Things not to say to adoptive father...

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VinceF

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Ok, so the wife and I are about a month away from going to China to adopt a beautiful 3 year old girl. We've got two bio boys and decided to add another kiddo, but in a different way this time. Here's a few things people have said to us, my response, and what I really wanted to say. Just in case any of you meet any other adoptive parents in the future!

1. How much does it cost to buy a baby?

"We aren't buying a baby, we're adopting a child. Of course there are certain expenses involved."

Wow. My father taught me at a young age not to ask people how much money they make or what they pay for certain things. Too bad yours didn't do the same. Are you asking because you want to write me a check? Checks are accepted.

2. Why didn't you just have another kid yourselves?

"We discussed having more children and are doing what we think is best for our family."

If you must know, my wife had two fairly risky pregnancies. One child was premature, with the other she was on bed rest for two months. Why don't you tell me intimate details about your wife's uterus now, since we're sharing?

3. There are plenty of kids in the US who need a home. You should have just adopted locally.

"Thank you for the advice. Again, we discussed many different ways of growing our family. This is what we decided to do."

Thanks, pal! Are you saying that my daughter is less worthy of having a family because she was born in a different country? Because that's what it sounds like you're saying.

4. Ok, this last one was related to my wife by a friend. The comment was made by an acquaintance.

"So, what do you think about the F's and their chink baby?"

If I ever personally hear you say that, I'll dig out your kidneys with a grapefruit spoon. I'm not kidding. I have a grapefruit spoon.

I hope this is an Ok place to vent. I've had a large bottle of biere de garde, so it seemed appropriate enough. I really do mean this to be somewhat humorous, these are only a few accumulated comments over the last year. I'm sure most people mean well, but some comments grate on me more than others. Cheers!
 

gab

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Nice constraint on your part, those are some crazy statements.

Congrats on the new daughter, she'll have a great role model for not dropping down to the stupidity of others.

Cheers :)
 

day_trippr

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Clearly, you need to upgrade your social stratum, 'cuz the people you're running into now are all idiots ;)

Cheers - and congrats on the new addition!
 

Airborneguy

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My wife and I might adopt in the future. I have two daughters and we discussed adopting a son. How much did it cost you with attorneys all? Not to buy of course. ;) We'd probably end up going with a Latin country because of one of my best friends.
 

mattd2

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Number four made me cringe! Classic case of people need to be taught that if you would not say it direct to someones face don't say it at all because it will no doubt get back to them. Never knew there was a specific spoon for grapefruit, just googled it and I wouldn't want that thing anywhere near me.
Congratualtions on nearing the end on a long journey, good luck for the future :)
 
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VinceF

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Thanks for the well wishes. Airborne, sent you a pm.
 

CreamyGoodness

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My mind, it boggles. I can see how someone who means well could stumble upon saying something offensive (Lord knows I have) but not a single one of these could be described as "well meaning". I applaud your restraint, and I hope your acquaintance at #4 gets the same severety of hemorrhoids that I suffer from. Nothing life threatening, but decidedly unpleasant.

Culturally we are a mixed bag of stupid. Yesterday I was at Washington Irving's grave (yearly tradition) and a little girl of I would say 8 was having trouble getting down the very steep stone steps. I actually asked her mom if it was ok that I help her before carrying her down. However, in the same graveyard a perfect stranger put her hands on a pregnant woman's stomach out of nowhere (I think I just heard a blood vessel in Airborne's eye explode). Shouldnt this be the other way around?
 

509inc

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I'll keep quite till I can develop a grapefruit spoon proof vest. :drunk:
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Culturally we are a mixed bag of stupid. Yesterday I was at Washington Irving's grave (yearly tradition) and a little girl of I would say 8 was having trouble getting down the very steep stone steps. I actually asked her mom if it was ok that I help her before carrying her down. However, in the same graveyard a perfect stranger put her hands on a pregnant woman's stomach out of nowhere (I think I just heard a blood vessel in Airborne's eye explode). Shouldnt this be the other way around?
No.

