So adopting the second time around we've gotten some very excited responses and some responses where you just know the people you're talking to are thinking "What the heck are they thinking?" Shawn and I were just talking about how we feel some people aren't as thrilled for us the second time around (and maybe some of those people weren't really thrilled the first time either)...probably because at this point they're thinking we don't know when to stop or we're "pushing our luck" by adopting another child who could have [insert long list of problems Zoya does NOT have]. Like we think we're going to adopt a healthy child or something...like we don't get the fact that the child has special needs and health needs. You can just tell when someone is thinking we're nuts. They will say things like:
"You ARE?!?!" followed by silence and a look of terror.
What I want to say: Yes and maybe we'll just bring back two or three because they're all so darn cute :)
What I should say: Yes, God has led us on this journey and we're following his lead. I am honored when people think we're crazy because if you're not doing something crazy to show your love to this world then what are you doing? "Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all." Helen Keller
What you should say instead: (like if you just can't contain your disapproval) NOTHING! But when someone announces their adoption you should say "Congratulations" or "So excited to hear you're expecting another blessing." (Someone actually caught me off guard when he said "I hear you're expecting again"...I loved hearing that!)
(My favorite surprised reaction was when I said, "Well we're going back to Eastern Europe" and the person said, "You are??? To visit?" LOL I had to crack up because I thought the same thing...why would you go back there? haha)
"Wow that's going to be really hard having two children with special needs"
What I want to say: "Really? Because I signed up for this because I heard its sooooo easy! Hmm maybe I should have thought about that. I mean life with one child with special needs is soooooo easy...our life is just like a fairy tale and we're happy all day long and never ever have any problems at all, why wouldn't it be just as easy with two????" or "In my world everyone is a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies (Horton Hears a Who) so we should be just fine thanks." or "Really? Because life seems a lot harder for you with your two children who DON'T have special needs."
What I should say: "Life is hard with two children PERIOD, regardless of special needs. You weren't put here to have an easy life. We are aware that we are taking on a challenge and life is about to get a whole lot crazier (and a whole lot lovelier) but God doesn't call us to anything without carrying us through the tough times."
What you should say instead: "Well I'm sure you know life will be more challenging, but also more rewarding. The best things in life aren't easy. I'm here for you if you need anything when the going gets tough."
"What is wrong with this baby?"
What I want to say: "She appears to have been left behind by a UFO and is growing horns out of her head and nobody knows what to do with her."
What I should say: "Nothing is wrong with her. She needs parents who can provide for her. She happens to have Down Syndrome, but nothing is WRONG with her...she is lovely just the way she was created."
What you should ask instead: "Does this baby have any special needs?"
"When do you get her?"
What I want to say: "Well that all depends on when the pound will release her"
What SHAWN wants to say (I know because he told me LOL): We're not sure, she's currently on backorder.
What I should say: "We are unsure when we will travel to meet or bring home our daughter."
What you should ask instead: "When will you be travelling to meet her?" or "Any idea when you'll be bringing her home?"
Okay I think I'm through with this sarcastic rant. Oh and my baby is a "baby with down syndrome," not a "downs baby" or a "down syndrome baby." I don't call others "diabetes lady" or "wheelchair guy." I know a lot of people forget to use "people-first" language, but I'd be lying if I said it doesn't make my skin craw every time I hear someone refer to Zoya as a "downs girl" or to the new baby as a "down syndrome baby." Its just part of who she is, not all of who she is!
And on that note...I hope nobody takes my "What I want to say" parts too seriously, although one of these days I'm really going to use one of those answers and see what reaction I get THEN!