Thursday, July 21, 2011

What not to say to a birth mom or adoptee

(This is solely my opinion. The things that I have experienced in no way reflect EVERY birth mother or adoptee)

I've seen a few blogs recently that have talked about the do's and don't's of what to say to someone who has had a pregnancy loss. Having experienced 2 pregnancy losses myself, I could totally relate to the horrible things that people say to you. My favorite remark that was made to me after I lost my first baby at 11 weeks was, "maybe next time you'll be more careful." Yes, someone actually said that to me. It took all the morals and values I had to not slap the girl (luckily she is no longer in my life).

As you can see, there are many horrible things you can say when a person is struggling, but there are also things you can say that you may not even realize are inappropriate.

So, I wanted to talk (or blog) about the things NOT to say to a birth mother AND an adoptee and appropriate adoption language.

What not to ask or say to a birth mom

First, the biggest mistake I often hear in adoption talk is "giving a baby up for adoption." I know this a common mistake. I've said it too....and I'm a birth mom AND an adoptee!! The reason this phrase is such a stab in the heart to most birth moms is because it kind of sounds like we just gave our baby away because we didn't want him or her. Which is entirely untrue! In the adoption world, we use the term "place". I placed my birth son for adoption. This phrase is much more loving and just sounds better. We placed our baby in the arms of their parents. We placed them in a good home. Placing your baby for adoption sounds much better sounds much better then giving your baby up for adoption.

"Birth moms are just lazy."
Someone I know thought this of birth moms before they met me. He said he thought this because he thought they just didn't want the responsibility of taking care of a child. As a mother and a birth mother, I can tell you being a birth mother is MUCH more difficult. The emotions you feel far outweigh the stresses and struggles of parenthood. Choosing to be a birth mom is choosing the more difficult path and the "non-lazy" one. I hope not many people think this, but if you do, DON'T say it to a birth mom. Go talk to one so she can change your mind!

"So, did you not want your baby?"
Yes, people actually ask this. I know for many people, they really can not comprehend why I, or any other birth mother, would allow someone else to raise their child. The reasons are usually very personal. And 100% of the birth moms that I have met all WANTED their children, but for their personal and very emotional reasons, chose adoption for their baby. So, please do ask such a hard and hurtful question.

"Do you think your birth son will be mad at your for what you did?"
Why would he be mad? I didn't have my life in order when he was born. I wanted him to have a mom and a dad from the start. I wanted him to have an eternal family. I wanted his life to be full of WILL's not MAYBE's. This question is to try and make a birth mom feel bad because you are saying that her birth child will be angry with her for choosing adoption. I know every adoption is different, but in my own and in the case of my brothers, we are NOT angry at our birth mothers. We are actually very grateful for them.

"Can you get your baby back?"
I hate to think that people really don't understand what adoption is, but I guess they don't. Adoption is much different then foster care. In the foster care system, most children were taken OUT of the home due to a the parents not doing what was best for their child. Yes, they can get their children back after they get things in order and clean up their life. But adoption is different. An expectant parent chooses a family for their child and when that child is born, the birth mother then signs ALL her rights away to the new parents. It varies by state, but usually the birth mother only has a limited amount of time to change her mind (in California it's 24 hours). I just don't think this question should be ask of ANY birth mother. The choice she made was not easy and a question like this may only rise up painful feelings.

Things not to ask or say to an adoptee

"Do you know your real parents?"
Why yes I do. Parley and Earlene, the two that have raised me since I was just hours old. Yes...I know them quite well thank you.
While I LOVE my birth mother, she is just that, my birth mother. My mom is the woman that raised me, my adoptive mother. So, to ask an adoptee if they know their real parents is thoughtless and can be hurtful. Many adoptees don't even know their birth parents. All they have ever known is their adoptive parents, their REAL parents.

"You know your birth mom didn't love you."
Yes, someone said that to me once. Don't was in someone online, a LONG time ago. But I think a comment like this is completely horrible and heartless. Yes my birth mother loved me. That's why she chose life for me and gave me a wonderful family. Someone who didn't love me wouldn't have giving me the life I have.

"All adopted kids are messed up."
I have heard that my siblings and I are the exception to this rule. Because someone knows ONE family who has ONE adopted kid that has some problems, then ALL adopted kids are messed up right? Tell me how many families you know who have biological kids who are "messed up"? I know plenty! So, I don't think there is any merit to this comment. The kid maybe would have had problems if he/she wasn't adopted. Maybe that's just in their personality. And sometimes when children are adopted at an older age and have experienced horrible things, then yes, they may have some problems. But to categorize all adoptees into being "messed up" is wrong and hurtful.

