Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ain't No Easy Way Out

I recently spent a lot of time with my sister, or Aunt Goose as she loves being called. (And by a lot of time I mean five days in the car.) During one of our long chats she had the nerve to call me "a pot stirrer" when asked to clarify she responded "you know, a little contentious." Now, being as she is my sister she could get away with saying something like that. But I would not go so far as to say that I am "contentious". If by contentious you mean I don't put up with crap and I don't have patience for stupid people or the stupid things they say, well then by all means... I will label myself contentious.

Now, we all say stupid things. I probably say a lot of them. But there are some that are worse than others. Words that at the right times are the kinds of things that are never forgotten and can do irreparable damage. When you are dealing with/have dealt with infertility the list grows quickly. Even some otherwise benign comments by well meaning individuals can cause a lot of pain. A simple "why don't you have kids?" or "you look so natural holding a baby" can send a person into hysterics. My personal favorite was "If you had more faith you'd be pregnant."

When you adopt it does not get better. The stupid comments continue to fly. Some of the all time hits among the IFC have been...

"You're going to adopt? That's sooo in style right now." ..... No joke.

"Isn't that expensive?".... Isn't that none of your business?

"But why? Don't you want your own kids?" .... There is no response for this one.

"What's her real mom like?".... I am her real mom thanks!

"That's what happens when a young girl gets herself knocked up." .... For the record, in my home we speak with birth parents with respect. This comment will get you kicked out of my living room and not invited back.

and then the most recent... "You took the easy way out." (Said by a well meaning pregnant woman.)

Now, I know that being pregnant is difficult. You get fat, hormonal, and sometimes very sick, but come on? Adoption is a miracle and a great blessing in our lives, but seriously, the "easy way out"?

Tell that to my friend who is STILL waiting for to be "approved". Did you have to get "approved" or prove to the state of California, or a caseworker, or the courts that you are fit to parent? Are your fingerprints on record? Did you have your home inspected? How about parenting classes? Was it mandatory that you take those? And that's not the half of it. Explain to me where the easy part comes in?

Or if that's not enough.. tell it to my other close friend who after multiple miscarriages has submitted her own paperwork to adopt. How many babies have you lost? How many injections did you have to give yourself? Did you have to count the days of your life in order to achieve a family?

Now, I know that I am being hard on this comment, but it seems in my experience, most of these comments come from people who have NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT or WHO THEY ARE TALKING TO. In order to help those of you who are now too afraid to speak to me in fear of saying something wrong here are the Top 10 Things Not to Say to an Adoptive Parent. and for those who mean well, Thou Shalt Not...

The point of this blog was not to rant (O.K. maybe just a little) but to point out that there is no easy way out. When you think you've got it bad, trust me...as we in the IFC like to say "At least I have a working anus!" There really are those who don't.

I have no explanation for why things happen the way they do and why some things happen (or don't happen) to some people. The only thing I can say is that we really don't have much choice but to "Suck it up, Buttercup!" if we are going to get through this life. Who hasn't heard the poem "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it."? The day we signed paperwork placing John and I as legal guardians of our daughter our caseworker asked me that if I had known how things would go if I would have done it again? After all of the uncertainty and loss, as I sit here watching my daughter sleep I have to admit that maybe I did take the easy way out. For her, I would have done and given more.

Proverbs 3:5


Matt & Christa said...

I particularly appreciate that you linked the definition of stupid so we can know if we fall into that category :) j/k!

Anonymous said...

You go girl! Rach & I love reading your blog and I cant help but laugh at the fact that genetics are undeniable. Thats a double edge sword for sure. Keep up the great posts! You werent harsh, you were honest and dont let political correctness BS stifle you. (like you would) Congrats on ... well, everything you do. You are an inspiration to lots of people and I am one of em.

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