind that the child may not be anything like his dad.)  She is longing for the great-grandchild that would be the receptacle of all the brilliant genetic material from the previous generations.  (Never mind that there is a lot of genetic material in our family that would best be phased out.)

I listened and tried to hear the meaning behind the words, and I grieved with her because I really do understand.  I feel blessed to have had kids both ways and don’t pretend to understand fully the pain of those who don’t have the option of giving birth.  I pointed out the amazing advances in infertility treatment and the availability of surrogacy.  And then, at the end of our conversation, I said, “Whatever way they decide to have a child, if they do, that child will 100% be their own—and your own. This much I can promise you.”  That really is the beauty of adoption.

 

Image credit: (davide)

10/03/2008 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Adoption, Adoption Blog, Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog | 2 Comments



2 Responses to A Child of Our Own

  1. Jan Dugan says:

    Dawn, you put it very eloquently when you said, “Either way you will have a child of your own. That much I can promise you.” My husband of 32 years and I adopted two Guatemalan-born babies last year after having five (all planned) biological children. Our bio children range in age from 11 yrs. to 26 yrs. so, yes, we adopted in our early 50’s…YOUNG 50’s. 🙂 Anyway my point is, I absolutely cherished planning to get pregnant, finding out I was pregnant, being pregnant, giving birth and being a mom. When we were in the process of adopting and busy with the crazy paper-chase, I wondered if I could possibly love a child not born to us as much as I love the children sent to us through birth. I have been a licensed child-care provider for 23 years, and although I enjoy my work, I am very happy to say good-by to them at the end of the day!

    What I discovered was completely magical, as that is the only way I can describe the feelings I experienced and continue to experience.

    After completing our paper chase and receiving our I171H approval, our agency began referring babies to us and sending their files. Horrible as it felt, none of these adorable children popped out at us as though any of them were intended to be our children. I was confused and a little saddened. I even wondered if I had gotten God’s message to adopt wrong.

    A few days passed and I began visiting the web site called, “Precious in His sight” when I came upon the sweet little face of a baby girl about three weeks old. I immediately turned away and tried not to look because she was not represented by our agency. I also kept telling myself that I was sure that baby girl already had a family. For the next 24 hours I couldn’t get my mind off this little girl as I struggled with my feelings, but finally called the agency that represented her. Surprisingly I was told she was available! That little girl is now our sweet, giggly, precious daughter.

    Then we waited patiently for a referral for our baby boy. Again, nothing in my heart said, “He’s the one,” until late one evening when I had just signed on to the PIHS web site a face literally popped up in front of me. His agency had just at that very moment posted his photo. My husband was lying on the couch across from me and I said, “Oh my gosh! I found him!” Again, that sweet little guy, our 19 month-old son, is now sleeping sweetly in his crib next to the crib where his 20 month-old sister is sleeping.

    From the moment we saw their faces, they felt like the children that were intended to be our children, but the real magic came when they were placed in our arms. Our son’s adoption was finalized first at just under 6 months old and I will never ever forget the feeling I had when his foster mom and attorney entered our hotel room in Guatemala. He was bundled up and covered almost completely except for one of his little hands. When I saw those tiny fingers, I began to shake. The foster mom uncovered his face and handed him to me. Tears began to flow down my face and I knew he was our son.

    It was a very similar scenario when, four months later we flew back to Guatemala to pick up our daughter, although we had already bonded since we were able to visit with her for a few days when we picked up our son…which made the waiting even more agonizing. (That was during the whole Mary Bonn situation.)

    Again, the only way I can describe the wonderful, life-altering experience of adoption is “magical.” It is actually very simple: God sent us seven children…five through birth, and two through adoption. The lines between biological and adopted simply do not exist.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I think you fixed it. = )

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