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Adoption: Dispelling the myth

A new child is often eagerly awaited for, but in some cases, the journey begins after the child is born. Adoption has long been the subject of misunderstanding by families, but is certainly not as different as most would expect.

Mick Fuller, English teacher and football coach, knows this all too well. Fuller has two adopted children, Charles, four, and Lillian, three.

?With adopted children comes a completely different set of challenges,? Fuller said. ?Should a couple have children the typical way, they have nine months to anticipate what to expect from the child?s personality. With adoption, it’s more or less a guessing game.?

Personality guessing is not the only challenge adoptive parents face.

?One of the frustrations for adoptive parents is the children?s subconscious expression that their families are ?not their own?,? Fuller continued. ?There will always be questions that the child has.?

However, Fuller believes “real parents” are the ones who raise children by helping them grow and become the persons God intends them to be. Fuller sees many similarities between him and his son.

?With my children, especially Charles, there are elements of our personalities that we see reflected,? Fuller said. ?Charles is a type-A personality, very competitive and loves to learn,? Fuller said. ?Like a typical child, he?s curious about the ?why? questions.

Fuller went on to say that his grandmother bought Charles a book called, Answer to all Why Questions. Charles loves to have his parents read that book to him and explain the answers.

Despite adopting his children, Fuller feels that there is nothing different concerning the bond between the parents and children.

?We face all the same things that typical families face; it?s not as difficult as people seem to believe,? Fuller said. ?It?s sort of an experiment in the ?nature vs. nurture? theory.?

While Charles is of Mexican ethnicity, Fuller is not certain of his daughter?s heritage.

?As a multi-ethnic family, we often get questioning or judgmental glances,? Fuller said. ?Physical appearance usually affects how one will respond to someone, this applies to a person?s skin tone, in most cases. We can?t do anything about it, and as it is now, our children can?t recognize it happening.?

Fuller is a strong advocate for adoption.

?There are plenty of reasons to adopt,? Fuller said. ?The biological method did not seem to work. We thought that adoption was a noble or Christian concept to provide a home for someone who needed one. The entire adoptive process is sometimes difficult. There is long period from the time the child is in your home to the time that the adoption is finalized. One joke in the adoptive community is that the labor for adoptive families` comes as we go through the adoptive process.?

Fuller worked with Sierra Adoptive Agency to adopt his son. They received Lillian through an organization that connected mothers to adoptive families.

There are many myths about adoption, which Fuller wishes to dispel.

?Many families have the assumption that loving a child who is ?not your own? is a difficult thing to do,? Fuller said. ?It really isn?t. As a human, anyone can direct his love to anyone they wish to. The feelings that adoptive parents have towards their children are just as strong as typical families. It disappoints me to hear when a family uses adoption as a ?last resort.??

?Far too many children, tens of thousands in California alone, have lost their families through the tragedy of abuse, neglect or abandonment.?? Sierra Adoption state on their website. ??All need committed parents willing to help them learn the skills of being in a family.?

For more information on Sierra Adoptive Agency, visit www.sierraadoption.org or call (530) 887-9982.

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