Often I am the “go to” person to ask questions of by my friends, and their friends, who want to learn more in general about adoption. I’m sure most adoptive parents find themselves in this position. That’s okay by me because I love to talk; especially about adoption and in particular if I feel I can help educate someone who may have some misconceptions about adoption and children who were adopted.
It has been eye-opening for me, though, and has forced me to address, and answer, some of my own questions I may not have realized I had.
One question that comes up a lot is an overwhelming concern about loving an adopted child as much as a biological one. The statement, “I’m afraid I won’t love the child as much as my own,” forces you to define “my own.”
I always knew I wanted to have children; to love them, raise them, and teach them to be the best that they can be. I was never that interested in being pregnant; very little about that experience intrigues me. So, for me, the definition of “my own” has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not a child came out of my body or shares my DNA. “My own” means the child that I love—that loves me back—and the one that I raise and care for. Period.
What I know from my own experience is that I cannot imagine loving a child more than I love my daughter. In fact, if I’m being perfectly honest, I’m concerned that if I had a child biologically, I might not love him/her as much as I love my daughter. Maybe it’s because she’s my first, I don’t know. All I know is that she is my world and I cannot imagine loving anyone more. That’s what I tell people who ask.
(And then I tell them “my own” isn’t considered positive adoption language, as it suggestions that adoptive relationships are less important than biological ones. Better choices are “birth child” or “child by birth.” Any opportunity to educate!)