The Joy of Boys

It saddens me. I am told that statistically, far more girls are adopted than are boys, and that the majority of adoptive parents list a preference for girls with their agency. Girls, they say, are easier to raise, and some conjecture that mothers would like a girl child to relate to.

Perhaps the statistics are confusing to me because my childhood was spent with a healthy dose of boys surrounding me. My dad was a wrestling coach; I had three brothers, and we spent winter evenings at wrestling matches, spring Saturdays at peewee wrestling tournaments with hundreds of sweaty boys, and summers playing together on the rope swing in the backyard and swimming in the neighborhood pool. I changed boy diapers, directed boy games, and enjoyed the easy-going attitudes of the boys and young men around me. So it is not surprising that I find myself the mother of 5 beautiful boys – three chosen through adoption - and one lovely daughter. What is surprising to me, though, is that so many boys wait, and that so many parents think “girl” when they consider adoption.
When we began the adoption process, hoping to adopt a child with a medical special need, we learned that far more boys were waiting for families than girls. We also learned, sadly, that once a little boy is past babyhood and enters the toddler years, his chances of being adopted begin to drop dramatically. We were already parenting two sons and a daughter, and the idea of our sons going without a family because of their gender was heartbreaking to us. We fell in love with our third son’s sweet face on Rainbow Kids, and prayed our way through a homestudy before we were able to be matched with him. A year after this little guy came home, a fourth son joined our family through adoption.

These two kept us hopping, that's for sure, and brought us so much laughter as we watched our three-year-old "twins" play, make mischief, blossom and grow. A few years later, our fifth son came home and joined in the brother games.

Waiting due to prematurity, he had very little speech at homecoming, and his siblings became his biggest cheerleaders, teaching him to pretend and play, and coaxing him to speak in sentences for them.
I don’t know if I can adequately describe the joy our boys have brought our family, but perhaps I can share some of the wonder of raising sons. Girls are wonderful – we love our daughter dearly – but boys have their own incredible brand of greatness that deserves celebrating, and they are no less loving or “fun” for a mother to hang out with than a daughter.

It's true that boys love to play outdoors, rough and tumble,

and who wouldn't want to head outdoors with them? They do play differently, in wildly creative and active ways my daughter and her friends never did (sword fighting match on a picnic bench, anyone?). If it can be flung, shot, thrown, ridden or climbed, boys are there.

But we've found that boys also have a wonderful, gentle side. I have met much noisier girls (I believed I raised one!) and I argue the assertion that boys must be noisy. We have pretty firm rules about outside voices being reserved for outside, along with the outside activities like running and tag, and the outside toys, like balls and nerf guns. Outside they stay. Inside, we're a pretty mellow bunch. Our boys are fun kitchen helpers,

love to bake,

Chocolate frosting!
and love to craft.

These boys love each other deeply with a beautiful bond, and we frequently look around our table and marvel at the family God has built. Our home is not perfect and there are sometimes squabbles, but laughter, love and God's grace hold us together.

I'm sometimes humbled to realize that we're raising a house full of men, and to recognize the great responsibility inherent in that, and the blessing of being the ones to raise and train them. What a privilege to hear their questions, their thoughts and their dreams, and to receive their hugs each night as we tuck them in. We do love our boys.

If you're considering adoption, please consider a boy. Thousands of precious little boys are waiting, for a family to call their own, someone to read them stories, throw a ball or bake a batch of cookies with them, and to tuck them in at night.

Trusting in Him,

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