Saturday, February 15, 2014

Adoptive Moms Don't Get to Complain

Because if we do, instead of getting sympathy, or understanding or empathy from other moms who gave birth to their kids, which for some reason doesn't count as having to involve making a choice to become a parent, I'm basically told, "Well, you made the choice to adopt kids." I don't get it.

Sometimes all I crave is to be able to have a conversation in regular English with anyone. So I talk a lot when I stand in line. Anywhere. Everywhere. With anyone.

Moms everywhere do have to repeat themselves to their kids. It's a given, right? Well, you wouldn't believe how many times I had to tell my 15 year old that she cannot meet President Obama today after we went to see Air Force One fly over us. After the 15th time, I found myself yelling, "NO, YOU CANNOT SEE THE PRESIDENT! DON'T ASK ME AGAIN! DON'T TALK ABOUT IT ANY MORE!"

How many times can one mom listen to:

I wish I see her. He. Him.
I want tell her - he - hello.
Is her - he - like Yanni? (perhaps she meant famous?)
I want see he.
Can we go airplane - airport - see her - he - him?
Are we airport see her - he - him?
Why we cannot see he?
I want see her - he - him.
He is boss of America?

Then my 13 year-old begins...

Mommy, why not you boss of America?
Mommy, you want be boss of America?
Mommy, I want be boss of China.

I know they can speak better English than this, and I beg them to, I nag them to, but they often choose not to.


Marilyn said...

I've been following your blog for a while and I recently adopted a newborn infant boy my mom terms as a "difficult" baby. I was just telling her and friends of mine this exact thing: people's first reaction is to say, "Well, you MADE the CHOICE to adopt!" Like, giving birth makes things totally different because it just *magically* happened. SMH

goodiego said...

I love your description of the non-stop questioning. DD admitted to me once that when no one was talking to her she felt invisible. I felt her inane questions were just a default to keeping me talking to her. So I would turn her questions back to her...hmm, do YOU think you can see him today? Maybe you can look it up when we get home. What is your schedule like for today? Do you have time to see him today? Respond with open ended questions. When I would turn it into homework, like looking stuff up she would stop!

We came up with some silly word association games to keep us all chatting in places like the car. What Animal Am I Thinking Of In 20 Questions is the favorite.

I also agree that I never complain to my family or some friends with only bio kids. They do seem short sighted when it comes to that dreaded response: well, you asked for it! That is precisely why I search for folks like you online who Get It! Thank you!

Almond Tea said...

I don't think it is complaining at all! I think it is a very real reality you live, every day. Do you think their English will improve or have they hit the ceiling? The type of questions you list are along the lines of a typical 4 year old. Do you think they will outgrow that or is that their potential? Hugs K! Single parenthood is tough. You are doing great! Keep blogging and getting support, you have so many people cheering you on!

Wendy B. said...

I have both home-grown and adopted kids. I can't believe the mindset of some people who think we need to be "grateful" every moment because we have chosen to adopt. Parenthood is hard, however you obtain your children. Of course we love and treasure our children; however, that doesn't mean they don't drive us crazy at times!
My adopted daughter is 10, adopted as a baby. She went through a period where she would ask the same question over and over. I would only answer once, then I would tell her, "I already answered that. What was my answer?" When she repeated my answer, I would tell her, "Don't ask me if you know the answer already." She still does this once in awhile, but not nearly as much. I think since your girls were adopted so close together, they are just all hitting this phase at the same time. Annoying for sure, but hopefully something that will pass.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you! I'm puzzled as to why people respond with the typical, "Well you asked for this!" or, "You made your bed now sleep in it." It is actually such a cruel response. What motivates that in people? I find that the only people who truly try to understand and have real compassion are other adoptive parents. Such a shame. Thanks for sharing. Your girls are wonderful and that little Apple is scrumptious!

Lynnea said...

I can totally understand what you are saying here!!! Wish we could get together for coffee somewhere. We would have some good laughs!

Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

I kind of miss the Chinglish a little bit. Hannah, home 3 yrs, recently said, "Josiah, is that a cheetah or a leprechaun (meaning leopard) on your shirt?" It was so cute, but it made me realize how seldom we hear those things from her any more.

You could turn it around on her. "What would you wear if you were meeting the president today? What questions would you ask him? Why don't you go write those down for me. In fact, how about you go write a story about what it would be like to meet the president. With illustrations."

K said...

I wish I could make it a lesson, but she still can't write very well at all. Sometimes it's very discouraging.

Anonymous said...

I agree, adoptive mom's are not allowed to complain. Family and friends look at me or say well you wanted a child. Yeah, what about all those who get pregnant because they want a child. Why do they get sympathy. I also get snotty comments like isn't this what you wanted? All parents want to be able to vent or talk things out no matter how their family was formed. I think those responses are mean and unnecessary.

Hugs from CT.

Anonymous said...

K, you may complain to me anytime and I will understand. I didn't adopt, but I get some of those same responses because of the number of children I have. I love all the good things you are doing for your family! You are definitely an angel! JPR

Anonymous said...

Today my family stood outside an eatery and looked at a video sign with pictures of vegatables. Our 8 year old son started yelling out the names of those vegatables that he knew. We helped with the others. I am certain that others must have wondered about our family playing this weird game. Stay playful with language -- and pronouns -- kids will learn.

foreverfamily said...

Thank you for this post. I often gets looks when I complain and it's always made me self conscience. Now I realize they must be thinking what you've articulated. Now I know how to respond to those looks instead of feeling bad about complaining.

Anonymous said...

I understand as well anytime I complaint about anything having to do with my children -adopted from Russia. I KINDA GET THE SAME REACTION! You are not alone! Soon I will have my my daughter from China home at 1 year and 5 months!ya a 17 month old should bring on many " you wanted children you asked for it's! "OKSANA YUSUPOVA N