A Point of Clarification on my Grenade Throwing
Yesterday, I wrote a post on my in-laws incredibly supportive response to our decision to adopt. This response was unexpected as they have a history of being less than supportive of our decisions – in fact, at times they have downright hurtful and mean. But, I cannot stress enough how thrilled we are that they chose to be supportive and excited to become grandparents regardless of how the child is coming into our lives.
But, there was one comment in my post that a few people took note of. So, today, I want to explain myself. Please, don’t feel compelled to agree with me – I love to learn from all of you and I always love a great debate based in respect. Further more, please realize that I do not speak for all people considering adoption, rather I am only sharing my perspective which is not always right.
Anyways, I thought I would take a moment to better explain one specific comment I made yesterday. To quote my original post:
We let one inappropriate adoption comments slide, for now. The child will be so lucky to have you as parents. We let it slide because they could say that about a biological child as well and there terminology did not specify adoption. Also, we needed to focus on being positive. It was simply not the time to jump down their throats and comment about how an adoptive child should be no more grateful for their parents then a non-adopted child, and we never want our child to feel that they owe us some debt of gratitude – while yes, our adoption will likely help provide a child with a stable home, we are not doing this for the betterment of the world. Rather we are adopting because we desperately want to have a family, and we know we can do it. If it comes up again, we will correct it.
I thought I’d explain where we were coming from with feeling that this comment was inappropriate.
First, the comment came from people who have a proven track record of underhanded insults that have hurt us deeply for years. After over 14 years of being judged negatively for our decisions, we have become hypersensitive to their comments. At times this is a good thing and it helps protect us from opening ourselves up to too much hurt. And, at other times it means we do not give them a fair chance. Quite possibly, in this circumstance it was the latter of the options but we honestly don’t know.
Second, since we have announced our decision to adopt, we have been referred to as saviours, heroes, amazing for saving unwanted children, etc. These words and phrases trouble us deeply. While we are decent people, we feel very strongly that we are not heroes, nor are we saviours, nor is our child unwanted. I know people say these things to be nice and supportive, but it makes us feel incredibly awkward and uncomfortable. This is our issue, I realize that. But, we are worried that if people use these words, they cause our child to feel a debt of gratitude. According to multiple resources including some provided to us from our agency, adopted children are often forced to feel that they should be grateful for being “saved.” These feelings can cause many psychological issues for children as they grow-up. Furthermore, we feel really strongly that we really do not want our child to feel this way. We are adamant that our child should not be any more grateful for their loving parents, then any other, child should be. We are likely being over protective parents, but we just really don’t want comments like these to influence our child into feeling a debt of gratitude to us.
And lastly, maybe in a bit of self-defense, I need to point out that we did not jump on the comment and try to correct them, because as I said “there terminology did not specify adoption.” We both realized that our initial reaction to this comment may be a direct result of our hypersensitivity. We realize we have to walk a careful line to not become just crazy people.
Honestly, more than anything, right now we are so thrilled everything went so well, and they are being so supportive of our growing family!
If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please click the follow button on the side or return to myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.