Monday, April 21, 2014

Haters Gonna Hate

We've had an amazing outpouring of love and support since we started this adoption journey (again). Putting yourself out there can be challenging and humbling. With an agency, they are doing a lot of the behind the scenes work for you and they are in contact with organizations that work with expectant parents thinking about adoption. When you pursue private adoption, you're trying to connect with someone yourself. Which in turn, puts you in contact with those that are anti-adoption or have strong opinions about what you are doing. I am not even going to mention scammers at this point because we haven't encountered that yet. We were warned by adoption professionals that these people will seek you out. Even though we received more well wishes than I can count, those handful of hateful messages really hurt.

The Internet allows people to make comments to anyone without any repercussion. I can see why cyber-bullying is out of control. It removes the filter of social etiquette and allows people to say things that they would never say face-to-face. Cowards can leave ugly comments from the safety of their locked down accounts. You can't respond or even see what this person looks like. In about a week, we received comments like 'disrespectful', 'disgusting', 'whores', that we want to 'buy' a baby, that we are trying to 'steal' someone's baby, we can't afford to give a baby a good life since we have fundraising on our site and on and on. After the first couple of days, I broke down and cried. It's not in my character to want to publicly shame and defame anyone. Who are these hateful people? Their comments rattle me. I am not sure if their point is to convince us not to adopt or if they just enjoy making us feel bad. I think if they wanted to make a difference, they could channel that energy by doing something more productive.

My first instinct is to defend myself. To say in no way shape or form, do we want to buy or steal anyone's baby. In fact, I am in total agreement that adoption procedures need a major overhaul. There are some dishonest tactics being used and money is being made off of people's desperate desire to have a family. There are good eggs out there as well and we try to align ourselves with those professionals.  Yes, we have placed ads and set-up social media accounts. If we aren't with an agency, you have to put yourself out there. If you don't, there are hundreds of other families out there that will. If we meet someone that is thinking about adoption, I want to get to know them. I want them to get to know us. I want them to feel confident placing their child with us. We need to be a good fit with each other because we will share a bond and a relationship for the rest of our lives.  It's about making a connection. I can't really respond to these unkind comments though. Either these people have their accounts locked down or I'll expend a lot of negative energy having a Twitter war with a faceless stranger. So, I just absorb the negativity,  delete the comment, and block the person.

I reached out to my adoption support community for help on how to deal with this. They had some good advice and I felt better. There are so many raw emotions associated with adoption, you could easily unintentionally offend someone by simply not knowing. They reassured me that what we are doing isn't wrong. They helped me look at this with compassion. Maybe these people were hurt by adoption, had a bad experience or have some unresolved feelings. This is the only way they can express those feelings. I am sending out a big hug to those that are hurting. My perspective on adoption has evolved since we began this journey. I am still learning everyday. One thing that hasn't changed is that we are a nice couple who want to have a child to love.

If you or someone that you know is thinking about making an adoption plan. Please feel free to contact us or share our story. Thank you.

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