We designed this site in order to keep in touch with friends and family who are far away and in order to communicate with other adoptive families from around the world.

When we first started researching this wonderful way to become a family we read everything we could get our hands on. Even though there are a lot of great books out there, nothing was as informative or touching as the blogs we found by adoptees, biological parents, and adoptive families. So we are writing this blog now in hopes of returning the favor. We hope that if you are dear to us you will enjoy keeping up with our adventures. If you are someone out there involved in a part of the adoption triad we hope you will find information and comfort here and provide us with some of your own!

If you would like to get in touch with us we can be reached at:
Feel free to stop by anytime. We're happy to share our family story.

Take care,
Brian and Rosemary

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I am not Paper Pregnant

"Paper Pregnant" is an interesting phrase to me. More interesting I suppose is it's popularity in the adoption world. I don't say it or use it as a description of my mood or wear t-shirts with it blazed across the front. But I know girls who do. Lovely, sweet, caring women who don't feel uncomfortable with it. Let me say right up front: I AM NOT JUDGING!

But give me a chance to explain why I don't go there. I understand the impulse. Really I do. There is a "secret society of pregnancy" that adoptive moms get left out of. There is an implied and sometimes obvious lack of respect for anyone who isn't giving birth. I have had condescending remarks made to me and outright attacks on my womanhood. I once had a family member announce that a woman's I.Q. goes up ten points after she becomes a mother. She then gave a long pause, looked around the room, allowed her gaze to stop on me and said, "Well, only if you're pregnant first." BTW - that information is completely untrue!
So after we, the incredibly un-pregnant adoptive moms, experience a couple of moments like that I think we begin to build up an almost feral need to protect our "nesting" experience. We are becoming mothers. Some of us for the first time! We too are expecting a child. We are going through a huge amount of stress not to mention physical, emotional, and financial drain. Instead, at family dinners everyone is busy talking about Susy-Q's latest sonogram. Isn't that kind of what it boils down to? Everyone just wants their due? We all just want a little credit and sympathy for our own life experience? All of our pregnant friends and family members are getting theirs and many people cannot understand what the adoption experience means so we cleverly label it "Paper Pregnant" so they can grasp that we're facing parenthood.

However, the reason we don't use "Paper Pregnant" in our household is because we do all want a little credit - that's the human condition. And I'm not pregnant. She is. Button's other mother is pregnant and I think she deserves the credit for it. I have no idea what her life has been like but I bet nobody threw her a baby shower. I bet she has not had it easy and I bet she has had more than her fair share of unpleasant comments from friends and family and maybe even strangers. So I don't want to take even a shred of her credit. She gets it all.

Adopting isn't easy but I don't want a t-shirt that says "Paper Pregnant" because in my opinion those words don't go together. Someone very real is very pregnant and she will suffer the loss of a child because of her circumstances. I think whatever hits I'm taking during this time are minor in comparison. I know it isn't much but I guess it's a gesture of solidarity with her. It's one way that we're showing our respect for both her pregnancy and our adoption. They are two completely different things and we shouldn't have to masquerade our process as something it's not just to get a little support. We feel very grateful for all she's doing and the irreplaceable bond she's creating with Button during this time and I would never try to assume any of that relationship by valuing my own experience more highly than hers.

- Rosemary


Robin and Kyle said...

Beautifully said. I seriously think I'm going to shut down my blog and just post a link to yours that says: "What she said."
Thanks, as always!

Chris and Terri said...

HA HA Robin! I agree! Sometimes I read others and am like I just shouldn't post today! I can't be as creative or meaningful.

Rosemary - you are so right!

One thing I've noticed is that as we get closer to a referral, people are starting to ask and smile and recognize that this adoption is real. As we talk about M, they realize we already truly love this child we haven't met and know nothing about, we greatly respect her Mother for the journey she has taken, and are AS excited about traveling around the world to pick her up and experience her "first" country as we were to drive down the street to the hospital to deliver our boys.

With me, people were afraid to talk about it at first - like they'd jinx it - or when I'd say "Next September", they were like that's forever away - how can you wait that long?

Granted there's that whole world out there who doesn't know I'm expecting a child because I don't have a baby bump - and I can't wait to walk into Gymboree and buy it ALL and then they'll realize I wasn't just "casing the joint" all this time - I was expecting a little girl!!!

Jessica said...

Amen! So aptly put. These words resonate as always. You have a gift for putting into words what so many of us feel.

This adoption has been a learning experience for us in so many ways. Not just the emotional aspect and the learning of greater empathy but also finding a new sense of community and identity. Thank you!

Maci Miller said...

Well said, Roses! I don't like that term either. You really nailed it with that description and kudos for expressing it so beautifully!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for saying this.

Mireille said...

wow, Rosemary, well said!! I also don't like all these expressions, but can understand if people do wear t-shirts with them..sometimes they want to express a feeling but don't know where to start...a t-shirt helps them in a way. But would never do it myself. You have a gift of using the right words, not everybody has that abiltiy...

Yoli said...

Girl, you so get it.

lucy said...

this is great! i was in the process of looking into a tshirt. i so agree with your thoughts, this is a great way to look at it.

can I still be a hot adoptive mom or something like that - no talent for words here, HAM isn't really working but I'd like some equivalent that is somewhat like MILF without being so crass and while somehow gets a bit boasty (in a funny way) vis a vis not the thai birth mom but my (millions and millions of) pregnant pals. There has to be a way to be in their faces a bit, no? An adoptive mom bikini? I never got the maternity clothes!

In all seriousness though I agree with you, you are taking the higher road.


Wyndee said...

You know, we bought those t-shirts that said "Two countries one family", and I made everyone in my family wear them when we returned home and met us at the airport. Looking back at the pics, we look like a bunch of fools. ha ha