I love my kids and I love adoption but I don’t think I’m alone when I say that there are some days when I wish I could just forget about adoption. There are some days where I just want to be a mom without the ‘adoptive’ part attached to it. There are some days when I wish attachment and bonding were automatically thrown into the mix the minute you signed on the dotted line. There are other days when I’m tired of coming up against a rigid Home Affairs and using all my energy and time to get seemingly nowhere. Some days when I long for sameness because if we’re honest here, it’s just easier – different usually equals hard.

Sometimes adoption just feels like a long, hard slog and you can’t imagine coming through the other side

Adoption can be so overwhelming and exhausting: adoption is being a parent and doing parent things and reading parent books, but also keeping adoption at the back (or front) of your mind whilst reading books/blogs/research about transracial adoption, white privilege, diversity, language, attachment. If you’ve been through the adoption process your eyes have been opened to the number of children who need moms and dads and you can’t un-see what you have seen. This can weigh heavy.

I look at my beautiful children and want to press pause on their childhood because every year older is another year wiser and next thing you know you’re having those hard conversations about why they didn’t grow in your tummy. I want to preserve their innocence and avoid future pain. I want to self-protect.

Adoption is beautiful, and I’ll spend my life believing in it and advocating for it

But the flip side is pain. It’s easier to live in a bubble and close yourself off to the pain that I carry for my kids and for the women who brought them into this world. If I had to dwell on the reasons why my kids where placed for adoption in the first place, I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning for all the tears. Life’s not fair. My kids have had an unfair start to life but they’re resilient and brave. And I need to be resilient and brave too because it does no one any good to fall into the trap of feeling too many feelings or hardening my heart to cope.

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As adoptive parents, we need to figure out how to walk the tightrope between the two – we need to be sensitive enough to feel everything but tough enough to endure it.  I haven’t figured out how to balance just yet but I’ll get there.

Adoption was our choice and it’s changed our lives and I’d choose it again. All I know is that there is hope in the heartache and God is with us and that my heart has stretched and stretched each time our family has grown.

The road is long but the journey is so worthwhile and my heart has the stretchmarks …