What I’d Like For You To Know: Adoption

WhatidlikeToday’s guest poster in the What I’d Like For You To Know series is Mary, from Owlhaven.  Mary is one of my favorite bloggers, and (I’m happy to say) a real-life friend too–we stayed together at BlogHer this summer.  AND–I’m so excited about this–she’s one of the bloggers going on Compassion’s upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic.   Mary has a precious, gentle heart, and I asked her to write a little about her family’s experience with adoption.

If you’re new here, the idea behind this series to is to allow women to share something about a specific life challenge or circumstance, addressing some of the misconceptions and (most importantly) telling us all how we can reach out better.

Here’s Mary‘s story.

Like most folks, John and I didn’t set out to become adoptive parents.  We fell in love, got married, and started having babies.  Four of them:  two boys and two girls.  Then we were done.   Or so we thought.

Until our baby turned three and I found myself awash in angst over being done with babies.  It was 1997 and news stories were all over about the many baby girls in China who needed families.  We started talking.  Eventually my idea of a baby girl from China became, in 1998, a little boy from Korea.  And another little boy from Korea in 2000.  By then we were so in love with adoption that between 2004 and 2007 we also adopted four daughters from Ethiopia, two as babies, and two as older girls. Yes, we have ten kids.  Yes, it is crazy.   But it is also an incredible awe-inspiring blessing.

One of the things adoptive moms wish people understood is that our adopted kids are just our kids.  Period.  It’s a slap in the face to constantly have people qualify our relationship to each other, to hedge the description with the word ‘adopted’ in every context. 

When reporters talk about Angelina Jolie’s children they seem incapable of saying the name Zahara without also saying she was adopted.  The same thing happened at the funerals of Bob Hope and Jane Wyman, when mentioning children who themselves were senior citizens and whose adoptions had probably been finalized fifty or more years earlier. 

Along those same lines, I feel awkward when people ask me how many of the kids are ‘mine.’  I know darned well that people are asking whether I genetically contributed to their creation.  But shouldn’t family just be acknowledged as family, whether blood is involved or not? After all, a family begins from the union of two unrelated people.  My husband is ‘mine’.  Period.  So are my children, adopted and not. 

Don’t get me wrong– the contribution my children’s biological parents made is priceless, essential, and should not be swept under the carpet as if it does not exist.  And especially when adopting older children, it takes time for hearts to grow together, for the relationship to be full and strong. 

However, my heart does not differentiate between my children born to me and the ones who came after the completion of mountains of paperwork.  My interest is just as passionate.   My pride is just as fierce.  My hopes are just as big.  My prayers are just as fervent. My love is just as deep. They’re my kids.  Period.

Parenthood is amazing however your children arrive. Adoptive parenthood is neither better now worse than parenting children born to you.  Some things are different, yes, but the majority of it is exactly the same. I am humbled to be blessed by the presence of each of my children in my life. 

The next time you make introductions involving a friend with adopted children, do everyone the honor of skipping the word ‘adopted’.  If your friend and her child don’t look like each other, she fields questions every day, and that will likely be the first question out of the other person’s mouth.  But I promise, your friend will appreciate that you chose to honor her very real relationship with her child without making any qualifiers.  Family is family, however we come together, and we all would do better to remember that.

Mary blogs at Owlhaven.  Her book A Sane Woman’s Guide to Mothering a Large Family will be available for pre-order on Amazon.com in early 2009.

90 thoughts on “What I’d Like For You To Know: Adoption

  1. kelli says:

    Mary, thanks for putting it into words. Clearly, concisely and with grace.
    And give those 10 a huge hug from me, and tell them to return the favor back to you.
    I can’t think of a better way for you to explain to them what your post meant to read.
    (And have I mentioned I am SO jealous about your trip with Compassion? Ugh. Color me green and call me a leprechaun. When you get back, we need to meet up halfway or something. New Year’s Resolution.)

  2. Heather says:

    Well said! As an adoptee AND a mother through adoption myself, I cannot tell you how much it irks me to have the “qualifier” used, either in my own life or to read in the media.
    Family is family is family. End of story!

  3. LifeatTheCircus says:

    My hubby and I have 3 kids and have talked several times about the prospect of adoption. I am not yet sure if that is a path the Lord wants us to go down in the future, but I do know it is a door we are both leaving open.

