Creating a Family: There is No Box

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I’ve been a fan of actress Sandra Bullock since forever. And, after hearing her recent interview with Hoda Kotb on the Today Show, I admire and respect her even more. The truths that Ms. Bullock shares on adoption, within this interview, are poignant and important.

I’d like to focus on three of Bullock’s truths and share my thoughts, as a mother-by-adoption myself, in order to help others who might currently be considering adoption or who have begun the journey to adopt.

Truth 1: Something Told Me My Child Was There

The actress and mom speaks of watching the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, in 2005, and says, “Something told me my child was there.” She had a feeling that a child was waiting for her. Whether you call this a gut feeling or a God feeling (Ms. Bullock thinks they are one in the same) it’s a feeling — a sign — that should be paid attention to.

All too often, we can close our eyes to the signs right in front of us. Our longing to parent-by-adoption becomes riddled with excuses of why we can’t or shouldn’t adopt, at this time or at any time. Yet, the yearning persists. How many children have not found their forever families because we’ve turned away? How many loving people have walked away from their dreams of adopting because an outside source told them it’s too late?

If something is telling you that your child is out there, somewhere, then listen to the sound of your own wisdom and seek out your child. As Sandra Bullock shares, “The beautiful thing I was always told was the perfect child will find you. You will find your child.”

Please know that the perfect child doesn’t exist, but your child does. You won’t be the perfect parent, either, but you’ll be your child’s parent. I believe that Ms. Bullock, by saying, “the perfect child,” means that you’ll find the child who feels like home: the child who you feel like home to, as well. And, that is a perfect and miraculous moment.

Ms. Bullock describes this feeling of home as she speaks of her son, “I looked at him and I just said, ‘Oh, there you are.’ It’s like ― it’s like he had always been there,” she said of seeing Louis for the first time. “It’s like he fit in the crook of my arm.”

Acknowledge the signs leading you to adoption and then commit wholeheartedly to the journey. Your child deserves nothing less.

Truth 2: There Is No Box

How we become parents is as individual and unique as each of the children whom we parent. There is no one way to create a family. There is no one way to parenting. Yet, we are told so very often that there is. I appreciate and resonate with this quote by Ms. Bullock within the Today Show interview. “It’s amazing to me how we can take away people’s happiness by telling them that this is the box that you have to stay in. There is no box.”

There is no box: no one single way to becoming a parent, no perfect time, and no perfect place. Yet, those of us who have asked ourselves, “Will I ever have a child?” understand the depth of emotion that accompanies this wondering.

There is a great amount of encouragement found in Ms. Bullock’s words, “I had to become the mom I was supposed to be for the kids who were waiting for me.” Isn’t this an incredible thought, one that suggests that each and every lesson along the way is bringing you closer to your child and to realizing the dream of parenting?

Sandra Bullock found her two children through adoption: her first through private adoption and her second through foster adoption. They’re her kids—not second best or second place. These kids are Sandra’s number 1, just as they should be! And, there are hundreds of thousands more, right here in the U.S., who are waiting to be someone’s number one. They’re called America’s foster kids.

To reach them, you must consider that there is no box.

Truth 3: Accept Their Love

“You are a forever parent the minute you accept the love of that child.” ~Sandra Bullock

No truer words could be spoken! I have adopted two children, both internationally, and I can say that the second they were in my arms—I was their forever. And, they were mine. Adoption is delivery. You are delivering a child into your life, and that child will eternally change the landscape of all that you do.

Life becomes more meaningful, more purposeful, and more delightful. You just have to say, yes.

Accept their love. Accept the love of a waiting child. I have said, and I will say again, that adoption is the living and working blueprint of what love really looks like. Adoption has so much to teach us about how to love. It breathes inclusion as it extends itself beyond the borders and boundaries of a bloodline. Adoption never could be put into a box. Many have tried but none have succeeded.

Love is too big for boxes.

Everything that truly matters in this life is found beyond the box.

I, like Sandra Bullock and Hoda Kotb, found motherhood, a deeper meaning to life, and my beautiful children there.

Onward,

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