I am the first person to admit... I have NO filter. Though my filter has improved with old age and life experience, it still isn't great. My lack of filter is probably both a blessing and curse in my currently life situation. And by current life situation, I mean.... the Biscuit. I am raising a child that is the trifecta of the cause of STUPID comments made by the general public. He has very complex medical needs, he is adopted, and he has some behavioral issues. People of the internet, please, PLEASE... don't be that person that makes me want to bite through my tongue in an attempt not to fly off of the handle. PLEASE... In an attempt to make you feel more "at ease" in your comments, I will throw you a bone. Here is a Top Ten list of things that I have heard with my own ears about my little person. For the record, for some reason, I have heard every single one of these in the grocery store line at least one time. I don't get it, but it is true.
This post will be a 3 part post...the first addressing his ADOPTION:
TOP 10 LIST OF THINGS NOT TO SAY TO ME (OR MY KIDS) ABOUT MY CHILD'S ADOPTION.... and what I am really thinking about your comment. Regardless of whether or not I actually say it.
10. What is his "story."
While I admit that I am MUCH more forthcoming with Biscuit's adoption story than many adoptive parents, it isn't a question you should ask. If I mention it and you have follow up questions. Ask them, but do not be shocked if I don't tell you. As he grows older and becomes more aware of what is going on around him, I will likely stop talking about it all together.
9. Do you worry that his "Real" Parents will come back and take him???
First off, I am his not worried that his "Real" parents will come and take him, because I am his REAL parent. His father is his other REAL parent. Thus, giving you "real parents" two of them. The word that you are looking for is BIOLOGICAL. Secondly, are you worried that your child will be kidnapped one day?? Heck yeah, I worry. I worry a lot. Legally they don't have a leg to stand on, but it is a heck of a lot easier to get a child illegally than it is legally. Now, please excuse me while I Facebook stalk and take my ulcer medication...
8. Do you love him as much as Bit???
Again, have you lost your mind? Do you love your two children differently?? Honestly, I love my children, BOTH of them, with every fiber of my being. EVERY SINGLE FIBER!! I would die for them and use by last breath to remind them that I love them more than anything. Bit is an easier child to raise, don't get me wrong, but I have nearly lost Biscuit way more times. You don't know how much you really love someone until you are fearful that you will never hold them again. So, the simple answer to this is... EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I love them equally.
7. I could never adopt, it is just too hard.
Good for you. I didn't ask you to, but since you brought up the difficulty of adoption let me tell you a few things. Adoption is HARD!! Really hard. So is LABOR. Labor = Work. They don't call it fun. I have done both. I almost DIED growing Bit. Neither of them were a picnic. If you don't want to do it, don't. But you don't have to tell me how hard I worked. I know, I was there.
6. How come you didn't just HAVE a child???
This one is the "grocery store" conversation. When I used to have Bit with me at the grocery store, it seemed that this question came up more than once at the grocery store. The short answer- THAT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!! You don't criticize people when they choose to get pregnant and give birth, why would you criticize for adopting a child???I would almost giggle if I saw someone looking a woman with her band new newborn saying, "Why didn't you adopt." You wouldn't make it 3 seconds past her post partum hormones. Next, think about what you are saying IN FRONT of my son. You are making him feel like he has no self worth because I could have just "made my own."
5. Is he yours??? Pointing at Bit after they find out that Biscuit is adopted.
Ummmmm.... they are BOTH mine. In fact, I have a court order to prove it. But, for real... this was the response I gave someone when they caught me on a particularly long day. "I am sorry, I don't understand your question. If you are asking if Biscuit caused stretch marks, they answer is yes. I gained more weight with him than I did his brother. If you are asking if Bit caused an episiotomy scar, the answer is yes. Thank you for being so curious about the history of my vagina. " I bet they don't ask that question again...
4. Where did he come from?
The answer is Nashville. But why do you care? I get this. With international adoption becoming more and more popular, I can see your curiosity. But, not every single adopted child came from another country. Please don't find out he is adopted, walk up to us and start SPOUTING countries like you are playing the "higher or lower" game on The Price is Right. Where was your child conceived?? Doesn't sound so cute does it?
3. He is so lucky to have you. You will have jewels in your crown in heaven. I would hate to know what would happen to him if you didn't "TAKE HIM IN."
I grouped these together, because they all make me crazy in their own right. Each and every one of them is someone's attempt to praise me, while insulting my son. First off, unless you know specific details of his story, you have no real right to assume he would be living a horrible life if I hadn't swooped in like some Fairy God Mother and "taken him in." Second, he isn't a stray cat that I brought in and fed because it was cold. He was a cognitive decision and Josh and I made to grow our family. You can NEVER accidently adopt a child. As someone has pointed out to me in number 7, it is just too hard. Just for the record, we are lucky to have him. He has taught us more and done more for us than we will ever do for him- that includes his 2 trips to Disney World. We didn't adopt him to be praised as saints. We did it because we felt this was the way we wanted to grow our family. I mean, I would love to go to heaven, but Josh and I weren't signing on the dotted line saying, "We have got a Golden Ticket!!!"
2. How much did he cost???
$19.99 they would have thrown in his twin, but we didn't want to pay the optional extra shipping and handling. Again, I know where you are going with this... adoption is known to be expensive. You are curious. But in the process, you are degrading my son's position in this family to nothing more than something you would purchase at the grocery store. Children are very literal. In addition, in this society, money is also very personal. I don't ask you how much you make a year and what your mortgage is each month.
1. Do you know his "REAL PARENTS??"
As I pointed out in number 9... WE ARE HIS REAL PARENTS. I just wanted to reiterated this one because it makes me SO FLAMING MAD. We clean up vomit, kiss boo boos, sit in PICU and cry over his sick body, and haven't slept in 4 years. Me and Josh... no one else. Please don't say this to ANY ADOPTIVE FAMILY... it is just pain rude. The answer is no, we don't know his biological parents. We didn't make some back alley deal to adopt him. It is true, some adoptions are open. This means that the families do keep in touch and know each other. But, if you are interested in knowing that, you need to be very close to the family and you need to ask if it is an open or closed adoption. I have met his biological father. Truth be told, he is a pretty likeable guy. Neither Josh nor I have ever met his mother, but we did have telephone interaction with her a few times during meetings.
If you have said and of this to someone, rest assured you aren't the first person and you won't be the last. And honestly, this may not bug everyone like it bugs me, but I have a pretty good idea that I am NOT in the minority here. It you have said it to me, I still love you. Unless, you are some person from the grocery store line. In fact, if you are in the grocery store line with someone, and adoption is mentioned, just smile, nod, and have no opinion. It seems that the tabloid magazines almost always make peoples IQ drop like 10 points.