The Boy and The Girl have birthdays today: they’re 24 and 22, grown and out in the world. They live on the opposite side of the country, where they are working and going to college. It’s hard to be away from them today, although it helps to know that they will be celebrating the day with friends in a place they both enjoy.
Every parent of adult children will understand, I think, how impossible it is for memories not to travel back to previous birthdays. I remember the kids’ arrivals, and see them as babies and toddlers, schoolchildren and teens. I see their laughter and joy, and their tears and pain, too. Every single memory is a treasure.
The other day, I took a swag at presenting a different point of view on the recent changes to Korea adoption travel requirements on the MPAK blog. I was prepared for negative reactions from the readers there, but was unprepared for just how much the rebuff, which essentially said that I didn’t appreciate my children’s place in my family, hurt.
Why raise this on such a happy day? First of all because on this day more than any, I want to make it clear just how untrue it is. I also think it’s important for adoptive parents to stop accusing each other of failing to love their children when they support adoption reforms. All this does is divide us further than we’re already divided on issues around which we should unite.
My husband and I love our children as deeply as any parents can love their children. They are the center of our lives and the source of our joy. We would make any sacrifice and face any task to support them and launch them safely into their lives. We are profoundly privileged to have them in our lives, and incredibly proud of them.
We know, too, that their presence in our family was a matter of chance – of being in a certain place at a certain time. Had we started our adoption journey a month or two earlier or later, we would have different children, whom we would have loved as much as we love The Boy and The Girl.
Some of you will say no, God meant you to be together. It was His plan. I think God meant something entirely different. I think God demands that we look at the circumstances that bring people into our lives, and where we see injustice, to work to put it right. No justice, no love - it’s as simple as that.
I will do what I can for my kids: the ones I have been blessed to know, and those who might have been.