When my twin boys, Alex and Art, were in pre-kindergarten last year, they had a wonderfully understanding teacher. She listened as I explained their challenges and my concerns and what I hoped for them during the school year. Because it was my first experience sending my babies off to school, I am positive that I talked far too much. But she didn’t make me feel silly or embarrassed, just reassured me that my boys would do well in her care.
I explained a little about their past so that she would know what was going on when they talked about their birth family or their adoption, and she stopped me and said, “Your boys are so beautiful. Isn’t adoption amazing? But you know, however we get to our families, it’s all just transportation.”
That is a thought I have come back to many times over the last couple of years, and I always tie it to another story in my mind: when I went to South America as a young adult, we traveled all over the continent on small planes, buses, taxis, and boats. I remember one journey in particular, when our bus broke down overnight. We slept in our tiny seats and thought we would never get to our destination.
In the end, though, we made it. We saw what we went there to see, and while the journey there became an memorable part of our trip, it didn’t determine the outcome. Obviously a broken bus is absolutely nothing compared to the rocky and winding paths my children had to take to reach our family, but I love looking at the way we came to be in our families as our “mode of transportation.”
Some people are born into their forever families. Some travel a bit farther, and get there through adoption–across countries and continents, through agencies and judges. And the how matters (a lot), but what matters most is what happens next–the love and commitment shown to our children, no matter how they came to us or how long they might stay, the baseball games and nights spent taking temperatures, the meetings with school teachers and bedtime stories.
I hope that as my children grow, their lives will be full of rich experiences and beauty, and that their transportation will become part of that.
How did your children get to you? How do you hope they will see that journey as they grow?