As we wrap up National Adoption Month, we reflect on the tough stuff of adoption. Yes, this is a month to celebrate the beauty that is a family coming together, but we don't forget that it is often forged out of a heartache. This is absolutely a month for sharing positive adoption language, because without it we perpetuate the negative stigma for birth parents and adoptees. However, we acknowledge some adoptees are processing how they feel about their own story. Their love for their parents may be strong, but it may still come with doubts and frustration about the choices other people made for their life. We'll close this month with a reflection on bonding from one of our adoptive moms. We hope that no matter where you are in the adoption circle, you can come to appreciate the love shared in this difficult journey...
Dare I say it out loud? Am I willing to speak my reality when it seems as though no one else is talking about it? For me, bonding didn't happen immediately. In a lot of ways, it has come more intentionally than naturally. Sometimes it was downright hard and I found myself grieving the loss of the fairytale idea that love flows easily.
But there is so much beauty in our story. There is comfort in knowing that love doesn't just happen or not... and if not, then what? There is hope in knowing that love is a million tiny choices all strung together. Many of my choices were not made out of innate and immediate boundedness, but rather, out of the vision I have for the relationship I desire with my son in the future - and making choices now that actively lead us there.
Thankfully, in other ways it has felt so beautifully natural to love him. In fact, as he has grown, there has been an obvious shift. The momentum of bondedness has taken off and the moments of natural closeness have started to outweigh the need for intentionality and suddenly all those moments of actively making the choice to love all seem more than worth it!
It's okay, healthy even, to acknowledge when love doesn't flow easily. I can tell you that there is rich reward in the choice to let it grow intentionally. My heart beams when I can honestly say my love for him is deep and rich, and it's much more real than a fairytale.
Working with expectant parents who want to make a life-affirming decision. Preparing couples to grow their family through domestic infant adoption.