I did not give birth to my children. They are both from Guatemala.
They do not share each other’s biology yet I get asked almost daily if they are twins. Every single time it happens, I thank the Divine for the perfection that is my family.
Not only do my children not share biology, they come from total opposite ends of their country. I share this often about my very special family. I tell people to look closely at my two nine-year-olds that are not twins yet look and act as if they’ve shared a womb. I tell them this is, for me, a daily reminder that children end up exactly where they are supposed to be, in the family they were meant for, always, even if they did not come from the body of the woman they call “Mom.”
When I first started getting serious about possibly adopting, I sunk my teeth into every piece of literature I could find about this huge decision.
I knew it was going to be a challenging journey but the conclusion I came to is, children are challenging, whether you give birth to them or not, parenting is the world’s toughest job.
Naysayers added “Oh, wow, ‘another person’s kid,’ what a gamble. You are a saint. I could never do it. You just don’t know what you are going to get.”
The truth about parenting, not just parenting children you didn’t give birth to, is you just don’t know what you are going to get, but that is parenting, hell, that is life.
It was at this point that I was 99.9 percent sure I was going to make my family through adoption and it was at exactly that moment the Universe put “The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child” by Nancy Newton Verrier in my path.
I didn’t not even survive the first chapter before I broke down in hysterics and determined that adopting was the worst idea I had ever had in my entire life.
The next day at the office a dear friend/mother figure who had herself made her family through adoption just happened to drop by to see me. She could tell I was struggling with something. When she inquired, I shared.
She said “You know, Brian Weiss says everyone is in their exact perfect family, no matter what, right where they are supposed to be always, no matter how they got there.”
Huh? Brian who? Where do I find this wise man?
It is only now that I can clearly see the magnitude of how one sentence, one dear friend/mother figure turned Divine Angel, changed the entire course of my life.
Within hours, I had “Many Lives, Many Masters” in my hands and by the next morning I’d not only decided to adopt, I realized that I was not crazy, for the first time in my life I was not alone. There were people out there who believed what I believed. It confirmed all the soul level truths I’d known, but never shared, for my entire life.
As a result, my spiritual journey and the journey to search the world for my children started on the same day.
In addition, my unconventional parenting methods were birthed.
Most “Adoptive Moms” despise that terminology, “Adoptive” Mom with that pesky little adjective that the majority of the world insists on putting before our title that describes us as somehow foundationally different from other moms. I don’t despise it, I just think it is one more unnecessary thing that the uninformed use to label my unique family.
I even think that there are many “Adoptive families” who use these unnecessary labels in their own home.
I have brilliant, wise, spiritual children who are very capable of critical thinking and forming their own conclusions.
I’ve shared the facts and only the facts with my children from the beginning.
I tell my children “You and God had a meeting before this life to determine who your family would be and how you would come to them.”
Then I thank my children over and over and over again for picking me to be their mommy.
I tell my children that this amazing woman offered to give birth to them. I explained it would be a wonderful, Divinely guided learning opportunity for both her and for them.
We call them by their first names in our home, the women who gave birth to my children. My children are free to talk about them at anytime and to ask whatever questions come to mind whenever. I speak about these women as well. “Sweetie, I wonder if you have her singing voice.” and I point out regularly that the gifts she gave to our family are endless and our gratitude so deep there aren’t words.
When people ask me in public, in front of my children or not, if my children were “adopted” my response is always the same.
“My children are Guatemalan. I did not give birth to them.”
Those are the facts. No labels necessary.
As my children grow older I know they will hear the labels about our family out there in the world. Recently we were discussing the uniqueness that is our family and I said “Some people refer to the way we became a family as you being “adopted.”
My daughter made this crinkly face and said “Mom, that is so crazy. Adoption is what you do with a dog not how God makes your family.”
As we were leaving for school the other morning, my daughter said “I came from L’s tummy, Mommy, that means I have two mommies.” I nodded smiled and added “Some people will call her your Birth Mother, baby.”
I am not here to dictate my children’s stories. I am here to be their support system as their brains uniquely process all that the Universe has placed in their world.
This is my job as a mother. I provide my children with the foundational information they need to critically think and put the pieces of their story together.
How I made my family does not change my job as a parent. Whether you gave birth to your children or not our jobs are the same. No two children share the same story under any circumstances. I am not an “Adoptive” Mom.
I am a mom just like any other.
I just didn’t give birth to my children.
Author: Christie Del Vesco
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Micah H./Unsplash