When we said yes to God's call to adopt, it wasn't because we were trying to be do-gooders or to solve some sort of problem or even because we wanted to grow our family-- we were simply being obedient to God's call to grow our family via adoption. Does this mean we aren't excited? Absolutely not. Totally excited. Does this mean we don't want another child? Again, no, We can't WAIT to have our girl home!
But, here lately I feel like my life has been one big ole' soapbox after another. What once was not my cause is now hitting very close to home. All of the misinformation floating around out there about adoption? It affects my family. Every time someone tells me an adoption gone wrong story (way worse than a scary pregnancy story, btw), it sends my heart into panic mode and puts a watermelon sized knot in my stomach. It's funny how we don't always notice people's words or the language they are using until it directly affects us.
Today, I want to talk specifically about one question we have been asked consistently throughout our adoption.
Are you ready for it? Any guesses which question I'm talking about?
Ok, here you go:
Oh, so you're adopting. Does that mean you can't have more kids of your own?
There are so many reasons why I am not a fan of this question.
While I realize many people simply don't think before speaking and are just innocently asking a question, this question is not my favorite.
First, this question implies that I want to talk to you about my body and whether or not I can get pregnant again. It implies that something is unnatural about adoption. Just to get this out of the way-- yes. As far as we know we could get pregnant again... easily. We have never actually 'tried' to get pregnant, and yet there are two cute little girls living in our house, both of whom grew in my belly. So even though this question doesn't hurt me in terms of infertility, I have LOTS of friends whom this would hurt deeply. Point being, unless someone approaches you wanting to talk about the status of her reproductive organs, I say don't go there. It's potentially very hurtful and really not okay.
Second, this question implies that I would ONLY want to adopt if I weren't able to have a baby growing in my belly. This question cuts me to the core. My daughter is NOT a second option. She's not a back-up plan or a result of a failed attempt to have my 'own' baby. In fact, she IS my OWN baby. I can honestly say that I feel more bonded with Emily having not met her yet than I did when my girls were growing in my belly, and I had yet to meet them. I've seen her face. I've heard stories about her personality. I know that she likes to play with trucks just as much as she likes to play with baby dolls. I know that is fascinated by a pair of sunglasses. I've watched the three videos I have of her on my phone so many times that I can quote every sound and movement. Do I KNOW her? No. Do I LOVE her? Absolutely. And when you ask me if I'm adopting because I can't get pregnant, it offends me. It hurts me. It lessons what we are trying to do. We aren't following God's call to adopt simply because our own plans fell through. We are adopting BY CHOICE because we believe in God's call to take care of His children.
Are there a lot of families out there who only became drawn to adoption as a result of infertility? Absolutely. Does that in any way lessen their families or love for their kiddos? Not a chance. God chooses to bring families together in many different ways and under many different circumstances.
What I'm saying is this: please don't assume that the only reason people adopt is because they are unable to get pregnant. And if you do assume that, please don't tell me about it, specifically in front of my children who have ears and are very intuitive, as most all little people are.
God calls us all to different things. And you know what? THAT IS OKAY. It's HIS plan; how could it NOT be okay? Just because what God calls someone else to do may fall outside of your comfort zone doesn't mean it isn't someone else's heart's greatest desire. I long for Emily in a way I have never longed for a child before. I believe this is one of the many ways He is confirming our call to adopt. She is so much more than the back-up plan this question implies.
Moral of the story: Choose your words carefully. And I need to eat more M&M's. Words hurt less when padded with M&M's.