Thanksgiving, a time for family and friends, a time to pass around Christmas lists and discuss the upcoming holiday season, a time to tell everyone that, yet again, we’re adopting. We have a decree, it’s time now. One of these things ended up not like the other, can you tell which one? Everyone was happy, happy, joy, joy with the discussions of all the goings on with family and friends and the upcoming holidays. Our news made them, well, opinionated. And, their opinions were, well, crap. I find their crappy opinions a bit ironic. Here we are, trying to add to our family in a way that can only be described as responsible. We’re not asking anyone for help, we’re trying to adopt two older children this time, while bringing a HUGE gift into our family as well. I don’t like to imply we’re “saving” anyone with any of our adoptions. But, let’s be real, when we adopted infants, we were the lucky ones that were chosen. Even with BubblyGirl, she was a happy, healthy toddler. While we are INCREDIBLY lucky to get to be parents to our GhanaDuo, part of what drew us to them was that, this time, they needed us as much as we need them. My family members can’t see it that way though, which is where the irony comes in.
Not to toot our own horn, but FPD and I have raised some pretty great kids. They are wonderful in their own right, because of who they are, but we also like to think that our influence has helped nurture the wonderful traits that were already there. We haven’t asked any of THEM for help. On a day to day basis, these people are ZERO part of my children’s lives. FPD and I told them out of courtesy. They could have had the courtesy to just tell us “congratulations”. Instead, we were barraged with comments about how unfair this is to all the kids in our home. What do you all know about the kids in our home? Ummm…nothing. You don’t know them, you aren’t privy to our conversations about adding to our family. You see our kids ONCE per year. We had a relative tell us we would go broke (not even close), we had someone tell us that they knew ALL about attachment disorders and that our kids would for sure have them (not so far) and we were told that older kids are usually the victims of sex*ual abuse and would probably victimize our younger kids (we’re not stupid, we have safeguards in place). Give us a little credit, all the things they brought up we’ve discussed 100 times before making any decisions. My head was ready to explode by the end of the night. And, what’s even MORE ironic is that aside from decorating the world with the pretty handbags and ties that they like to buy each other, not one of my relatives has done ONE single thing that will make a difference after they die. They don’t like to give to charity, because they’re sure the charities are robbing them blind (they’re a little paranoid), they NEVER give a gift without expecting a thank you note (and if you don’t send one, you’ll hear about it from the other relative that they have call you to tell you how insulted they are) and they have never ventured outside of their pool filled backyards to take a look at how the rest of the world struggles. They are all atheists. In short, I’m related to some of the most selfish, short sighted people I’ve ever met. That makes me so sad. I want to love my family, I want them to see ALL my kids for how special and funny they are. They won’t, and it’s their loss.
Unfortunately, some wishes just don’t come true. After 31 years of living through this, after six adoptions and six times of being disappointed at the reaction of the people that “love” me, I think I’m pretty much finished. I tell myself that I don’t need the approval of my family, but somehow it always saddens me that I’ve never gotten a “congratulations” when it came to giving family the news that our family is expanding. I’ve never felt robbed before when it came to the way we formed our family, but I guess I feel like all the “congratulations” that come with announcing a pregnancy are something that I will never get a chance to hear. Instead, I always found myself defending or explaining our choices. Over time, our choices will speak for themselves, and I think all SEVEN of them will have some pretty powerful things to say.
who is still in her bathrobe, enjoying time with her choices.