Adoption: It's Complicated

Adoption: It's Complicated (In Our Pond)
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When we first became foster parents, I didn't realize how complicated everything would become after adoption. Foster care was crazy enough, with all the oversight, appointments, and people in our lives. I thought once we got all the extras out of our life, then things would get simpler. Not having three or four appointments a week helped, but adoption is still quite complicated.

Constantly Second Guessing

Every single incident, behavior, and word out of their mouths is analyzed according to these questions:

Is it trauma related?
Is this an attachment issue?
Is it sensory?
Is it behavioral?
Is it autism?
Is it developmental?
Is it a mental heath issue?
Is it physical?
Is it evidence of a delay?

Does it need discipline? A specialist? Medication? Therapy?

It's possible that I have a problem with labeling (wink).  But, seriously, it's complicated.

Birth Parent Relationships

When we were foster parents, the State told us what our relationship to the birth parents was supposed to be. Basically, we were friendly, but not familiar, we stayed out of the way as much as possible, and we supported the parents reuniting with their child.

We live in a closed adoption state, which basically means that here is no one (or contract) telling you how to relate to each other. I'm not saying that it would be easier if we were obligated to spend time together, but without any rules, I find it hard to know where to draw the lines. Every family must decide for themselves and their kids what amount of contact is safe.

At present, we have very little contact with the birth parents, which presents it's own set of issues.  The kids often talk about their birth families and ask questions about how they're doing, but I have few answers because of our lack of contact.  On the other side, if they had lots of contact with their birth families, and we were constantly exposed to all the drama, I think that would be hard to deal with as well.  Like I said, it's complicated.

My Own Insecurities

I haven't talked about it on the blog, but we're infertile.  You know those stories that people always tell about how "so-and-so" adopted, and then "Oops!  They got pregnant!"  Yeah, that didn't happen for us.  So, here we are- adoptive parents and still quite infertile.

I feel like it's very important for people, especially women, to understand that the feelings you have about infertility do not go away when you adopt.  It's not that you don't think of your adopted kids as your own or that you don't love them like your own; it's that the part of you that has always wanted a biological child will still probably want a biological child.  Mother's Day will probably be tough.  Father's Day will also be tough.  Your wedding anniversary might be tough.  Your children's birthdays will be complicated.  Baby showers might still be painful.  Anytime someone wants to talk pregnancy or birth, you might feel sad about what you missed.  Whenever someone pushes breastfeeding, you might feel defensive (and sad) as you defend the bottle.  It's all just so complicated.

Adoption: It's Complicated (In Our Pond)
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This blog post was very difficult for me to write.  I'm so glad the ladies at The Adoption Talk Link Up challenged me to write it.  My goal for the upcoming school year is to follow their prompts every month and write more about adoption.

[My Most Popular Adoption Posts]


  1. Thank you for sharing. Often we think some situation will fix everything else in our lives and it is just not true. Adoption is wonderful but it does not fix the pain of miscarry, infertility or feeling somehow less of a women for not giving birth. There are always those who will tell you if you took drugs or had a C-section, you didn't experience birth. Or if you bottle fed over breast feeling you didn't bond with your child. Lies! Don't buy into any of them. Your life experiences are your own and we all have doubts AND shortcomings. God bless the adoptive parents.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I was adopted as well. I'm 33 now and wanted to share some insight or maybe a different viewpoint. My mom and dad adopted me when I was 3, and they already had 9 biological children. Growing up I always wondered if they loved me the same as their biological children. I now know they did love me the same, but growing up I had some issues from my birth family and tramatic past that my mom and dads biological children didn't have. My parents also adopted 2more children, and they are 40 years old and still feel that they are not loved the same as the biological children. One of my best friends was also adopted (she's in her 50s) and she doesn't have any of these issues that we three have bc like you, her parents were not able to have biological children. She never felt the comparison or that she was somehow flawed or unwanted or unlovable. Her parents were so greatful to have a baby girl, that any issues she had from her biological family were just normal for them bc that's all her parents ever knew. So from a slightly different point of view I can see how God can and will use your painful past for His glory. I definately understand your pain though because even though I went on to have 2 beautiful children I am still heartbroken when I think of the loss of my first pregnancy. God understands our pain and He will use my pain and yours to minister to others. Once again thank you for being so genuine and really pouring your heart out. I love your post:)

  3. Thank you for your comments! I'm glad that people are enjoying the adoption blog posts. As I said, I'm going to try to post more often, so check back every month for the link-up!


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