Adoptees Talk Love, Marriage, and Family
“To be loved unconditionally regardless of upbringing, skin color, [and other things]
even in marriage has helped me see, appreciate, and give thanks for earthly adoption.”
I’ve heard adoption being compared to marriage a handful of times. Sounds interesting, right? As a fresh graduate who isn’t planning to get married or build a family any time soon, I always wanted to have a deeper understanding of this concept.
Thankfully, my two good friends Ina and Becky, who are part of a community called Homegrown: Adopted and Fostered, were glad to answer a few of my questions! Alongside their husbands, they shared their romcom-worthy stories to shed light on how adoption affects their perspectives on love and family.
When Pete Met Ina
Pete and Ina met through a common friend at work. Pete shared, “Crush at first sight. Una pasulyap sulyap lang, sunod, “hi hello,” hanggang sa sumasabay na ko sa break time niya.” (At first it was just exchanging glances, and then “hi hello,” until I accompanied her during her breaks at work.)
Ina describes how, as she was talking to their common friend, “A guy full of tattoos and lip piercings walked out the room, into the hallway to get water in the pantry. I didn’t want to get in his way, so I backed up into the wall. LOL!”
Long story short, by the end of February, they will have been married for thirteen years! They have one biological son named Manolo, and a labrador retriever mix called Alvaro. They love the beach, eating together, watching movies, and spending time with one another.
When Jeremy Met Becky
Jeremy and Becky also met at work. He was a librarian in the school where she was teaching English. They ended up leading a high school book club together. The library became a central part of their love story and marriage, as Becky shared, “We got married in 2017 in the school auditorium and had wedding photos taken in the school library.”
Jeremy clarifies, “We met at the school we work for, and she fell in love with me instantly. Just kidding! I chose to marry Becky because she was like God’s grace: simply irresistible. She chose to marry me because she was just stuck with me for the rest of her life.”
Jeremy and Becky are in their fifth year of marriage. They describe themselves as a “happy mix of cultures,” a “can of shaken soda; you never know what kind of mess you’re getting once you open it.” They have two biological children who they lovingly describe as a sociable four-year old and a food-loving one-year old.
Pete shared that Ina’s adoption story made no difference to him and to their love story, adding an insight related to his faith, “We are all adopted in Christ’s family.” Ina adds that “[Adoption and marriage is] two people coming together from different backgrounds, strengths, weaknesses, and flaws. . . . What matters is, regardless of how you feel at the moment, when you say ‘I do’ and when you say ‘you are family,’ then you stick to that decision to love that person for the rest of your life.”
For Jeremy and Becky, it was the other way around. She said, “I don’t think [adoption] helps me understand marriage better, but I think marriage helps me appreciate adoption better.” She added, “To be loved unconditionally regardless of upbringing, skin color, [and other things] even in marriage has helped me see, appreciate, and give thanks for earthly adoption and its reminders of a greater spiritual reality.”
Jeremy adds, “Adoption doesn’t really help us understand marriage better, but both adoption and marriage are like different facets of a diamond. They both show us different aspects of the beauty and goodness of God.”
However, Becky shares how being an adoptee helped her realize some things about her own family. She said, “I guess as an adopted child who never felt any less loved or any different from my own family, it has affected my view of my children because I know they came from my own body. To know that my parents loved me as much as if I had come from their own cells amazes and humbles me.”
Jeremy added, “Being married to an adoptee and marrying into Becky’s family has made me understand and appreciate the beauty of adoption more. . . In terms of relationships, I think adoption helps remind me of God’s calling for me to love my spouse and children unconditionally.”
There’s Something About Adoption
While listening to these couples’ stories, I was also curious to know what my friend Esther would have to say since she’s currently preparing to be an adoptive parent. I’m glad I asked her because she shared, “Adopting is like falling in love. The thought of adoption can be scary because we feel like it is unfamiliar, but the truth is, it’s a little like falling in love. We decide that we want to open our hearts and homes to a person who is not related to us by blood and to make them a part of our family forever. For me, it’s an exciting and breathless thing where you’re hopeful for a relationship that will last forever.”
At the end of the day, both marriage and adoption are legal bonds built on a love that we choose. Gathering stories inspired me to hope for a future where all adoptees and orphaned children can experience the same unconditional love my friends feel with their families. I hope that we all get to celebrate a love that is chosen and relationships that last a lifetime!
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