The Promise You Have to Make as an Adoptive Parent

mom and daughter

When we were pregnant with our first daughter, we never gave much thought to making sure that all we did and all we were was in her best interest. It just was. As her birth parents, it was a given. I can honestly say that we never really thought about her in those terms.

When that child died in my womb before she even had a chance to be born, everyone (from the doctors to the rabbi to our family) assured us that we did not do anything wrong—that we did the best we could for our daughter.

For a myriad of reasons, we had our second daughter via adoption. It was the right decision for us and we never once thought of it any other way.

When you adopt a child, there are a lot of elements that you need to think about. There are endless classes and meetings that we had to attend so that we were well informed and prepared. We talked about race and religion and drugs and alcohol and mental illness and physical wellness. We had home studies and background checks. As an adoptive parent, you need to be evaluated, as do all parties involved, to make sure that you are fit to raise a child.

That process, although totally necessary, seemed odd to me. It was actually much easier to just get pregnant. When I was pregnant, none of these factors even entered my mind. However, we respected the rules and regulations and had no issues following any of them. All we had to do was look at the bigger picture and know that we would do anything to be parents.

As a biological parent, you make a promise to do what is in the best interest of your child or children.

As an adoptive parent, you make the same promise, but it is in writing.

Shortly after we were placed with our daughter, I got to thinking: Why do I have that power? What gives me the right to decide what is best for her? I certainly do not know everything there is to know about being a mother or a parent. Who made me in control?
I did. When I became her mom. Until she is old enough to think for herself, she will have to settle for her dad and me knowing what is best for her. What is right versus what is wrong. What is safe and healthy versus what isn’t.

It is terrifying and scary and exhilarating all at once. I do not think we can afford to make mistakes, and yet, I feel mistakes are a great way to learn.

Everything I do has my daughter’s best interest at heart. I hope that is enough. I think that it is.

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Samantha Koellhoffer

Samantha Koellhoffer is a freelance writer living outside of Philadelphia, PA with her loving husband and their superhero-and-princess-obsessed daughter. She is busy learning how to be a mom to her adopted daughter after her first child was born still. Sam blogs here and Time 2 Mom Up, and is currently working on a book about the highs and lows of motherhood. #time2momup

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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