Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Just Some Helpful Info

Yesterday I read an article about the things you shouldn't say to adoptive parents, and I can't stop thinking about it.

Although I fervently agree with each of the items on his list, my personal struggle right now is about #3 and #6 of Dan's eleven topics...they have happened all.too.much. lately.

So today's post is to help you understand the stance from the Taylor-point-of-view.

I'll start with #3 ("Never ask where his real dad [or mom] is".).

For those of you that may not know, I am adopted and was reunited with my birth mother, Lori in March 2009.  I have had so many questions asked by others about our relationship since then (which I am totally okay with).  But the one question that continually stops me dead in my tracks is when they say, "...So what is your real mom like?"

Um, my real mom is wicked awesomeHer given name is Kathy, but I like to call her Mom.  She raised me, and I am the person I am today because of her.
Thank you.

I try as often as I can to educate others without making them feel stupid, so I rephrase their question(s) back to them: "You mean my birth mom? She's awesome.", or "Oh, Nathan's [or Eli's] birth mom is awesome.  We have an open adoption with Mandi [or Amber]."

Sometimes people still don't get it, so I have to rephrase a few questions for them until they catch on, which is okay if they recognize the difference at some point.
Birth mom or Birth dad is sufficient (for our family anyway), or you could call them by their given name.

Now for #6 ("It's like he's your real son".).

This comment is 99.9% of the time about Eli's resemblance to either myself or my husband, or both.  I recognize that this is meant as a compliment, and in some ways, I guess it could be.  I am adopted, and often wondered where I got my features and quirks.  I wished that I could have somebody that I looked like. But  I do know that looks do.not.matter.  Just look at my family...five siblings from three different ethnicities (somebody help me on the spelling here, it doesn't work in spell-check!).I look nothing like my brothers or sisters, but they are still my siblings. 

I also have two sons. 
They look nothing alike.
At. All. 
Oh wait, they're both human, so I guess they have some resemblance. :)

But every time I have heard this comment, "Oh my goodness! He (Eli) could be yours!"  I always instantly look at Nathan and wonder what he must think.  Did he hear that comment (he seems to hear everything lately...)?  Does he think that he is not ours also because of the way he does or doesn't look? Perhaps not right now, but will that sort of comment 'hurt' later on?

Sadly, adoption is all-too political, and  I don't want to get into politics. 
I try to avoid it at all costs.

But I want to protect my kids.
My kids.
Our kids.
Our kids that we are real parents to.

Thanks for reading. :)

Love to you all.


p.s.  To anyone who felt this was aimed specifically at you? It wasn't.  Just a general blanket statement.


Chelsea said...

Thanks Amanda. I'm not sure why exactly it is that so many people are obsessed with who babies/children look like. Even with my kids that I have given birth to I find it odd that people are always saying they look just like either me or Caleb. They don't - I mean there are resemblances, obviously, but they have their own looks.

The one I get the most with Alex is, "Where did you get him from?" (I guess because he's black so they wonder if he was born overseas or not?) This bugs me because it sounds like they are asking where I bought him or something. I usually just rephrase like you do: "Do you mean where was he born? He was born in Texas." I don't get as many stupid questions and comments as I did when he was a baby, but it is scarier now than it was then because now I have to worry about how Alex will internalize the comments.

Thanks for sharing - I enjoyed reading Dan's article. Hearing someone swear about it makes me smile for some reason - I think it helps me relieve my frustration with peoples' ignorance.

Holly said...

Loved this post. I too read Dan's post, it was awesome! :)

Nicole said...

I read that same blog post yesterday and I couldn't stop thinking about it either. Loved reading your perspective.

Shalee said...

Love this. Have experienced so much like it on our journey. So nice to know I am not the only one who gets worn down with it all.