February 19, 2012
Your Son Looks Just Like You
As an adoptive mom I've read plenty of literature, studies, blogs, etc on what people consider to be sensitive topics or things never to say to an adoptive parent. Honestly, I take most of it with a grain of salt. There is no formula to figuring out just what exactly would be considered offensive to just one person. Everyone is different.
For instance, here is a common phrase an adoptive mom might begrudgingly be the recipient of: "Now that you've adopted you will get pregnant." Or something to that effect. In my reading, this conversational piece has been listed as one of the top no-no's to ever say to a mom like myself. I've had a couple of close friends discuss this very subject with me because like good friends, they did their own research in the hopes of providing and being the best support system they could be. God forbid they offend me by saying something about the adoption of our son that could cause emotional harm. But I love them for it...we're all treading new water here so none of us were prepared for this path in our lives.
Back to the "pregnant" statement. While it may be hurtful to some adoptive moms, I find myself to be nonchalant about the phrase. To date, I couldn't tell you how many people have unknowing said the dreaded thing to me already. I also find it silly that people not knowing our full history leading up to adoption make those assumptions.
Anyhow, I digress...since I've explained how not all subjects are taboo to adoptive parents, I recently discovered one that is to me personally.
An acquaintance comments on how beautiful our son is and then the words come out "he looks just like..." (enter family member name and so on). While we have every intention of being open with Noah about his adoption, and I couldn't be more proud of being a part of the miracle of adoption, it truly irks me when the first response is to mention/remind that person that he is adopted. It's more to do with the tone I suppose; as if the fact that he is not our biological child negates someone's comment about how he might favor our family.
It seems like a ridiculous high-horse to be on, but maybe it's to do with my privacy more than anything. I don't need the cashier at the store to know my son is adopted - and I don't need all of Facebook or other social networks to either, where six degrees of separation causes news to travel fast and be far-reaching.
A simple "thank you" is all I'm hoping for. Am I being too dramatic?