If you have ever visited my blog before, you know I am an adoptive and foster mother to 8 children. What you might not realize is that I am also a social worker and conduct home studies for fellow parents out there looking to adopt. The other day I was finishing off a home study visit with a family when they stopped and asked,
“Are we normal?”
The question caught me off guard at first and I started laughing. I think I laugh far too much in my home study visits, but hopefully this calms their nerves rather than makes them think I am a lunatic. I wasn’t sure what they meant, so questioned them on it. I can’t say I think I am normal myself, so I don’t think being normal is the goal, but I wanted to understand what they were referencing. They began to explain to me that as they told their various friends and family about their adoption plans, people repeatedly responded in a discouraging manner. Many said they were crazy, many asked why they would adopt while they had young children, and many questioned why they would want more children. This family was not alone in the questions they received. I have heard COUNTLESS other questions and comments from other adoptive families as they shared their news to their family and friends.
“Won’t they burn the house down”
“I don’t think I could ever love someone who isn’t my own child”
“Why would you add more to your family?”
“Can’t you have your own children?”
“Why would you take on more?”
“You know how incredibly hard this will be, don’t you?”
“Aren’t you worried about your own kids?”
“I could never do that. I want to give my children the best life, go on vacations, and afford time with each of them. I don’t want to reduce their quality of life”
Other adoptive parents have told me far worse comments, some less hurtful comments, and I have personally heard everything in between on our own adoption journey. So when I replied to the couple I wholeheartedly said:
“NO! Your’re NOT normal, and THANK GOD you’re not!
If being normal means thousands of children in BC have to go without a forever family, then I say forget normal!
If being normal means children grow up in orphanages, tied to cribs and never getting hugged or touched, then I say forget normal!
If being normal means another child ages out of foster care and enters the sex trade, turns to drugs, or commits suicide, then I say forget normal!
The important thing to remember about adoption is that it allows a child to have a family forever. It is not saving the child, or rescuing the child, but it is also not purely about growing your own family. Today’s view on adoption needs to change. It is about providing a stable, loving and permanent family for a child that currently doesn’t have one. If everyone remains in their comfortable life, with their perfect 2.5 children and yearly trips to Disneyland, then who is left to provide a family for a waiting child?
Just to clarify, I don’t think everyone needs to adopt. I don’t think everyone should adopt. There are certainly many other ways to support children finding forever families that don’t entail adopting. However, we still desperately need MORE people to make the decision to adopt. 34% of Christians have considered adopting, yet only 1% actually do it.
And at the very least, we need people to STOP condemning those who are making the decision to adopt. The truth is, I won’t argue with anyone about how difficult adoption is. The process is difficult, the trauma attached to kids in adoption is difficult, the journey is difficult. But it is also BEAUTIFUL! It is one of the most amazing journey’s I have ever been on (clearly evidenced by the fact that I have 8 children!). It teaches me. Stretches me. Humbles me. Inspires me. And most importantly, it allows me the opportunity to love on one more child on this earth.
SO…to answer the question “Am I normal?” I say NO! EMBRACE your inner freak, throw away your comfortable life, let the crazy take you, and get the opportunity to be blessed through the love of a child desperate to have a family to call their own. Who wants to be normal anyways?
Stay up to date on future posts!
Subscribe to get our latest content by email.