I’ve heard it once.
And once more.
And a thousand times more.
And here’s why I don’t feel so warm and fuzzy.
“My child was born in my heart, not under it.”
Don’t disregard or attempt to “one up” the child’s first mother. Doing so only makes you look jealous and petty. Don’t diminish the importance of a woman carrying a baby for months and months on in, giving birth to that baby, and handing that baby over to someone else…forever. Don’t try to align yourself with the birth mother by comparing your heart to her…uterus? I mean really, the birth mother had the baby “grow” in her heart, too.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from. It matters who you choose to become.”
Where a person comes from does matter. Even a child who, just a few days old, is handed to adoptive parents. The in-utero months of a child’s life are powerfully significant and shaping. Breaking the physical tie between a biological mother and her child creates a Primal Wound. Furthermore, who you were shapes your perception of who you choose to become.
“God never gives you more than you can handle.”
Not true. It’s not about what we can or cannot handle, whatever your definition of handle is. Jesus died on the cross, rose again, and offers forever-peace to those who receive Him because we, as humans, cannot handle so much in life. (I mean, honestly, some days I cannot even handle a crumb on the floor...) We cannot get our crap together. We are going to have heartbreak, face failure, and deal with confusion. God also isn’t up in heaven attempting to put plight upon plight on individuals as a game or a test or a joke. Bad things happen (to good people…blah blah blah), and it’s up to us if we lean on God and His power and His guidance, or not.
“Your baby was created just for you!”
Adoptive parents, listen up. Your child was created by human beings. Those human beings couldn’t or chose not to parent for a variety of reasons. This created a sever between the biological child and the biological parents. No matter why the child was placed for adoption, that sever has created a loss and a trauma in the child’s life. I don’t believe God magically created a child (this isn’t Jesus’ birth, people) in order to bless an adoptive family. If the child was created and meant to be for the adoptive family, they would have conceived and given birth to that child, not received that child through someone else’s loss. Granted, I do believe adoptive families can be blessings to the biological mothers they form relationships with. And I believe an adoptive family can fall completely in love with a child who was birthed by someone else. And I do believe a birth mother can be both deeply saddened by the loss of her child but also feel joy for the child being with a great adoptive family.
“Your child is so lucky to have you as his parents!”
Lucky? I don’t know. Is loss and grief and confusion and unknowns lucky? You might be looking at the fact that we provide a nice home, and Disney vacations, and music lessons, and Martha Stewart style Christmas dinners, and yes, it’s cool. But that doesn’t make my child lucky. My child didn’t ask to be adopted. My child didn’t ask to be separated from his or her biological family. My child didn’t ask to be labeled as “adopted” by every other stranger. I realize you are attempting to compliment me: my parenting, my material belongings, even the joy you see on my face when I beam at my child. But hear me: my child blesses ME. I adopted because I wanted to be a parent. I didn’t do it to be a savior or a superhero.
What adoption questions and comments have you heart a thousand times that drive you bonkers? How do you respond?