Sunday, April 17, 2011

I know she meant well BUT...

So on Saturday while I was waiting in line at the post office a sweet older woman behind me in line decided to strike up a conversation with me. She began talking about her family and how she wanted to take her adult daughter to Italy to see her brother. She kept on talking about her children (all grown) and then she smiled at me, and said..."You're a mom arent' you?" then before I could answer her she smiled at me, touched my arm and said. "Yes. I can tell. You look like a mom."

It was not the first time I had been asked if I was a mom or had kids, but it was the first time that somebody told me they could tell I was mom. And, you know what, I feel like I truly AM a mom already, and hearing it felt really good.

Her comment made me so excited and I went on to tell her about Randy and I's process of adopting a child from Russia. While she continued to smile at me, I saw that her expression had changed a bit. I could see it in her eyes...and then, she said to me, "Oh, honey. You need to be REALLY careful. Your child could have problems..." And that was the end of our nice moment, and my feelings of warm & fuzziness. I just smiled, nodded, and that was the end of my conversation with her. And unfortunately, for the moment my feelings of joy and excitment.

She had been a very friendly, sweet, woman and I know she meant well, but in just a sentence she made me feel like now, all of a sudden, I was less of a mom.. or no, worse, my child was somehow less worthy as if I had a biological one. : (  So, I had nothing more to say to this woman. What I wanted to say to her was.. "Well, my child's problem is that right now he/she is alone and living in a baby home halfway across the world!!!!." Or to say, "Well, I expect that my child is going to have some problems.. it's called, Um. Life?!!!" I don't know any child that grows up and goes through their life problem-free?

As I stood there, I began to really think about what she meant by this and I knew that she meant that my child would somehow be damaged by being an orphan. I know there are developmental delays, possible attachement disorders and malnutrition that may come with my child.. yet I truly believe once these children are in a loving home with the attention and love and care they need, they will thrive! Besides, we all know plenty of families that DID NOT adopt their children internationally... and still have things they are dealing with. Truth is when you decide to become a parent, whichever path you take to get there, you never REALLY know what is coming do you???

 I could have turned around and told her about my friend who's biological child has a rare genetic disease that causes him to spend more time in the hospital than he is at home. Or, about all the students I have had in my first grade class over the years! The ones who have to take medicine every day for their diabities, asthma, and ADHD??! Or, the ones that are allergic to pretty much every food imaginable, and let's not forget all the kids that have been diagnosed with some form of Autism, or have learning disabilities? These children were born and raised by their biological families, yet still had problems. The truth is, you never really know what's going to happen with your children do you? My parents had two biological kids. My younger brother and me. I was the picture of health and had no academic issues. Drew was diagnosed at age six with Dyslexia and then at 25 with Leukemia. Here I am living my life, about to start a family, and he passed away from his illness at 27 years old. So do you ever really know?  There is no such thing as problem-free. Especially when it comes to kids. All you can do is love them with all your heart and hope that they have a happy healthy life.

I know there are people out there, and even people who really care about us and love us that are not going to consider our child.. Truly ours. I mean, I have had SO many people say to me that maybe after we get our baby from Russia, we'll get pregnant and get to have our "own" child. Or they tell me about this one or that one that got pregnant and had two or three kids after they adopted. Then, there is the "well, maybe after you have this one, you guys will consider trying  again for your own?" Ugh!! We are going through hell and high water to get our child home with us, and they are talking to us about trying to have a child biologically after he/she is home!!!! Hello!!!

Although I smile and keep my mouth shut, I really just want to dope slap them and say, "So, what you are saying is that this child is not going to be ours??!!" Or "Wow! How about you be happy for us that we are becoming parents and be excited about THIS child!!! Yet, they are already talking about how we should try to get pregnant again after the baby is home?!! It blows my mind that people would or could think that I or Randy would love this child any less because it didn't come from inside me or because we didn't "make it".

