Thursday, May 21, 2015

How much did he cost? and other questions

When I saw that this week’s Adoption Link Up topic was “Answering those questions”, I figured I was good.  I had written something on this topic and stuck it away. As I opened the file, I realized why I stuck it away.  It was quite snarky and not really helpful to anyone.  Did I feel better after I wrote it?  Maybe but that’s not going to be informative unless I’m trying to inform you of my snarkiness.  So...I tweaked it but kept the original file.

A little background on our family
My husband and I have been through the adoption process twice.  Our first was 16 years ago. Our second was 14 years ago. Each process was different.
  1. Private/Agency
  2. American child/Bulgarian child
  3. Newborn/4 year old
  4. Process time: 6 weeks/1 year
  5. Living in Germany/Living in the United States

What has been the same in both situations are the questions that people feel they are entitled to ask since we didn’t form our family in a conventional method.  We have been asked some interesting questions especially since we adopted a child who had Cerebral Palsy.

I’m not saying that all questions are bad because they are not.  There are people asking questions who are sincere in what they are asking.  There are also people who are being nosy. We can tell the difference.

Questions that stick out in our memories:
1. “How much did he cost?”  A developmental pediatrician asked us this about S at a multidisciplinary appointment.  Needless to say, that was the last time we saw him.

2. “Why would you adopt a child with those problems?”  We have handled this a couple of different ways.  Option 1:  “What problems?”  Option 2:  “Why not?”  

3. “Did you try to have a baby?”  This, generally, falls into the nosy category.  We had a Battalion Chaplain ask us this question. Again, we can tell the difference. He was being nosy!

4. “What do you know about their real parents?”  We are their real parents.  We have information about their birth parents, but it’s private information for our children.  

5. “Why didn’t you adopt a girl? Then you would have a boy and a girl.”  We could have checked the box for a girl for our second adoption since we already had a boy; however, we knew that we were open to a boy or a girl.  We also knew that it would be made clear to us when the time was right.  When I saw S’s picture for the first time, I knew we would be bringing a boy into our family.  When my husband saw his picture, he said, “That’s our son.” We have the children God wanted us to have.  

6. “Why would you adopt internationally? There are children in America who need to be adopted.”  True.  The process is long and not as easy as you would think it should be.  We looked into it.  

These are the biggies.  Of course, they can be followed with:
“You know you took the easy way out, right?”
“Do you think you will be able to love them as much as if you had your own kids?  
"Are they brothers?"  

Fortunately, the people asking these questions are a much smaller population than those who have supported us on this journey.  We are much wiser and more experienced in fielding these questions since we went through the process a while ago.  Sometimes we answer the questions, and sometimes we will just ignore the question. People usually get it.

I will be on the couch with chocolate and my family enjoying life!


  1. Did you try to have a baby? Why yes, Chaplain. Allow me to draw you a picture. Would you like a list of positions? Geez Louise. Thanks for joining the linkup! xo Jill

  2. This is so great, I love it because we have gotten so many of those questions as well. I must admit one that really irks me is when people ask if I had infertility. There is this underlying implication that adoption is some kind of second choice you get stuck with. So hurtful to our kids.

    1. As we are on this journey I find that's the question I get the most. My answer, no, we're blessed with great fertility. We could have cranked out a whole baseball team, we CHOSE to have 2 kids and adopt from foster care. Yes, one of our 2 bio children died. That didn't change the plan, it only made us start this journey a few years earlier than planned. But it always irritates me. Our child (when we fiiiiiiiiinaly adopt, can you tell I'm eager) will be our child just the same, in fact they already are our child. We just haven't met him/her yet.

  3. Buddy heard someone asking how much he cost and every once in a while he brings it up. A part of him believes that we bought him. Of course international adoption is expensive, but it's not the same thing as buying a kid. Thank you, nosy person, like we didn't already have enough to deal with!