Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Little Grace

Hey guys,

There's some stuff going on on the web that I want to address just cause I have a little stage. I've been seeing ALOT of frustration coming off of LOTS of blogs lately where adopting families are venting about people saying the wrong things to them. And that the general public should stop complimenting us, saying we're nice or rescuing a child, or asking if our children are adopted (when they pretty clearly are). I also feel a little uncomfortable when people say it's kind of us to adopt and that we're really doing something great for our child. And if they could peek into my heart they'd see that it's not really much of a sacrifice on my part. I'm over the moon, and I'm sure he's not going to be that thrilled, actually. And in a heart to heart with a friend, I'd gladly state where I'm coming from on all this. But in casual park conversations, trips to the grocery store, and church chit chat, a smile and 'wer're pretty excited too' will suffice.

And as for people who ask about a clearly adopted child, I know you might think it's rude. I know. But my experience is that most people are just curious. In fact, some of them may be interested in adopting. And not everyone knows our lingo. And surely we can't expect the rest of the world to place adoption above the many other worthy topics to teach their children about. We are a few people who have an opportunity to teach the public about something really cool, and I hate to see us all getting our panties in a wad because someone phrased a question or sentiment the 'wrong' way when they were trying to be kind. I KNOW that before I adopted I have asked someone if their child was adopted. Because I was interested in it and I could clearly see that I was talking to a person that could tell me about it. And I really hope they didn't go home all upset and write a nasty blog post about the ignorance of the general public inspired by me! You know what I mean? So I'd like to be a voice of, um.... encouragement? Discouragement? I'm not really sure at this point. I'd like to throw in my two cents and say, simmer down, girls. The world is opening up about adoption, and that's stinkin' awesome! But we can't be snobs about it or we'll alienate people. Or needlessly upset ourselves. Heaven forbid someone says you're nice. It's all good. I just don't want to see all of us walking around with a chip on our shoulder and jumping on a bandwagon of spreading nastiness. That's not what we're about, right?! And I'm not missing the fact that I'm complaining about complaining! :)


  1. I LOVE this post!!!! I love talking about adoption to anyone who is willing to talk with me. I do get offended if someone asks if they are "real sisters" and I get annoyed when people skirt around the topic. I would rather them just ask, Did you adopt.
    Any time I see a transracial family I always ask if they adopted. I just want to talk adoption and make friends, but you can tell the people who have a chip and quickly turn their back on me. But I wouldn't want to be friends with that person anyway. hah

  2. oh, goodness, thanks for the comment. i was dead nervous writing it, actually. but it's good to know i'm not the only one who's open to a friendly chat.

  3. I LOVE this! We should be joyfully sharing what God is doing through us by His grace alone. We don't want to give the impression that we're "adoption snobs"...especially when we are doing it in Jesus' name! thank you for sharing this!

  4. I'm one who recently posted on Adoption Etiquette and I really have to say the following excerpt from my blog post sums up how I feel.

    "We love to use these opportunities to educate others on the appropriate way to say or ask things (birth parents or first family vs. real parents, etc). We truly know that many are just curious how everything works or the history of how we came to be. Sadly, others are beyond curious and to the point of nosy and an even smaller number of people are outright rude.

    I really try to give an answer covered in grace...however, there are times they catch me completely off guard, the children are out of sorts, I'm short on time, you get the point...and my answers or tone are not the grace filled words I desire!"

    You can read the whole post on my website. We truly love talking about adoption but sadly, the truth is we do deal with many negative and even rude comments...sometimes it truly feels like we hear the negative more than the positive. Always an opportunity to educate, though, and that is was we try to emphasize!

  5. Love this post! So true! We took our little man to church for the first time...he's about ten shades darker than me and my hubby and I could see people wanting to ask about how we became a family. I wish they would have!...and I know sometimes people can get rude or nosy but that's okay, too...Lord give me the grace to answer with love! It is not up to the world to educate themselves on adoption in order to help make me feel more comfortable. It is up to me and my hubby to educate our son so he grows up being proud of his story and to give grace to others who may not understand and have questions...and if they are rude to him....well that's just the reality of the world we live in. Not everybody is going to be good.

    1. oh, sweet! you are so articulate and i am so not. yep, that's what i mean to say. bingo. :)

  6. I love this post, Beth!! I know that I often feel nervous to ask a family if they've adopted (when it's obvious they have) because I don't want to be "rude." BUT, I'm really just dying to know if their little one is from the same country as our future son or daughter!! I really just want to run up and hug their kiddo but I hold myself back :-). Anyhow, I love this and am glad to know that I'm not the only one who thinks we need to lighten up a bit with all of the PC'ness of adoption. I know it will be hard in the moment sometimes but I still think this post is perfectly stated! thanks for sharing!

  7. I'm with Jenny. As someone in the process, reading the blogs, and looking for adoptive friends, I'm so gun shy to even talk to families. My husband and I have been to adoptive activities and trying to reach out to make friends, but we're so nervous about offending someone.

    Recently at a baseball game, there was a family that was obviously adoptive. The lil boy was wearing the baseball jersey of my nephew's favorite player. I looked at my husband and did a "OMG, he's so cute. Look at his jersey; just like Ian!" Then freaked out in my head, because I worried that the mom thought I was pointing him out bc he was adopted. So nervous, I am!! Awkward too, but that's another story!

    Thanks for the gesture of grace!