5 So-Not-True Myths About Adoption “Pregnancies”


I am knee deep in my pantry. This has been going on for days.

I just want all the excess OUT.

I’m making room for something.

Actually, Someone.

Very soon (hopefully this year!) we are about to add another little one to our family by way of adoption from China. I have two bio sons, 19 and 16, so I know what it is to carry a wee one inside my tummy. I know what it is to frantically feel the need to clean, to purge, to make room.

And I have to say, despite the not-so-true myths about adoption pregnancies, I find that biological pregnancy and adoption “pregnancy” aren’t that different after all.

Some of my children were born from my tummy, others are born from my heart. They both took many months to arrive, both stole my heart before I ever saw their faces, and both have changed my life forever.

Tummy Mommies have aspects of pregnancy that come “naturally”, but Heart Mommies do too.

Here are 5 myths off the top of my scattered-Heart Mommy-pregnancy-brain that I jotted down–while cleaning out my pantries. (See what I mean about the nesting?)

Myth #1Heart Mommies don’t nest.
Oh yes they do! Friend, you should see my newly organized pantries, my clean refrigerator (it takes a pregnancy to motivate me on this one…), my purged garage shelves, the new headboard I just bought on Craigslist, oh and the new bedding I picked out (my daughter, Hope, had a nosebleed on my old one and ripped a small hole to the size of a 9 x 13 baking dish). I’d love for you to take a look-see at Hope and Katie Joy’s (daughter-to-be) new bedding I selected, and Hope’s new big girl bed waiting to be painted. Come back later when I finish the Olympic feat of cleaning up my office and the abyss of closets in this house. Oh while you are here…do you want a slice of the gluten-free chocolate chip banana bread I just baked?

Heart Mommies nest too.

Myth #2Heart Mommies don’t name (dream about, long for, etc.) their child, because they don’t know where their children are or what they look like.
I was talking with a woman one day and called our soon-to-be daughter by the name we intend to give her, Katie Joy. My neighbor’s mouth dropped open and her response was first shock and then a tone of impatience at perhaps the ridiculousness of naming a child you haven’t even laid eyes on yet. I took a breath (a deep one), so I wouldn’t verbally claw her eyes out and then responded,
Once you make the decision to adopt a child, for most Heart Mommies that child is feels like YOUR child. You advocate for them, long for them, endure a paper pregnancy for them, and an indefinite time of waiting, sometimes many years. Of ‘course we named her. After all, every child deserves to be named and given dignity.”

Nothing further was said on the matter by her, nor should it be, considering she has no understanding of adoption and the mysterious ways in which God conceives a child in the heart of a Heart Mommy.

Heart Mommies do name their children. They have dreams about them, dreams about the day they will hold them for the first time. They also long for them, for way longer than 9 months usually, and they cry many, many tears because unlike a biological pregnancy, they have no control over whether or not this longed for, prayed for, dreamt about child will actually end up in their arms.

Myth #3Heart Mommies chose the “easy” way to have their children.
This is just the stupidest myth out there.

It. Is. Stupid.

I have actually had people say this to me. I’m gonna tell you, more deep breathing was needed before responding.

Call it Adoption Lamaze.

When this myth is spoken or believed, it is done so by a very lazy thinker, who does not put thought into their own beliefs and convictions but simply absorbs those of others.

There is nothing, not. one. single. thing., easy about an adoption pregnancy, or adoption for that matter. Many of those waiting for their adoptions to go through are doing so after many years of waiting. Waiting for fertility treatments. Waiting for a birthmother to make a decision. Waiting for the money needed to adopt a child. Waiting for the courage to risk their hearts again for a child to love. Waiting for a foreign country to make the biggest decision of their life.

Others who may have biological children, like myself, have been through a traditional pregnancy and I can tell you hands down, my biological pregnancies were easy-peezy-lemon-squeezey compared to the pregnancies with my adopted daughters. Take the unknowns of a biological pregnancy, all the things that CAN go wrong and multiply by it by like, a thousand, then extend it past 9 months to as many as 84 months (7 years), and at the least 48 months (4 years).

Sound easy?

It’s hard y’all. Real Hard. It will undo your very soul if you don’t walk this journey with Jesus. There are moments along the adoption road that feel like it’s either choose Jesus or choose insanity. I chose both at times, but Jesus was the only one who made the wait worth it.

