A friend of mine who has adopted two children posted this on Facebook recently:
It is amazing what complete strangers will ask/infer/question/etc. I always answer for my kids ears (never for the stranger), but I sometimes have fun with replies when they are out of earshot.
Some of my favorites:
– Does he speak English? Me, puzzled look, “ummm…he’s a baby”
– Do they know they were adopted? Me, puzzled look, “ummmm???” (note a theme?)
– Does he look like his father? Me: “More like the FedEx Man” (FedEx delivered the adoption paperwork…and kiddo was out of earshot). She gave me a nasty look, but maybe she has since stopped questioning strangers about their family makeup? You’re welcome. LOL
– Random woman: Are they really brothers?
– Me: “They sure are!”
– Random woman: No, really…are they REALLY brothers?
– Me: “Yep!”
– Random woman: I mean, are they from the same family?
– Me: “Yes, we just live one street over.”
Since she was not going to stop, I finally said something about how my kids’ stories are theirs to tell and I like to honor their privacy.
And two of my favorites…
-How much did he COST?
– Why didn’t his mother want him?
(I have to channel Gandhi, King, Dorothy Day and more when I get these).
I read it, and laughed, of course. Good grief, the things people say! I admired the way my friend protects her children from as much of the ridiculousness as she can.
But it made me think about that one couple that used to come to the clinic. If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know the one I mean. The couple that used to bring their babies to the clinic. They were chasers, and they’d strap the babies on – one for each of them – facing forward, so the people heading for the clinic couldn’t miss seeing them.
Cute babies, both of them, with big brown eyes that always looked a bit worried. I guess the babies were four or five months old when they started bringing them and I bet they were over a year old when they quit coming.
You can see the video here if you want to. But essentially the man would say.
“My son was abandoned on the side of the road the day after he was born, by his mother, to die. And what youall are going in here to do is the same thing, you’re bringing a child to die. And there’s families that would be willing to adopt this child
And the woman would say:
I know you might be having a hard time right now, but there’s options, you wouldn’t have to raise this child, there would be a family that would love the child. I love my adopted child no less than I love my own…
They said those same things over and over, and I cringed every time the Dad talked about his son being abandoned by his mother to die. Maybe it was true – or maybe the mother died giving birth – or maybe some agency made it up to garner sympathy. I cringed because he was saying it in front of the child, and I would imagine those words, repeated over and over, seeping into that child’s heart.
I cringed every time the mother said she loved her adopted child no less than *her own.* I’m sure she did, but watching her daughter listen to her, and knowing this mother thought in terms of her biological children being *her own,* made me sad.
I’m so glad they don’t come anymore – it’s been years now. I hope they realized that it was harmful for their children, and I hope those children are growing up healthy and happy. But you can see how my friend’s post on Facebook made me think of them, her concern was such a vivid contrast to the parents using their babies like props at the clinic.
If you listen to the protesters, you might think that lots of people change their minds and choose adoption. Actually, the percentage of unintended pregnancies that end with adoption is one percent. Not one percent of people who consider abortion, not one percent of people who make an appointment at the clinic. One percent of all unintended pregnancies end in adoption.*
Seems unlikely that any of our antis who offer to “adopt your child myself” are going to get any takers, doesn’t it?
I’m not against adoption, you know. It’s not so much like the old days, when I was in high school, and pregnant girls dropped out and “went away.” That was fairly awful. These days, I think there is less stigma and shame, and the prevalence of open adoptions or partially open adoptions make it a bit different proposition. But most of the people coming to the clinic have already considered their options and made a decision. Tormenting them at the last minute is just not helpful.
Someone accused me recently of showing “utter hatred…for anyone who stands in opposition to your opinion.” I had to think about that – I had to check myself. Are they right? Do I hate the protesters?
And I realized – no. I don’t hate them.
Not Donna, not Nurse Betty, or Ron. Not Screaming Preacher or the guy that always walks backwards in front of clients. Not Andrew – whose wife has had the baby, which is understandably exciting for them. (And I’d be real happy for them, if he’d quit telling the clients that they can be as happy with their baby as he and his wife are with theirs if they just walk out now.) But I don’t hate him, or the anti-evolution preacher, or the one that used to be gay. I don’t hate any of them.
I hate that they’re at the clinic.
I hate lots of the things they say and do. But once they’re gone – if they quit coming down to torment the clients and companions – I won’t have any bad feelings about them at all. Like the couple with the adopted children – I wish them well, and want only good things for them and their children. Even if I am one of those evil, baby-killing, Satan’s helper, Deathscorts…
~~ fml221 ~~
* Between 38-50% of all pregnancies are unintended.
P.S. As my first commenter, Sara, points out, I have ignored the ethical issues with adoption that continues to exist, so I’m adding a link to this excellent article by RH Reality Check about the problem and some effort at solutions. http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2010/06/22/adoption-abortioncommon-ground-mistake/