Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What NOT ask an adoptive parent

We have always been open to our family, friends and whoever else that is curious to know our adoption story.  It is beautiful and we feel so blessed having Tealyn in our lives so, why not?....But, unfortunately the questions that come with that are sometimes truly hurtful and have left me with a knot in my throat, speechless, and at times in tears...Here are some of those questions.
Brace yourselves!

:Who is the"real mother"? is her "real mother"?
Implying that I am not the "real mother"

I always answer this one sort of sarcastically "I am" and they almost always answer "you know what I mean"? (" No I don't" is what I wish I could say) After that I completely shut down. I don't even hear the conversation anymore, It's all background noise. I am so emotionally hurt.

* By the way I never give out personal and sensitive information about birth mother ever *

:Does her "mother" know her?
I find myself saying " You mean her birth mother" again, and again and again and again and again.... I have repeated this so many times to so many people. I feel a knot at the pit of my stomach, and I tend to just shy away or change the subject..

:Aren't you afraid that she might take her away from you?
I never answer this one. Why do you think it's okay for you to ask this? The look on my face says it all. My eyes start getting glossy and there really are no words. How do you answer an absurd question like this?  I go into shutdown mode, and again it's all background noise. Adoption is a real legal change involving the courts, I am not babysitting.

:How much did she cost?
Yes, I have been asked this... I say " lots and lots of prayer and love" in a nice and polite, but with a little bit of a sarcastic undertone (just a little) usually leaves them speechless.

:Are you afraid she will want to meet her "real mom" one day?
(I sometimes get this one after I have already reminded them that she is the birth mom.) I mean really... How do you answer this personal and sensitive question? and why is it okay to ask this type question at a supermarket when I haven't seen you since high school over 25 years ago? (Yes, this really did happen)

Don't get me wrong not everyone we run into at the supermarket or mall asks us questions in this way. Most people are polite, genuinely happy for us, and just wish us all the best. I understand a lot of people are curious and not familiar with how the adoption process works and I get that. I do. but don't forget how you pose a question to an adoptive parent makes all the difference in the way the conversation continues...

The truth of the matter is that we are in a legal semi-open adoption and we are going with the flow. We don't know what the future holds for BM or the future relationship she may have with our Tealyn. We continue praying for her and ask God to guide us. The one thing I do know that's for sure is that God knows our hearts and knows what's best.

There, I've said my peace.


  1. you can share wisdom that many of us do not have - and remind us to stop and think for a moment before asking stupid or even hurtful questions.

  2. Well for some reason, I didn't even know your beautiful baby was adopted. We have 4 children, the last one moved in as a foster child when he was four. A year later we adopted him. He was an emergency placement as we weren't even foster parents. He has special needs, mostly emotional and learning.
    I know what you mean about dumb questions. Dumb because I can't think of another word that fits. Some are like .....where are his parents..........he is so lucky to have you.........why would you adopt him..........all those real mom comments.......and on and on. Probably the one that left me speechless was when I was picking up his birthday cake on mother's day. The clerk said, "Oh, was he born on mother's day. " I just stared at her and said I didn't know. I think she thought I was the worst mother every.
    Now I will tell you when things would be so terrible like cussing out the doctor when getting stitches, I would say he was adopted. Not in front of him, but I have said it.
    I have no advice for the dumb questions. I'd say you are saying all the right things now.

  3. From one adoptive mom to another, I can tell you that as time goes on, those insensitive questions don't sting quite as much. "Her birthmom is too good to stoop to kidnapping," might be an appropriate response to that third question. "The real mom is the one who is there for every middle-of-the-night feeding and every diaper change." "The birth mom made the hardest, most loving decision of her life by placing our daughter with us, and I doubt she wants our daughter to have to hear personal questions." You could print that last statement on little cards to just hand out whenever you came across insensitive souls. Finally, here's a great song that reminds who our real parent is: http://youtu.be/yvLp4sIamMo

    Good luck on your journey! :-)

  4. I understand completely, My daughter and husband adopted a bi racial child after years of trying to have a baby, anyway they really got lots questions, he is adorable and we love him so much. His school friends really ave put him through hurtful questions, like why is your Mom and Dad white people you know they aren't your real parents? he has came home crying more than once.
    God has blessed my daughter and son in law with 3 other children and they are one big loud happy family, hurtful questions and all.

    I am sooo happy for you there is nothing more beautiful than adopting a child, ( i always thought of my little grandson as my daughter and son in law saving his life .

    Congratulations for finding the love of a child

    Grandma Janice

  5. People can just be so ignorant sometimes! I didn't adopt, but I did raise my husbands 3 sons (their birth mother left and never came back) as well as one son that I birthed with another husband. When people learned that I was not the birth mother of some of my boys they would always asked, which one is your real son. I would answer, "all of them".

