Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things Never to Say to an Adoptive Parent

I saw a list on another blog written by an adoptive single dad. I thought I'd make my own list since, like him, I get so many stupid or very personal questions from people who should know it's none of their damn business. I have no problem talking to people who are polite and don't ask questions that any sane person would realize are offensive but damn! why are so many people so damn rude?

1. How much did she cost? We did not buy a child. We paid legal fees, agency fees, and government fees much like my insurance paid for all of the medical fees involved with giving birth to my son. Do not make my child feel like an object. Do not tell me the story about how your aunt's cousin's best friend's step brothers mother's niece was made to pay extra or any other horror stories. Ever play telephone - chances are the details you have are not totally accurate.

2. You're going to get pregnant now that you've adopted. If I do, I'm going to be asking the Yasmin manufacturers for my money back. I know this is shocking to some, but not everyone who adopts is trying to get pregnant. And, if the person has been dealing with infertility and treatments, do you really think you're helping her? Statistics show that the number of women who get pregnant after adopting when they had trouble doing so before is very, very small.

3. Can you get pregnant? Is that why you chose to adopt? Unless you are my spouse, that is SO not your business. Again, refer to #2 - not everyone who adopts wants to get pregnant.

4. Do you know who her real mom is? I am her real mom. You are referring to her birth mother and if you're not close enough to us to already know the answer, you have no business asking.

5. You're just like Angelina Jolie (or any other famous person who adopted). I don't tend to be influenced by celebrities for fashion or hair advice; I certainly did not look to them to see how we should grow our family.

6. She's so lucky. We are the lucky ones. We cannot imagine our lives without her.

7. Don't you want to have your own children? Jessica is my own child. The term you're looking for is biological and please refer to #2 of this list. (When Jason is present, I get "Didn't you want to have more of your own children?)

8. I could never give up my child. You have no way of knowing why the parent(s) were not able to raise their child. I imagine that it must have been a heartrending decision to make.

9. China doesn't like girls (or any other disparaging comment about an internationally adopted child's birthcountry). I want my child to be proud of her birthcountry and would appreciate people not making disparaging comments about it in front of her especially when they really don't have all the facts. Does that country have its problems? Of course it does just like every other country in this big wide world. I love the USA but honey if you think it doesn't have its own share of problems, you're living in a fantasyland.

9. I could never love a child I didn't give birth to. I'm sorry your heart is so small.

10. Why didn't you adopt from the US? We made the choice based on what was right for our family. If you're so interested in domestic adoption, I'd be happy to give you an agency's name and number to call.

11. I love this one - Are you going to tell her she's adopted? Considering we adopted transracially, this question is pretty inane when asked of us. However, if Jess were caucasian and it wasn't readily obvious that she was not our biological child, yes I would still tell her. I think keeping a secret like that is a horrible thing and will backfire badly at some point. I think the fact of being adopted should be addressed matter of factly early on and not saved for a BIG TALK when the parent feels the time is right. We read stories about all types of adoption (as well as different ways families are formed) and look at her scrapbook frequently.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Jess's first performance
Jess has been taking Chinese Dance for 3 weeks. Today there was a performance at the Oak St Fair in Chinatown. Jess had a blast! Getting her hair into the little buns we were told she needed was not an easy task. I was going to use gel but all we had was Jason's Axe and I didn't want my baby girl smelling like that! I did the best I could, bobbypinning as I made the buns and put about half a can of hairspray on her. When we got to the dance class, I bought the clips we needed. One of the other ladies put them in for her. The bobbypins made it hard to get the clips in but without the bobby pins, the buns would never have stayed. Jess loves her dance class and giggles a lot with the other girls. I talked to one of the moms for a while today while we were in line for a game at the fair after the dance. I'm getting better at understanding the moms' English. We're the only ones in the class who don't speak Chinese.

Jess in costume and makeup doing a dance pose.

Curious George came to the fair.

Jess's hair in buns with the flower clips.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jessica!!!!

Today my baby girl turned 5. I can't believe how fast time has flown by (cliche, I know). Last night we took my mom out to Friendly's to celebrate Jess's birthday. Unfortunately, my mom really can't handle the family parties anymore since she gets overwhelmed so we decided to take her out separately with the immediate family to keep it simple. Tonight, we met a friend and her daughter at Bugaboo Creek and went to dinner. Jess loves Bugaboo and kissing the moose. I try to block from my mind just how unsanitary that thing probably is because she does enjoy it so much. She got a piece of birthday cake and everyone sang to her. My friend, Cathy, gave Jess some really cool 3D sidewalk chalk. Things are a little tight right now for us with the extra daycare expense so I wrapped up some stuff that Jess needed and gave it to her for her birthday - feet pj's, new jeans, shoes for her Halloween costume. I also got her a pottery kit she's been asking for every time we go to Michaels and a stroller for her doll, Suki, that I said was from my mom. After we ate dinner, we went to the Children's Place and got an outfit for her to wear for her party Sunday. She wants an afternoon tea party. The invites I made were pretty darn cute; I'll have to scan one and post it.

5 year old fashion plate
Jess and her friend Megan
Blowing out her candle at Bugaboo
Birthday wishes from the Moose
Very excited about her "Suki stroller"

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forget
Where were you when the world stopped turning
That September day?
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate......Alan Jackson

I was teaching special ed kindergarten in Weymouth and we were at circle time. My para nad Itook turns going to the office to see what was going on since the secretary had hooked up a tv there. I can't believe it was 9 years ago. It's hard to believe that a day that is burned in my memory is a day that will simply be something my kids hear adults talk about, something that they learn about in their history books. Jason was only 3 so he doesn't remember it; Jess wasn't born until 4 years later.