While enjoying some coffee and donuts during the kids' CCD classes on Sunday (and by enjoy I mean chasing two little ones while trying to keep a newborn fairly content while shoving a donut down my throat because I didn't eat breakfast, and doing my best to chug some coffee before a toddler knocked it over--but now my digression has gone too far), I tried to have a few conversations with friends. Thankfully my friends are very patient with a mom who has her hands full. One friend brought up a fear about adoption I have encountered many times when talking to other parents. The notion that it would be impossible (or at the least very difficult) to love an adopted child as much as a biological child.
I am actually very thankful when others ask this question because it was probably my biggest fear before we adopted and I always felt that I had to hide that feeling. I was afraid if I spoke about being concerned about this, that someone would question why we were adopting. I knew we were absolutely, positively called to adoption. That didn't mean there weren't doubts (aren't still moments of doubt), but it also didn't mean we were any less called to adoption. God's plan for our family included Juliana and Joseph, but sometimes I did worry I could love them as I did my biological children.
My best response to this question is that I do love Joseph and Juliana as much as I love my girls. My mother's heart has been there for them from the moment I saw their pictures, before ever meeting them. Yes, that love has changed and grown as we met, as we got to know each other. The bonding process takes time, but my love for them was instant-- and it was just as much as the other children we had.
That doesn't mean there aren't differences. Just as there are differences between sons and daughters, there are differences between our adopted children and our biological children. Different doesn't make one better than another, nor is our love for one greater than the other-- it's just different. I don't have birth stories for Juju and Joseph, but I don't have Gotcha Day stories for the other children. The bonding process has been different for Juju and Joseph, since they weren't newborns, but again different doesn't mean less. Do I wish I had been able to care for these little ones from the moment they were born? Of course, but it doesn't mean I love them any less.
I have had some friends who worried about having a second child. They were overwhelmed with how much they loved their first child. They wondered how they could possibly love another baby as much as their first. I, too, remember being so surprised at how much love I could have for Banana. However, when Bear came along that love was not diminished-- it was multiplied. Growing our family through adoption has multiplied the love in this house in the same manner (ok, there are also multiplied squabbles, and more clutter, not to mention more diapers). It is teaching all of us, including our children, what joy life has to offer. Joy that comes from sacrificial giving of our time and talents and from loving one another.
While different circumstances have brought each child into our family, each has brought a unique dimension to our household. Somehow each one is a necessary little piece to our family and we are blessed to have each one.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. --Ephesians 1:3-6