Wednesday, March 9, 2011


This has been weighing on my mind a lot lately. As an adoptive family, it's hard to keep perfection out of your head. You try not to compare yourself (of your family) to that other perfect adoptive family, who all have perfect hair, a perfectly kept yard with the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood. They are so dang adorable in their profile photos! And you know that the lovely blond mom never yells because that cute little boy with equally blond hair squeezed out all the toothpaste into the sink. Said cutie would never do such a thing! And you know that the handsome dad works a great job that pays a lot so his beautiful wife can stay home with the afore mentioned cutie. And you just know that their life is bliss and wonderment all the day long.

Well...that's what you think, anyway. The truth could be far from the picture you paint in your head. Or, it could be exactly the same. Only that family beaming back at you from that perfect adoption profile really knows.

I look at those families, though, and wonder "How can we ever compare to them? When a birthparent is looking through the profiles, surely they'll choose that wonderfully perfect family."

"Perfectionism is simply putting a limit on your future. When you have an idea of perfect in your mind, you open the door to constantly comparing what you have now with what you want. That type of self criticism is significantly deterring."

I guess what I'm getting at...what I'm trying to tell that each of us (and each of our families) is its own piece of perfection. We are not the family I described above. My kids don't wear designer jeans. They wear whatever is on sale at Walmart or Kmart, or whatever hand me downs they've scored from their cousins. All our haircuts are free...I cut Andy's and the kids', and my Mom in law cuts mine. My kid DOES squeeze out all the toothpaste. And she lets the tub run over and flood the bathroom. And my son think he's a ninja and loves to practice his moves on the toothpaste squeezer. My husband and I work in a dying but noble profession (the newspaper industry), and we enjoy it, even though both of us have to work to make ends meet. We are two white parents with two black kids in a predominantly white area of the nation. And I have to admit, I sometimes (especially lately) wonder what on earth we have to offer a birthmom. We've been waiting for a child for 3.5 years, and the question in my mind has gone from "Why won't someone choose us," to "Why would anyone choose us?" 

So here's what my awesome little family has to offer! (Feel free to list off your awesome family's awesomeness, too!)

  • We know how to work hard. We do work hard, and support ourselves and our kids. We teach our children to work hard, to be productive, contributing members of society.
  • At the end of the day, our kids know they are our entire world. It doesn't matter if the bathroom flooded or if blood was shed in the pursuit of ninja...ness. They know they are loved, cherished, adored beyond words.
  • We don't take ourselves too seriously. Laughter is heard daily in our house...and music...and we are often observed dancing around like loons in our living room. And that's okay! We are perfectly silly and crazy! And when those beautiful children laugh, angels sing.
  • We might look different from other families, but you can't mistake the joy in my kids' eyes. It comes from knowing they're loved, that even though they look different from Mom and Dad, they still have a sense of belonging because they belong in our family! And guess what? Every child we adopt will have that same sense of love and belonging! Isn't adoption an amazing thing?!
  • We have huge extended families, and that ROCKS!!! Long road trips to family reunions with relatives we don't really remember from one year to the other? Bring it on! This is stuff that awesome childhood memories are made out of!
  • Andy and I may not be Brangelina, but we love each other deeply, passionately, completely, with a love born of trust and respect. Besides, he's adorable. How can I not love that guy!? *girly giggle*
Anyway, I'm not writing this post to be...I don't know. This post isn't about self promotion ("choose us, we are the best!", we don't roll that way), and I hope no one looks at us from the outside and thinks of us as "perfect." Adoption isn't about competition or comparing ourselves to each other.  Life isn't about that, either. It's all about being the best versions of ourselves we can possibly be. Remember what my mom always said, "You can only do what you can do." We can only be who we can be: Genuine, loving, caring, fun, adventurous...I know all you adoptive families reading this are all those things. As the old saying goes, "God don't make no junk." That includes families! 

So, my inner dialogue will be something I work on from now on. Because we rock! :) And someday...that "perfect" birthmom will come along and think we are perfect...for her. 

A song to send you on your way with a smile...


  1. Guess what, I'm blond, so is Andy, and ironically, yesterday he squeezed the toothpaste into a cup, added water and toilet juice and was drinking it. Today he only put the contents of the garbage in the toilet. Oh, and I grew up in "scored" hand-me-downs. It was the highlight of my school year... new clothes! So, you're "perfect family" vision is completely spoiled. :) (Evil laugh).
    Besides, your list of awesomeness is completely dead on... plus a million others I can think of easily. I love that quote, and you!

  2. LOL! Thanks for proving my point perfectly! Woot! Let's hear it for the toothpaste squeezers! :D

  3. I'm totally sharing this post. I LOVE IT! Thanks for giving me the courage to be myself.

  4. Glad this helped you, LeMira. It seems to be a topic we adoptive parents think about but don't discuss. Love you!

  5. You're very cool Mary!! Waiting is hard but...soooo worth it. I know you know that, hang on. When the time comes the perfection will be perfect!!!

  6. I love this post! If it makes you feel any better, a big part of what I liked about Robbie's Afamily's profile was that they weren't perfect. They had silly pictures and pictures of their whole extended family, and everything was "real". They didn't try to pretend they were a super perfect family.

  7. this was a cute post and that song was adorable <3


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