the same things as biological moms. That our kids would be healthy and well adjusted. That our kids would be hard-working, responsible, and kind members of society. That our kids would be themselves and be comfortable doing that. And that our kids would be honest, sincere, loyal, and generous. I'm sure there are a bunch more admirable adjectives I could throw out here but you get the gist.
But there are some other things adoptive moms wish--and we need the help of all you biological moms out there. Because these wishes--as much as we'll work to make them come true in our own homes--really hinge on what kids who aren't adopted believe and talk about. And I think these wishes, and the fruition of them, are just another step in the right direction of cultivating a culture of adoption in our society. They're wishes that I hope one day aren't wishes--but just the way things are--with very little thought involved...............
1. Adoptive moms wish that when any child hears that someone is going to have a new baby they say, "Awesome! Is the baby going to be adopted or are they having it themselves?" We want the assumption that all babies "come from their mommy's tummies" to be a thing of the past. Not all babies do come from their mommy's tummies. Adopted kids know that and they need to know that their friends know that too.
And I'm not saying that when you have the big talk about where babies come from you need to complicate the matter more by throwing in this big adoption talk but I think it's appropriate to make sure your kids know what adoption is and that it's just as normal as birthing your own child and that they'll probably have some good friends in their life-time who are adopted and it's pretty special.
2. Adoptive moms wish that jokes about being adopted would be deemed inappropriate for all kids. "Didn't anyone ever tell you that you're adopted? That's why you have blond hair and we all have brown hair." Because being adopted is a bad thing? It's something to avoid at all costs? It's something to hold over your pesky little brothers head as a threat?
An adopted 8th grader might hear that and be able to laugh at it because they know how to weed through context, maybe. But an adopted 3rd grader hears that and wonders why you'd tease someone about being adopted when they are and they've never thought it was weird or wrong or different; but now they do. There's nothing wrong with being adopted and jokes as innocent seeming as those above need to be stopped. Kids need to knock it off with that and parents need to help them, as do teachers and other school personnel.
3. Adoptive moms (99.9% of us) wish you'd ask us about our adoption experience. Just like biological moms enjoy talking about their birthing experiences.........in all their......er.......crowning glory.........adoptive moms have a lot to tell you about their process of having a baby. So when you're sitting around a table with a bunch of moms and you've talked about epidurals for the last thirty minutes........take a second and ask the adoptive mom what her home study was like, or what her relationship with her child's birth-parents is like. We all have a road that we've travelled to become moms and they all deserve equal stage time.
4. Adoptive moms wish they never ever have to hear again, "You're so lucky you never had to have a C-section. You're so lucky you never had to take that glucose test. You're so lucky you didn't have to go through labor. You're so lucky you didn't have to suffer through nursing." Do you want us to start talking about infertility treatments? Because we will.
That's just four. New ones come up all the time. Just like all moms come up with new things all the time that they wish for their kids, their families, and themselves. And to be clear--nothing really prompted this post--I'm not talking to anyone really--just everyone--and on behalf of other adoptive moms I know. We all love our kids in a "I'll throw myself in front of a moving bus without a moments hesitation to save you from any kind of pain" intensity--so these thoughts are just a result of that deep love.
I want my little girl to feel confident and proud of who she is. I don't want her to come home with tears on her beautiful cheeks one day because someone told her she was wrong, "babies always come from their mommy's tummies," or "i heard someone make a joke about how it was weird to be adopted."
And I'm smart. I know those tears will probably come. I'm preparing myself to wipe them away and kiss her little cheeks and tell her I love her and that "those other kids are just wrong--and they don't know--they don't know how cool it really is that you're adopted."
If only that would make it all better right?