I adore adoption but as my child gets older, there are things I regret about adoption, things I wish I could change about life as a family formed by adoption. Here are 4 things I so wish I could change-for my daughter’s sake.
If you know me, you know I’m a huge advocate and fan of adoption. I love it not only because it’s how my favorite person on the planet came to be my child, but I also love it because adoption is, to me, the most special and magical way to form a family.
Yes, I glow when I talk about adoption, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There are too many fabulous things about adoption to count, but I’ve also learned since being an adoptive mom that there are some things about adoption, and international adoption in particular, that are less than ideal.
If you are an adoptive parent, I’m sure you can relate to these adoption issues. Here’s some of the downside to adoption that most parents don’t talk about.
1. Lack of medical information.
The lack of medical information was a given when we adopted our daughter. I knew it going in but like anything, you don’t really grasp the reality of something until it’s upon you. She’s getting older and it would be helpful to have a complete picture of her medical history. Her doctors would welcome it and so would I. I wish I knew what conditions I need to watch out for. Does diabetes run in her family? What about osteoporosis or asthma?
2. Biological Traits.
If you have a biological child, you have some family traits to use as an educated guess. If everyone on your side of the family grew to over six feet, you’d have a guess of your child’s growth. How tall will my daughter likely become? Is there another growth spurt coming or is this probably her adult height? I have no clue. We all guess about how our child will develop but it sure would be nice sometimes to have a little bit more info to help me make my guesses a bit more educated.
3. You Can’t Undo the Loss.
I truly thought that I’d love my daughter so much that I’d somehow inoculate her against all the hurts that come with adoption. I now know this: I can never truly fill the hole that being adopted has created. I don’t think she’s conscious of it yet but all the class projects of family trees, all the talk of cousins who look “just like their mother”, all the unintentional talk of biological traits in science class probably helps keep that loss afloat.
No matter how hard I love her, I can’t erase the fact that I am her mother because of loss.
4. Never Knowing Her Birth Family.
My daughter is from China, and as you probably know, China has no information on birth parents. There are no records of who her biological parents are. No records of where they lived. There is a only a blank space where a picture of her first family should be. Before I adopted from China, I thought this was a good thing. I stupidly thought that not having a birth parent in the picture made the adoption easier and cleaner for us as adoptive parents. (Again, stupid things you think before you adopt). Now I would give anything to be know who her biological parents are. I wish I could help her fit together the puzzle of the people who gave her life, where they are, where they came from, but I probably will never have that gift to share.
There’s a strong chance she will never know her birth parents.
My daughter doesn’t seem to care about her birth family information right now. But she’s only 13 and that will, more than likely, change. If we had access to birth parent records, she could make a decision on seeing that information or not. But since we don’t have those records, there is no choice to make. Her biological history will more than likely remain a mystery.
Now don’t get me wrong, I bring these up to share the reality of adoption. I’m still a huge believer in adoption, but as I’ve spent more time being an adoptive mom, I now also understand that along with the magic, there are some challenges with adoption that I only wish with all my mothering heart I could change.