Before Jayden arrived, we never really talked about adoption outside of our close friends and family and when we did the reactions were always positive. It was never a secret that we were waiting to adopt, but I didn’t feet the need to tell every Tom, Dick and Harry. I guess it’s just not something that comes up in conversation. Its only really been after Jayden’s placement that I have really been exposed to the honest reactions and opinions of others and I have found it to be quite interesting.
In the back of my mind, I know that people have all sorts of views when it comes to adoption, but I have always expected a positive response from people (yes I know it is very naive). I haven’t been hurt by these opinions……YET, and I try my best to educate others when they make misguided assumptions about adoption. The only time I feel that I may scratch your eyes out is if you insult my son directly. That is unacceptable.
The most ridiculous response I got from someone was, “oh, so is adoption popular these days?” Um, ja……my reaction, “no, it’s not! It’s a big decision that you get to when it is right for you.”
But the comments that have surprised me most are the ones directed at our BM. I have had……..
“Will she ever forgive herself for what she has done?”
“How can anyone do that?”
” I could never do that?”
Last week I was driving our nanny to the bus stop and as we drove past the Light House Baby Shelter I told her about the Moses basket they have there and how they look after abandoned children. She couldn’t understand it, and her solution to the problem was to either have an abortion or use protection so you don’t have an unwanted pregnancy in the first place. I tried to explain that sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan and you have no other option, but she could not understand how a person could ever get to that place. In her mind there is always support. Her friend’s daughter is thirty and has just given birth to her fifth child. She doesn’t use contraception and loves ‘sleeping around’. When she told me about the women she commented on how dirty and undisciplined these kids were, and so I used that scenario to try to explain how adoption may have been a better solution for the children and mother, but still she didn’t understand.
This reaction isn’t limited to a certain culture, and I actually find that people are really uneducated when it comes to adoption. I suppose that is par for the course if you haven’t been personally touched by the experience. It’s the same with infertility and depression. We never stop learning about life. The only time that I get really irritated is when someone isn’t open to learning something new.
The reactions and comments directed at a birth mother really highlight her immense braver and selflessness. If you ‘can’t imagine ever doing that’ it just confirms how dam difficult it must be. By making the comment people seem to imply that the BM doesn’t care, which is so far from the truth.
So, at the end of the day, my reaction to these comments is not to be offended, but to educate in the best way that I can. Saying nothing is the worst thing that I could do.