Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Newsflash: Adopting is Actually Parenting

Hey, you guys. I've had a bit of a revelation and I thought I'd share.

When we set out on this little adventure we did it for one main reason. Lots of people have lots of reasons, and lots of people don't like mine, but here's where we are... We adopted a child because we felt like there was enough room in our home and our hearts for one more. I'm going to say it out loud and mean it, too. We adopted as an act of mercy to give a child with no home a family. I know this angle is a bit frowned upon, but there you have it. I'm glad we did it. I'd do it again. I probably will. Because I feel like more people could do the same thing, but until more people actually do there are still millions upon millions of children that need families. 

So we "adopted" and all that entails. We filled out mountains of paperwork, had our incomes and our sanity evaluated, defended ourselves and our choices to family members and strangers alike. We met new and awesome people and were inducted into the community. We waited for the call. We called instead. We flew across the globe (twice) to be united with our son. We did it. We adopted. Done.

But then he got home, and wouldn't you know it, it takes a different act of mercy to parent. That's a far less interesting club. That's a bit tedious and thankless and messy. It's very much like parenting my biological children. Wow, it's actually exactly the same. I'm still frustrated when he wakes me up in the night and when he fights sleep and when he chunks a spoon full of chicken and apples across the room onto the freshly mopped floor. That's just the drill with parenting, right?

But the beautiful comes when I think that I'm there to rock him at night when he's wide awake. And scoop him up like it's the end of the world when he bonks his head. I love the fact that he's got a whole family, four people, who spend almost every waking moment trying to make him smile. That doesn't happen much in orphanages, and he's clearly loving that bit. We'll do any dumb thing to make him laugh.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to say that sometimes the thought of adopting can seem daunting. It's long and unpredictable and expensive and kind of bold. But when it's all said and done, it's really just parenting. As tedious and amazing as that is. And it's life changing for everyone involved. So if you're thinking about it and it seems huge, it is and it's not. And if you're new here, sorry, I don't write profound and inspiring stuff. I know that's disappointing. It seemed like I was really onto something there. 


  1. Beth, I admire you for writing the truth! We just adopted a newborn domestically and people asked us why we chose to adopt a black baby. The question we got most often is why we decided to do that domestically. Apparently everybody thought if we wanted to adopt an AA baby we needed to go to Africa and we had only one good reason: the Lord asked us to fulfill a need here. The least adoptable newborns in America are full African American boys. It wasn't always a decision that was understood but we have been so blessed by The Lord with our little John! And I thought when we brought him home we'd live in magical adopted baby land. Turns out he spits up and cries just like all the other two month olds...adopting is parenting. No more. No less. Sometimes frustrating but most of the time beautiful! Thanks for writing really touched my heart and made me smile! And also, do you mind if I fly out to wherever the heck you live and give that precious Jude a big squeeze!? He is the cutest!!

    1. Thanks, Ashley. The hilarious thing is that we get asked all the time why, "if we wanted a black baby" (like that's our ultimate goal), did we not adopt domestically. And we say the same thing.

  2. I love this post, Beth. As usual, your honesty is so refreshing and your words are so articulate:). And the adorable pic of sweet Jude didn't hurt :) Made me smile!!

  3. So, so true! I think that's one of the most amazing parts about adoption. Families are made so many different ways and in the end, they're still families--with all the good and bad that comes with that title.

  4. Awe, very wonderful post! You write profound and inspiring in a most unassuming way. ;)

  5. Just started reading "Kisses From Katie" tonight. Your insights specifically remind me of what I think is the 2nd chapter of the book. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I love how you are bringing us along as you make this amazing journey with your son Jude. I almost feel that he is a part of my family too.