We mamas are all defensive when it comes to our families. And we adoptive mamas maybe most of all. We don’t happen upon adoption. Our families are never created on a whim; have you seen the paperwork?
We know, deep in our bones, that our children are “ours.” Our families are intentional and often hard-fought.
And so we have a tendency to take everything personally.
We hang out online and the accusations come easily. One comment unleashes a torrent of pent-up emotion. And we are ready to fight.
Why would you pursue international adoption when there are children in the United States who need homes?
How dare you judge me for providing a home for a child who might otherwise grow up in an orphanage?
You think babies are less likely to have issues, but you know there are no guarantees, right?
Tempers flare, feathers are ruffled.
Because these are our families we are talking about. Our children.
When it comes to adoption, we want to draw lines. To make judgments. To justify our own choices.
But here’s the thing.
Sitting in a room with real, live adoptive mamas, the tone is almost always different.
The harsh words come more slowly.
Whether we chose domestic infant adoption, foster care adoption or international adoption.
Whether our wait was years or days.
Whether our children share our skin color and our first language or not.
Whether we witnessed their birth or met them after days or months or years.
Whether our relationship with their birth families is supportive, rocky, complicated or nonexistent.
One thing is true.
These are our babies. We cannot imagine our lives without them. They are everything to us.
Out from behind a computer screen, when we look into the eyes of other adoptive mamas, we know this is true.
Sitting together, we can all relax a little. Take a deep breath.
Smile at the other mamas who are doing the best they can, just like we are.
Because, really, we are more alike than different.