How can you love someone else’s child?

One of the common questions my parents got when people found out that my brother and I were adopted was…

Their answer: How can you love your spouse? They aren’t your blood and yet you love them.

I asked my parents to expound on that a little and this is what they had to say:

I think when anyone begins to contemplate adopting a child, you start to ask yourself if you can love a child born by another mother as much as if the child was your own naturally born child. When I considered this question I looked no further than my own family.

I have three cousins that were adopted and to me they were nothing but family to me. Gloria has two cousins that were adopted and she has always loved them as sisters. My father was also adopted. His father died before he was even born, and when he was a toddler, my grandmother remarried. When my dad was officially adopted by my grandfather, my dad’s last name changed from Petersen to Jensen. I remember wondering how my father felt about being adopted by my grandfather – should I feel differently about my grandpa? When talking to my dad about his feelings of being adopted by my grandfather he would tell me that he always felt loved by his parents, and always knew grandpa was his dad. In fact, he would say that he always felt that grandpa loved him more than his three younger siblings. Grandpa was a great man, and I can see he and my dad had nothing but mutual love for each other.

My grandpa was a quiet, hardworking sheep rancher that would always stop when he saw me playing out in the yard and he would pull a package of chocolate liquorish from his pickup jockey box and give to me (yes a whole package). When I got older, he seldom missed a ballgame that I played in. He would give me $5 for every home run – once giving me $20 for hitting two homeruns in a game saying that “I did good.” I’m so glad my grandpa adopted my dad – I’m honored to carry his name!

I have very strong memories of my own feelings when we adopted Jordan and Jenni. With both of these children, the bond and love that we instantly felt for them was indescribable. We cried so much (I know, what’s new with that) because we loved these babies so much, and we were so grateful for the blessing of being their parents, and we were so sorrowful for the mother and family that gave us these great blessings. I vividly remember asking myself when we held both of our children for the first time, “Is it possible for a mother and father, holding their naturally born child for the first time, to even possibly love them as much as we loved our two children?” Perhaps the answer is yes, but certainly no more than the love that we had for our children!

Can you love an adopted child as much as your own born child?

Absolutely – if not more!


I can see why that would be a FAQ, I think it’s valid. I’m sure for many it’s hard to understand how people can open their hearts to children that didn’t come straight from them. But I think my parents answer is also spot on.

One thing is for sure when it comes to my life with them and that is that I always felt and knew that I was loved. My parents did a great job of making sure we always knew, and for that I am forever grateful.

Love, Jenni

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