Monday, November 4, 2013

What to Say. What NOT to Say.

Last week, my heart was broken.

Like, drop-my-computer-on-the-floor-and-run-to-the-bathroom-sobbing, type of broken.

So far, comments we’ve gotten about our adoption have been so positive and upbeat… a few awkward questions have been thrown in there, but those have been fairly easy to dodge.

Last week, I fell apart.

I didn’t post my feelings on Facebook. I didn’t share it with my friends. I didn’t even show it on my face. You wouldn't know.

This is what inspired my blog post today. We understand that people are curious about adoption, and we encourage people to ask about the process itself. But, please be careful of your words. Some of your questions and 'advice' can really sting.

What to say.

These are comments from friends and family that have lifted our spirits and have really encouraged us:
·         You will be fabulous parents!
·         So happy for you guys!
·         You have no idea how happy this makes us!
·         What a lucky child.
·         So excited for our new family member!
·         I can’t wait to meet the newest member of your family.
·         I will be praying for you!
·         You two will make the best parents.

What NOT to say.
These comments have made us feel really uncomfortable and upset:
·         Oh, are you adopting because you can’t have your own?
·         There will be things you will be missing out on (bonding, nursing, etc).
·         That’s really expensive. Are you sure you want to do this?
·         They (adopted kids) do have problems when they get out into the real world. I guess they call it “bullying,” so I wanted you to put that into your little thinking cap.
·         Wouldn’t you rather have your own baby?

Another question to consider before asking...
We understand that most people are just curious when they ask us our reasons for adopting. But think about this for a moment… When is the last time you asked a pregnant woman WHY she got pregnant?

Probably never. You just don’t. That would be really awkward… and it’s absolutely NONE of your business.

Our intent to adopt for the purpose of growing our family has been clear from the beginning. We’re been through hours of invasive questioning. We’ve submitted fingerprints to the FBI. We’ve been through background checks. We’ve had our home inspected for safety. We’ve asked six people to submit letters of recommendation for us. We are ready to be parents.

There was no "oops" or "surprise" involved. We are in a loving, committed relationship and have both given 100% to becoming parents. We have been actively, and excitedly planning, for our baby's arrival, even though we don't know what the baby will look like, where the baby will be from, or even when the baby will be born.

Final thoughts...
We are well-aware that we are not growing our family the “normal” way.

But guess what? Being parents is more than carrying a baby for nine months or contributing a portion of your DNA.

It’s about loving a child unconditionally and doing the best you can to provide for them. And that’s what we intend to do. We are going to love this child with everything we have.


  1. Normal is a setting on a dryer... there is no normal when it comes to raising a family. It takes courage, patience, a sense of humor, trust, and, (most important) love. Knowing the two of you for just a while now, I would say you both have an abundance of these things, which makes you abnormal, in a very good way. I'm so proud of your journey together, may Jesus continue to give you whatever you need in life and Godliness.

    1. LOVE THIS! normal is a setting on a dryer. :) I couldn't agree more with Ray & I can not WAIT to meet your child someday soon! <3

  2. This is a great post and I think you guys are really doing something amazing. In many ways, I believe the choice to adopt is one of the most admirable things any family can do. It is a process that can be time consuming, money consuming and emotionally and spiritually draining. A family who chooses to adopt make and intentional decision and submits themselves to the same emotions, choices, questions and fears of parents who "have" a baby. Often even more-so. Congratulations on your decision. I am praying for your current and growing family along this journey. And don't forget, we're all adopted! God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5

  3. I just received my "Just Love" coffee this week! That gives me a daily opportunity to pray for you while it is brewing. I am sorry you have heard unkind words. I am delighted to hear John and Julie will be grandparents, but more importantly that you will be parents!
    Hugs from Le Mars, IA

  4. In my opinion, this is not normal and it is definitely not a surprise which is why I think what you are doing is simply amazing. The amount of effort and openness you are having about the whole process is really eye opening and I hope you continue to do it. For what it is worth, Megan and I are behind you 200%(because we both agree 100%).

  5. Thank you to those of you who have sent your support! It means so much to Erika and I!

  6. to be honest, I could totally see myself being that person to say something insensitive..because sometimes (ok a lot) I'm a grown up child with no filter & no clue-I mean ZERO- about what it takes to grow & have a family. I try to be considerate and remind myself what is and isn't ok to say, in any situation. I Deeply hope I have never said anything to crush your spirits; and speaking for the other bone heads (like me) out there it's all a learning expereince, For us, for you... So from the outside looking it-- It's clear people, even good people, are going to say some pretty distasteful things at every stage of your family situation .. * i got a not so fun comment as a wedding this summer :( *

    Knowing you guys, you will turn every negative remark into a postive life lesson (to teach your kid/s).