I'll keep quite till I can develop a grapefruit spoon proof vest. :drunk:
Quite, what?
 

Halbrust

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I hoped this was a joke thread. I'm sad it wasn't, and said those things were actually said to you.
"How much does a Chinese baby cost?" is only funny when it's a joke. When it's a question, there is no humor there.

I do have a question for you as an adoptive father of a child from a different culture... Are you going to put any worry or I emphasis into teaching that child about their birth culture? I am a proponent of teaching children about their history. But not sure how I would handle it if I adopted. Is their history the history of their birth parents. Or is their history the history of my wife and myself?
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Is their history the history of their birth parents. Or is their history the history of my wife and myself?
Their history is of that nation in which they were born. If born in china, the child is chinese. If born in US, that child is american.

As to ancestral relevance, if the child asks, teach.
 
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VinceF

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I think it will be a mix. Obviously we won't start speaking mandarin around the house, but we will make sure that she stays connected to the place of her birth. In case anyone is wondering about citizenship, she'll be granted US citizenship once we set foot in America, and will conversely lose her Chinese citizenship. She can't be president though!
 

TheZymurgist

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Congrats Vince! There are a number of families in our church that have adopted babies from China, so I'm somewhat aware of the costs and challenges. Good luck to you and your family, I know this will bring you much joy and satisfaction, as well as providing a wonderful home for a needy child. I wish you the best!
 

fergusmj

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It is amazing what people ask sometimes without thinking. People always ask when my wife and I are going to have kids. My response is "we've got two furry ones right now".

In actuality, I want to say "well, since you asked, my wife and I are probably not able to have children due to some of her medical conditions. We would like to adopt one someday if the good lord allows.".

Now I understand that people often don't think about that until they are in the circumstance themselves, but it does get annoying (and emotional for my wife). I know people mean no harm by it, but still.
 

Subsailor

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Congratulations and I applaud your restraint, sir!

My wife gets upset with me as I tend to be much less patient around those who are annoyingly stupid or unthinking.
 

CreamyGoodness

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Appropriate questions for adoptive father

"A boy or a girl?"
"How long will you be in China before you bring him home?"
"Do you or your wife speak Mandarin/Cantonese?"
"How old is he/she?"

After that Im starting to draw a blank. Maybe the rhetoric "how excited are you, huh?!"
 

tre9er

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I think people just need to play it back in their heads before opening their mouths. If it's a delicate subject whatsoever, I try to think of the least potential to offend, or not ask it at all. It also depends on how well you know the person. I might ask a very close friend if they don't mind sharing the approximate cost of the process of adopting from China, but even in that case, I'd never ask how much it cost to buy a baby...If I didn't know them very well I wouldn't even comment on the financial aspect as it's personal, as you mentioned, like asking how much money someone makes. And really, unless I'm considering the same, there's no reason to ask in the first place.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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I was going to say that, one day, I hope your daughter has a happy ending but, given the ethnic considerations, I thought I should refrain.

Wait, whoops. :p
 

Wobbegong

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There's a lot of socially inept people out there. Don't take their words to heart.

Congrats on the adoption. You're doing a fine thing.
 

dataz722

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Ok, I must be in the minority here but I just say lighten up man. I'll give you the chink comment, that was wrong unless it was in a 100% joking manner, but even then it would depend on how well they knew you. Aside from that change "buy" to just how much does something like that cost and I really don't see the big deal. People are probably asking because they truly want to know and if you don't want to give your personal info out about some of it then just tell them that.

I just don't think any of that, except the two I mentioned, is a problem or should be taken as offense by anyone.
 

gestyr

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If I ever personally hear you say that, I'll dig out your kidneys with a grapefruit spoon. I'm not kidding. I have a grapefruit spoon.
Might I suggest a spork, rather than a grapefruit spoon? The small tines would make it more ... memorable. :)
 
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VinceF

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dataz722 said:
Ok, I must be in the minority here but I just say lighten up man. I'll give you the chink comment, that was wrong unless it was in a 100% joking manner, but even then it would depend on how well they knew you. Aside from that change "buy" to just how much does something like that cost and I really don't see the big deal. People are probably asking because they truly want to know and if you don't want to give your personal info out about some of it then just tell them that.

