« Mothering my mother | Main | Eat, drink, and be merry »



For someone who is so thoughtful, so insightful, and so honest, I can't believe you have to deal with such thoughtless comments from people who sound like idiots.

Good luck in your journey.


I found your blog by way of Plain Jane's blog.

Although I realize it isn't the same situation, as a Stepmom, (non-custodial at that) I find there are a lot of people who offer me unsolicited (and sometimes infuriating) advice on how to handle the myriad emotions/situations that go along with marrying a man with children from a previous marriage. So in that respect, I totally know where you're coming from, especially with regard to family planning decisions.

Why is it that unless you actually get pregnant with a child and raise it yourself in a so-called 'intact' family, people feel free to offer up some cock-a-mamie advice/opinion/etc.?? If I knew, I'd tell you.

All the best to you, and may your pursuit to adopt a child into your family go as smoothly and joyously as possible.

All the best,


I truly believe that whatever decisions a person makes to start their family is their business. You are always going to get unsolicited advice about adoption, just like people tell people suffering from infertility to just relax.

Just a side note, those of us who adopt special needs kids aren't saints either. We just wanted kids too.


Congratulations! Domestic infant adoption is a wonderful choice. I think making the decision about your preferred type of adoption is a very difficult choice, and you should celebrate getting past it! As someone who is pursuing a special needs adoption through the foster care system, let me be the first to say that your critics are ignorant and can go take a flying leap. Moreover, I am no saint. My reasons for choosing this type of adoption are no more or no less selfish than yours. We have a school-aged child, and we don't want to start over with diapers and middle of the night feedings at this time. Maybe later, but for now we want to adopt a child near the age of the one we already have. We also have pretty good long term prospects for having another baby, so I know that diapers could still be in my future, and would like to try something different for now. Also, we have parenting experience, we have confidence in our ability to deal with certain kinds of issues, and both our lives have been touched in ways that make us feel that this is a good choice for us. For example, I was once a foster child! In other words, we are doing this because we have researched it and it sounds as good to us as bringing home a healthy white newborn does to you. We will still be turning down children with FAS, reactive attachment disorder, and many other serious challenges. We wouldn't be doing anyone a favor to adopt out of pity. I think your best comeback for those criticisms is "If you think it's so important to (adopt a special needs child/adopt a black baby/adopt an orphan), why don't you do it?" And as for those who think you shouldn't adopt X, Y, or Z, I suppose they think it would be better to grow up in an orphanage with no one to call Mom and Dad and no education or not even enough food. Sheesh. Oh, well. People can be dumb. A lot of people want to be helpful, but don't know what to say. Stupid stuff comes out.


I can't believe people have said such rude and ignorant things to you! (Well, I can, but I am still sorry to hear it). You have made your decisions carefully and thoughtfully, there is nothing for you to feel guilty or defensive about.


Jill, I'm sorry, but not surprised, that you're having to deal with so much silliness in your quest for adoption. It is just par for the course when it comes to reproductive issues, unfortunately.


Dear Jill, as rants go, that was a very thoughtful, balanced one!

I think it's very unfortunate that people are so very ignorant and rude about adoption. And I think you as the prospective adoptive parents are doing exactly the right thing: informing yourselves and doing intense soul-searching. A decision this big, which affects so many lives, has to be taken with deep respect -- and ideally without superficial knee-jerk advice and unhelpful platitudes. I'm sorry you're being subjected to that.


I think your decision to keep things private is a good one---you may have to end up explaining more than you ever want to or should have to.

I'm sorry that you have not been feeling more support.


Don't you just LOVE that comment about "once you adopt, you'll probably just get pregnant"! Can't tell you how many times I've heard that one....and I have to literally bite my tongue to not reply with, "Well, getting pregnant isn't an issue for me, it's all those darn miscarriages I kept having." But, I just nod and change the subject.

On second thought, maybe the most offensive comment I've received is, "Oh, those Asian babies are just so cute." Yeah, like we're choosing to adopt from Vietnam for strictly the "cuteness" factor. And then there's the line, "Well, why don't you go to China and 'get' a girl?"

OK, I will stop now, I guess I had more to rant about than I thought!


So...allow me to join Erzsa in extending my congratulations on selecting the type of adoption you want to pursue, and my condolences that yes, there do seem to be a lot of idiots out there. I would agree that the only things to do are either (a) to tell them it's none of their business -- as you are planning -- or (b) to ask them how their [non-existent] adoption plans are shaping up and what type they are pursuing. I guess (c), not mentioning adopting, has its merits, but then again, will people will then start asking nosy questions about "why don't you have kids" and so forth/plus at some point you really will be adopting and then the idiots will come back out of the woodwork, I suspect.

