Friday, August 23, 2013

fix you.

these words have been going through my head today after a conversation i had this morning.  they are from the song 'fix you' by coldplay:

   'when you try your best but you don't succeed.
    when you get what you want but not what you need...
    ...and the tears come streaming down your face.
    when you lose something you can't replace...
    ...and i will try to fix you.'

those are the specific words from the song that apply to this situation.

so here's the scene-with my thought process interjected. i STILL suck at knowing what to say in these situations and to these questions.  mostly because lots of them actually sting so much that no matter how many times i've heard it, it catches me off guard.

sitting with another mom who i see somewhat regularly at a play time event i go to locally.  she is asking some questions about shilo, and her feeding tube.  somehow formula comes up which leads to a discussion on the fact that both of my girls were adopted.  i will admit that i'm always surprised when people are surprised by this.  anyway here's the brief of how it went.

'how old were they when you got them.'
'i was in the room when abigail was born, and we met shilo when she was four days.'
'you were in the room when abigail was born?  didn't her mom want her?'
i come close to tears every time someone asks this question.  'want her?'  of course she wanted her.  she wanted her, and she wanted what she believed to be best for her at that time.  so she asked jason and i to parent her.  my actual response.
'yes, she wanted her.  and she knew she couldn't take care of her like she wanted to.  so she placed her with us.'
'do you still see her.'
'and that's fine?  i mean it works.'
'and shilo was four days when you met her.'
'yes.  we found out about her after she was born. her mom had planned to place before that, but one family backed out, and she went into labor early.'
'did you know she was going to have Down syndrome.'
'yes. we intentionally set out to adopt a child with Down syndrome.'
(five minutes of how awesome that is, and how very hard that must be-countered with my go to of how not awesome it is, and how not hard it is).

'so do you want to have kids of your own?'
'well, these are my own.  but my husband and i don't care if we get pregnant or not.'
'you still could.  you are young.'
'i'm 31 and we've been married for nine years.  it seems unlikely at this point.

this is the point where things go from awkward to the feeling that others see me, and our family as something to be fixed. the next few minutes are spent telling me how i'm still young,and i could still have kids of my own.  then the stories start in on other people she knew who were married 800 years and then they got pregnant, and so on and so forth.  it's this entourage of how everything is going to be okay, we will be fixed when we just have 'a child of our own.'
it's the idea that we tried, and we didn't succeed.  we got what we wanted (children) but not what we needed (biological children).  we obviously spend our days crying and greiving because we haven't gotten pregnant, and we feel like we've lost this amazing universal experience that can't be replaced-even with the second rate choice of adoption.  so of course, along comes the world with all of their ideas, suggestions, and so on, on ways we might be able to become 'real parents' someday.

we're not broken.  we aren't sad that our family of four came to be because of adoption.  they aren't a second choice parenting option.  i wish i had the ability in these situations to say what i really mean.  but, i'm often working hard to keep my emotions in check, and don't get out that we are more than content with where we are.  maybe, just maybe, we aren't missing out on the awesome experience of being biological parents.  maybe you are missing out on the incredible experience of getting to adopt.  i mean, our girls' stories are way better than birth stories, in my opinion. or, perhaps, families are formed in lots of different ways, and we can just celebrate that instead of viewing our way as the only logical way anyone would ever want to have children.

at very least, please, stop trying to fix us.  we're pretty happy with what we have.



  1. My hope and prayer is that you can gain strength to say some of those things to people when those comments are made. They obviously do not have a clue to the joy that comes from being trusted to parent a child of another mother. I have both, bios and adopted...three to five. It still amazes me that those who have not chosen adoption can't get it. To you and me, what's to "get"? We just have to pass it off to those people not having a clue. I like your thought that they are missing out on the incredible experience of adoption, because they are. I think we could even say to someone in response to that type of comment, "I'm really sorry youve never had the joy of having a child entrusted to you. Maybe one day you will get that chance. Until then, I'm very sorry." Basically what you said....with some table turning. Ok...maybe a little too "back atcha". I know they just haven't been blessed to be totally open to loving any child we are asked/blessed to parent.
    Nancy in the Midwest

  2. Educate them! Tell them what you told us. She was probably asking questions in an attempt to take interest in your life and be friends. So... let her in. Tell them that God designed your family. Tell her that it hurts when people imply that your family is "less than" because its not biological. Tell her you love your family the way it is and wouldn't have it any other way. You may end up with a new friend.