Adoptive mother: “You know how it is”

My husband and I were talking to a waitress the other day in an airport who noticed we had a young toddler with us. We were making small talk when she mentioned to my husband and I that she was pregnant and due with a boy in just a few weeks. She mentioned that she was so tired, due to her pregnancy, and made a comment directed at me, “Well, you know how it is.” I didn’t reply to her comment but rather nodded politely as if I completely understood. Two years ago, before adopting our son, that small, innocent comment would have sent me reeling and I likely would have ended up in the fetal position on my bed crying my eyes out because no, I really don’t “know how that is” being deemed infertile after trying unsuccessfully for years to get pregnant. But miraculously the comment this time didn’t even phase me. In fact, I remember thinking at the time how much things have changed and how funny it is that that things aren’t always as they appear in life.

When I first brought our son home after adopting him from birth, I would tell everyone around me that he was adopted. It just seemed dishonest of me to let people assume incorrectly that the baby came from my genes after they had made a comment about him such as how cute he was. I was way too honest of a person to let the innocent comments like that pass. However, as time goes on I find myself letting more and more of those innocent comments go. It’s not that I’m trying to hide the fact that he is adopted or that I don’t think about their comments every time I hear them – because I do – believe me I do. It’s just easier now to nod my head and agree with people’s comments and leave it at that.

A couple years ago, I remembering hearing that adopting a child does not take away the pain of not being able to have your own biological child but it does however lessen the pain. I was very glad I heard that statement before adopting my son because I found it to be very true. Adoption does however allow you to be a parent anyway despite being infertile.

Since adopting my son, I have had tinges of pain brought on by innocent comments from people, however, I find these days that the pain passes much faster and doesn’t hurt as deeply. It only takes looking at my healthy, beautiful, adopted son to help put things in perspective.  Having a biological child is not everything, and I truly believe that raising an adopted child can be every bit as rewarding as raising your own biological child.

Looking at the woman in the airport made me wonder about her situation. I had no idea what kind of home life her unborn child was about to be born into. Possibly it was a good situation but I suspected it may not have been an ideal situation or she may not have been working an early shift as a waitress in a Texas airport at that stage in her pregnancy. Either way, it proves the point that you don’t always know how it is for another person. What appears one way on the outside is not always what you think it is.

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