‘Girl, I bet you’ll get pregnant right after you adopt. Just watch!’ It’s nails on a chalkboard when I hear that.’

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“If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it at least 50 times.

It can be a stranger, the barista at your coffee shop, that cousin/relative who always has to tell you what they are thinking, or it can be someone within your inner circle.

Once they know you are going down the road of adoption, or they just find out you have adopted, their response is always the same. ‘How sweet, you’ve adopted! Girl, I bet you’ll get pregnant right after you adopt. Just watch!’

I honestly believe this comment is meant to bring the adoptive mom some kind of comfort. It is probably meant to be encouraging, as if to dangle a carrot out in front of you to achieve your ‘ultimate goal.’

But that phrase, it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me. Now it brings a different problem because my daughter is getting old enough to hear it too, and will start to understand what that actually means.

Instagram/@lauren_niehoff

What is so bad about that comment?  I think we can all agree this isn’t something that is actually meant to be mean in any way, but what I hear in that comment is that my daughter is just a means to an end. I also hear she was my attempt toward a biological child, and along the way, I had to settle for the adopted one instead. If I can’t have a biological child, well then, I’ll just try to fix this void by adopting a child.

It makes me feel like people are saying she’s not enough, and in a few short years, it will make her feel that way, too, when she hears it.

In reality, it could not be further from the truth. Adoption is just another way of having a child. It does not attempt to replace, it does not fix, and believe me – the process of adoption definitely doesn’t take your stress away so you can conceive.

Instagram/@lauren_niehoff

It seems as though a lot of people believe adoption will cause your stress levels to decrease, thus allowing you to magically conceive. If you’ve thought that, then you’ve probably not been involved in an infertility or adoptive situation. The truth is, in many cases, a couple that has trouble conceiving doesn’t find the magic bullet in adoption. At the end of the road, adoption does not cure infertility for many people.

Adoption in general has come so far within the past 10 – 20 years, but education and vocabulary still have such a long way to go. I understand that unless you have had someone close to you adopt that you might not believe you are saying anything that could come off wrong. This is something my husband has to remind me of, and I struggle with it. He reminds me we can help people understand our hearts in the situation, and how we aren’t doing this to protect our feelings, but rather doing this to make sure our daughter knows she was never second best.

Instagram/@lauren_niehoff

Motherhood is a beautiful thing, and oftentimes we can arrive there in many different ways. Being a mother means you are present, and providing the care your child’s needs; no matter how they came into your life. I don’t want my daughter to grow up hearing statements like this one. I don’t want her feeling as if she wasn’t good enough, or didn’t match up to this biological child I could never have.

Roslyn,

I may never know what it means or physically feels like to birth a child. What I do know, on the other hand, is the many nights I cried, prayed, dreamed of a child just like you. You may not have grown in my belly, but that will never change the amount of love I have for you. We spent many nights praying for you, and you are loved beyond measure. There may be times when people make comments to our family, but don’t ever let those comments define who you are. You were made for so much more, and I am so happy I was chosen to be your mom.

I never want you, my sweet girl, to think you were a second best. You are the absolute BEST thing that ever happened to me. I could not love you any more if I had given birth to you.”

Luke and Mallory Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lauren Niehoff of Indiana. You can follow her adoption journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d love to hear your story. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

Read Lauren’s adoption backstory here:

‘You have been chosen by a birth mom. She is due in 9 days.’ I was listening with my mouth wide open, staring at my husband. He was wondering what in the world is happening.’

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