Sarah Reid is a happy adoptive mom, but she's fed up with well-meaning friends who assume she can't cope with other people's preganancies.
I'm happy you're pregnant! I'm not jealous. Not jealous at all. Really!
When I was a kid, I always knew I’d grow up and get married and have babies. Granted, I thought it would be through pregnancy first and adoption later on, but things happened this way for a reason. I’ve got my baby boy and all I see is joy. Adoption wasn’t an alternative—it was our path.
So why, why, why, are people walking on eggshells?
My brother’s wife is having a baby girl next month. Hurray! Pink onesies, pink blankets, little pink booties. Am I jealous? No! I’m happy, darn it!
My other brother’s wife is having twins in October. Two times the fun, double the trouble, twice blessed. Am I jealous? Heck no!
My other brother’s wife is due in January. Am I happy? Of course! I’m thrilled. To bits. Another blessing. Another cousin for my son. Another grandchild for my parents.
My family’s great. My colleagues? Awesome. They “get” adoption. They’ve lived and breathed it and understand it completely.
Not bloating up over the sunniest summer in recent memory. Not stretching my diabetic body to its hormonal limits. Not worrying about how I’ll possibly chase around a two-year-old with a toddler in my tummy.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to be pregnant. But I don’t control the weather, I don’t decide when the seasons change or when the sun goes down at night. That’s how I see pregnancy. It’s some cosmic opportunity, a biological bingo game. If my biological baby number never comes up, that’s okay. Even if all 11 of my siblings around me get to shake their lucky troll dolls in the air every year for the remainder of their child-bearing years hollering, “BINGO, I’m making another baby!” I’ll be happy because I know adoption has blessed us and made us a family.
I am not jealous of pregnant people. If you’re pregnant, and a close friend or family member of mine, please don’t wait until you’re seven months pregnant to tell me you’re expecting. I’ll just be hurt that you waited to share your news. If you’re having complications or aren’t telling anyone, by all means, keep things to yourself if you’d rather. But don’t put me last on your list because biological reproduction is not our forte.
If you’re avoiding telling me because you don’t want me to be jealous, please reconsider. When you avoid sharing your happiness, you assume that I’m sad. And that annoys me to no end. Not because I’m happy (and I am happy, darn it!) but because you’re inferring that failing to get pregnant must mean that adoption feels like a consolation prize.
Nothing could be further from the truth. When I first held my son, he was two-weeks-old. I didn’t know then that he was my son, but there he was, cradled in my arms, waiting for the traffic light to turn green, for the light bulb to turn on inside my head, for social workers and court systems to all line up for that big “Ah-ha!” moment when everything made sense and we finally got word he would be coming home.
That was my pregnancy. I have no stretch marks to show for it, no baby weight to shed, no ob/gyn to thank, and no labour story to publish. You envisioned your delivery day. I dreamed about the day I’d bring my son home. I waited for my baby to be born into our family, just like the pregnant folks waited for your child to be born.
I am happy for you. I wish you joy and love and many years of bliss as you grow your family. But please, stop walking on eggshells. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, and I don’t need memories or plans for a big round belly to prove my parenthood. I have my son, and I’m proud he came to us through adoption.