16 Things You Learn As An Adoptive Family

    You can only save a child once. After that it's called parenting.

    1. You will stress out.

    Adding a new life to your family is always a huge adjustment, and adoption is no exception. Sure, you may avoid the pregnancy waddle and stretch marks and hormones, but those stressors will be replaced with mounds of paperwork and anxiety as you wait for “the call.” And then you will wait some more. But oh, how it’s worth it.

    2. You will never forget “the call.”

    3. You will know what a “real mom” or a “real dad” is.

    4. You will feel a unique kinship to other adoptive families.

    5. When you adopt transracially, you do not become the parents of a minority child. You become an interracial family.

    6. You will become a conspicuous family.

    7. You will field all kinds of stupid questions.

    8. You will be a regular family.

    9. You can save a child once. After that, it’s called parenting.

    While it's certainly true that adoption can save a child from a life of living in an orphanage, adopted children should not be required to bestow special gratitude to their parents. Adoptive parents are regular, imperfect people. Adoptees have the same rights as biological children to be resentful, annoyed, or ungrateful toward their parents, without being reminded that they've been "saved" by their parents.

    10. You will be appointed weird hero narratives.

    11. You will be the poster child for adoption education.

    12. You will value the experiences of adult adoptees.

    13. You will think about adoption always and never.

    You will have the same hopes, dreams, fears, and insecurities as any mom: How are they doing in school? How are they doing socially? Are they kind and compassionate? But you will also always be cognizant of the potential feelings your child has around adoption, both positive and negative.

    14. You will be open to talking with your child about hard things.

    15. You will understand that personality is determined by DNA, but character is determined by nurture.

    16. You will strengthen your conviction that every child deserves the love of a family.