How Can You Love A Child Who’s Not Biologically Yours?

It’s a still a question we receive from time to time, from non-adoptive and pre-adoptive parents alike. How can you love a child who’s not biologically yours? We understand where this comes from, but we’ve come to a straight up conclusion.


We just….do. Honestly, I’m sitting here typing, early in the morning, with the grandiose idea of busting out some clever rhetoric to reinforce the point of this post but I’m at a loss. I can’t explain it any other way than to say, we do. Blood, biology, DNA, and all the other fixins’ have nothing to do with it.

We love our kids deeply. And we didn’t create a one of them biologically.

In fact, in a weird sorta way, it’s almost as if we love them more. Don’t ask me for an explanation of that last sentence because I really can’t give you one. It’s just hard-wired in me.

The other night I was grilling out on the back deck. This required me to make several passes from the kitchen to the deck where the grill is located. Adding more meat the flame, checking to make sure they weren’t burning, removing the cooked chicken, etc etc. At one point, as I made my way out, I swung the storm dorm open and moved swiftly through it, not realizing that my son was following close behind me, as I let the door retract.

The handle hit him in the arm and nudged him to the side. He grabbed his arm and started crying (understandably so…those handles can make a dent!). I turned quickly and rushed over to him to check his arm and offer comfort. As I was speaking calmly to him, his emotions got the best of him… “You did that on purpose!” he shouted in my face. Ouch! I could feel my compassion draining out of me. In that moment I wanted to walk away. Fine buddy…you’re on your own!

But I didn’t. When he finally calmed down I looked at him square in the face and said, “I didn’t know you were following me out of the door or I would have held it open. It’s disrespectful to accuse someone of doing that, and frankly, it’s hurtful. You know why?” He nodded. I continued, “Because I love my kids deeper than deep and I would never do anything to intentionally hurt any of you!”

I meant every single syllable.

Even in the middle of his turdness-accusatory-scream-in-my-face-condition (it’s a real condition…I looked it up!), my love for him didn’t diminish. In fact, it increased.

I have to agree with something Oprah Winfrey said years ago…. “Biology is the least of what makes you a mother.” (or a father). I’ll add to that…biology is the least of what makes you fiercely love your kiddos. Sacrifice….love….commitment… long painful nights of holding them through the storm of their trauma….fighting for them (even when you want to fight against them)…is how love is built. Whether or not your blood, or DNA, is flowing through them, matters not.

As we speak, my second oldest daughter and her fiancé are in the hospital with my newborn grandson. He was born with a heart defect. It’s been touch and go for all of us for the past few days. Lots of you have prayed for them and continue to do so (which we are uber-grateful for!). We thought he would have to have surgery immediately after he was born, but have since discovered that’s not the case. The other day when we went to visit, I leaned down, kissed my daughter on the head, and said, “I love you and I’m so proud of you!” She’s now 26 but came to live with us through foster care at age 16. We officially adopted her when she was 17. And there’s never been a day where I’ve felt anything less than the deepest love for her…add to that my granddaughter who’s 3…my grandson who just made his entrance…and my soon-to-be son-in-law.

Biology has nothing to do with it. In the immortal words of Forrest Gump: “That’s all I have to say about that!”

Question: Have you wondered this in the past, or feel the same way about your kiddos? Share your story with us in the comment section below. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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