Friday, June 5, 2015

Please don't tell my children they are "lucky"

All too often, I am told how "lucky" my children are to have us. While this is often well intentioned and comes from a place of not understanding all of the reasons that women place children for adoption, it can be so detrimental to children. Adoption is beautiful, but it can also be confusing and messy. At some point, my boys will have to begin processing adoption, why they were placed for adoption, how they feel about that and likely grieve over not living with their birth family. Any time a child has to process complex emotions, they shouldn't be considered "lucky". We wouldn't say that to a child that has to process a parent's divorce or death would we?

To tell a child that they are "lucky" to have been adopted implies that they wouldn't have been "lucky" to live with their birth family and that they would have somehow had a terrible life or at least a worse life than they are currently living. Some adoptive parents even cringe when their children are told that they were "meant to be" in their adoptive family, especially when it is accompanied by "God meant for you to be in that family". That for some reason, God chose to bring them into this world in one family, just to place them in another family and then deal with the emotions surrounding that. That's about as comforting as "everything happens for a reason" when you are in the midst of suffering. My thoughts on that are: I do feel that our boys are meant to be in our family, but that only happened AFTER an adoption plan was already made. Once Katy chose to place them for adoption, then God chose us to parent them and make them a part of our family. If she has chosen to parent, they would have been meant to stay in that family.

I have even had one person ask me, "what would have happened to those boys if it weren't for you". To me this implies that we were saving them from something (which I think she believed we were), but we weren't. Instead I replied back that Katy would have parented them and she would have been an amazing mother to them because she is an amazing mother to their siblings.

No matter what reason a child was placed for adoption, they shouldn't be considered "lucky". Adoption comes with grief, heartache and confusion even in the best of situations. In the more difficult situations, children have experienced things that no child should have experience that placed them in the situation to be adopted. I am blessed to have my boys and some would say they are blessed to have us. But just because we might be blessed to have each other, doesn't necessarily mean that they would have been less blessed without us.