I’m so glad I discovered Sensory Mom Secrets! The Sensory Mom and I have a lot in common. We are both adoptive mamas to kiddos with Sensory Processing Disorder. She has been such an encouragement to me as I’ve learned more about Sensory Processing Disorder, offering ways to help my little sensory seeker! Today she’s sharing a little bit about their adoption story in honor of National Adoption Awareness Month.
I’m so honored to be able to share today on adoption. I volunteered for this not knowing what to write, it’s something I haven’t written much about. The amazing Jennifer Jackson Linck said to write what’s on my heart. So today I’m going to share a little bit about what’s on my heart for my family and for your family, whether you are just starting to think about adoption or have been an adoptive parent for several years.
We were made for community. To feel like we belong and to connect to others. Often it’s our similarities that draw us together; but when you choose the non-traditional you break the mold.
I strongly believe adoption is a calling. I know without a doubt it was the plan for our family to be built through adoption. We were made to be different. We were made to build our family in a non-traditional way. But sometimes it’s a challenge for me to accept that because we want community.
Often, I face it with humor. When I am sitting around with a bunch of other moms and they all start sharing their birth stories and how they lost their bodies. I add, You all did this all wrong, you should have adopted, and everyone laughs.
Sometimes as an adoptive parent you feel like you aren’t whole because you don’t fit into the common community of biologically built families. Families frequently tell us how they’ve thought about adopting as a way of trying to connect with us. But we just stand out. We were made to. And just like I tell my daughter, I need to remember that different is what makes us unique, it’s what makes us special. And when it really comes down to it, I don’t want to be just like everyone else. I want each of us and our family to be exactly how God made us to be; unique.
As we journeyed to bring our daughter home, I was so excited for what it meant for our family. One of the things that excited me most was actually raising a child whom, I wouldn’t know exactly what her interests might be. Now I know that sounds weird, but generally (not always) with biological children you sometimes have a sense of your child having some of the same interests as you because they are biological inherited. With adoption, I felt like I was opening up a whole new genre into our family life. She could be interested in anything!
What I didn’t realize was how hard that would be for me to accept.
It’s like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Part of the journey with adoptive kids is helping them know who they are because they often struggle with identity. The younger they are when we embrace their identity, the stronger we can help build them as they become everything they are meant to be in this life.
Before we brought her home, I felt a calling in my heart that we were to parent challenging kids. Little did I know what that would mean for us in the years ahead. We faced numerous behavior challenges that I was afraid were adoption related issues. I felt like I had failed as an adoptive parent.
Finally, at 3 years old we sat across from a psychologist who diagnosed our daughter with Sensory Processing Disorder. The diagnosis was a whole new level of different.
We’ve been given more different than I ever imagined as adoptive parents but the reward has been to embrace life more fully. Our daughter challenges us to go slower, to love fully and to take in every moment.
It’s by fully embracing all the different in our journeys that we learn to really live out all that God has made us to be.
The Sensory Mom is an adoptive, special needs mama. She writes on parenting a child with Sensory Processing Disorder at Sensory Mom Secrets. She shares real life, real mess, real hope.