“’Your body is no longer strong enough to have any more children. If you continue to have children, you could spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair.’ I can still hear those words echoing in my ears. The pain they caused is still fresh in my memory, though it is no longer painful. I have a connective tissue disease and the trauma of two pregnancies caused a great deal of damage. The doctor felt the tissues were so fragile, additional trauma would be unbearably painful, as well as likely impossible to heal from.
In the beginning, we thought we would adopt a newborn. It was only after we attended an orientation and were both struck by three sisters’ beautiful story of being adopted from foster care, it entered our minds and hearts that foster-adoption would fit our family best. For many people, foster-adoption is a nice idea, but they think you have to be amazing to be able to do it, and that really isn’t true. All it takes is a family that is willing and able to love the kids fully and unconditionally. But isn’t that what all happy families take no matter how they come to be? A family that does not love it’s members completely will fail, regardless of biology.
I have a somewhat philosophical reaction to the mind blocks people experience in regards to adoption and in regards to race in particular. I feel that our souls recognize our family regardless of how we look. Just as my heart recognized my husband, I knew it would recognize my children, even if they were indifferent bodies than what matched me. Our adopted children look a little different than the other four of us, but only on the outside. When we speak to the kids about having an adoptive and biracial family, we speak about gifts. When you receive gifts, you only see the outside, and though the outside can be similar or different, it’s really no indication of the value of the gift inside or any indication of how well that gift might match the gifts around it.
When we searched for our children, we didn’t search for what we could see, but rather what felt right and familiar. In fact, when we received the information on the children we eventually adopted, it didn’t even come with a photo. We didn’t need a photo to be drawn to the description of the baby boy and his toddler sister looking for their family.
I assumed when we were told we were matched to the children, we would have a real moment of panic and questioning ourselves, but the truth is the moment they told us we were matched almost didn’t feel real because we felt… calm. There was no panic, no fear, no ‘What are we doing?’ Just calm, just a feeling of rightness, a feeling of our children coming home the way they were always meant to.
The first time we met our kids was surreal. (You can see that sweet moment yourself in our adoption video!) They ran right to us and gave us big hugs. As we played with them on the playground, people expressed surprise at how easily we clicked. Still, I waited for the panic, the reality to set in, and still, I felt calm. My soul knew these souls, and it was comforted by their presence.
I will not pretend adoption is an easy road, but the truth is, having our biological children isn’t easy either. It’s just different kinds of hard. The thing that (generally) makes or breaks an adoptive family is whether they know with certainty those kids are theirs and if they function as they would if the children carried their own DNA. When you find the beauty in the similarities, and the beauty in the differences with your children, they entrance you equally. When I comb their hair, so fine and curly, I love every curl. When I hold them on my lap and my pale skin shines in stark contrast to their darker tones, I am enthralled at their natural beauty! When they giggle the giggle they share, I feel a flutter in my stomach at such a beautiful sound. My daughter’s personality is more like mine than either of my biological children, and my son’s personality literally could not match my husband’s better than it does!
We may look like our biological children, but we are still present in our adopted ones and it is a pure privilege to watch. When people ask if the children are ‘ours,’ the answer is simple. ‘Yes!’ It is not the answer they are looking for, but it is the truth. They are my babies, they always have been and they always will be.
I find people are very supportive of our family. Of course, there are a few random people that think they need to speak up in a negative way, but the beauty of being confident in your choices is also having the confidence to take on those tough conversations. We even find comedy in some of the ridiculous things people might say or how we might have responded in exasperation. (There’s a story we get a kick out of telling, about a nosy man at Subway focusing too much on race and biology and being so nosy, I lost my patience and ended up telling him, ‘I have so many kids because I sleep around a lot.’ Not the most mature thing I’ve ever done but my husband and I still laugh at the man’s expression even years later. I can still picture him whipping his gaze over to my smiling husband in shock.)
Regardless of what people do or don’t say, I have seen a consistent love and kindness towards our family and the way we chose to create it, and total acceptance for those in it. Our families, in particular, have never hesitated to love our children the way they should be loved, and our friends are no less supportive. It gives me great hope for this world that so many kind people are in it.
We were given the gift of four children, two of them whose wrapping match us, and two that don’t. All four whose souls fit our family like a perfect and beautiful puzzle. It has been a great joy for us to share our success in foster adoption and to help those around us recognize the beauty of this path, and for these people to see their own families become whole through foster adoption too.
Our social media platforms focus on adoption advocacy, personal growth, happiness, and mental health. Every post we make is in an effort to improve the days of those around us and to spread the joy of personal growth and the beauty of adoption.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jesika Pearce. Jesika is a former platform artist that is focusing on creating joy, spreading kindness and creating personal growth. She thrives on creativity and raising a happy family and has a passion for helping those around her through art and acts of service. You can follow their journey on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. If you would like to learn more about foster adoption please visit AdoptUSKids. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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