  4. Donielle @ Naturally Knocked Up says:

    As someone who has an adopted sister, it always drives me nuts that people think because she’s adopted, somehow I don’t feel as ‘close’ to her.
    She’s my sister, just like the other 3 are. The fact that her hair color is different than all of ours, and she’s so much younger always makes people press the issue of “why does she look so different than you?” Annoying. When I say she’s my sis, let’s leave it at that!
    Great post!

  5. Debbie says:

    What a great post! I loved some of the things she said! It was great…about “the kids all being hers…period”! Thanks for sharing “her” story!
    -Sandy toes

  6. Lisa C. says:

    Thank you for this! I have three daughters, two of whom are from China. A related question we get a lot about those two is whether they’re sisters. Of course they are–along with our youngest (bio) daughter, they’re all sisters! I generally answer the intended question by responding with something like, “Not biologically, but yes they are definitely sisters.”

  7. Katy says:

    Thank you for this post. As an adoptee, I love being able to talk about my adoption–on MY terms. But it is very hard when people separate me from my family by saying I’m not REALLY related to them or things like that. Adoption is complex, but what family ISN’T???

  8. Melanie says:

    As an adoptee, the “adopted child of…” thing has always bugged me too. (Al Roker is another one they do it too – his first child by his first wife is adopted, and they’ve always got to zing that in.) Thank you for pointing it out to people!

  9. Sheri says:

    I’m also adopted, and while I love talking about it, I get so tired of being asked, “Do you know who your real parents are?” Yup. Sure do! They’re the ones that have dealt with me for the past 32 years! I have no desire to find my biological parents. I would hope that they have gone on to have meaningful, productive lives just as I have. My brother might not have been my biological one, but I’ve never thought of him as “not family.” Thanks for the post!

  10. Magi says:

    As another adoptive mother, I agree completely. Instead of using the word adopted, imagine defining your children by their conception. This is my “forgot a condom on the honeymoon” baby. This is my invitro child. This child is my “the electricity went out, and we were bored” child. Silly, isn’t it?
    Our children are our children regardless of how they enter the family.

  11. Heather says:

    Great post! As someone who is adopted, I have dealt with questions and comments my whole life. I understand that it’s a novelty for a lot of people to meet someone who is adopted, but to me, I don’t know any different. My biggest pet peeve is definitely my in-laws, who continue to introduce me to other’s as
    “and this is DH’s wife, she’s adopted.” Because, you know, how else are they going to explain the horns and blue skin? 😉

  12. Allison says:

    Great post! I have 2 adopted and 1 bio and people’s crazy comments never cease to amaze me. When I was preg with the bio I was amazed how many people said I was blessed to “finally” be able to have a child. My first 2 are blessings also, just through a different path.
    My favorite story happened when we adopted DD#2. I was in some store with my then 4 year old and a new baby and someone who knew my our story stopped me and asked about the baby. She then asked if they were “real” sisters. My 4 year old replied “Of course she is real, she’s not pretend!” Can’t beat that for a comeback!

  13. Julie says:

    Well put. We’ll be dealing with all of these questions, hopefully very soon as we bring home 9 and 7 year old siblings from Ethiopia to add to our brood of 2.

  14. Lisa says:

    As someone who was adopted I’m so sensitive to this in the media. Especially with Brad and Angelina. I can’t stand when “adopted” is put in front of son or daughter.
    Great post!

  15. Amanda says:

    Great post, Mary – I love your blog and was so happy to see you over here on another favorite blog! 🙂
    As a Caucasion adoptive parent of two Chinese girls (plus our 5 biological children), I always think it’s HILARIOUS when people ask me “which ones are yours?”…dude, isn’t it obvious that the white ones came from the white parents??? It really bugs me, but I do have to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. 🙂 In any case, I agree with your disdain for the frequency that people qualify kids as “adopted” or “real kids”. Eesh. :-0

  16. shawna says:

    Well said!!!
    My little brother and sister were adopted. I used to cringe when people would describe them not as the “real” kids but as the adopted ones. OUCH!!! NOT REAL, what does that mean?
    I used to try and protect them from certain people that did that. It was stressful for me!
    Great insight!

  17. Jessica says:

    Thank you!!! As an adoptive mom it always bugs me when the descriptor is used in front of “son” or “daughter” in the media.
    Adoption is such a blessing and I have no qualms celebrating the fact that my son is adopted. It isn’t necessary, however, to have this fact brought into almost every conversation relating to a family.
    Thank you for your thoughtful and right-on post.

