Monday, June 23, 2008

Why adopt?

I have had some questions lately about why we are adopting. Some are genuine and heartfelt, and others just leave me speechless. I have no idea how people find the nerve to say certain things. I have not yet decided if they are just ignorant or stupid, or both! Think once in a while before you speak people!

Okay, the good first. I have had an overwhelming bunch of supportive friends and family send us their best wishes. Many know of our infertility journey and are so excited to see us add to our family again. They ask great questions and also ask if they can help in any way. They want to know why we were led to Korea and basic questions about adoption. I welcome these kinds of questions and comments. I love to spread the word about adoption, maybe it will inspire someone else to adopt!

Now, for the bad. First, I have to say that I have had some questions that were similar to the ones listed that don't bother me. I guess it was the way they were worded or the fact that they came from a good friend who I know did not mean any harm. Here are some of the comments I have gotten -

(1) "Why are you adopting, I thought you could have kids." Um, yes I have three biological boys, but adoption is not a second best option. I do not want to be pregnant again, we want to adopt. We did not try and nor will we try to get pregnant again. We chose this route for baby number four.

(2) "Why don't you adopt baby from this country?" Well, there are a lot of reasons. First and foremost, we went through so much emotional turmoil with fertility treatments that I don' think I could make it through the waiting period when a birth mother can change her mind. Also, we did the infant thing - three times. I know there are more families waiting to adopt than there are babies here in the US. So, I didn't want to take away the chance to parent a newborn from someone who had never experienced that. It might seem silly, but it was important to me.

(3) "Would you still be adopting if Justin had been a girl?" Yes, yes, and yes. When we got married we both wanted 4-5 kids. I had no idea the struggles we would have to endure to get three. So, adoption is the choice for us and if we had the money I would probably do it again.

(4) "If Justin's twin had survived would you still adopt?" Uh, refer to question #3!

(5) "That baby girl is going to be so happy and lucky." No. Well, yes. I hope that she is happy with the decision that she has no knowledge or control over. But we will be the lucky ones to have her.

(6) "Oooh. An Asian baby, she will be smart and probably play the violin." no comment

(7) "Will she be "okay" after living in the orphanage?" Babies in South Korea live with foster families until they are adopted. They are well loved and receive excellent care. But even if she had been in an orphanage, yes, she might have some mild delays. But just because babies spend some time in an orphanage does not mean they will have "problems."

(8) "What will you do if she wants to find her real Mom." First, I will be her real Mom and she will be my read child. She will have taken a different route to our family, but in my eyes she will be no different than if I gave birth to her. We will be open and honest about the adoption from day one. And if she does want to search for her birth Mom, I will be supportive of it. I doubt we will have much information to go on, but I will help her as much as I can.

(9)"How much will she cost?" Huh? She will not cost a thing. The money we will be spending will be for services and documents needed in order for her to join our family. The money that goes to Korea will help to support other babies and foster families.

(10) "I bet you will get pregnant now that you are adopting." Believe it or not, three kids later and I am still infertile. Always will be. Never gonna change. I still cannot get pregnant without a doctor's help. Nothing is going to fix that - not a vacation, not getting drunk, not relaxing, not an adoption. Plus our adoption agreement will be voided if we do get pregnant. So, we will not be getting pregnant, even if we could.

Hope this makes things clearer for some people and helps others know what to say or what not to say. I know that some people reading have probably asked some of these questions or said some of these statements. I also know that some times the best of intentions turn out all wrong. Just trying to do my part to educate!


Mom and Wife said...

As a woman that longed for a newborn to adopt...your number 2 made me choke up. That is a generous gift you are throwing out there to the universe.

sara said...

Oh wow, those last comments made me cringe. I'm sorry you've had to hear them. My brother and sister are both adopted so I'm sure my parents heard their share as well. I just wanted to wish you the best of luck on your adoption and that I think what you are doing is a beautiful process. I have always felt that our family was very fortunate and special because of it. The comment about the child being smart and playing the violin - did you smack them? I may not have been able to resist and I'm a non confrontational person. That is just horrible! You should answer and say no, we're going to be focusing on her future as a doctor or an engineer - and see what the person then says. Sorry, I just was offended and it's not even me who heard it. ((hugs))

Amy R said...

Thanks for the very nice comment on my blogged! I actually have been reading your blog for awhile (I went 'hunting' for other Korean blogs ages ago and have yours bookmarked). I love the Holt site but have not posted there yet- I'm waiting for us to be HSTk!

Sorry to hear the comments you've been getting from other folks. Something I'm really looking forward to...not :)

Hope said...

loved this post - have heard all of those too - maybe not directed at me but others. There is some disconnect from the brain and tongue for some fertile women SIGH

I loved number 2 also, what an awesome thing to say and to say it with such conviction is moving!

Kymberli said...

Unbelievable, some of the bone-headed things that people think (or don't think) to say. You have EXCELLENT replies to those comments!

Danifred said...

Stumbled upon your blog and I have to comment on this post.
I think you did an AMAZING job answering these questions and it astounds me that people continue to be so incredibly insensitive and close minded.
All the best with the newest member of your family!

Christine said...

I love this post. Mostly cause I've been in your shoes, and some of your answers make me feel like you're in my head! Good job. :-)

Tanya said...

I get the "how much did your son cost?". I also get "it's almost like buying a baby isn't it?"... and I conceived him through IUI. Yes, I did buy sperm but it's not like I went to eBay to bid on a baby either. (Seriously, great "joke" people... No, officer I didn't really want to sell my baby)

Rachel said...

This is great Kim. Isn't it amazing the things people will say and ask when you are adopting? I should have done something like this too. I'm so glad you are adopting!!!