January 13, 2013

One Way Adoptees Can Respond
to Challenging People

My last post  was about people who feel threatened and respond to our personal narrative or sharing our view about being an adoptee with, "Wow, that was really hard to hear..."

I'm not referring to compassionate people who appreciate what we have to say and tell us something was hard to hear because they feel sympathetic. I'm talking about those who want us to stop.  Basically their, "wow, that was hard to hear," means, "Your story or your perspective about adoption makes me uncomfortable and I really wish you wouldn't share it."


Their goal may be to guilt you into leaving supposedly better-left-unsaid-things, unsaid. I encourage you to own your story. Share it, and don't let anyone dissuade you.  If you're like me, you're always looking for the the right words to say and you really wish you had them immediately when people say stuff like this. Usually I think of comebacks a few days after I need them. :)

So here goes, this just came to me and I think it's one good answer.

When you share  and people don't appreciate your candor and say, "wow, that was really hard to hear..." consider this in response:

"If it was hard for you to HEAR IT, imagine how hard it was for me to LIVE IT!"

I appreciate when adoptees share responses they have given to dismissive or challenging people. I love the sassy response my friend Laura Dennis recently shared on her excellent post, Adoptee New Year's Resolution: Be The Trump Card! 

 What responses have you given to people who challenge or object to your narrative, or constantly focus on everything and everyone but you regarding your adoption?