  18. Runningamuck says:

    Thanks so much Mary. I never thought about the question, “are they all yours?”, in regards to adoptive parents. I get it all the time simply because I have four (which is NOT a lot of kids!) so I’ve always thought of it from that perspective. Thanks for the insight. Great post. =0)

  19. melanied says:

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I will be more sensitive about using “adopted” to describe children! In my mind, it has been a word I use with great honor and admiration. I would love to be selfless and courageous enough to bring that many children into my nest. But I can see now that it is unfair and even hurtful to use that constant differentiation. “My heart does not differentiate”! After all, I don’t feel the need to describe the circumstances of deciding to have each of my children to people–“Well, we weren’t really ready for kids yet, but I got pregnant and now we’re so thankful for her!”, “He was planned but the pregnancy was ‘iffy’ for a while and he has some ongoing medical problems because of it”…blah blah blah. You’re right. They’re just our kids, no matter how or why or under what circumstances. And we are blessed to have been given them for this brief time! Thank you for putting up with people like me!

  20. litabug says:

    Well said! Having had adopted friends when I was younger, I remember seeing the situation from a child’s perspective. Once children are old enough to think through these things, thoughtless “qualifiers” can make them feel very hurt and alienated, as though the parents they love so much are just “benefactors” and not “real family.” Ouch!
    It also gave very dangerous fuel to the natural sibling rivalry fires, constantly making the children think of their family in terms of “us” and “them.”
    Let’s be considerate!

  21. MamaHenClucks says:

    My oldest sister is adopted and to our immediate family, she is simply, my sister. We have all found it incredibly irritating over the years to have people say how much we all look alike then qualify that with, “well, except for J. cause she’s adopted and all.” She’s my sister. That’s it. I actually wrote on my blog about having to explain adoption to my chickies after someone told them adoption meant they weren’t loved. It’s infuriating that people seem to have a need to catagorize children instead of just letting them be family. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  22. Jeanine says:

    As a mom of four (who happen to be adopted!) I just have to say AMEN and HALLELUJAH to every single word! It is always a huge relief when I meet someone new and the topic does not immediately turn to “are they adopted or are you a foster mom, are they all ‘related’, did you get them as babies, where are they from, could you not have kids of ‘your own’???” I love to tell my childrens’ stories, am very proud of how God built our family, but sometimes those discussions do not need to happen when I am in a checkout line with a basket full of groceries and four kids begging for candy. OR when our family is out to dinner and enjoying the evening together…yes, people have actually walked across a restaurant while we are eating and started asking questions. There is a time and a place for everything.
    Thank you so much for this post!

  23. jen says:

    Great post. I find myself wanting to know more, because that’s my nature, and because like the other posters, I think your family sounds beautiful. I was interested in hearing from an adoptive mom in this series after hearing from one who struggled with infertility, because my mind naturally goes to that place as an option for those who can’t bear children, and I know the process is often long, expensive, and littered with paperwork. Whether or not infertility is the impetus for adoption, I think your lesson is one that resonates- just because a child does not come from your womb does not make that child any less your own, or any less loved and cherished. Thank you for sharing!

  24. MrsNehemiah says:

    I was married at 18 and had a 4 yr old “step” daughter, I made the decision early, just to call her my daughter. sometimes when people know both our ages I let them in on the whole story, other times I just let them revile me in their hearts (I can see it) for being a teenage mom. I’m an adult. I can take the disgust & dismay.
    I refuse to make my daughter feel “less than” in order to make strangers feel better about my character.
    Families are made through love and commitment. genetics have little to do with it.

  25. Kirie says:

    Beautiful post, and great comments. Thank you for writing it!
    I believe the vocabulary of adoption in society is changing (at least from when I was a girl 25 years ago). And that’s a wonderful thing. Words like yours make those changes even more widespread–let’s hope the descriptor “adopted” son or daughter will soon just disappear.

  26. camila says:

    My hopes and dreams for the future include adopting several children, whether they be of different races or not. I’m so glad to read this! It bothers me a lot when people use the “adopted” qualifier, too. I can imagine I will be constantly correcting people after we do adopt.

