Sunday, July 11, 2004

Different, yet the same

On Friday, I received my first issue of Adoptive Families magazine, which my parents bought me for my birthday. I have read most of the articles already and I love it! There are articles for people in all situations of adoption - birth families, adoptive families, people considering adoption, people in the middle of their process, people who are waiting for a referral or placement, etc. It's very informative and helps me feel like there is a huge support group who knows what I'm going through and knows what it is that I need to know. I'm a researcher so I love reading and learning about what to expect in the next phase of our adoption or even years down the road.

While reading the magazine, I feel like yelling, "Yea, adoption!" and proclaiming that yes, there are major differences between our family and and most other families because we are adopting our children. But then my mind pulls back that thought because I don't want to separate us from everyone else. When Kevin comes home, we will be a real family just like any other family, birth or otherwise. We will face 99% of the same issues that any other family faces: choosing the right pediatrician, deciding what type of daycare to use, determining the best way to handle temper trantrums, etc. And because I think that adoption does create families as natural as birth families, I want to make sure that other people realize that as well. So I feel the need to make our family look just like any other family. And yet there are things that we will face that are different than other families because we're adopting. So I want people to understand those issues, too.

I think that this is similar to a struggle that I have with displaying my Christianity to the people around me. I want to live my life with love, peace, acceptance, grace, and justice - but I don't want to be so far out of touch with my neighbors that they don't feel like they want to experience that way of life also. I want to seem enough like them that they think of me as one of them and therefore take me seriously, but I can't be so much like them that they don't see God in me or a difference in my life from theirs that makes them desire something more.

It feels like a back-and-forth type of thing to me, but I wish that it could be a both-at-the-same-time type of thing. I think that there are people who can do that, but I don't know how to.

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