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Cathy, waiting for a report and hoping all went well!!

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Prayers for you guys this weekend Cathy! Follow your hearts and speak slowly.

Thank you all for your thoughts and comments. Well, I blew the "speak slowly" part with my dad, his girlfriend, and my sister. I don't even remember how I initially stated the first sentence, but Brian caught me and said "that's not what you meant to say." I paused and thought about it and then re-stated "we came up this short weekend for a reason. We have something to tell you." You could say total shock, surprise, excitement for that portion of my family. Brian's mom and dad asked if we were adopting a dog or a cat. We both laughed and repeated ourselves a couple of times and said a "child." Then, one of his sisters walked in the room and said "I thought you didn't want another dog." This time Brian's mom joined in with us in stating that we were "planning on adopting a child." It was actually pretty funny.

Yesterday when we were at church, we told our preacher's wife and she was so excited. She assumed we were adopting a child. Then, some very close family friends came up and he overheard Texas and stated that we would enjoy the weather there. Brian immediately stopped him and said we are not moving. Brian went on to say that "we were planning on adopting a child." Well, he assumed a dog. It took up three or four times stating that we are planning on adopting a child before he believed us.

Overall, we did not received the response we had expected. Yes, our parents were completely shocked and did not expect it. Brian asked his mom if she had written us off for having children and she admited she had. But, later Saturday night when we were at Koh's, she said we have to go to the baby section. She also was trying to convince me that green and yellow would look nice together in the nursery :)

We did not hear anything about the things we thought they would bring up as concerns: $, age, retirement, open adoption. . .my dad did ask if we would get the medical history and Brian's mom asked us which bedroom would be the nursery. My sister said she wished we had told her sooner so she could have been saving money :P

We thought everyone would have a lot more questions, but we think we might have answered a lot of them because we talked about so much of the process and what we have learned from orientation and the Forum. Brian and I are both still satisfied that we waited until this point, because we feel like we were prepared to handle the situation even though it ended up going much better than we could have imagined. I do remember that many of you told me I would probably be surprised and I was ;):)

Cathy

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Cathy!

Great news! I'm so HAPPY your visit went as well as it did! Your child will be loved from all directions. I'm sure that gives you more peace as your journey just begins to unfold.

Keeping you in my thoughts,

Claudia

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:)

Brian & Cathy,

So glad that you got such positive reactions from your family. Also, as time goes on I bet they get even more and more excited. Now get that homestudy done!

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Cathy,

Glad to hear everything went well with your expecting news! Congratulations! Now, get that home study done!!!!

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Cathy,

I am glad the responses were positive even if they were tinged with canine and feline tendencies. Brian's mom saying you needed to go to the baby section at Kohl's is supportive and sweet. Your family will be excited for you and will have lots of questions, but you will be prepared to answer them or if you are unsure, you'll know where to go to get the answers! Congratulations on letting the "cat" er "baby" out of the bag! (Just teasing).

Jean

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Jean, you are TOO funny my friend!

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Glad to hear you were pleasantly surprised and things went well Cathy! You still might want to check out the book mentioned above - it's good at helping the propective adoptive parents handle things too and well worth a read and it could be a pass along among the family since they're bound to have more questions next time you see them!!

Breathe a sigh of relief and get your homestudy and nursery going!! :D

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Cathy,

I am so happy to read your update on your weekend and so so so glad to hear it all went well!!! :D :D Good job! Feel relieved and excited?

Jenny

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Cathy,

Glad to hear your news was taken so well.

We’ve only told our immediate family and close friends we used as references so far. Our responses ranged from ‘you could do that IVF thing’ to ‘nothing wrong with that’ and everything in between, but no one ever suggested we were planning to adopt an animal. That’s quite funny!

Congrats on getting over that hurdle.

Jen & Paul

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Cathy,

I am so relieved to hear that all went well sharing your news. The Kohl's reference brought a little tear to my eye. It reminded me of some of the sweet gifts that our family sent when we were waiting on Riley. It was so nice to be recognized as a parent in waiting. I hope you feel expectant and blessed during this very special time.

