Friday, August 22, 2008

What NOT to say

Recently, I learned that a couple I know just found out that they were expecting a baby (pregnant) after just having adopted a baby the previous month. Their children will only be 10 months apart. This is the second couple I know from around the same area who have had this happen to them. They had both dealt with inferility (the first couple I mentioned were dealing with secondary infertility, in their case-they had already had 2 children biologically & were having trouble trying to become pregnant a third time) so they both may continue to deal with infertilty in the future even though they did happen to get pregnant once before. Having been through infertility & adoption, I've learned that a big part of both of these issues is EDUCATION! So today's lesson is about a couple of things not to say to people when you've learned they're adopting/have adopted a child.

#1: "Now that you've adopted, you'll probably get pregnant!"
That would be a big N-O, NO! Many people think that this is a true statement because it has happened to someone that they know. This is why I mentioned the people above. I know them-that is 2 couples I know that this has happened to. How many couples/people do I know altogether? LOTS!!! I read somewhere one time that this statement is actually only true in about 5% of cases, so think about all of the people who have adopted & then think about how many 5% of them would be-it's not very many people. Now think about all of the people who probably know those same 2 couples that I know-when they make the comment above-they are all probably thinking of these very same 2 couples. That's why people think it happens all of the time-because they know someone who it has happened to, but they are all probably thinking of the same couple! Makes sense once you think about it, doesn't it. :)
Another reason I think that this statement is so ridiculous is because their are also many other types of people who adopt & someone would never even think to say it to them. For instance, I have 3 aunts who have all adopted their children (via the foster care system) & no one has ever said to them "Watch out! You might just get pregnant now that you have adopted!" Why? Because each one of them is SINGLE! It would be a very inappropriate statement to make to them & it falls into that same category for the rest of us too.

#2 "Once you get that baby home you'll probably relax & get pregnant" or in the scenarios above "They probably relaxed after adopting that baby & got pregnant"
Again another N-O, NO! All I have to say about this one is-who in their right mine is "relaxed" with a newborn at home! Between sleep deprivation, worrying about when they're going to sleep/eat/poop/wake up, if you're making the right choices, extra laundry, etc (the list could go on & on) who is relaxed. I certainly wasn't! Relieved to finally have our baby home with us after years of waiting-certainly! Relaxed-not quite so much! Plus, I've never ever learned in any of my biology classes that 'relief' equals easier conception. Sorry folks-it just doesn't work that way.

So the next time you hear of someone adopting or adopting & then becoming pregnant, just say "Congratulations!" or "Wow! What a wonderful event!" & keep in mind that the above statements although well intentioned I'm sure-are not accurate (& may not be appreciated either.) If you slip up every once in awhile though, that's okay-it happens-just smile & move on! ;)


Jamie said...

This is soooo true.

Adoption cures being childless, it does not cure infertility!

Thanks for a good post. We need to inform the masses about these things!

Karen said...

I wonder if I will EVER get to stop educating people about those statements (and there are more, as you know...) You cracked me up about your single aunts, that's a great example of why it's such an inappropriate comment. :)