  27. Bailey's Leaf says:

    Our daughter, K-, is adopted. She was adopted from the county. When I share her adoption story (as a testimony of God’s great work), I get, “Oh, where did you get her from?” “She’s from S- County.” “Oh.” (Please take this in no offense, just placing another thought out there.) It’s like they are disappointed. They want to hear a heroic story. They want to hear about how we went to far off lands to get our baby. The baby that God had planned for us was essentially in our backyard. My daughter is blessed to have a relationship with siblings that live in the area. For us, there were definite benefits to staying right here.
    Another thing that we get many comments on is why, if our child looks no different than my husband or me, would we tell her that she is adopted? To us, it is an important story of how God gave her to us. She came to us as a giant answer to prayer. A blessing beyond measure.
    I have a friend with an adopted child and two by birth. Her adopted child, L-, is sandwiched between her oldest and youngest. L- is such a great child. He came from an orphanage in Ethiopia, where he was given by his aunt. Both of his parents had died, his father in war and his mother by preventable disease. There is an obvious difference in race, but she also differentiates between children as “the orange one, the brown one and the warrior baby.” If there is a behavioral problem with L-, she always states that it is an adoptive problem, when often it is just being 4. I bring this up because, we as adoptive parents often find it acceptable to discuss our children’s adoption to our family, we needn’t harbor on that fact either. They are kids. They need to be treated that way. Our kids. They were gifts to us and their adoptive wrapping has been pulled off. The children have grown up in our families and made us the families that we are today. For which, we are eternally grateful.

  28. warillever says:

    Yet another amazing post. Thank you for this series, Shannon.
    Thank you for this post, Mary.
    Our families have been very supportive of our adoptions. Of all people it is school district staff that have made bizarrely insensitive comments.
    We do get asked often, however, if our children are brother and sister.
    Uh, yes?

  29. CC says:

    Great post! I’m an adoptive mom as well. My children are my biggest blessing. Ever. And truly a gift. I didn’t create them, but God gave them to me to treasure. I wish I could adopt many more. And I REALLY wish others would see the amazement in this process and do the same!

  30. Pastormac's Ann says:

    Oh excellent post! Thanks to you, Shannon for choosing this topic and to you Mary for laying it out plainly to all with such grace.
    “Are these ALL your kids?” (we have 7) Yup!
    We have both homemade and adopted children but they are all our children, every single on of them.
    Love this series Shannon. Can’t wait to read the next one.

  31. wonder woman says:

    This was great. My husband and I are debating adopting a child through foster care. He really wants to, I want a baby that I gave birth to. (I’m only 24 and have never had fertility/maternity problems. We have a 2yo anda 3yo.)
    I know that fostering to adopt is very different from adopting, and adopting from another country at that. Are there plans for a “What I’d like for you to know” about fostering/foster-adopting? I would be VERY interested in that article.
    I absolutely love this series. Thanks so much.

  32. E says:

    Here’s another change of vocabulary that I would suggest, not only to the world press, but to some of the commenters here….
    If people ask if my children “are” adopted, I tell them no, they WERE adopted. In order to help get rid of that “Zahara is the adopted daughter…” if we make the adoption in the past, it becomes less important, IMHO.
    And further, they are not in a continuing state of adoption – it happened once and is over. Now they are my children. Again MHO.

  33. Alaina says:

    As a mom through the miracle of adoption, I have to say…amen. Great post. We are a family passionate about adoption and we wish more people understood how absolutely awesome it is!!! We love our kids and they are just that, ours, our real, own kids. 🙂

  34. missy @ it's almost naptime says:

    You are my hero, Mary.
    We also have 2 and 2 bio kids and have chosen to have no more because we want to adopt. My dream of a baby girl from China is probably going to materialize as a baby? toddler? white? black? brown? girl? boy? from CPS. Don’t care. Just want me one. Or two, or six, or whatever God has planned.
    Can’t wait. Just can’t wait.

  35. Life on 7th Avenue says:

    THANK YOU for this post! My son came home from Korea a little over a month ago. He is the most amazing blessing. Adoption is an amazing way to build a family and I thank you for sharing your experiences. I greatly appreciate the way you addressed the qualifying the relationship issue. That is something that really bothers me.

  36. Rachel says:

    Beautifully written. The part that most hit home for me was when she sai,d “After all, a family begins from the union of two unrelated people. My husband is ‘mine’. Period. So are my children, adopted and not.”
    I think we would all do well to remember that.

  37. kiy says:

    Wonderful post. My daughter is my daughter, period. No, she doesn’t look like I do. No, my husband is not Asian. Yes, really, I am her mama. I answer questions and comments like these all the time. My daughter will have to answer more as she gets older. Thank you to Mary for bringing up this topic. And so perfectly.

