She looked neither like Anuj nor like Meera, but she was theirs. She did not have Anuj’s deep brown eyes nor Meera’s wrinkled smile, but she won their hearts. She came into their lives late, but she made up for all the time they thought they had lost. Bringing her home changed their world and hers. She was daddy’s little princess and the apple of mummy’s eye.
Anuj and Meera had known it was not going to be easy. But when they got together, they had decided they would adopt a child. It was their plan for life. They adored children and there were many who needed a home. There are many couples–like Anuj and Meera–around us who choose to adopt instead of having their own children. Then there are couples who adopt children because they can’t have their own. Whichever the case, adopting a child brings immense happiness to both the parents and the child.
But amidst all the excitement of welcoming a new child into their world, parents tend to worry that they did not have nine months of pregnancy to prepare themselves for the journey. Addressing this, Jodi Picoult in her book Handle with Care writes: “Was it the act of giving birth that made you a mother? Did you lose that label when you relinquished your child? If people were measured by their deeds, on the one hand, I had a woman who had chosen to give me up; on the other, I had a woman who’d sat up with me at night when I was sick as a child, who’d cried with me over boyfriends, who’d clapped fiercely at my law school graduation. Which acts made you more of a mother? Both, I realised. Being a parent wasn’t just about bearing a child. It was about bearing witness to its life.” From Picoult’s experience, it is clear that one does not have to bear a child in order to become a parent. Shaping a child’s life makes a parent too.
Making a child understand that he or she was given up for adoption so that they could have a better life is, perhaps, the most challenging part of the process. But once they realise this was done for their own good, they might actually develop a sense of gratitude towards both the adoptive parents and the birth parents.