*Warning: This is a pretty short post, but I am about to write about a very touchy and sometimes triggering subject. I’m also going to make some sweeping generalizations that in no way apply to everyone. Don’t panic.
We have a biological daughter and an adopted son. We did not struggle with infertility. We did not decide to adopt because we felt a calling to help children in need. We wanted another child. We wanted to adopt. I wasn’t thrilled about being pregnant again. So everything fell into place and we adopted through our local foster care system. It was a transracial adoption. Our son has cerebral palsy – but despite the noble sacrifice label many want to put on us, we did not know about his disability when we added him to our family.
This isn’t usually the type of situation that dominates the adoption scene.
Sometimes I find myself on the outside of adoption conversations because they connect so closely with parents’ struggles with infertility. Sometimes I can see the pain in a mother’s eyes when she discovers that I had it so easy with my first child. [No one would verbalize this, but you can see it there.] I leave out the fact that our first child was unplanned; I don’t want to make it any worse. Other times I find myself trying to talk down an acquaintance that wants to praise me for welcoming a disabled child into my home. I’m not a saint. I’m a mother. I’m no different than any parent finding themselves in the same situation.
Does the world think I adopted for purely selfish reasons? Is that bad? I’m not sure how to answer the questions or how to find my appropriate “label” in the adoption world.
This is why labels suck. Most people just don’t fit into a neat little category – I found myself unexpectedly pregnant at the age of eighteen. I married my daughter’s father prior to her birth and we have enjoyed nearly eleven years of wedded bliss. I chose to adopt my second child simply because we wanted to. We adopted an African-American disabled boy. Where do I fit in?