»Jenelle Grewell – jgrewell@my.apsu.edu

Many college students are starting to think about what they want to do with their lives after they graduate. They are considering options like moving away, getting started in a career and starting a family. Whenever I speak to my fellow students about starting a family I always ask how many children they want.

Usually the response is more than one. My next question is if they want to adopt. Their response is typically a resounding no.

They further explain how they do not see anything wrong with adoption, but they want a child of their own flesh and blood. I then ask, “well if you want more than one child, why can’t you adopt at least one?” They usually respond with they would not because it seems strange.

Strange? How? Why is taking in a child who has no one to love them strange? Animals can adopt other animals. Take, for example, the story on Pedigree’s website about how dogs will adopt other animal species. The site says “they are so generous with their love.” Why can’t humans be as generous with their love for another human being?

The reason this question bothers me as much as it does, is because at the age of 10, my biological father did not want anything to do with me anymore. My stepfather, Steven Grewell, stepped in and chose to adopt me as his own. This man is now the man I consider to be my dad.

My dad himself was adopted, along with his sister, my Aunt Stacy. So coming from a family of adoptions, it hurts to see others not willing to share their love with those who are not of their own blood.

I asked my dad if he ever felt different growing up an adopted child next to children who were created of the same DNA as their parents. My dad explained he often heard children growing up saying their parents love them but they may have been unplanned.

My dad said, “I felt special because I knew that I had been chosen, that I had been sought after to be loved.”

Adoption is not an easy process. According to the Department of Childern’s Services website, in the state of Tennessee, a perspective adoptive parent must go through a 30-hour education process about being a family. In addition, the parent goes under a home study by an agency and an extensive exchange of information with a social worker to determine financial stability, types of children best for your family and if the family is even fit to adopt a child.

My dad said knowing how difficult the adoption process was made him feel all the more special.

When I asked my dad about his choice to adopt me, he did not even hesitate. “It was easy. I saw a little girl who I loved very much and I wanted a chance to spread the love I felt myself.” I do feel that love.

My sister Abigail is his biological child and I do not feel any less loved than she does. In fact, I could even say I feel the same thing my dad felt, special. I feel a love different than my sister may feel because I was chosen to be his child, I was sought after to be loved and I am not his child because of nature, but I am his child because he wants me to be.

I am not saying by any means a biological child is loved less than an adopted child. I am saying the love is different. It is different to be chosen. It is different to know someone wants to love you.

I say to all my fellow college students who want children down the road, how can you not want to spread this kind of love?

How can you not want to make an unloved child feel special? If you want more than one child, why not chose one who does not have a home? Why not change the life of another human being? Why not spread love? TAS