4 Ways Adoption Has Made Me A Better Human Being.

Almost 2 decades ago, we first discussed adoption and I resisted. Thankfully, my heart changed. Today, I’m a better person because of adoption. Here’s why…

I awake early on a Monday morning to begin my typical weekday routine in my household. Quick workout at our local gym, buzz home quickly while I chug water, arrive home and wake kids up, head to the kitchen to make lunches, simultaneously start breakfast, give a check to backpacks, gently remind my kids to get up again, warm the car up for carpool, consider pouring ice cold water over the stragglers who are still sleeping, then kiss the heads of the ones who have made it downstairs in relatively good time.

They rub their eyes, and stretch, and grumble, and may toss a few items my direction. None of them like that they’re up before the sun. I smile and return my attention to the task at hand. Getting them out the door on time for another day of school. As I slap peanut butter and jelly on slices of bread I smile. The thought hits me…

I love these babies more than I can even begin to articulate with words.

I would bleed myself dry for any of them. I would gladly, and willingly, put my life on the line for each one, no questions asked. They are mine. I am beyond humbled to be their daddy. Even when they hiss like a viper that I’ve woken them up for school.

I didn’t create a one of them biologically. Nope. All 8 (yes, 8…I wouldn’t make that up), of my children are adopted. You probably know that if you’ve hung around this site at all…:-). We began our journey 16 years ago. Nineteen years ago we first discussed parenting, before we were married, and adoption was not in my realm of possibilities. I had my own ideal, my own plan, and my own vision for how I thought our life together, and our family, were going to play out. Thankfully, all of my plans were wrecked….in a very, very good way! Because as I put the finishing touches on their lunches, I’m consumed with the thought:

I couldn’t imagine my life without any of my children. I couldn’t have scripted a better story than the one I’m living out.

All thanks to adoption. It has made me a better person. Here are 4 reasons why this is true….

  1. It’s made me the best version of myself. The other day, Kristin and I were driving alone, without any of our children (Shocker!) when I told her something that was on my mind- “This journey has made me the best possible version of myself.” The way I look at humanity, people who are different from me, and the world around me has totally changed thanks, in part, to the adoption journey. Over the past 16 years, we’ve encountered so many situations that have knocked us completely out of comfort zone and I’m better for it. I’ve discovered the world is much bigger than me and the tiny hearts of the precious children I am blessed to care for in this life have reminded me of this.
  2. It has taught me the capacity I have to love others. I’ve often said that adoption is not a question of your capacity to love others. It’s a question of choice. What will you choose to do with your heart? This amazing journey has taught me just how true this is. Before I became a parent I didn’t know this. I had a shallow view of the life I was living (more on that in a minute), and I didn’t think I could love another human being I didn’t biologically create. Well, I can tell you, nothing could be further from the truth. I love my children deeper than deep. I love them as if I did create them biologically. Love is not dependent on DNA or biology. Love is dependent on what you choose to do with your heart.
  3. It’s made me a less-selfish person. In short, before we began the adoption journey I was a selfish person. Like, really, really selfish. I thought only of myself, my plans, my wants, my needs, my perspective. I would not have admitted this back in the day, and frankly, I’m still learning how to not be selfish, but it’s very true of my life before having children. I resisted the adoption journey in the beginning because I didn’t understand it, but also because I thought my life, the perfect life I thought I would live, would be disrupted. And it was. And I’m glad. This journey has humbled me and showed me, clearly, that this is not about me.
  4. It’s taught me what family is really made of. I mentioned this a moment ago but I’ll reiterate it here. Love is not dependent on DNA or biology. But neither is family. As Leigh Ann Tuohy said a few years ago, “Family don’t have to match. You don’t have to look like someone else to love them.” How true is that. I have learned this and then some. I realize that family is made up of the people you choose to live life with, whether or not they are biologically related to you or not. The thought never crosses my mind that my family is not a real family because we are not biologically related. I’m not biologically related to my wife and yet she and I are married. I am not biologically related to my children and yet they call me “Daddy” and I call them “Sons” and “Daughters.”

So in recognition of November being National Adoption Awareness Month, I share my heart with you as an adoptive father. As I type these words my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m eternally grateful for the precious children I have. I’m grateful every time I hear the word “Daddy” spoken my way. I’m grateful that my best laid plans were disrupted and upended. Because my plans paled in comparison to the story I’m a part of now.

Is this journey perfect? Absolutely not. Is it worth it? Absolutely! It’s made me a better human being and it continues to make me a better human being every day I love and lead my beautiful children.

Question: How has the adoptive (or foster) journey changed you for the better? Share your story in the comment section below this post. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Editor’s note: this post originally appeared on Mike’s column on Disney’s Babble.com.
Have you heard about our support and resource site, Oasis Community? It’s an online community that provides tangible resources and real-time support to families on the foster and adoptive journey. Oasis features online chat support and video conferencing with real-life parents (just like you), video interviews with experts in trauma, attachment and bonding, and more, as well as monthly educational content that can be used for hours on a foster care license, or continuing education credit.

Fall Enrollment CLOSES This Saturday, November 16th at Midnight PST.

Visit www.oasiscommunity.me to enrolle now!

Get our latest eBook for FREE!

Weary_parent_guide_ck_form_image

Let’s be honest: parenting is exhausting. You feel worn out, foggy & can’t remember the last time you got a full night’s sleep. That’s why we’ve put together a FREE guide with easy-to-apply, rest multiplying hacks for busy parents. You’re just 9 days away from feeling rested, refreshed & reenergized!


We will never share your info with anyone! Powered by ConvertKit

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Rosalie Hill Daniel

    Wow, this describes how my husband and I feel to a T!!!! We couldn’t have said it any better. Absolutely love this post😍😍😍

    • So glad you loved it. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

      • Rosalie Hill Daniel

        Your page and post are wonderful. Wish my husband and I would have had something similar when we first adopted our children 23 years ago. God bless

  • Tina Morgan

    HELLO EVERY ONE

    Are you looking for a genuine home for a proper and healthy new born baby adoption? why not try out PERFECT BABIES
    ADOPTION SERVICE to help you prepare and get you a healthy and adorable baby!. i have been married for 12 years now with 2 beautiful kids of our own, i love and care for my own kids 100% and it hurts to see other kids surfer without parental care, so i and my partner decided to adopt and give the best care we could 100% to the baby, so we decided to come online to search for an adoption home and we saw so many posts and good testimonies about PERFECT BABIES ADOPTION SERVICE, so we contacted them and did all necessity, we adopted bella from PERFECT BABIES ADOPTION SERVICE and she is an amazing child. baby adoption often takes 1 week in this agency and they are been texted legit for any families. try it PERFECT BABIES ADOPTION SERVICE Agency are legit and genuine. cost little to adopt from their agency. E-mail: perfectbabies_adoptionservice@hotmail.com

    this world could be a better place if we could show help and concern to our futures which are the poor little kids to help them achieve what ever they want in life to be who God destined them to be so they can be better leaders of tomorrow contact them today via

    E-mail : perfectbabies_adoptionservice@hotmail.com