Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What TO Say; Part III

I LOVE the list we came up with on What Not To Say; Part III.... and I even have a Part IV in the works! In situations when someone asks one of these questions or makes one of these comments, my first reaction is typically always to smart-off. I think we can all agree that smarting-off isn't the best way to go. Most people making these statements or asking these questions are naive or uneducated in the world of adoption and need only to be lovingly taught how to ask the same thing or say the same thing in a non-offensive, non-hurtful way. That's where we come in!

I thought I would quickly run through our awesome list and mention some appropriate responses; I've learned the hard way that it's always good to have these responses thought-out before you're faced with the comments or questions so 'smarting-off' isn't a temptation when you're caught off-guard.

1. "How much did you pay for her?"
A better way to ask: "What fees were involved in adopting through your agency/attorney?"
A potential response: "We paid an agency/attorney/etc. some fees that covered advertising for potential birthparents, legal fees, his/her birth-moms medical fees and some living expenses so she could have a safe, stress-free, and healthy pregnancy, and those fees also made sure that she and us could receive counseling if we felt at any point that it was needed. None of that money was given directly to his/her birth-parents but it gave us the peace of mind that everyone was supported and cared for throughout the process of bringing our baby home."
2. "Don't you ever want your own children?"
A better way to ask: "Do you ever long for a biological child?"
A potential response: "I do wonder all the time what it would be like to experience a pregnancy, how I would tell my husband that we were pregnant, what it would feel like to have my baby kick and move inside me, and experience labor.  My reasons for ever desiring to experience a pregnancy have to do with the experience itself... and the fact that it is a 'simpler' process than adoption. It has a time-line, you have a diet to follow, and there's a specific plan set in place. THESE are the things that I think about.... but there has never been a difference in our minds as to whether or not a biological child would be more 'ours' than a child God chose for us through adoption."  

3. "She is so lucky to have you."
A better statement: "You are all so blessed to have each other!"
A potential response: "WE are extremely blessed to have HER!"
4. "You already have one beautiful child, isn't it a little selfish to want more kids when it's so hard to get them?"
I don't even have ideas for a better question to ask; just don't say that... to anyone!
If someone does say this to you~ A potential response; "We rely strongly on the thoughts and feelings God gives to us in the process of growing our family and we know that our family isn't done growing. The fact that we have a desire for more children takes nothing away from our thankfulness that we have Hannah... we just know that God isn't done with us yet and until He shuts every door and tells us differently, we'll continue searching for our next sweet baby/ies!"

5. "How often do you talk to her mom and dad?"
A better question: "How often do you talk to her birth-parents?"
A potential response: Be honest in describing whether your adoption relationship is closed, semi-open, or open (head over here to learn about the differences) but also mention that YOU are your child's 'mom and dad' and that the correct term for their biological parents is 'birth-parents' or simply 'biological parents'.

6. Do you think you can love him/her as much as a real parents loves their child?
~ Thanks, Misty!
Stay tuned.... this is the topic of our next post!

8. "Where is he/she from?"
~ Thanks, Amelia!
A better question: "Was this a domestic or an international adoption?"

9. "He/she's so cute.... why didn't his/her mom want her baby?"
~ Thanks, Amelia!
A better question; "What did his/her biological parents choose to place her for adoption?"
A potential response: Your response will depend on the openness of your adoption and how comfortable you are in sharing these details. It's ok to simply say "we really prefer to keep his/her story private until he/she is older." If someone wonders why his/her birthmom didn't "want" her, this is an incredible opportunity to explain what we know of a birth-moms heart; that they wanted this baby more than anything! Birth-parents possess a type of selfless love that I'm not sure many of us could ever understand; she loved her child so much that she was able to acknowledge that she just wasn't enough for him/her. Maybe she couldn't support him/her the way he/she deserved, maybe she needed time to focus on bettering herself before she could give herself fully to her child, the list goes on! The point is this; giving your child to someone else to raise and love is an act of love that some of us will never ever understand in it's entirety. And that's ok... our plans are all different. What is so incredibly special about a child who is placed for adoption is that those children are doubly loved; first by his/her 'first mom and dad' and second by their mom and dad.

10. "Does he/she look more like his/her birthmom or birthfather?"
~ Thanks, Brooke
Again, this is one of those questions that you should just not ask. Some kids looks like aunts or uncles, some have different color skin, and some just have their own 'look'. Who someone looks like just doesn't matter and can present an incredibly awkward situation for any parent.
11. "I think it's completely selfish that you didn't nurse your daughter when she was an infant."
~ Thanks, Erin!
I hope we've established that calling anyone 'selfish' is just not necessary. It IS possible for a woman to nurse a child that is not hers biologically. It involves lots of medicine, uncomfortable contraptions, and lots of time BEFORE the baby is born. 'Time' is one of those things that some adoptive parents just don't have. If you have the time, go for it! Nursing can be an awesome bonding opportunity for you and your baby... but bottle feeding your newborn can be a bonding opportunity for you, your husband, and your children. Bonding is crucial for everyone in the household when a child comes into it through adoption so do what's right for you, in your situation... you're not selfish. I promise!

PLEASE leave comments with your input, too... we all handle situations differently and my way is NOT always the best way. I'd love for you to share your own thoughts and feelings!

No comments:

Post a Comment

We love to hear your thoughts, but if you leave one please own it and leave a name with your comment :-)