Since becoming a parent, I’ve been awed by some other parents whom I’ve met. They are the parents who adopt children who have had tumultuous beginnings.
In my old neighbourhood, I met the mom of a little girl who was around my son’s age. After we spent months of exchanging anecdotes and helpful suggestions, I learned that she was going to become a mom again. I also learned that my son’s playmate had been adopted when she was a year old. Now her biological sister was that age and the mom was thrilled to unite the two little girls.
She didn’t go into the details as to why both girls had to be taken from their biological parents. We did touch on the irony that people who are unfit to care for children continue to have them. But this mom saw that downside as her silver lining. She would now have two daughters and they’d be blood-related. I admired the mom’s open-mindedness, and her capacity to face a potentially challenging situation with such optimism and love.
I also met a single dad who had adopted a little boy. The dad told me about the intense scrutiny he had gone through because he was male, single, and gay. Three show-stoppers. It turned out that the process ended up being a little shorter than expected because he and the little boy were racial matches. The dad is East Indian and the little boy is too. However, the little boy looks Eastern European – his other background. The dad found himself explaining the racial difference quite a bit, as well as having to deal with his son’s temperament issues, given his birth and first year. The dad was incredibly upbeat and loving. What’s more, he was comfortable admitting that things were a bit different than his expectations and he was getting support.
The stories of those two parents touched me. They had overcome so many hurdles to be parents – something that quite a few people just take for granted.