Monday, November 1, 2010

My Heart On The Matter

Wow! What a week! Little did I know that one week ago when I posted this article, the world around me would spin. My world would spin.

I've spent the majority of this week answering private facebook messages, emails, comments on my blog about "the post". Many agreed with me and said that I took the words right out of their mouth, others were offended. I've talked this week with those who adopted, were adopted, had adopted family members, or have never adopted. Each one of you responded differently to the article.

First let me get to the heart of the matter and say that I never intended to offend anyone with the post. Instead I believe whole heartedly in adoption and my desire to break down the boundaries. This was written about my family and how we feel. I completely know and understand that others may not feel the same way as us. Each person, whether adopted, not adopted, family members or friends who are adopted/have adopted, has a different story. This was our story.

I think the majority of you were offended over three things. Going in order on my post (not in order of the most offended):

1. That I said race rather than ethnicity. For those of you who were offended, please go look up race and ethnicity in the dictionary. I believe I was correct in using the term race. However, I don't really see it as something to get all worked up about either.

2. That I asked you not to think of us as "special" or Xiomara as "blessed" to have been adopted. We are not any more special than the next person who hasn't adopted just because they have not felt lead to adopt. We also generally get a reaction of sympathy from others when they find out that we have adopted, as if we are somehow saints to adopt. We aren't. It's just what God laid on our hearts. The same goes for her and us being blessed. Please note: I do realize we are blessed to have her, as she is blessed to have us.  But to insinuate that we are more blessed than someone who hasn't/wasn't adopted is not what we want people to believe either.

3. That Xiomara does in fact have a better life with us. All I can say to this is that unless you know our birthmom personally, you cannot tell me that she does.

The point of all of this and why I am even addressing this is to make sure you all know that I am not here to offend or debate. In fact a few years ago before we had adopted, I said some of these exact same things to people who had adopted.

Hanging my head in shame...

But, that is the point. I had no idea even though I came from a family with 11, yes 11 adopted siblings! Not to mention the numerous friends who had also adopted. Until I became an adoptive mom, my world changed. You can't begin to imagine what it is like until you have adopted yourself.

One more thing before I end this long post...please don't be afraid to talk about adoption to those of us who have adopted. Just be aware of what you say and how your words sound. I think I can speak not only for myself, but also other adoptive parents when I say that the majority of us are very forgiving if you said something that came across different than you meant. We understand. Remember, we have been on the other side at one point in our lives.

Overall, I just want you to see my heart on the matter. It was pure.

I had a few friends suggest that I write a post about positive stories or things people can say to an adoptive family. I would love, love, love to do that. If any of you who have adopted are reading this, feel free to email, fb me, or comment with your thoughts on this. •

2 comments:

Erin said...

Vanessa,
This & your related post are both great. Thanks for taking the time to share your heart about adoption & continue to fight for your little one (& all the other adoptive families!)

Vanessa said...

Thank you Erin! Your post means a lot to me when I struggled with the reaction from others. I appreciate you taking the time to tell me that!

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