As always I am so super honored to be a part of this AdoptionTALK LinkUP – I hope you will check out all of the other hosts listed in the LinkUP section below my blog. If you blog, add your own post on this topic of ADOPTION QUESTIONS to our Link UP there- we would love to read it!
When I heard that this week’s topic was ADOPTION QUESTIONS. I could not imagine what I would write. I have written all kinds of things that relate to adoption questions before- from the ethics of answering honestly to yourself, your children and others involved in your adoption to why questions never bothered me as an adoptee. It has been a while since I have read an article about adoption questions from others because many times it winds up being a laundry list of what makes someone mad or a list of rules the whole world has to abide by. Who is making adoption less normal when it is the parents through adoption who are making lists of what not to say to them? Don't be upset if you have written one or agreed with one, but I have to tell you- if I see one more list of things people should not ask other people in this world I may take a sabbatical from Facebook all together. Not even just with adoption but with everything. The truth is there are some people without a filter. There are some people who are without a clue and others who do not know better. Some people are interested and some people are just passing time- whatever reason it is that someone is asking, I hope your children do not see any of you complain when you are asked. I hope you do not answer every question, because surely if someone had asked you the specifics of a vaginal birth you wouldn’t answer all of those either- some stories are just for family. For heaven's sake- these are your children's stories and they belong to them- not all questions from others, whether they are family or people in the supermarket should be answered by you.
Sweet baby Moses, do I ever know how these things just catch you off guard sometimes- even though I talk about this all the time and have been an adoptee since I was 14 months old I was totally taken aback when one of the questions I generally do not answer was asked in a recent media interview. I went off on a tangent about something that had been on my mind as a tidbit of general information relating to agency adoption and its tie to foster care, hopped back into my personal journey and it muddled the whole thing up. I should have just said YES or NO or I did not care to answer and moved on- sometimes no answer is THE ANSWER when it comes to others-- that does not mean we are shrouding adoption in secrecy, it means we are respecting our family members and our self.
Honestly, the questions of others are not the questions you need to spend your focus on. The most important questions you need to answer are those of your child and part of that is through laying the groundwork by ensuring that they are secure in knowing their own story. Tell your child his or her story from the very start- that is part of answering the questions that matter.
I was never bothered by questions about my adoption- I am still not bothered by it. I am thankful my mom shared my story with me first and let me decide what questions I wanted to answer and that I never, ever, ever heard her complain about being asked a question about me, because who wants to be any part of a complaint?
As I said earlier and have shared below, I have written about many subjects relating to adoption questions-- but what I hope you write about, if not today but soon, whether it is in a lifebook, a journal (the journals I keep for my kids are my favorite adoption books ) , a spiral notebook or baby book. is your child’s story. Write it down. Answer questions there that they may not even be asking yet. Even if your child is an infant start talking to him or her NOW about their adoption. It is NEVER too early. Remember kids are different and no matter what you have read from me or a million other voices you will hear on/about adoption- THERE IS NO MORE IMPORTANT VOICE THAN THAT OF YOURR CHILD! Some children will ask questions once in a blue moon, others will ask regularly- let them know that you are there and will answer openly and honestly to the best of your knowledge- ALWAYS. THOSE ARE THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Read sections of / full blogs of a few other "adoption question" related blogs I have written:
I’ve written about how much questions about my own adoption NEVER bothered me for Carrie Goldman’s acclaimed PORTRAIT OF ADOPTION series http://www.chicagonow.com/portrait-of-an-adoption/2014/11/i-was-never-bothered-by-questions-about-my-adoption-it-was-just-my-story/#comments
“And then there was every day in between. It is in those days -- the many days in between -- where a life is made, where memories are grown, where family is important. I was never bothered by questions about my adoption. It did not seem odd or rude for someone to ask me something. It was just my story. A story I don’t ever remember not knowing. Maybe yours was being born on the way to the hospital or keeping your mom in labor for twenty-three hours; mine seemed just as normal to me. Like fingerprints -- like delicate snowflakes -- we are all different. We all have our own stories, and in our differences, we find commonality.”
