Sunday, February 20, 2011

People Say...

the most ridiculous things! I really can't believe some of the things people feel the need to share with me! I mean, really?
I was at a party for a friend (where I knew only the friend and not the others) and she shared with the group about my upcoming homecoming with E. - she is excited for me and would be horrified to know of some of the things others felt the need to say.

I would liken my experience to a mom who is very close to giving birth, whom many feel the need to share horrifying birth experiences with. Again, really? Does a pregnant woman really want to hear about 30 hour labor experiences? Not!

Several women shared adoption horror stories with me....."I knew a woman who described her first year home with her adopted child as the year from hell" Really? You think it's a good idea to share that story with me?
"How much do you know about her family? You know there is a lot of alcoholism in Russia?" Really? Somehow, you think that's something I would want to discuss now?

Here were some of the thoughtless comments to me...
"So, do you know much about her "real mom"? I actually consider myself as her "real Mom"
"What is her name?" When I would answer - "No, I mean what was her real name?"
"Why didn't you adopt domestically" Kind of like asking - why didn't you buy American? There is such a tone of judgment that goes along with a questions like this. Or maybe, I just assume there is criticism behind a questions like this. You know, adoption is NOT an act of patriotism and adopting internationally doesn't mean I have a lack of patriotism, people!

ARGH! People say the most thoughtless things....I tried to be patient and kind in my responses, but I had to vent - hope you all don't mind! I need to work on my response to all of the questions about E's birth mom - I really feel like that is her story to tell - or not tell. Maybe that's my response...


  1. Yes, these are sadly typical comments. Sorry that people felt like hammering you with them! I have found it useful to have answers prepared in advance. Each family can choose how much personal detail to talk about, or not. I've heard many int'l. adoptive parents say some variant of "because that's where my daughter was" as well as "it's her story to tell when she gets older." I try to stay calm and realize that most people are very uneducated about adoption.

  2. Yes, amazing isn't it. I don't get the "where is the real mom" one much anymore, now that my son's been home 5 years. On the question of "why international" I usually respond with something like "a child needs a home... and I have love to give... and where you were born should not be a qualification for whether you get love or not". It usually ends the discussion.

    Kathy W

  3. It really is crazy what some people say or ask sometimes. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and think that most people don't know much about international adoption and the don't mean to be thoughtless but..sometimes you can tell they are judgemental or sometimes you just get sick of the stupid comments. If I want to give a short answer to the Why Russia question I just say "Because that is where my daughter was". AS far as the questions about her birthmom, I usually just say "They don't give you very much information" and let people think what they want. There are very few people who know anything about Hannah's life before me--I consider that Hannah's information and I only share it on a need to know basis.