Friday, February 22, 2013

Adoption Faux Pas

I know what you’re thinking after reading the title of this post. 


Really?  MORE adoption faux pas?  How can there BE any more limitations on what I’m allowed to say to an adoptive parent?  I’m sorry, but I can’t remember all of the rules and I also can’t afford a speech writer.  Hey, I have an idea, why don’t we all just STOP TALKING?!  Would that help??  Yeah, let’s all just STOP TALKING!


Seriously, that’s not what I want.  I love questions about adoption.


They often lead to discussions about adoption, and if there’s one thing anyone knows about me, it’s that I love talking about myself. 


And besides, the questions and comments that bother most adoptive parents simply don’t bother me.  I take a very lighthearted view on life, and I know that most people who are asking the questions or making the comments are just curious—usually in a very sweet, innocent way. 


I mean, it’s fairly obvious as one drinks in the sight of me in all of my pasty horsefaced glory holding the hand of my adorable little brown, button-nosed boy that he did not come from my DNA.  Lucky dude. 


In fact, I’d say that any variation of the following thought is what first pops into a person’s mind when he or she studies us for just a moment:  “There is no way she made him.  He’s  way too cute.”


It’s quite similar, actually, to an experience I once had in college as I was walking down the dorm hallway with my very good-looking boyfriend.  One of my good dorm friends who hadn’t yet met the boyf stopped in the middle of the hallway, shocked, and looked straight at us and said, “Dude. How did you get him?


I can assure you that it wasn’t my looks that snagged him.  Nor, incidentally, was it sex—much like I didn’t have to have good looks or sex with my husband in order to land the blessing of my son.  (SCORE!)


So I understand the curiosity, and I welcome the questions.


Bu-ut (You knew this was coming, didn’t you?), all of that being said, there are actually two things that bother the hell out of me when they’re said about adoption.  And since one happened just last night, I thought I’d write a little post about them.  (It’s what I DO, my peeps…I write posts.  Sorry.)


1.“Siiiiigh.  My brother is having trouble again.  He quit his job because he prefers partying to working.  We don’t know what to do.  He’s always been the black sheep of the family.  Of course, he is the adopted one…”


Oh, really?  You don’t have any biological brothers who are assholes?  Because I’ve got two.  You can have one of mine.


I hate to tell you, peeps, but unless you’re Charlize effing Theron, your genes are no better than anyone else’s.  Guess what:  Your brother isn’t a loser because he’s adopted—he’s a loser because he’s a loser. 


Oh, and by the’re welc for the tip.


2. "How long have you had him?/When did you get him?"


First off, he’s not an effing rescue dog.  Good thing, too, because I don’t like dogs. If you’re one of those people who judges a person’s character based on whether or not she’s a dog person—well, then, I’ll save you some time.  I’m an asshole.


Secondly, why do you want to know?  Because there’s a cutoff for how “mine” he is, how much a part of the family he is?  “Hm…you’ve ‘had him’ since he was 6 months old?  Oh, all good then.  It’s like he’s really yours.”  Or is it, “Oh, you were two years old when you were adopted?  That’s too bad.  You barely missed the cutoff, buddy.  You’ll always be the adopted son.  Hopefully you won’t quit jobs to party all the time since you’re really not part of any family.  Tsk, tsk.”


Sorry, folks.  My kiddo’s all mine—whether he likes it or not.  And so is the biological one.  It’s not their fault they got stuck in this crazy family with the wackadoo mom. But thank the Good Lord in Heaven for the sweet blessings He pours on us from above, because those two boys are the best damned things that ever happened to the hubs and me, and they’re stuck with us.  Granted, their prayers of thanks for having me as a mom (“Why, God, WHY??”) might sound a bit different than my prayers of thanks for having them as kids, but ah, well. Such is life.


I think Marie Osmond said it best when someone asked her which of her eight children were adopted.  Her reply?  She couldn’t remember.  Fan-effing-tastic. 


I heard that answer before I had my kids, at a point in my life when I didn’t even think I wanted kids.  And still, I remember thinking she was my hero for saying something as awesome as that.  Now that I have both an adopted and a biological child, I feel the wisdom and heartfelt honesty in that statement—and I couldn’t agree more.


If you really want to know how long our children have been home (which is a much better way of putting it), just wait.  Most likely, we’ll let it slip out—not because it matters to us what age our children were when they came home; instead, simply because we like talking about our kids, like anyone else.


