I need to step outside of my comfort zone for a minute. I’m typically not one to cause friction or publicly call somebody out, but I’m feeling like it is warranted and necessary. Consider this both a public service and a preemptive strike.
As you may recall, we are in the process of adopting a baby girl born two weeks ago. This little girl is the biological half-sister of our adopted son. In simpler terms, our two youngest have the same birth mom, but different birth dads.
Given this information, and the relatively small gap between their births (a little over 17 months), we have had to field some uncomfortable questions from friends, family, co-workers, and others.
You can probably guess some of the things we’re hearing. Things like “She knows what causes that right?” or suggestions that we should take the birth mom a box of condoms. When we shared that our daughter was born via C-section, more people than I care to think about have asked “Did they tie her tubes while they were in there?”.
My wife and I struggle to process how rude and insensitive these comments are. It is disappointing, insulting (and rather infuriating) to hear them from people we care about.
I honestly believe that these things are said with good, honest intentions. We simply do not have people in our lives who are intentionally rude and insulting to us. It’s likely these things are said jokingly, or in reaction to the sudden nature of this placement, or any number of other reasons.
But trust me, we do not appreciate these comments.
First and foremost, you’re talking about the birth mother of two of our children. I’m going to defend her like I would my own mom, my wife, or our children. Mess with the birth mama and you’re messing with me.
It may be hard for non-adoptive parents to understand the protective loyalty I have for someone I’ve never met (as is the case with both of our birth moms), but you need to understand: without these women, without the sacrifices they made, the pain they endured, and the other things you and I cannot fully appreciate, I have no children. No family. Nothing. The gratitude – the eternal, never-ending thankfulness I have cannot be underestimated.
It is very easy for those on the outside to look at the choices birth moms make and judge. Why did they get “knocked up”? Why do they have babies they “cannot keep”? How could they possibly “give up*” a child for adoption? Again?
*Seriously, if you’re still saying “give up”, please stop. Switch to “placed for adoption” or “chose to place for adoption”. Yeah it’s a little more work for your brain, but those extra words don’t sting nearly as bad.
I look at this two ways:
1) Look at your life. What choices have you made that others have judged? How did that feel? I know I’m not perfect. My family and friends love me in spite of many of the things I’ve done and said.
2) Instead of focusing on the negative, celebrate these women. Instead of choosing abortion, they chose to give life to these wonderful, beautiful children – all while enduring a difficult social stigma. The greatest days of our lives – the days we took custody of our children – were the worst days in the lives of their birth moms. We try to never forget that.
But mostly, I think about the birth mom of our son and baby girl. She is a beautiful young woman (early 30s) with lots of life to live. Who knows what her situation will be in six months or six years? Quite simply, she has done absolutely nothing to warrant losing her ability to have children.
Nobody has the right to suggest that her ability to reproduce be taken away solely because she blessed us with two beautiful children. Not me. Not you. Nobody.
I can’t tell you what to think or how to feel about the choices our birth moms have made. But I am asking you – politely, yet very, very firmly – to keep those opinions to yourself. My children will be raised to honor and celebrate their mom and birth mom, and they do not need to hear any rude or disparaging comments about them.