You won’t believe the things people have asked about my kids’ birth parents:
What did she do to get her kids removed?
Was she on drugs?
Do they miss their mom?
How long will he be in jail?
Is it hard for them to not have their mom around during Christmas?
In my 16 years as an adoptive parent, I’ve heard it all. I’ve stood by and fielded question after question about my kids’ birth parents, usually in FRONT of my kid. And I’ve had enough of the outlandish, rude, hateful, and inappropriate comments. My limit has been reached.
I just about went crazy on a grocery store clerk the other day as she barked a few of these rude remarks out at me while my youngest son stood by my side, clutching my hand tightly. She didn’t notice the wide-eyed sharp glances I was shooting her way as she persisted. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my son looking up at me as if to say, “Why would she ask you that? My mom and dad live in my house with me all the time!”
And that’s where I draw the line.
When my kids are subjected to someone’s asinine questioning, I have to call foul. While I can personally handle the onslaught of inappropriateness, I refuse to subject my children to it. They don’t deserve this. They’re just kids. Most adult issues are unknown to them right now. The little they do know, they can hardly make sense of.
My mom’s in jail? My dad is on drugs? Even if none of this is the case, ideas like these have been airdropped into their fragile hearts by thoughtless words from people who didn’t think before they spoke.
So, to the people who have felt the urge to blurt out inappropriate questions about my child’s birth parent in front of them, here are a couple of things I want you to know.
1. It’s none of your business!
This is mine and my child’s story to know, cherish, mourn over, and share — but it’s no one else’s. So, it’s not up for discussing with anyone other than the members of my family. I’ve tried to politely say this in public, but most people don’t clue in. Sometimes I wonder if we have an “Ask Me Anything” tattoo across our foreheads? Not the case. My children are not public domain, nor are his or her birth parents!
2. How do you know my child was “removed” from their birth parent?
Fact is, some of my children were adopted privately through an adoption agency and their birth moms chose us to be their parent. I don’t know about you, but I believe that’s a selfless choice to make. One of my child’s birth parents took extra special care of herself while she was pregnant. Pre-natal vitamins? Check! Healthy diet? Check! Zero drugs or alcohol during her pregnancy? Check!
It’s not fair to assume that because a child is in foster care or has been adopted that this automatically means their birth parent did something bad. Even if they did, it’s none of your business.
3. This is a human being we’re talking about.
My child’s birth parent is a real, flesh-and-blood human being with all the feelings that people come with. They’re not a headline or a story on Law & Order. It doesn’t matter what they did (if they even did something) to not be able to parent their biological child. They are human.
They don’t deserve your judgment, or anyone else’s, for that matter. It’s not fair to make assumptions about them. My children’s birth parents are good people. They are kind, compassionate, and funny. And several are more productive and responsible than those who make these awful assumptions about them.
4. Would you like if I asked you intrusive questions about your kid?
Seriously, think about it. Would you want me to casually ask if any of your family members are in jail, on drugs, or MIA? Probably not. Nope. You’d be embarrassed and humiliated if I did that. So, please stop asking intrusive questions about my child’s birth parents.
The fact is, adoption and foster care are both amazing, beautiful, and wonderful. They are also unfairly judged and criticized. But the truth is not what most of the world would know or understand. When you stop asking inappropriate questions long enough for me to share some of this beauty, or to get to know my children, you’d see just how true this is.