Tuesday Topic: "Aren't You a Lucky Boy."

This week’s Tuesday Topic comes from Kirstine who wrote:

I have a bio son who is 3 and an adopted boy who is 10 months old. It’s a domestic adoption, and people cannot see that he is adopted if I don’t tell. But I’m very open about it because I want to raise awareness of adoption and especially open adoption in my country (I live in Denmark). I get to share our story quite often.

In the past few months I’ve been noticing the testimonies of the grief of adopted children – the loss they experience and the emotional turmoil they can go though. I recently saw the documentary “Off and Running” too, showing a young woman’s intense struggle with questions of identity, rejection and belonging as she initiated contact with her birthmother. My eyes are now open to the intensity of the process adopted children go through. They are uprooted from their birth families and planted in new ones. And that is no easy process – even if the new ‘soil’ is good, and even if it happened before they remember.

I can be aware of this and do everything in my power to love my son well. But as I share our story I soooo often witness people shaking my sons hand and saying “Ooooh, you are one lucky boy” or something along those lines. He’s too young to understand. But what do I reply to such a comment?? It feels akward because it’s not true. But I don’t know what to say – especially in front of my son.

What do other adoptive parents do when the “aren’t you a lucky boy” comment pops up?

How do you deal with comments like this and how do you help your kids process them?

I think we can have a great conversation about this! Bring on the comments.

I will be away from the computer for the remainder of Tuesday, so I’ll hold your comments and begin approving them tomorrow. I would love to see a conversation develop and I’ll try to add my thoughts as well.

Have a great Tuesday everyone. I had planned to post Honeybee’s thoughts today, but realized it was Tuesday and decided to actually follow my schedule.

If you have a question that you would like to see as a Tuesday Topic, please email it to me at:

lisa@onethankfulmom.com

I am happy to post it anonymously, or with your name. If you have a blog, please give me a link to it so I can share it with your question. It is also helpful if you put “Tuesday Topic” in the subject line.

See you all tomorrow!

~Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Rachelle
    October 26, 2010

    I’m brand new to the adoption scene, we are on the first steps to our journey. I look forward to reading your blog and finding encouragement from your experience!

    “What do other adoptive parents do when the “aren’t you a lucky boy” comment pops up?”

    All I could think was, “I am the one that is blessed by this boy!”

    Reply
  2. Molly
    October 26, 2010

    I am eager to hear what others have to say. Our kiddos are not home yet, so we have not gotten this yet. But, I love this little video that Courtney Girdwood (http://www.storinguptreasures.com/) made.

    "Your children are very lucky to be adopted."
    "We don't really see it that way."
    "What do you mean?"
    "We feel very blessed to have them in our lives."

    I love that, because it stays very positive and takes the focus off how the child should feel.

    You can see Courtney's whole video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0vQkB2Sq80

    Reply
  3. Hope
    October 26, 2010

    I think my response will be 'Our whole family has been so blessed by this little one!' Just taking the spotlight off of him/her and onto the fact that he/she is a blessing to us.

    Reply
  4. carla
    October 26, 2010

    I remember years back before adoption entered my life and I made a similar statement, "He is so blessed to be in your family", the adoptive mother's response, in a kind voice, was "No, we are so very blessed to have him in our family." That spoke volumes to me and I felt like such a fool and wished I could have taken my words back. I always remembered that and was very careful next time. : )

    Reply
  5. Cat
    October 26, 2010

    We get similar comments a lot. Usually I simply respond that we (parents, family) are the lucky ones and give my kids a squeeze if they are near me. It’s simple – it’s true – and it usually stops the conversation. Sometimes it does not and that can be awkward.

    For closer friends or others that clearly are interested (and if my kids are out of earshot) I will sometimes question the “luckiness” of being pulled from one’s home, culture, etc.

    Frankly, most people just don’t seem to care that much and are just making “nice” small talk.

