with author Jackie Morgan MacDougall
5 questions not to ask an adoptive family
Inspired by the "Life Changing Adoptions" episode of The Ricki Lake Show: Top 5 Questions NOT to Ask an Adoptive Family
Where is her "real mother"?
Can't you have kids of your own?
How much did he/she cost?
Was his/her mother on drugs?
Why did you go to [insert country]? There are plenty of kids here that need homes.
Julie adds that once, on a plane, a man "ask me if it bothered me that my daughter had no biological relation to me! While my kid was puking in a bag!" And how many adoptive moms have heard the dreaded, "Watch, now you'll get pregnant" comment?
Surprisingly enough, some of the most insensitive comments actually come from those who care most. To them, here are some tips to help an adoptive family, especially those who are new parents. Keep in mind, they need as much support, love and time off as those who give birth—sometimes, even more so.
Deliver a Meal Like all new parents, adoptive parents experience sleepless nights and a learning curve. A night off from planning and preparing dinner would be most welcome to a transitioning family.
Hold the constant comments All parents are well aware how their family came together. Kids in multi-cultural families face their own questions, they don't need yours.
Lend an ear Motherhood is tough. Sometimes, while everyone else is telling them how "good" they are for adopting, adoptive parents feel afraid to share their struggles, frustrations or real feelings. Show them you care by being a good listener. Little known note: it's said that well over half of adoptive parents experience some sort of post adoption depression. Keep you eyes/ears open and support where ever you can.
Celebrate! When new babies are born, family and friends can't wait to line up ooh and ahh over the newborn. Adoptive families are just as excited about their expanding family. Show them that you are too!
Cut some slack We all hate when that new mom never returns calls or drops the ball on bake sale duties, etc. Remember, any parent with a new child at home needs to adjust, expanding a family brings many changes. Be kind and give 'em a break.
What's something you think an adoptive family should never be asked?