Thursday, January 10, 2013

More "What Not to Say" Sayings

Adoptive families frequently have interactions with those who are can't figure out the right thing to say, so they either blurt out an adoption cliche or stereotype (to appear as though they understand adoption). 

So, here's a list of a few things I'd prefer people do not say to my family or in general:

1:  "Biracial" or "Mixed" "kids are sooooo cute."     Um, ok.      So white kids aren't "sooooo cute" too?   And what about African American children?   Colorism, what what?

2:  "Children who are adopted are special."  All children are special for who they are, not because of how they came to be part of a family.

3:  To continue on the previous comment:  "Children who are adopted are special because they were chosen."    Here's the deal.   Adoptive parents adopt because they want more kids.    It's actually a selfish decision to adopt (and I don't mean selfish in a bad way, just an honest way) in most cases.   The choice was too adopt.   The child, more than likely, had no choice in being placed for adoption and the family he/she was adopted into.    Additionally, children shouldn't be burdened with feeling guilt or obligation to be thankful to their adoptive family or be pushed to feel they have to earn the love they've been blessed with because of their "chosen" status.

I know many people don't know what to say when they encounter an adoptive family.  My advice:  keep it short, genuine, and simple.

I recently read in a magazine that when given a compliment, women should simply say "thank you" instead of dismissing the compliment or explaining why they don't deserve attention or recognition.  This advice can easily be applied to adoption.    


And don't lean on stereotypes or cliches.    

It's like when something horrible happens to someone and a Christian says, "It must be the Lord's will."   Um, not helpful.     Or, "Everything happens for a reason."  Not comforting.  

Adoptive families really are just regular families.  The parents wanted to be parents and did so via adoption.  There are a number of reasons people adopt.     No two adoptions are alike.  

Think before you speak.  

1 comment:

  1. #3. Preach on. While I feel that my adopted son is special, I also feel that all children are special. You hit then nail on the head!!!


Comments are moderated and published upon approval. Your thoughts and questions are also welcome via e-mail at whitebrownsugar AT hotmail DOT com.