My husband and I have always had our differences, but we’ve always shared the desire to adopt rather than have biological children. Here’s why it’s what we’ve always wanted.
There are millions of kids who need a home. Even though we could have children of our own, there are so many children who already exist and don’t have families. In fact, UNICEF estimates that there are 153 million orphans waiting to be adopted in the world, and that doesn’t include the children of families who can’t take care of them for various reasons. My husband and I decided we wanted to give a home to a child who wouldn’t otherwise have one.
There are enough people on the planet already. There are over seven billion people in the world and that’s pretty terrifying when you consider the fact that in 1960, there were barely three billion. The world population has grown by more than 56 million this year alone. My husband and I didn’t want to contribute to that number, both for social and environmental reasons. On a planet struggling to support its growing population, we wanted to do our part to balance the scales.
We want to give a child opportunities it wouldn’t otherwise have. Many children put up for adoption come from poverty or even from war-torn regions and are highly vulnerable to their surroundings. Instead of bringing another child into the world, we wanted to provide one that’s already here with the opportunity to make their life whatever they wanted it to be. Everyone deserves the chance to make their mark on the world, and we wanted help someone less fortunate than us achieve that kind of freedom.
I don’t need to give birth in order to be a mother. Some of my friends who have biological children have made unintentionally offensive comments hinting at the fact that they don’t view me as a “real” mother because I never actually gave birth to my kids. This is such a massive misconception that it’s difficult to know how to go about correcting it. All I know is that every fiber of my being loves and is fiercely devoted to my children, and having a biological child couldn’t change that.
We want to make the world a better place. Bringing a child into the world to love and care for is honorable no matter how it’s done, but adopting reaches far beyond your own family and can help inspire others to find ways to do their own part, however small, in brightening the world. The more kindness and goodwill you spread to the world, the better it is for everyone.
Adoption seems completely natural to us. My husband and I were a little shocked at how much pushback we got from our friends and family when they found out we planned on adopting. For us, the decision to have a child at all was a big deal. The decision to adopt or to have children of our seemed kind of irrelevant until we thought about all the reasons adoption made more sense to us.
The adoption process is long and strenuous, but so is pregnancy. It can take years to go through the adoption process, but pregnancy isn’t exactly a breeze either. We decided to skip the mood swings and endless doctor appointments in favor of filling out paperwork and going through the adoption vetting process. Having a child is difficult no matter how they come into your life, but they’re absolutely worth it.
One of my closest friends was adopted, and it showed me how important it is. I’ve had firsthand knowledge of the impact of adoption since I was in middle school and I met my best friend, whose parents adopted her from China when she was a baby. Spending time with her family and seeing how seamlessly she fit in and how normal it was made adoption seem perfectly ordinary and wonderful to me. It wasn’t until I started telling people about my plans to adopt that I realized that not everyone felt the same way.
We get just as much out of parenting as we would with a biological child. My husband and I have always connected over our desire to do good in the world, and adopting a child let us fulfill our dream of becoming parents and our desire to help those in need all at the same time. We chose our children with as much deliberation as many parents do when they’re deciding whether or not to have kids, and we gain as much fulfillment from our children as they do too.
It’s just something we knew we wanted. It’s that simple. To be honest, it’s hard to come up with an answer when people ask us why we chose to adopt because for us it was an almost intuitive decision. It’s like love: when you know, you know. We knew we wanted to adopt from the very beginning and that was that.
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