If you have never adopted or known anyone who adopted you really have no idea what goes on and what it is like for them. I had no idea really, I knew that it must be very hard and emotional. That is quite an understatement actually. For the most part we have received wonderful support and guidance. I am blessed to know people who have been down the same road as we are on. They have given me great advice and support. I think that sometimes people don't know what to say. They think they may hurt your feelings I guess. I can understand not knowing what to say. It's almost like when someone dies and you tell that persons friend or loved one "I'm so sorry." Well why are you sorry you didn't kill them. But that's just what we say. Like I said I totally understand not knowing what to say. However, sometimes you just want to scream, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Well, I will add this caveat to that statement (sometimes not acknowledging at all that someone is adopting is just as hurtful as saying mean things.
These are some things that have been said to us. I am not documenting these because I am angry or mad at the people that said them. People simply don't understand adoption and they don't know what to say or sometimes how to act around someone who is adopting. So, hopefully through communication we can help people understand it better.
1. "Why can't you have babies? What is wrong with you?
If you are close enough to someone you know why they are adopting. If you're not that close or you are just an aquaintance you don't ask questions like that!!
2. "Can't you just find a teenager who is having a baby and just adopt their baby?"
That's not how it works. Adoption is not a lifetime movie it's not something that can be wrapped up tightly in a hour and a half.
3. "You will probably get pregnant now that you are adopting baby."
This is such a hurtful statement. I realize that this happens and I have read many accounts of adoptions where this has happened. However, I am not adopting a baby as some sort of "lucky charm" that will help me get pregnant!!
4. "I'm so sorry you won't have real kids"
Please, please, please if you have this though in your head do whatever you can to clamp your mouth shut and not say this outloud to someone!! It is beyond rude and insensitive. Giving birth to a child doesn't make that child more real to you than a child that you adopted.
I'm not going to lie when I hear some of these things I get angry. But it also make me realize how little people know about adoption. It is just more common for us to understand childbirth as a means to becoming parents. But that's not the only way it happens. There are over 120,000 children in America alone that don't have a home and are available for adoption. So my advice is to above all think before you say anything (that should be a given all the time, no matter who we talk to huh?) If your not sure what to say to someone who is adopting just tell them Congratulations! Wouldn't you say that to someone who is pregnant? If you don't know what adoption is like ask them they will be happy to explain it to you!