I love my kids and I love adoption but I don’t think I’m alone when I say that there are some days when I wish I could just forget about adoption. There are some days where I just want to be a Mom without the ‘adoptive’ part attached to it. There are some days when I wish attachment and bonding were automatically thrown into the mix the minute you signed on the dotted line. There are other days when I’m tired of coming up against a rigid Home Affairs and using all my energy and time to get seemingly nowhere. Some days when I long for sameness because if we’re honest here, it’s just easier – different usually equals hard. Sometimes adoption just feels like a long, hard slog and you can’t imagine coming through the other side.

Adoption can be so overwhelming and exhausting: adoption is being a parent and doing parent things and reading parent books, but also keeping adoption at the back (or front) of your mind whilst reading books/blogs/research about transracial adoption, white privilege, diversity, language, attachment. If you’ve been through the adoption process your eyes have been opened to the number of children who need Moms and Dads and you can’t unsee what you have seen. This can weigh heavy.

I look at my beautiful children and want to press pause on their childhood because every year older is another year wiser and next thing you know you’re having those hard conversations about why they didn’t grow in your tummy. I want to preserve their innocence and avoid future pain. I want to self-protect.

Adoption is beautiful, and I’ll spend my life believing in it and advocating for it, but the flip side is pain. It’s easier to live in a bubble and close yourself off to the pain that I carry for my kids and for the women who brought them into this world. If I had to dwell on the reasons why my kids where placed for adoption in the first place, I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning for all the tears. Life’s not fair. My kids have had an unfair start to life but they’re resilient and brave. And I need to be resilient and brave too because it does no one any good to fall into the trap of feeling too many feelings or hardening my heart to cope. As adoptive parents, we need to figure out how to walk the trapeze between the two – we need to be sensitive enough to feel everything but tough enough to endure it.  I haven’t figured out how to balance just yet but I’ll get there.

Adoption was our choice and it’s changed our lives and I’d choose it again. All I know is that there is hope in the heartache and God is with us and that my heart has stretched and stretched each time our family has grown.

The road is long but the journey is so worthwhile and my heart has the stretchmarks.


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15 comments on “When the road is long and you’d like to forget about adoption”

  1. I love your end line – “My my heart has the stretchmarks.” Being a mom in its own is tough. Loving is tough. Life is tough. Live in the moment. Soon your beautiful kids will be grown and have their own… only then will they know the love you had for them.

  2. Thank you Jules !!I need to read this today!!! I read your blog religiously. You are an inspiration. Today it was almost like you read my mind!!!! We are fairly new adoptive parents and I totally feel your pain and anxiety. In fact I was JUST having the conversation with my husband about how I wish we could just freeze time and not have to manage all the questions that we know are coming………
    Sending you light and strength. God Bless you and your family.

  3. I totally resonate with this. Loving my daughter with all my heart and trying to parent and then still have all those naggings at the back of my head. Wondering about the primal wound and how she will feel about adoption and placement. Thinking of her birth mom often and trying to figure how to do what’s best for all of us! Adoption is a blessing and it’s also exhausting and emotionally taxing. I cannot however picture my life without my daughter and so would choose adoption again, just for the blessing of having her in my life.

  4. What a beautiful post! Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. I love your phrase, “hope in the heartache” – God is surely with you in that place. Sending so much love to you and your beautiful family. xxx

  5. What a brave & honest post – thanks for sharing, Julie. In the very early stages and caught between already wondering about some of the things you’ve put into words & worrying about the feelings & struggles we’ve yet to encounter on this journey. I know your blog will be a valuable resource to us as we walk this road.. xx

  6. I will be very honest and say that most days I do forget about adoption as I am far too busy just being Mom.
    All children have their “stuff”. I’ve taught my children (10 & 8yrs) that one of the things that makes them uniquely them, is that they are adopted. But that is just one of many things about them. Sometimes it needs explaining and they have a book of their story that they are able to share if they feel like it is needed. They were designed by God to be awesome, crazy, beautiful and very hard work. He also made them to be my children, regardless of how we got them. If you take the questions about adoption in your stride and just make it a normal part of who they are, so will they. Parenting is difficult, heartbreaking and the best thing all at once, just enjoy the journey.

  7. Thanks so much Jules. I’m a new mom of a beautiful 10 month old little girl. So adore her. I am really enjoying your blog and identify with so much of what you say.

  8. I love this line! “And I need to be resilient and brave too because it does no one any good to fall into the trap of feeling too many feelings or hardening my heart to cope.”

  9. Beautifully said. We are looking into our 2nd adoption. Our first has been a long and heart breaking journey at times, but there is light at the end of our tunnel. When I look at our little boy, my heart could burst with a love that is life changing in so many ways. I worry about him becoming an adult make when he is not that cute little boy and all the challenges that being adopted can bring. But, am trusting that Our Father who brought us together will protect us…with our biological children we face different challenges…it all books down to being a parent. A job I would choose again and again…LOVE YOUR BLOGS

  10. I’m the mommy of a 18 month old baby boy who’s been with us since he was 10 days old. But the adoption is still to be finalized. It’s such a struggle … I’m just glad he doesn’t know what’s going on … he just knows his mom and dad. I would love to get another as there are soo many in need but this journey is hard. Thanks for this .. it’s given me some hope. This line: “All I know is that there is hope in the heartache and God is with us” will stay with me … thanks!

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