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« Teeny Love Baby | Main | Infertility wrist-thread »

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Comments

jodie

Hi, Jodie here coming over from Karen's site. Thank you so much for your insight into this issue, I think I am understanding the whole "lucky" thing a little better now. I posted that my kids are often called "lucky" for having me, but I did not mean they are lucky because I bake cookies. They are lucky because I have made changes to my life, have worked so hard, to help them have a happy and normal life. And I don't mind them being called lucky.

The thing I've noticed, having been through the IF saga, having a disabled child and now touching on adoption issues is that within a group (say me, as a parent of a disabled child) there will be things that are offensive to that group, but that no-one outside the group would initially think of as offensive. Eg, before I was infertile someone sying "it will happen" wouldn't have entered my radar. As an infertile, I found it infuriating.

What is so hard is that because of all these issues, it's hard to make polite conversation any more. Every time I go to say something, to be friendly, I stop myself and say nothing because I don't want to offend. And I really do believe that 99% of the time, the person making an "offensive" remark is truly, genuinely, trying to be nice. The person saying that your child is lucky in my view isn't saying "they'd be stuck homeless if not for your glorious generosity". In my mind they are saying "you seem like a wonderful person and will make a great parent".

After dealing with many insensitive comments about my child I have now decided that it is not the other person's fault. I shouldn't be angry if the intention was good. I am the one with issues, that is why certain things, innocent comments, hurt me. I'm still raw about having a disabled child. But that is my problem, I don't expect others to understand it.

That said, I do now understand why you would find the "lucky" comment offensive, but I never would have if I hadn't been "educated". And we can't educate everyone. So I guess, should we say nothing at all, or do we still try to say something positive at the risk of offending someone? I'm not sure, but I have taken on board what you've said and won't ever use the "lucky" comment (I haven't, but now I definitely won't).

Beth PFLAGfostermom

I don't get it as much, but people used to tell me and my kids that they were lucky. It was especially difficult because they menat that they were lucky to have found a family who was willing to treat gay kids with respect. It infuritated me when people told me how good we were. I remember thinking that the next time someone compliments me because I am not bigot, I am going to scream.

Anne Marie

Exactly -- you just can't base a family on the kind of dynamic these comments imply! I've had friends say to me, "What a nice thing to do!" (And we are adopting our first child to form our family due to infertility.) I wanted to say, Are you kidding me?, but I was like a deer in the headlights. I wasn't exactly offended because I know they had never thought about these issues or exactly what they were saying. But I did feel so uncomfortable and icky! And it's so frustrating to think that even if I explain, they may just not get it. I'm still in the process of figuring what to say and how to say it when these things come up.

KittyBean

As a former foster parent and future adoptive parent it doesn't bother me at all if someone tells the kidlets they are lucky. In my mind they are lucky. I would have been lucky to have different parents or a sibling I liked. I am lucky to have met my fantastic husband. I am lucky to have the biological child I have. I know I am blessed. A lot of it was hard work, but a lot of it was luck too. Maybe someday it will bother me, but I sincerely don't have a problem with it.

petunia

I work with senior citizens and I hear it all the time --"she's so lucky to have you"....I just always say "NO, we're lucky to have HER...no, we're Blessed to have her". And then they stop.

parodie

I think that you are right - but I also wonder whether it depends on the mindset of the adoptive parent: I have seen foster/adoptive parent blogs where their purpose certainly seems to stem more from a "saving"-type impulse than a desperate need to be a parent ("God told me to help these children by adopting them."). Though perhaps what Beth said is clearest: this language is not helpful because a family (queer-positive family,etc) is what the children should have by right.

And "hi" from a fellow mtl-er. ;)

ann adams

I tried to leave a comment the other day but it didn't take.

You've been linked on Blogging Baby.

http://www.bloggingbaby.com/2006/10/29/blogging-baby-sleepover-for-sunday-october-29/

Bek

I hope alot of people read "a beautiful gesture"...I'm adopted and hate when people say how lucky I am- I've been listening to it for 31 years (as of next week)...My fellow adoptees hate that terminology as well...
My mom, in particular, has been known to say "what would have happened to you if I hadn't adopted you?" I don't know mom...Geez...A healthy, white baby girl in 1975 I'm sure the adoption lawyer could have paid someone to take me... Now she pulls the lucky thing on me and my son (it was a high risk pregnancy) and I tell her the same thing- no I'm the lucky one or simply, "luck has nothing to do with it".
ugh. why? why? why?
Anyways Cluttergirl...Thanks for posting this! I don't mind talking about adoption- being adopted or someday wanting to adopt or my birthfamily that recently found me (really amazing stuff) but I do mind when people have little respect for us adoptees as people and for our parents...
thank you for putting it into words!

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