The biggest shock of my life came the moment I saw the word “pregnant” on my pregnancy test. My husband and I had already adopted two wonderful children and we were just about to submit our papers to adopt another. As part of that process, I took one last pregnancy test. After seeing so many “not pregnant” results, I thought the test was malfunctioning and had to take another before I believed it.
We contacted the adoption agency and told them to put our application on hold, but not discontinue it. After so long, I didn’t trust that this pregnancy would end with a baby. In fact, my doctor said I had a very high risk of miscarriage. But as the weeks went on, the baby continued to grow and develop. Slowly I wrapped my mind around the idea that I would actually be giving birth to a baby. That was something I had long since thought I would never do. But worry over a miscarriage was soon replaced with another worry. How would having a biological child be different than having adopted children? I loved both of my children so much, but deep in my heart I worried. Would I love the child in my belly more than the children who came to us another way? I hoped not. But that didn’t change how terrified I was of the possibility. Would there be a difference between them? Even a slight difference? Would they be treated differently by family or our friends? Would my adopted children feel the difference? Would they be just as loved by everyone? These fears haunted me. I prayed desperately for my children and for myself. But I think my own fears overrode any answer that God was trying to send my way.
Eventually, as it always does, the day came for Elizabeth to be born. I was more nervous for how I would feel about a biological child, and if my adopted children would feel a difference, than I was about actually giving birth to her. Elizabeth made her appearance in this world at 3 in the morning and the moment of seeing her was something I can’t describe. I kept whispering joyfully to my husband, “It’s not different. It’s not different.” And shortly thereafter I wrote this on Facebook:
“Thought of the day on God’s love: Even though I gave birth to Elizabeth, when I saw her for the first time it felt no different than when I saw Evelyn or David for the first time. That is one of God’s miracles.”
The moment of seeing my adopted children was also indescribable and miraculous. It was absolutely no different than seeing my biological child.
As time has passed, I can say with absolute certainty that there is no difference in how my children are loved or how they are treated. Family and friends accept one as readily as others. I’ve had complete strangers be able to pick out my kids as siblings. And it’s not because of how they look. It’s because of how they interact. They love each other (and fight with each other) the way siblings always have. Whether my child is one who came to us through adoption or birth, the love is the same and each child’s place in our family is valued and secure. While the miracle of birth truly is amazing, I learned that God has still a greater miracle—the love of parents for their children. Whether adopted or born naturally to them, God expands their hearts to love each child just the same.
One day as I pondered the miracle of this, I read in Romans 8:15-16: “…but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” This struck my soul and I realized that God himself understands and loves adoption. We are all God’s children. He loves us enough to give us the chance to be called Mother and Father by those he gives to us as children. And whether he gives us that child through birth or adoption, his Spirit is there bearing witness that in the end we are all God’s children. Ultimately, we are his, and raising our children to know his Spirit and to be bound together in his love is more important than how we got together in the first place.
Other Articles of Interest:
Adoption: Special Needs – Adopting older children
Adoption: Buillding a Solid Foundation – A look at the basics of adoption
What Are the Blessings of Adoption? – Seven siblings with drug addicted parents are adopted and their lives completely change
How Do I Cope With Infertility? – Going from “Why can’t I have a baby”? to “How can we have a family”?