By Diane Dunbar The Afro News Victoria:
We are a “large” adoptive family. We have six children…our two oldest daughters (ages 19 and 21) are my husband’s from a previous marriage and our four younger children joined us through adoption. Our adoption journey started about six and a half years ago. Our son, who is our youngest child, joined us first at just three weeks old. He will soon be 6. Our next adoption was two sisters. They are now 10 and 12. All three of these children are African American. Our third (and hopefully not last) adoption was a young girl from our home town. She is 13. We have a busy household, as you can well imagine.
We are a trans-racial family with both birth and adoptive children. The adoptive children were adopted through three different adoption routes. We have various degrees of openness with birth families (openness can vary – it can be letters and pictures once or twice a year right through to monthly visits with members of the birth family or previous foster parents.)
Adoption is not for the light-hearted. It takes patience (and lots of it) while you are waiting to be matched with your child. The homestudy and paperwork process is intrusive and can seem to take forever. So, why do people do it? Because the end result is totally worth it! We have the same challenges other families do. Our children may have been born to different parents but we are here now. We are the ones who make their meals, attend parent-teacher meetings, are Guide or Scout leaders, are on the side lines cheering at soccer games on cold, rainy, and windy January Saturdays (can you tell we’ve done that?!). We are the ones who worry when they are sick, celebrate the successes, hand out the discipline, and are there to tuck them into bed at night.
It doesn’t matter where our children started their life. It doesn’t matter that some of them don’t have the same colour of skin as we do. It doesn’t matter that we aren’t biologically connected. We are connected by our hearts. We are their parents and we are proud of it.
It’s great to celebrate the differences we have in our family. We all learn and grow from those differences.
So how will Father’s Day be celebrated in our home? Well…my husband will be surrounded by all six of our children. It won’t matter that some are birth children and some came through adoption. Not at all. Those handmade cards and gifts from school will be cherished forever. The cards and gifts given by the older girls will be appreciated, too. It will be a day that we make an effort to get together to share a great dinner (the meal will be my husband’s choice), fill all the chairs at the dinner table and have lots of laughs. It’s a day to celebrate their special Dad.
1 888 479 9811