Posts like these are hard because I don't want to sound self-righteous and critical. I really don't. However, I typically go under the assumption that people want to learn. Hopefully I'm right. These are just a few things I hear often, that maybe you should think about before saying.
- They are so lucky to have you. The reality is, they're not. The lucky thing would have been mom beating addiction, and dad beating systematic poverty. Let's don't even unpack the fact that I did nothing to deserve being born into a middle/upper class Caucasian family and my husband the same. We started our very existence with everything in our favor. Perhaps focus on the fact that it stinks their life began this way, but praise God they didn't fall through the cracks.
- Think before you share facebook posts advertising a couple looking for a baby. This is not a puppy they are looking for. It's an actual child. I am not anti-adoption and I wish every mom would choose adoption before abortion. However, these children will grow up and be able to read one day. Just knowing that someone was searching out a mom who either couldn't parent, or chose not to, might be a little hard to take one day. Not to mention, do they know the stats of couples waiting to adopt a healthy newborn baby? I am not going to make one up, but I do know this....there are WAY more couples than babies. This is why we don't see cute flyers for couples wanting to adopt teenagers. They aren't necessary.
- This falls into personal choice category. It just seems like this should be a private matter shared between friends and family (for the child's sake).
- Recognize the difference in a mom who chose not to parent and a mom who didn't have the choice. I have 3 kids living in my home whose mom(s) would have loved to parent. Of course her own choices played a role in that. However, I've never been in a position where I had to decide between my child's health and eating dinner. Or, taking off for appointments and losing a job. Or, being addicted to drugs. Or, not having family to help, etc. etc.
- This was God's plan. Now, this is where I struggle. Of course I can look back and see where God was at work in everything. However, I have a hard time thinking God's plan was for one mom to lose her rights so another mom could gain them. In fact, I would argue this is where Satan loves the family....broken. God's ultimate plan would've been for redemption within the original family unit. And for sin to have never entered the world.
- Were they a drug baby? This is just rude honestly. Unless you know the adoptive parent well enough that you guys text, call, or talk often....you shouldn't ask this.
- My aunt's, cousin's, husband's, wife adopted and that child grew up so ungrateful and moved away the second she turned 18. She went right back to her biological mom. Can you believe it? Yes. Yes, I can. All of my kids are ungrateful (because they are kids), and the need to find biological ties is strong. Why in the world do you think 23andMe and Ancestry.com is so popular? We are fine with it as long as we are not adopted I suppose??
- You guys are saints. This elevates everything to a level that is awkward and uncomfortable. Honestly, when people say this to me I think of it as a cop out. It's easier to distance yourself if you elevate people to saint status. It's the same reason we are so shocked when pastors have affairs, corporate leaders go bankrupt, or the church in general isn't perfect. We want to elevate others to make us feel better.
Recently some friends asked me about FAS at lunch and they worried they were prying.....but I loved it! You know the difference? They had earned the right to drill me. Why? Because they love me, my kids, and my family. Nothing is off limits with them.
For some reason though, we think questions about adopted kids are fair game even if we just met. It's almost like we can't help ourselves? We see a big family....we need to comment, we see a racially diverse family....we start speculating.......we see a toddler with a bottle.....we make sure they know their teeth will rot. We are just full of advice! Myself included.
Wouldn't it be great if we could change the adoptive narrative? What if we quit viewing kids who were separated from parents, exposed to drugs, abused, neglected, etc. as "lucky" and just acknowledge that none of this is what God intended. There will never be a perfect solution in adoption. There will only be the best of a broken situation. Much like our own lives. We are all broken and lost without Christ. I am no one's Savior or a saint, but hopefully I can point my kids to the One who is.