  38. Laurel says:

    Great post! Thanks!
    We got married, had a baby, had a baby, had a baby, had two babies, and on, and on, and on.
    After 10 bio. kids we were SURE we were done. But … God wasn’t. We brought home 3 siblings from Ghana this past spring, to fill in the gaps between our youngest bio. Our youngest 6 are now 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 12, and they go black/white all the way down the line. God’s creativity.
    While my little African beauties definitely don’t come from my blonde hair brown eyed genes, they are still MY CHILDREN.
    I, too, get asked (about the “new kids”) … are they brother and sisters. Yes. They are now. And, yes … they were in Africa, also.

  39. AmyDe says:

    Well said! And another thing people – DON’T ask an adopted child (like myself) “Do you know who your ‘real’ parents are?” Of course I know who my ‘real’ parents are – they raised me. That statement is always followed by the “Oh you know what I mean” retort. Of course I know what you mean, but what you asked was rude and insensitive and frankly none of your concern.
    I’m not bitter (as that sounds) or hyper-sensitive about being adopted – I am very proud. I am also tired of answering the same STUPID rude question for the past 35 years.

  40. BJ says:

    This is so good. We’re in the very beginning stages of looking into adoption, but we’ve always known we would adopt. And for us, yes, they will be ours.

  41. Jenn says:

    Thank you for this post. We have some friends that are pursuing adoption (and already have children). This is a perfect reminder that they are all one family!

  42. Beth Gawlowicz says:

    Amen and amen. As the mother of three “adopted” children, I too tire of hearing the same questions over and over. Are the brother and sister? Yes and technically they even are biologically, but still. Are they adopted? Yes, my tan is definitely not that great. No, my fair skinned husband and I did not produce Thai children. But it’s true people do seem disappointed when we tell them we went through the state and we didn’t go through some foreign country. There are so many children in our own back yards who need the love. And the question that upsets me the most is well it’s nice that I adopted, but when am I going to have children of my own. What? I already do. My children are my children!

  43. JC says:

    Thanks for the post. I hope the Lord will open the door to adoption sometime in the near future… in the meantime, you’ve given me a lot to think about. I have a 16-mo. boy and I watch an 8 mo. girl in my home. Whenever we go for walks or to the grocery store, I always get looks and questions (with big eyes!) “are they both yours?”

  44. Daneen says:

    Thank you for stating my heart. Both of my girls were born of other mothers. Neither my husband nor I would trade them for a gaggle of biological babies. It’s so obvious they were meant to be in our family.

  45. Becky Jo says:

    Amen sister!!!!!
    One of my children is border line special needs and people seem to think that it is “OK” because we adopted her!!! Or that we are heroes because we adopted her. WHATEVER!!!!! I knew the minute I set eyes on her that she was my child, before we knew her condition or anything else, I knew she was a gift from God. She is my baby. PERIOD!

  46. Beth says:

    You are absolutely right about motherhood and the heart of a mother. I feel this way about my step-son, of whom I’ve been in his life since he was 3. I haven’t adopted him, but he’s my son…birth or not…adoption or not. My love for him is as strong as the 3 babies I had after I married his Dad. I don’t introduce him as my step son to people. He’s my son. You children are so blessed to have you as their mother!

  47. Vanessa says:

    I loved reading this and will pass this on to my husband. My husband, along with his siblings, were adopted and they hate the classification of ‘These are so and sos adopted children’. He says it bothers the children just as much as it bothers the parents.
    Thank you so much for this.

  48. Stretch Mark Mama says:

    This is my “forgot a condom on the honeymoon” baby. This is my invitro child. This child is my “the electricity went out, and we were bored” child.
    It really is shocking the sheer number of questions I am asked about my child who is adopted. I understand the curiosity, but I haven’t learned yet how to avoid the question with grace. I am much too straightforward and half the time the story just comes spilling out. [eye roll]
    Besides the whole “adopted” issue, there’s the race issue which comes with its own set of misunderstandings and issues. Not insurmountable, but certainly not for the faint of heart.
    Blather, blah, blah blah.
    Anyway, I blog about adoption every now and then, for anyone who wants to read more:

  49. Spring says:

    Thank you so much for this, Mary! Well Said!
    When I answer questions about my children, I am careful to say that my children joined our family through adoption, because that’s all adoption really is: just a process for children to join a family. And like Mary said so well, now they’re just my kids. My real kids! And I’m so very thankful for that!

