By Megan Monsour –
My oldest son started kindergarten in the Fall. Without a doubt, the adjustment has been harder for me than him. It has brought to the forefront the realization that we cannot protect our children from the little ups and downs nor the tragedies in life. With so much of life out of our control, I want to teach my children what so many adoptive families have taught me, to lead with love and joy.
Families come to adoption for many different reasons, but ultimately because they want to become parents. Families approach adoption in many different ways. The approach some families take could teach us all something. The way some families handle adoption could teach the world something. Some families don’t just accept differences, they embrace them. I have had the blessing to meet some extraordinary adoptive families. Those families have taught me that adoption can be about celebrating what makes us all different. They have shown me the freedom in leading with love and facing the unknown with a sense of peace and purpose.
Adoption can be about the realization that we can’t live without our differences. Adoption can be about love. Adoption can be about the true meaning of family. Adoption can be about the good of a child. About saving a life. About our future. It can force you to see the world in a different way. If you let it, adoption can force you to see yourself in a different way. Change you. Change your family. Change your community.
Adoption has changed. A teen birth mother headed to college is now the exception, not the rule. Pregnant women choose adoption because they need help, they are struggling with addiction, they can’t feed another mouth, or they want their children to have a better life than what they can offer. These women are doing something selfless. They are putting their children’s needs before their own. Adoptive parents aren’t doing the birth mother a favor; they are choosing to do the same thing. Their task is equally as hard. They, too, are deciding to put a child’s needs before their own. To celebrate their differences. To not be able to live without that child. To welcome the unknown that faces them. To accept. To love.
The world we live in today can be scary. Nothing is guaranteed, whether it be fertility or our children’s safety. We can choose fear or we can choose to face whatever the world gives us like the families that have taught me so much, leading with love. You and I may not be able to stop terrorism. We may not be able to stop mass shootings. We may not be able to end hate across the world. But we can choose love. We can choose acceptance. We can choose to love in whatever way is right for ourselves and our family.
You may not want to adopt. Maybe you already have. Maybe you just had a miscarriage. Maybe you are desperate to hold a child, your child, in your arms. An unplanned pregnancy may be your crisis, or maybe it is infertility. We all face crisis in our lives; some harder than others. How we respond defines us. There is love to be shown, acceptance to shower, guilt to wash away, and disappointments to heal.
Adoption can be heartbreaking. It can be pure happiness. What life worth living doesn’t have both? No child is perfect and neither is this world. We may not be able to fix the world but we can light a candle in our own small way. We can let in the light. We can let in the love.
This article was originally published on Wichita Mom on April 4, 2017.