During my study, one participant mentioned that when they told people that they were adopting, others talked a lot about how special it is to be pregnant and birth a baby. She said that she did not want to talk away from the unique and special experience that birth can be, but that she also wanted others to recognize how special and unique the process of adoption can be as well. My heart skipped in unity with her when she talked about that. I want you to know that you are surrounded by people, even those that you have not met in person, who recognize and celebrate this special time with you! Welcome to your first waiting period!

Bobbi

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. . .but no one ever suggested we were planning to adopt an animal. That’s quite funny!

When I mentioned this to my co-worker, she couldn't believe they really thought we were going to adopt a dog. She said they couldn't have been serious :o I assured her they were :P

Cathy

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Cathy,

Great news about your family. It makes things so much easier when everyone is on board. So did you and your mother in law go to the baby section? Did anything get bought? I remember our first baby gift we got after we started to tell people the news. Yes, we still have them :rolleyes:

Jan

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Cathy,

Great news about your family. It makes things so much easier when everyone is on board. So did you and your mother in law go to the baby section? Did anything get bought? Jan

Yes, I did purchase a few outfits; however, I bought them for Brian's new cousin. He was born July 28th and we just received word recently. His happy daddy is 55 :o But, his happy mommy is our age :P Baby's brothers are both in their 30's :)

Cathy

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Brian & Cathy,

So glad to hear that things went pretty smootly with sharing your adoption plan with relatives.

Wishing you all the best,

Adam

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Cathy,

Great news about your family. It makes things so much easier when everyone is on board. So did you and your mother in law go to the baby section? Did anything get bought? Jan

Yes, I did purchase a few outfits; however, I bought them for Brian's new cousin. He was born July 28th and we just received word recently. His happy daddy is 55 :o But, his happy mommy is our age :P Baby's brothers are both in their 30's :)

Cathy

Cathy & Brian,

I am happy for you........My parents who are in their eighty's........They are really very happy to be adding to their family. They are a very traditional Hispanic family. They are also very conservative in their thinking........My Mom is getting excited. It is nice that they have something to look forward to at this time in their life...........My Dad was asking about what names we were thinking about naming the baby if it is a boy........

I love to see the excitement and joy that a baby will bring them as well.........New life is a Joyous Event !! :)

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My Dad was asking about what names we were thinking about naming the baby if it is a boy........

Thanks, Saint. The first question Brian's dad asked was when were we going to get our baby. Brian's sister asked when and what were we going to name our son or daughter.

Last night when my grandma called, she asked me if I had heard any news about when we would be getting a baby. I had to remind her were still working on the homestudy and all of that must be complete before birthparents could meet us :(:)

Cathy

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My Dad was asking about what names we were thinking about naming the baby if it is a boy........

Thanks, Saint. The first question Brian's dad asked was when were we going to get our baby. Brian's sister asked when and what were we going to name our son or daughter.

Last night when my grandma called, she asked me if I had heard any news about when we would be getting a baby. I had to remind her were still working on the homestudy and all of that must be complete before birthparents could meet us :(:)

Cathy

I know family get SO anxious. We must have told them a thousand times how the process works and every time we'd speak, they'd ask "So? Any news?" :rolleyes: The day we took placement they began asking "So, when will you be home?" :rolleyes: And I thought it was hard for US to be patient.....

-Adam

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And I thought it was hard for US to be patient.....

-Adam

That is one of the reasons we waiting until this point to inform our families. There are still a lot of uknown answers, but we felt that we needed to know we were at least en-route on our journey :)

Cathy

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From Abrazo's friend Patricia Irwin Johnson, who is retiring and shutting down her adoption website, comes this valuable information on what NOT to say when your relative is adopting... thanks to Pat for giving us permission to reprint this article here for our own use!

Five Hot Buttons Not to Push

By Patricia Irwin Johnston

The following article has been excerpted from the Perspectives Press book Adoption Is a Family Affair! What Relatives and Friends Must Know.

These are examples of amazingly insensitive comments heard recently by members of one Adoption Waiting Room Internet bulletin board. Names have been changed to protect both the guilty and the innocent. There are many people, who, before reading Adoption Is a Family Affair!, might not even have understood what was so bad about some of these comments, but you probably get it now. If you see yourself reflected or reported here, you may have some apologizing to do. If, on the other hand, you feel confident that you were never so insensitive, good for you! In that case, perhaps these examples will serve as an impetus for your helping to get the rest of your family circle better prepared for the addition adoption will bring to the family.

