How life changes after adoption

How life changes after adoption

Two years ago my husband and I adopted our daughter Rachel. While our journey is, like all adoption stories, unique and significant to us (you can read about it here), this post is instead about our life since Rachel became part of our family.

The big question many often want to know is how exactly has life changed since the adoption? The answer is surprising, even to me: from the other side, adoption is normal, it’s every day, and I don’t see the difference.

Before we adopted there where so many questions floating through our heads; doubts, mixed feelings, insecurities. The unknown was big and looming and we were both excited and terrified at the same time. There was so much to say! And then those first few days and weeks were a whirlwind of emotion; fear and uncertainty, extreme love and joy as we got to know Rachel and she started to bond with us.

Fast forward two years and I forget she is adopted. I’m sometimes genuinely surprised when someone gives us a second look on the street. Why would you stare at my daughter like she’s different? She is just like me!

And, rather, I want to write about being a mom. Because that’s what adoption is. Becoming a mother. On this side, with biological (I gave birth to our second daughter, Emma, earlier this year) and adopted girls on each hip, I don’t see the difference. Both have vomited on me. Both have kept me up for hours in the night. Both needed rocking, shushing, cradling, cuddles and kisses to stop crying. Both had me sobbing in empathy with their first real hurt. Both have caused me to grin from ear to ear at their antics. Both swell my heart with pride. Don’t get me wrong, they are different, and I have had to parent them differently, but the ultimate outcome is the same: I am mom.

So what do I have to say about adoption? If you want to be a mother, adopt. If you want to save the world, buy a superman cape. Because adoption – although it changes the life of a child that seemingly has no hope or future – is not about saving a child. It’s about starting a family, becoming a parent, having a child to call son or daughter.

There’s nothing ‘special’ about Rachel. She is a normal, shy, happy, silly, loving girl. And yet she is the most precious, adored and special girl in the world to me. Not because she is adopted. Because she is OURS.

EDITOR’S  NOTE: This blog was originally posted on Brett Fish’s blog Irresistibly Fish. You can read Jane’s original version here.

This post was written by
Jane is wife to Mike and mom to Rachel (3) and Emma (10 months). She teaches grade R and is a member of Common Ground Church Rondebosch AM congregation.

2 Comments on "How life changes after adoption"

  • Catherine says

    Wow, beautiful and so powerful, thank you for sharing Jane

  • Sindiso says

    Thanks for sharing your story, Jane – beautiful. Blessings to you and your family.

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