One way adoptive parenting is easier than biological parenting is illustrated by a poem I love, that I read many, many times as a parent. It comes from The Prophet by Kahil Gibran.
And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughter of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
I have never parented a child I gave birth to, so technically I don’t have any frame of reference to compare, but I think it’s been easier to live by the wisdom in this poem as an adoptive mom. I always expected my daughter to be her own person. I didn’t constantly look for myself, or my husband, in her; I had no expectation of finding us in her little being. She was her own self, and it was a pleasure to get to know her. A joy to watch the unfolding and blossoming, into the young woman she is today.
She has so many qualities neither her dad nor I have – a natural friendliness and easygoing, outgoing nature. A different sense of humor. A more courageous, less cautious approach to life. Less analytical and mathematical, more intuitive. More likely to be out and doing than home studying and reading. She reads for pleasure, not information. We both love to dance, but she dances on the stage, something I can’t imagine for myself.
It was easy for me to understand – my role as mom is supporting her in evolving toward her highest and best. I did not strive to form her into a mini-me. When she’d tell me mom, I’m not like you I had no reason to doubt or argue; I didn’t take it personally.
Adoptive parenting has its own challenges. Yet, as I’ve watched some friends struggle with their children that came to them through birth, I know in this regard, it’s been easier as an adoptive mom.