It was one of those days, Stephanie was busy racing around grabbing groceries. With two kids in tow, crumbs in her hair, and a juice stain on her shirt (a left over from snack time) she didn’t have time to stop. Trying to get her shopping done with a toddler on her hip she heard the question “Are they yours?” from the cashier. A well-intentioned harmless question from her standpoint no doubt. Her son had recklessly curly hair and always tended toward a darker skin tone, partially from his time spent outdoors but also from his biological mother. Whereas Stephanie contrasted with pale skin and thin straight hair. Her husband who was currently juggling their rambunctious daughter didn’t look like him either.
“Are they yours?” “Did you adopt?” “Where are they from?”
These are questions that can seem like they would be easy to answer, but in the moment can be hard to manage. Maybe on a good day, Stephanie might be able to answer calmly, and in a way that is kind toward the cashier while also protecting what her children will hear her say. On the stressful days “Are they yours?” can seem more like a personal attack that, eliciting an equally combative response. On a day where Stephanie was feeling especially drained and missed speaking with an adult, and the cashier may just hear more about embryo adoption and genetic parents than she was expecting.
Talking to children about how they joined your family is vital to ensuring they can accept themselves and their differences with confidence, especially with an embryo adoption. This means that you will also be letting other people in on this personal part of your life. Starting with family and close friends, and growing to include doctors, teachers, and sometimes acquaintances like that cashier (by purpose or not). While you may not physically look different enough to gain questions from strangers, it is still important to learn how to share your child’s story in a way that protects them from having people know more than they are comfortable with. Watch our webinar “10 Ways to Support Your Child’s Adoption Story” to find out how.