“Unforgettable in every way, and forever more that’s how you’ll stay.”
Nat King Cole himself couldn’t have said it any better. Our children are wonderfully unforgettable. It’s how we got them that becomes less and less significant however.
Now, my memory isn’t what it used to be. Actually, it was never all that good in the first place, and if you ask my wife, she would probably tell you that I have the memory of a young centenarian. It’s true that on a daily basis, I forget anywhere from one to about one hundred different things, ranging from where I left my car keys last to that bewildered feeling of, “What did I come into the kitchen for again?”
Then, my beautiful, smart, and funny preschooler, Madeline, comes bobbing down the stairs clutching her favorite doll, “Pinky,” and cozily all snuggled into her Elsa from “Frozen” pajamas. The frustratingly all-too-frequent quest to find my car keys has all of a sudden been put on hold by the need to throw my arms around Madeline and give her a big hug and kiss before I leave for work in the morning. Why I came into the kitchen becomes completely irrelevant now. It was probably just to look for my car keys anyway.
I am quickly reminded about how incredibly lucky I am to be the father to this amazing little girl. I remember how much love and life fills my home. I remember how many fun things I get to do with her when I get home from work later. I remember how special and treasured each and every moment I get to spend with her truly is. As all those remembrances flood my brain with happy thoughts and warm emotions, one thing I seem to forget more and more often these days, not that it matters at all, is that we adopted Madeline.
Perhaps forgetting that we adopted Madeline is a bit of an overstatement. Surely, I will never forget the extraordinarily special time that my wife and I shared when we adopted her a little over five years ago. However, the fact that adoption is how Madeline came into our lives seems to be more a footnote now rather than a headline.
Before most of us prospective parents embark on the journey of adoption, some of us understandably have concerns about how we will bond with our children and so on. As an adoptive father of more than five years now, I’m here to tell you that the moment you first lay eyes on that face looking at you for love, care, and support, it just happens. Bonding just happens so naturally by just being there and experiencing your child’s discoveries, thoughts, and actions on a routine basis. It’s an amazing world out there, and your child will want to share it with you–whether they have found their way to you biologically or by the amazing concept of adoption. Before you know it, your child is just your child. It doesn’t matter how it happened, and you may even find yourself like me, and forget from time to time.
Especially as Madeline continues to grow and develop, I see her acquiring more and more of my wife and my own personality traits and mannerisms. I suppose it’s another example of the nature vs. nurture debate. Truthfully, none of it really matters of course. However your children become yours is mostly irrelevant. What matters is that there is plenty of love to go around either way. The only reason I say that sometimes I forget that she was adopted is because I want everyone out there who is just starting their adoption journey and may have concerns over bonding to realize that someday, it may seem so insignificant that you actually forget, every so often, that your child was adopted. All you will know is that you share an unconditional bond of unconditional love forever.
Now if I could just remember where I put my keys…