Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Love of Choice

Before Kyle and I had kids, adoption was on my heart. It has always been on my heart, as long as I can remember. I remember talking to my mom about it when we were just newlyweds. She said: How can you love an adopted child the way you love your own flesh and blood?
I was shocked! I dismissed this notion quickly and after Elena was born, I was all the more convinced. I didn't love Elena because I gave birth to her. I love her because she's mine!
Pedro, Maya, Isaac, and Daniel are mine as well, but falling in love with them wasn't automatic. I had to get to know them. I've always known Elena. She has no history apart from me. Our adopted children already had developed or developing personalities when they joined our family. Loving an adopted child is a choice of the will. It truly is a ministry. I don't have to love them. I choose to love them. This is agape love at it's most pure.

13 comments:

Janelle said...

I know that this is the struggle that my dh faces with our oldest son (mine by birth, his by adoption). You are doing a wonderful job and love has always been a choice IMO no matter who it is.

laura mouro said...

Thank you for sharing. I agree with your thoughts on choosing to love, out of obedience to Christ, rather than feeling love. You just can't force it. Adoption is a ministry, a blessing, a call and it is so difficult, but so worth it. We are still in that first year. Man, has it been hard.

In Christ, Laura

TeamBettendorf said...

Amen!!

Julie said...

Thank you for your honesty in this post. I really needed it!

Meg said...

Thanks for sharing your honest feelings about adoption. All of your children are absolutely gorgeous!

We have 6 kids and would love to adopt but don't have the finances to do so, and wonder if any Australian adoption agency would laugh in our faces at the idea of us adopting with so many kids and so little money! We also would be so happy to adopt internationally but that seems even more out of our financial reach. I know you are in the US, but do you have any suggestions (besides a lot of prayer!) as to how to approach adoption when you already have children?

May the Lord continue to bless you and your husband as you love and nurture these precious arrows God has entrusted you with. They are truly a blessing from Him.

Emily said...

Your children are beautiful! I love in your about me that you say, "3 home-grown and 4 hand-picked"... so cute and perfect!

I'm so jealous that you have gotten to adopt... I can't wait until we are able to adopt a little one. It's been on my heart for YEARS. I commend you for choosing to love these children... they need just as much love as any other child!

Lori in KY said...

Ginger, I applaud you for writing this post. It is so very true. When we first adopted our children, I had never heard anyone else say anything like this so I thought I was the only one experiencing these feelings.

Most everyone I'd ever heard talk about their adopted children would say things like, "I love them exactly the same as my birth children, there is NO difference. It's just like they were born to me."

Because of this, it took me a long time to come to the conclusion that my feelings were okay, and perhaps even normal. I think it's wonderful that you are putting this out there for potential adoptive parents. Kudos to you, friend!

The Herd said...

I know this post must have been kind of hard to write, but judging from the comments--looks like it's needed--the honesty of love. I think whether adopted children or your own birthed children, love is a beautiful choice to make. It can be hard no matter how they came to the family. Feelings will come later:). Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts. Maybe you should write a book!!

MommaofMany said...

My husband and I talked about your post last night and agreed that you are brave to share your experience and not the pat answer everyone expects.

We, too, had to grow to truly love our adopted children. We had fostered for five years and there is a different kind of love that your feel for those who will go back home. Your heart creates that to avoid being quite as hurt, over and over.

It took a while before I loved them like my birth kids, and that came from loving them (as a verb) like you describe.

Good post!

Tanya said...

We are only 2 months in and I struggle similarly. This was a great post - and one I needed to be encouraged by. Thanks:)

Tanica said...

I am in awe of your honesty. I have 3 "home grown" and one "hand picked" (I love that terminology!). In my case, it took at least six months for me to feel unconditional love for ALL of my children, and I felt like a freak! So in that instance, my adopted and non-adopted were alike. But my daughter is the oldest, and sometimes I feel like its harder to parent her because of the adoption, rather than the fact that oldest children are simply the first at everything, testing parents and their ideas constantly. I wanted to thank you for reminding me again that its not crazy for me to find differences among my children, whether it is adoption, age, sex, color, personality or whatever. And that I choose to love them all unconditionally because God, who adopted me into His family, chooses to love ME unconditionally, regardless of my age, sex, color, personality, or whatever!

Hugs,
Tanica

rachel said...

This is a wonderful post, which will not shock any foster and/or adoptive parent. To be honest myself, I have a harder time loving my foster children since I have adopted.
The three that I adopted were very young babies when they came to me and I had no problem falling in love. But now one of them has a few RAD behaviors that we are working on and trusting God for healing.
I am now working on adopting a two year old girl and I'm a little nervous about the bonding. It is helpful to me to read of others experiences.

cathy said...

Oh Ginger! Thank you for sharing this. We have 3 biological children and one adopted and I too have struggled with this. I have had so much guilt over it and my dear wise husband just continues to remind me that we choose to love her no matter what. It is different and I had never thought about the other three having no history apart from me. Thank you for the post. It is such a relief to know I'm not alone.