According to www.merriam-webster.com, the definition of adopt is as follows:
- to take by choice into a relationship; especially : to take voluntarily as one's own child
- to take up and practice or use
- to accept formally and put into effect
- to choose (a textbook) for required study in a course
- to sponsor the care and maintenance of
I was reading another adoption blog today and the author ranted on and on about her hate of the use of "adopt" when speaking of anything other than adopting a child. She got really vicious about people using the word in relation to a pet. Apparently this author felt that pets were not worthy using this word. (Umm...hello...pets are like children to some of us! How could this woman not know that?) I was shocked to see that there were many people that commented on her post and agreed with her.
So I looked up the word. Notice above that there are a handful of appropriate meanings of the word. But #1 on the list is in reference to adopting a child. As we know, I am a huge advocate for adoption and I always want to make sure that people use safe adoption language. But I am not angry when people use the word "adopt" in reference to anything other than a child and the legal process to making that child "legally" part of a family. Yes, we talk about adoption and yes, we are very open about it...but it doesn't define Gus. He is not our "adopted son"...he is our son. So maybe I am crazy for not agreeing with the author of that post or the others who commented, but I just simply don't agree. The word "adopt" means nothing to me other than the legal process to make Gus "legally" ours. My heart was his the moment I saw him....I don't need a word set aside to describe that. So go ahead....use the word "adopt" with any of the definitions above. I won't be offended.
Thanks for listening to me rant. I feel better now. Hopefully, I will fall asleep tonight without thinking about it.