Our oldest biological daughter has severe disabilities. Because my husband and I are both recessive carriers, Sammy was born with this very rare condition. Our geneticist advised not to have any more children, since the risk of this recurring was so high.
We chose adoption.
I think when many people look at our life, filled with medications and therapies, seizures and potential surgeries down the road, they tend to have one of these two thoughts: They either think we are somehow amazing because we want more children and so adopt. Or they think we are absolutely crazy to add to our load. We aren’t amazing, so let me just squash that right here and now. I am crazy, though, but it’s not because we are adopting. (I was just born crazy!)
What I have found over the past nine years of parenting, is that it’s not all about me . . . or my husband. Yes, I wanted another child. And admittedly when we went through our first adoption, during the entire process I thought about being Mom. I thought about holding a baby again, taking care of this child and watching her grow. I thought about tickling toes and tucking my child into bed each night. I thought about how I would juggle being a mom to a newborn while taking care of our daughter who was very high-needs at that time. It kind of all revolved around me.
When we had been selected by our daughter’s birth mother, I felt overwhelmed. It had all happened so quickly that I felt unprepared to have a newborn. We were told the average wait was two years, and in only eight month’s time we had been selected and it was time to fly out to meet our new baby.
I struggled to feel that I could manage everything, and manage it well. That’s when I had the strong impression . . . this is Samantha’s sister. All my fears and anxiety melted away. I was filled with so much peace. It wasn’t all about me as the mom. It was about what was best for our family. Don’t get me wrong, I was over-the-moon excited, but there was a natural fear that crept in and grabbed onto me. It wasn’t until that moment, however, when peace was restored and I knew that this baby was right, not only for me and my husband, but also for our daughter. This was the sister she had been waiting for.
Since infancy, Callie has always been extremely sensitive to Sammy’s needs. Truly, it’s as if they have a spiritual link that’s been there since before this lifetime.
They have such a great relationship. Over the years, her therapists have often mentioned how much they believe Samantha has grown and developed because of her interaction with Callie. Since infancy, Callie has always been extremely sensitive to Sammy’s needs. Truly, it’s as if they have a spiritual link that’s been there since before this lifetime. It’s quite a beautiful concept, if you believe it. And if not, well, suffice it to say that their bond was immediate.
Should we adopt or have more children just so our kids can have siblings? This is not meant to be a commentary on that subject . . . rather, to maybe shed light on one of the beautiful and positive side effects of bringing another child into our family, especially when that desire already exists. So when I came across this story, about two parents who adopted a little girl with Treacher-Collins syndrome from Ukraine, my heart swelled up. We don’t have the same situation exactly, but what I saw was how these two parents found their daughter across the world . . . and more than that, how a sisterhood was created between their two daughters. Yes, they were given the opportunity to parent again. But maybe this time, what was greater, was the gift they were able to offer their daughter by bringing her a sister.