“To the nurses and doctors who asked, ‘Is this your first child?’ And acted utterly bewildered when I replied without fail every time- ‘3rd child, first pregnancy.’
To the friends who introduce me to someone new with a ‘She adopted two kids and NOW she’s pregnant.’
To the acquaintances who say, ‘It’s because you relaxed!’ And assume that my husband and I have been trying for 8 years to have biological children and that’s what we *really* wanted.
To the person from my hometown who started a rumor that I was on fertility drugs and diminished the value of our two older children by saying and alluding to the fact that we only adopted them in the ‘mean time’ while *really* trying for a biological child.
To my youngest child’s doctor who asked the question I had been asked what seemed like a million times. ‘First child?’ ‘Nope! 3rd child first pregnancy!’ After explaining we had happily adopted, this doctor replied-’so they’re not yours.’ And had the gall to continue and say ‘but having your own is different isn’t it?’
To all the people who question, whisper, make assumptions, and for the people who are just curious-this blog is for you.
Let’s take it from the top.
Did you want biological children?
We always knew we wanted to adopt but in the beginning of our marriage we (like most people) assumed pregnancy would happen first. After all its natural and generally much quicker and easier process than the time it takes to adopt. When it didn’t happen quickly for us, we didn’t go to specialist, we didn’t run test, I didn’t get on fertility drugs. Obviously, I am not opposed to these things! This just isn’t the road we decided to take. We knew we wanted to adopt so we researched and began the process. Our desire was to be parents not to be biological parents. And for me, being pregnant was not and is not-the holy grail of motherhood. I will say after years of foster care, the hurtful ignorant comments about our family, and the lack of value on our children’s place in our family from the world’s view-I didn’t know if I ever wanted biological children. Why? Because of what I knew would happen. The world. It would beat at the door with its questioning, its eyes that pity, it’s ‘I know a biological child is what you really wanted’ smiles. The words that cut like a knife-the comments said in front of my children.
But we are raising our children to know the truth. Although I cannot predict how they will feel as they get older it is my job to be honest with them and create a space that lets them feel *whatever* it is that they do. Raising them to know they are valued, cherished, and the lack of shared DNA will NEVER alter that. Adoption is complicated. Is hard, messy, heartbreaking. It is beauty born from a tremendous amount of pain and loss. But Adoption is also holy. The Lord himself refers to us as His adopted children-placing a great deal of value on being adopted.
Knowing this we ultimately left our family in God’s hands. Knowing that any way that our children come to us is a blessing from the Lord.
How did meeting your children whom you adopted differ from meeting your biological child?
I found out about my two older children from a phone call. Each time I had a feeling-I *knew* they were my babies. I had a joy unlike any other, I couldn’t wait to meet them, see them, hold them. I found out about my youngest when the pregnancy stick had two lines. Much like the first 2 times I found out about my babies, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to meet him, this time it would just take a little longer.
I met my daughter in the dining room of our home. I met my first son in a small NICU room. I met my youngest son in a hospital bed. The places were different-the feeling was the same. Instant love-instant connection. I was a mama for the first, second, and third time.
For years I have said ‘the love is the same.’ And now that I have a child that shares my DNA, I can shout it from the roof tops and hopefully people will understand. THE LOVE IS THE SAME! Do I feel a deeper bond with my biological child? No. Do I feel more connected to my biological child? No. Do I really *deep down* love my biological child more than my other children? No.
The minds that say, ‘there’s no way it could be the same.’ My heart hurts for you, I’m sad that you will not know that true love has no bounds. And like I have said many times-not everyone should adopt. These are the people I’m referring to.
I have petitioned the throne of God for each of my children. I have labored for ALL of my children. I labored for hours and I labored for years. My stomach grew and likewise My heart has expanded, grew, and is covered with stretch marks.
Adoption and Birth, both of these things are a part of our journey. It’s not that these things aren’t important it’s quite the opposite. It’s that these things are equally important. Equally valid, equally securing, equally solidifying us as a family forever. One no more important than the other.
My children made me a mother. God through a plan better than anything I could have imagined brought them to me by Adoption and birth. Literal pieces of My heart walking around outside of my body, equal parts-Each one.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Shelby Doss, 27. Follow her on Instagram here and her website here. 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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