All of the Above
I was sitting at my computer on Saturday morning when I heard Grant, my eight year-old, yelling at his little brother – something about “why did you take that . . .” As I rounded the corner to see what was going on, Grant ran into me. I knelt down and asked what was wrong. “He took it from me,” he said – and then let out a short, loud scream of frustration. “I’m just so mad at him. Why did you even have to adopt him anyway?”
As my kids get older they understand that adoption is complex. There is no simple answer to most of their questions, but they know that they are not an accident and neither is our family.
Wow! Where did that come from? Gathering my thoughts, I decided to seize the opportunity and have a little adoption chat. After all, that’s a pretty important question. I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to answer.
“That’s a good question,” I said.
“I mean you already had two boys,” he said, referring to himself and his older brother, both of whom we adopted as infants, “so why did you have to adopt him too?”
I plopped Grant onto my lap. He started to calm down. “I could ask the same question about you too – why did mom and I have to adopt you?” After all, we already had one little boy when you came along. So why do you think we adopted you?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” Grant replied, a wry smile creeping across his face.
“Well, do you think we were just sitting around and I said to mom ‘I’m bored, we should make some homemade ice cream.’ And then she replied, ‘I have a better idea, let’s adopt another little boy.’ Do you think that’s how we decided to adopt you?”
He laughed, “No.”
I continued. “Tell you what, I’ll give you several choices – like a multiple choice test – and you pick the right answer as to why you think we adopted you. That will probably also help to answer why we adopted your little brother.”
“To start, you asked me ‘why’ but mom and I asked a different question when we found out about each of you – we asked ‘why not?’ So choice ‘A’ is ‘why not.’ Choice ‘B’ is because we had love in our hearts to give. Choice ‘C’ is because . . .”
“Because you knew of a child who needed a forever family,” he said.
“Right,” I said looking impressed at his addition to my list. “Choice ‘D’ is because we prayed and believed it was the right thing to do. Choice ‘E’ is because we had . . .”
“. . . You had room in your house,” he said, smiling and satisfied. He continued, “And choice ‘F’ is because you didn’t want to have to make ice cream.”
I chuckled. “And choice ‘G’ is ‘All of the above,” I said. “So which is it? Why did we adopt you – and your brothers and your sister?”
“G – all of the above,” Grant said.
“That’s right – all of the above,” I said, and our conversation continued a bit longer.
As my kids get older they understand that adoption is complex. There is no simple answer to most of their questions, but they know that they are not an accident and neither is our family. We were designed and woven together with love by the One who first loved us.