Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Monday, May 18, 2015

#Microblog Mondays: Why Is There Such A Difference?



Last Thursday, I had another opportunity to tell people that I was in the adoption process. Up until this point, most people have been excited and happy, equivalent to announcing a pregnancy.

This was not quite the same.

I was at a training, and the training unfortunately seemed to be one giant infomercial for a week-long conference over the summer, which I am considering going to (but kind of feel like NOT going to because of the wasted time where I was being sold something rather than learning something). As a final selling point, the gentleman in charge said to me,

"Do you have children?"

And instead of just saying "No," what I said (with a fair amount of enthusiasm) was:

"No, but I'm in the adoption process!"

SILENCE. CRICKETS. He fumbled over himself and explained that there were activities for children 9-12 (I guess I could have a 9-12 year old, but that made me feel really old), but the other teachers in the room, some of whom KNEW me, were silent and made the raised-eyebrows, "wow-she's-just-TMI'd-us" face.

Fast-forward not FIVE minutes, when one of the younger teachers says she's enjoying this summer before she starts trying to have a baby. And everyone was like, "OHMYGOD, that's so EXCITING!" Coo, coo, coo.

WHAAA? Wait, hold up... HOW IS THAT ANY DIFFERENT THAN WHAT I JUST SAID? Especially since hers involves SEX and whatnot and mine does not (on our end, at least)?

I will never understand this double standard -- there's more than one way to make a family, people. It amazes me that the way with actual sex involved is the one that makes people the most comfortable.


Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy!

38 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm sorry you were subjected to that. The double standard is shocking. They should all be ashamed of themselves!

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    1. I agree, they should be totally ashamed! I wouldn't have cared if it wasn't like I said, "I love eating lambs when they're still alive" and the other girl said, "I love rescuing tiny fluffy puppies!"

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  2. I suspect some of it is the awkwardness of not knowing what to say, whereas everybody seems to have an opinion on pregnancy.
    Plus, in this era, doing paperwork for a family, so much more embarrassing than sex ;-)

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    1. I'm sure part of it is not knowing what to say, and I came across that A LOT doing IVF, but I thought somehow adoption would be different. I just wish that everyone would know that "congratulations" or "how exciting" is ALWAYS the right thing to say. Ha! Maybe paperwork is more embarrassing than gonads... :)

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  3. So awkward. I'm sorry that you had to go through that. It's not fair and people should be more sensitive. I'd much rather hear about someone's adoption plan than their plans on physically procreating.

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    1. I really did feel a huge sense of "That's NOT FAIR!" It was awkward for sure. I guess this sort of thing is going to happen though. Ugh.

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  4. I think it's awesome that you are excited to be a mother. A mother's a mother (why do I now have Horton Hears a Who in my head?) :) Society just isn't cool enough for it yet.

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    1. Thank you! I am totally excited, and love Horton Hears a Who. :) I just don't get why people wouldn't be equally excited for both scenarios, as I actually HAVE experienced in the past before! It was a little weird.

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  5. We always got the same kind of response. I hated it! After years of trying to conceive, we felt like we finally had something going for us with adoption, but it seems like no one else could understand that.

    And I don't want to be a debbie-downer, but it got worse once we were chosen by a birthmom. When we'd tell people we were expecting a baby due in June, EVERY.SINGLE.ONE of them said "but what if she changes her mind?" It made me want to scream at them, "well, what if you miscarry your baby?" But I know that is hurtful, so I would never say such a thing. But it seems like the same thing to me.

    Good luck!

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    1. I feel like I have this weird balancing of people who are WAY too hopeful versus people who have no clue what to say and are all debbie downers themselves. I will be honest, I'm not sure I'm going to share when we are matched because I do feel like that's still so tenuous. I'm burnt from all the infertility stuff, I feel like I need to feel like I've seen a heartbeat in terms of feeling secure in order to share. I think it will be a big surprise when we are placed... it is totally the same thing. I can imagine it would be like a miscarriage or a stillbirth, depending on when the match fell through. You can be a debbie downer--I have to think about these things sometime. :)

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    2. Savannah - I am super impressed by your ability to maintain your care for others in the face of such comments. Seems like the same thing to me too.
      Jess - I hear you on the hesitancy - we waited for a heartbeat the first time and waited until the second trimester the second time and I do not want to tell anyone ever again that we are not going to watch our children grow up.

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    3. I think that cautious optimism is the way to go for sure. After experiencing loss and disappointment and devastation, it's so important to protect your heart. Thank you for your comment, it brought tears to my eyes. No one should have to experience such loss. May there be joy in the future!

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  6. I wouldn't care about anyone else..Starting a family is what you are doing..Just chin up :) Exciting days ahead!!

