One of my closest friends just brought her newborn son home from the hospital on St. Patrick’s Day -- her cherub-faced, teeny-toed, fuzzy-haired, adorable, adopted son.
With celebrities trotting the globe looking for children to bring home (Madonna and “Brangelina” both generated speculation just this week that they were going back for more), adoption may well be on its way to becoming the latest celebrity trend, like starting a clothing line or starring in a reality TV show. And in fact, some of these celebrities have faced some level of criticism for building their broods in a seemingly obsessive way. But the children who might otherwise face a life of less-than are instead able to grow up knowing that they were indeed wanted, even hand-picked like a precious gem to complete the family. And a culture that is too often saturated with egotism and selfishness can be, in at least one way, replaced with unconditional love and nurturing. Well, that is a trend worth buying into.
The wonders of childbirth and parenting are undeniably astounding -- that we, as parents, are given this gift, blessed with a tiny creature to nurture and shape into a grown person. But something seems even more miraculous about that gift when it is given by someone else. And when, in turn, eager new parents who have craved giving an otherwise “unwanted” baby a loving home, can take that baby into their arms and call him their own for the rest of their lives.
Before my friend left the hospital with her new baby, she had the chance to talk with the birth mother. She said it struck her as an uncomfortable yet profound moment -- trying to come up with the words for this woman who gave her the most tremendous gift imaginable: the gift of starting her own family. As the woman sat in her hospital bed, my friend approached her with not much more to say than, “Thank you.”
And the birth mother could only say, “You’re welcome.”
It was one of those moments, I imagine, where there just aren’t words that weigh enough for the heaviness of the situation. So instead, my friend will take that unspeakable gratitude and turn it into endless affection for her new little miracle.
For more information on adoption, visit our adoption page, or the website for the National Adoption Center.
Do you know someone who is adopted? Do you think celebrities are having an influence on adoption?