    Reply
  6. amarishmama
    October 26, 2010

    We get this all the time and have had trouble deciding how to handle it. One time I got into this big discussion with someone and at the end, they didn't get it any more than they did at the beginning and I was super frustrated! So we always respond with a light hearted, but strong "WE'RE the lucky ones!" You can tel sometimes that it does make people think, and sometimes they don't catch what you're saying at all. Our kids are older and we always want them to hear us saying how lucky WE feel. We are hoping and praying that they will listen to OUR voices and not the other random ones. And we know there will be conversations we will have about this subject as they grow, but right now that seems to be what works for our family.
    http://amarishmama.wordpress.com/

    Reply
  7. Fiona
    October 27, 2010

    I find this quite difficult also. I have 4 children, 2 through adoption from China, and they both have CP. Because of this people often comment that I and my husband are so amazing and the children so fortunate. I always answer in the following way… I explain kindly that it is not the children, but us the parents who are blessed beyond measure. I tell them of the incredible joy, wholeness, and fulfillment we have experienced through having these children in our lives. I tell them that we were the ones with gaps in our lives before these children came to us, and they have filled the needs that we had perfectly.

    Reply
  8. Jen Lee
    October 27, 2010

    I have gotten this question several times with my 18 month old son, adopted at birth. My reply is, "No, I am the lucky one. He has blessed my life more than I could have ever imagined!"

    Reply
  9. Anna
    October 27, 2010

    We tell the people, No, We are the lucky ones, we have a beautiful son and leave it at that.

    Reply
  10. sandee
    October 27, 2010

    well, I must admit, I have not thought about it a lot…I do get a lot of the “you are a saint” type comments, and I am nothing but. When I do get the occasionally, what a lucky girl your daughters are…I say something like, “I am a lucky momma” or “God has blessed me with this child.” something like that. Not too clever or powerful, huh?

    I really DO hate when folks want to dig into my daughters’ pasts..etc. It is hard to graciously close that topic. I have found myself too often sharing things I later wish I had not. I need to learn to say, that is her personal past, without her hearing and thinking there is something wrong with it. 🙁

    Reply
  11. Amanda
    October 27, 2010

    I'm with others, I generally tell them that we're the lucky ones…

    And I try not to let it get to me.

    But, I did have a cashier really get to me the other day… First she asked if my son was "mine".. hate that verbage. Then she told me that my kids look just like "brother and sister"… Hello? They *are* brother and sister, reguardless of genetics!

    Reply
  12. Fiona
    October 28, 2010

    I remebered after I posted, how this makes me think of the movie "The Blind Side", when the ladies are having lunch and one of them says "You are changing that boy's life" and the mother answers "No, he is changing mine". That is the truth of it. I am forever changed, for the much better, by my adopted children.

    Reply
  13. Anonymous
    October 28, 2010

    We have an adopted son with whom we are still working through attachment issues (on his part and ours). So while I would *like* to say, "We are the lucky ones" that just doesn't ring true for us yet. Any suggestions for what to say until we get to that point? (I believe we will, it is just a really hard road right now.) At this point I just smile and nod and move the conversation on to something else. :{

    Reply
    1. Kirstine
      October 30, 2010

      Oh, I hear you. Hang in there.
      What about: "Well, it's up to him to say if he has been 'lucky' or not. But I do believe that it was God that brought us together." (or whatever rings true for you)

      Reply
  14. Michele
    October 28, 2010

    I always use the "We are the lucky ones to have them in our family." response that many others have posted. I have also used, "Luck has nothing to do with it, our family has been very blessed." I did not get nearly so many questions when our only adopted child was Chinese, now that we have two more from Ethiopia it seems I get stopped and asked questions ALL the time.

    Reply
  15. Julie
    October 30, 2010

    All of the responses are so so true – it is us – the parents – who have been blessed. Blessed to be choosen by God to raise these children. Blessed to see the world through the eyes of a child (whose hurt is beyond imagining). Blessed to introduce our children to the Ultimate Healer. And blessed to see the healing begin. We are also blessed to be advocates for those children still needing adoptive homes.

    Reply

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