5. “What about the money?” (Didn’t your mother teach you it was bad manners to talk about money, politics and religion?)

* “From my mother-in-law when we first told her that we were going to adopt, ˜You know, you can get a Mexican baby for $250!’ “

* Friends of mine adopted, and shortly after adopting the husband was telling a client about it and the client asked, “Oh, well how much did she cost you?” No this was not a blundering idiot like most, but a social worker!

* Q: “Why would you spend so much money on adoption after spending so much money on infertility treatment?”

A: “Well, didn’t you just buy that nice $35,000 SUV? This is our family we are talking about. Priceless!”

* My brother-in-law told his kids that we were “going to Korea to buy a baby!”

* Someone asked me if adopting babies from China was like a black market! I had to explain how they take good care of the babies and rigorously screen who they will allow to adopt and that the fee is used to keep the orphanages running and take care of all the kids, including those who won’t be adopted. I sure don’t ever want my kid getting the idea that she was bought on the black market.

* An acquaintance who heard about our plans asked us “How much will your child cost?” (ARGHHHHHHHHHH) No further comment with this one. On the other hand, yes, my husband and I have had this question numerous times! Some people who have inquired are very sincere, as they too, are weighing the decision to continue infertility treatment, live childfree, or move to adoption. That is very understandable, and I respect that question from them.

4. “Adoption connections aren’t real connections anyway!” (Do you really want to say “You can do better than this”?)

* Are you sure you tried hard enough?” (to conceive)

* Q: “Does it bother you that they won’t be of your own?”

A: “My favorite comment to this one is what I read from the Adoption Waiting Room bulletin board earlier this summer: ‘I gave birth to them through my heart”‘…. that is the shorter version I use with this stupid question. It makes people think about how ignorant they were for asking in the first place.”

* I mentioned to my sister-in-law that I wanted to name my future adopted son Truman, nickname Tru. She said “You can’t call him Tru Kinglsey, because he is not a true Kingsley. He will not be related…umm, I mean by blood”. I was appalled and since then have refused to tell anyone the names I am considering for my future children.

* My husband adopted his first wife’s daughter at the age of 9 months (she is now 22) and adopted my son at the age of 3 (he is now 10)….much to our surprise, I am now 30 weeks pregnant. On New Years Day we went to husband’s mother’s house. His sister (whom he has never really liked and hadn’t seen in over a year) comes swooping in the door and hugs him and loudly exclaims, “I want to hug you before you get to become a real father.” My husband said very angrily, “I’ve been a real father twice now, but thanks.” He was so angry, and I was so angry, especially because both his son and his daughter heard her comment. I couldn’t believe how stupid and totally insensitive and wrong her comment was.

* Q: “What’s her mother’s name?”

A: “My name is Lisa.”

Q: “No, I mean her real mother’s name.”

A: “I’m her mother.”

Q: “NO, I mean her real mother.”

A: “What do you think I am? Polyester?”

And then, as if I must be some sort of an idiot, I said, “Ohhhh you mean her birthmother!”

Q: Then she said, “Well you knew what I meant all the time.”

A: “No I didn’t. I”m her real mother and I always will be. What do you think Sara will go through if she heard u say that I’m not her real mother and she is too young to understand?”

* From my brother who has a master’s and a PhD in theology when my mom told him over the phone that we were going to adopt: “Why don’t they just have their own kids?”

* “Too bad you have to adopt…your real kids would have been real cute.”

* Q: “What does her mom look like?”

A: “You tell me you are looking right at her!”

Q: The nerve of this woman She kept prying she said “Come on you know what I mean.”

A: I said “No ,I do not!”

* “She looks like she could be yours!”

* “Can they get her back?”

* “What are you going to do when he’s three or four and the birthparents want him back?”

* “Can you give him back if you find out he’s retarded or something?”

