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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

She Said What?!?!? And What Should I Have Said???

While discussing "the a word" with a group of friends a few weeks ago, another mother was listening in on our conversation from across the room.  Four of the five ladies in the group were adoptive mothers--international, domestic, and foster care adoptions were all represented.  We were puzzling over why someone might take the stance of "adopted" being a negative label for her children.  Suddenly, the listener addressed me with the following comment...

I just don't get why you or anyone else would go pay all that money to adopt a baby from another country when there are all those free black babies right here.  I mean, you were already adopting outside of your race any way.  So why not get one of the free black babies that are already here?

And I guess, just to make sure I heard her, she repeated herself.

Talk about a conversation stopper!

I think I must have looked like a goldfish...
eyes bulging out,
mouth opening and closing,
no words coming out.
Speechless.
Stunned.
Flabbergasted.

But, she didn't really want an answer.  That became quickly and abundantly clear.  Her one-sided tirade continued for a while, with no chance to get a word in edgewise.   The other moms bent busily back over the quilt they were working on and I returned to filing and organizing some student work.

It's been almost a month since that comment, but it still floors me when I think about it.

First of all, there's no such thing as "free"--there are homestudy fees, fingerprint fees, background check fees, attorney fees, court costs, agency fees...the list goes one.  I'm sure I left something out.

Second of all, do you even know my child???  She may not have been born from my body, but she couldn't be more like me than I already am.  It's spooky sometimes.  I know that I was drawn to Guatemala for a reason, and that was because my daughter was there.  Period.

I still don't know what I should have said, even if I had been able to think of it "in the moment."  I don't think it would have mattered what I said.  Her mind was made up, although in a sadly misguided way.

What would you have said if you were me?

4 comments:

HokieNCLT said...

As one of the moms there that night, I am still stunned. It never fails to amaze me how people feel they must share their opinions with others. As I drove to pick up W I did not care about her gender or race. I was ready to start my forever family. However any of us choose to start our families is our own business! Consider the source. Look at her children's behavior. I know conpaired to that we did something right!

sandra church said...

I hate comments like that - I get them every once in a while. My answer depends on the situation, and, to be honest, my mood. Most of the time I say just what you wrote - I went to China because that is where my daughter was. If it is someone I think might be receptive, I explained that God called me to adopt a baby from China years ago during my time there. And if it hits me wrong, I'll admit I'm not quite so nice about it as I should be - saying "I went to China because that's where my daughter was, but you are right, there are many babies in America who need adopted, and I'm sure DSS would be happy to talk with you about adopting one".........so wrong of me, but sometimes I can't help it......

Malinda said...

That is a rough one but I think you do follow the call to where your child is, no matter where, or how, or when or for that matter what it costs, emotionally, physically, financially - who picks out a kid for the price? Very weird comment. And G is so you, so much yours. Yeah maybe she was born somewhere else, but she is your daughter. Love to you both, and to Screamer!

Marti said...

I like Sandra Churches answer! Some people just have issues they haven't dealt with. I would have just simply said, "I am sorry you feel that way." and turned around and continued what I was doing.(That probably would have ticked her off.) Stop thinking about it. Those are her feeling and she needs to own them, not you. Gloria is a wonderful child, and you did a wonderful thing by adopting her.

I just don't get people sometimes. And how is it any of her business anyway?