So, no, silly, Heart Mommies haven’t chosen the easy way to have children. They’ve chosen the less traveled path and it has made all the difference.

Myth #4You don’t crave foods or have sleepless nights.
I could show you my backside to debunk this myth, but I’ll spare you. I gained at least 20 pounds with Hope’s adoption pregnancy.

From cravings to just comfort eating, the pounds came on just the same as my bio babies’ pregnancies. This go around I started gaining about 25 pounds, and quickly realized that being a Mom after 40 takes extra effort. Eating junk, never exercising, not sleeping enough, not taking time away to refresh, is just asking for trouble when added to the stress of adapting a child to a new environment, culture, food, language, etc.

I wanted to be as ready for our next little one as I could be, having learned from some mistakes with Hope. So, we have taken to a whole new way of eating and caring for ourselves, and I love it! I have so much energy some days, I can’t calm down enough to go to bed on time.

Now about those sleepless nights. Dreams about Hope, worries about Hope, all of it, kept me tossing and turning many nights while we waited. While with a bio pregnancy you may toss and turn because baby is up in your grill, or the Mexican you had for dinner has turned on you, with an adoption pregnancy it is often the unknowns that keep you awake at night.

A stranger on the other side of the world is responsible for making sure your child is fed, clothed, bathed, warm, played with, held, and loved. And quite honestly a lot of that doesn’t happen and you know it. And it haunts a mother’s heart in the quiet of the night and the busyness of the day. So I did my best to apply a Phillipians 4:6-7 approach and turn those worries into prayers for her that she WOULD receive all the things I wanted to be assured she was getting in our absence. Does she remember not being held? Yes. Does she remember being hungry? Sad? Yes. And it breaks my heart. But it does teach me how to pray for our soon-to-arrive Katie Joy.

Myth #5It’s not possible to love a child that is not your “own”.
This myth makes me grit my teeth a bit and sorry guys, but it is usually attributed to men. Many women I talk with say they would like to adopt but their husband can’t “love someone else’s child.”

That’s just Bull.

I’ve seen many a man’s heart completely transformed because they allowed a child who is “not their own” to come in and take up residence in their life. As Heart Mommies and Daddies, the love we give to our adopted children is not our love, it’s God’s love. When we do try to love them with our own love (and its the same with our bio children), we get into problems. If we try to love ANYONE that way it’ll never work.

The kind of love it takes to wait for someone, go through life-altering transition with them, and come out on the other side more in love than ever doesn’t exist in a human heart. But it does exist in God’s, so we run to Him.

Speaking of running to God, I’d have to say one of the unexpected blessings of adoption: God using the difficulties of it all to drive us to Him.

Clever God.

The moment that child you have waited for, longed for, and yes, even loved, is placed in your arms, feels as right, and as magical as the moment they remove them from the umbilical cord and place them on your chest for a first glance.

No, you don’t see yourself in their eyes, but you see Him in their eyes, and I can tell you from experience, it’ll take your breath away just the same.

The myths about adoption and its pregnancy abound. This is such a short list, but I’d say with confidence these are the big ones. I am constantly staggered at how ignorant our high-tech, intellectual, forward-progressing, tolerance-demanding society still is regarding the subject of adoption. You would think a society that is open to so many variations of “family” would understand.

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”- Martin Luther King, Jr.

I leave you with one of the best videos (and funniest!) I have seen on exposing and correcting Adoption Ignorance. It’s entitled, “If You Wouldn’t Say it About a Boob Job, You Shouldn’t Say it to an Adoptive Family”. It has left many AP’s (adoptive parents) not only laughing out loud but saying “Thank you!!! Someone had to say it!”

IF YOU WOULDN’T SAY IT ABOUT A BOOB JOB… from Rain City Church on Vimeo.

Related Posts:
|Why My Husband and I Will Never be the Retired Couple in the Convertible
The Hellishly Beautiful Journey that is Adoption

Photo Credit


  1. Best wishes for your adoption! Great blog! Love this post. Thank you for sharing! We are seven going on eight months into our wait to adopt our first 🙂

  2. Another great Adoption Blog, I wish more soon to be adoptive parents could read this. So many shallow people in this world, I would not trade our journey getting Hope and now Katy Joy for all the tea in China, oh yea they are our sweet tea from China.

  3. Margaret Sansom :

    I loved your take on this subject! I went through everything you listed…exactly!

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