In case you've forgotten, this month is National Adoption Month. Earlier in November, I asked for readers to share their adoption stories with me. I wanted to showcase different adoption experiences over the course of this month in order to give readers a sense of how wonderful adoption is, and how many different ways one could go about adoption.
I grew up in a biological family where my dad and his sister had been adopted back in the 1930s. I grew up knowing this and somehow it impressed me all the way back then. Because I grew up in a loving, caring Christian family, it was normal for us to help people: Neighbors, friends, church members, and strangers all got the same care from my parents.
So even as a teenager it was "normal" for me to want to take in the pregnant teen who was afraid to go home or the little boy and his sister whose mom was in the hospital and didn't have anyone to care for them. My parents, even though this is exactly what they'd taught us children, were not as excited to have me bringing home strangers!!
At 18 years old and out on my own, the above-mentioned little boy's mom died and the sister took over the role of mom. Through a series of events over the next few months, this little boy ended up becoming my son. He came to live with me when he was five years old, through a handwritten "custody" arrangement with his bio dad, which later became legal through the courts.
He was moderately developmentally delayed, and there had been some abuse and lots of neglect involved so I had my work cut out for me. Oh how I loved this little guy. I was sure that love would conquer anything, and this little guy had stolen my heart. I worked hard at being the family he never had, providing for him, nurturing, spending time with him and going on adventures.
It was not without trials though as he seemed to not understand the difference between truth and lies, had trouble socially, even played with toys in an almost robotic way, and as he grew, problems were manifesting in odd behaviors.
His teen years were filled with anger, and run ins with the law, and he left home at 17 years old. He "ran" to his biological sister (who always disliked me) and found more bio family. Never one for loyalty (I think if RAD had been a diagnosis in the late 70s, he might have qualified) he told of all his hardships, imagined or not, to these relatives and hung around them for a few years, until they became "too busy" and stopped taking his calls.
Always a phone call away, I would run to pick up the pieces of his life and reassure him of his always having a home with me.
In his 30s, he finally married and had his own children and we went through some horrible times with his wife and her continuing drama from her own childhood with her mother. They ended up losing custody of two of their children and I've been raising them for the last 15 years.
Even though he has always called me "mom" I always had this knowledge that just as quickly he would easily disown me for some perceived failure on my part and attach just as easily to a stranger. (Even now.)
Almost 10 years ago, I moved from my home state to a neighboring state and he and his wife and youngest son moved a few years later down the road from me.
Yesterday, my now 43-year-old son came and helped me move furniture around in my house and sat down and talked with me for a couple of hours. Even though we only live minutes apart, this was a rare time for us as he often sits out in the car when his wife or my grandson visits.
Somehow over the years, despite all we have been through together and apart, I still love him more than ever. Looking back, if I knew then what I know now, all the trials and heartaches and sadness and frustrations, would I have done the same thing - taking him in - a naive, innocent 18-year-old who thought that love would conquer all?
There is no doubt, I would do it all over again. He is as much a part of me as my biological child, as my step-daughter is, as my other adopted kids are.
Ironically, my family, over the years, has looked at me at times with disappointment because they had another future planned for me when I was a teen. They see my life filled with regretful decisions, all because of one little boy changed the course of my life. I disagree wholeheartedly. Because taking in children over the years, some for a while and some for a lifetime, has been the most fulfilling life I could ever have lived.
At 56 years of age, I'm ready to do it all again. I hope to be approved as a foster mom in the next few months, Lord willing.
If you have an adoption story that you'd like to share with everyone, use my Contact page or send me a message through my author page on Facebook. I'm looking for all different kinds of adoption stories from parents, grandparents, children, siblings, family members, and friends. Share a story about your experience with:
- Foster care adoption
- International adoption
- Adopting a grandchild
- Spouse adopting a step-child
- Any other adoption experience you may have
Thank you so much for your continued support! I look forward to sharing more stories about my experience with foster care, and hopefully hearing from readers who have questions or similar stories to share. I'm always willing to answer questions and hear about other experiences! Please don't forget to like and share my Facebook author page as well!
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