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.
- American child/Bulgarian child
- Newborn/4 year old
- Process time: 6 weeks/1 year
- 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!