Monday, June 6, 2011

The First Truly Annoying Comment

I've fielded adoption-related comments well, I practiced long before motherhood was a reality. You know, the standard ones, where words like real parents, lucky, was it expensive are said. Today I got one that came from a surprising source, someone I thought knew better having had a lot of exposure from me and her own brother, who also adopted a child from Asia. It also wasn't a comment made to me, but to my daughter, and you bet I quickly replied and did some educating.

"You're too big to be held like that."

What? Yep, that's what this woman said to my daughter.

I said, "No, she's not. I'm lucky she likes to be held like this. Even if I'd adopted a 13 year-old, I'd hold her, if she'd allow it...."

We were at church and my daughter was ready to leave, having sat through only about 15 minutes of singing time and the closing prayer, so I picked her up, her legs around my hips and her arms around my neck, dress properly down, and then this comment was made.

Honestly, sometimes I wish I could stand on the rooftops and tell the entire world my daughter's history. All about her birth and relinquishment story, her health history and current condition, and all about how she's suffered and still suffers due to her medical condition, and all about adoption psychology.

I really love church. I do miss attending all the services, but not enough to put my daughter through it before she's ready. She is doing so very well and I know it's because of the choices I've made in caring for her. Each and every day, especially on the weekends, I think hard about what we'll do and I go through a mental list:

Will we do something new to her?
Will we go somewhere new?
Will we be in a crowd?
Will there be a lot of waiting?
What will her meals and snacks be?
What will be her exercise for the day?
Should the exercise be for stamina, strength, or feet therapy?
Should we have a day of staying at home alone, having friends in or going out?
How much fun will she have?
What will I do if she does .....?
How well do I need to prepare her ahead of time?

Ugh, this post is morphing, I need to stop here and break the rest down into a few other posts.


Karen said...

It's so horrible that we have to grow thick skins as adoptive parents. I think that's why the adoption community is so wonderful...for the most part, they understand the health benefits of so many things others take for granted are "no longer needed" It gets better, especially in California, where there is a lot of diversity, and "differences" in accepted families. You're a beautiful mother to her.

Cristy said...

I'm so sorry that you had to field that comment, but people TRULY don't understand the care that our little ones need, and in the long run, it doesn't matter who understands, only that your daughter is loved and comforted. What a great Mommy you are!

Anonymous said...

Folks, family even, say some of the most hurtful things but I try to forgive them since they don't know what they are truly saying.
You are an awesome Mama. Hold her
as long as you need to. Our DD is 10 and yes, I sometimes need to hold her or even feed or dress her to "fill her tank". Continue to trust your Mama-intuition, you are doing great. I do piggy-back DD when she needs the closeness in a crowd. I find folks tend to accept that without comment.

As far as church goes, we still find it hard for our DD to sit thru it. Sometimes the lone baby crying in the otherwise quiet atmosphere can trigger her sadness or make her very anxious.

My mantra and a good response to those types of comments:
"We do what works for us."

Anonymous said...

I think when someone we know asks a weird/hurtful question, it is usually due to ignorance and not out of spite. I generally try for education in these instances.

What I don't understand is why total strangers feel it is their right to ask me any question that occurs to them. I have 2 black toddlers and I realize I stick out. But, that doesn't mean that I want to be the poster family for all things about adoption. I will talk to people about it, sometimes. However, most times, I just want to get my groceries and get my kids home for dinner.

I seldom feel like I can be rude because I don't want them to think all adoptive parents are mean and rude. So, I am stuck being nice to rude people.

Oh well. I love my kids, I'm overjoyed that they are part of my family, and I'd do anything for them. I'm sure you feel the same about your daughter. I find a sense of humor helps. :-)

Carrie said...

Sorry, that last comment was from me and not my husband. I've commented before, and thought I should clarify as "Trent" is not a new commenter. Thanks for sharing your adventures with your daughter!