Hi, i am a new adoptive parent. I am very happy with my little girl, she is such a blessing. Very happy that we made a decision to adopt.
I do find myself hypersensitive towards things that people say, adoption jokes and people's questions. Has anyone experience this and how do you handle it? I am not one to confront people or stand up for myself too often. I find myself coming home to tears when someone has made a hurtful joke about our adoption. The most recent event happened yesterday when at a party an acquaintance suggested we bought the baby at Walmart "as a joke", in front of our baby, luckily she is too young to understand and this evil comment will not haunt her like it is haunting me today. Because of this I am not planning of ever talking to this person, problem is, we have mutual friends and will eventually will see him again. Why are people so clueless and insensitive when it comes to adoption? Glad to be able to vent here!
I'm sorry this has been so difficult for you. I read that you're not very confrontive, but you may want to arm yourself with a comment or two for situations where folks say something inappropriate-because unfortunately that's probably not going to change. People just dont know unless they've been through it. Heck, I'm sure I said some pretty insensitive things before I became more educated and before I had my son. It's not your job to educate everyone around you, but you may find that you need to say something from time to time to stand up for your child-particularly once old enough to understand what people are saying. Not talking to folks again who say insensitive things could end up with a lot of folks cast out of your circle-maybe some need to be, but maybe others just need to know that their words are hurtful. I try to look at the intent...if they are not intending to be disrespectful or hurtful, then I'll say something. If they continue once they know how I feel, then I might not have nothing to do with them again. Good luck to you
We've been fostering our three nieces for 3.5 years. Our next court date for adoption is in December. We had two boys when the girls were placed and then had a baby girl last year. So that is six kids.
I used to explain to complete strangers that not all of the kids were born to us. I was embarrassed and thought that people were judging, thinking we had no self control or were "good Catholics" - no flames please.
When we walk down the street we often hear smiling comments about a parade, a baseball team, how did you get three blonde and three brunettes and of course- are they all yours?
These comments used to hurt, but are mostly made by well meaning people. I spoke with the kids about it, and they aren't embarrassed and they're feelings aren't hurt.
So, we take it in stride. Yes, its a parade, wanna join? Not baseball, we prefer soccer, three blondes and three brunettes? We're really lucky. And yes, they are all mine! :thankyou:
That being said, hubby and I make jokes (about our own kids.) When someone comments how beautiful or well behaved our children are in a store, we sometimes say "aisle 11" with a smile. Or if you need some we can lend you a few.
Recently, a woman with one child walked up to me and jokingly said, "better you than me." I replied, "yes, we're so lucky to have a big family."
We know we're different. It is part of what makes us special.
FLAdoptiveMama, I'm sorry for your pain and the comments that are haunting you. Having a response prepared is often a good defense.
If you can handle it, it may not be a bad idea to tell the acquaintance that you were hurt. Most people aren't trying to be evil, but make a joke when they don't have anything productive to say.
Isn't funny how little comments that you never really thouht about before take on a new life when you become an adoptive parent? A lot of ignorant comments I try to overlook but there are days when I just can't stand it.
Recently I had an aunt who I know wouldn't have ever said anything to hurt me on purpose made a comment about blood being thicker than water and that a lot of people come and go in families but "real" family is your blood family. I don't know if I was just having a bad day or what but that got all over me like scalding water! Before I could even think it over I reminded her that our youngest was adopted and that she was just as much mine as my "blood" children. I also let her know that true family is birthed from the heart not from the flesh. Needless to say it was a quiet room when I was done (I am usually EXTREAMLY passive) and she appologized for the ignorant remark.
So yes, it is easy to be hyper sensitive at times, but try to remember that usually people do it out of ignorance and not to be hurtful :)
I'm usually not a sensitive person either but with my son's adoption came the usual questions. Funny how some questions don't bother me. The one that really gets me is when people call me his adoptive mom. I hate it. I am his mom. The only mom he has known. But most other stuff doesn't bother me anymore. The funniest one I got was from a 10 year old. Here is the conversation:
Caroline: Hey mom, we need to adopt a baby like Zander.
Her mom: Sweetie, adoption is expensive and it's a big choice. We will need to talk about this.
Caroline: I'll bet Zander was really expensive because he is beautiful. Maybe we can get a half price baby.
We took the opportunity to explain the "cost" of adoption but I thought this was funny. My sister-in-law (who also adopted) did not find it funny. I guess my advice is that you need to take these with a grain of salt. If you must see these people again, gently educate them and move on. You aren't responsible for other people's thoughts!
