My first entry isn’t probably the one it should be. I should probably start with a background story or some history or detail but that’s not what is on my mind. What’s on my mind is a question that must be running through many people’s heads but only a few are actually asking…
“Is it the same?”
I’m so happy to report it is. Those of you that know me, know what I’m talking about… those of you that stumble along this blog won’t. What some are asking, especially when maybe they’ve had too much to drink is, “Is it the same? Do you love or feel the same way about your adopted child as you do your biological children?” I know, you might think I’m lying for the sake of “whatever”, but I’m not. The answer is yes. Yes, I look at her round face and chubby cheeks and think; “those are just like mine when I was a baby”. If that makes you sad, I’m sorry. I’m not saying that carrying a biological child, one that is made of up of our DNA isn’t something I would like everyone to experience; it certainly is. However, my love, attention, fears, desires and just day-to-day emotions are the exact same as they have been with each one of my children.
You might even find that odd, because we didn’t know for certain we were going to be adopting! That story is for another entry on another day, but we didn’t spend months picking out a name, or anticipating the arrival of our adopted daughter. She was basically brought into our lives overnight and we fell in love with her.
She arrived at our door on a Wednesday night weighing 7 pounds and was 19 inches long. She came with very little – and as soon as I scooped her up out of that carseat, I was hooked. The thought that this was going to be my child – ugh! Words couldn’t come close to describing that awesome feeling! It’s been that way the whole time. I’ve never minded getting up with her, soothing her, changing her, feeding her. Whatever it was I did with my other 3, I’ve maybe even appreciated MORE with this one, because I feel like she’s an absolute gift. The present that nobody was expecting: that trip to Hawaii times 10, Disney World x 1000 – whatever it is for you that’s how the last 4 months have felt to me.
Early on, after Phoebe arrived, one of my fabulous friends said “okay, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to ask this or not but I’m dying to know… is it the same?” I have to say, I LOVED it when she asked because it was the first time I had answered that question! And I answered it with a resounding YES! She giggled and was so excited! Since that day, we’ve had others that haven’t quite come out and asked it but they word things like, “It’s nice that you were willing to take this on.” This floors me every time! I’m not sure why; I guess I see where they are coming from… we do have a kid that is in COLLEGE! Why would we WANT to do it again?? But in all honesty, my husband and I never even batted an eye. We were full in, with NO hesitation. It’s like one of those things where God was moving and we were ready to just jump on his train. I like to refer to like this: “We have been discussed adopting for the last 21 years and God was finally exhausted by it, so He just said, ‘Here. Here’s the one I want you to have, now go… raise her, love her, enjoy her, discipline her and make sure she knows who I am.”
So that’s where we are. We are a bit older than we were when we had our first, we are perhaps a bit wiser… that seems like an improvement, and we are ready. Our hearts are full and we are ready to take on parenting an infant once again with excitement! Phoebe, only 114 hours separated us, (and I had a picture of you… so in my mind only maybe 48 ;)) I hope you know, you are never something we felt like we needed to take on, you are an absolute gift and treasure. I hope you know I will love you, I will yell at you, I will discipline you, I will make mistakes and Lord willing, I will ask for forgiveness when I do. I will encourage you and look for the talents God gave you and try to nurture them, you are my child – the same as the older ones and I am forever grateful for that. And to my other 3: You are my gifts as well. You may not have come into our lives as miraculously as Phoebe did; you were all very planned and desired. I’m glad you get to see that each time one of you came home from the hospital, we showed you the same sort of love and affection you observe us giving Phoebe. Every time one of you came into our lives we have been in awe. God has been so good to us, even through the losses and difficult events we have experienced with childbearing and pregnancy, He was right there growing us with each one, shaping us into the parents He needs us to be for each one of you. My hope is you will know… the amount of space you each take up in my heart is the same.
Yes, I’m thrilled to report it is the same.