    1. I believe it... Nothing surprises me.

  6. Amen Sister - hang in there it gets better - as for my children I am lucky I now only get asked are they related meaning are they biological brother and sister and we tell them yes - for now they both look like a part of us and we hardly get asked - basically we don't say it that they are adopted. I did get how much did pay a couple of times and I did answer non of your business not those words exactly but I got my point across I do love your answer. :)

  7. Wow what an important post only you can say. I hope I would never ask such thoughtless questions. My brother in law is a single never been married man who adopted two small boys from an orphanage in Africa . They were not brothers but they are now. What a blessing to all involved. I like your idea of silence at such crazy questions and am sorry for the hurt you have felt. Bless your sweet little family. XO

    1. What a wonderful thing your brother has done :)) thank you

  8. I am so sorry that you are having to field questions and comments like this. You are her mommy...period. God picked you. Out of all the women in the world, he placed this pretty babies in your arms and in your hearts. I was married before and had Doug, but when that ended and he walked out on us after 3 years, DH came along and took me and Doug and he adopted him as his own. DH is dad. Always has been and always will be. Doug did look his birth dad up, only to be disappointed and he truly knows who loves him and who takes care of him day in and day out and its not the birth dad.
    She may come to a point to where she wants to know why her own mother could give her away...its got to hurt something awful. But you will always be her mom, the one who will have to let her go so she can come back to you...and she will.
    Doug was born deaf, so I understand stupid questions and comments, and it hurt so bad or just made me mad at some of the things that were said...like- he's too cute to be deaf- and I am thinking- like it would be ok if he was ugly? Or they would say, I am so sorry- and I would say- don't be, I'm not. Or they would ask if he was retarded, too. "Nope, just his ears are broke." Will he ever be able to live on his own or drive a car? Der...
    LOL- some days I just wanted to pop some of them.
    But then I thought, no- I can either be a jerk like them, or and this is a big OR! I could change things for him and the world he was going to have to live in...
    So that's when I started educating people...and I would flat out tell them that their comments were not the right ones to say or that they hurt. I would give them the speech- this is my son who happens to have broken ears and its God's plan for him...but make no mistake- he can and will do great things with or without hearing. I would show them that he could communicate and talk to him in front of them with sign language. We always seemed to be the spot light when we signed, people were watching and curious. They just didn't know...but when we left them, they did. Pray about this sweetie, and let God use you to help those coming after you and to help her when she is older and can hear the comments. Give her the skills she will need for life. Idiots are everywhere! Prayers for you and her that you show the world that being a mommie is what really matters.

  9. You are an amazing Mom, Marissa. Keep praying and loving and being just who you are... Tealyn's precious, perfect, God chosen mom. I am so sorry for the hurtful words from ignorant folks. {{big hugs}} and blessings ~ tanna

  10. Marissa, you are such a loving mother, and I truly hope that these comments/questions will not affect you so much in the near future, as you and your hubby and Tealyn have a bond that nobody can break, whether with words or actions.

    Take care, my friend!


  11. Oh dear. I am sorry that you have been hurt by ignorant comments and questions. People do not always understand the proper terms. I have an adopted nephew and I don't know the answer to any of these questions. I would have never thought to ask them.

  12. Hi Marissa, I'm so sorry that folks can be so thoughtless-can't believe someone who ask those questions. You have such a beautiful daughter and she has you-that's all that matters. Sorry I haven't been around much lately, recovery has taken its toll on me,
    Hugs, Noreen

  13. I don't understand some people? When I see you Marissa, with your knew little girl, all I see is love ;o) I don't care about anything else! Big Hugs ;o)

  14. Oh Marissa...hugs to you, sweetie. It takes a very STRONG, COURAGEOUS and LOVING person to adopt a baby. It takes the same kind of person {like Tete and others} to raise a boy with "broken" ears or any other problems.

    Perhaps the strength, courage and love you so apparently show for your Tealyn makes you OPEN to people and their questions. Truly...think about that. If you were weak, falling apart and not living life as you are, how many people would even come around you, much less be there to ask those dumb kind of questions. People don't think before they speak most of the time. And while they might mean well, the way they ask their questions can certainly pierce the heart...as they do in your case. I read someone's comment saying something about educating the people with those questions {probably Tete again}...and maybe that's exactly what you should do. You don't have to answer every question, but when you get one give 'em your entire answer...in one big educating answer! Then drop it.

    The closest I get to understanding what you're going through is with my Bell's Palsy. After a near recovery from the first bout, I suffered a 2nd bout of BP in August 2014...and on both sides of my face. I get stares and some people would comment and talk LOUD to me like I couldn't hear or understand them, with my crooked face. Then I'd get the not-so-nice questions that could have reduced me to a shaking, quivering, crying mess. So, I developed a short little speech about what it was that I had, how you get it and that ANYONE could get it, including them. Then I'd stop and look at them and ask them, so what do you think now? Most of the time, the person asking the dumbest question would apologize and say, I didn't know. Others would walk away...either way they knew.

    Keep your chin up...

  15. Marissa - what wise and great answers you have for these questions! People are just so blunt and ask questions without thinking of your feelings. I have a niece who is in the process and I am just amazed at what people say and ask.

    Blessings to you and your precious family.



Thank you very much for your comments!

I can be reached at MarissaSanchez100@Yahoo.com