At the dinner table last night, Beau and I discussed another “funny” question we heard. So, in an effort to educate – here are a couple things NOT to say when you hear a family is fostering/adopting – and what to say (or NOT) instead:
This is a legitimate question, but phrased this way kind of puts the family on defense. Instead, try “what led you to…” In our case, it was a God thing. It was something that we thought about and talked about and prayed about for a long time.
Y’know – the human one. Seriously though – does it matter? Agencies do ask if families have preferences when it comes to gender, race, religion, etc. – and families have the right to request placements that they think will work best. But in our case, we didn’t care – and really neither should you.
“Are you going to have your “own” kids?”
Honestly, I think asking about people’s reproductive plans is awkward. But if you’re really curious, try using “biological” instead (and see below*).
“What happened to their “real” parents?”
Again, the term you are looking for is “biological”, but I don’t recommend asking this question even with that terminology. The story is probably long. Simply put, it was bad. It had to be. There is no good reason to be in foster care. And caseworkers and lawyers and judges – they don’t remove kids lightly. It’s natural to be curious – but try to respect the kids’ privacy.
Furthermore*, we are their “real” parents (and they are our “own” kids). We get them out of bed in the morning and tuck them in at night. We put clean clothes on their backs and food in their bellies. We get the call from the nurse when they’ve got a temperature. We get the note from the teacher when they’ve acted out. We take them to therapy and to the park. We wash their hair and brush their teeth. We wipe noses and bottoms. We kiss boo-boos. It’s as real as it gets.
Was this helpful? Do you have more questions you’d like to ask but aren’t sure how? Shoot ‘em over. Maybe I’ll post more another day!