Adoption is not a “consolation prize”

I had been planning on adopting…..well, my entire life. First it was Chinese orphans. Then, when communism fell, it was Romania. Finally, as an adult starting an actual family (as opposed to the imaginary one), I researched many countries & US foster care over the years.

During that time we had Jasmine. She appeared (unannounced!) almost 2 years into our marriage. A few years later, I figured I didn’t need to sleep ever again & we got Ponyboy. What were we doing during that 13 year gap between Ponyboy & Addis? Well, honestly, if we were better planners that gap would have been closer! But there were no other bio children because I was pretty sure that would make adopting less likely.

When we finally put “Plan Addis” into action, we were excited. Our kids were excited. My family (but maybe not my in-laws) were aware long before that we would be adopting, & looked forward to it (even if they didn’t quite believe it would happen). We told people we were on the adoption path, with mixed reviews. Mostly people told us that was great, some people warned us of everything that could go wrong, and some had tons of questions.

One day I got this odd comment:

“I’ve been praying that you would get pregnant!”

….uhm, thanks? Seriously, Don’t! Stop! That will de-rail our plan!

That is when it occurred to me that people outside our family must assume we were experiencing infertility. I paid closer attention to those questions. Yeah, that was it. They thought that we had this decade-long gap due to infertility & finally gave up to try adopting.

No! Not us! We were CHOOSING “choice B”!

Since entering this post-adoption world, I’ve discovered our choice is similar to many many others. I’d guess that about a third or more of adoptive families I know, both in the real world & on the internet, CHOSE to adopt as “choice A”.

I can’t imagine my family without Addis. I can’t imagine thinking she’s a second choice. I wish there were a campaign enlightening people that Adoption Is Not A Consolation Prize!


About tycobeans
I'm a mom of 3, two bio teens & a little princess from Ethiopia. We have lived all over, but are now settled in Utah. Mostly I'll be sharing about our family life, I hope I have something to say that you enjoy!

3 Responses to Adoption is not a “consolation prize”

  1. Sarah says:

    Amen! It’s a common assumption that people make about us as well… Esp because we don’t have any bio children. If they would just come right out with their pity, I could correct them, but most don’t.

    I’m going to start using your phrase: Grover is NOT a second choice! 🙂

    • tycobeans says:

      I think it should be on tee-shirts! I suppose once-upon-a-time I may have assumed most families with adopted children were infertile, but life has taught me that it’s not particularly smart to assume! (BTW, I’d be interested to hear how/why he got his?stage? name, cute!)

      • Sarah says:

        I’d buy a t-shirt!

        Grover got his blog name because he is still in foster care with us — we finalize on July 18th. So we’re protecting the privacy of the innocent, following state regs, etc etc. I chose Grover because he does a mean Grover impression… He has the voice down pat, and will carry on whole conversations with you as Grover. 🙂

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