Who is “lucky”?

I have a quick few moments (as Bird is sleeping and Monkey and Dad are at Target getting me a last-minute birthday card, I’m sure), and I was blog hopping and found one to share.

Here’s a tidbit of adoption 101 that I’ve learned: adoption is not rescue. Adoptees don’t like to hear how lucky they are or how grateful they should be, and it seems most adoptive parents don’t really like to hear what saints they are for rescuing a child.

Now, don’t get me wrong. At this stage in our adoption process, I don’t mind hearing things like “We are so excited for you!” “I think what you’re doing is a great thing.” “We want to support you and your child, here’s $10,000.” That kind of thing. 😉 But when our child comes home, I don’t want him to hear from other people how lucky he is that we brought him to America, kind of implying that if he should never feel anything other than extreme gratitude towards us and his situation–which was totally out of his control. We (the parents) are the lucky ones, to be blessed with another child in our family, which is the reason we are adopting. (I believe it is possible to rescue someone, say from human sex trafficking, but you could do that without adopting.) Our future child is no more or less “lucky” to be in our family than our bio kids, and I’m sure all three of them will having varying degrees of appreciation for our existence at different times in their lives. 🙂

This is a short blog post from an adoptive mom of a child who was born with albinism. (Something I learned from this post is the phrasing of that last sentence. She is not “an albino.”) Her conversation with a well-inentioned but nosey stranger at the local splash pad kind of pushed her over the edge. It is good food for thought.



  1. I read it, and a part of me feels bad for the well-intentioned but nosey-quite-uncouth lady. When a person has not experienced or studied or thought about deeply all of the implications and reasons and correct terminology, they very easily find themselves being rude, insensitive or very misguided. I worry desperately I will say the “wrong” thing with adoptive parents and find saying nothing is a safer route. Not sure if this is appropriate, but I guess its a bit like walking on eggshells. I don’t know what you think Jen, but is is possible one side is too insensitive and other is too sensitive?

  2. Sure, definitely possible and probable. I think the same thing is true about race discussions: walking on eggshells and so not enough conversations actually happen. I think the ideal thing would be for adoptive parents to use awkward/nosey conversations as a segway to teaching strangers a more appropriate way to ask, and strangers would have more of a open mind to hearing what is offensive and what is not.

    But I have a feeling in this case, it was just one too many nosey comments that broke the camel’s back! I’ve certainly heard much more offensive comments and stories than this one. Or maybe the whole world should just read my blog and be better informed. 😉

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