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May 03, 2010

He's Not a Pound Puppy

Buster and daniel I remember when I told my father for the first time that we were pursuing adopting the baby boy who was to be our son.

"Why?", he wondered, "He's not a puppy you pick out at the pound."

Of course he isn't, I reassured my father. Don't judge him too harshly. That is the way he is about every decision my sisters and I have made as adults. Whether it be the schools we chose to attend, the career paths we set out upon, the people we have fallen in love with and, for me, the five children that I have had, my dear old Dad always wants to make sure that his girls know what they are getting themselves into with the choices that they make. Still I couldn't help it eight years ago to be taken aback a wee bit by the question Dad raised just as much as I am taken aback by acquaintances, friends and even total strangers that might draw the similar conclusions when they question our hearts and motivation for adopting our son. Perhaps I should offer a wee bit of grace given the overall blurry view people in general have on adoption and the way that it has been played out of late in the media. But then again, why should I?

The day we decided to contact the county's Family Services to inquire about adopting our boy was not unlike the days that we decided to have his sisters. We wanted to have a baby. Okay, perhaps we didn't have sex, I can't remember, but still the conversation was very similar as it was with our first four children. It was the right time for us and for our family and we wanted it...we wanted that baby boy who would be our son.

But for some reason some family and some friends saw our becoming parents through adoption as very different than through conception, pregnancy and birth. It's so much more spiritual, saintly almost. Our motives seem so much more altruistic as we appear to have saved this child or rescued him...as if he were a puppy in the pound. Seriously, do people who say such things to adoptive families really hear what they are saying? Apparently not given what my dear old Dad had said back then or what .

Most adoptive parents that I have known are no more altruistic or saintly than any other average parent. Like me and my husband, they wanted to be parents, they wanted another child to complete their family circle. We aren't doing it to offer a better life because who's to say it would be better. No one person can truly no that for sure. We are no more saints than the parents who physically conceived and gave birth to their children. Most of us don't believe that our children are lucky because we "chose" them. No, we believe that we are the lucky ones...that our children are our children.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! We moms (no distinctions necessary) all are the lucky ones, aren't we?

This is a 50-something Moms Blog original post. Laura Scarborough writes about her juggling adventures with her five wonderful children over at Adventures In Juggling.