April 18, 2007

Excuse Me? What Did You Just Say?

Somebody said something totally inappropriate to me today that prompted me to vent and post this entry to my blog. Since we announced our adoption, we have been receiving inappropriate comments from some people. I don’t think they realize the impact of what they’re saying so I usually give them the benefit of the doubt. But there is such thing as being sensitive and thinking before you talk. The following have been the most memorable comments (keep in mind that most people know that Bryan and I tried to have a child biologically unsuccessfully):

1. “Oh, you’re adopting. You are so lucky that you won’t have to go through a pregnancy. My pregnancy was so hard.”…while this may seem well intended, this is especially a cruel statement when you have tried very hard to have a child biologically.
2. “Now that you’re adopting, just wait, you and Bryan will get pregnant right away. I have a ___________ (fill in the blank…friend, cousin, sister, brother) that applied for an adoption and that is all it took to get pregnant.”…this kind of implies that having a child biologically is still superior to having a child through adoption and that we should still be holding out for a biological child.
3. “I bet seeing all these pregnant people around you makes it that much harder for you.” Or “I’m pregnant Kristen. I’m so sorry that it took me longer to tell you. I was afraid to mention it given your circumstances.” ….Do people really think that I hate all pregnant people and that I am automatically jealous and envious and can’t be happy for them? Sheesh!
4. “You are doing such a good thing by adopting. You are so generous and charitable.” …this is a very nice thing to say. However, this is not even close to why we’re adopting. We’re adopting out of purely selfish reasons to try to fulfill our goal to build a family.
5. A family member of Bryan’s, no mention of names here, said, “I want to have a biological child for our family since you can’t.” …I can’t even respond to this.
6. “I know this child that needs a home with several health problems (and these are usually major issues). Why are you on an adoption wait list when you can just adopt this child? …just because we can’t have children biologically doesn’t mean that we are obligated to adopt a child with special needs. Why doesn’t the person asking this question adopt this child?
7. “Oh, you’re adopting from China. That is the popular/in-style thing to do now.” And then, they often compare us to Angelina Jolie …What!? Do people really think that we’re that shallow to adopt a child because it is the popular thing to do and we aspire to be like Angelina Jolie? Our child is not a hand-bag or some other accessory that is a fad!

Am I oversensative? Probably. But I think some of these comments are over the top. Don’t get me wrong, most people are very supportive and friendly and I can not survive without them. Plus, our family and friends that we know love us can say anything that is offbeat because we know that they mean well and don’t mean to hurt our feelings.

Just had to vent….


Sandra said...

Boy Kristen, these things have been building up. I hope that this made you feel better and that whoever upsets you so, reads them and understands how you feel. I have probably brought up the Angelina Jolie thing, but didn't know that it hit a nerve. Sorry. You know that I love you guys and wish all the best for you two throughout this journey in your lives.

Kristen & Bryan said...

I probably vented too much, but journaling did make me feel better. It was an accumulation of comments over time. I know you love us and we love you too! Thanks so much for your support.