As you know, I have done a few posts on the ridiculous things people say to you when you adopt/adopt internationally. I had no idea that those posts would be simply one or two in a year-long series. I had no idea at the time that I would stop being offended by them and just start finding them hilariously funny...as long as my child doesn't hear or see them.
So--you knew another post was coming, didn't you? ;)
Tell me, friends. When someone tells you they are engaged, would you:
A) Say congratulations and wish them the best
B) Get them a book detailing that 50% of marriages end in divorce, with an enclosed gift certificate to marriage counseling--you know, just in case things go badly.
Or let's say someone moved into a new home. Would you:
A) Say congratulations and joke about when their housewarming party might be
B) Get them a book on dry rot, termites, home invasions by armed intruders, and why it's a waste of money to give up your rental property
Heck, let's do one more.
If someone told you they were pregnant, would you:
A) Say congratulations and ask when the due date is and where are they registered
B) Buy them a book on birth defects, pre-eclampsia, maternal or child death during labor, and signs of autism in early childhood
Oh dear. Such a difficult choice between all the As and all the Bs, right?
So tell me why, when someone has adopted, someone thinks a thoughtful, appropriate gift is a book on Meeting The Challenges of Adoption, which details (I kid you not) how to work with an adopted child who has attempted suicide, among other heartwarming nuggets. Forget that the book isn't even about the international adoption of infants but rather the domestic adoption of troubled children. Forget that the book itself is appalling in its use of the cheeseball term "forever family" as a way to somehow assure the child that you won't leave them. Gee, in my house, that word was just "family," how about in yours? The word "family" alone says, "you are so freakin stuck with us, kiddo." Why add "forever" to it? So you can remind the child that they are not simply "family?"
I could go on and on, but I am too busy laughing M.A.O. I was kind of annoyed when I first saw the "gift" but began to laugh out loud as I read through it, realizing that the givers truly, seriously thought that this would be a helpful present. And being that clueless is truly a reason to laugh long and loud and publicly. After all, I want my daughter to know that she is just a member of a regular old family, which means that someone has to be a little eccentric and embarrassing to her. Might as well be me...