A Conversation I Never Want to Have (Children Mentioned)
By Blogger X
Awhile back, Mel asked me to put together a post about adoption
language for Operation Heads Up. There is so much to cover
that I've been paralyzed and have left her hanging.
But Geohde's Cross-Pollination thingy has nudged me to break
off a chunk and just write a freakin' post already.
So, instead of addressing every questionable adoption term, I'm just going to cover just one every once in awhile. And before too long, I hope to have the Operation Heads Up post worth the energy to click on.
Today's phrase is give up for adoption (and variations). And here's the conversation I never
want to have.
"Mom, why did Michele give me up?"Some may call it semantics or political correctness, but I DO have reasons for choosing certain
"Well, she loved you very much. In fact, she loved you so much that
she found Daddy and me to be your forever parents."
"She loved me so much that she gave me away?"
"If she loved me less, would she have kept me?"
"That's not what I meant..."
"And through the rest of my life, should I be afraid of anyone loving
me too much because then they will reject me?"
"Let's start over, Reed."
words and phrases and rejecting others. In this case, I prefer made an adoption plan to gave up for adoption.
First of all, made an adoption plan implies conscious thought. Michele thought about her baby
as she decided what to do (more on Reed's story). She was aware of him. She planned the best future possible for him, given the resources available to her at the time. She was not forced out of parenting him (although this does happen in some cases, which I'm told is devastating for a child to realize).
And more importantly, it doesn't include rejection. Gave you up and gave you away are inherently rejective (to make up a word). And they could make the child feel like an old toy or an outgrown article of clothing, a toss-away.
It's not such a leap from [she loved you so much she gave you up] to [love = rejection]. This is NOT a belief I want to impart to either of my children.
I want them to know that their firstmoms loved them enough to make a difficult choice. I want them to go through their lives fully capable of giving and receiving love. I'd rather have THIS conversation.
"Mom, why did Michele do adoption with me?"Other terms I plan to cover:
"Michele loves you so much. She knew back then that she wasn't ready
to be a mommy to any baby. Even though she really wanted to be with
you, she made a plan to make sure you had parents who were ready to
take care of you."
"That's you and Daddy?"
"Yup. You have so many grown-ups who have loved you from the very
beginning. You are so lovable! (devolve into a tickle session)"
- our birthmom
- the birthmom changed her mind
- He is adopted
- a child of my own
- born in my heart
(P.S. That is NOT my kid in the photo, in case you were wondering.)
Tune in here to find today's post by the Stirrup Queen. It's been an honor to sit on her throne!