Monday, November 19, 2012

Educating Others about Adoption

The other night we were out to eat and had to wait a few minutes before we were seated.  We all had to go to the bathroom, so we all headed to our respective spots.  Bob overhead a couple of upper elementary age boys say "they must be some kind of field trip or something!".  Bob said no we're just a family.  

We definitely always get stared at where ever we go.  I'm sure it's a combination of the fact that we have six kids as well as the fact that we all look different.  Most of the time no one says anything, but other times we get asked "are all these kids yours?".  Yep, they sure are.  Rarely, if ever, do we get an unkind comment, or the "that's crazy" comments.

I can usually tell when someone is genuinely interested in our family rather than just being nosey.  I'm always happy to share about our family with someone who is truly interested. We really never know what kind of seed can be planted within someone.

Our society in general has come a long way on how we view adoption.  Instead of adoption being hidden and kept a secret, people are generally more accepting.  Sure there are still people who think that children who have been adopted are more likely to have problems (untrue!), some who believe a parent can't love an adopted child as much as a bio child (untrue!), or don't want to deal with unexpected behavior/medical issues (bio parents have "unexpected" issues as well!).  But overall adoption isn't view with embarrassment or shame.

Of course we still have a long way to go with the way adoption is portrayed in the media and reported in the news. Here's a news flash, unless adoption is relevant to the story, it doesn't need to be mentioned!  Similar to homeschooling, it comes with the territory that part of what we as adoptive parents need to be doing is educating others about adoption.  Misinformation and stereotypes do nothing to encourage others to have a favorable opinion about adoption.  

Really the best thing we can do to educate others is to just live our life being the best that we can be.  The best mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friend, co-worker, neighbor.  Our firm commitment to our children and giving them the confidence of a loving, secure base from which to venture will allow our children will grow, thrive, and reach their highest potential (whatever that may be) and truly that is the best education of all.

Please take a moment and read what others have to say on the topic!

Patty @ Reasons for Chocolate: Educating others about Adoption

Gardenia @ My Little Flower: Educating others about Adoption

Grace in my Heart: Educating others about Adoption


Patty said...

You wrote this beautifully. I agree that the society is changing for the positive, even if slowly.

Gardenia said...

I imagine the looks and inquiries are not uncommon for your family, given its wonderful diversity!! and how wonderful when you are able to use the inquiries to educate people or instill the adoption spark in them.

Jen4Ever4Always said...

Oh, we get lots of looks! :)

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