Most international adoptions do not make the news. Most international adoptions are far too ordinary for that. They are squabbles over sandals in 40 degrees and spontaneous hugs on the playground. They are full of backseat sing-alongs and broccoli and ranch before bed. They are too many doctors and too little money and too many giggles and not enough time. They are cooking together and watching her sleep. They are times when she is the line leader, and times when I carry her heavy sleeping body in the door. Many international adoptions involve negotiations for one more book or two more bites, and holding hands over evening grace. Many international adoptive families are very, very ordinary.
I don’t know if my daughter’s life is better for my having given her the only thing I really have: myself. I know mine is–immeasurably so– for her having given me the only thing she really has. It is not always sunshine and roses. There are long, painful nights and fraught mornings too. But no matter what she might do, no matter what it takes, we are a family. I used to believe that love makes a family. I don’t believe that anymore. Love often starts a family. But persistence, grit, an ability to not take yourself so dang seriously and a willingness to let your heart explode with joy —that’s what makes a family.
We are not newsworthy. We are delightfully boring.
But we are the truth.
This is my little contribution to a campaign of adoptive parents seeking to counteract the negative press international adoption has received lately.