We have been very open with family members and close friends about our adoption plans. However, although it might not seem like it (since I share my deepest thoughts and feelings here on the internet), I am actually a private person in real life. So, beyond family and close friends, I don’t feel the need for everyone in the world to know about our plans at this point in time.
I’ve had a hard time, though, sharing our plans with friends that sort of fall in between the obvious close friend category and the we’re-not-telling-you-until-we’ve-got-a-referral category. It actually really bugs me when I think about a particular group of friends that doesn’t know yet. I guess I sort of feel like I’m keeping a secret, and I’m not sure why I haven’t told them. At this point I feel like a bit of a coward because I haven’t found the way to bring up the subject.
There are a few other fairly close friends I haven’t told. One example is a coworker. She is definitely my closest friend in the office, although we have never socialized outside of the workplace. This poor woman was the one who had to deal with a full-on dose of sobbing and hysterics when my doctor called me – at work – to tell me about my balanced translocation. But the fact of the matter is that she’s a bit racist. She makes comments about “the blacks,” so I know why I haven’t told her yet. I hear her little comments here or there and they make the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I guess I know I will have to be ready to dig in and address some of her comments.
The other day I posted a somewhat cryptic post on FB about our USCIS approval. I figured those who didn’t know what I was talking about would either ignore it or ask what I was talking about. Some people did some googling and figured it out (well, sort of – I think they thought we were bringing a child home really soon), so I’ve entered into a dialogue with them and that’s been great.
For a long time I didn’t think that we would tell many people our plans until we had a referral. At that point we will be shouting from the rooftops, I’m sure! But now that we’ve reached The Wait, and I feel like this might actually really happen (I still have my doubts, but I think that’s mostly a defense mechanism due to all of the family-building disappointments we’ve had over the years), I think I’m ready to come out to some of these friends. But it makes me nervous. Will they ask a lot of questions? Will they not understand why we chose to adopt transracially? Will they wonder why we didn’t adopt domestically? Will they ask questions about why we’re not having a baby the old-fashioned way?
And then I look at those questions and I think it’s silly for me to feel shy about this. We are going to have questions asked of us for the rest of our lives. We are adopting transracially, for goodness sake – we will be a walking, talking example of adoption. So why not start addressing the questions now?
So, to my adoptive parent and prospective adoptive parent friends out there, I ask you: When and how did you share your adoption plans with your friends and family?
And an update because I know you’re all just dying to know: Mr. Mouse has left the house. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty and leave it at that. I’m proud to say (to make up for comparing him to a little girl a few weeks ago) that Craig was a big, strong, masculine man in dealing with the situation this morning. Here’s hoping it really was just one mouse…