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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Loving an Unrelated Child

The question is raised from time to time by pre-adoptive parents: could I ever love a child unrelated to me by blood?

I don’t know, do you love your dog?

Last I checked, I was not part of the canine family, yet my connection to Scotties Misha and Grisha could not be stronger. They are my babies and I would do anything for them. I wash them and dry them, and clean up their occasional puke or poo if they’re sick. I brush their beards and their bodies, laugh with them, play with them, feed them. At night, I gaze at their peaceful faces hooked over each leg of mine, faces upturned, and breathing in rhythm with me.

This is love, pure and simple, and has nothing to do with biology.

I love my husband, too, and we have no blood connection. Unless you hail from some odd, kissing-cousin community, your mate shouldn’t be related to you, either! That’s how dynasties are destroyed:  too much intermarriage. (I could name names.) So why would we think that there must be a blood connection with a child in order to truly be attached?

Think of a baby left on your doorstep: cooing or crying, eyes calling out to you. Many of us would be drawn-in in no time.

And so it is with adoption. That child looks to you, wants to please you (generally), and be loved by you (always). What’s not to like?

Well, plenty, if you take a poll, but that’s usually because the child feels a lack of self-worth. Build up these deficits morning, noon, and night, and it will pay off in spades.

There is the odd child who may be rebellious, or otherwise resistant to getting along with the program. That’s a shame, but it does happen, even with bio kids.

In those instances, I would suggest spending more leisure time with the child when possible. Yes, more time with the child who is pushing your buttons and making you crazy. You will see him or her in a new light and rekindle (or kindle for the first time) your relationship.

In any tug-of-war, taking one big step forward can throw off your opponent. Orphans long for someone to step up to the plate and run toward them with open arms, even if they’re trying to push you away at the same time. A delicate dance, for sure. Remember that the prodigal son was a bio child gone wrong, and the realization of his father’s unending love turned him around.

Sometimes, love is not enough to “make a child your own”, but generally it is. Love is much more than a feeling, it’s a conscious decision to move closer together in thought, word, and deed. Blood may not bind you, but given time, you’d be willing to go through blood, sweat, and tears for that little (or big) life entrusted to you. Let something bad happen, God forbid, and just see how much you would fight to protect or save that kid.

Could you love somebody else’s child? Like a beloved dog, or mate, once he becomes yours, it’s really not hard at all.

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