I just don't think any of that, except the two I mentioned, is a problem or should be taken as offense by anyone.
I don't get offended, just annoyed. The whole point was to have a laugh at my imagined snappy comebacks. I'm aware that most people mean well and are just curious. The chink comment came from a couple that we used to hang out with until it became clear that they were racists. So there's that.
 

dataz722

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The chink comment came from a couple that we used to hang out with until it became clear that they were racists. So there's that.
Ok, well then yeah spork those ****ers.


But seriously, I would be interested to know why you chose to go with one from china instead of locally, generally speaking. If you don't mind.
 

david_42

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Should your daughter ever be taunted about being adopted have her say, "My parents picked me. Your parents didn't have a choice about keeping you." Worked wonders for my eldest nephew.

I'm certain she will have a better life here.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Should your daughter ever be taunted about being adopted have her say, "My parents picked me. Your parents didn't have a choice about keeping you." Worked wonders for my eldest nephew.

I'm certain she will have a better life here.
Brilliant!

Not that orphans deserve any more neglect than they have been dealt but, chinese orphans have it bad. At least here in the states there is a measure of dignity, a required minimal standard of care, a system in place to mitigate neglect, and a requirement for an education.

In china, too often, these girls are thrown away into an establishment and given the absolute minimum for human basic survival.

I completely understand the humanity behind choosing to "rescue" a chinese orphan. It's disgusting how the chinese system will look away at such matters favoring a large number of parents "desire" to have a boy for their one child limit.
 
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VinceF

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dataz722 said:
Ok, well then yeah spork those ****ers.

But seriously, I would be interested to know why you chose to go with one from china instead of locally, generally speaking. If you don't mind.
I don't mind at all. We chose China for a few reasons. It's very stable for one thing. They've been doing international adoptions for decades, so there isn't much worry that they'll pull the rug out from under you.

We considered domestic adoption, but it's a totally different process. In many cases you are interviewing with the birth mother, who selects a family. But at any time she can change her mind, for good reason. So you never really know if or when you'll be able to adopt. Also, most US adoptions now are open and the adoptive family is expected to have significant contact with the birth family. That made my wife and me somewhat uncomfortable. Just a personal preference on our part.
 
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VinceF

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GilaMinumBeer said:
Brilliant!

Not that orphans deserve any more neglect than they have been dealt but, chinese orphans have it bad. At least here in the states there is a measure of dignity, a required minimal standard of care, a system in place to mitigate neglect, and a requirement for an education.

In china, too often, these girls are thrown away into an establishment and given the absolute minimum for human basic survival.

I completely understand the humanity behind choosing to "rescue" a chinese orphan. It's disgusting how the chinese system will look away at such matters favoring a large number of parents "desire" to have a boy for their one child limit.
Gila, you're right that Chinese orphans have it pretty rough in most cases. We're very lucky that our girl found her way to a foster home that's run by an Australian expat family. Currently they have over fifty kids in their care. They really provide a good home for as many kids as they can. Many of them are much older and not able to be adopted at this point. In fact, you can check it out at anorphanswish.org if anyone is interested. It definitely gives us peace of mind to know that she's being we'll provided for and loved.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Gila, you're right that Chinese orphans have it pretty rough in most cases. We're very lucky that our girl found her way to a foster home that's run by an Australian expat family. Currently they have over fifty kids in their care. They really provide a good home for as many kids as they can. Many of them are much older and not able to be adopted at this point. In fact, you can check it out at anorphanswish.org if anyone is interested. It definitely gives us peace of mind to know that she's being we'll provided for and loved.
Ha.

Wife and I watched a OETA (PBS), I think, documentary regarding chinese orphans is where I get most of my info. IIRC, it was centered around all the changes that anorphanswish is making to improve the situation over there.
 
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