“Some people questioned if we were “ready” to start the adoption process. Were we done grieving, they wanted to know. Clearly, this was a question being asked by those who have not yet known loss. You are never done grieving, and if you wait for that to happen, life will pass you by. But we were ready to choose hope, to choose life, to choose family and love and the chance to raise a child. We were ready to hold our loss in our hearts while we sought out joy. I didn’t give two figs if my child was flesh of my flesh or not. Put a baby in my arms, and that baby is mine.” This is an excerpt from an adoptive mother’s blog at Psychology Today.
Both topics, infant adoption and losing a child, are sensitive and often “tiptoed around” as individual discussions–and together, I certainly find myself watching my words.
No child will replace a child you lose, whether it’s by passing or adoption placement, that’s a given. But like families dealing with fertility issues, parents who have lost a child, should seek guidance as they enter into the adoption process. Feelings of grief and about adoption should be brought to light and resolved if necessary. Open and honest discussion is imperative.
The important thing to remember is that no path to parenthood is second-place. Every family has a unique journey. All children need absolute unconditional love and emotional and physical support– parents, biological or not, are the providers.
It’s okay for parents to choose adoption after losing a child. Without forgetting the child they have lost, they continue to grow a family. Eventually all parents learn that it’s okay to love more than one child–in fact, it’s darn near impossible not to love more than one child.