As for how I got the guy in college?  Why, with my sparkling personality, of course.  J


  1. People really ask you that stuff?! OMG, that's atrocious!!!

    I have a friend who has one biological and one adopted. I love the story about when the adopted one came home to them. They got a call about her and my friend was so scared (she had just lost a baby and didn't know if she could handle losing another if the adoption didn't go through). Before they took the plunge, they sat their daughter down to discuss it. They told her there was a little girl who didn't have a family and she said, "SHE CAN COME AND LIVE WITH US!"

    Melted my heart. :)

  2. I am really, REALLY hard to offend, and I don't ever let on b/c I am conscious of hurting other peoples' feelings, too, especially when I know that they're sweet people who didn't actually mean to say what they've said--it just kind of fell out before they meant it to. But #1 really gets me. It's been said by people I'm actually very close to, and I'm not sure if they've ever realized their mistakes or not. I don't call them out; as long as it's not said in front of my kids (which it never has been), I'm pretty laid back about it. I kind of chalk it up to them not "getting it." That's such a sweet story about your friend. Thanks so much for coming over and reading!!

  3. What a great post! And as the queen of "foot in the mouth" I truly appreciate it! Sure, I'd like to think I'd never be insensitive enough to say something like that, but a reminder never hurts.

    And I'm cracking up because my post tomorrow contains the phrase "such is life"! There's another one for us!

    1. Another one!! I tell you what, I think we're long-lost sisters. Or, as I like to put it, long-lost skankstas.

      And I'm also the queen of foot in mouth (or is that hand, foot, and mouth? Hm...), so that's why I don't really get upset with people, especially when you can tell they don't mean anything by it or that they were pretty much unaware that they'd said anything offensive. I think people don't know how to ask things, or that there even is a right way. This post actually happened because a good friend said #1 to me the other night, and though I wasn't really upset with her, I was bothered enough by it to be thinking about it the next day. As I was running errands, I had the thought, "Really? You don't have any biological brothers who are assholes? B/c I've got two. You can have one of mine." You know this about me by now--I often crack myself up, and that made me laugh a little to myself. Voila!, a post was born. :)

      By the way--I'm pretty sure that if we were hanging out and having margaritas, anything you said would be okay by me. We seem to kind of "get" each other. Maybe it's because we're both assholes? ;) Can't wait for your post tomorrow!

  4. Loved the part about the asshole brothers - so true for all of us! So glad to be back on track with "Shay" .... didn't you make out with some guy named Shay at a nerdy frat party - or was that me??? Those years are a little blurry :) Saw your minivan list on Scarymommy - loved it. I also loved the confessions people post on the side. I may have found my new home away from home.

  5. I love this post! I plan to get my tubes tide, but the hubby and I hope to be better of financially one day so we can adopt. We want two kids and I know our other babies out there somewhere. God will bring him to us when the time is right. (I got chills writing that because I just realized I know I'm gonna have another boy).

    oh and I like your attitude, usually ppl don't mean to be assholes. I know cuz I say a lot of dumb shit.

    1. That is SO true! Seriously, with all the paperwork holdups you might experience or anything at all that might slow the process down, it works out exactly the way it's supposed to. God knows which child is yours, and He'll get him to you somehow! (Was that too churchy for this blog? :))

    2. Hee hee, not after the Catholic Guilt post ;) that was so funny BTW

    3. DARNIT! It was too churchy--I knew it! I need to throw in a few curse words to trash the blog back up again, don't I...haha

  6. As an adoptive mama I love this post! I can't tell you how many people say "where did he get that curly hair?" "where did he get those brown eyes?"....then if by chance I do have a conversation about adoption this is my fave "Where is he from?" "from mars. that's where he's from. seriously." Actually I usually say "from heaven" and walk away. Where's your biological child from lady, your crazy foot-in-your-mouth DNA?
    Sorry...but this is a topic I get all too well :-)
    Oh and btw, I NEVER could have biologically created a kid this awesome! jackpot!

    1. I love that reply! "Your crazy foot-in-your-mouth DNA?" Too funny!

  7. I read a blog called single dad laughing... his web addy is and his son Noah is adopted and he has several posts like this one. I can not believe some people are so freakin stupid. I mean WTH would you say something like this to an adoptive parent? SMH