* An adult adoptee asked me, “If you and your husband get divorced, will you have to give him back?” I was so dumbfounded I didn’t respond how I really should have, which would have been to ask if her parents would have had to “give her back” if they had ever divorced.

3. “Adopted people are ‘flawed.’” (The Bad Seed myth, or is it Racism?)

* My reproductive endocrinologist said, “You might not want to adopt… you never know what you’re going to get.” As if you know with a biological baby!

* “Adopted kids are always so stupid!”

* I was talking to my sister, who by the way, is very well educated and is currently in a high-paying, high-profile job… working for an AA man. I was mentioning to her about our long wait for our child. She (once again) asked what my “criteria” was for our child… meaning, had we requested a newborn, toddler, what race..etc. I told her that all I asked for was that the child be under age 3. To which she said, with much surprise, “Even a black child?” “Yeeeeessss” I replied. “But you don’t know how to cook collard greens, or how to comb their hair!!… and Desiree (the daughter born to us) will KNOW that s/he is not her real sibling!!” she says, totally serious. Funny thing is, (and I also told her this) that I am hispanic (Colombian), yet I have NEVER cooked a Colombian meal for my daughter!

* “I never knew Adopted Children could be so cute”

* An old friend of the family said “I think if someone is stupid enough to get pregnant and doesn’t want the baby, she should turn around, walk the other way, and never look back.” I thought that was so cruel. As if he is so superior that he never has made a mistake, and as if a birthmother could ever forget her child. This experience taught me not to tell many people about our open adoption. It’s really no one’s business.

* A co-worker of my husband said “I wouldn’t adopt, you will never get a perfect child.” I was stunned when he told me. She has a toddler who I am sure isn’t “perfect” and I think anyone who expects any child to be “perfect” is setting that child up for a life of misery!! My husband told her we were hoping not to have a perfect child, because it wasn’t going to have perfect parents. GO husband!!

* When I told my friend (a woman who was aghast that there was another girl in her play group with the same name as her daughter-she wanted hers to be the only one with that name) that if I had a boy, I’d name him Noah she exclaimed “Yikes! Why would you name him something so unusual, he’s going to stand out enough as it is. Why not name him something normal, like Larry?”

* Q: “Why don’t you just try to get a healthy caucasian baby?”

A: “HELLO!!!!! We want a baby from another country. That is our choice.”

* Q: “Why on earth would you want to adopt a black baby. They are ugly, have kinky hair and are always boarder babies. No black baby is ever given up for adoption without drugs and alcohol. Could turn out to be a criminal, too.”

* Apparently, everyone born in Asia speaks an Asian language because it’s a genetic thing. People are forever asking me if our toddler son Cameron (who was born in Vietnam)can speak English. Just for fun, I told one person he was bi-lingual. After all, he was just a baby and saying only ma which happens to be Vietnamese for mother) and ba which is Vietnamese for grandmother.) I suppose he’s as bilingual as the next baby!

* Our Latina daughter was born in Alabama, but people are always asking me, “Do you think she will have an accent?”

* “Why not just adopt from Russia? At least they’d look like you?”

* A girlfriend who told me during my infertility treatment, “Why not just get a dog, it’s a lot easier” (probably should have ended the friendship right then) noted the other night that “It’s a good thing you are adopting an Asian kid, because he’ll be short like the two of you!” When I informed her that Koreans come in all different sizes like Americans she said, “Well we all know that Asians are generally shorter than Americans.”

* I am 6′ and my husband is 6’3″ We have had two people tell us we shouldn’t be adopting from Guatemala because our daughter will be short. Who cares!!

* “Oh, no! You’re going to adopt a Mexican?”

2. “Didn’t you know that…” (Ignorance isn’t bliss in personal relationships)

* “Why don’t you just go and pick one out?” Gee, where’s the closest Babies-R-Us store?

* “Will you tell her she’s adopted?” Duh…our Chinese daughter and we won’t exactly look alike.

* We adopted our daughter from China in Dec. 1999. A few months ago we went out to dinner with my father- and mother-in-law. Our dauther was eating rice and getting it everywhere (she was 16 mos. Old.) My father-in-law said, “If she were home she would know how to use chopsticks by now.” I just gave him a weird look and said “She is home and what does chopsticks have to do with it?” I know he did not say it to be mean; he is just clueless. He loves his granddaughter to death.

