Monday, October 25, 2010

Let's get REAL: A post on Adoption Language and People First Language too!

So this post has been been brewing in my head for quite some time. But a few experiences have recently brought this post to the forefront. It's something I just need to say, to get off of my chest. I extend alot of grace to those that are just fumbling around and trying and want the knowledge. I cringe thinking about what I may have said as I was seeking information. I'm thankful that the people I sought out for information, were kind with me and understood my heart. I love educating people about adoption (the process, the feelings, the various ways, etc.) and talking about adoption. I take issue with those that continue to use words to hurt after they've been given the information of how to be less hurtful.

I am Xander's REAL mother. I'm not fake or an imposter. I'm as real as they come, with strengths and weaknesses. And REAL feelings too! I am also his adoptive mother. He just calls me "My Mama.." I gladly answer to that too!

Likewise, Xander is my REAL son. He's not any less my son than Solomon. Xander and Solomon ARE my sons. One is biologically my son and one was adopted. My love for both of them is great. I've grown as a mother and as a person due to each of them being in my life. They both are *very* much wanted and loved. DNA doesn't dictate my love for my children.
My children are REAL siblings. Seriously folks-- you don't want the mama bear to come out. If you don't agree with our adoption, that is fine. But leave my children out of this. They ALL love each other-- no matter how they joined our family.

As far as Xander's birthmother, C (initial only to protect her privacy), she is exactly that: His birthmother or biological mom/mother. I will not allow ANYONE to disrespect her and call her an "egg donor," "incubator," "baby carrier." She has her own struggles (ahem.. who doesnt?) but I will NOT allow people in my life to disrespect her. We have a semi-open adoption (C's choice) and Xander may one day get to meet her. I will not rip his heart to shreds by allowing people to be disrespectful to the woman that chose LIFE for him..
She made an adoption plan. She didn't give him up or give him away. She terminated her parental rights. And she loves him. 'nuff said.

Furthermore, a little lesson on People First Language. My eyes were opened to this years ago by a very dear friend, who is a special education teacher. Yes, you may roll your eyes. Internally, I did too.. and slowly my eyes were opened and it's changed the way I speak.


A child with special needs-Not a special needs child. (See that? The child came first.)

A child with autism--Not an autistic child.
So following this logic.. It's a "baby with drug exposure." Not a "Drug baby."

Language hurts.. and you never know just who's baby you're talking about.



Rachel said...

This is so true! Thanks for posting this. What agency did you use? We are raising funds to do our domestic adoption but don't have a high budget. We are basically blind and trusting God. I saw your adoption was only around 8k. I would love some advice!


Patti said...

Amen! I really struggle with people calling Lily "a downs baby."