When I meet someone or see someone for the first time I automatically start making assumptions or judgements about that person… I judge them by their appearance, how they look, walk, talk, and interact… I try to discern if they are happy, sad, angry, frustrated or depressed… This is me making a snap judgement about someone within about the first 10 seconds of meeting them or seeing them. I have come to realize over the years that 99% of the time my assumptions are completely wrong. I realize that every person has their story and I have no idea about their past joys, successes or failures and trials, as they have no idea about mine and are probably making their own assumptions and judgements about me at the very same time.
Two years ago I had no idea what a blog even was. I started a family blog because my friend told me it was a good way to “journal” family events. Then I decided to start writing about adoption and the story of my children. After my first week of writing I decided to “Google” about adoption and read other blogs about adoption. WOW! I was amazed at the enormous amount of negativity surrounding adoption. I had no idea so many people are AGAINST adoption! I have read several blogs written by birth mothers and adoptees making adoptive parents out to be these villainous people who snatch babies away from their mothers. I couldn’t understand why they would be so angry that a child was placed with a loving family…. So I read and read some more.
I came to agree with a lot of what they wrote because I tried to see things from their viewpoint, but I don’t agree with everything they write (as I am sure they don’t agree with me). Does that make them wrong and me right? No, it makes us different and like the Arby’s commercial used to say “Different is good.” Their situation is different from mine; I cannot judge or dismiss their feelings just because they are not the same as my own. I can’t go back and change how my children were placed with our family. Looking back, with the knowledge I have now, of course I would change how I acted and reacted in singular situations, but hindsight is like that.
I have received several very negative and biting comments and e-mails from people who have read my blog and don’t agree with me (yes it hurts) but that is okay. For those who have left their name or a way to contact them I have read their blogs and their stories to try and find out where they are coming from. I used to get angry when people would try to tell me how to raise my children because it seemed they were always comparing me to themselves “I never worked when I had small children…” or “my children never did THAT.” It was always “advice” that made me feel like I was not doing a good job as a mother or parent.
I don’t mind criticism, as long as it is constructive criticism. If someone has an idea that would make my life better or a suggestion on how I could improve, I am all for it. I loved when a friend of mine told me about having “nights” with my kids, it has been one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received.
People aren’t always going to agree with the decisions I made in my life and with regards to adoption, but if you have some advice on how I could do something better, I am open to hear it, just don’t criticize the past, I can’t change that now.
I am learning along with everyone else ~ and like my son said “Everyone’s a critic” even me.