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    1. There are exciting days ahead! I just wish that I could be granted the same excitement as the people doing it "the old fashioned way." The double standard is what gets me. Doesn't hamper MY excitement, though! :)

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  7. Ugh. That kind of reaction makes me cringe. BOTH of you are having an exciting time- full of hope (and hopefully no heartbreak). I'm cheering for you!

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    1. YES, cringeworthy for sure! I hope no heartbreak too, but feel a little realistic that I should prepare for it. Not perseverate on it, but be prepared that heartbreak could be in the cards with this pathway, too. Thanks for the cheers!

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  8. I don't understand that either, especially since Americans can be a little... uh... prudish. But moreover, if you're going to coo over one, why wouldn't you coo over the other?

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    1. Seriously! Americans are totally prudish! I deserved at least a little coo, I think. So annoying.

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  9. I feel for you in that double-standard, embarrassing situation. But I also think it is wonderful that you are sharing your excitement about starting the adoption process. If people don't get how awesome that is then they are just pathetic. I hope they don't put a permanent damper on your good attitude!

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    1. Thank you! There's no putting a damper on my attitude, just crankiness resulting from other people's ridiculousness. :) It WAS embarrassing though because of the crickets. I hate crickets.

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  10. Many people don't know what to say with a sensitive issue. They prefer to listen, take cues and go with the flow. I would talk to friends who know me, who are supportive of my decisions. It is much more difficult to relate with strangers.

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    1. I guess I just don't understand why adoption should be considered a sensitive issue when planning for pregnancy obviously isn't. I was most hurt because these weren't strangers, at least half the room was filled with people who've known me, if not super well, for years.

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  11. Even more than a little coo. It is too bad that (still) in this day and age folks are so clueless. Endeavoring to create a family is cause for celebration. Congratulations.

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    1. Thank you for the congratulations! Absolutely a cause for celebration! I just don't get the other reactions. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  12. Sometimes some people can't actually RELATE to adoption. It doesn't really have the usual 9 month baby bump obviousness. You can't really TOUCH a process can you? My friends were excited when I said we were adopting because finally they didn't have to watch me agonize a failed IVF. By the 2nd year of waiting though I was getting sick and tired of "So, how's it going? Any news?"

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    1. That's true, you can't physically see it. I don't look any different, but it's like walking around while in my third trimester all the time. For a long time. Yes, I think it is already challenging to temper excitement with realism, for the ones who are unadulteratedly excited for us, so I'm a little worried about that "Any news" scenario. But YES, so much excitement from the true supporters on no more IVF. Thank you for your thoughts!

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  13. Wow. Just wow. I really don't understand why you got this reaction other than pure ignorance on their end. I'm so sorry you had to experience that. But please don't let it dampen your excitement. May the process is a smooth and swift one.

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    1. Thank you so much! I refuse to be dampened, dammit! :) It did get me a bit blue for a little bit, but just because they sucked. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  14. Ugh. I'm sorry about the double standard experience you just had. Some people can be so narrow in their thinking. The adoption process should be celebrated. Keep those who are openly happy for you close as your support.

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    1. Absolutely -- I am lucky in that I have a really great support network and people who truly "get it." I like to test the waters of sharing my adoption process as others so casually share pregnancies (although past a point they don't have a choice, as awomanmyage pointed out), and usually I'm happy with the result. It's just so disheartening when it's a narrow result. Maybe they'll feel it's worthy of celebrating when a baby is actually here.

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  15. I truly has to be a lack of knowing what to say. I like to think that IF has made me more able to be happy for others and express it when they tell me that they are growing their family in any way.

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    1. Absolutely, I think that is part of it. I just don't get why "congratulations" doesn't come up as appropriate, especially when I don't say "I'm in the adoption process" like I'm Eeyore or anything, I'm all enthusiastic. Argh! I feel like IF helped me to realize the duality in being happy for other people while feeling sad that I wasn't in that boat myself. But I would never NOT congratulate someone, even when it's hard internally. That's a great attitude to have, I'm impressed! :)

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  16. Well, apparently your co-workers and fellow trainees are just perverts.

    There is definitely more than one way to make a family.The rest of us will just SQUEE louder for you to make up for the people who don't get it! :)

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    1. HA! You always make me laugh. Yes, perverts for sure! Thank you for the SQUEE-ing! Definitely a special place for the people who are excited right off the bat. :)

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  17. Growing your family is wonderful news, and your co-workers missed the boat on this one.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, they absolutely missed the boat. And it doesn't seem like a particularly difficult boat to catch, you know? Thanks for your thoughts!

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  18. I am so happy for you that your family is growing! You indeed have exciting times ahead.

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    1. Thank you for your excitement! It is definitely news worthy of happy reactions and support. :) I appreciate yours very much!

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