Thursday, July 18, 2013

a few things I take issue with {summer is for reruns}

**This was originally posted in January of this year.  It was read by many & even shared on FB by readers.  I decided to share again based on some recent conversations with friends that are new adoptive parents & others that are beginning the process.  This post is by no means meant to chastise!  It is meant to give people something to think about so that maybe all of us can be intentionally thoughtful with our words not just in the case of adoption, but in all matters concerning the heart & personal lives of others. :)


There are a few things that have come up in conversation lately that I am feeling the need to address, especially after the most recent one I read on FB.  Understand opinions or stance on these comments are not to address things based on my own personal discomfort.  I'm a big girl & can handle/process things, so whatever.  My stance is for my children, who are much smarter than people give them credit for, regardless of age.  They are little people with big feelings, & if they hear what you say, they also then have to process those words.  We openly talk with our children about adoption, but let's face it....little bits of conversations can plant big seeds of confusion in the minds of children.  Just some food for thought.

So, here we go...There are a few statements I take issue with regarding our adopted children:

They are so lucky to have you as parents.  While I understand that people are well-meaning with these words, they couldn't be further from the truth.  Children are lucky if they never have to lose their first families.  While we celebrate children coming into our families because we are excited to have them here, the initial reason they came here is due to loss.  My children are young & happy-go-lucky, but as they get older, they will each begin to process this loss in a different way.  I don't know what that will look like, but statements like, "you're lucky" don't seem very healthy for a child that is processing a piece of their life that may never make a whole lot of sense.  And let's face it, ANY teenager has moments they don't feel real lucky to have you as parents, anyway.

How could a mother ever give up their child?  Unfortunately, this statement has been said one too many times right in front of my children in a very "oh my gosh, they must be the worst human beings in the world to do such a thing" kind of tone.  Wrong.  Each of my children has a different story of how they came to be in our family, but I can tell you that each of them were loved deeply.  So, how?  I really can't answer that because when push comes to shove, I don't know that I'd have the kahunas to make the unselfish, gut-wrenching choices my children's first families made for their children.  So, please, don't ask this question & make my children feel like the mother that gave birth to them must be a terrible person.  It couldn't be further from the truth.

How many real kids do you know, how many are your own?  Nine.  The answer is nine.  They are all real.  None are imaginary.  Each one I would willingly lay my life down for because they are my children.  I hate when my children hear this statement because it could make them question their real place in this family.  They have a real place, they belong, we are family.

Are you done yet?  You can't save them all, you know?  There are millions of children in this world growing up in orphanages without families.  One could argue that a child being taken out of an orphanage & brought into a family is being saved.  I get that.  HOWEVER, our choice to add to this family has come from the desire to have more children.  These children are not charity cases.  The reality is once you get off that plane (or bring that bundle home by car...we've done both), you are parenting.  You are family.  They may not have been birthed from my body, but they were birthed into our family nonetheless.  If anyone thinks they should adopt out of a sense of charity, please don't.  Children should never live with a feeling like they've been saved & should be indebted in gratitude.  I am not a savior; I am a mother.

Mama Bear...signing off.