  50. Spring says:

    Thank you so much for this, Mary! Well Said!
    When I answer questions about my children, I am careful to say that my children joined our family through adoption, because that’s all adoption really is: just a process for children to join a family. And like Mary said so well, now they’re just my kids. My real kids! And I’m so very thankful for that!

  51. Kel says:

    What a great post. I am an adopted child and have always been asked who my “real” parents are. I just respond, “They raised me.” I also get asked a lot if my older brother is adopted. He’s not. My parents did a wonderful job of making us both feel loved and wanted regardless of how we joined their family. They did such a good job that we really don’t think about the adoption thing much at all. In fact, one of the most precious things my brother has said about me totally disregarded the fact that I am adopted. He commented once that his daughter was taking after her aunt in size and build. Of course, there is no genetic link at all, but the fact that he didn’t even think about it meant so much!

  52. miriam says:

    I’m so excited about the book! My family contains just two kids, but I would lay money that I’ll learn from it anyway. I’ve enjoyed Mary’s writing in various internet spots for a while. Thanks for including her here!

  53. Tonni says:

    Yeah! Thank you for stating what i think all of the time!! I have a blended family, too, bio and adopted, but to me they are just my kids!! Don’t ask if they are mine or if the two who happen to be from China are real sisters! They fight like real sisters!!

  54. Erin says:

    What an awesome post!!! As an adoptive mom, this is sooooo appreciated! Our daughter was adopted from foster care at age 5 so she doesn’t look different from us but I hate hearing people distinguish between bio kids and adopted kids. They are all just KIDS – our kids that God blessed us with. Thanks for sharing your story!

  55. Sortin says:

    You’ve brought tears to my eyes! My dream is to have many more children through adoption, however $ keeps this dream at a distance right now.
    God has truly blessed you!

  56. Kara @ Me-Moddy says:

    Oh I just have to comment on this one.
    Thank you Shannon for posting this one.
    Thank you Mary for sharing in such an amazing and wonderful way. I am an adoptive mommy to 2 (they are 3 and 4 weeks). The comments alone about my children could send me into an angry protective “momma bear” mode quick. Are they your “own”? Could you not have kids of your own? Did you not want kids?
    Yeah. People are insensitive and ill-informed on the appropriate adoption language that is out there and should be used. I really get riled up when they ask me in front of my 3-year old if she is my “own”. Are you serious? Do you want me to ask you in front of your child if she is really yours or if she belongs to someone else? That won’t mess with their head or anything.
    My kids are my kids. They just happen to come to me through adoption.
    I linked to you from my blog. These comments all blessed my day. Awesome community.

  57. Arlene says:

    Thanks so much for this timely message. As an adoptee and the mother of 4 children that are adopted…I so agree with you and wish that everyone out there would quit the nonsense. Family is family is family!!!!

  58. gillie says:

    Thank you for your post, Mary. I too am an adoptive mom and have been so blessed by adoption. My son’s birthmother chose us almost a year ago- two days before our son was born. People are often confused when we introduce our son because he has darker skin than us, but mostly I let them stay confused. I would rather strangers believe that I slept around than have them think that my son is not mine :). I know, I’m rotten.
    I stopped by your blog, Mary, and was saddened by the news that your children’s birthmother died. My deepest condolences to you and your children. I cherish our relationship with our son’s birthmother and I know that he will love her as much as I do as he grows up. I hope that your journey to adopt their sibling will be blessed.

  59. kresserklan says:

    I totally understand! My oldest is adopted and we have 3 younger children. The oldest has dark brown hair and dark skin. The younger kids are all fair skinned blondies. I cant tell you how many times people say “oh where did you get the dark headed child, is he yours?” HELLO!!! how rude! And the kids notice these comments too. When Colton was younger he used to ask us if he could dye is hair blonde. I mean it isnt an issue with us and quite frankly it is no one elses business either.

  60. Lizzy Pike says:

    What a very beautiful family! I am 16 and was adopted from an orphanage when i was 4 yrs old. i hate it when people ask “Do you ever want to find your real parents?” Wake up people! My real parents are the people who care for me and put up with my normal teenage antics everday! i am forever grateful for the new life my real parents gave me. Bless you for caring to adopt!

  61. christina says:

    As an adoptive mom of 2 I would just add that adoption is a past tense word. My children’s adoptions were finalized. This is now in the past, they “were” adopted, they do not continue to be adopted on a daily basis. Also, when asked, my husband and I like to say that we are an adoptive family and include ourselves in the process. This way no one in our family sticks out.

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