What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s post is by Shannon. What I want you to know is that adoption is not beautiful. Not beautiful in the traditional sense anyway. There’s no innocence or purity it in. My husband and I have two adopted children, a biological brother and sister, ages 6 and 3. They were adopted last year, and before they came into our care, they were living in a foster home. My children are beautiful and my husband and I love them. We would never take back the decision that we made about them. But, ideally, our children would never know us. Parents would never go to jail for retail fraud, get addicted to drugs, or fail to make it through rehab. Police would never come to take children away from their parents. Babies would not be born with a drug addiction. But, all these things do happen. And, that means that our children are no longer naive. It means that our family was conceived thanks to sadness and pain. The process of adoption itself is not flawless, but I believe our family can become something beautiful in my own definition. We can struggle together and grow together. Because I believe that beauty can also happen after we’ve gone through the fire and come out stronger on the other side. That is what I want for family. That is what I want you to know. Shannon blogs at www.oneinchofgrace.wordpress.com.