Have you ever wondered if it was really possible to love a child that was not born to you and does not share your genes? Many people worry that they will not be able to love an adopted child as much as a biological child. They may not admit it, but they still have these niggling doubts.
The following was posted by Mani, one of our community on the Creating a Family Facebook Support group. I think she beautifully addresses a subject that many folks wonder and worry about pre-adoption. With her permission I’m posting it here. Check out the adorable picture of her boys at the bottom.
I have a biological son, Skylar, who is 11 years old. He is absolutely the light of my life, and we have always been extremely close. For those of you who are contemplating adoption and may be wondering, as I did, about whether or not you can love an adopted child as much as a biological one … I just wanted to share my feelings and experience with that.
I will admit that I didn’t immediately love Bodhi (my adopted son) in the same huge, all encompassing, *instant* way that I loved Skylar when he was born. But I did quickly feel love for him, and it has grown every day. There were times in the first few weeks that (as much as I hate to admit it) I wondered if the love would ever grow to equal my love for Skylar – and that scared me and made me feel guilty, and at times made me wonder if I was “good enough” to be Bodhi’s mom.
However, now that Bodhi is (almost) three months old I can confidently say that I absolutely love him just as much as I loved Skylar at this age. I honestly feel no difference because of him not being my biological child. I am just as ridiculously proud and adore him as much as I possibly could a child I had carried and birthed!
I just wanted to share that for those of you who might be grappling with these same questions and fears because I know I worried and wondered about this a lot. And years before I ever found myself in this phase of life, I used to vehemently believe that no one could ever love their adopted child as much as I loved Skylar. I am very ashamed of those thoughts now.
I guess God had to show me just how wrong I was and just how powerful love can be …
OK, honesty time: How many of you have also wondered and worried that you might not love your adopted child as much as a child by birth? What’s been your experience? Check out our extensive resources on combining kids by birth and adoption, including Top Ten Tips, a podcast and video, and suggested books to help prepare older kids for the adoption of a sibling. Also, if you aren’t a part of the Creating a Family Facebook Support Group–join us.
Originally published in 2011; Updated 2016
Image credit: Enrique Saldivar