Blog 25 of Top 25 Adoption Blogs by Parents

Production, Not Reproduction by Heather Schade 

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Why I Decided to Adopt

Like a lot of couples, my husband and I talked seriously about adoption in the early days of our marriage and hoped to raise both adopted and non-adopted children. When it became obvious a few years later that there would be some obstacles in our fertility, it was an easy decision for us to start our family through adoption. Although I am not particularly grateful for my sub-fertility, I am in some way glad for it, because I don't know if we would have had the courage to actually adopt without it. I often feel that I straddle two camps in the adoptive parent world. One foot is in the first-choice adopter camp as we opted to bypass the whole fertility question and jump right into adoption. The other foot is in the world of infertility as I've grappled with the limitations of my body and the loss of reproductive control.

The Biggest Challenge of the Adoption Process

Finding ethical, compassionate professionals to work with was hard. On a personal note, my biggest hurdles came after our first adoption. During those early months, being around my son's first mom (it’s a fully open adoption) brought out an unexpected sadness that I wasn’t his only mother. At that same time, I started listening to the stories of birth parents and adoptees (especially those writing online) and realizing that openness doesn't erase the losses inherent in adoption (even though it's often a good tool for addressing some of them). It brought up a whole new set of worries! But I kept listening and learning and stayed committed to the openness I knew was best for our kids, even when it was hard. It was so worth it. Those same interactions (both online and within our open adoption) ultimately helped me work through my sadness and fears and embrace my adoptive parent role. It’s one reason I started — I know how influential sharing our stories can be.

When and How My Children Learned They Were Adopted

This is a bit like asking me when I will tell my daughter she is a girl or my son he is a boy! We integrated adoption conversations into our family life from the very moments they arrived. We’ve told the kids stories about their first days and their transitions into our family since they were babes in arms too young to understand our words. It’s more than the stories we tell, too. Because my children's adoptions are open, adoption is represented in the very shape of our family. Adoption isn’t just about a set of facts or events for my kids. It’s about relationships with people they know and love: their parents and siblings and grandparents by birth who are also part of our extended family.

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