I just love this post. We get asked a ton of questions. A ton. And many of those revolve around "why adopt?" - whether it's 'why did you choose to adopt' or 'what made you decide' or 'how did you know' or ... some variant of that why question. The truth of the matter is really quite simple: we were ready to have another child. Ann says it quite perfectly. Any time you choose to add to your family, through whatever means, shouldn't that be the answer that guides you? Another client (& friend) of mine did a wonderful blog post a few weeks back chatting about questions that she often gets:
I tend to believe that people are generally well-meaning, not malicious, but sometimes I wonder. Among the comments and questions that we've been subjected to by strangers:
- Where did you get him? (When I'm on my toes, I respond with something like, "found him out front of Walmart and thought he was cute.")
- Where is he from? (Mars?)
- Is he Japanese/Chinese/Asian? (Okay, this is kind of a fair question, he is a bit Asian-looking.)
- Was it hard to adopt him? (What? No, you just go down to the Baby Store on 4th Avenue and pick one.)
- Wow, I hear it's really hard for white people to adopt Native babies, how did you pull that off? (I usually take the informative route when I get this one and tell them that his birthmother chose us to be his parents and her wishes trump anyone else's in the adoption scenario.)
- How much did your adoption cost? (Probably about the same your prenatal appointments plus hospital delivery cost... except insurance doesn't cover adoption.)
- Can you not have your own kids? (I particularly love this one - "A" IS "my own" child, even though he also has a birthmother who loves him very much, and who we all love in return.)
- I always wanted to adopt, too. I want a little Chinese baby. (That should be easy enough, like I said, you just pick out the one you want. You know, like a litter of puppies from a cardboard box in the back of a pickup by the highway.)
- I could never adopt. Sometimes I take care of my sister's kids. It's just too hard when they aren't your own. (Umm, it's not the same as babysitting. I don't babysit my son, I parent him. He knows I'm his Mom.)
Okay, so truth be told, I don't say the things I put in parentheses up there... except the one about finding "A" on a street corner. It serves two purposes. One, it highlights the absurdity of the question, and two, it shows I have a sense of humor. Most of the time, these comments and questions strike me as an opportunity to educate someone about adoption, and that's one of my very favorite things in the whole world, so it's good.
I know she had me laughing about a few of those. I love that people ask questions & want to (usually) genuinely learn more. I think the truth is most people's knowledge of adoption (let alone domestic adoption) is so very limited. SO. very. limited.
Which brings us to Gl.ee. I'm gonna lay it on the line here, I really don't watch this show. I think I tried to once. And was like, huh? Maybe it was too early in its development. Maybe it is so much better now ;) I couldn't tell ya. I do know a LOT of people follow it. Know the story line about Quinn? Did you know that over 120,000 children are adopted in the US every year? Did you know that 60% of Americans have a personal connection to adoption? You might want to find out what all of this has to do with you & Gl.ee. I do know about their "spread the word to end the word" campaign, which was a powerful one. It would be nice if they took a similar stance on misinformation they could be perpetuating here.
(PS - when something grabs the attention of change.org & the LA Times ... it may be worth a click-through. Just sayin'.)