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Adoption Blog: The Yin and the Yang

What Adopted Means
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Friday afternoon, Hanna and I flop on the couch. Hanna is eating a veggie wrap (not my idea, but one I jumped aboard once she started gathering tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots). I’m flipping through the catalogues that arrived in today’s mail. The Disney Channel is on the television. A preview for an upcoming show about a baby comes on…at least I think that’s what it is, I am half watching, turning pages, imagining the long, flowing skirt I might buy and never wear…

“Do you think they birthed that baby or bought her?” Hanna asks matter of fact, turning to me, a dab of mayonnaise on her cheek.

Bought her? “Hanna, people do not buy babies.”

“You bought me from China.”

“I didn’t buy you, Hanna, I adopted you.”

“What does adopted mean?”

The dictionary says adopted means: to take into one’s family through legal means and raise as one’s own child. But Hanna does not want a dictionary definition, she wants to know what it means to her, to me.

It’s a legal process, a leap of faith, a lot of paperwork, love. It means being born into one family and raised in another. In Hanna’s case, it means having a mother, father and sister who do not look like her, and, somewhere out there, having others that do. It means being a part of a family, having a sense of belonging, and sometimes feeling different and alone. It means growing up with one set of values and traditions, while knowing someday you may have to go out into the world to discover your roots.

Adopted means loss and hope. Letting go and holding on and trusting in the way things turn out, even if there is hurt along the way. To this one mother sitting beside this one child, it means everything.

But what do I say to Hanna? “Got” and “brought” can sound an awful lot like “bought” to young ears. At first I try to explain the meaning of the word, mumble something about how it’s a legal process of joining a family. This falls flat. Then I tell her some babies are birthed from a mother’s body and others are taken into a mother’s heart. She seems to like this better, nods slowly.

“Hanna,” I wipe the mayo from her cheek, pull her close, “adopted means we get to be together.”


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2 Comments

beautifully written thanks so much!!

By drayn on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 12:36 am.

Adoption is a legal process of adopt anything means a child or any property. In different countries we have found different process for adoption and here in this article we can get some description about adoption process and the actual meaning of adoption.
Child Care

By bencastillo on Friday, March 11, 2016 at 6:04 am.

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Meet the Author

Stacy Clark

Stacy Clark

Florida

I have recently adopted or am adopting from...
China

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