My last blog was about things that you should avoid saying to families formed by adoption. Many people say these things and don’t even realize that they could sound unkind. I think that often when people see a family with adopted children, they are curious because these kinds of families are not very common, though they are becoming more accepted in society. Here are some things that you can say that are appropriate and that will be appreciated by the family.
“What a beautiful family!”
This validates them as a family and celebrates their uniqueness. Especially when it is a family that is made up of more than one race, this is a way to validate the fact that they are a family because of their bond, even if they don’t look like each other.
“You guys are so lucky to have found each other.”
This is a great thing to say to the family because this is how they are probably feeling. Families that are built by adoption feel fortunate. They don’t feel sorry for themselves. Also, the parents don’t think that they “rescued” their adopted children and they didn’t adopt them out of charity. They did it because they knew in their hearts that these children were supposed to be a part of their family.
“You must feel so blessed to have such wonderful children.”
This is similar to the last statement. Adopted families do indeed feel blessed to have the chance to raise these special kids.
“I’m interested in adoption, how can I learn more?”
If you are interested in adoption, most adoptive parents would love to tell you about it. However, in line at the grocery store or in front of a bunch of other kids at playgroup may not be the best time. The adoptive parent may not feel that their adopted child is ready to hear all of the specifics surrounding adoption. Perhaps it is just not a convenient time for the parent to talk to you about it. Telling them that you are interested, but not demanding information, opens the door for you to set up a time to talk later.