...after all, this is my blog, so I guess I can write whatever I want - right?
I am going to say, before you read the rest of this, that some of it might be hard to read. I am not directing this toward anyone in particular - please understand that!! But after awhile of hearing some of the things you will read below, I need to try and help people understand.
Today, a lady who I know meant well, but is not informed, asked me, in front of my beloved children - "Which of your kids are real siblings?" I'm sorry, but did you just hear what you said?!?! They are all real siblings!! Did you mean to ask, "Which of your children have the same birth parents?", because that is a totally different question!
I know that many people don't know "adoption lingo". For those of us who have adopted, we have learned it, and unless we want to hide the fact that we are a family splendidly put together by God's loving hands, then the subject does come up. For myself, I often bring up adoption as a way to introduce the idea that foster adoption is a great way to build a family and that there are many, many wonderful children out there just waiting for their forever families.
I guess that I could do more to educate those who don't "know the lingo" and not just get crazy mad when people ask stupid questions. So here goes:
1) Please think about what you are asking before you say it. How is the adopted child going to feel, hearing the question that you want to ask? Would it be better to set up a time to talk to the adoptive parents to have your questions answered?
2) Also, do you want to ask questions because you really care, because you are interested in adoption for your family, or are you just being nosy? I know that sounds harsh, but how would you feel if someone came up to you and said "Was your daughter/son conceived before you were married?" or some other very personal question?
3) Please don't ask us any questions about our children's past. If we want you to know, we will tell you. There are many, many things that happen in adopted children's lives that are excruciatingly painful. I am sure that you have things in your life that are painful too. Again, how would you feel if you shared them with someone close to you, and then later, you came in and heard that close friend discussing your story with a stranger? Some things, I think you will agree, need to remain in confidence.
4) Don't ask who the "real" parents are, or ask where my kid's "real" mom is. You are looking at her!! I would say that the "real" parents are the ones who nurse the child through an illness, who laugh with them, cry with them... you get the picture. The "proper" way to ask that question is to say "Do you know where her birth mother is?" - but again, why are you asking that question? Please refer back to #'s 2 and 3.
5) Please don't talk bad about my kid's birth parents, especially in front of my kids. If you are anything like me, you have also made some really bad choices in your life. To God, sin is sin. Period. My kids birth parents loved their children - or they would have just sucked them down a sink before they were born. So don't go talking bad about the people who gave my children life, just because they could not make good choices for their children after they were born. My children love their birth parents, just as you love your birth parents, no matter how you were treated as a child.
I think that the bottom line here is to think before you speak. Think about what you are asking. Would you mind someone asking you such a personal question? Would there be a better time to have this discussion? If you were the child, would you want to hear these questions asked over your head, as if you were not standing right there?
I am more than happy to talk to any and every one about adoption and what a wonderful, amazing thing that it can be in your life. But please, be aware. For while it may seem that my kids are playing and not listening, trust me, they are listening.
Adoption is an awesome way to build a family! If you don't feel called to do it yourself (and believe me, don't try it if you are not called!!), then try and find a family that is, and see what you can do to help them out.
If you live nearby and want to get more involved, check out this link for Project 1.27: http://www.project127.com/ Their goal is to fulfill James 1:27 : "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." We are all commanded to look after the orphans, but not all are called to adopt. There are many ways that you can help adoptive and foster parents to do the job that God has called them to do. Project 1.27 can help you find a way. You can also watch this video to learn more about what they do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAORLg94x48
And thank you to all of you who have stepped up and helped us in our calling!! We love you and our children love you too!!!