In 2009, I started this blog to give an outlet for everyone in our lives to stay up to date on this process as I don't generally like to talk about it all the time because well...we live it every day. Also, I feel that all of our friends and family have their own lives going on and we are just as interested in what's going on with everyone else so I don't want to sit around and discuss our adoption all the time. There is life to be lived! I don't like a lot of attention on myself and I was hesitant to start a blog for that reason. It's difficult to take down a wall and be so open and throw ourselves out there, but I also feel a sense of calmness in doing so. I do not think what we are doing needs to generate a lot of attention. People start families everyday. I am excited and anxious to meet anyone's new family members. A child or a baby entering a family is an amazing journey to anyone whether it's adoption, fostering, sponsorship or birth. This is not to say, we do not deeply appreciate the love and support we have been shown through our process. It means the world to us and helps keep our spirits up in the roller coaster of this journey.
What I have found in all of the talks and questions is that it must be tricky to ask anything about adoption without saying the wrong thing. I watch people really think about how to word something before they ask. We are pretty light hearted so we don't generally get offended easily as we know everyone is just interested. I've read a lot about how to answer questions asked about our adoption and how our child will be exposed to these statements and questions. I thought it would be helpful to post some "What NOT to say or ask statements" and general adoption lingo that's appropriate for adoptive families.
1. "Real" - a simple word, really. But, a very wrong word to use in referring to adoption.
"Who are his/her's REAL parents?" "Do you think you'll have any "real" children or a child of your own?"
We are going to be very open about talking about child's BIRTH parents and any child that comes into our family is REAL and our own.
2. "What you're doing is an amazing thing."
This is a tricky one. This is always said with the best intentions, however I do not think we are hero's, nor are we attainting to be. This implies adoption as a charitable effort and as if adopted children are not as lovable, wanted or brought into our lives and heart as a birth child would be. This wouldn't be said to a couple that just had a child by birth or announce they are expecting.
3. Celebrity adoptions and comparing any international adoption to one - don't do it.
It's a way to build a family and families have been choosing adoption long before the media started covering it.
4. Personal questions
Ah, the good ol' personal questions. Some details of our adoption will stay between us and our child. The sensitivity and privacy is not just ours to consider, but also that of our child's. Things, such as the costs of adoption, are just personal questions. We are happy to discuss and answer any questions as we do not want our child to feel like we do not want to talk about their adoption, but there is a sensitivity and privacy to the issue.
Last thing we want to do is make anyone feel like they can't talk about our adoption or have to over analyze how they are going to talk about it. No need to be defensive here on our part. I just think these are good points throw out there and consider. Like I said before, we understand completely that no one would want to offend or say anything uncomfortable and when it happens, it happens and we'll address it then. Just another part of this adventure and another learning experience under our belt.
Here's to a new year upon us. We wish new experiences, happiness and positivity to all of us in the new year. Happy 2010!
Casey & Josh