Adoption is not just an event in the life of a person; it is on ongoing reality in the life of a whole family. The adoption experience does not begin or end with the adopted child, rather, it is an experience that touches many people, some for a moment, some for a lifetime.
A friend recently shared with me a story that depicts this point. She had adopted several children, and one of her granddaughters, a preschooler, asked my friend’s mother, “Does my mommy have two mommies?” This little girl’s grandmother gave an answer that was both sensitive and insightful. She responded that “My daughter –who is your mommy – does not have two mommies. She has a woman who gave birth to her, and a mother who raised her. That’s me.” This answer strikes me as simple, sensitive, and profound. And there are many ways the question could have been answered that would have opened up other avenues of understanding as well.
I was adopted and now I too am a mother. I am grateful for the ability to share my experience with my children. It provides us with a unique bonding opportunity, and a chance to appreciate what it means to have a loving and safe family. It opens my children’s minds as they seek to understand the world around them in ways that not everyone gets to do, and it cultivates in them a magnificent sensitivity to others’ realities.
November usually brings to mind a family meal and a big Thanksgiving turkey. November is also National Adoption Month. Families created through adoption instead of through birth have a special feature to be thankful for – the thankfulness for a family brought together through a different, but equally miraculous process.