“So how do you make sure the baby you get looks like you? How do you make sure he's white with blue eyes?” Our friend’s voice was tender and caring, inquiring about our upcoming adoption, even though his questions cut through me like a dagger.
I remember thinking through my response slowly, explaining why that a “look” was not something for which we we are looking. I shared that adoption won’t ever be a secret or anything we are ashamed of, and that we will celebrate the beauty of diversity and embrace any culture into our family.
This was the first of countless, unintentionally offensive, anti-adoption conversations we have had since beginning our journey in 2015.
I became a mama by adoption, so this journey is sacred to me.
It’s both tragic and beautiful, grievous and joyous. With one family’s immense loss, another family gains their whole world.
Adoption can be beautiful and I’ve known since the get-go we were privileged to be pursuing it. I also knew it was a serious journey requiring delicate attention and a fierce love willing to get uncomfortable for the sake of our child.
Me? I am so beyond blessed by adoption. I always say I’m the luckiest one of the bunch. It made me a mother. And adoption has made me a better person, through and through.
One of the most obvious problems regarding adoption in our culture today is the lack of positive or healthy language surrounding it. Words are so powerful, no matter the intent, and I am here to learn alongside you how to love everyone just a bit better.
Here are seven things not to say to an adopting or adoptive family, and what you could say instead—
1. “How much did it cost?”
Whether you’re asking about the adoption or the child, stop yourself. First, remember that children are not purchased. Second, ask yourself why you’re asking this. This is actually no one’s business and is quite possibly one of the most personal questions you could ask.
If you want to know more about adoption fees in general, and what that could look like for your family, ask something like this: “What are the average fees for domestic/international adoption?”