The rest of November passed me by fairly quickly, but let me doing a lot of thinking in the wake of National Adoption Awareness Month.
Of all the things that continue to bounce around inside my head and take up too much of my wakeful hours, the Flip the Script movement is at the front. I did a lot more reading that writing last month. One, because I was doing my best to listen to other adoptive narratives as I had told my readers we should. Two, because I found that a lot of adoptees do not want non-adoptees writing the hashtag, even if it is to be, in lack of better terms at the moment, an ally. And I get it – similar to other movements, that is supposed to be their space and they deserve to own the whole the it. I am actually going to go back through and take the tag off all my previous entries. I do not want to talk over any part of the adoption triad. I think next year I may even chose to stay silent for the month so as to say, “I am respectfully waiting my turn.” I hope that makes sense.
Again, my thoughts with adoption are all knotted together at the moment.
I was caught off guard over Thanksgiving by a relative on D’s side of the family. We had known this particular relative had some reservations about the adoption because of the decades they had lived in Africa previously. But over that weekend, there were other, more disappointing “concerns” to address that I feel should mentioned and cleared up here.
- I am going to get pregnant the moment we bring a baby home.
- This was probably the nicest and most ridiculous comment of the evening. It is not the 50’s. D and I are not attempting to conceive in any way, shape, or form. Yes, it can happen, but it is not the guarantee that some folks think it will be because it happened to every couple they ever knew who adopted ever.
- Our child will resent us for being black while we are white, among other things they will hate us for.
- Yes, we will be a transracial family. It does not automatically mean we will end up hating each other. We will have discussions about our differences as well as our similarities, we will make sure provide a community and mentors where their blackness can be appreciated and celebrated. Yes, there are part of their life experience we will not be able to understand. But I have some knowledge of what it is like to be discriminated again for not being “white” white and not being Christian. We will find ways to empathize.
- Lack of resentment is no guarantee with biological kids. Plenty of natural families are estranged from one another for different reasons: petty fights, drugs, abuse, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
- We will regret adopting.
- This is hard to address. There is loss in adoption – in our case, we will not get the chance to have a biological kid who may look like us, be like us, etc. It is our choice. We may feel some regret over time about it, but we won’t regret adopting. Deep down, we both really want this. Granted, me longer than D. We got plenty of bull when we got engaged – we’re too young, we’re going to regret jumping the wagon (after almost four years of dating. Um, yeah, we’re together 10 years and going on strong.). We are educating ourselves constantly, so we know how hard this is going to be for all involved and our hearts are ready to take it.
I have to admit now that despite feeling like I handled the hurtful conversation well – with a smile and a gentle tone – it had me reeling for a good two weeks after. I anxiously probed my own feelings, wondering if I was the type of person to become a nasty, vengeful parent if I wasn’t getting what I expected out of my family life. You hear about narcissistic parents making holidays hell for their children and I cannot help but worry about whether I am the type of person to blame someone else for my unhappiness.
Would I ever be good enough for adoptive children who need so much more love, attention, and understanding? Was I fit to be a parent at all? I am so use to our life and living on our own terms. D was away for work, out of country again, and I spiraled downward and have only just pulled myself back out of it.
We are still waiting, yes, but I know I am excited for this adoption for the right reasons. Our kiddo is gonna be awesome, and life will be as fulfilling as the effort we put into it. I can’t let the negative people start to ruin my family before it has even been formed.