Adoption is a sensitive issue, and people who have not experienced it, cannot begin to imagine what it's really like. I want to emphasize that this post is not to make me appear defensive, and I do not intend to offend anyone, but rather to keep it somewhat light-hearted. As an adoptive parent, I feel that it's my responsibility to my son, to educate others on positive and negative language surrounding adoption. While I believe that people generally are not trying to be insensitive, the words that come out of their mouths sometimes just make me want to smack them.
I have had strangers, and even friends, ask the following questions or make the following comments:
1. He looks just like you, it was meant to be! or He looks just like he could be yours!
No, he really doesn’t. We may both have fair skin, or similar noses, but I am completely aware of the fact that he does not share my DNA, and really don't need to be reminded of it. Just tell me he's beautiful - I will happily agree even if I can’t take credit for that.
2. How much did he cost?
Got him on sale, and I had a coupon!! Babies do not cost money. Adoptions cost money. And it is rude to ask what an adoption costs even if you phrase it correctly. If you are truly interested, ask for some websites to do some research on your own.
3. Do you know anything about his real mother?"
I am his real mother. I am going to raise him, sit with him when he is sick, bandage his owies, and pay for college. His birth mother gave birth to him, and for that I will always be grateful, but he is mine and I am his real mother.
4. Are you going to have any children of your own?
See above. He is my own son and I will love him more than you can know.
5. You know you’ll get pregnant within a year now.
Sorry, it's physically impossible, and unless God decides Jesus needs a sister, I will not become pregnant now that I have adopted. Yes, we all know our cousin’s secretary’s sister who got pregnant three months after adopting. But this doesn’t happen in a statistically significant manner. And you have no idea what kind of fertility struggles someone may have gone through before adopting, so it's better not to mention this to families adopting their first child.
6. Was his mom on drugs? Are you worried he might have problems later on?
Darn! I forgot to send in the warranty papers for the money back guarantee! First of all, the circumstances regarding my son's birth are none of your business, thankyouverymuch. He's my son, and if any medical issues arise, I will deal with them the same as you would your children.
7. Why did they take him away? or Why did she give him away/give him up?
Again, none of your beeswax! "They" did not "take him away," and she did not "give him away" or "give him up." Parental rights of the birthparents are terminated for specific reasons, because it is in the best interest of the child for their safety and well being. (In the case of open adoptions, the positive language would be to say that the birthmother "chose adoption.")
8. Are you going to tell him he's adopted?
The noneofyourbusinessgetoutofmyface response is becoming wildly popular. Adoption is rarely a secret in families in this day and age. It is part of his life story and he will know from day one that he is incredibly loved and came to our family in a special way.
9. Is he yours? (I haven't personaly heard this one, but other's have, so it's worth sharing, and it's the one I have the best answer to)
Nope, he's on loan from the daycare down the street. Just taking him for a test drive to see if I want to keep him. (Here's your sign...)
And my personal favorite...
10. He's so lucky.
Correction, I am the lucky one. He has changed my life in ways you can only imagine.
And because I don't like posts with no pictures...see how lucky I am?