Emotions run high around here during the month of November. Important dates, memories, and celebrations fill my heart to the brim; it overflows with gratitude and love, but also loss.
I have the privilege of raising a fierce, beautiful little girl while her first mom watches from afar—through pictures, emails, and visits twice a year. She will never know Aliana the way that I do.
Adoption is bittersweet.
In November 2014, our daughter was born, we brought her home, and our lives together began. That same month, her birth mom watched her baby girl leave her arms forever. To a place of promise and love, yes, but a place that she could not go.
Everyday, my heart wrestles with the bittersweet nature of adoption. With joy comes sadness; with endings come new beginnings.
Chris and I gained a new family when Aliana joined ours; her birth family is now intricately connected to us in ways that we could never have imagined. Their pictures make us laugh with joy. Their struggles grieve our hearts. And their faces reflect the one I call my daughter.
Our family relationships won’t always be easy; in fact, I’m sure we have some tough roads to travel in the future. Questions, tears, and confusion almost always lead to tough conversations. But I pray that we find a way to return to the sweetness.
Beauty rises from the ashes.
Even now, my mind is restless. We wait and hope for the newest addition to our family—Aliana’s brother or sister. We don’t know their name, skin color, or their birthday, but we do know that they will enter the world amidst great joy and sadness. Our family’s gain is another’s loss.
Keep this in mind whenever you encounter adoption. Show interest, ask appropriate questions, and rejoice with those rejoicing. However, listen well and look for the heartbreak and the feelings below the surface that adoptees, adoptive families, and birth families may be hesitant to share.
Remember, adoption is bittersweet.