On Choosing Love

A lot of people say in regards to adoption that they just don’t know if they could ever love a kid that wasn’t their own. (And because I hate that word I will insert “biological” here.) That statement used to piss me off. Like, what in the actual hell? But now I get it.

Adoption is teaching me that love is a choice. I can choose to love… to be kind, to be patient, to be selfless, to care for… love is something I do not always feel. I can choose to love without feeling love, because love is an action word. (Hello, think about marriage. Dustin and I do not always feel love towards each other, because duh, but we choose to love each other regardless.) Love is not always an easy choice and it doesn’t always make sense. Choosing love is not always accompanied by heart eyes and feels. Choosing to love doesn’t always mean you will feel love just because you chose it.

Adoption is teaching me that love is also a feeling. You can choose to love without feeling love and then one day YOU CAN FEEL ACTUAL LOVE. I swear to you. Because love as a feeling doesn’t always happen immediately. (Hello, think about marriage. Dustin and I didn’t love each other the first time we met. But we fell in love. Eventually. Overtime.) Love the feeling is something that can grow and evolve, because love is an action word.

People always want to know what it was like to meet Wyatt (and JT) for the first time. My answer is always the same… it was really weird. They brought JT in and told him I was his new mom. They brought Wyatt in and he screamed terrified screams the second they handed him to me. People are staring at you, watching everything you do. It was awkward and weird and not like this precious amazing thing. I didn’t feel anything, other than like I was going to throw up both times. I didn’t just know that I was supposed to be either of their moms. I didn’t feel different meeting Wyatt than I did meeting JT. I didn’t feel overcome with mom feelings or heart eyes or go mushy with love feelings. I just didn’t. I know people who have experienced that and I think that’s awesome and really special. Instead, both times, I looked at precious Ugandan faces and I said in my head: “I will love you. I choose to love you.” And then I whispered that in ears over and over and over again and prayed one day I would feel it.

Because sometimes love is a choice first and a feeling second. That’s what becoming a mom overnight to a grieving kid I didn’t know is teaching me. Choosing to love is powerful and we can always choose to love. And so to the people who just aren’t sure if they could ever love a non biological kid? You can. I promise.
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