Recently, someone asked me what it’s like parenting both biological and adopted kids. That’s a loaded question with no single answer. But I’ll say this:
One of these children grew in my womb. I felt the first flutter of movement, the nudging and stretching as he grew, and the pain of childbirth. The other four children grew in the bellies of other women.
I didn’t get to see Michael’s first steps. I didn’t hear Grace’s first cry. I didn’t give Naomi her first taste of solid food, or change Josh’s first diaper. I didn’t physically grow these humans in my body. Not even partly.
But here’s the thing:
Being biological or adopted didn’t alter the fact that I had to change dirty diapers, potty train, teach how to read, brush teeth, or discipline and encourage each of them. They bicker just like biological siblings. They need to be fed and clothed and helped with their homework. Some of them excel academically, and for some of them it’s a daily struggle. They need braces. They eat all my food. All the time. They will all need to be taught how to drive.
They all give me hugs, and all get mad at me sometimes. They’ve all said “That’s not fair!” and they’ve all melted my heart at some point with their thoughtfulness and generosity.
I’ve struggled with navigating parenting each of our children at some point, and I anticipate that will not change any time soon.
So here’s the other thing:
My kids are all different, but all the same in so many ways. Whether they are adopted or whether they are genetically related to me, they’re all my kids. Believe me: our checkbook, dirty couch, and empty refrigerator will attest to that. 😜