I hope adoption will bring you a healthy, happy child and much joy.


Hey Jill, just wanted to say blessings for whatever is ahead for your family. The thing about stating your plans, whatever they may be for whatever issue, is that it always invites the assvice (pardon, please). Seems no one's ever happy with just saying, "hey, great for you!". Because we've written each other before, you know we are having our 4th child, that we really want/ed. You know what we hear all the time? "Don't you know what causes that?" "Man, was this one planned?" "You must be driven to drink!" "What are you going to do with all those kids?" "Don't you know how expensive college is?" I could go on, but I'm sure you get the point. People just have stupid things to say, and often, very little self control with which to keep it in their own heads!

Again, peace and blessings for this part of your journey, however you and your husband see prayerfully best to follow it.


Oh, I have so been there. I used to smile and walk away. Now I get this pinched look like I just bit into a lemon and walk away. And I don't talk about it much, except with my inner circle.

The worst are people who have decided adoption is immoral. It's wrong for a pregnant woman to choose adoption for her baby no matter how desperate her circumstance. It's wrong for an infertile couple to snatch the baby from the desperate birthmother. It's wrong to go to China. It's wrong to go outside your race. It's wrong to go private domestic. It's wrong to seek your own race.

I cannot imagine another personal situation where people feel so free to chime in!

Best wishes and congratulations on your decision!


Jill - I lurk over at Plain Jane and followed it here, I am so glad that I did :) I am adopted and your post hit home for me. Trust me no matter what you say, how you present it, there are people who just don't think before they speak! Alot of times its not even intentional but that to me makes it all the more frusterating! I am the one always trying to get in a 5 minute deep educational speech to the person who asks "then who is your real mom" or "don't you hate her for just giving you away" or the classic "how did it feel not knowing your real family". Your post was beautiful and it sounds like you have thought out your position. You are wonderful for basically pouring out your "insides" and decision process. If you ever would like to chat about what its like to be on the other end of adoption, I would be happy to! My parents did a great job of always making sure adoption was a wonderful thing to embrace and had some pretty good ways of dealing with life issues that come up from being an adopted child! whew - sorry to get so long winded...mostly just wanted to say Congratulations !!!


Hi Jill; As an infertile who is told to 'just relax' or 'just adopt', I know how ignorant coments hurt. On the other hand, I genuinely think the majority of people simply lack the jargon and experience of infertility, and I guess this goes for adoption too. For instance the use of 'biological mom' rather than 'REAL mom'. Until I started reading the infertility blogs I might have used 'real' mom too - not out of any sense that the adoptive mom was less real, but because I just wasn't used to the jargon. Similarly, a friend of mine is adopting a black baby despite both adoptive parents being white (not usual in the UK), I recently asked him about cultural/racial issues out of a genuine interest and from a willingness to learn (but your post made me wonder had I insulted him by using the wrong language). All I'm saying is that if the infertility blogs have taught me anything it is that until someone has experienced something directly, s/he is rarely able to articulate themselves correctly; but once you have gone through the pain of something, it seems so OBVIOUS where to be tactful. I find the majority of fertiles who come into my acquaintance obtuse, unless I rant at them for a while; and when a majority get it wrong, it usually means that they aren't ignorant, just that the subject matter is harder than we might imagine. Not everyone knows a family who has adopted (I didn't until the aforementioned friend), maybe people haven't heard of some of the intricacies of it which would temper their opinions? I, for one, have been fascinated and educated by all you have said about the issues facing adopted children - issues I had been unaware of until reading your blog. So - sorry you have to go through the comments - I think I know how much they must hurt, but I'm sure at least some of them come from 'nice' people who would hate to think how much they have upset you.

Womb in waiting

Jill hi, I agree, the comments are crazy, insensitive & foolish....regarding your choices re adoption.....i feel your decision doesnt need to be explained or justified...as you say parents who carry a child choose for a healthy baby - why shouldnt you? we too are starting to explore adoption, after 5 miscarriages....we've started to attend the seminars & unpack all there is for us to make informed choices....it seems youre a few steps ahead of us....thinking of you.


