I have mentioned before that one of the main reasons that I keep blogging, aside from how much I love it, is that I want to help educate people about adoption. Last year sometime I wrote a blog posting about Adoption Etiquette with the intention of enlightening readers on the do’s and don’ts of things to say/ask about adoption.
Yesterday, a special friend of mine, also a Mommy thought adoption, the person who actually inspired Walter and I to follow on the path of adoption, got very hurt by an insensitive comment, from someone who really should have known better. In the process, a number of other special Mom’s through adoption were also hurt by the same comment. I wanted to add this sentiment to my adoption etiquette list.
It is never ever ok to intimate that adoption is second best/second choice or that a mom/dad/parent through adoption has suffered some kind of injustice because she/he has not experienced pregnancy & thereby is somehow “less” of a mother/father/parent because of that missed experience.
People need to understand that when statements like that are made, not only do they hurt the adoptive parent, but also the adopted child by insinuating that because the choice to adopt was secondary that the adopted child is second best too. I’m sure birth mom’s and adoptive mom’s will agree, that is simply not the case. Some of us are just chosen for the path less traveled. Some of us, in our wisdom, realize that the ultimate goal is not pregnancy but a lifetime of motherhood/fatherhood of nurturing and loving and raising a child. I’m quite sure all Birth Mom’s will agree with adoptive mom’s when they say that sentiment is offensive, that adopted children are not second best.
I think that the general populous also need to realize that those of us chosen for the path of adoption do not think of our children as “adopted” children. They are simply our children, born in our hearts, linked by our souls.
Adoption is not a second choice, it is a redirection, process, a journey but by no means second best.
I’ve often been asked whether I feel I missed out on the pregnancy experience and my answer is simple. I have a mild curiosity about it in the same way as I’m curious to know what it must be like to fly a plane, travel to outer space or ride a wild horse, all things I’m sure I will not experience in my life time but thoughts that fleetingly cross my mind from time to time. I don’t think of it in terms of being unfair. What is unfair are the number of women who yearn for motherhood but never get to experience it. What is unfair are the thousands of unwanted babies born and abandoned each year. That is unfair. But I and all my Mom through adoption friends are getting to experience all the joys, trials and tribulations of motherhood and there is nothing unfair about that, it is a beautiful thing.
I realize that these comments are made out of absolute ignorance. My Mom’s through adoption friends and I, we know something that mothers through traditional means don’t know. We know a love that does not just bond a mother to her child but a deeper love that is the adoption triad. We know what sisterhood is. We know that another woman’s selfless sacrifice for her child was ultimately for us too.
Pregnancy doesn’t make a mother, if that were true there would be no abandoned or abused children in the world. Mothering, loving, nurturing that makes a mother, it’s sad that there are some people who will never realize or understand that.
Ultimately that is their loss, as I said to my friend yesterday, they will never know what we know.