I'm writing this post in honor of a poem that is in the April 2011 Ensign magazine called "Just The Same". If you haven't read it yet, check it out. It's on page 30. If you don't subscribe to the magazine, you can find it on http://www.ensign.lds.org/ but you'll have to wait until April. I read this poem and loved it because it expressed very simply and eloquently the answer to a question that I get asked from time to time.
For those of you who don't know me, my husband and I have three children. When we had been trying to get pregnant for a little over a year with no success, we had a very strong impression that we should try to adopt, as well as continue working on fertility treatments. So, we moved forward on both fronts. Over the years, we adopted our daughter, and then our son, as well as becoming pregnant (after five years of fertility treatments). I won't go into all the details today, but it was not a regular, healthy pregnancy, and our youngest son was born via emergency c-section about 3 months early. That's a story for another day...this is just the long way of telling you that two of our children joined our family through adoption, and one is our biological child. This brings me back to the question I have been asked, and the beautiful answer in the poem I mentioned.
"Do you love your 'own' child more than your others?" Okay, first, I always mentally cringe and try to be pleasant as I say, "Well, I have three of my 'own' children. But if you're asking if I love my biological son more than my two children who we adopted, the answer is no. Absolutely not. I love and cherish all three of my children." This is where they peer closely into my eyes and probe further, "Of course you love them all, but it's different, right?" I return their gaze and reply, "It's not different. My love for all of them is the same. It really is." At this point, if it's a random stranger in the supermarket (you'd be surprised how often that actually happens since two of my children are of a different ethnicity than I am) I just smile and turn away. No need to get into it further. If it's someone I care about I might continue on and point out that love isn't about biology. Love is about serving and sacrificing and cuddling and wiping tears and midnight feedings and nights of colic and laughing and holding and changing diapers and cleaning messes and fretting over fevers and wiping runny noses and swinging at the park and washing dishes and bedtime stories and lullabies and a million and one other little moments that make up life. Love is love. It's just the same.
And that's why I want everyone to read "Just the Same" by Diana Lynn Lacey. Because it really is.