… as you all know JJ is our adopted son, and on his birthday I posted on my Facebook page a message dedicated to him. From all the posts that followed off this one, there was a message that was left. If you read it, you probably will wonder what I’m fussing about, but you see for me the term “these two people” directed at a message wishing our son a Happy Birthday just left a really bad taste! We’re not these two people .. we’re his parents! We are not his biological parents but we’re his parents by law! We’ve assumed this role 110% if not more! So to read a message like that was disappointing.
I am aware that it’s probably only the start of such .. and as he grows there may be more … some really horrible, while others may not be as harsh, but still feel like a knife being stabbed into you. Please choose your words carefully. If you don’t approve, rather keep quiet than saying something hurtful or inappropriate!!!
Here are some really cool tips or Adoption Etiquette as shared by Dan Pearce on his blog, just in case you have other friends that have adopted too and you may have these questions, or don’t know how to respond ….
- Never, ever, ever, ask how much a child costs. This includes the phrase, “how much did you pay for him?” First of all, it’s none of your business. Second of all, if you’re interested in adoption, research it through the appropriate channels. Speak with an adoption agency. Adoptive parents don’t purchase children. They simply pay legal fees and agency fees. Just like biological parents pay hospital and doctor bills. Don’t turn the child into nothing more than a commodity.
- Never ask if a celebrity inspired the adoption. Believe it or not, Tom Cruise, Connie Chung, and Angelina Jolie did not convince me one way or the other in the biggest decision of my life. Are you serious?
- Never ask “where is his real dad?” Forget the fact that it will hurt my feelings. How do you think it will affect my son’s feelings to feel like I’m not a real dad to him? Adoptive parents are real parents. The term you’re looking for is “birth mother” or “birth father”.
- Don’t say things like, “as soon as you adopt you’re going to get pregnant” when you find out somebody is adopting. First of all, there are usually many, many years of pain and financial burden strapped to infertility, treatments, and heartache. Do you really think that what you’re saying will help them? Secondly, while it is funny when it happens, it’s rare.
- Never say, “why did she give him away?” Do I really need to explain why this one would hurt a child? The proper term is “placed”. A birth mother and birth father place their child for adoption. And again, it’s personal and none of your business, so don’t ask if you aren’t my BFF.
- Don’t say, “it’s like he’s your real son”. This is similar to number three, but worthy of mentioning. He is my real son, damn it.
- Don’t say, “do you love him as if he was your own?” Ummm… probably more than you love your little terror, that’s for sure. And again… he is my own, damn it.
- Never say things like, “you’re so wonderful to adopt a child”. I am a parent. Just like anybody else with kids.
- Don’t start spewing your horrible adoption stories. “This one time, my friend’s sister’s aunt’s dog’s previous owner’s niece adopted a baby and the real dad came back and they took the baby away after they had him for two years.” First of all, it probably isn’t true. Second of all, how would you feel if I told you about all the ways you could lose your child. Adoption is permanent. And in the extremely rare circumstances that something like that happens, it’s not something you should spread because the hurt that exists for all the parties involved must be immeasurable.
- Don’t say things like, “is it hard for him to be adopted?” Well, it wasn’t, until you asked me that right in front of him.
- I don’t want to hear about your second cousin who was on a waiting list for twelve years and never got a baby.Granted, this one was much more annoying when we were going through the adoption process. Nobody wants to know that some people never get chosen. Show some kindness. Especially to those who you know might have a long wait ahead of them.
- Don’t say things like, “… bring joy to those two people …. “ we’re not those people .. you are those people… we’re his parents whether you approve or not.
Just putting it out there … love it… hate it …