When I was seven years old, my mother sat me down to tell me that my younger brother and I had been adopted. She told me it meant that we were special, that we had been chosen, and that she and my father had longed so deeply for children that they had worked many years to have them. My mother’s words made me regret only one thing – I felt sorry for my friends who weren’t adopted.
My happy childhood passed and 25 years on, I had a loving husband, a rewarding career, and a beautiful home, but like my mother, I couldn’t get pregnant. After three years of unsuccess¬ful medical intervention, Walter and I decided to adopt. Adoption, a generation after my parents’ experience, was a much more complicated affair, but three-and-a-half years later we were blessed with our daughter, Molly.
Like my parents, we wanted a brother for our daughter, but our adoption agency had few infants available. As fate would have it, our mailman introduced us to his sister, who had adopted a boy from Bolivia through Lutheran Children and Family Service. As I was drawn to Latin American culture and had majored in Spanish, and as my husband’s mother was Lutheran, we took this as a sign. Adopting Patrick took a little less time than with Molly, but was infinitely more complex. Twelve days in Santiago, Chile, passed like a dream and our six month old son was perfect in every way.
Walter and I don’t think of ourselves as adoptive parents. Although the process to become parents is different, once that process is over, being an adoptive parent is like being any other type of parent. We all eventually share the same issues and joys as we watch our children grow and mature into adults. Molly, 23, has graduated from our alma mater, Franklin and Marshall College, become engaged, and is pursuing a career in law. Patrick, 19, graduated from Lower Merion High School and has completed his freshman year at Virginia Tech. We are so proud of them both.
Adoption reminds us of how very blessed we are that God led us to form our family in this way. Much about adoption has changed over the years, but the sense of being truly loved and truly wanted persists from one generation to the next.
Rosemary C. McDonough