Considering Adoption Our Personal Experience with Adoption
Adoption is a wonderful opportunity for a lot of people. It's good for couples that are unable to have children, couples that can have children, and, most importantly, a generous blessing to the child being adopted. Unfortunately, many couples only want to adopt infants or very young children, and there is so many older children that need the stability of adoption. So if you are considering opening your home and heart to a parentless child, please consider the thousands of older children that need a home. Also, I challenge you to examine your motives for adopting because children are a lot of work.
However, I want to discuss adoption that occurs within families. I am a child of adoption within my family system-I was legally adopted by my biological grandparents. This practice is not uncommon in society, especially with such high teen pregnancy rates. In my own case, my biological mother was young, but my grandmother was also experiencing empty nest syndrome. I still call my grandmother Mom to this day, although she has passed away. I believe that she earned the right to be called my mom, but I do know my biological mother.
As with any type of adoption, truth about a child's origins cannot be hidden from the child. The one thing that I am very grateful for is that I was never lied to about my birth. I knew that I was being raised by my grandma and grandpa; however, I was not allowed to call them anything except mom and dad. As I have stated before, I was raised in a dysfunctional family, and my grandmother's control and perfection issues were a huge part of that dysfunction.
The hardest part of my adoption and upbringing is that I always felt put in the middle between the two mothers in my life. My grandmother was always telling me how my mother did not want me, and as I got older, my mother kept telling me how my grandmother stole me because she was young and naive. It took me many years to learn that I did not have to be in the middle, but there are still so many times that I wish that it could have been different. My grandma passed away in 2004, but I still do not have a good relationship with my biological mother. She is just as controlling as her mother was, and she feels that she now has the right to tell me how I can live my life. The two of us have not spoken to each other in over two years, and as much as I wish that our situation was different, I do not believe that it will ever be. I keep praying that the relationship will be mended someday, but I became unwilling to take abuse from her many years ago.
If you are considering adopting your grandchild, the best advice that I could give you is to remember that your own child is going to grow up someday. I commend you for loving your child and grandchild, but remember that the two of them will need and want a relationship someday. This will most likely hold true for any child that is adopted. Tell the child the truth. Also know that as your own child matures, you can help grow the relationship between the biological parent and child. So do not dump the past mistakes on the grandchild because it is not his/her fault that their parent may have made mistakes in life. After all, everyone makes mistakes. Try to be positive about the biological parent because otherwise you may be creating a huge divide in your family that can never be healed.