Adoption Etiquette Part 2

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.


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  • Reply jonivdw

    BRILLIANTLY WRITTEN Shaz!!! Thank you for writing this! Pregnancy is for 9 months only, parenthood is forever! Must say after my miscarriages, I never ever want to experience pregnancy again! I love Adam more than life itself and am happy with my path! Adoption was NEVER our 2nd choice or last option, it was always in our path!

    Hurtful ignorant people just irritate the daylights out of me!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm
  • Reply Kimmie

    Eloquent as always Sharon!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm
  • Reply Stefanie

    I have to agree with this. I am an adoptive child as well, and many times people would refer to you as a second thought / and after thought / or just being second best as the mother were not able to have their own. From a adoptive childs point of view, this carries on even into adulthood, and it even becomes worse when you then suffer from infertility too.

    Unfortunately people don’t think what they say, or they just don’t care about the persons feelings to whom they saying it.

    Adoptive parent / or let me say – my adoptive parent are the best, I love them very much and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t feel part of our family and their child.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:15 pm
  • Reply Tan

    Nice post Sharon

    Not everyone is cut out to be a parent. And your right if motherhood was as simple as just falling pregnant then nobody would abandon their child or abuse them.

    I didn’t place Taylor because I thought she would be a second choice or be classed as not good enough.

    In fact the opposite is true I placed her because I wanted what was best for her, I wasn’t in a position to meet all her needs and she would have been placed second not first if I had parented her.

    Because she is adopted she is loved even more and I think she feels it………

    I will hurt anyone who makes her feel like she was a second choice.

    I’m sorry that there are ignorant people out there its so sad.


    October 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm
  • Reply ems mommy

    stunning stunning post my dear friend
    love you dearly xxx

    October 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm
  • Reply Mash

    Like I’ve said before, it takes an AMAZING person to place their baby for adoption, this really is an incredibly special, precious and miraculous process that is hard to understand for people who have not witnessed it.

    A friend of mine said to me last night that having a baby is about having a child and everything that comes with it, about becoming a family. And pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life, but those nine months are not what it takes to become a mother at all. She compared it to being married vs the excitement of having a wedding. The wedding really masks the real nature of marriage, the ups and downs. Just like pregnancy masks the real nature of parenthood.

    Thanks for this powerful post!

    October 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm
  • Reply Julia

    I used to be guilty of many of the things that you mentioned. Pure ignorance and nothing else. Thanks to you blogging about Adoption I know better. And I just LOVE the magic of it all.

    October 21, 2011 at 9:02 pm
  • Reply Sian

    I feel that we all alk our own path. Jayden is all I ever wanted. I simply don’t care that I didnt carry him. He is my miracle meant to be boy. We were meant to find each other!!!

    October 22, 2011 at 11:04 am
  • Reply Suzanna Catherine

    What you have said is s true. It takes a special person to put a child up for adoption. to be that unselfish. I am blessed daily by the unconditional love of two birth moms who gave me the greatest of gifts…my two sons.

    Thanks for all you do to spread the word about adoption and educate those who have not experienced it.

    October 22, 2011 at 10:02 pm
  • Reply tzipieastwest

    Beautifully said Sharon !! Thanks for voicing this thruth !!

    October 24, 2011 at 10:32 am
  • Reply Vanessa

    For me, my son is my child, no other adjective, except, beautiful, loved, sweet, mischievious and all those. I strongly feel that we adopted our son but that we should not put that adjective on our son. It was a process that we did and now there is no need to put that label on him as a description. It will always be there but I don’t want it to describe our relationship with our child… if that makes sense.

    October 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm
  • Reply Laura

    “Pregnancy does not make a mother” = LOVE THIS!!!!!!!

    October 26, 2011 at 1:46 pm
  • Reply Amber

    Just happened upon your blog and wanted to say hello! I love love love this post and look forward to hearing more from you!

    October 26, 2011 at 9:14 pm
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