I agree with finding a few comeback comments and a few educating remarks because some day it'll happen in front of your child when she is old enough to understand and it will also happen TO her.
Your dd needs to see how you handle things so that she'll be confident in herself and in dealing with people's insensitivity.
My dd is 13 & the latest situation she faced was at school when someone patted her arm and said " are adopted?" in a very sympathetic voice. My dd asked the girl for her cookies (they were at lunch) and jokingly said "I'm adopted you know & need cookies!";) It led to a brief convo that no sympathy is necessary etc and all is fine.
I've addressed the hurtful remarks with a clear message that it's simply not allowed. I address the more "clueless" remarks with something similar but not in a hurtful way. By that I mean if someone is rude enough to ask a pretty personal question, I'll ask them a personal question of my own with a little smile. Usually they get it.:)
The "real parent" question doesn't bother me anymore (it did as a new mom - think it's a rite of passage for most aparents!;)) because I've learned that people truly just don't know the correct terminology. At least most of them do not. I usually reply with "you mean their bparents? I don't really share that much about them for the kids' privacy". People are in general, understanding and will know better for next time.
Crick: You're too nice. I cut them off or I get PO'd and yell (depends on what the situation is).
Ladybig_mom: I can top you!! My cousin, who's lived around the corner from me for 11 years, was there when I started fostering and when I adopted and who met the bio mom of my 2 oldest, put this on facebook on Mother's Day:
"acknowledge your mother. YOU ONLY GET ONE!!" HELLO!!
Prepare yourself now with a couple of quick one liners. It will help you handle the situation much more calmly & feel like you are prepared. I agree when they make those comments in front of your children you want to feel prepared!
Millie58, did you handle that "you only get one" comment as graceful as I did? LOL!! People can be so stupid sometimes!!
Another thing that really cracked me up right after the adoption was how many people said " Wow! I guess I didn't realize you were pregnant!" Really?? Even some of the people that we seen regularly at church and stuff thought that I had just hid the whole pregnancy, and then some thought I was just baby sitting.
Sarah looks like us, so generally strangers don't say things but we've still had some doosies (sp)
Best advice? Handle it with humor and the fact that people are incredibly ignorant. That said I did almost punch a co worker because when there was confusion over her heritage that may have prevented the adoption, she said "oh what a shame and you've spent all that money" I screamed (I was already crying) at her that it wasn't about the money she's my DAUGHTER. Another co-worker dragged her out of the bathroom quickly.
Same co-worker from hell:
-What do you do when she cries for her mother
"I pick her up"
-no, I mean her real mother
"I am her real mother" (then I walk away)
other typical comments:
" I could never give up a child for adoption no matter what "
- Sometimes it takes a better mother to give up a child than to keep one
" You shouldn't tell her she's adopted because she looks so much like you"
- So, what do you lie to your children about?
That being said, hubby and I make jokes (about our own kids.) When someone comments how beautiful or well behaved our children are in a store, we sometimes say "aisle 11" with a smile. Or if you need some we can lend you a few.
We often joke with people who tell us how beautiful she is that we couldn't have made one so cute. :clap:
My own mother went into a rant about "don't these women know that there is birth control options available" and continues to rant on and on. I finally had enough of her and said "Just think if it weren't for women placing their child for adoption then people like me and my husband would never get the chance to have a family. I personally am grateful to those women who choose adoption." She shut up instantly! Some people just don't think before opening their big mouth! They just don't think about other peoples possible circumstances until someone calls their attention to it.
A friend of the family recently had something similiar to say. Again, I told her what I told my mom. She said, "I didn't think about it that way, but that is true".
Yeah it is hard not to punch someone when they said such insensitive things. I realize that some people simply are missing the sensitivity chip, on adoption, and other life matters, in general. I am glad these people are acquaintances and I am able to avoid them since I will never change them and my relationship with them is more about aggravation than anything. I am lucky to have a handful of great friends that are not like this. My family has also been pretty awesome to my baby girl :).
My baby is so special and dear to me that it is all worth it though. :flower:
For potential parents out there: do not get discouraged. Adoption is an awesome experience, your kid will be so worth everything you go through to get them and after as well.
ladybug: It was on facebook so I was "nice". But I had distanced myself and my family from her for awhile. However, being that she knew my kids and the bio mom of my 2 oldest, I had to ask God if I was really related to her or if there was a mistake!! :):)
P.S. I have fantastic friends who make up for the family I have.