Friday, November 5, 2010

Adoption Resolutions

November is National Adoption Month. This month there will be abundance of blog posts about adoption facts, and etiquette, what not to say to adoptive parents. Happens every year, all this readily available education and yet, people are still dumb. They are ignorant and rude. They care only about satisfying their own curiosity on how my family came to be. I'm thankful that my children are still too small to understand, but I know that in a matter of years I'll not only be talking with my children about their adoption story, but about how the stupidity of others impacts them. Not only will there be questions about how they are adopted, how they are black with white parents and where they are from, but there will be the all important questions about their "real" Mom and Dad (or just Mom and Dad, but not referring to Mike and I), the questions about how much they cost, why their "Mom" gave them away, and if/when she is able to come back and take them from us. Yes, people are dumb. I've found too many people to talk first and think much, much later, if at all about the feelings of the children and people involved in the personal questions they ask. So this November, I invite adoptive parents everywhere to make their Adoption Resolutions. Here are mine:

My sons are brothers. (Period)
My sons are MY sons. I am right here, I have not given them away. I don't need to come back because I'm already here. (Period, I will not engage these people to teach them proper adoption language.)
I am real. My husband Mike? Also real.
I did not pay for my children. Paying for children is illegal.
My children are black and I am white. This happened because God makes people who are all different colors, not just one color.

Finally and most important, I WILL say calmly and sanely: "I do not discuss the details of my children's adoption with anyone but our close family. There is a lot of adoption information on-line if you are interested in researching adoption."

Lastly, these answers are OK. They do not mean I am not proud of my sons, or their adoption and their story. They do not mean that I hide from the truth. They mean I have respect for my family, our story and how we share it. They mean that I can acknowledge that it is not *MY* job to educate everyone. My only job is my children. They will come first. Until they tell me otherwise, I will respect their privacy and that includes their story. It is not mine. It is theirs.


Robin said...

Nice post, Amy. I need to stop being so nice and engaging to people when they ask questions. So far it's really only been parents at the school I teach at and I tell them way too much. I know it's none of their business so I don't know why I do it. I talk too much period - on ALL topics so I know that has a lot to do with it, but still, it is my kids' story, not mine, and really none of anyone else's business.

Callahan Crew said...

I talk to much too Robin :) That said, I think it's each families choice who knows what about their family. Some families are more open about it, and it works out OK for them. I've just found that even when things start out okay (with the "They are so cute!" comments) it eventually turns toward probing personal questions. Once I'm "in" the discussion, it feels silly to tell them we don't discuss the details of the adoption, when I was standing there telling them all about it. So I just decided no more details to people I don't know. They can find out everything they need to know and more on-line. If they want information, they can find it there, they don't NEED the specific details about my family.