Thursday, November 5, 2015

First experience with less than supportive friends and family.......

Dealing with unsupportive family & friends 

I may not be familiar with the judgments, comments, and general lack of support from family and friends in relation to adoption, but oh boy am I familiar with it in regards to about a million other off the beaten path life choices.   I would have to say I am more familiar with judgment and criticism than I am with kindness and acceptance so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that this would just be another aspect of my life that some would judge and criticize.......

Announce Pregnancy = Congratulations
Announce Adoption = Are you crazy?

Maybe I am not speaking for every woman who has suffered infertility, but in my experience it is hard when you have been trying for EIGHT LONG YEARS to get pregnant and you watch friends, family, acquaintances and even strangers announce pregnancies whether in person or on facebook and everyone goes wild withFir...

Congratulations, I'm so excited for you, How exciting.......

There is this longing to feel the same excitement that at the end of the day the heartache and emptiness of infertility will someday morph into the beautiful excitement of pregnancy....but it never does.
When you decide to adopt a child, at least in my experience, you feel just as much excitement, anticipation and joy waiting to meet your child and bring them home.  Unfortunately the response of some family members & friends is almost the exact opposite of what they would do if you had announced a pregnancy. 

Some people ask you "Why?"   Let's put this in context.  A family member excitedly announces a pregnancy and you say "Why are you doing that?"  Can you see how ridiculous this response is and yet it is a common one.  Responding to a pregnancy announcement is exciting but your response to an adoption announcement all the sudden all common decency goes out the window and you can be callous and ask 'none of your business' questions?  Ugh.....

Why would you adopt? = Why would you get pregnant?

First, if you would not say this to someone announcing a pregnancy, you should NOT say it to someone announcing an adoption either.  The couple announcing an adoption are excited, happy and honestly probably FAR more excited than most people announcing a pregnancy!

This has not been an easy journey, this couple has likely gone through heart wrenching, painful infertility and the process of accepting that this woman will not be able to carry a child and bring life into this world.   Some women may have had one or two children and still felt an emptiness knowing that her family was not complete and yet she could not have the children she desired to have.  After years of heartache and struggle she finally comes to terms with it and is able to find joy and excitement in adopting a child.

The decision to adopt is a personal one and is absolutely no less exciting than a pregnancy.   In our case, this decision is one that has been discussed for many years, it was a decision that was made EXTREMELY prayerfully and if I am to be completely blunt....It is NONE of your business!

If you wouldn't ask a woman "why did you get pregnant?"  don't ask a couple "why would you adopt?"

Discussing Finances

Have you ever asked a couple who just announced that they are pregnant about their finances?  No that would be ridiculous right?  It is none of your business.  

A couple announcing adoption..... Isn't that expensive?  Ummm yes, but how is it that just because I announced an adoption it is all the sudden acceptable to ask about my personal finances.   Do you ask a pregnant woman how much money she has, how she will financially support her baby, why she feels like she should have another child when she already has X number already?   All I can say is, it is none of your business to ask these questions of anyone, including adoptive parents.

Kids are obnoxious why would you want one or more?

First, the size of a family is none of your business.  A husband and wife choose the size of their family based on prayerful, thoughtful consideration and it is not for you to judge what God has planned for their family.    

The arrogance of I can have as many as I want but you who have infertility cannot!

If I had a penny for every time someone told me I was LUCKY that I couldn't have more children I would be a very wealthy woman.  I am NOT lucky!  You have not walked the path I have walked, you have not suffered what I have suffered, do not tell me I am lucky!  I am sorry you can't stand your children and wish you didn't have them but that is NOT how I see it.

In the culture I live in if you can have 10 children then that is perfectly fine, however, if you struggle with infertility and adopt 10 children you are just plain crazy.  Hmmmm....double standard?   Friends and family who have 4, 5 or more children judge me for wanting to have a larger is okay that THEY have a larger family but for me to desire it is wrong.  

Children are an heritage of the Lord, we as mothers have the great responsibility of bringing Heavenly Fathers children into this world, so that they can progress in their journey back into the presence of their Heavenly Father.   This is a responsibility that I take very seriously.   It is a wonderful blessing and power that only we as women have and we should delight in it rather than have such a bad attitude.

Are children hard?  Yes.   When we have children does it limit things we can do?  Yes.   Is life all about ME?  NO!  This is the greatest fallacy, that we are to live our lives for ourselves, for our own selfish desires and Heaven forbid we have to sacrifice anything for someone else, especially to have children.   When all is said and done, that fancy car, that government approved degree on wall, the fancy trip to Italy......none of it will matter and you can't take any of it with you!

What really matters is FAMILY!  Children whose lives were molded and changed by you, the people you spent your life with, loved and cared for.   The only things you will take with you when you go are your knowledge of truth and your family.   I know about sacrificing for children, I have homeschooled my children for over 7 years.  It saddens me to hear how many mothers cannot stand their children and eagerly ship them off to be taught and 'nurtured' by someone else.

If you can't get along with your child....whose fault is it?

Mom's blame their children for their inability to get along....they would rather send them to school because their child doesn't listen to them and they can't get along.  Really?  If that is really the case you may want to take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror and stop blaming your child.

Do my kids drive me perfectly crazy sometimes...YES absolutely!  But that does not mean I don't love them, nor does it mean I don't want more children.  They bring joy and happiness and I learn just as much from them as they learn from me.

Children are a blessing, and if you don't see might want to take a good hard look at your own selfishness!

The truth hurts!

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