– Written by Leigh Reabow
Adoption is not a second option
Many people do not wake up one day and decide they want to adopt – the truth is, the path to adoption is a journey. A journey that is well thought through and considered. Once you have decided on adoption as a path to parenthood, the time is right when, in our heart, you know that there is no difference between the child you adopt and your biological child. Either (or both) are seen and felt as your “own”.
Adopting will not make you fall pregnant
Adoption is not an alternative fertility treatment. The saying “just adopt then you will fall pregnant” should never be your motivation to adopt. Your motivation to adopt should be based on your desire to extend your family, regardless of the means to get there. Should you be blessed with pregnancy after adoption – it is just that – a blessing. A blessing where both of your children are equally miracles.
It is vital that your adopted children know their story
There is often the misconception that not sharing your child’s story with them means that you are protecting them, after all as parents, protection is our duty. However, by sharing their story with them you are allowing them to know their truth and not merely rely on their fantasy, all while assisting them to form connections between their past, their present and most importantly, their future, as well-adjusted adults, whose emotional needs are validated and affirmed.
Not every biological parent who releases their child for adoption is unfit or unworthy
In South Africa, majority of adopted children’s biological parents have consented to the adoption of their children. They have made a conscious, informed decision to allow their children to be raised by parents whom, they believe, are able to provide their child with more than they are able to. This is a selfless act of unconditional love that a biological parent gives their adopted child, that no-one should take lightly.
It is okay to ask for help
When you adopt, the belief (or maybe a form of guilt?) is often there that you need to cope because this is what you wanted – you can’t seem as though you are falling apart because you made the conscious decision to adopt – yes that is true, however caring for a new family member is tough – regardless if they are biological or adopted. It takes time to find your feet and get to know each other. If you need help – ask for it! We all do!
Meeting Leigh Reabow
As a Social Worker, wife, and mom to two gorgeous girls, I get how difficult it is to keep the harmony in our home taking into account everyone’s needs and uniqueness.
I have been growing and supporting families for a decade. Through trial and error and continuous education, I create safe environments for families no matter what your family dynamics are.
Visit her website: leighreabow.co.za