On this St. Patrick’s Day, my beautiful little girl through adoption (who is at least some part Irish with her beautiful auburn curls) will dress up in green, put her Shamrock stickers all over our house, and her face is likely to be covered at some point in Mint Chip Ice Cream. However, we will not talk about her having the “Luck of the Irish” because she ended up in our family.
When I tell people that Cora was adopted, one of the first things I hear is “she’s so lucky to have ended up in your family”. I know that this statement was always meant lovingly, it was a compliment to us as parents and what we could provide for this beautiful little girl. However, what most people outside of the adoption community don’t understand is that a child who is adopted is not really “lucky” to be in that family. Instead, that child found their parents, and their new family, through loss, brokenness and grief. This child’s first mother (and first father) were unable to parent that child for some reason, often due to some type of crisis. The child who was adopted and placed with another family will likely struggle with feelings of abandonment and depression, or a feeling of not fitting in with the family they were placed into. People will talk insensitively in front of them about adoption and their first family, and they might be bullied by other kids on the playground because they are adopted. At some point, they may struggle with reunification with their first family and they could resent being separated from them, no matter how loving and wonderful their adoptive family is.
So, this is just a reminder that this beautiful girl isn’t “lucky” to have been adopted by us, even though I feel blessed to get to raise her. I hope and pray every day that she’ll grow up and be thankful that her birth family chose us, even if loss is what lead her to us!