Pages

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Be Glad You Adopted...

So today was the day I received the first blatantly ignorant comment from someone when she found out I'm an adoptive mom.

This little exchange occured during my not-so-favorite class, math. We were doing introductions and after walking around and exchanging pieces of paper with three personal facts about ourselves with each other, this is what the girl said to me:

"Just be glad you adopted because man - having to give birth to a baby hurts like hell."

Really? I just smiled blandly at her and said, "An entirely different kind of pain." At that point, I think it was fairly obvious that I was annoyed, and she attempted to make more small talk with me. To be fair, this girl is extremely young, and quite probably simply doesn't know any better. But seriously?

And the really annoying thing is that I've been letting her comment bother me all day, which bothers me even more. Hindsight is always 20/20, but I wish I'd said, "Oh I am very glad we adopted, but that has absolutely nothing to do with my wish to avoid physical pain."

I wish people could be more informed and less blatantly ignorant. I wish they could see and understand that while adoption also creates families, it is really not comparable to child birth at all. And pain? I wish I had said, "Yeah...let's talk about pain." I certainly can't claim to have gone through any physical pain close to child birth, but I'd wager millions that the girl from my class can't hold a candle to the emotional wars through which I've come either.

Whatever. There is nothing to do but process today's events and move on. And of course, try to educate my new classmate when future opportunities present themselves...


19 comments:

Layla- Miss CanAm said...

I'm sorry there are such ignorant people in the world- and in math class- what a way to make it suck more :)

I think the response you gave was great- i know (had i been ignorant and said it to you) it would have shut me right up. She has obviously never had to think of the emotional pain of not being able to have a baby. Little does she know, at one time, you would have endured that pain day in day out to have a baby in your arms. Sadly, you had to endure a pain that doesnt' go away as easy. I think you did the right thing and you gave her something to think about
-Marci

Jill said...

I probably would have unleashed on her! LOL!
I would have started my 10 minute long rant about what we DID have to go through to adopt, and really made her feel stupid.
Yeah, you had sex and gave birth. I struggeled with infertility, have had more local, BCI, and FBI checks than you can shake your skinny little finger at, filled out more personal paperwork than I care too, had people inside my home and in my cabinets to make sure I was a fit person, had the fire dept out to safety inspection on my home, have been from bank to bank essentially begging them to lend us money so we can fulfill our dream of a family, and spent countless hours doing a self portrait of ourselves to be printed, to show to potential birthmoms like we are stray dogs hoping to be picked. But sure sweetie, you are right...I AM lucky I adopted!
I could keep going if you like........LOL!
Sorry you had to deal with that today Melba. Maybe this is God's way of helping you educate other's about the joys of adoption. Good luck, and remember, you ARE lucky!

Kelly said...

I hear you! I always tell people my pregnancy was more emotional than physical pain!

I hope her comment is soon forgotten!

Wendy said...

Ugh. That's the kind of the comment that would have stuck with me all day, too. I would have been trying to think of good answers/retorts the whole day!

The pain of IF is so much more than a physical pain. I don't think people realize that unless they have walked in your shoes.

Blessed said...

Don't you have when you let those comments get to you because you know you shouldnt but its hard! I've had a couple today about how i should breastfeed and how she must look like her daddy....

UGH I too just wish people could smarten up or shush up!

Rebekah said...

A different kind of pain indeed....One that can only be understood if you've walked in these shoes.

Mrs H said...

Another reason I hate that sharing BS in class....and going back to school as "non traditional" (ie OLD student).

Hang in there! No doubt she'll say something dumb again and then you'll have your opportunity to educate.

Malloryn said...

It can be tiring sometimes, when it feels like you're the one who is always educating others. I guess we need to do it for the sake of our kids, and (in this case) for the next adoptive parent this woman speaks to. I think your response was perfect.

Jamie said...

i'm sorry you had to hear that melba. :( it would have stuck with me all day too....guess that's what blogging is for with those who have "been there". :) we understand wholeheartedly. even if you would've tried to explain....she wouldn't have gotten it anyway....your response was perfect and intelligent. :)we as adoptive parents are sooo fortunate, however our blessings came to us through pain also.....

BB said...

The worst part about those incidents is when you don't say what you WANT to have said and you re-live the what-i-should-have-said conversation!

I think that when people say stuff like that and the "oh, you can have my kids" stuff, it just shows that they feel sorry for us (grrrr!!) and try to shed some light on the situation for us. Thanks, but no thanks. I wouldn't trade what i have for ANYTHING!!!

KT said...

I am sorry you had to hear that. We all experienece pain...it is just in a different way.

hope548 said...

I was told that by a good friend. The same friend also said that if they couldn't have conceived, that she probably would have just lived childless. We were still in the adoption process at that point and I just couldn't understand her saying that to me. Though she was very interested and excited for us to be adopting, she was clueless as to the pain her ignorance caused.
Every time I hear someone use the terms "real mother or real father" I wince inside.

E said...

I think your reply was pretty good! Her labor pain lasted what...a few hours? Heh, oh yeah...adoption is soooo easy! Anyway, I don't think that I would have been that quick and her stupid comment would have flustered me.

Well, as you said, she's young and probably doesn't have enough life experience to comment tactfully and appropriately. I hope she eventually realized how dopey she sounded. Stupid comments, aka "educational opportunities", are just that. Stupid. And even though we know they're stupid and typically well-intentioned, they still sting. Sorry you had to hear that.

Becky said...

Been there sooooo many times!! Sorry! And, I do the same thing! Play it a thousand times over and think of everything in the world I wish I had said!
It will always happen. We just have to see it as opportunities to educate!!

Leah said...

Sorry you were on the receiving end of such a stupid comment. The things people say amaze me. . . And I mean amaze in a negative way.

Your son is adorable by the way. :-D

TXMom2B said...

Most likely she was just trying to be supportive, just didn't have a clue how to do so. Unless you've gone through infertility, you can't know what it's like to want to be pregnant like that, at least at first, to not take it for granted. Maybe, for those who get pregnant easily, it's easy to just see the pain because they don't know any other option to parenthood.

Debbie B said...

Ugh! The first ones are always the worst. Don't worry about the fact that it consumed your day, I would like to think that's normal.
Hope seeing her at class repeatedly isn't going to be too hard for you. Hope you are able to educate her.

My SIL made this comment to me while we were out shopping. Of course she was about 6 months pregnant with their 3rd at the time. So I should have given her a little bit of understanding. Instead I commented on the wait and all the hassle. We live we learn. I'll handle it better next time.

sanjeet said...

I think you did the right thing and you gave her something to think about
Web hosting india

Kgerl said...

I love your response. In fact I am going to make a point to try and remember the one you said and the one you wish you had said for when I get such a stupid comment said to me.