My LEAST favorite saying on the entire planet, "blood is thicker then water." I have heard this comment hundreds of times throughout my life. And I think it's entirely untrue. When I would hear people say this I would think, "but wait, I'm very close to my family and I'm not blood related to any of them, so this doesn't make sense." And the saying REALLY doesn't make sense if you think about it.
Besides your parents, siblings and children, who is the one person you will be closest to in this life and will grown old with; your spouse. I LOVE Sean. My bond with him is tighter then anyone else on this planet and I am NOT blood related to him.

There are many more questions and comments I could post but then this post would be a mile long. So, just remember when speaking to an adoptee or birth mom, it's OK to ask questions. I'm an open book! But be sensitive. I know you are curious but maybe the adoptee or birth mom is not ready to answer certain questions. Let certain things stay personal. And if the adoptee or birth mom chooses to share, then they will. But just remember, in the end, we are all Heavenly Fathers children and he's "placed us all" on this earth to take care of each other until we can return to Him.

Monday, July 11, 2011

You like?

This is my new hair? You like? Well I LOVE it! Its a light caramel brown. And some of the blonde highlights show through.

This is a gorgeous sunset and my even MORE gorgeous daughter. You like? No YOU LOVE it!!

And this my hot husband and once again my gorgeous daughter. You like? Well...its ok if you ONLY like Sean and not love. Leave the lovin to me! ;)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I need a break.....

From work that is! And I got one!
School is out officially (I work summer school the month of June) and now I'm officially off for the next month (well alittle more then 3 weeks now because the first week is almost over). I love this time of year and now I love it even more because I get to spend it with my wonderful family.

We have lots of things planned for this month off and that makes it go by pretty quickly, which is a bummer, but I'm glad we are getting to do things.

And the most important thing.........I get to spend a month with Brielle.

I have had a few people tell me that I'm lucky I'm a working mom because I get a break from my kid. First off, I know how blessed I am to have a job. There are so many out there that don't and I thank my Father in Heaven often for blessing me with a good job. But really....I don't believe my job is a break from Brielle.

Let me explain a little something about the work I do.

I am a paraeducator. We are essentially a care giver to special needs students but we also throw in some goals for them to work on. I work in the 2nd to lowest class. My day is filled with potty trips, which include changing diapers (so baby poop is nothing to me), wiping drool, dealing with seizures,doing the heimlich (which I just did on a student during summer school), pushing wheelchairs, restraining the more violent students, chasing after kids and cleaning up messes. I have been spit on, hit,slapped, scratched, punched, kicked and drooled on (Sean has actually been bit AND thrown up on...I have not had those luxuries yet). We take the kids on trips once a week, which involves lots of planning and making sure no on gets hurt, lost and that we are prepared for possible seizures and other health problems. I love my job. I really do. If I HAVE to work, I'm glad it is with these wonderful kids. I usually come home exhausted, even before I had Brielle. You really put all your energy into these kids. So, when people tell me it's nice that I get a break from Brielle, I just laugh. Because it is not a break. Doing what I do has made parenting seem like a breeze. with anything (work, parenting, marriage) things that are worth it take work. Even though my job can be exhausting, I choose for it to be "good" work and not "bad" work. Its all in your attitude. I get beat up some LITERALLY! But I still laugh about it and just put it into my "good stories" catagory of life.
Sean and I choose to see parenting the same way. We know there are sleepless nights (we've experienced them!)But we choose to have view parenting as "good" work. I don't need a break from my daughter (I think "me" time is differnt then a break). In the almost 4 years I've been married to Sean, which 3 I've worked with him at the same school, I've NEVER needed a break from him. Yes marriage is work, but it's "good" work.

So, even though I view my work as "good" work, it's the only thing I need a break from. Not my husband or my daughter. They are my joy and my best friends. So if you tell me I'm lucky to be a working mom because I get a break from my daughter and I laugh at you, please don't take offense. It's just silly to me that I would enjoy work more then being a mom. Because even though I do enjoy my "work kids", NO job is as great as being a mommy.

/ My beautiful fourth of July baby! She was so tired but was being such a good sport during our photo shoot.

A 4th of July tea party! And in case you thought I looked differnt, I put some highlights in my hair. I'm actually planning on going a little lighter very soon!