One of the things that we've come to realize lately is that not all of our friends and family members are open to our news of another adoption. Now, I'm not talking specifically about ONLY our family. I've noticed that our families are not the only families that struggle with the choices we've made. Our family (and friends) aren't the only people that let fear dominate their reactions. They aren't the only people that has a lukewarm reception (or a downright cold reception, in some instances).

Families are tough nuts to crack sometimes. As the person announcing your adoption-in-process, you want nothing more than your family to jump up and down with excitement. You want them to ask you what you need and for the crafty ones in the family to start knitting or sewing for your new little one. You want them to ask questions about how the process is going and to show some genuine excitment when things are moving forward (or genuine disappointment when things don't go as quickly or smoothly as you'd hoped). You want your family to play an active part in the process...just as they would if you had announced a pregnancy.

But all too often, this isn't the case.

Instead you hear stories of families who ask ridiculous questions like "will the child be sick and diseased?" or "Do you realize they have HIV in that country?" or "Why don't you adopt from country X (where there are white children) instead of from country Y (in Africa)?" "Why are you choosing that agency or that country?" or "Why don't you just adopt domestically again, it went so fast last time?"

Family members (and friends) will often site lots of reasons why interracial adoption is bad...or they'll tell adoption horror stories (that may or may not have any truth to them at all) that they've heard from a friend of a friend of a friend. They'll give a cool reception to the adoptive parent's faces, and then talk about how bad the decision is behind their backs. They'll wonder how on earth you could afford to spend thousands of dollars on an adoption process when you are just a teacher. They'll wonder if we are making "wise" choices for our family and for the child we already have at home. They might even say (and they have) that we should just be greatful for Allie. They won't think about the fact that had we just announced that we were expecting, the news would be received in a completely different way.

In the end, friends and family will probably think of a million reasons NOT to support you. They react in fear.

When all they really need is ONE reason TO support you.

They LOVE you.

One reason is all they need. But instead, they let fear override them...and you, the adoptive parent, have to suffer the consequences of their fear.

How sad is that?


Tifanie said...

You are such an awesome writer. As I read I concentrate on what it is you are saying as well as how on earth someone can put words together like you do. I have never been good at writing comp papers and what not... but GOD BLESS you and your family. You are strong and I hope you have the support you guys need to continue this process. I support your decisions 100% and admire you guys for doing what you are doing.

Teresa Haase said...

Nicely stated...it has always amazed me how you are able to write the way that you do!
I may be thinking the same thing at times, but you are able to put words together in a way that just works! We completely support you guys and are so excited about your family having the opportunity to grow! You know that we are here for you if you need anything... Love, The Haase's