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Adoption Blog: Melting Pot Family

Why Adopt When You Have Biological Children?

"Why did you choose to adopt?" Since adopting our daughter from Ethiopia, I've been asked this question with some frequency—probably because I also have two biological sons. When people ask about how we chose to grow our family, I don’t have a simple answer.

my kids

When my first son was born, I thought he was absolutely perfect. (I know, what mom doesn’t think that about her kid?) And frankly, I wasn’t sure I wanted more children. My husband, on the other hand, was sure we should have two. His sister is much younger than he is, and I think he missed having a close sibling and didn't want our son to lose out in the same way. When my eldest was 3, my thinking changed. With a little gentle nudging from my spouse, we decided to add child number two to our family.

Once I had my second son--born on his brother’s fourth birthday--I was sure we were supposed to have three. I still recall a bright sunny day in June when I was playing with my 6-month-old. He was a butterball with such an amazingly sunny disposition that my friends called him "hunk of baby love." I was holding him above my head and looking into his big, liquid brown eyes with impossibly long lashes when it felt like I was hit with a thunderbolt. He can't be my last! I thought. There is one more child in our future.

At different times over the subsequent years, my husband and I discussed adoption as a way to continue to build our family. We liked the idea of helping a child who needed a family. We gravitated toward international adoption since our heritage is already multicultural. However, when my sons were 3 and 7, I was diagnosed with a serious illness. Our focus turned to dealing with that and protecting my sons from the scary maelstrom that accompanied--surgery, doctor’s appointments, waiting, hoping, and worrying.  

Six months later, I was laid off when my company merged with another. Within a few months, with the worst of my health issues addressed, I was moving with the boys across the country after landing a great job in a distant city. My husband stayed behind for the first 10 months. Once reunited, we focused on bringing stability and peace back to our family after reeling from all the change. Adoption still whispered to me, but there were louder voices--my job responsibilities, the boys’ increasingly active school and sports routines, adjusting to a different part of the country and a new family routine after months of living in multiple states--demanding my attention.

We settled into a routine after a period and again began discussing adoption. But life intervened with another medical scare, which caused us to put our adoption plans back in limbo. But this time, the thoughts of adopting would not be relegated to whispers. Instead, they were like the loud, persistent ping ping of water hitting a metal sink from a faucet that has not been completely turned off.

My life motto has always been "No regrets." I can accept failure, although obviously it is not my preference. But regret is different. I didn’t want to wish I had taken the risk or made the choice after those options were gone. I wanted to avoid that hopeless, helpless feeling if at all possible. I asked myself, “If we don’t pursue adoption and try to get our little girl, will I regret this later?" 

As I reflected on this inquiry, I fast-forwarded in my mind to my later life. I imagined my boys grown with their own families. I imagined thinking back to this time and this decision. I felt the searing sting of regret when I contemplated the hole in my heart where my daughter, our third child, was supposed to be. I had my answer. Although I knew there was no certainty we would get the outcome I desired, I believed we needed to start down the adoption path. The decision gave me peace.

Obviously, we know how things turned out (although as I blogged previously—my health history led us down a different path than we originally planned for ourselves). We recently celebrated our daughter's third birthday at a local Ethiopian restaurant. The picture above was taken outside with my two youngest. She has brought amazing joy to our family.

If you're a biological parent who has also adopted, what made you decide adoption was the right path for your family? Tell us by leaving a comment below.

Related Posts on AdoptiveFamiliesCircle


My husband and I are both the youngest children in large families.  His parents had 5 and I am the “baby” of 8 in our bunch.  We married right out of school and began our family a few years later. They have been very different pregnancies, and all had wonderful, glorious outcomes. Our youngest bio child was diagnosed in utero with a serious, life threatening medical condition.  After a pregnancy that had tried to prepare us for any outcome….a baby girl was born that looked absolutely perfect, but was in need of surgical intervention to save her life.  We didn’t know how long we would have her, or what the quality of life would be, if we had the means to provide for all of her medical needs etc….there were so many unknowns.  We had been given these precious little lives to raise up,  and that is what we were going to do.  The years flew by and we had 2 teen sons and 1 preteen girl that wanted a sister to share special times with.  We took classes and began down the domestic adoption path.I wanted a special needs child with similar challenges as she has, a home where they would be loved and have room to figure out how to overcome those challenges.  We had several obstacles and not enough conviction at that time.  We agreed to wait and see if this desire lasted, or went away with time. Jump ahead 4-5 years, and I saw a sign (in a pediatric dental office) posting a simple question, “Are you considering adoption?” and it was for 2 wk program from Russia orphanages.  When I told my husband about it, he advised me to call.  Our lives have been on a roller coaster ever since. It has not been easy by any means, but the Lord had His plan for us all along, and when we gave up trying to orchestrate our plan and gave it all to Him—great things have happened.  We have grown by 9 year& 2 feet all the way from Russia, and are hoping to return soon for our 8 year, 2 footed addition! They are not officially siblings yet…but they know each other and in our house anyone whom we welcome in is “family” ..the girls refer to her as our sister that hasn’t come home yet smile We feel that the Lord has blessed us with 4 children already, so when He brought this young girl into our lives (in the US) who are we to question Him.  He promises to take care of our needs and that is what we do for our children…how ever many He decides we are to bless us with smile

By Flmedicmom on Saturday, July 02, 2011 at 4:28 am.

Thanks for sharing your story Flmedicmom,

Very inspiring for sure.  All the best to you and your family@


By Ellenore Angelidis on Saturday, July 02, 2011 at 7:11 am.

My husband and I wanted a large family. We love kids. I have a 20 year old son and we discussed adoption after numerous failed attempts of IVF. We did end up finally having a gorgeous little girl. She is now 8 months old and an unexpected and unique situation came to us about 3 weeks ago. We now have another beautiful little Indian baby girl who we have named Abigail. Can’t say why we chose to adopt. The question is how can you look into a baby’s eyes and not fall in love. When your heart suddenly feels compete cause you have found he missing piece. So needlessego say we are up to our eye balls with diapers and bottles and love it. Having almost twins… Has only encouraged us for one more!!

By Jmiller0636 on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm.

Wow what a great insight that is exactly how I am feeling!  I love the part where Ellenore says “I can accept failure…but regret is different”. 
That is something I am sure will get me through this paper work!  Those words are EXACTLY how I feel!
Thanks for sharing!

By astofko on Sunday, September 02, 2012 at 1:58 pm.

Thank you astofko,

All the best on your journey and good luck with the paperwork—it can seem daunting. 


By Ellenore Angelidis on Sunday, September 02, 2012 at 2:41 pm.

I really enjoying this post, in fact, the creative points attract my attention every time. Yes, we are facing these kinds of questions when we have biological kids and after that, we adopt another one. Never before facing such situations. But to be very honest I can understand what kind of feeling a parent have after hearing such points. Thanks for highlighting such a wonderful topic and this will definitely change my thoughts towards adoption. I am really grateful towards this article.
Baby Bonding

By paulcaldwell on Wednesday, January 04, 2017 at 5:22 am.

Hello contact (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) if you are interested in any child adoption, my husband and I adopted from here privately, but you must be financially ready for a baby adoption if you seriously need a registered baby adoption agency like H2H to help you. God bless.

By dhale99 on Monday, August 07, 2017 at 9:59 am.
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Ellenore Angelidis

Ellenore Angelidis

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