No one can deny that adoption is marked by loss, heartbreak, and grief. However, there’s another side that is pretty incredible, and that is the powerful driving force behind it: love.
Love is present throughout the adoption triad, whether you are a birth parent, an adoptive parent, or an adoptee. To explain what I mean, let’s take a look at all three components of the adoption triad, which by the way are fittingly symbolized by a heart and interconnected triangle.
When an expectant mother makes the difficult decision to place her baby for adoption, she does so because she believes it is what is best for her child. She puts her son or daughter’s needs ahead of her own. Why does she do this? Well, for one, that’s what mothers do. But the biggest reason is because of love. She loves that child and wants him or her to have the best possible future — a future that for whatever reason, she feels she is unable to provide.
Even after the adoption, the feelings remain. Birth mothers often report thinking of their children daily and longing to see them. They grieve and miss their kids for the rest of their lives. No matter where that child is, he or she will be loved. Nothing can erase the powerful bond between a mother and a child.
Adoptive parents come to the adoption process often with grief about the loss of a baby or the inability to conceive. When a couple chooses to adopt, they make a conscious choice to love and care for a child as if he or she were born to them. It doesn’t matter how that child came to them or if they share genes. They are family; they have created a lifelong bond. And the love behind these choices and experiences is just a real and lasting as any biological family. Many adoptive parents say that they often forget their child was adopted. And, those who have both biological and adoptive kids claim the feelings they have for their children are the same.
Although they must cope with the loss of their birth families, adoptees are in the unique position of having two sets of parents — more people to love them. My own daughter, who hasn’t seen her birth mother since she was two days old, loves her very much and has letters from her biological mom that express that same unconditional love and connection. Although my daughter will never be able to have a relationship with her birth mom because she passed away, the love will always be there.
It’s those kind of deep and lasting bonds that give our life meaning, purpose and joy. Cherish the your relationships and the connections you’ve made through adoption. And, most importantly, know that no matter what is going on in your life, love is truly what makes the world go round.