Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Encouraging friends who have adopted.

The other night I read an article from a popular blogger/speaker talking about how to help your friends after they've adopted. Kind of like a once the baby is home, than what do we do type of thing. I was really exited about this article because I know sometimes people who adopt may not get the same support from family or friends as those who have babies naturally. *Side note: I was SO blessed to have family/friends who POURED out love on us. Seriously. I didn't have to buy diapers until Marlee was about 7 months old. Even doctors who didn't know us were sending us diapers and wipes in the mail because they had heard of our story. Here's a picture of Marlee's first Christmas. Needless to say, you can see that this baby girl is so treasured and loved. :)

Can you see little Mar in the middle of all that?!

So back to the article. An adoption pet peeve of mine is when people create too many rules for those who are only curious about this wonderful thing we call adoption.  I felt like the article gave a list of do's and don'ts for when your friends adopt and it was just too overwhelming. Even overwhelming for me, and I'm the one who has already adopted. I'm not saying that the author didn't have some good points, because she did. I just felt overwhelmed and honestly if it were me, I would feel like I was sitting on pins and needles while talking to friends who have already been through the process. I would be terrified that if I asked a question I would instantly be considered insensitive and SO unaware of children who are in need of a home. 

So here is a real life story for you. :) People are so curious about trans-racial adoptions. The other day in the drive thru at Starbucks this lady with a perky little smile on her face looked at me, than at Mar in the back seat and asked, "Oh, are you babysitting today?" Now, I KNOW this would have sent some of you to jail. You would have grabbed her little black apron and wound her up in it so tight that her head would have popped off. (Not that I was imaging doing that.. gosh that was really detailed) However, we need to extend grace. My motto regarding adoption has always been, "Don't Hate, Educate"! Educate her on adoption. This is your time to shine and tell her a little of your story. Plus, I've come to realize that people who ask such stupid blunt questions usually feel pretty stupid silly as you're explaining to them about the fact that your baby in the backseat is actually YOUR child. Just a natural consequence. 

So anyway, here are just a few tips from silly ole me.. you know, the one whose life motto is, DON'T HATE, EDUCATE!  

**If you are a friend of an adoptive mama or papa. Just ask them how they are doing. I know it may be awkward, but just ask. Tell them you are praying for them than actually do it. We need people standing with us pleading on our behalf. (This was one of the parts mentioned in the article that I couldn't agree with more). 

**If you are the adoptive mama or papa. Please show your friends, family, strangers GRACE. I know there are stupid people out there. But for the most part, they aren't the ones asking you the questions. It's really easy to allow yourself to become offended to the point where anything people say offends you. Don't become this. Trust me. Make sure your friends know that you are open to answering their questions. You are the expert and it's up to you to share with them. This doesn't mean that you have to share with everyone all the nitty gritty of your child's story, because I know some of these things are private. However, I think we could all learn to be a little more honest with people, letting them in to some of these more stingy ouchie kind of events. Learn to laugh. I could have been mad because of the lady at Starbucks, instead I just laughed. Marlee knows that she's mine. So by some lady asking me in the Starbucks line if I'm babysitting, this won't be the first time Marlee has thought about adoption. It won't be the first time she's aware of someone looking at us assuming we aren't related. In fact, my hope is that one day she'll speak up before I get the chance to. Explaining her beautiful story about how she became ours.  :)

1 comment:

Heidi said...

So looking at your picture, I actually thought Marlee was a baby doll. I didn't realize she was in the picture until I read the caption.