When I was younger, I watched TV shows on Disney or Nickelodeon and there was always at least one episode when one sibling tricked the other sibling into thinking they were adopted, which made the sibling who got pranked, upset. This always made me wonder why there are so many negative views of adoption because I couldn’t have been happier! I grew up knowing and feeling love and learning from my parents just like my friends did; the only difference was I didn’t look like my parents like my friends looked like theirs, but that was okay too!
As I think back on my memories from my youth, I remember lots of laughter, love, and my parents always showing up to support me no matter what. Nothing really ever felt different than other families. We went on vacations together, my parents taught me how to walk, how to ride a bike, how to drive, and a million other things – just like other kids.
Growing up, and even today, I’m often asked how I feel about being adopted and the truth is that I absolutely love it. I’m incredibly thankful that my [adoptive] parents were there to take me in as an infant and help me grow and develop into the woman I am today. I can honestly say that without adoption, I don’t know where I would be. When my parents adopted me, they provided me with the stability and consistency that allowed me to truly be a kid and to grow and develop in the ways that I may not have been able to.
“Adoption is a commitment that you enter into blindly, but it is no different than adding a child by birth. It is essential that adopting parents are committed to parenting this child for the rest of their lives and committed to parenting through the tough stuff.”
– Brooke Randolph
I think the most important part to think about when choosing whether to adopt or not is if you have the emotional and financial means, which is no different than planning to conceive your own biological child. The rest is just going through the process and preparing to grow your family. While there are a lot of unknowns with adoption, I think the important piece is to realize that we are all human. In my experience, you don’t have to be the “perfect” parent to be a great role model for your child. Meaning, as long as you’re trying your best, that’s all a child can ask for. Being intentional can make all the difference.
While family can be typically thought of as blood, or relatives made through marriage, adoption brings a new view of the term “family” as it allows couples, or individuals, to grow their household in a less “typical” way. Family can be, and is, way more than blood; it is a bond that is created and fostered within a group of people. When I think of the term now, I don’t just think of my siblings and my parents, I’ve realized that family networks are way bigger than I ever thought – it is a complex bond that can includes biological, and non-biological, relationships. My experience has even encouraged me to consider adoption in my future, whether I am able to conceive on my own or not, so I can create my own unique family structure.
So, I would encourage anyone who is considering adoption to go through with it. Yeah, there will be questions and concerns, and moments of uncertainty but when isn’t there when you’re making big life decisions?! If you have the means to take a child, or children into your home, you could really make a difference. Research shows that as of 2019, there were over 120,000 kids in the system waiting to be placed in a permeant home (Statista, 2021) while only 2 to 4% of Americans have adopted a child, or children (Adoption Network, 2020). There are many kids in the system that are needing the opportunity to grow and develop in a stable and consistent household. Providing a child with the right environment can truly impact growth and development.
For more information on how to adopt you can visit adoptuskids.org/adoption-and-foster-care/how-to-adopt-and-foster/state-information where you can find adoption agencies in your area and get more information on how to work through the process to bring a new child, or children, into your home! If you need extra motivation, you can also visit globalmunchkins.com/adoption/adoption-quotes/ for quotes around adoption and the benefits of choosing to adopt.