After a month of being back on the “I’ve just adopted” circuit, I’m getting a refresher course in all the things people say that I don’t like. Actually, I have long long lists of things people say that bug me in all different categories such as Having a Special Needs Kids, Minorities, African Americans in general, Christianity, etc. I’m actually not easily offended because I get that people are coming from all over and may not be as educated (feel free to insert opinionated in here – I don’t mind) as I am.
BUT, as much as I want to throw in my top favs for all categories, I won’t. I’ll stick to the topic of adoption. (Well, how about I just throw in “What’s wrong with her?” for the handicap kid. Nothing is wrong with her you fool. What you mean is “What is her disability?” Or “Why is she using a walker?” I mean, if you’re so nosey and have to ask in the first place. (Unless you’re a kid. Then you get to ask because it’s age appropriate.) Sorry…..couldn’t help myself.
Please note this is not to complain, but to rather help those of you that haven’t adopted deal with those of us that have. And all my wonderful reading this that actually did say one of the following, ignore me. I love you.
Helpful, educational tips to assist you in changing are provided free of charge.
So here we go….
Coming in at #4
Is She Yours?
Yes, she’s mine. They’re all mine. Jon is my husband even though I didn’t give birth to him. Happy about that….
No helpful tips here. That’s just rude, unless you actually asking if I’m babysitting someone else’s kids. Then that’s ok. But when I tell you she’s adopted and that I have 5 kids in all, “Are the other 4 yours?” does not fall under the babysitting category.
I Don’t Know How You Do It.
This one actually leaves me speechless. And that’s a rare occurence. I want to say “I cope with alcohol” but I think that’s probably unacceptable. Although among my friends I do brag about the healing powers contained in a glass of red wine.
I’m speechless because I have NO IDEA what you are referring to. How do I have five kids? I might ask you how you don’t. Two is so boring. How do I adopt? Um, are you making a general statement about your inability to love a child that wasn’t created in your womb or do you really want to unravel the notion of unconditional love for a stranger? Maybe you are complimenting me by implying that I have it all together, but I don’t, so I can’t imagine you are saying that. Does my life look miserable to you so what is really being said is “I don’t know how you do it because I would be suicidal.”
People, I got nothing here. I’m actually not offended by this comment at all, just always confused. So next time be more specific by telling me what you actually can’t do that you think I can. And then I’ll be sure to mention how unspectacular I am at said thing. (see #2)
You Must Be a Saint (or something just as stupid)
I actually recently got, “The gates of Heaven are going to open right up when you get there.” Friends, I hope they do open up, but it will be only because of my love for Jesus. I’m not saved by the things I do, only by the nature of grace.
Also, I’m nowhere near a saint. And when people say that I sort of start to feel insecure. I begin to think, Maybe only saints should be adopting. These poor kids…stuck with an impatient, irritated mother who has the spiritual gift of losing her temper.
I am full of imperfections, regrets, and mistakes….all under the category of motherhood alone. Don’t get me started on everything else. Adoption is messy, difficult. I do wrong by these children so many times. I break hearts and hurt self-esteems. I act ugly. I am mean. I am human. That I rise above somehow just because my heart aches for the orphan isn’t true. I am a work in progress…try not to put too much pressure on me please.
Also, I am the one who benefits here. I love that my children will never spend another day without a mother and father, that they will know family. But I did this for ME. ME. I wanted to be a mother to an orphan. It was a song in my heart 25 years ago. God has allowed me to partner beside him in giving family to someone who was alone. He answered that song in my heart, and in doing so, there is one less orphan. But they are a gift to me, not the other way around.
You are So Lucky (to my kids)
I’ve discussed this before, but you may not tell my children they are lucky to be in my family. They deserve the right to resent me, and complain about me, and think I’m the worst mother on earth if they want. Just like my bio. kids.
I’ve seen a grief in my son Mesfin for his biological mother that hurts me so deeply. You can’t tell a kid who’s gone through pain of that magnitude that he’s lucky.
Also, I expect that a certain amount of “survivor’s guilt” will manifest itself within my kids some day. There is NO rhyme or reason as to why they were chosen and others were left behind. I am overwhelmed with those thoughts sometimes, I can’t imagine what sort of emotions they will have to deal with some day.
I intend no snarkyness in this blog. Everyone that has ever said to me any the above things has said it with love and interest in my adoptions. And if you say it to me again, I will smile and answer your question. Because even if I dislike what you have to say, I love you for noticing and caring that adoption is real, and intriguing, and amazing, and mysterious. Because it is.