Friday, June 7, 2013

Those Questions

If you are considering adopting, you must know that you will get asked many, many questions.  There were questions from our lawyer, from our social worker, from friends, from family and from total strangers. Most questions were easy to answer, others were more difficult. Most questions were harmless, others stung a bit. The adoption process can make you feel very vulnerable and those hurtful questions certainly don't help. My advise? Be prepared. I found that planning how to answer those questions (because they will come) kept me from being so caught off guard. And as tempted as I was at times to reply with a snarky answer, I was able to keep my cool and speak from the heart. Because I wanted (and still want) my life (our life) to be a testimony to others that adoption is AMAZING and AWESOME and YOU should adopt too! :)

Q. "What about her real mom?" You know what they mean. Her birth mom. The woman who carried her for 9 months, gave birth to her and chose you to be the woman to raise her. But the word "real" implies that you are some how a fake, an imposter. 
A. "I think Emily is so lucky to have two moms: her birth mom and me. We are both her real moms and each have a special bond with her."

Q. "You didn't want kids of your own?" Ouch. Especially for someone like me who has two amazing stepsons.  After helping to raise them over the last 6+ years..tell me they aren't my "own."
A. "We decided to grow our family through adoption. We could have chosen to try and have biological children, but felt that we were being called to adopt. I think that no matter how children come into our lives, through birth, adoption or marriage that they are ours to be loved and cared for."

Q. "What are you going to tell Emily about adoption?" 
A. "Um, what's it to you?" See! Those snippy answers start to sneak in!
A. "We think it's important for Emily to know about how she came to be a part of our family. We made her a book about our journey to her. We think it's important to answer her questions and ease her concerns in a way that's age appropriate. She doesn't need to know all the specifics when she's 5 but if she wants to know more about her birth parents when she's 15, Randy and I will both be there to share as much as we know with her."

Q. Which is sometimes followed by: "Wouldn't it be easier not to tell her?"
A. "Yes, and lie to my child? Sure!" Again, snarky answers are not the answer.
A. "I don't want Emily to grow up thinking that adoption is something that shouldn't be discussed or is something to be embarrassed of. By being honest with her from an early age, I hope that she will grow to understand that adoption is amazing and special. And that she is amazing and special and so incredibly loved by so many people."

Q. "Aren't you worried about (fill in the blank) her birth parents contacting you, not knowing medical history, what people will say, etc. etc. etc.?"
A. "Of course! But isn't that what moms do? We all worry about everything all the time. Whether our kids are 1, 5 or 35 we worry! So we do what every other parent has ever done. We learn as much as we can, we do our best to manage it and then at some point we let go and just enjoy life."

So, yeah. It stinks. You have to field crappy, intrusive questions but just know there will probably be some funny questions or comments that come your way. Like the strangers that will tell you as you are feeding a 6 week old baby in public that "you look great!" and they "can't believe you lost the baby weight so fast!" And there will be others that look at you and your husband and your baby and say "she looks so much like you (or him or both of you!" Just smile and say "thank you!" Sure, you could launch into a lengthy answer about adoption, but give yourself a break from always being on the spot. Just enjoy the moment and the blessing that is being a mom.