Thursday, November 10, 2011

November is....

November is....
A busy and special month for me.

November ends the craziness of Halloween and all of the candy and parties that go with it.  November has Veteran's day toward the beginning with my Birthday around the middle (and yes folks, I WILL be turning 29 again this year).  And my favorite of all holidays brings the month to a close...Thanksgiving!  I love seeing our family and all the joy of "the cousin gang" getting together.  Oh, and the food....mmmmmm mmmmm.  I do love that Holiday most of all!
But another special aspect of this month,  to me and mine anyway, is that November is "National Adoption Awareness Month".

Some of us are reminded all year long on a daily basis what adoption can mean.  For me it begins with my families, the one I grew up with and now the one I am raising, both formed through adoption.  I have parents, a brother and countless extended family members that I was so fortunate to have because my parents chose to adopt. And because my birth parents chose to bring life into the world and then made a plan for that life, for me, so many years ago.   And now, every moment of every day  I know how blessed I am with my two amazing children that came to me through adoption.

 I've always said adoption isn't a one time event.  You don't just adopt a child or just get adopted, it becomes part of you, part of your life.  Not that it encompasses your life, no, it just is always there as a part of who you are - kind of like a thread in your DNA.  You may not talk about your brown eyes every day, but you still are aware that your eyes simply are brown.
So in keeping with that, I also have always believed adoption and your feelings toward it can be ever evolving.

Growing up I was fully aware of adoption, it was a big part of how I became me.  Yet it was also a natural part of my life,  I was adopted and now I had them as my family.  Sure, I wondered where I came from, who I looked liked, where I got some of my personality.   It just wasn't something I thought about all the time, it was just a part of who I was...I was "just adopted".

Adoption then became a choice I had to make once I married and was ready for a family of my own.   Adoption suddenly became my own business transaction - my little act of a means to an end.   My evolution was going from "being adopted" to "adopting" and  I did what I had to do to make my family.  The emotions that went into the act of adopting, at that point in time, did not compare to the emotions that led me to it.     Now, those emotions of hurt and loss that led us down the road to adoption are barely memorable.  Time and two amazing blessings have healed much.

Oh and once we brought our darling dumplings home my thoughts evolved a bit again.  Now I had this child, and eventually two, that I brought out of everything they had been born into to take them half way around the world to make them my own.  I knew I'd love them both beyond anything in the world but I didn't ever realize or imagine how  intense that love would be and how it would consume every last inch of my heart.  And yet, even though they are totally mine in my heart, I know there is that part of them that always belongs to others, to their birth parents.  I now realized adoption was more complex and had more emotions, players and components than I had ever imagined when I was "just adopted" or even "adopting".

Now, at this time of my evolving self, I think of other things.  I think of why I adopted the children I did.  I've come to a final conclusion that it truly was for selfish reasons.  I wanted a family and I wanted babies - healthy babies at that.  I did not set out on this path to save a child or make a difference in a life.  Nope, I simply wanted a family and babies is what I had in mind.  Not that I took the endeavor lightly or think I'd adopt and that would be it.  No, I never felt that way, for my adult adoptee self knew the truth. I just have realized  I went into the process thinking solely of my wants and needs - to have a family.

Now that I happily have these two wonderful beings in my life I start to think of others, those needing families still.  The older children, the ones with special needs, and the ones right here in this country that need forever families.  I imagine one of mine in foster care or an orphanage at the ages they are now, or older.   I think of the sweet kids folks in our FCC group have brought home, those children that truly do benefit from adoption in a whole different way.  I think of the people I know here fostering children, some with the hope to eventually adopt and sometimes just fostering to help the kids that need loving homes.  Those selfless acts of love and finding family blended perfectly together.

At this time I wonder in my heart what is next for us.  I would not change the course of events over the last ten years, for they have all led us to the here and now, a happy family formed through not only adoption but a whole lot of love.  Yet still I wonder if there is more.  When does the time come to give back some of the joy we have received through adoption, and just how do we do that?

So this November leads my ever evolving mind along that new path.  This path leads my thoughts not to what adoption means to me, but what I could mean to adoption.  I do not know where this path will take me, if it leads anywhere or is just a curve on the road, leading me back to where I am now.  But in my heart I want it to lead me.... because adoption is not a one time thing and I have a lot left to explore and plenty more left to give. 


Teresa said...

Wow. You made me cry, Jennifer. I too was touched by adoption before we decided to adopt. You see, my favorite cousin, the one I am closest to even though she lives across the country from me, is adopted. My best friend growing up was adopted (although she found out by accident when she was 13, but that's a whole other post - and an irritating one at that!) To see those who have adopted come full-circle with their stories of adoption is so inspiring.

Lisa said...

A time of reflection then and a beautiful expression of the journey adoption has both taken you "to" and "led from" ever changing one. So simple and so not simple not all!!!

I always imagine it to be similiar to ripples on the one life becomes enriched by another, and then tenfold. Looking only from the shore, one might see the slight current, hues of the a sunset dapples in the shade, birds overhead. But peek below and a mysterious, amazing and strange world unfolds! One missed, if you don't take the time to look.

Or if you don't acknowledge that one can't exist without the other.

Perhaps this too then is part of your road ~ sharing your evolution with the world; one bloggy post at a time! Maybe a book? Speaking engagements?Bringing awareness to those still waiting? I have no doubt you would be brilliant at both!

Your heart always just shines right through each post! What a gift for us all!

Hugs and so glad your birthday was so special ~ just as I wished for you!!!