Whenever I tell people that we are on the journey to adopt, we are usually first met with smiles and a congratulatory, “That’s wonderful!” But often times, the second sentence that comes out is, “You know what’s going to happen right after you adopt?” Wink. Wink.
I know that people say these words to be encouraging. They have no ill-intent behind them, and so I do not get angry. However, it does hurt my heart to know that people think adoption is our “second choice”. It seems people often think that our real goal is to get pregnant, and we are just using adoption as a way to “fill our time” or “get to the true finish line.” This could NOT be further from the truth.
My hubby and I started trying to have children over 5 years ago. We tried naturally at first, as that just seemed to be the typical first route. After a year, we went to many doctors who gave us various different options for the next steps in getting pregnant, from surgery to medications to IVF. At that same time, we researched adoption. We wanted to be knowledgeable about all the paths to parenthood, not just pregnancy.
We then had a serious discussion. What should we do next? We still had options for attempting to get pregnant. Should we exhaust those first? Or should we listen to the voice in our hearts that was pulling us towards adoption? We both prayed very hard for months. And what did we decide?
We are called to be parents.
A parent is someone who loves a child unconditionally and wants what is best for them. A parent makes sacrifices for their child. A parent puts their child’s needs before their own.
Giving birth may be one of the beautiful ways a parent gets to show their love for their child, or it may not. However, if it is not, it does make them any less of a parent. I know, without a doubt, that my husband and I are called to be parents. However, it is not up to us to decide how that will happen. No one path is greater than the other.
Starting the adoption journey 3 years ago gave us more excitement than we had ever felt during our first year of trying to get pregnant, as we now knew we were fully open to God’s will for us. We may still get pregnant or we may not. It truly does not matter to us, as long as we one day get to be parents to the children God has chosen for us.
Adoption and pregnancy are both our #1 choices. Any paths that result in our children is #1 in our books. Both paths are equally beautiful. Both require love and sacrifice. Both are gifts from God.
Both make us parents.