Monday, March 14, 2011

wow....just wow

I am not sure how to explain the last few days. as we are sharing the news with friends and family, the response has been anywhere from supportive to lukewarm to just plain hurtful. Years earlier,when we announced our pregnancies to the same people, the response was of overwhelming support. Of course I was subjected to the mandatory advice on breastfeeding, best baby products, pacifier use, sleeping arrangements, diaper rash creams etc. but not one person questioned our "state of mind" or ability to parent in general.

Adoption OTOH, brings out the funniest, dumbest, scariest and even most racist comments that people will come up with and feel necessary to share with us. These people seem to know the one person who experienced the most horrible adoption and thus no one should consider adopting the 140+ million orphans in the world. I am so glad for the excited, happy, supportive people in our lives, but even one "zinger" cuts this Momma's heart deeply at this point. It is always presented in the form of "concern" for our existing children, or us as parents. A baby adoption might be more comfortable for OTHER people, but we feel strongly about our ability to parent a toddler and a school aged child from a hard place. We are continually reading, learning from others in our position and we know that we may need additional resources to parent.

I have figured out that for some people adoption makes them think about the "hard stuff" of adoption like why children become orphans in the first place and it is easier just not think about it. For others, they need to deal with their feelings on racism, or if I as a white mother know how to parent an African child. How dare I ruin their blissful ignorance by doing something out of the box that they would not consider for themselves?

I have yet to find the perfect answer for all these comments (and I should say they a few compared to the outpouring of love) but I will try to find ways to be graceful and wipe the stunned look off my face:)

<3 jenni


  1. I am sorry you had negative reactions. We had family disown us simply because we are adopting from Africa.

    Congrats on adopting though! We have just began the process as well!!

  2. This post so perfectly summarizes my experience as well. I'm sorry you too are going through it.
    For me, the most off-colored, hurtful remarks have all been from my immediate family (parents, sister, etc). Just last week, having our children's photos directly in front of her, my mother said "is it really worth it?" When I replied "ABSOLUTELY!" she came back with a snide "well I'm not getting into it".
    Thankful for my faith and our little Ghana adoption community to get me through! I'll always be here cheering you on!!! :)