|My Sweet Adopted Plan B Child--Running Free|
I heard an adult adoptee say once “let’s face it, nobody comes into adoption because that was their first choice”. I don’t know about “nobody” but I think that’s probably generally true for the majority of adoptive parents. We are here because this was Plan B, and Plan A failed. Heck, it might have even been Plan C or D! This particular quote came from a girl who was a little bit bitter about all she had been through, and even though she had great adoptive parents, there was something in knowing that she was Plan B that bothered her. I’ve pondered on that statement many times, and wondered how to keep D from feeling that way. But, as I have thought more about it, I have wondered how many times our Plan A didn’t work out and that whatever came as a result of having to rethink our plans was actually better than our Plan A would have ever been. Let’s think about high school crushes we just knew we wanted to marry, or how many times we changed majors in college, or how many jobs we had before we found something we liked, or how often you spent way too much money on something you just had to have, only to find it was not nearly as fulfilling as anticipated. I’ve heard so many stories of people who suffered some great difficulty, only to find that it was the very thing that propelled them to greatness. My father wound up with a combination of horrible dehydration and a double kidney infection this summer that left him practically passed out on his bedroom floor in the middle of the night, after having vomited everywhere. And yet, in diagnosing his kidney infections, the doctor found a cancerous mass in his lung. He just had surgery in which everything was successfully removed and no signs of spreading because it was caught so early. We are thanking God right now for that horrible round of infections. I remember seeing an interview with Richard Dreyfuss about how he was afraid this stupid movie he was in was going to end his career. It was Jaws. Lance Armstrong became even more competitive after his bout with cancer. His body experienced changes that ultimately made him a better athlete. And perhaps mentally, he was so much tougher having fought that battle. Whatever it was, the combination paid off in a way that had not happened before the cancer. There is story after story of incidences in which the thing we so desperately wanted faded off into the sunset and surprisingly left an opportunity for something better.
I won’t say that adoption is better than birthing a child. I would still jump at the chance to be pregnant and have that wonderful experience. But I don’t pine away for it like I used to do. Age has blessed me with the ability to look back on my life and acknowledge that I have learned some fabulous lessons from experiences I would never have wished upon myself. I have come to know amazing people because I was forced to. I have had my eyes opened to new possibilities, and also just to the idea of having them open. I have learned to pay attention to the people and things and opportunities that grace my pathway, and just assume that I have something to gain by taking a closer look. Years of fertility treatment brought grief and many tear-filled nights. But it also brought knowledge and compassion I have been able to share with others going through the same thing. Adoption has caused me to ponder what it is that really makes a family, and what I’m willing to go through to have my own, Plan B or otherwise. Maybe the “B” stands for blessing, or better, or beneficial or brave. Or maybe it just stands for best, because that’s what it’s been for us.