Mine, Mine, Mine

Shortly after my granddaughter Annabelle was born, my son Brock took her with him to pick up his wife Amy’s wedding ring from the jewelers. Amy had begun reacting to the metal in her ring, and the jeweler was putting a coating on it to see if that would help. The jeweler looked at the baby carrier Brock had with him and commented that sometimes when women are pregnant they develop sensitivities they didn’t have before. When Brock got home, he told Amy what the jeweler had said. Amy looked at Brock in disbelief and said, “You do know I didn’t give birth to Annabelle, don’t you?”

You see, Annabelle was adopted.

   
Of my fourteen grandchildren, six of them came to my family through adoption. Brock’s experience shows that for parents, it really doesn’t matter how a child becomes a part of your family, once they are there, they are simply yours. From my experience, I can say that for grandparents it is the same. The first time I saw one of our granddaughters was in a photograph showing a grinning baby with dark curls crawling towards the camera. That was all it took; she was mine.

                       
 But I know in reality that is not completely true. These children are not mine alone. One of our granddaughters came from a situation where a single woman chose to give her baby up. I almost wrote “willingly chose,” but that does not seem to be the right expression for such an agonizing decision, one which I know was made only after countless tears and prayers. I know it was an unselfish choice made out of love for her  unborn child. I have met this woman and her mother, and I love them. My heart aches for them and the heart wrenching sacrifice they made to give such a precious gift to my family.


 Others of our grandchildren came from difficult situations involving drugs, neglect, even abuse. These children were removed from their biological parents by the state. I love these children dearly, but that love is tinged with sadness. I know there are parents and grandparents out there who also loved them, but who were not in a place in their own lives to take responsibility for a child. And I know that these children’s lives will forever be complicated because of choices made by adults—choices the children had no part in, but for which they carry the consequences.
             
I have been asked if I worry about problems my adopted grandchildren will have because of the situations from which they came. And I answer, “Yes.” There is no question that children who suffered neglect or were born to mothers who used drugs may carry scars from that. But I also worry about my biological grandchildren and the problems they have. I have had grandchildren who have had to deal with sensory disorders, heart defects, eye surgery, attachment problems, dyslexia, and speech problems. Some of those children have been my  adopted grandchildren and some have been my biological grandchildren. It really doesn’t matter; I worry about them all. I worry about them because they are my grandchildren. I worry about them because I love them.
             
On two occasions I have been in the courtroom when the final adoption decrees were made for some of my grandchildren. In each case it was a joyful occasion. But on each occasion my thoughts were the same—the court system had simply made legal what my heart knew all along: these children belong in my family. 
             
When you look at pictures of my grandchildren, you may be able to tell easily whether or not some are adopted or biological. For others you might be surprised. But it really doesn’t matter. When I look at these children I know that no matter how they came into our family, no matter the age when they arrived, no matter the situation they came from, they are now and forever my grandbabies. They have my heart and my love. Simply put, they are mine, mine, mine.

Comments

  1. I Know Exactly What You Mean! Dellas even mentioned just yesterday that maybe we should do a DNA test on Kim's daughter because she acts so much like her momma! I love adoption...3 of ours are adopted and we loved them even before we got to meet them ������

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  2. What a warm tender story. You have an amazing family that all began with two extraordinary individuals. The more I know you,the more I see HIS image.
    Thanks for helping raise Laurie. By raising I mean lifting up and helping her reach her goals. Your influence has made our family better...

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  3. Beautifully explained, thank you. May I add please, that the same goes for step-children. We never use the illogical 'step' word,, regardless the time or the age of the child. All our children and precious to us, and it matters not from whence they came.

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