Lindsay is one of our most dedicated members, and mom to three-year-old Luke and two-year-old twins Max and Grant. We're so fortunate to have Lindsay and her boys as part of our Fit4Mom Severn village.
“How are they brothers?"
A question I often receive since bringing home our precious baby Luke three years ago. And then welcoming twins ten months later.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have an opinion about adoption– myself included. My husband and I are often the recipients of these opinions. With the exception of some extreme outliers, our family‘s expansion choices have been met mostly with positivity. But I often wonder why there is a public preoccupation with children not being raised by their birth parents or people that look like them, and why “normal” is defined only as birth parents raising their biological children.
I would like to make an argument for a new normal. Because at the end of the day, all parents are walking the same path with a lot of the same experiences.
“The birth mom has chosen you and Josh to bring home the baby – due in three weeks."
Our adoption counselor informed us as I stood in front of the fireplace bursting with joy in early January. Three weeks – wow – where was that list I'd made? Stroller, crib, car seat, bottles, clothes. Thank God for amazon.com.
While I wanted to shout the news to the world, my husband suggested we wait until the baby was born. There would be a period after the birth parents signed away their parental rights where the baby would go into interim care for 30 days in a separate home, which allowed the birth parents time to change their minds.
“I am so sorry Lindsay. The birth mom has decided to parent the child.”
This was the phone call that I received from my counselor shortly after the birth of that same baby boy four weeks later. With tears streaming down my face, I relayed the news to my husband.
"This was always a possibility," my husband said to me over the phone. I recommend NEVER saying to a distressed woman after she has just had her dream of becoming a mother ripped from her.
Looking back, I understand this to be the journey that I had to go through to bring home our precious Luke later that year. Just like I know several other mothers whose journeys endured similar losses of the babies that they carried in their wombs.
“He is a big boy and loves to eat.”
Luke’s foster mom told us, just prior to my husband and I meeting him for the first time. Then, the counselor carried in a three-week-old, ten-pound baby, who looked at us in bewilderment. His foster mom left a bottle for us to feed him – thank God – he will love us now!
It had been four months since the January adoption had fallen through, and we were now holding our baby boy! We took turns holding him, we shot videos as he held his head up (at 3 weeks old! I know!) and couldn’t believe that God had blessed us with such a precious gift.
Surprise, Part 2!
“Does that pregnancy test look positive to you? I have never seen a positive one. How is this possible?!”
I said this to my husband, as he gave me the “you know how this happened!” look. Wow – Luke is going to be a big brother before he is one year old!
“Hi, um, I have some news. I am pregnant. But can we please keep Luke?”
Yup – I anxiously called my adoption agency before my OBGYN. We could not take the loss of this precious child.
“Of course you can keep him! Our only concern would be that you'd want to give him back, since you are expecting a biological child,” the adoption counselor said over the phone. What – give him back!? Of course not!
This was not the first (and probably not last time) where we were worried about losing our precious Luke. I hate to say this, but I think this is inherent with adoption.
But the truth is, our children can walk away from us at any point in our lives as they become adults. Adoption definitely adds a different parameter to the equation, but as in raising biological kids, my job is to wake up every day and love and take care of them. I try to focus my attention on achieving this task everyday instead of living paralyzed by what could happen.
“Skin to skin is the best way to hold three pound babies. It keeps them warm.”
The NICU nurse told me to push me past my fear of holding five-day-old premature babies. “Ok, I guess...” I responded, not convinced, as she handed me two tiny babies that had been part of me just five days prior.
“Hello there... remember me? The one that ate all of the macaroni and cheese?” Then, it occurred to me – I was holding little miracles.
“Do you know how much Mommy loves you?”
I say this to my boys every night. “So much.”
Believe it or not, people find it hard to believe that you could love your adopted children as much as your biological children. I find this to be dumb. Do you love one of your eyes more than the other one? Or one of your arms more than the other one? Your children are part of who you are, and what you have become. And honestly, when I talk about my kids or look at them or love them, I don’t think for a second whether they came to me through adoption or my womb. And my hope is that one day everyone will understand this unconditional love.
A child is a child is a child. If we are blessed enough to be called Mom – what else matters? One day, my hope for the world is that “normal” includes the adoption and birthing of children as one in the same.