Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What do you say?

Its happened several times since we've been home already. We go out somewhere and someone asks me (in front of my children) "So why did you decide to adopt?"

Ummm... little ears are listening, I feel put on the spot to defend our decision and explain why adoption is such a great thing and how we felt called by God to Ukraine, but is that fair to my children? Is that fair to me? No one asks, "So why did you decide to have kids?" No one asks me if I knew my kids were healthy and perfect while I was pregnant with them. Mariah is pretty much fluent in understanding English now, and even if she doesn't understand what is being asked, she very soon will!

I feel like the question singles her out and will make her and my other kids think that there is some reason we should NOT have chosen to adopt her.

So what do you say? I know I'm not alone with this issue.

I've had it happen twice now in a doctor's office sitting and by my child's pediatrician while she was examining the child she is asking about. I guess the question is innocent enough but I'm afraid my children are going to hear that asked one day and my response is going to leave them wondering if I didn't have a good reason. You only really get one shot at explaining something like that the right way and I don't think its fair to me or my kids to have it brought up in public!

I am really leaning towards answering the question with a simple, "Because Ukraine is where Mariah was.", and leave it at that!

Of course if someone wants to ask me this question without my children present, I am more than happy to give a lengthy explanation, especially if they are interested in adopting themselves! I love to talk about our experience and how God called us to Ukraine, but for people to just pop the question like that in front of my kids just to see what I say... I am having a hard time with giving an answer I'm comfortable with.


Momma of Three said...

I would suspect some people are just trying to make conversation or are very curious. But believe it or not some people have a hard with one or more of the following; loving a child or loving their own child. So I suspect some people really can't wrap their mind around why a person would adopt and why would a person adopt a child with a handicap. I have actually seen people our church in the nursery who only have love for their own child and do not even try to comfort or care for the other babies.

I think your adoption is a wonderful thing. There are so many people out there who support your decision.

Maybe you should come up with an answer that makes them questioner feel uncomfortable, but not in a ugly way :-)

Mama of 3 said...

Yes, I agree they are curious for the most part, and are probably not even realizing how uncomfortable they just made me... I am just worried about the way things sound to my children. Certain people (especially those who deal with children as a job) I think though should really be more aware of how something sounds to a little child.

Molly said...

I don't think it's out of line to tell people that is just too personal and not their business. It quickly becomes a very personal discussion, even if it is not intended that way. I don't think that's the right way to handle most conversations, but I know sometimes I am just not in the mood. Generally, I like to tell people what wonderful treasures there are out there waiting to be discovered by their families. And of course, you can always tell people how God led you to adoption.

Just Another Day In Paradise said...

My answer is exactly what you want to say... "Because Alina Grace was in Ukraine, and when we saw her, we knew she was meant to be a Barone..."
Being 29, most people think Im crazy to have adopted a 9 year old, but this answer hushes them up pretty quickly :)
Alina Grace always smiles when she hears this answer and sometimes even says "And God wanted me in America". She knows, its no secret and she likes her story

Ellen Stumbo said...

Are they asking in a way that is questioning your choice?
People ask me all the time, and I love to talk about adoption, and to talk about Nina's old life, and what her life would have been. I tell them about all the ways she has changed and the great excitment she has about life. Many people ask because it is something they would like to do, but they have no idea how to go about it, so they might just be interested. You could even ask right back, "Oh, are you intrested in adoption?"
In our family, we talk openly about adoption, just like we talk openly about the fact that Nina has Cerebral Palsy and Nichole has Down syndrome. It is a part of our life, and it is beautiful!
Not everyone is asking with ill intent, or because they question your choice. I believe some people genuinely underestand how beautiful adoption is and they just want to hear your story when they ask.
You can also always say, "Hey, I would love to get together with you and tell you all about it!" ;) Whoever really wants to know, will take you up on that. Whoever was just making conversation, will let it go.

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson