by Aruna Kamath
Adoption in India has always been a sensitive issue. Childless couples who want to adopt have a tough time convincing their families. In fact, my friend, Puja – who could not conceive due to various reasons – had to face the wrath of her parents when she broke the news about her (and her partner’s) decision to adopt. Totally contentious to the idea, they even refused to speak to her and cut connections for a couple of years. Nevertheless, the pig-headedness in her didn’t deter Puja. She went ahead and adopted a baby girl.
But not all of them can be as bold as Puja. She was also fortunate that her husband was like-minded and stood by her in every step of the way. So that was one huge consolation.
“But it wasn’t exactly a bed of roses … as Puja reminisces
Sure, I may have come across as an iron-willed lady. But I went through a lot of mental turmoil.
My parents’ opposition and attitude totally shattered me. It was constantly working on me and I had retracted into a shell for some time. So much so, at one point, I almost gave up and changed my mind. I was wondering if I was making a big mistake by going against my parents’ wishes.
“I never thought I would see light at the end of the tunnel”
My husband always stood by me in all my decisions. This too was no different. I am deeply indebted to him for seeing me through those emotionally tough times and remaining my pillar of support. When all hell broke loose, he remained the calm in the storm.
There were times when I withdrew myself and stopped talking to him. But he didn’t complain or whine. Instead he took this long silence as an opportunity to cheer me up. When I was sleeping, he would leave sticky notes all over the house … on the kitchen counter, in between my clothes, in my wallet, on the dresser mirror … saying how much I meant to him. One such note, that stood out and I cherish to this day had a beautiful quote by Oprah Winfrey.
“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother”
It melted my heart instantly and pulled me right out of the brink.
“You don’t have to be ashamed”
Couples choose to adopt for many reasons. One of the top reasons is infertility. Nowadays, many families choose to have one biological child and one adopted. Then, there are women who love kids, but don’t want to go through the pain of pregnancy and childbirth. Whatever the reason for adoption, you don’t have to be ashamed about it. Remember, adoption is a noble act. I personally feel that people who opt for adoption have generous hears and they ought to be proud of it!
“Adoption is a very personal decision”
Most couples fail to see that the decision to adopt is a very personal one. It’s ultimately between you and your partner. So don’t even for a second rely on anyone’s perception or allow it to affect you. Of course, it does require a lot of grit and determination to brave the compulsive forces. Along the way you may even end up in straining some relationships. But in the end, every sacrifice you made, every hurdle you crossed, seems insignificant and worth it.
“I never for one moment regretted my decision”
Believe me it takes a lot of mental preparedness to adopt. It’s a big, big decision and not an easy one too. Adoption comes with its own bag of pain and pleasures. So before taking the plunge, it is important for both your partner and you to sit down and ask yourselves – Are you ready to give it your all? For the lifelong commitment of parenting? To answer strange questions from your friends and acquaintances about a child who doesn’t look like you?
Well, it is an extremely tough call. But you have to be ready to face it all. I did – and I haven’t regretted it one bit.