Unconditional Love for an Adopted Child – Yes

From an adoptive mother let me just say it is absolutely possible to love an adopted child unconditionally. I have often told my daughter that no matter what she does I will love her. My husband and I have discussed what that means. If she killed someone would I still love her? If she joined a different religion, did drugs or got pregnant would I love her? If she said she hated me, shaved her head and joined a commune would I still love her? Of course I would. I truly believe that is why parents feel so much pain when their children choose a different, often destructive path.

Many people think that the love a person has for an adopted child can’t possibly be the same as for a biological child. Personally I have never given birth so I have no reference for the other side. However, I don’t think it would be possible to love a child more than I love my daughter. She doesn’t always make me happy, but I always love her.

I do understand there is a nine month bonding period for mothers before giving birth. However, fathers, siblings, grandparents and other relatives don’t get that same bonding. So, if we were to labor under the assumption that you can’t love an adopted child unconditionally that would lead us to the assumption that the only one who can love any child unconditionally is its biological mother. Does that make sense to you?

With an adopted child there is a time when it is hard to believe you are the mom. Even after a few months I would look at my daughter, who is black and I am white, and wonder how this happened. It was so weird that four months after submitting a bunch of papers, going through a lot of disappointments and finally getting that call, I was a mom. I also remember when she first started talking and would call me mommy I would think it felt so weird. However, that was my own nuttiness, not a lack of love.

The starkest example I can think of on this subject is my mother. She is a woman who has had a lot of bigotry in her life and didn’t have good feelings about black people. When my husband and I adopted a black child she was crushed. Yet, when she held our daughter in her arms all that prejudice leaked out and was gone. She has been the most amazing grandmother I have ever seen.

Is it possible to love an adopted child unconditionally? There is no doubt in my mind. My family is living proof that you can. As we go to bed each night and we exchange our good night kisses we often quote a line from a children’s book. “I will always love you, and be there for you,” then we emphasize, “no matter what. Just in case you ever wonder.” And truly we will love her “no matter what.”