Sometimes when we experience or encounter things that are different than our normal or our culture we often choose words that are unintentionally hurtful; while believing we’re merely being curious. As an adoptive momma I’ve been on the receiving end of that conversation more often than I’d like to admit. The receiving end of words that cut deep and asked questions that leave me hurting.
Often people are curious about our foster care and adoption journey. We welcome the curiosity and find peace and joy in sharing a beautiful picture of the gospel through adoption. If I’m honest, it’s a grey line I often struggle with as a momma. I want to encourage others and advocate for children in foster care/those awaiting adoption but I also want to be respectful and mindful not to share details of my son’s story. We believe that his story is his own. I balance on the grey line of being encouraging to others to pursue the foster care and adoption journey, careful not to fall to far on the side of the line that would cross keeping my son’s story confidential.
With that in mind, because we are open about our journey, people are often struck in curiosity. Realizing that our journey is different from their normal or from what they’ve personally experienced. Unfortunately, curiosity often lashes out it’s untamed tongue and the comments or questions born from curiosity are received as abrasive and hurtful. When these conversations happen I feel frozen. I feel so dismayed, broken and hurt that I feel paralyzed. I don’t think these abrasive questions about our journey come in a vengeful way but oh, are they hurtful. They are hurtful because in those moments I feel I am unable to protect my son. As if his story and our journey is something that needs to be defended.
Instead of asking me if I was unable have biological children or if we struggled getting pregnant; maybe you could state how beautiful adoption is and what a gift my son must be.
Instead of asking me questions in front of my son; maybe you could ask if we could grab a cup of coffee and talk about foster care and adoption.
Instead of assuming details of my sons story; maybe you can instead comment on what a brave and empowering story my son will one day have to share, should he choose.
Instead of seeing my family, my son or our story as something over-the-top, incredible, tragic or heroic; maybe you can instead just see it as a divine gift and a way we chose to grow our family.
Instead of saying you could never walk such an uncertain and painful road; maybe you could say how encouraged you are by our faith.
I choose to believe that when people approach me about adoption or ask questions that I feel are abrasive and hurtful they are not being vengeful. I have to make my momma heart believe that or I would end up keeping our entire world inside a bubble of protection; I would punch the curiosity seekers square in the jaw, tirade the approacher and my heart would grow so bitter and angry. I choose to believe that adoption and foster care are a platform to share love and light in such a dark and fallen world. So we will keep pressing on. We will continue to share our journey with you, praying it shows you Jesus.
Would you tag a foster care or an adoptive momma that has experienced those painful questions born in curiosity? Would you send them a message of encouragement? Because maybe that momma just walked away from an incredibly painful conversation. Maybe she needs to hear that though her mothering journey may not be conventional, it sure is breathtakingly beautiful.