Seriously? I don't understand that way of thinking at all!!! This child that is coming into our lives, is a true blessing! He/she is NOT a replacement for the pregnancies we "lost" OR  a "stand-in" until we can have one biologically! That is NOT our plan. Our plan is to have a family, to be parents, to love our children and we don't care how they come to us. We will love and cherish them with all our hearts. We both truly believe that THIS is the path we were meant to take to parenthood, and not just this one time! We don't plan to "try again" once we have our child home. When we are ready to have another child, and financially can afford to do it, we will be adopting again!!! It actually hurts me to think that people feel that if I am not carrying a child for 9 months or if our baby does not have our DNA that we will somehow be less of a family? Or worse, that somehow adopting a child doesn't count?!!! Yet, I know I need to let it go. Not everyone is meant to do what we are doing I guess, and not everyone gets our decision, and I guess they don't have too. This is what we want to do, this is how we are meant to become parents!


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  2. SHE is the one with the problem!!!!! It's called "close-minded-disease"!!!! Don't let her or any others bother you! As you said....ANY child may have a "problem" whether they are adopted or biological. And if they aren't born biologically with a "problem" or develop a "problem" as a result of being an orphan they will certainly endure the problems of life and (hopefully) overcome those problems all the while made possible with loving parents like you!!!!

    I have always hated when people act like adoption or our son are a "back-up plan" for the pregnancies/children we could never have. He, and the others that we hope we are blessed with, are NOT a back-up plan.....they ARE the plan!!! A plan we would never want to change!!!

    Hold your head high, be proud, where that smile, and let that warm and fuzzy feeling continue!!!!!!

  3. Totally agree with Heather above! I know where you're coming from...I've had to bite my tongue so many times!

  4. And that should be WEAR that smile!!!! (I was mildly distracted by a certain little somebody and his Matchbox cars as I was writing that!!!)

  5. We dealt with the same type of moronic comments during the entire length of our adoption process (and are still dealing with them). So many people just don't get it, and never really will. Just ignore those fools. YOU get it, and that is all that matters. You are indeed parents, and soon you will be with your child and you will be together, as a family! Could there be anything better in life?

  6. Thanks everyone!! I was sort of venting earlier, but it's really nice when someone gets it! I know you guys have all been there too, so I truly appreciate your comments! : )

    Heather, that's the teacher in you!! Ha! Honestly, I wouldn't have even noticed. : )

  7. Just keep in mind that most people have not been down the journey that you and your husband are taking. Most people are not educated about these issues and speak only from their limited experience. I have biological children and we chose to adopt. I feel thankful for having discovered the path of international adoption. I want my life to be different from every other person on my block. I love children and I love the idea of bringing another child into our home. I don't care where a child comes from when they are with you they are yours!

  8. Just to say a small Hi, and I will follow your blog each week... Thanks to share your story with us.

    We are in moscow city too. Our dossier is supposed to be registered this week :):):)
    We also write a blog but in french :( (
    I notice Family Belanger... it seem french, do you?

    So I'm very happy to read that moscow is faster as we think it will be. :):)

    So, I hope you a faster process!!!

  9. We too have heard many comments that were not thought out well before speaking. Our little girl is a precious gift and we truly believe she was meant to be part of our family and we just had to take a different path to add her. The member of our family that was the most skeptical about our adoption happens to have his deceased (much loved) mother's birthday on the same day as our Josie's birthday. Seems a little ironic! This is just one of a long list of "God Winks" that truly makes us believe that God planned for Josie to be our daughter. This lady at the post office does not appreciate the gift of adoption but obviously you do. Every child is a gift from God and he alone knows the paths they will take. Until I meet our maker I will never truely know why our little sweetie had to spend 16 months in an orphanage instead of our arms but I have a few ideas. I think that we have always been compassionate people but seeing a Grandma bring in her little bundle and have to leave him left a place in my heart that will never go away. It changed the way I think. When a person makes a rude comment(which are much rarer now that she is here and they see how wonderful she is) I just let the rude person know that we truly feel that God led us to our daughter and they usually quiet right down. How can one argue with God's plan? I hope your wait will not be long. Ours was 3 weeks and 1 day after our paperwork left our house until referral. It is amazing to think that your child is out there and waiting for you. Good luck on your journey.