Friday, March 7, 2014
Sifting Through Life: Don't Ask Me That
I have been sharing our experience about our adoption. This is the third post in that series. If you would like to read the first two, click on the links below.
Sifting Through Life: Our Adoption Story
Sifting Through Life: Our Birth Mother
Where is your baby from?
Who is the father?
Did you know that her eyes are slanted? her skin is brown?
Giving birth to your own child is wonderful, isn't it?
Will you try to adopt again?
Are you going to keep trying to have your own child?
What the heck? <---That is my question.
Honest to goodness these are just the tip of the iceberg in regards to questions and comments that I have been asked through the years. I don't believe that the comments or questions were designed or meant to be hurtful. I think if I were asked today these same questions my heart would not ache as much as it did in the early years. I feel that I have thicker skin now and understand people a bit better.
I am convinced that people have a difficult time knowing when to stop. I wish we were all designed with a warning system. Myself included because I am sure, no-- I know-- that I have said things that caused eye brows to be raised.
Maybe something similar to the beeping sound a dump truck makes when they are backing up...beep...beep...don't say that...beep...you're crossing the line...beep...beep...stop now. You could even opt for the flashing yellow light that turns on while the beeping is being heard.
A filter would be nice. That is for me, of course. The response that brings a smile to these memories , from 19 years ago, is this one: "She is my husbands love child". Now let me put this into perspective. At the time we were active members of the LDS church and new to the congregation.
We were seen as a cute and young married couple. After all, based on the age of our daughter, we must have been married for 9 months and 4 days. Wrong--try 8 years. OH, the shocked expressions. How could we put off parenting and becoming parents for 8 years? Those are more awkward comments directed our way.
Time does heal the insecurities and hurt from the comments made. We have laughed reflecting on our early days as new parents. The stories that I am sharing have been held close to my heart. Retelling the little details has allowed me to revisit a time in my life that was joyful but, at times, also painful.
As I held our little baby in my arms, I did not see color, eye shape, nationality, adoption, missed opportunities--I saw MY BABY!
A child that we desperately wanted. That on more than one occasion, I bartered with GOD about. I promised and swore my allegiance, shed millions of tears if only we could be parents. JUST ONE!
We got one, and then two, then three and finally, our little Finnley. FOUR.
I guess I was forced to acknowledge that when I went out with Rye we did not look like Mom and Daughter, but then again, why were so many quick to judge us. Or were they judging me? Maybe her dad was Asian, or Hispanic or Indian. We don't know. We know Rye's birth mom is Caucasian. She was reluctant and refused to share with us anything about the birth father. I have to respect that.
For eight years I spent a lot of time, too much if you ask me, explaining to people why we did not have kids. Why our little family was just that--little. I did the best I could to become numb to the looks, the whispers, the guessing and in some circles, the exclusion. Why would I be invited to a play group?
Holding little Ryekins in my arms brought me full circle in my existence as a woman. Not because I believe that every woman should have kids, I don't. I am only talking about ME. ONLY ME. I knew what I wanted in this life and I knew that in order for ME to feel complete I wanted to be a MOM.
I have two sisters that don't have kids and I believe they made a choice based on THEIR belief of what is best for THEM.
Like many new parents I wasn't prepared to be a parent and I especially was not prepared for the borage of questions and comments that I experienced for the first few years with Rye.
Twenty-Two months later I delivered a baby boy.
I will save that experience for another post.
I thought the questions would stop, and for the most part they did.
Did you adopt him too?
I bet he got his blond hair from his Mom?
And to think, you thought you would spend the rest of your life childless.
I believe that we don't mean to be rude, inconsiderate and hurtful when we approach people. I would only ask that we become mindful of our questions and comments. Especially with new mothers. We are tender and fragile at times. We are sleep deprived and trying to do the best we can. Some make it look easy and others need an extra hand. We are all different and yet we all have feelings.
Offer help, praise, laughter, comfort and food. We all love a good meal!
Put yourself in the other person's shoes.
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