Oh, heck, I'm starting over

That was the most screwed up excuse for a post I've ever posted. So it's gone. Blech.

What I was trying to say was this.

I don't think my kids are second best, and when I hear someone say they might be, I react. Strongly. That said, I know this really isn’t about me. It's about adoptees, about my kids.

But being an adoptive parent, I react like one. Unfortunately, in this situation, reacting like an a-parent with declarations of love for my kids might just dismiss their experience. I don't want to do that.

I honestly don’t know a better way to respond, though. Should I remain silent? Should I continue to say what I'm saying and risk invalidating an important part of the adoption experience? My gut tells me that silence is as bad as saying the wrong thing, and equally dismissive.

What then? Is there anything I can do better? Anything I can say that would be neither patronizing nor dismissive?

Only adoptees can say. I'm very open to coaching and welcome your thoughts.


Suz Bednarz said…
You discussed with P or M?
Jonathan said…
I think you're missing the middle ground. Why can't you make a renewed declaration of love and support for the child, and at the same time open up the issue beyond that to find out their take on the experience. You shouldn't have to choose one or the other.

And, I don't think you're reacting just like an a-parent - any parent who loves their child is likely to react similarly. I've seen pretty much identical reactions/responses/ways of handling the situation from adoptive and biological parents. I do understand that the place the reaction comes from is not identical, but its outward manifestation is similar.
I'm an adoptee! I'm piping up!

There have been times when I've chosen to worry this "second best" thing like a sore tooth. It doesn't feel good. But recently I've gotten to know as close personal friends, many adoptive parents and I know that they feel like you do.

I think it's a chronological thing, not a preferential thing. We may be "second choice" because it is the second choice that our parents were presented with. Not because it was the second BEST. You are your kids' third mom, but I would say you are not your kids' third BEST mom. Just the third chronological one. I think the same thing about "second choice."

The reality is that it truly IS a second choice for many infertile parents but I would hope that this would vanish the second they become parents. It is of course troublesome and disturbing if THEY, the parents, hold onto it in some way.
LilySea said…
But you didn't dismiss an adoptee saying that, you defended yourself and your kids against a presumably prospective AP woman saying that nasty stuff.

If an adoptee had said "I fell this way" you would not have written what you did. BIG difference. So I don't think you dismissed adoptee feelings at all.
Lavender Luz said…
Not sure if this addresses what you're dealing with, but I'll throw it out anyway.

Second in sequence is not second in importance. You don't marry the first person you date -- what matters is the last.

Another blogger helped me to see this. I wrote about it here:

by all means, speak up PLEASE. Please. I won't be offended and its my blog. I value your insight.
Noel said…
I read this on another blog so I won't take credit for it. If you dated before you got married, does that make your husband third best? fourth, tenth? No. Everyone prior to him were simply circumstances that led you into his arms. He was the one. That's why you marrried to him.

I see this with adoption. I have three fabulous, biological boys, and a daughter in Korea whose face I've yet to see. I love her already; not becasue she's adopted, not because shes going to be the youngest, but because she my daughter. I love my boys becasue they're my sons, not becasue I physically gave birth to them. Not becasue one was first or last.

God has given me all my children and the order and means were His plan, His idea, His timing..and He is very good.

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