November is a special time that we celebrate families that have come together through adoption as well as push to bring awareness on behalf of all the kids who are still waiting to find their place to call home. In honor of National Adoption Month, we are kicking off a mini series of blogs written by adoptive parents sharing the wonders and blunders that come from being a family formed by adoption. Through both cringe worthy moments and heart warming connections, we hope you enjoy!
As mom to seven, some through adoption and some by birth, I wanted to kick off the series with some of my family’s personal experiences with mouth blunders. Most people who look at our family have no idea which of our children are adopted and which ones are our birth children. At the same time, they look at their sizes (they are all very close in age) and cannot figure out how in the world all of our children are ours. Weekly I get the comment “are all of them yours” or the other less kind version of “please tell me they are not all yours.” I have been asked if we are a daycare or preschool, if we are Catholic or Mormon, if I know where babies come from, how I feed them all, and which ones are mine (or which ones are adopted). **Side note, none of these questions are really appropriate to ask any family- adoptive or not** Sometimes I am more open to dialogue than other times. Sometimes I get annoyed by the idea that people can have no filter before speaking their thoughts in front of my kids but, most of the time I give a quick response and off we go. Rarely am I shocked anymore but, one time I was left speechless. I had my four littles with me at the grocery store and we were doing our typical routine of me pushing one cart while I pull the other. The kids were in a great mood as we typically get muffins or something special after a successful shopping trip and, out of the blue a lady stopped. She looked at all my kids then looked back at the person she was with, never looking at me, and said, “I bet she can’t even take care of them all.” No words came to my mind. I stood there in complete shock. I do not know her name and honestly I could not pick her out of the crowd but those words have stuck. Her words helped me think more deeply about my own words.
As easy as it was to come up with mouth blunders, it was even easier for me to come up with wonderful ways that people have loved and supported our family. Two years ago we added our adopted kids’ siblings to our family. We went from a family of 7 to a family of 9 with 7 kids 6 and under. We had 4 in diapers and were back to sleepless nights with our little one whose tummy struggled with eating. We were working to find a new norm as well as balance for the daily tasks needed to keep on top of the household chores while loving each of our children through the change. Without us asking or any prompting, a friend lead their small group filled with people who did not know us to buy diapers and toys. They showed up with wrapped gifts brought by Santa and filled our kids’ hearts with joy. At the same time, another friend came with gifts for each child from their relative that had never met us. The practical need they met was huge but, what meant the most to me was the love and support. They filled our hands and our hearts in a time that was emotionally and physically taxing. They met a real need but also helped us feel loved and supported.
Adoptive mom & Founder/CEO Foster Arizona
Top photo credit @steponmephotography