When we announced that we were starting the adoption process, I knew we would be asked many questions and that people would have opinions. I understand, and I welcome comments and questions. Curiosity is a great thing, and I appreciate when people want to know more about the process. We are so appreciative of the support people have shown us, and we love that people want to understand adoption better. If I didn’t want to answer questions and talk about adoption, I wouldn’t broadcast our lives over my blog and social media.
I know that 99.9 percent of the questions and comments are not asked or said with malicious intent. I know that most people are simply curious and don’t know how to phrase their question. But sometimes these questions and comments are startling because of the way they are phrased, and I don’t know how to respond. Here are five of them.
1. Do you want children of your own?
I understand that most people are simply asking, “Do you plan to have biological children?” We would love to have biological children one day, but we don’t know if that’s going to happen and we’re OK with that. Right now, we feel that God has called us to adopt … kids of our own. We want a family and little feet running through our house. We want family vacations at the beach or Disney World, carseats in the back of the SUV, a high chair at the kitchen table. We love kids and we want kids. And it doesn’t matter to us how these kids enter our family—adoption, foster care, childbirth—they’ll be “our own.”
2. Don’t you know how to make a baby?
I’m so glad that my parents raised me with a sense of decorum, because if they had not, I would probably answer this by saying, “Yes, we practice often.” You may think your question is funny, but I guarantee the person you’re asking does not think it’s funny. I’ve actually been asked a version of this question twice—yes, twice!—and both times I’ve cried privately after the fact. It actually makes me feel like I’ve failed at something.
When you ask this question, you’re probably wondering if there is a medical condition (such as infertility) that led to a couple or individual choosing adoption, and you’re trying to think of a lighthearted way to ask. People decide to adopt for a myriad of reasons, so I would suggest you ask, “What led you to choose adoption?” The answer will be different for every person or couple, but if you asked me, I would share with you how we tried to get pregnant for two years, didn’t feel peace about going through treatments, prayed fervently and asked God to show us how to grow our family, and how God first opened Stephen’s heart and then mine to adoption.
3. You’ll get pregnant as soon as you adopt.
I hate to break the news to you, but that isn’t how pregnancy works. I know, your sister-in-law’s best friend’s sister adopted and then got pregnant with twins. TWINS, you say. That’s absolutely awesome and I’m totally happy for them, but adoption isn’t going to increase my likelihood of getting pregnant. While I still desire to be pregnant one day, I’ve also accepted that at this point in our lives, God has given us an even greater desire to grow our family by adoption.
4. I saw this movie on lifetime about a couple who adopted and then the birth mother took the baby back a few years later. Does that scare you?
No, it doesn’t scare me. Adoption is a legal process. In the state of Tennessee, there is a revocation period after the baby is born when the birth mother can change her mind, and rightfully so. She has every right to change her mind during that time period. While it would be painful for us, I accept and acknowledge the rights she has as the child’s mother. After that revocation period and once the adoption is finalized down the road, the child is legally ours.
Now, we do hope for an open adoption where we have some sort of a relationship with the birth mother and potentially the birth father.
Also, stop watching Lifetime movies.
5. I adopted this dog once …
It’s important to note that we’ve never been angry with anyone who has said or asked any of these things. (OK, maybe we’ve been a little bit frustrated.) Like I said, I understand that most people are just very curious and want to understand more about this process, and we really do love to answer your questions. Sometimes they’re just a little weird and we need to figure out how to respond. 🙂