* “If God intended for you to have children, you’d be pregnant by now.”

* We are African American, and we have been asked more than once: “What’s taking you so long. Aren’t there piles of AA babies that need homes? You must be doing something wrong!” I think that her comment does kind of reflect this notion that there are a lot of AA infants to be adopted — and this is in part supported by agencies and other adoption professionals. There isn’t a “surplus of AA babies out there. What is closer to reality is that there are a lot of older children of color in the foster care system, many of whom are adoptable.

* At Christmas my sister-in-law asked about the progress with the adoption, commenting that it is taking a long time. I told her our homestudy is being reviewed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and this time frame is about what the agency projected. She responded, “Well, if it doesn’t work out you can always go for artificial insemination.” Was she really paying that little attention during all the years we struggled with infertility?????

* Q: “Do you get to name her?” She was still a baby, and had only the name the Chinese government assigned to her. Should I have answered “No, I have to call her Rover for the rest of her life”?

* “Well, you should know adoption is expensive”…Hmmm., well thanks for telling us that. Those hours researching adoption must have done us no good.

* “You mean you can still adopt within the United States?”

1. And, last, but not least, Sad-but-True variations on the NUMBER ONE INSENSITIVE COMMENT TO THOSE WHO ARE ADOPTING-”Now you’ll get pregnant! They always do.”

* Adopt and then you’ll get pregnant at last!” Does that mean the adoption won’t have any meaning then if a woman becomes pregnant?

* Everybody in my life knows that my significant other is a woman and that we want to be mommies. So, when I told my oldest sister that we were planning on adopting, she delivered the usual line about getting pregnant now that we’ve decided to adopt! So I told her no, we’ve stopped all treatment. We’re building our family through adoption. She insisted, “Oh no, you won’t need treatment. You’ll get pregnant now that you are going to adopt.” I finally just said, ‘Do you know how babies are made?’

* “Once you adopt you will soon become pregnant!” That is impossible since I had a complete hysterectomy. These people who say this to me, knowing I had the surgery, are down right mean. How cruel!

* My mother and my mother-in-law both really believe that once I adopt I’ll get pregnant. In fact, I hear this from everyone I tell that I am trying to adopt. Sheesh, pregnancy after adopting only happens in about 5% of the cases & who knows what their fertility problem was.

* My mother-in-law added the best comment to this one. “If you adopt and get pregnant I am not coming to Ontario to help you with babysitting!” My response is “THANK GOODNESS!”

But it’s not all bad. Marni checked in to report, “On the other side, I told one of my oldest/dearest friends (whose wife is thirty-two weeks along with their second baby) that I almost felt like I was pregnant. His comment? ‘Well, you are an expecting mother.’ Now, that’s what I call a great comment.”

You can redeem yourself and learn to be as sensitive as Marni’s friend! What’s more, you can help others “get it,” too. Keep reading…keep learning!

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I dealt with some of number 4 today and some of number 1. Oh, and also number 5. It is amazing how people who you think are your friends ask some really crazy questions or make some strange statements.

Thanks for the article.

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Yikes, it is sad to read through these but even sadder is how many I have heard with my own ears (or twists of these - in different words.) We even heard the exact collard greens one (sick and sad) when we told someone we were open to any ethnicity/race. I just said that no child I know likes collard greens so that was not going to be an issue in our family. It's so hard to know what to respond in a polite-ish but firm way.

I love my babies and I just hope that we can help educate those around us before they can understand these types of comments! I like at the end how she says we all need to keep reading and keep learning! So true.

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I want to say I only feel sadness reading this article because it would probably mean I'm a nicer person than I am... but I can't help but laugh at the WORLDWIDE stupidity of other people! The things that come out of peoples' mouths!

I really, really liked this article... yes, it's sad - but it's also one of those "Adults Say the Darndest Things" kind-of articles. I always seem to get a chuckle off of the ridiculous things people say without ever thinking them through! I hate to think my child will be raised hearing nonsense like this from other people, but at least he's being raised by us and will hopefully shake his head right along with us.

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