Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
linlacor

Newbie dealing w/uninformed people (venting!!)

Recommended Posts

:angry:

Oh I'm just so annoyed and need to express this in order to get over it.  Sorry this is a vent but surely I'm not the only one who has experienced this.  If only everyone could just understand a bit more about adoption.........So, we're just getting started with our adoption experience - we've sent our application in, have a spot in the Orientation coming up, etc.  I am overjoyed about all this - excited beyond words.  When I'm excited about something, I like to tell people about it (anyway, at the moment I can't seem to have a conversation about anything else because it's all I think about).  On several occassions this has happened but this is the most recent & I've just had it!!!  Here's what happened, I'm at Pottery Barn Kids picking up some gender neutral items (bathroom stuff, I figure I can at least start on getting the bathroom looking babyish and cute) and the cashier lady seemed really nice and I told her that this was my first baby purchase and it felt strange to do it (like I would jinx myself for buying baby things) and that we had submitted an application to an Adoption Agency in Texas and would be adopting an infant at some point in the future.  Well, she was very sincere and well-meaning I'm sure but what she said was just soooo offensive!!  She said something like, "Oh how wonderful you're doing that, there are so many babies out there who need a home and that's just so nice that you're going to do that"  HELLO, what planet have you been on?  That is such a distorted view of adoption.  I calmly corrected her that actually, we were the fortunate ones and that there are way more prospective adoptive parents than there are babies.  I mentioned that most adoptive parents wait a year or two or sometimes three before their baby is placed with them.  How can she be so uninformed?  She also had asked originally if it was going to be a baby in the US or International so it's not like she was thinking of the orphanage story of Romania they showed many years ago.  I can't believe people don't know that adoption involves 2 sets of parents and that there aren't beds full of babies just waiting to be adopted.  The other thing that annoys me is when I tell someone we're going to adopt and they say something like, "Oh, I am so sorry you can't have your own child, I can't imagine what that must feel like to not have your own child".  This happened to me yesterday and versions of it have happened since we started this too.  I am not sorry that we couldn't give birth to a biological child and neither is my husband.  We view this as something out of our control and something meant to be.  And also, we will have our own child - I just won't give birth to it and it won't have a biological relationship with us but that isn't what makes a child your own.  Argh!  Sorry for the long post - just had to get this out of my system - it's been festering and I needed to release it.  Ok, it's gone now and I will move on and keep educating these well-meaning people as politelly as possible and resist the urge to tell them that I'm a birthmother too and I take offense to someone implying that my daughter needed a home when I placed her.  My understanding of her adoption (it was closed,  :( ) was that her parents waited nearly 2 years on Gladney's list of prospective parents (at that time, Gladney didn't allow the birthmothers to choose the parents).  I bet that would make them squirm and think twice before blurting out the first thing that comes to their mind.  Well, thanks again and sorry to sound negative but it's just so darn frustrating!!

Lisa  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lisa,

Congrats to you and your husband for your progress in your adoption journey. It is very exciting, and you are great for allowing yourself to be excited! I also think it's great that you are shopping for baby items. You'll leave orientation weekend with instructions to get your nursery ready, because "It's not if, but when!" We took that advice to heart and began preparing our nursery shortly after we got home. Within 2 months we were matched and within another 2 1/2 months our son was born!!

About those awful comments :angry: It is amazing how many people do not understand how hurtful or misguided they can be. I don't think they mean it, they just don't think. I had a hard time with this (and still do sometimes) because my emotions tend to show all over my face. (My mother, and now my husband, tell me that they never have to wonder what I'm thinking, my face shows it all.) I would get flustered and defensive when people made some of those idiotic comments! I've gotten better, I think, because I try to think beforehand how I will respond to certain comments so as to educate people instead of getting defensive. I also want to do this as a model for my son as he gets older. I don't want my words and actions to cause him to think that something is wrong with adoption. I want him to learn how to respond to people's questions or hurtful assumptions, and I want him to know that he has a right to privacy. As we got to know our son's birthmother, I also began to realize the hurtful things people said to or about her (How could you/she give up your/her own flesh and blood?) I decided if she could show great courage and strength to face these comments, surely I could too. I thought her pain was far greater than mine, and I became even more determined to help people understand the beauty of adoption!

One comment we hear/heard quite often, is how great we are for adopting a child. I simply tell them that his birthmom is the one who deserves their admiration. While we did feel we had a lot to offer a child, our motives were actually quite selfish. We wanted to be parents. We wanted to enjoy the hugs, sloppy kisses, and giggles of a precious child. We wanted to experience and explore the world with wonder and amazement through his eyes. We looked forward to camping trips, visits to the zoo, and birthday parties. She gave all of that up so her son could have the life she imagined for him but could not give him at that point in her life. (I know you are a birthmom, so the same could be said for you :)

The other thing that really hurt while we were matched but waiting for our son to be born was that often when we would tell people about our plans, many wondered to us, if the birthmother might change her mind. While that was certainly her perogative (although not something we worried about too much because of the relationship we had with her), I thought it was very insensitive to dwell on the negative rather than focusing on the exciting fact that we were about to become parents. I mean, a lot can go wrong when you are expecting a baby whether biological or adoptive, and yet people don't remind you of that when you are expecting a biological child (at least I don't think so, I've never actually been in these shoes).