I’ve written about my feelings about the complaints I hear about adoption, including adoption questions, in my blog:
A NOTE OUT OF LOVE FROM THIS ADOPTEE http://www.ourjourneytoyouadoption.com/1/post/2015/02/a-note-out-of-love-from-this-adoptee.html
“I regularly hear voices in the adoption community complaining- People tired of being asked questions, people having issues with birth families, people not getting the family support they feel their siblings received when they gave birth. While I am a grown woman and have known I was adopted for as long as I can remember- the complaints are new to me. I NEVER (a word I try not to use as it is such an absolute) but yes, I NEVER, not once, not ever in my entire life heard my mom make one complaint related to adoption. She did not complain about questions or terminology; she did not make judgments about my birth mother or the way her siblings who had biological children were treated as compared to her. NOT ONCE. She was filled with love and grace and loved me for me. We did not LIVE adoption. I was not an “adopted child” everyday, nor was she an “adoptive mother”. I was the oldest child, I was the bossiest child, I was the child with dimples. I was not living or defined as the “adopted child”. Nor did my mother live in a world where she chose to be defined either. She was the mommy- the one that did the laundry, kissed the boo-boos and helped with homework. If she were ever bothered by any part of adoption, I never knew it. She had a gentle grace about her. When we would chat about my birthmother my mother spoke with empathy and heartfelt gratitude.”
I’ve written in response to the feelings mamas through adoption have when being asked questions about “real mothers” because that is what they are and all of you should know it EVERY day- my sweet mama who adopted me was 100-percent real, I am and you are too—no questions can change that.
“There is a love inside—the love of a mother—bursting to come out. A love born before a specific child is there to claim it. If you have ever had any doubt that mothers who were blessed with their children through adoption were “real mothers” you need only follow a day in their lives to see. I promise you, we are real mothers. I sat awake for hours in the middle of the night with each of my children as babies. I walked bleary and zombie-eyed through the day to get things done and played games with my toddlers while the littlest ones slept. I have been spat up on, pooped on, and caught throw up in my hands. Welcome to motherhood. I have played Legos and Barbies and called out spelling words while making dinner and unloading the dishwasher. I have answered the tough questions about life and always been honest..I am anticipating the raging hormones and, no doubt, fits that will one day come with having a tween girl. I have and I will continue to do all the tough parenting jobs because I am the mommy. THE MOMMY. The REAL mommy. I would jump in front of a bus, fight an angry bear or take a bullet for my children. So, even if mother and child don’t look the same, or even if you think she may have adopted her child, before you ask a woman if she is their “real mother” think again. And while you do that, consider what it is that makes a woman a mother.”
I have written about the importance in answering questions of ethics in every part of adoption as a part of one of our Adoption Talk LinkUPs http://www.ourjourneytoyouadoption.com/1/post/2015/02/why-adoption-ethics-and-morality-really-matter-from-an-adoptee.html
“No matter what adoption path you choose, the really important part we all play is honesty, not just with ourselves and the truths of adoption, but also with our children. No matter what kind of adoption you have had, I hope you have worked to travel the path of honesty and age appropriateness as to your child's story. There is strength in knowing your story and your child will draw from it. What story do you want to tell? Can you be proud of your choices? And if you have not shared your child's adoption story with them yet (in an age appropriate way) then sweet, baby Jesus- DO IT NOW! That is a part of doing what is right.”
"ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THAT REALLY MATTER--
Please join the Adoption Talk link up on the first and third Thursday of every month.Anyone involved with the adoption triad or foster care in any way is welcome to join (even if you are just starting the process).
This linkup acts a little bit differently then most as we have a schedule of topics we will follow throughout the year. Feel free to save the image to the left
When LINKING UP with our ADOPTION TALK- few things to consider:
1) Be respectful of others. Adoption can be a sensitive subject, and opinions may differ from your own. Please be respectful to everyone.
2) Try to read and comment on at least one other post. The point of a link up is to mingle and meet other bloggers.
3) Feel free to link an old post. We know you may have already blogged about some of the topics on our schedule. If you would like to link something you have already written that is just fine.
4) Follow Your Hosts. No need to follow everyone on everything, but make sure you follow in enough places that you’ll be reminded to link up.