God has graciously blessed our family with five beautiful children - the "Fab Five," as we like to call them. All of our children joined us through the blessing of adoption. Although each child has his or her own unique story prior to arriving in our family, from then on the common bond of adoption has knit our children's hearts together as brothers and sisters.
A few years ago, it first dawned on one of our children that some families had both biological and adopted children. Afterwards that child would often voice concern that a biological child might join our family some day and upset the balance, lording his or her biological status over the rest. My heartfelt reassurance to this child was the prayer I have prayed for several years regarding this very possibility. Sometimes our family felt entirely complete; other times I thought another baby might be nice. Yet always I prayed: "Your will be done, Lord ... but if it will hurt my children, please don't ever let me become pregnant."
Yesterday we made this announcement on Facebook:
This news was as much a surprise to us (after seventeen years of infertility) as anyone! Early on, we shared with our older children and specifically comforted the worried one with the truth of God's character. He answers prayer, and if He chose to send a sibling by biological means then it is for the good of our "Fab Five" and not to hurt them. It has been beautiful to watch concern for self turn to concern for Mommy and the newest member of our family. All the children are now very excited about the brother or sister who will be joining us in November!
I, however, felt the need to write this post because as a mom it is my privilege to protect my children's hearts. I so desire for this to be a precious time for them, and not painful. Yet I am aware that there are certain statements that surface in situations like ours which could easily wound them. Might I gently share some thoughts for celebrating with sensitivity this adoptive/biological scenario?
1. A biological child does not mean we finally have a child of our "own." Whether physically or emotionally, we have labored and wept for each of our children to become part of our family. In some cases, that "labor" has lasted years and spanned continents. All of our children are our "own" - regardless of adoption or biology.
2. We are not finally having a "natural" child. This would imply that our other children are unnatural, which sounds a lot like weird or abnormal. We are having a biological child.
3. This will not be our only "real" baby. All of our kids are pretty real! And all of our kids will really be brothers and sisters. The law says so, their birth certificates say so, and more importantly, our hearts say so.
Perhaps there are other thoughts that could be shared, but these three comes to mind first. Please know we are truly so grateful for those who share our joy! We hope that joy can continue to be shared in such a way as to lovingly include the five fabulous children who first made us parents. Thank you for your love and understanding!