There's some other classic comments, but I'll let others "vent" about those. I've already been too long-winded here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Paul and Michelle D

I have to respond!!!!!

Yesterday, at Sams Wholesale, a woman came up to my husband and I and said, "When did you get your beautiful child?"  This infuriated my husband to no end!  Only a very brazen or stupid person would say that (according to my husband).  I feel differently.  I was in the same camp as you!  I was always irritated by the comments and the negativity toward adoption especially the ones from my own family.  But, like Suebee, I decided to educate versus defend.  I want to set the best possible example for our daughter.  She will be dealing with the tough questions for the rest of her life.  If she feels that we handle them calmly and almost in a laughable manner, then she will!  

I admit it to anyone who says that our daughter is "lucky".  Oh no, by far, we are the most lucky people that ever existed on this planet.  We were blessed with the most beautiful little girl who smiles at us and loves us!  And yes, she is also lucky, because she has a mom and dad who love her a ton and a birth-family who love her more than life itself!  

Anyway, all I can say to you is laugh when you can...Be sarcastic and angry when you need to...Cry when you want...But always speak out how you feel and educate people about the joys and sadness of adoption.  

Wouldn't you love to do a segment on 20/20, 48 hours or something on what adoption is really all about!!!!!

Looking forward to hearing more of your perspective...I like reading your comments!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

;) Thank you so much suebee and Paul & Michelle D.  It feels better to know I'm not alone and to know I just need to work on how to best deal with this.  I'm ashamed to say I didn't even think about making sure I set a good example for our little one once we're blessed enough to have one.  I will think to myself "count to 3, count to 3" and politely & very maturely deal with it.  After posting this, I thought to myself - isn't that terrible for me to think of all the negative things people say and not think/post about the positive things I've heard people say when I've told them.  We've had some just really wonderful comments, stories, etc from people we've told - the kind that give you that warm fuzzy feeling and you feel so lucky to be a part of this elite group.  (But it still felt good to vent, I must admit and certainly felt good to know I'm not being overly sensitive about the comments which I was worried that I was).  I just feel so protective over the whole thing.  I haven't even been matched with a birthmother yet and I already feel so much for her.  It's like I feel she's there already, waiting for us and we're waiting for her, all of us knowing each other are there...it's so cool.

Well, gotta run - I just love this Forum (kudos to Abrazo for giving us this outlet).

Lisa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lisa,

Don't feel bad...a few months after we adopted our son, my husband and I went to a class about talking to your child about adoption. It wasn't until that class that I realized I needed to be careful how I reacted to people's comments because our son would be watching and learning from me. My responses would play a role in shaping his view of adoption and my feelings. It was an eye-opening realization, and I'm glad someone shared it with us. I too am learning to slow down and think before I speak!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Paul and Michelle D

Lisa,

Don't feel bad at all!  I hope I did not make you feel that way!  There are times when people say things that I don't feel are appropriate when I want to scream, "Who taught you manners?"  But, like you said, I take a few deep breaths and either ignore the question or comment or respond while gritting my teeth!! Best wishes to you!!!  I am sure you will hear from us again!   :D  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michelle, your mail was very sweet and didn't make me feel bad. Definitely helpful for me to read.  Just gave me a few things to think about/consider as did suebee's.

Thanks a bunch!!  Y'all are great, looking forward to meeting you both someday, maybe at one of the ABRAZO functions???  

-Lisa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to bring up an old topic, but it is one that brought something that happened to me while I was pregnant with the triplets to mind.  I was in the hospital, on Dec 28th on of my friends (who had been in the hospital with me for 9 weeks) had her baby, (I got to be there!;) anyway, her baby had to go to the NICU, I went down there (in a while chair mind you), and I was looking at her baby.  One of the nurses kicked me out, (she didn't know that Tyson and I were good friends, she thought I was just there because).  After I left, That same nurse said to another nurse, "she (referring to me) doesn't care what happens to her babies, she doesn't even love them enough to keep them.  Tyson immediately came back and told me what she had said, this totally infuriated me.  I WAS CHOOSING ADOPTION BECAUSE I DO LOVE MY KIDS!! DUH!!!  but obviously not everyone see's it that way.  

Grrrrrr..........

-Angel

thanks for letting me vent too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading this thread and I am interested in how you teach your children to explain (if) why they don't look like the parents.

Kids are mean to each other. The child needs a way of explaining (or not) that they feel comfortable with.

I'm asking for personal information aside from adopting. I'm a single mother. My daughter is the result of donor insemination by IVF. I tried many times, with different protocals, but only got pg once.

Her cousin (age 8) said to her a couple weeks ago " You weren't born like everyone else."

Now obviously he got the conceived and born words confused. But he was taunting her with this. She's also been teased that there is no father. No one to claim.

I'm sure that as children are adopted, they also get teased. So how do you teach your child to respond to other children? Not misguided adults, but playground remarks?

Cathy

Edited by cdgni

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What came most immediately to my mind was the playground chant "Sticks & Stones (can break my bones but words can never hurt me)"... here's my revised adoption version: "those who say such things to me reflect their own stupidity!" <_<

But the truth is, "being different" can be tremendously painful for kids, words do hurt us, and kids today can be extremely cruel (even in their naivete'), so thanks for raising a very important question, Cathy!

Hopefully we'll generate some responses here that will help a host of people, and maybe we can even get some of our older kids who were once adopted to weigh in on this subject?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×