Friday, August 31, 2012

Maybe I Should Shut My Mouth Sometimes....

I'm embarrassed.  I did something I despise...and I'm going to tell you about it.  I shouldn't say someTHING but rather, somethingS.   

We're at the park.   My girls are running around like crazy because they are both convinced they own the place.    The other kids just get to borrow the space.     Whatever.

It's a lovely day...finally.  Sunny, nice breeze, 75 degrees.  There are tons of parents and kids everywhere.    I'm standing at the bottom of the twisty slide, trying to keep Baby E from getting completely smashed by older kids, and overhear two women talking.  One is a mom of three, the other is a nanny to two kids.

Nanny:  I've been married nine years and we still haven't gotten pregnant.

Me (on impulse).  I pick up Baby E, hold her up so our faces are touching, smile, and blurt out:   You could always adopt.

Immediate regret. What was I trying to do?  Use my kids as an advertisement for adoption?

So I say:   Not that I'm trying to get up into your fertility business or anything.  I hate when people do that.

Dumb.  Why did I say that?

I move to help Baby E climb up the rock wall.

Nanny's Mom friend to Me:   Are they [my girls] real sisters?

Me:   They are not biologically related.

Immediate regret round 2.   It's none of her bleeping business.    Yet, I did offend her friend by being insensitive about infertility by offering adoption as a happy I'll let it slide.

Miss E, standing above me on some equipment, tells the Mom:   We are not SISTERS.  We are BROTHERS.

Me, laughing, to Mom:  I guess she told you.

Regret round 3.  What was that, Rach?   Really?!?

Sometimes I'm just off my adoption-game.   I really expect more of myself.  I write about adoption, I educate others on adoption, I'm active in the adoption community.  And I acted like that?  

This day reminded me...
1:  I'm going to screw up sometimes.  I'm human.  It's ok.
2:  My daughter is listening, now more than ever, to everything I say and those around her say.
3:  I need to be ready to respond to the "real" sisters question.     What I really want to say is:  "Yes, they are real sisters, and I'm their real mom."   
4:  I need to remember that no everyone thinks adoption is super-awesome like I do.
5:  I need to be more sensitive to those who have gone through (are going through) infertility issues.    (We adopted due to my type I diabetes, not due to infertility.  Adoption was an easy choice for us.  It's not for most/many people).
6:  I need to take it down a few notches sometimes.  I might have GOBS of information for people on the journey of adoption, I might be super passionate about adoption, but if I don't bring it up in an appropriate way at an appropriate time, no one is going to care to listen and learn.

Talk to me.  When did you do or say something adoption-related that you later regretted?


  1. This topic is SO hard for me. I'm still single, but I've wanted to adopt since I was 8 or 9 years old. I'm probably infertile due to health problems, but I wanted to adopt way before that started happening, so in my heart I feel like everyone else should too. I just want everyone to adopt! Let's get those kiddos into happy homes! So I've totally stuck my foot in my mouth more than once with my infertile friends. I think the worst, though, is when I've suggested adoption and one of my friends wants to do it but his or her spouse is absolutely opposed. That's the hardest for me, because not only are they infertile, but I just threw back in their faces the only other option for raising children - an option they want but cannot have either. Then I beat myself up. It's just a hard topic though, because we need more loving families to adopt, but if two people aren't open to it then they're probably gonna make pretty sucky adoptive parents. So frustrating.

  2. Oh, girl. Don't beat yourself up too much. I think we've all said things we regret. I *hate* the "real siblings" question as well. Mine happen to be biologically related but when #3 comes he or she won't be so what will I say: "well, these two are real siblings but this one is NOT." Really??? Right. I wrote a whole post on this. I can't think about a time I said something I hate hearing myself but I know I have given too much information and then thought: "none of your business! I should have just kept my mouth shut." Right there with you.

  3. Oh I stick my foot in my mouth so many times (and our son is only 10 months old!) I too sometimes act like everyone should be on the adoption bandwagon- of course I think it is the greatest thing on earth, it brought us Eli! Its also hard, and painful, and a long process, and holding my baby now I have a hard time remembering that part. But to someone in the midst of infertility, the hard stuff is all they see. Our story is somewhat similar to yours- not diabetes, but we did not have a long infertility journey. We had some issues, tried for awhile, received a referral for IVF, and halted that bus right there. We had always wanted to adopt and saw it as confirmation of that desire :) I think we will put our foots in our mouths, but as long as we realize it and reflect on it and grow from it, its okay :)

  4. You made one misstep from what I read. You're right (& you've already chastised yourself for it, so no need to dwell), there's usually much pain around infertility.
    Your daughter's response was honest--in the way that only children are free to be. The mom has had very similar experiences w/her own child. She's well aware of the unconscious honesty of children.
    All is well :D. Now get some sleep. Tomorrow's a new day, a new start.

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