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I feel like Drew and I have just enough collective wisdom in our pockets to talk our children through most of the struggles they might face in life.

Except for being adopted. Neither of us will ever under- stand what it feels like to be adopted. And we don’t pretend to.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. I want to celebrate my love for adoption by sharing the hard, but beautiful truths and fears that come with it.

People often tell me that adoption is not for every- one and it takes someone special to do it. I don’t believe this is true. I know this because I’m not any more “special” than anyone else. Whether or not you feel like adoption is meant to be a part of your story, I think we are all capable of this kind of love.

I believe it’s possible for anyone to undergo what takes place in your heart as it expands to reach the capacity needed in order to love someone else’s flesh and blood as your own – and never think twice about it. A little secret? Loving someone else’s baby is not the hard part of adoption. It’s the best and most beautiful part.

I often get asked if we will share with Jayce (when he is older), that he is adopted. Without question, without hesitation…of course we will! Adoption is a beautiful thing, and it is a part of our story. It’s also a huge part of Jayce’s story, and I have no inten- tion of keeping that from him. I personally feel if we choose to “hide” that part of his story from him, it makes it seem like a bad thing. We choose to celebrate adoption. Without adoption, Jayce would not be a part of our family, and I can’t even begin to comprehend what life without Jayce would be like.

Sonya Brown with Jayce – Image Courtesy of MyWaitingRoom.ca

Lately, Drew and I have been talking about what those conversations will (or could) look like when we choose to share with Jayce how he became a part of our family. When he was a newborn, it seemed as if those tough conversations were so far away, but as he grows from a baby to a toddler, I find myself thinking about it a lot more. When is the right time? How do we even begin to start the conversation? Children love to hear about the day they were born, or how they grew in Mommy’s tummy. I can easily share with Jayce about the day he was born, because I was a part of it. We took him home directly from the hospital like most new  parents do with their newborn. The growing in my tummy part…that is the part I fear he will feel “dif- ferent”. Especially since Everly grew in my tummy. Navigating through the complexities of these tough conversations weighs heavy on my heart. I never want Jayce to feel different, or feel like his story is any less special than his sister or any child for that matter. Everly and Jayce’s stories are different, but they are both rooted from the exact same love and desire I felt in my heart many, many years ago. Everly might have grown in my tummy, but Jayce grew in my heart.

There is a lot of weight that comes with being an adoptive parent. Jayce’s story began with loss and heartache and tears. But there was also selfless- ness and joy and laughter and hope and gratitude and so, so much love weaved right alongside it. I want Jayce to always know and feel comfort in the fact that I am always prepared to walk with him in times of sadness and confusion – and more importantly, to celebrate all the joy and love and gratitude that came to bring him to Drew and I. I am reminded every day of the fact that in order for me to be his mother, another woman had to give up that title. The weight of that privilege is not lost on me. I always want to honour his story and sit with him in those hard moments of realization that adoption will not always be beautiful to him.

I don’t have all the answers to the questions, but I’m hopeful they will come at exactly the moment I need them. One thing I know for sure, is my love for Jayce is no different than my love for Everly. The moment I held both of my babies for the first time, the heart bursting love was the exact same. I in no way felt more connected or bonded with Everly, than I did Jayce. This is special to me. This truly speaks to the beauty of adoption.

“Bloodlines and love lines don’t necessarily co- incide…when it comes to growing into a healthy, whole, and fulfilled human being, it is LOVE that counts the most.” –Mister Rogers

Read more from Sonya at mywaitingroom.ca

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Image Source: MyWaitingRoom.ca 

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Sonya Brown
Sonya Brown, B.Kin, is a Health Promotion Coordinator and works with School Divisions in Southeastern Alberta to improve healthy eating, active living and positive mental health initiatives and policies. Her passion is building healthy school communities where children and youth can live happy, healthy lives.