March 06, 2012

men are uniquely equipped to adopt

"REALLY?!" Daniel replied, "I don't...ah...have that."

I had just explained to him that "thing" that mothers have.  You know what I'm talking about.  From the moment our children are placed in our arms, before they have written us a single love note or colored us a single picture, they have our whole hearts.  Unconditionally.  My mom recalls her teenagers (that includes me, I'm sorry to say) screaming hatefully in her face, and all the while she felt nothing but a steady, and even welling, love.

"You feel love for the kids when they hurt you?" Daniel asked, clarifying.


"Weird," he said.  
There is a reason why mothers usually stay, and fathers (too often) run. I think it is nature - G0D'S way of making sure that children get raised, because otherwise moms and dads would be ducking out the back door.  Even when our bones are so tired they are splintering away within our limbs and we are crazed with frustration and weighed down with defeat and undone by exhaustion and gripped with loneliness and paralyzed with self-pity, we moms stay.  Whereas a father with half an inkling to get out of dodge and half a reason to do so, can, and often does.

Dads who don't leave, stay because they have firmly made up their minds to stay.  G0D may not have given dads a compulsive, obligatory line to their children, but he gave them, instead, the ability to come to a decision and stick to it, no matter what.  That is why men fight to their deaths in war.  Even with one limb blown off, they do not waver in their commitment to the cause, because they decided they wouldn't.  

Daniel and I talked about this quite a bit.  He told me that when one of the children is throwing up in the night and I ask for his help, it doesn't come "natural" for him (like it does me) to run in there with wet towels and a loving touch.  He runs in there to uphold his commitment to them. So interesting.

Similarly, when Daniel and I went into the "baby waiting room" at the government building in GuangZhou, China, to pick up our daughter, his eyes were peeled for Jubilee.  He was thinking, 'OK, which one of these little ones is going to be my daughter?'  When he saw the girl who matched our pictures of her, he locked in.  Right then.  He would have lost a limb for her at that very moment.  He was made that way.  Did he love her at that moment?  I say, by definition of the kind of love that lasts a lifetime,"Yes, he did."

You see, his concept of "loving" Jubilee is no different than his concept of "loving" me or our sons.  He decides to love us and he does.

If you are a man who is considering adoption and you are afraid you won't love your little peanut as much as you love your other peanuts, fear not.  Even though not all dads attach in adoption as easily as Daniel has, many times dads have an easier time attaching than moms.

Here's to dads, and the wonderful decisions they make.