As November ends so does the #adoptionawarenessmonth movement. This movement is so meaningful for my family and I, and I love getting to be a part of it. To see friends change their profile pictures and share their stories about how adoption has changed their lives is so special.
My view of adoption drastically changed when we started the process of adopting Zoe. I had so many questions; Would we love her the same as the boys? Would she be treated differently by our family members? Would she feel different? How would our families react to this new family member?
In an early conversation with my little sister Kim, I was expressing a few of these to her and I said, “Kim, no one in our family has done this before. How will I know that she’s going to be accepted and loved the same?” In her young wise voice she said, “Jeanette, you know that we are basically adopted right? You do remember that Denver (Dad) is not our biological dad, right?”
You see my biological dad, Jim, passed away when I was just four years old. Denver, my “stepdad” came into my life and never left. He became our Dad when I was six. His siblings and mother didn’t blink an eye at him marrying a widow with three young girls. He loved my mom and showed it best by loving her girls, my big sister Michelle, Me, and Kimberly.
I often forget that this is our story, that a man who is not my own flesh and blood loves me so deeply and for that I am so thankful. It is by his example that I knew I could walk this road and love this little girl as deeply as he loved me. So no, I wasn’t the trailblazer in my family. My dad was, and he did it so well.
Adoption comes from hurt, brokenness, and often death. It never starts as a pretty thing, but it can change the world. I know Zoe’s world looks a lot different, and I know that my own life looks a lot different that what it could’ve. I am so thankful that Lord doesn’t leave us fatherless and alone. He cares and He makes a way. I have seen it in my daughter’s eyes and in the way that I see my own Dad. Love makes a family!