Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Seeing Adoption From the Other Side - Guest Post by Ashley

I am hijacking a post from my good friend Ashley at Feigning Fertility. Like me, she's an adoptive mama. I've abbreviated her post. You can read the full thing here.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the park with my kids. It was my first outing with the people from my new ward and I was looking forward to making some friends and just being a normal mom.

That all went out the window when they realized (after hounding me and not dropping it) that Julia had been adopted.

The questions came; do you keep in contact with her real mom, why, does she have more kids, why didn't she give that kid away too, why'd she give up Julia, why do you still talk to her and on and on.

After spending five years being an advocate for adoption, I choked. And I did so in front of my daughter. I don't care what other people think about adoption, but I *very* much care what my daughter thinks about it. And these women made adoption sound shady and, even worse, made Carri sound like some horrible person I saved Julia from.

After venting to my husband and others, I finally calmed myself down and allowed myself to see it from their point of view.

If all you knew about something was what you saw in movies, tv and the news, your view on ANYTHING would be horribly skewed.

I put myself in their shoes. I watch Glee, which teaches us that birth moms are perfect 15 year old cheerleaders who got pregnant by a guy on the football team. Or that birth moms are women who sell their babies to gay couples and spend the rest of their lives regretting it. From made-for-tv dramas, you learn that birth moms are also strippers, hookers or drug users who sell their baby for a little extra cash and then regret their decision to the point where they come and steal the baby back. Juno teaches us that birth moms are teenagers who don't care about the baby after they leave the hospital. Adoptive couples never love their children as much as they do their own children and tend to beat the kids and abuse them in general. And they will do anything, including steal a baby from a hospital or a baby-sitter, to have a child.

None of these things are true. The reason people make movies about them or report them on the news is because they're dramatic and never actually happen. It's sensationalized.  

I know these women don't know Carri or any of the other awesome NORMAL birth moms that are out there. Their comments weren't rude in their eyes, they were actually trying to sound informed and be understanding. I missed an opportunity to educate them on the reality of adoption, especially open adoption. That is my fault. I know that if they met Carri, they would see automatically that she is an amazing person and loves Julia very much.  

My goal this week is to go back and try again. To not take it all personally.  Time to put my teaching hat back on...


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