What is the True Meaning of Family?

As an adoptive mother I thought long and hard about the importance of having a biological child. After surviving intense rounds of supposedly ‘non-invasive’ fertility treatment in India that left me feeling invaded, I asked myself one question.

Do I have the energy to put myself through IVF?

The answer was yes. It would not be pleasant but I could survive it. Yet my heart was not in it.

Why voluntarily jump on the emotional rollercoaster of IVF when there are children all around the world needing homes? Why undergo hormone injections and fluctuating moods if I can help another human being? Why place my hopes on a successful IVF outcome when I could guarantee myself a child through adoption?

Living in India reminded me daily of the many children needing loving families. Images haunted me of child labourers, beggars, and kids subjected to institutional lives in orphanages. I had seen their drawn faces, matted hair, crusty eyes, soiled clothes, runny noses, and scars. I could take one of those orphaned children out of the equation. I could nurture a life rather than create a life.

From left: Indian beggar running barefoot through the hot sands of the desert; homework time at a Bangalore children’s home; a Cambodian orphanage

Just like there are many ingredients required to cook an Indian curry, there are many ingredients of a family. Biological children are not the only means to make a family. The combination of spices in a curry is important to the whole dish, just as love, comfort, care, bonding, and stability far outweigh biology.

Adoption was the right choice for my husband and me. The Australian government did not make it possible for us to adopt from India, but we found another way. We adopted from Cambodia. And as an adoptive mother I now know that it is love that makes a family.

Blood is thicker than water, but love is thicker than blood.


11 thoughts on “What is the True Meaning of Family?

  1. Looking at those 2 little darlings today I am sure they have been blessed to have you both as parents xx

  2. Just found your blog… I am an Aussie living in the USA who adopted from China and am SO glad I never had to try to adopt through Australia…. We too looked into India but at the time they were having issues…

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