Marelise, who originally wrote From A Cup Of Tea To A Family Of Three! No! Wait! Four! for us, shares her and her husband’s experience of raising two children, one biological and one adopted.
I became so desperate to be called “ Mommy” that I considered the adoption option almost 2 years before my husband started to warm up to the idea. He’s very traditional and was worried about the way he might feel should we in the end be blessed with a biological child as well. He had the idea that he might not be able to love the adopted child as much as he’s own flesh and blood. His own DNA might be more valuable to him than someone else’s. He kept saying that we are young and that we have oodles of time to “try”.
I remember the day when he came to me and told me that he is ready, and that we can start exploring the option to adopt. It was a bitter sweet moment, knowing that we could start the process but at the same time also accepting the fact that we will not be able to have a biological child.
We consider ourselves blessed that we were matched so quickly when we started the process in 2011, it took a few weeks to find out that our baby girl will be born in March and that we will be parents less than 3 months after we started the adoption process.
When we received the news my husband’s reaction of joy blew me away. Only then did I fully realise again how badly he also wanted to be a parent.
A month after being matched we found out we were pregnant. Being scared of this double responsibility and knowing the age gap is going to be so small, it still didn’t change anything about the way we felt about our little girl getting ready to meet us in a month’s time.
She was our first born, our eldest child, while her little sister or brother was still a little bean in my tummy. Having a few complications during our pregnancy, my darling husband stepped in and became the one who did most of the pyjama drills and looking after our little princess while her little sister was growing and developing in mommy.
October came along so quickly, where I had to leave our 7-month-old princess with granny the one morning to go to the hospital to “fetch” baby sister.
When our family and friends came to visit in the hospital a friend asked me if I feel different towards our eldest now that we have our second child too, and I was first surprised that she could ask me this. But I do realise that people have the perception that “blood is thicker than water” but I could honestly tell her that day that there was no difference. I love both the same and differently.
When we celebrated our youngest's 1st birthday a few months ago, my husband and I were having a discussion about how amazing it is that there are no “weird” feelings towards our kids in terms of who was born from our heart and who from our flesh. To us both are the same in all aspects. It’s as stressful to adopt as it is to carry a child for 9 months and I think that’s the reason why we feel that it’s one and the same bridge we cross when it comes to the path of love for our children.
Both our children are our “real children” and we are their “real parents”, just as the feelings and love we feel for both are “real” – there is no difference.