You will regret not having biological children, I was told. It has been exactly the opposite.
I got married in my early twenties, which was too young or just right, depending on who you ask. But one thing that some people seemed to agree on was that my decision to only adopt children and not give birth, would surely result in regret one day. One comment was almost like a dire warning, “if you decide to only adopt, you will feel pain later in life.” Thankfully the belief that every child must have parents helped me ignore the comments.
Fast forward many years, and my husband and I are now adoptive parents of two daughters. An acquaintance recently asked me what made me happy. I said my kids. An instant look of surprise crossed her face. Perhaps because mothers of young kids are not supposed to say that since they are constantly run down. I am constantly run down (that’s the parenting deal we all accept) but I am also very very thankful. Every single day, I am grateful to the unknown forces that compelled me to adopt.
See, there are some things we all know in theory. That every child needs someone who loves and protects them. That love happens by commitment, not blood. That children thrive with families. Thanks to my daughters, I have lived all these theories, and it never ceases to amaze me how true they are. In each adoption, our daughter came home physically weak, anxious, quiet, reserved, and poorly impacted by life in a shelter. We expected this, but what we didn’t expect was the accelerated rate of transformation our daughters went through after coming home.
One memory I have from my college days is when winter turned into spring one fine day and the trees suddenly had leaves — I stood in the street staring at the trees wondering whether I had missed seeing the leaves grow or did they just grow overnight? I sometimes feel the same about the changes in my daughters. I can’t tell precisely when the talkative, playful, happy, determined, thoughtful kid inside them emerged, but I am awed and humbled by the changes.
But I also worry that many kids won’t get a chance for their true self to emerge. That they won’t get families and opportunities that every child deserves. That they won’t thrive overnight. Because they didn’t get adopted. So not regrets, the biggest hope I have is that each of us will play a part in ensuring that every child who needs a family reaches one.
Here are all the articles and videos that I have created about adoption in India.