Our family of four isn’t what you would consider the “typical” family; my husband & I were beyond blessed to welcome our son & daughter into our family through adoption. Although the journey was worth every second, some days are harder when people around us (including family) do not “love” our children well.
Our favorite verse throughout our adoption journey was… Matthew 18:5, “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” Each of us is “adopted” by Jesus Christ. When going through adoption training classes we heard time and time again, “Using positive adoption language means choosing words that show respect to birth parents, adoptive parents and adopted children. It supports that adoption is a valid way to form a family, just as birth is.”
We have heard a gamut of negative comments centered around our adoption. Instead of merely brushing them off or getting angry, my husband and I have decided that educating these individuals demonstrates our love of adoption and our family! Some simple phrases that have been said to our family are… “Where’s their real mom?” “Why did their mom give them up?” These comments hurt me to the core. Although they may not seem disrespectful to everyone, to an adoptive parent and an adoptive child they can seem harsh and very hurtful.
Our responses to these questions have always been that our son and/or daughter’s Birthmother loves them very much. She loves them so much that that she chose adoption for her child to give her child the opportunities and love they may not have gotten otherwise. We never want to disrespect our child’s Birthmother and/or Birth Family so therefore we always tell our children that their Birthmother loves them very much. My husband & I have never kept our children’s adoption a secret, they both know they are adopted.However, at some point in their lives, those “simple phrases” may become very hurtful to them. We never want our adopted children to feel any different than any other kid. It would be like their Grandparents saying, “Meet so and so my adopted Grandchild.” This would give our child the idea that they are different than any other Grandchild and possibly leave them feeling unwanted or unimportant.
We, as adoptive parents, always want to keep our children protected from harm and hurtful words, however we know that this world does not always make this easy. If each time an individual makes these comments to us we address them in a tactful, loving and Christian-like manner, we are doing all that we can do for our children. I continue to pray that as my children grow that they will find compassion and a willingness to “love each other well” and share their amazing adoption stories with the world.