August 30, 2018

Comments to Avoid

There are certain things we all dislike hearing. Some comments we take to heart, some are easily dismissed, but others can just be perplexing. As an adoptee, I find these specific comments can be insensitive. Anyway, these comments can cause me to feel confused.

I wish I could be adopted.
Yeah, it could appear that adoptees have more of an exciting past than people who haven’t been adopted, but I find myself at a loss for words when someone says this. A school friend made this remark to me one time, and I couldn’t figure out why they would want to be adopted.  Maybe it’s because I never said anything regarding my pain, but my lack of answers from my past still mystified me. I didn’t think anyone would choose to have a traumatic past filled with such questions?

Technically, we are all adopted in Christ.
This is a true statement, and I won’t deny that.  But there’s something about this comment that makes me feel like my hurt is disregarded.

Why are you so curious about your past? Aren’t you thankful for what you have?
Let me tell you something: just because you want answers, does not mean you’re not thankful. Anyone who tells you this is wrong. Being curious and wanting answers is just you trying to find the answers that most people have as common knowledge.
What is it like to be adopted?
Being adopted sometimes feels like you’re being stereotyped. Everyone seems to think that you can’t handle certain things, you have a low self-esteem, or that you are “special.” We are special, but not in the way people seem to think.

What happened?
I dislike hearing this - mainly because I’m not just going to tell any random person something as personal as my past. Yes, I know this is being vulnerable, but there is a certain point where you can choose to protect your privacy.

You were too young to remember anything anyway.
Nobody is too young to remember something as scarring as losing a family. You just can’t. Trauma affects anyone no matter how young - and that can affect you decades after it happened. I might not remember any specifics, but I remember the feelings.

It could’ve been worse.

Very true. Things could always be worse, but please, don’t say this to anyone. This statement can make people feel like their pain isn’t valid, and someone else’s pain is more important. Each person’s pain is different and needs to be addressed individually.

They gave you up, so it wasn’t love.
Sometimes, the greatest act of love is giving someone up. It isn’t always this way, but there are reasons why parents have to leave their children. And people seem to forget that in this process, a parent’s heart can break, too.

We all unintentionally say remarks before realizing the impact that these words can have. I don’t want you to be afraid that everything you say to an adoptee will be hurtful, but comments, such as these, should be avoided. I would love to hear from you! God bless!

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