I am in the season of life when all my friends are having babies. I go to baby showers all the time. My husband jokes that half the paycheck goes to baby shower gifts. Naturally, due dates, and clothing, and school supplies, and milestones all come up because we are in the thick of raising children together. Being a mom is a big part of my identity right now and because I stay at home, it takes up most of my time. Add in the fact that both my children were adopted and have special needs and my conversations tend to be filled with doctor visits, adoption, and trauma talk on top of normal mom conversations. 

But do I talk about adoption too much? In my friend group, we talk about our kids a lot. Many of us are stay-at-home moms and so our lives tend to be filled with our kids. I have many other things going on in my life, but it always seems to come back to adoption. My sister and I are both moms through adoption. Our brother is adopted. We have a podcast and blog about adoption and foster care. I write adoption articles. So when asked how I am doing, it is normal for me to come back to a topic that fills much of my life.

On top of caring for my children’s physical needs as their mom, I need to be attuned to their spiritual and emotional needs. I am constantly researching, seeking advice and counsel, and praying for wisdom to raise my kids. They have trauma that many children will thankfully never have to experience. Adoption parenting has many differences and I can’t just take any parenting advice or read any article online for support. 

I am not complaining. I knew when we decided to adopt older children internationally that we would have an uphill battle to retake their minds and replace their trauma responses with safety and love and a new life. We knew as much as anyone could know about what we were getting ourselves into. 

So, after I spent a sleepless night rocking a child to sleep who was going through a trauma response and relearning to trust and love their new family, I find myself talking about that. All my friends share our rough nights and long days with our children. Their kids are having normal milestones and my kids are dealing with trauma connected to their international adoptions. 

My friends might ask why we do not cry it out. They may think the child is just being naughty and needs discipline. They don’t understand why a five-year-old has sleeping troubles like an infant when their perfectly healthy child of the same age has no problem sleeping through the night—their child who has been loved and cared for since conception sleeps through the night with no issues. That is why it seems adoption comes up in all conversations.

I don’t have to educate my closest friends as much anymore; but, from time to time, it comes up. They appreciate that I take the time to educate them. 

Recently, we added another child to our family so adoption is at the front of our minds again. It is the same as a pregnant woman getting asked over and over about the gender and due date of her child. For our family, the process is several years of these questions and we can’t give all the answers all the time. The adoption process is complicated and changes frequently and because it is not a common or universal experience we are often explaining ourselves and how our family works to others. We do it happily most of the time. This is our life and our normal and we are so blessed we want to share it with anyone who would listen.

But any adoptive parents know it wears you down after a while. You do want to talk about something else, but the topic always makes its way to the top. I try to have other interests and hobbies and then I am invited to speak on adoption at a women’s group. I want to read or think about other topics, but then I am recommended a movie or book on adoption. I never want my children to feel like they cannot discuss their birth families and how we became a family. So, we end up talking about these topics often and openly. 

So I stopped fighting it and now I embrace my season in life. Maybe someday won’t be consumed with the day-to-day details of motherhood. Maybe someday my children won’t be so needy and adoption won’t be the main thing we are working through at the moment. Adoption will always be a part of our family identity as well as the individual identities of my kids, but it may not always be front and center as it is now. 

This topic came up when a friend said that I talk about adoption too much. She said I always answer questions before people can ask. That is true. When the doctor asks my name, I automatically say I am the mom. My beautiful children whom I would give anything for look nothing like me. I never want people to have to guess or wonder. I just tell them. When I meet people, I will let them know right away my children are adopted. It is a miracle that these sweet children are mine and I want the world to know how it happened. 

Yes, I do talk about adoption a lot and maybe sometimes it is too much. I am comfortable with my identity and who I am. I am comfortable in my season of life and I will likely talk about it. And any person with questions and curiosity will find I am easy to talk to and eager to teach. Adoption is a topic with endless facets to have conversations about. There are new ideas and new ways to understand the topic every day and in every season of life. I don’t get tired of talking about adoption and, thankfully, that won’t change anytime soon.