There is an adoption concept I struggle with.
There is a saying - I am not sure who said it - that I want to address today. My thoughts are a little muddled so you'll just have to struggle through with me. Here is the quote:
"Adoptive parents, their child, and their child's birth parents do, indeed, have a shared fate. Had any of them had their first choice in life, they would not be together in the adoption triangle."
Is this true?
Part of me says, "Yes, it is technically accurate."
And part of me says, "No, because this makes adoption sound second best. Like a consolation prize. And I have NEVER felt that way."
I guess what hangs me up in the quote is the word "choice." It's like saying if I had my first choice in life, I would not be an adoptive mother.
Even as a child, I played and fantasized about adopting children. Maybe it was because I adored the movie Annie, but I imagined going to an orphanage and picking out a child. (I know, it sounds so inhuman, but that's how five-year-old girls play.)
The concept of adoption was never a problem for me.
I always assumed I would have biological children. I often imagined having a brood of biological and adopted children.
And when Justin and I got married and decided to start a family, we thought we would have a biological child. It was "normal" (not saying that adoption is abnormal, but that biological families, as the vast majority, are the norm).
So yes...having a biological child was my first inclination.
And now for the other side of the coin...
Having a biological child was just an assumption. It was never a driving desire or need for me. Some people who struggle with infertility have to try every procedure under the sun before considering adoption. I didn't. I chose adoption over IVF, sperm donors, egg donors, childlessness, surrogacy, and other things. It may not have been my initial assumption on how to build a family, but it certainly wasn't my last choice or a consolation prize.
And another defense I have, first choices aren't always the best choices. My first celebrity crush when I was little was Hulk Hogan. Seriously. Hulk Hogan. If I had my first choice of a husband, it would've been him. Can you imagine???
Last time I went car shopping, I saw an ad for a Pontiac Vibe. I researched the car a little bit and I was certain that I wanted it. I went to the dealership and test drove it. It was...okay...but it just wasn't....it. I saw this car across the lot, winking at me in the sunlight. I asked to test drive it. As soon as I sunk behind the wheel of that Chevrolet Malibu I looked at my husband in the passenger's seat and said, "This is my car." My body fit like a glove in the seat. I loved (and still love) everything about it. It was not my first choice...but it was a better choice.
One more thing...
I love how another adoption blogger Whitney put it. I will paraphrase her a little bit, but just do yourself a favor and read her whole post here.
Whitney basically says that adoption isn't plan B. Because plan A is being a mother. So she is getting to accomplish plan A through adoption. She doesn't have to adopt. She gets to adopt.
I feel exactly the same way. My first choice is to be a mother.
I am sure birth mothers and adoptees have similar arguments for this quote.
I imagine a lot of birth mothers' "first" choice would have been not to be in a crisis pregnancy at all. But now they would never want to take back the child they bore. The world is a better place with that child shining brightly in it!
And adoptees love their adoptive parents as any child loves his or her parents. As they grow older, I am sure they often wish they shared physical features and were "normal" like the other kids. But most are devoted to their families and wouldn't give them up for the world.
If I had my "first choice" I would be married to Hulk Hogan, driving a Pontiac Vibe, and birthing mulleted, singlet-clad children. I am SO GLAD I didn't get my "first choice."
But in all seriousness, my first choice has always been to be a mother.
And I have that.