Do you have an Angelina Jolie or a Sandra Bullock type of baby? Does adoption etiquette exist?

Blogging is a free way for people to write unsolicited commentary about life with the hope that someone like you will read it. Thanks for tuning in. Gobble gobble.

The other day a friend posted a cute FB message about her three year old; the post was basically about her being a three year old. Like my daughter, this little lady was nonstop talk, nonstop action, and the post described a funny moment when the little girl said “mommy, you’re not listening!!” Which was true. And funny. As per usual I went to comment with a bland acknowledgement of “lol!!,” “haha!!” or “yeah, I hear you. My kid is doing the same:((”

Instead, I was rather stunned to see a previous commenter leave a message that was more like “tough shit, you asked for it!” Well of course, (heavy sarcastic emphasis) my friend’s daughter is adopted.

The comment, off the cuff certainly, struck me as incredibly offensive and my first impulse was to reach out to my friend and see if she was wigging out.

Now why is it I can complain about my biological child getting on my nerves, being cute but testing my patience, etc., but an adoptive parent cannot? Why is it okay for someone to ask an adoptive parent if she has “buyer’s remorse,” and “does she have the option of returning the child if things don’t work out?” Let’s see. I decided to become a mom. She decided to be a mom. This ain’t nanotechnology people! There are days I miss single Ellen pre-motherhood – not too many, but all moms have these days. So why shouldn’t my friend be allowed these days too? Because she chose to adopt? C’mon. This is a ridiculous double standard.

It’s not just this incident. People are oddball about adoption. How can people have so many opinions about a matter that touches so few of us? Why does the world get in an uproar whenever a celeb adopts a baby? Is it domestic? International? What are we car shopping? Why do we even care?

I say stupid shit all the time. I’m not just judging the offenders, I’m one of them! I don’t think there is an etiquette book for friends and supporters of adoptive kids. And really, if there was such a book I wouldn’t read it. I try to use my best judgement. And generally I’m open minded and respectful enough to remain within limitations of appropriate.

Do I have questions? Sure! I wonder what the child’s life was like for the first 2.5 years. What was her second birthday party like? Was there a cake with a theme? Did she celebrate the holidays? Did someone read to her at night? And of course there are deeper questions. Questions I won’t ask. And really, these are things I don’t need to know.

What I do know is that in a whirlwind of events she became part of a loving family, with a bedroom of her own, two parents, three cats, and all of the beginnings of a solid foundation. Play dates, a neighborhood park, a community, and everything else fit to print.

This post isn’t about answers or questions, and it’s not meant to be a platform for complaining about etiquette offenders. I do wonder, though, if there isn’t some way we could start looking at adoptive families just as they are – families, with a special kind of history.


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