Hi, just found your blog -- what a thoughtful post. I have a baby with Down syndrome who was conceived after much struggle and high tech intervention. What's weird is that even though I wanted a "normal" kid as much as the next mom-to-be, and even though I was devastated by her diagnosis, I sometimes get the impression that people think I'm a better person because I have a special-needs kid. It was a fluke of nature -- I never wanted to be in this situation (although I acknowledge that I could have chosen to get out of it and didn't, mostly out of fear of the amnio), and yet it's as if I get a bit of moral credit for it. I can only imagine the approval I would get if I had chosen this route through adoption. Maybe people just want to believe that there are (other) people in the world who will take care of the unfortunate kids?


I'm neither surprised nor angered by the thoughtless remarks made by thoughtless people. I've become numb to them long ago.

"When you stop wanting a baby, then God will bless you with one" -- that was the most annoying comment I received. The most infuriating statements came from people who knew the least about my situation.

One particular remark that sticks with me came from a friend shortly after we lost Owen, "God was just sparing you from something worse." HELLO!!! As if anything could be worse than holding your dead child - no matter how old.

Sorry, I didn't mean to go off on that tangent. I really just wanted to say to find someone safe to share your feelings, questions and concerns with and let the rest of the world wonder about what you're up to.


Dear, dear Jill

I am coming to feel that I almost know you - read your post, just agreeing so strongly with it all - and I know I should be writing more on my blog to help me get through some of these crucial thought processes. As you know, after my 6 miscarriages I am in a very similar place. However, in the UK I am highly unlikely to be able to adopt a baby under 6 months - in fact we are desperately hoping that our adopted child will be under 3. I have been reading up on attachment theory / disorder and it is SCARY stuff. I am working through similar processes to you, in that I do believe (or hope) that with support and dedication I can make a real difference to a child with attachment issues.
It is such a difficult decision - not least because how can you (I)know in advance what you are (I am) capable of dealing with? How any individual child might flourish (or not) in your (my) care?
I would just like you to know that I COMPLETELY SUPPORT all that you say in your post. And I wish I could write so well and express such a lot of (very similar) processes that I am having to go through too.


What an excellent rant, Jill!

You do have a way with words and are very clear in your thinking process.


Wow- it sounds like you have been getting a lot of "advice." It is hard to toe the line of being very open or private with friends.

Everyone I know seems to be under the impression that once you adopt a child, you'll automatically get pregnant! I can't tell you how many times I have heard that over the past month.

I finally jumped in with a smile, and said "Actually, that is an urban legend....Only 5% of those who adopt go on to get pregnant later."


I must say that I am continually shocked at the comments people make to others, especially in the infertile/adoptive world. And especially in regards to somehow beleiving that you "should" seek to adopt a special needs child. As you pointed out, many of those commenters have children, and typically healthy ones at that. I can't imagine telling a pregnant woman, "Oh, I hope your child has tons of special needs, you would be such a good mother to a child like that!" No one would even consider saying something like that. As for me, I am cheering for you. I think you will be a great mother, and I hope it is soon.


I found my way to your blog via Kim.Kim's blog.

"Why do some people think that it is that okay for a pregnant woman to want a healthy, normal baby but not for a prospective adoptive mother to want one?"

Excellent question! I can't tell you how much GUILT I was made to feel for wanting to adopt a healthy, newborn baby...for many of the reasons you mentioned.

There was a breaking point for me when I sobbed to my brother, "Why am I expected to take on a special needs child just because I have to adopt to form my family? Why shouldn't I be allowed to want a healthy baby? No woman pregnant WANTS her baby to have special needs, why should I be expected to want that, especially as a first time parent?"

My brother gave me permission to want a healthy baby. I'm not sure why I needed someone's permission but I did.

I stayed the course with our plans to adopt a newborn domestically. We were matched through a friend and 5 months later our son was placed in my arms at 2 minutes old. He's been with us ever since. He'll be two in December. I couldn't love him more had I given birth to him. Now, we're looking to adopt #2.

I'm sorry you're being subjected to such narrow-minded opinions.

The day that fertile couples are willing to follow their own advice and adopt the children they claim that I should be adopting is the day I'll take their opinions seriously.

Best of luck on your adoption journey. I'll be back to check on your progress.


I can relate. Isn't it funny that in tough situations people offer the craziest "solutions" even if they have NO idea what they're talking about? I say, take the advice of the people you sought out for wisdom and take the others with a grain of salt.


very well said rant!
good for you and I can't believe some of the comments you got.
I hope your adoption goes smoothly & you get a baby soon.
Good luck!


Oh, boy, we're opinionated folk, aren't we?

I don't know when or where it began, or if it has always been there, but I am constantly amazed at how blazen people are with their comments and how righteous they feel in giving them.

Regardless, I wish you a wonderful journey and am looking forward to reading it!

The comments to this entry are closed.