E is for #Excuse Me, You Said What?
It was hard to think about what to use for the letter ‘E’. So I thought of a statement that I have said many times in my head in the past 13+ years “Excuse Me, You Said What?”, when people started learned about my choice to place rather than parent. I feel that birth-mothers take the brunt of the negative, derogatory, and rude statements when it comes to the adoption triad. Birth mothers hear, read and/or see horrible things about their situation and it is not right. Television shows and Movies depict birth mothers as someone who struggles with a addiction, is promiscuous, is homeless, oh and the best one “who is the person who will come and kidnap their child from the adoptive parents once the adoption is finalized.” I know for a fact that adoptive parents have read or been told various statements for their choice to adopt a child, or adoptees are told other statements due to being adopted.
In the past 13+ years I have been told and/or read some of the following statements:
- “How can you just give up on your daughter?” – I am not giving up on my daughter, I am actually giving her something that I knew I would not be able to provide for her which was a family with two parents, health insurance, and job stability.
- “Isn’t it weird to see your child being raised by someone else?” All relationships are weird, regardless of the situation. How is placing a child into an adoption plan more weird than for a teenage girl’s parents raise the child because the teen is too young, or an aunt parenting her nephew because her older sister is a heroin addict? To me it is the same, but just with legal documents in place.
- “You are a horrible person for not owning up to your own responsibility for getting pregnant.” – I am not a horrible person, because of getting pregnant. I am owning up to my pregnancy and acknowledging that at that point of time in my life, I was not in the right place to parent.
- “What if you will never be able to have more children after you have given away yours to another family?” – If I am meant to have more children, then it will happen, and if I do not have any more children I will accept that fact when I have to.
- “If your baby is black, can I adopt it?” Yes, this was something that was asked and it truly was a “Shake My Head” moment.
- “What if you change your mind?!” – Well this was a good question. What if I changed my mind? I was told that I had the right to change my mind before the relinquishment papers were signed, but I knew with every step I took down the adoption road, I was becoming more committed to the choice of placing. My parents told me though that they would support whatever choice I made.
The adoption world is not an easy one for any part of the adoption triad or the adoption constellation. I know my family was told things because of my choice, and so in order to provide full support in my choice of placement, my parents say, “It was ultimately Amy’s choice, but it was a family choice as well.” And I know for a fact that my mom tried her best from allowing me to hear what some were saying. So if you find out that someone you meet is part of an adoption agreement…keep it polite and not ask the stereotypical questions.
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