The reason I chose this picture....
because Andrea is usually the person I go to when someone has offended me, because she can relate... and she is always SO supportive. Everytime.
I'm going to try really hard to
1- not be offensive
2- get my point across
with this post.
For the last couple of weeks I have been thinking about making a list of things not to say to a birth mother.
I'm at least going to try to make it a list.
For the most part I have the most amazing people in my life.
The most amazing supporters.
95% of the people I come across and interact with each day know exactly what to say to me when we talk about adoption.
They are GREAT and always make me feel so good about myself! (lol)
But of course,
there are always those few people that say some offensive things or that don't think before they speak.
I'm not one that is super sensitive about the things people say.
most of the time,
people say something that might be offensive and then back track or try to fix it because they think I was offended. Most of the time, I'm not. At all.
there are times that I am.
There are times where I just have to smile and nod and hold back the tears while I'm talking to them. (then when I go home I cry and write an angry blog post about how I can't believe someone would say that to me...but then I don't publish it and usually erase it after a couple of days when I've cooled off!)
this post is just simply to educate the few that MAY sometimes say things that they don't think about before saying or just simply for the people that don't know what COULD be offensive.
(I will probably be adding to this list every now and then when someone says something to me that is shockingly insensitive :)...and a link to this post will be put on the my sidebar)
Okay here we go,
Remember, this is what NOT to do/say.
1. Don't say things like: "Why didn't/don't you just give me the baby? Obviously you don't want 'it'"
There is little that someone could say to me that would offend me more than this statement. The funniest part about this, is that the first girl that said this to me was 18 years old and still senior in high school at the time. I was so angry with her that I let her know how much she offended me and was quite blunt. Usually I don't tell someone when I've been offended by them... She hasnt' talked to me since.
2. Don't say "Well I had my child out of wedlock and parented as a single parent...and they turned out just fine."
in other words you might as well say, "I can't belive you placed your child for adoption in a home with BOTH parents. That was seriously the wrong decision and I have less respect for you because of it." If you do not agree with my decision to place, either ASK QUESTIONS about why I placed...nicely...instead of being downright rude, or keep your opinions to yourself. If you ask me questions, I will be more than happy to honestly answer. I want more than anything to educate those people that are not aware of the miracle of adoption on THE MIRACLE OF ADOPTION.
Anyone that knows the truth about adoption, can't have negative feelings towards it. I don't see how that is possible. However, there is opposition in all things so I guess you never know.
3. don't say: "I can't believe you gave your baby away"
First off, I didn't 'give Avery away' I placed her for adoption. There is a difference. A huge difference. and Second, giving something away means giving it to someone that you (most likely) don't know and never wanting anything to do with it again. That's not the case. I knew Dustin and Andrea well before I placed Avery into their arms, to be adopted by them, so that she could have a family to be sealed to and two parents in the same home that love each other. AND I definitely want A LOT to do with Avery. That is why this is an open adoption. I love her more than anything and I always ALWAYS want to know how she is doing.
4. If you are married, pregnant and parenting this baby, do NOT complain to a birthmother OR an infertile couple, about your pregnancy.
Don't complain about how long you have to wait or how uncomfortable you are because I can GUARANTEE that when you DO complain to these people, you are causing much grief emotionally on their end. When I was pregnant, I complained about how long it was taking because I knew I wasn't getting anything in the end except more pain and heartache. I want more than anything to be able to create my own child and carry him/her for nine months and THEN parent him/her after he/she is born. It's hard to explain, but it's very hard to hear an expectant mother complain to me about how miserable she is. I just want to strangle her when she does and I'm sure infertile mothers feels the same way. I just want to say to her "At least this is YOUR child and you're not going to be dealing with incredible emotional pain after she is born."
5. Don't complain about being a mother
I'm sure this goes for adoptive parents too. I know that when the time is right for me to have my own kids, I will be so eternally grateful that I can be their mother. I will cherish every moment with them. So don't complain to me about how hard motherhood is. It's harder to give birth to your child and then willingly relinquish your rights as a mother. Until you have done that, don't complain.
6. Don't say "There are people out there who have it worse than you"
Frankly, this shouldn't be said about ANY trial a person is going through regardless of what it is. Saying that does NOT make the pain any easier. Saying that to someone is completely belittling their trial and that is SO wrong to do. I'm sure the person going through it doesn't think they have it worse than everyone else in this world, I know I don't. But it still hurts. Belittling it does not make them feel any better in fact for me, it makes me feel worse.
7. Don't treat someone placing their child for adoption as 'not that big of a deal'
I heard a story the other day. A good friend of mine had just BARELY placed and she was showing her coworkers pictures of her. One of them walked up to her and said "Cute baby, too bad you gave her away." and then walked away. WOW. That's SOO insensitive. Apparantly this person has NO idea what she had just gone through.
That's all for now.
I am sure I will add more later.
Please don't feel like you're walking on pins and needle's when talking to me about adoption though.
I LOVE talking about it and most of the things said don't upset me.
These things are quite obvious, but you would be suprised by some of the things I hear.
I really hope that nothing I said has offended anyone because that is the last thing I am trying to do. I am just hoping to give some insight on some of the things that I have had a very hard time not taking offense to.
(Birthmoms and Adoptive Families, Please feel free to add to this list by leaving a comment!)