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Adoption = Scientists HATE this Shocking New Trick To Lose 30 Pounds and Avoid Alienating Adoptive Friends and Family

I heard a story about a guy who grew up to be a scientist because his mom encouraged him to ask good questions.

Any adoptive parent can tell you: people say stupid stuff and ask awful questions. They don’t intend to be hurtful, rude or insensitive. We watch eyes widen in horror as someone realizes, “I should not have said…”

I’d like to share a few “shocking tricks” to keeping your adoptive friends; things NOT to say or ask.

We’ll also address weight loss.

1. “Do you know where their real family is?” 

We ARE their real family. We get up in the middle of the night to ameliorate the terror of nightmares. We clean up the puke. We take them to school. We bandage the boo-boos. We hold them tight while they try to understand what the hell happened to all the people they used to know.

We take them to appointments for the counselor, doctor, play therapist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, neurologist, psychologist, psychiatrist and every other type of -ist you can imagine.

We comfort them every time we leave a birthday party, a play date, a family weekend, a camping trip. They freak out with every departure because, in their experience, separation means you might never see someone again.

We stay up all night with them as they scream in the throes of PTSD.

You want to know the whereabouts of the sperm and egg donors who caused these children to end up in the foster care system. I want to know: who gives a Rattus norvegicus’ derriere? 

2. “Does she look like her birth parents?”

Even if I have this information, how is it relevant—and for that matter, why do you need to know? I don’t even want to think about those people, much less consider how their genes may have transferred.

3. “Why did you/didn’t you change his name?”

Because we’re allowed to choose, and it’s really not your business.

However, in the spirit of friendly informing, I’ll add this as follow-up:  We gave them a new name to provide them with a way to identify as part of the new family.

In most of my adoptive friends (and our) cases, we gave the children a name in addition to the name they acquired at birth. We happened to put the new name in the middle, which, in our case, was unfortunate. Both of our children prefer the adoptive name we’ve given them, and get annoyed when people use their legal name (doctors, substitute teachers reading roll call from the “official” list, etc.) instead of their middle.

Our son is adamant that he now wants the middle name as a first name and wants to take Hubby’s middle name as his own. He’s stuck by this for almost two years, so that’s what we call him, but we’re not allowing him to change it legally until he’s 13. By then, he may change his mind.

4. “Why did you/didn’t you adopt a child who looks like you?”

Children are children. Children who need homes…need homes. Why should we (or you) care whether the children look like us or not? Yes, transracial adoption comes with its own set of issues, but white-on-white, black-on-black and Asian-on-Asian adoption can be just as difficult. Sometimes the cultural differences are huge, even within the same ethnic community.

Based on the demographics of where we lived the first ten years of our marriage, Hubby and I fully expected to have a brown rainbow in our house once we started adopting. At the outset, I was pulling for a total of five boys of all different ethnic backgrounds. I thought it would be an amazing way to expand their horizons (and ours), learning about all the different cultures and proving that yes, we really CAN all get along (ah, the sweet innocence of inexperience). I spent four years braiding hair for my neighbor’s daughter in case we ended up with a girl or two (fun fact: my “volumizing” conditioner was NOT interchangeable for her hair product).

God laughed at all my planning and dropped mini-me and mini-Hubby in our laps. They look so much like us that I have been stopped THREE TIMES by strangers asking if I cloned my daughter. If only you knew. 

We all look alike, but sometimes I do wonder…can’t we all just get along?

5. “Didn’t you want a child of your own?” and “Did you try everything else already? I hear they’re making great strides with IVF.” 

Seriously? These children ARE our own. I don’t understand why giving birth becomes such an important factor. This only applies to “your” children. Did you give birth to your cousins? I don’t think so (unless you live somewhere that doesn’t frown on such things). And yet, no one asks, “Are those YOUR OWN cousins?”

For us, no, we did not “try everything else,” because we had our sights set on adoption long before my Lupus became an issue. Some of my friends were desperate to carry a child; that’s never been a big deal to me. Luckily, Hubby didn’t care one way or the other, either. God matched us up just right (thanks, God!) and we couldn’t be happier with the way things are.

Except when we run out of ice cream. When we’re out of butter pecan ice cream, I could be happier with the way things are. But lack of ice cream is rare, so…

Several of my friends pursued fertility treatments. Some were successful. A number failed in a miserable mess. So, let me ask you: if you’ve had a heartbreaking defeat, do you want to discuss it? Didn’t think so.

We don’t say, “Hey, I hear your interviews were awful and you didn’t get any of the jobs. Did you try proofreading your resume?” or “I heard you’re trying to build a house but didn’t qualify for the loan. That’s a bummer. Have you tried selling your current home first?”  We don’t stick our noses into those situations, because (unless we’re a professional in the field), we can’t help. Why in the world is it okay to give advice about adoption and trying to make babies?

So, let’s be real, I have jumped in with unsolicited advice about job hunts. But I’m a RECRUITER. I can actually help. In the words of my son’s first grade teacher: “mahnd your bid-ness and leave people be” unless you’re a fertility doctor, IVF professional or are willing to provide an egg / sperm sample.

And even so—be very sure they want the offer of assistance before you start digging that hole.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for—how to lose 30 lbs: 

Learn the Shocking Secret

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